Col William Callaway, Sr

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William Callaway, Sr

Birthplace: Caroline County, Virginia, United States
Death: Died in Bedford County, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Forest, Bedford County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Joseph Callaway
Husband of Elizabeth Callaway and Elizabeth Callaway
Father of Col. James Callaway; Maj. John Callaway; William Callaway, II; Elizabeth Thorpe; Charles C. Callaway and 7 others
Brother of Elizabeth Bramblett; John Callaway; Thomas Callaway; Joseph Callaway; Elizabeth Woodward and 4 others

Managed by: Steve Poland
Last Updated:

About Col William Callaway, Sr

DAR Ancestor # A018395


Married Elizabeth Tilley in 1735
Founder of New London, Bedford County, Virgina
William Calaway was the founder of New London, Bedford Co., VA (Bedford County was formed in 1753 from Albemarle and Lunenburg Counties. Albemarle County was formed in 1744 from Goochland County. Lunenburg County was formed in 1746 from Brunswick County.)

Col. William Callaway acquired a large quantity of land; he was the first burgess from Bedford Co., VA holding the office during the sessions from 1754 to 1765.. He was also the first County Lieutenant from Bedford....with the titel of Colonel: This office was usually a large landed proprietor, who governed the county whose faithful execution of the laws resting upon him; he could call out the militia when demanded and account to the governor and council for his conduct. The militia officers were subject to his orders and he could organize courts martial. Colonel William Callaway gave 100 acres at the county seat for the establishment of a town there. He and his sons were very active in county affairs; his son William also bore the title of Colonel and records of them, in consequence, are easily confused. (From "Campbell Chronicles and Family Sketches)

According to "Our Kin", William Callaway was probably the most successful of all the brothers. In 1754 he was appointed the first county lieutenant in Bedford Co., VA; he was a justice of the first court of that county, serving until 1775. He was a captain in the French and Indian Wars, (see Dinwiddie Papers, Vol. 2, p. 109). William Callaway was also a member of the House of Burgesses of Virginia most of the time from 1754 to 1765. In 1761, he made a free gift of 100 acres of Bedford Co., to be settled into a town called New London. He died in 1777.

According to "The Callaways of Virginia" by Mrs. A. E. Hart, Colonel William Callaway, second son of Joseph Callaway, Jr. was born in Caroline Co., VA in 1714 and died in Bedford Co., VA in 1777. He was a man of note in Virginia. During the French and Indian War he served as Captain at Pig River Fort in Virginia. Grants totalling 15,565 acres were made to him between 1750 and 1772, most of which land was in the counties of Brunswick, Lunenburg, Halifax and Bedford. As a result of his large land holdings in 1754, he was appointed the first County Lieutenant of Bedford County. This was an office similar to that of the Lord Lieutenant in England. The County Lieutenant received his appointments from the Governor and the council. He was the official commander of the county militia and was authorized to place all male whites over the age of eighteen in the county militia and under such captains as he himself appointed. It was obligatory that he hold four general musters each year, but he could order drills at any time he wished so to do. The musters that he ordered brough people together from the whole county and were of distinct social value. The County Lieutenant presided at all court martials. A man of influence enven in times of peace, the county Lieutenant was the possessor of great authority in times of war. (See also Wingfield's "History of Caroline Co., VA", 3).

The earliest court of Bedford County was held in 1754 and Colonel William Callaway was one of the justices of that court. The order books show that he continued a justice of the county court until the organization under the Revolution at the Convention of Virginia, July 3, 1775.

The militia of Bedford County was ordered to arms in 1755, as shown by a letter from Governor Dinwiddie to Colonel Callaway, et. AL, July 21, 1755. (See Dinwiddie Papers, Vol. 2, p. 109). William Callaway was the second son of Joseph and Catherine Ann (Browning) Callaway. He was born in 1714, probably in Caroline County, Virginia and became a prominent and wealthy land owner of that State, as he patented fifteen thousand acres of land in Lunenburg, Brunswick, Bedford, and Halifax Counties. William commanded militia in the French and Indian Wars that were waged between 1755, and 1761. He was commissioned a Colonel during his service, and also participated in the American Revolutionary War. He later presided at the first court held in Bedford County, but this was just the beginning of his civil service, because William remained in the Virginia House of Burgesses for thirteen sessions.

In 1754, William Callaway, Gentleman, made a free gift of one hundred acres of land to the newly formed County of Bedford to be developed into a town called New London,the county seat.

William first married on January 8, 1735, to Elizabeth Tilley, and after her death he married a second time, about 1752, to Elizabeth Crawford. Colonel William Callaway died in Bedford Virginia in 1777, and is buried in the Callaway-Steptoe Cemetery. His first son James buried near his father, was also a man of great wealth who fought in the French and Indian Wars and the Revolutionary War. James, a close personal friend of General George Washington also built the first iron furnace south of the James River. This furnace played a big roll in the production of military supplies used in the revolution.

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Col William Callaway, Sr's Timeline

May 8
Orange County, Virginia, United States
Caroline County, Virginia, United States
December 31, 1736
Age 22
Caroline County, Virginia, United States
June 10, 1738
Age 24
Bedford County, Province of Virginia
June 18, 1743
Age 29
Bedford, Virginia, USA
Age 34
Caroline, Virginia, USA
June 5, 1753
Age 39
Botetourt County, Virginia, United States
Age 40
Bedford, Virginia, USA