After graduating from High School in May 1943, I enrolled in Santa Rosa School of Nursing at Santa Rosa Hospital. This hospital was (and still is) affiliated with Incarnate Word College (now University) in San Antonio, TX. As a young student nurse, I met the resident Priest of the hospital while he was a patient in my care. He was a native of France and loved to talk of his boyhood days in France.
Upon learning my surname was Calcote, he informed me of my French origins. He had a friend bring him a special book which he studied -- then he proceeded to tell me of the place in France where the name Cal De Côte originated. Cal De Côte means "Guardian of the Coast". Before 1066 AD, the name "Cal De Côte" originated in Normandy, France. The men of that name traveled with William the Conqueror in the year 1066 AD from Normandy to England. This was the "Norman Invasion".
This French Priest gave me a clue to our ancestry so many years ago -- this has always been a mystery which I have longed to solve.
Perhaps this book shall create the same desire in some other person of Calcote descent.
This Cal De Côte name had many minor changes over the next 500 years while the Calcote family ancestors remained in England. The variant listings are in the Doomsday Books. This is the tax list made in England for William the Conqueror.
In the Sunday advocate newspaper of Baton Rouge, LA of October 29, 1967; the "know Your Name" column by J.C. Downing had a listing of "Caldcott, Calcote" which gave many variations in the spelling of place names in England. This list includes the following: two places in Devonshire where it is spelled Callacott; in Wiltshire, it is spelled Calcutt. Thomas de Colecote lived in Devonshire, England in 1275. Simon de Caldecot lived in Cambridgeshire, England in 1195. Geoffrey de Caudecot lived in Kent, England in 1206. Edward Calcott was Master of the ship, "John and Mary", out of London in 1679. Edmund de Caldicote - 1275 R.H. (This R.H. is location of name - Rotuli Hundredorum. 2 Volumes - Hundred Rolls - a tax list.) [See Appendix C for complete article from Baton Rouge, LA, newspaper, which was submitted by Fred Calcote, Jr.]
The lives of our early colonial ancestors were filled with danger, romance and excitement. Many demanding days of clearing land, planting crops, and attending to church and court responsibilities kept the male members of the family very busy.
The female family members were concerned with cooking, cleaning, weaving cloth, sewing garments for the family, attending the sick and bearing many babies.
Joyous days were there also; the men enjoyed their hunting, fishing and exploration trips. Occasional parties and visits entertained the ladies.
The days of Hercules Calcott and his wife Susannah, were probably filled much like this, with hard lives of duty and responsibility, punctuated by occasions of joy.
Lives of our ancestors on the maternal side of the Calcote family were occupied in much the same manner. Some surnames of these progenitors were: Baker, Bechinoe, Bromfield, Council, Goodrich, Hardy and Cripps.
This book is filed with may references to official documents which were located by my husband, Judge J. Taylor Brite, and myself.
In the autumn of 1994 my husband and I visited Isle of Wight County, Virginia. We searched many of the county records seeking the elusive, rugged individuals which we can claim as our ancestors. We found abounding evidence that they had owned land in this historic South Shore county.
Marriages of many of our ancestors can only be found by searching deed records from sale of land. Many records (including marriage records) have been lost due to ravages of time. However, we were able to find many records which are set out in various places in this volume.
Isle of Wight was one of the original eight shires first established to form the Colony of Virginia in 1634. It was first given the Indian name of Warrosquoyacke. Residents have always said that the South Shore of the mighty James River was quite different from the North Shore. The climate is always a little warmer, forest a little more dense, with many creed and swamps. Early colonists chose smaller areas of land which they cultivated. They produced many crops on their farms. Hogs ran wild through the forests. (Isle of Wight county was named for the Isle of Wight off the southern coast of England.)
We explored the historic town of Smithfield, Virginia, toured the museum and walked through the streets of Smithfield. This town was established by Arthur Smith. His mother was Mary Bromfield, sister of our ancestor, Ann Bromfield.
After our return to South Texas, while searching the grocery store for Thanksgiving supplies, we discovered the famous Smithfield smoked ham and bacon. Needless to say, our family enjoyed baked Smithfield ham for our Thanksgiving dinner.
These official documents were found in State Archives and County Records of the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas.
Some of the actual documents are reproduced in this book; however some documents were in too poor a condition to reproduce.
These records are the footprints we have followed into the past. These records have been the only path left as a link to our early colonial ancestors.
Hercules and Susannah Calcott were the founders of this wonderfully interesting Calcote family. Descendants of this early marriage are now scattered over the entire United States of America.
During "Bacon's Rebellion", 1672-1685, many British Regiments were sent from England to the colonies (especially Virginia) to quell the uprisings. The uprisings were of the colonists as well as the Indians.
It has been recorded that numerous British soldiers remained in the colonies after serving their enlistment. It is possible that Hercules Calcott was one of these soldiers who remained in Virginia. No known ship passenger's list has been found which includes the name of Hercules Calcott.
We rely on the official records which are found in the body of this book, for the travels of our Calcote ancestors more than 300 years since the death of Hercules Calcott.
Over the years, before our American Independence, and continuing to this very day, numerous young Calcote male descendants have seen active service in the military forces of our United States of America. One such young man was John Calcote in South Carolina. He served in the Militia under Gen. Francis Marion, "The Swamp Fox", during the American Revolution. The records found in South Carolina Archives have proven his service. Two young granddaughters of the author have been admitted to the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) based on the service of John Calcote, Sr.
April 13, 1996, two new Junior Members of NSDAR were approved as members honoring their Patriot ancestor, John Calcote, Sr., these were: Amy Kathleen Brite - DAR member #770466 and Emily Diane Brite - DAR member #770467.
A special grave marker was dedicated in honor of James Calcote for his service in the War of 1812. The ceremony was held in the lovely Calcote Cemetery on June 1995, the day of the Calcote Reunion in Brookhaven, MS. This marker was obtained through the efforts of a descendent, Peggy Jean Ledbetter.
The more recent generations in this book; Generations 9 through 12 are listed as they were given to the author. The spelling of the names and all dates have been checked several times. We apologize for any unhappy mistakes.
We have applied to the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution for an official marker to be dedicated to the memory of John Calcote, Sr. June 22, 1997. This dedication is to take place at the time of the Calcote Reunion.