Callender Family Information


The story of Samuel Callender leads to the question as to possible connections with others of the same name. Alfred Lister, for many years historian for the Samuel Callender Association, made extensive research. He was unable to discover any evidence of connection of this family with the New England Callenders, although the same spelling is used. All results of inquiry on my part convince me that all Callenders onginated in Scotland, regardless of how the name is spelled. They came from the town of Callander.

Mr. W. B. Callander made trips to Callander and made careful search regarding the descendants of Alexander Callander who married Agnes Sterling. This large family is found mostly in the Canadian Province of Ontario. He produced convincing evidence that his family came from the town by the same name. The reason is not apparent as to the variation in spelling. Most of the family that settled in New England and the states generally used the "ender" spelling. An interesting sidelight is that the Genealogical Historical Library is Boston contains a book in which all the names of Massachusetts men who fought in the Revolutionary War are listed. Among these are twenty two Callenders, one Callander, one Callendar, one Cellender, six Calendars, and one Collender. Upon comparing their records one discovers obvious cases of duplication caused by careless spelling. It seems that the spelling of words and names was not fully standardized in those days.

The New England Callenders have a special place of interest. The first to emigrate to the new world was Michael Callender who came to Boston with Governor Winthrop in 1630. His son Ellis became very prominent and has been referred to as "a direct lineal descendant of Alexander, the first Earl of Callender". He was in addition to a leading citizen of Boston, the principle speaker for the First Baptist Church while it was "destitute for a minister for thirty years". He was ordained by that church in 1706 and died at the age of eighty in 1726. Listed at different times as shopkeeper, merchant, broker, he conducted business in Paddy's Lane. One of the founders of First Baptist Church, he sold land to it in 1722. The Suffolk County Registry of Deeds records that Ellis bought land July 3, 1675 in the North of Boston, bounded by Water Mill, Century Haven, Thomas Walker, and Mill Pond, in size 40 x 27 feet. Perhaps this is what he sold to the church.

One may find items of interest regarding the family of Ellis. One son, John is referred to as "Tobacconist of Boston." Another writing refers to "John Callender, one of the rudest and coursest politicians of his day", also "John a rough man mentioned in Boston 160 Orators and Eleaser Callender." We have this record, 'There were three names of grandsons of Ellis Callender. They are Eleazer, the Reverend John Callender of Newport, and Philip, Master of a ship, who settled in Connecticut."

The Reverend Elisha Callender was a son of Ellis, born in Boston and educated at Harvard, receiving his B. A. degree in 1710. He was pastor of the First Baptist Church. Cathcart records that he became a member of the church in August of 1713 and was ordained May 21st, 1718. His ordination was signalized by strong friendly feeling between churches which had formerly been on bitter terms, several Congregational pastors being present. He preached frequently in Springfield, Salem, and other towns and baptized large numbers. His own church prospered in particular while under his care. According to the Baptist Encyclopedia (p. 177) by Cathcart, "While prospects were brightest, he was cut off by death in 1738, in the twentieth year of his ministry. Mr. Callender was the first native Baptist minister to receive a collegiate education."

The Reverend John Callender, nephew of Elijah and grandson of Ellis, received recognition as the distinguished pastor of Second Baptist Church of Newport, Rhode Island. I have seen his picture in the Meeting House of that Church. Born in Boston, he received his Harvard Degree in 1723. His Centennial Sermon and other writings are standard authority for Early Rhode Island history. John occupied a prominent position among people of learning and influence in that colony, and was an honored member of the historic society. His bookplate contained the Callender Coat of Arms and was engraved by Joseph Callender, a prominent engraver.

Other Callenders were William S. Callender who left a large estate, having owned a store on Washington Street in Boston on the East side of Milk and Bromfield Streets. One recalls that there was a Boston Store in Providence, Rhode Island, operated by Callender, McAuslin and Troop. One finds Callender Streets in both Providence and Newport, Rhode Island. Descendants of the New England Callenders have been traced to Harrisburg and Meadville, Pennsylvania and other areas. (See "Callender Genealogy" by Morton Robinson 1911 ancestors and descendents of Nathaniel Callender and Olive Kellogg.)

The Callender Family and the Livingstone Family originate in the Earl of Callender, Scotland. It was the King's prerogative to bestow honor as he chose. Along with the gift of an earldom went the name. Hence the situation in which the names of Callender and Livingstone, denote the same family. One writer observed, "From the Livingstone or Callender Family are descended David Livingstone, the African Explorer, John Callender of Craigforth, an antiquarian of much renown, and numerous other prominent persons. From this family are the Livingstones of Cleremont, N. Y., who furnished a governor, a mayor, and other prominent political leaders. Their manor house at Cleremont is described in Glen's "Colonial Residences".

Callender history dates back to that ancient castle in Callender County Scotland, residence of the Earl of Callender. One source reads, "Almond House or Castle stands on an eminence about one half mile South of the great road from Linlithgow to Sterling. It consists of two old towers with a modern addition, seemingly in the time of King Charles First or the Second. Part of the tower is very ancient." Some have expressed the opinion that the most ancient part of the wall dates back to the Roman Conquest, and may be part of the Roman Wall. Almond House stands four miles from Falkirk. A picture of it will be found in a book by H. B. Callander to which reference has been made.


Rev. Willard D. Callender

(1902 - 1987)

Last Update: Monday, July 1, 2018
Created by David Burman