The Myths & Legends

The Myths

The myths and legends of Caldwell have been around many more years than I. These myths have been propagated and perpetuated for much too long, and have even become public record in documents belonging to two-time Vice President John Caldwell Calhoun and Joseph Caldwell, a founding member of Princeton University.


Caldwell Surname

The long-held belief by many that Caldwell began with three pirate brothers who sailed the Mediterranean with Barbarossa simply doesn’t add up. This is not to say that there may be some veins of truth in the legends, but it is most certainly not where we begin, nor is the name of French origin.


Barbarossa Pirates

The pirate brothers Barbarossa were Aruj Barbarossa who died in 1518, and Khayrad’din Barbarossa who died 1546. Both were born on the island of Lesbos to a Janissary soldier Yaqub, who had been granted land on the island, and the widow of a Christian priest.


Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon on April 25th 1599 to Robert Cromwell & Elizabeth Stewart. His grandparents on his fathers side were Henry Cromwell & Jane Warren. Elizabeth Stewart’s parents were William Stewart and Catherine Payne.


Gustave Anjou

Widely known today for his fraudulent genealogies of early American families in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Anjou was known to receive as much as $9,000 for a genealogy report from his wealthy clients. His report usually took three weeks to complete and included a coat of arms and surname history.


Coat of Arms

There is no such thing as a ‘coat of arms for a surname’. Many people of the same surname will often be entitled to completely different coats of arms, and many of that surname will be entitled to no coat of arms.


Jesse James

It’s well known that Jesse stopped briefly at the church on the way out of town after robbing the bank and interrupted the minister to announce that “some riders” had just robbed the town’s bank. “You folks best get down there in a hurry.”