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John Calef's Geni Profile

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John Calef

Also Known As: "John Calfe"
Birthdate: (73)
Birthplace: England
Death: 1748 (73)
Chester, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Calef and Maria / Mary Calef
Husband of Deborah Calef
Father of John Calfe; Deborah Calef; William Calef; Mary Calef; James Calef and 6 others
Brother of Joseph Calef; Robert Calef d. 1722; Martha Hewes; Jeremiah Calef; Mary Calef Stevens and 2 others

Managed by: Douglas Kastanotis
Last Updated:

About John Calef

John was one of the petitioners for the grant of Nottingham, and a grantor of Chester, N. H.

He moved to Chester in 1734, where, when he was sixty, he was granted the "liberty to build a fulling mill at Massabeesek brook, between the two Ponds." He was a much-trusted citizen, being appointed to collect the rates from the Newbury proprietors of Chester, one of a committe to adjust the selectman's accounts, and three times himself selectman. In the division of the Chester church into two camps, Presbyterian and Congregational, he was a leader in the latter; on the committee to choose the minister, to sell seats in the meeting house and to set the salary. When after five years of dissension over theology and church taxes, two parishes were set up, he signed a remarkable report on this settlement to the General Court, stating that "since which time they have proceeded in the most cordial manner and have endeavoured to take the best method the circumstances will admit to raise money for the respective ministers."


John, mentioned above, was the ancestor of the Calef or Calfe families of Chester, Kingston, Hampstead and Salisbury, N. H. He was a clothier, settled in Newbury, Mass., and about 1734 removed to Chester (the part now Auburn), of which town he was one of the original grantees, and where he died in the spring of 1748. He married, June 10, 1702, Deborah, daughter of William and Deborah King of Boston. They had nine children, the births of the first seven being on Newbury records.

  1. John of Newbury, a school-teacher, called "Master John." His son, Justice John, settled in Hampstead, and was a very prominent citizen, being an officer in the Revolution, secretary of the convention for forming the state constitution and of the convention for ratifying the Federal constitution, clerk of the New Hampshire House of Representatives twenty-five years, justice of the Court of Common Pleas for Rockingham County for an equal time and deacon of the church thirty-five years. The late Judge William Wallace Poor of Derry was among his descendants.
  2. Deborah died young
  3. Deacon William removed from Newbury to Kingston 1740. Two of his sons, William, Jr., and Joseph, were early settlers of Salisbury, N. H., and were the progenitors of the numerous Calef family of that town, while the oldest, Colonel John, remained in Kingston, and was an officer in the Revolution and a deacon in the church. The latter's oldest son, Joseph, married Miriam, daughter of Gov. Josiah Bartlett, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and among their descendants was the late Dr. Josiah Calef Eastman of Hampstead. Colonel John's daughter, Mary, married Rev. Zaccheus Colby of Pembroke and Auburn, and another daughter, Hannah, married Rev. Elisha Thayer, D. D., of Kingston.
  4. Mary married Nathaniel Ethridge.
  5. James settled in Auburn and removed to Haverhill, Mass. He and his son, Samuel, were taken prisoners by the French and Indians at Fort William and Henry, August 9, 1757.
  6. King settled in Auburn and removed to Massachusetts.
  7. Joseph settled in Auburn. One of his sons was Rev. Jonathan Calef of Bloomfield and Lyman, Me., who married Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. Moses Hemmenway, D. D., of Wells, Me. Other descendants of Joseph have lived in Manchester, Auburn, and Hampstead, and among the number is Miss Harriette Eliza Noyes, the historian of Hampstead.
  8. Daniel had a son, Moses; little is known of them.
  9. Robert settled with his father in Auburn, where they had a sawmill and fulling-mill. They had cloth brought 200 miles to be dressed, there being no fulling mill between there and Canada. Robert's daughter, Sarah, married Hon. Joseph Blanchard, a prominent citizen of Auburn, a state senator six terms and member of the governor's council two years, delegate to the convention which ratified the Federal constitution, and to that which formulated the state constitution, a Presbyterian ruling elder thirty-nine years. Their descendants are widely scattered, east and west.

-- From The Granite Monthly: A New Hampshire Magazine Devoted to History, Volume 39, online.

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John Calef's Timeline

June 3, 1703
Age 28
January 21, 1705
Age 30
July 17, 1706
Age 31
Newbury, Essex, MA, USA
February 4, 1708
Age 33
January 31, 1710
Age 35
November 5, 1711
Age 36
May 7, 1715
Age 40
October 31, 1718
Age 43
Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States