The McCallister Family
To be brief about my own family surname is going to be tough, but here is a truncated overview.
Our McCallisters are first confirmed in Lincoln County North Carolina. At that time, the surname was most often spelled as McAlister. There were McAlisters in the Lincoln County area before the American Revolution, and at least one is reported to have seen action in the Battle of Kings Mountain nearby, during the revolution. The family(ies) lived around the Iron Station area in the southeastern part of the county. Current supposition is that our particular line (J45) descends from one John McAlister, brother of James McAlister (J26). The J26 James (1770-1830) probably had 2 wives, the second being Tabitha Delilah Regan. He is thought to have fathered five children. Our McCallister descendants share identical 12 point and 25 point DNA markers with descendants of James (J26) McAlister.
Our McAlister family is much less defined. The earliest confirmed date we can establish for our line is 20 August 1843, when our James McAlister (and McAlister is how he signed his name on the Marriage Bond) married Jane Dellinger in Lincoln County NC. Their oldest son, Moses Elijah McCallister was born the next year. All the rest of the children were born in North Carolina, except the youngest. Charles Abell was born in 1848; Lucinda “Lucindy” Isabelle in 1851; Alexander “Alec” in 1853 or 1854; and Sarah Caladona in 1860. Sarah was born in Georgia. There is also another brother, whose name is Jess, about whom I can find no record, though I have some thoughts on this.
Our McCallisters must have been good people, but poor. Good, because there does not seem to be any court records showing law suits or any criminal proceedings; Poor, because there are no deeds or wills to show any property ownership. And while the civil war records are somewhat fragmented, I have never found where our James or his two older sons saw any action in that conflict. It appears then that our McCallisters lived in various places in North Carolina before moving to someplace in Georgia before 1860. They resurfaced after the Civil War in Bullitt County Kentucky, living in the Belmont area, in the Pine Tavern magisterial district. There, daughter Lucinda married James Jefferson Hearron, a widower with two children in 1869, and Moses married Isabelle Olinger, a widow, in 1870.
By the mid 1870s, mother Jane, sons Charles, Alec, and Moses, and daughter Sarah had moved to western Kentucky: Moses in Corydon, Henderson County and the rest in the Uniontown area of Union County. Alec married at Uniontown in 1878; Sarah married in Henderson County in 1881; Moses married a second time in 1884; Charles married at Uniontown in 1886. Mother Jane Dellinger McAlister disappears after the 1880 census. No one knows when or where she died.
Within a few years, Mose moved his large family to Carlisle County Kentucky on Yellow Dog Road; Alec relocated his family to Louisville where he went to work for the K&A Railroad; Lucinda eventually ended up in the Porum Oklahoma area; Sarah finally settled in the Egypt Arkansas area; and Charles Abell McCallister remained at Uniontown Kentucky.
Here are some snippets from family lore within the various families, all of which yet to be proved: Our James McAlister went by Jim or Jimmy. He may have been a minister (either Presbyterian or Methodist, maybe Baptist or Disciples of Christ). He did not believe in slavery and so, would not own slaves. His mother was of Irish and French extraction and was a “horse woman”. Could this have been where Charles Abell and sons Nick and Phil got their saddlery skills? Another unproved piece of lore: the spelling of the surname from McAlister to McCallister was done after the civil war so that the family could not be traced. That it was changed is no doubt: there are three different spellings of McAlister now from that single McAlister family of Lincoln County NC.
The house at the top of the page shows the Charles Abell McCallister home in Uniontown Kentucky. Sitting on the stile is son Nick McCallister and his wooly black dog. Picture from about 1915.