Judy & Jim Herman's Art, Books & Ancestry

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(of Julia Eleen McCallister Herman)

*  Abram McCallister - b. 1801 - d. 1882

  *  George Robert McCallister Sr. - b. 1853 - d. 1888

     *  George Robert McCallister Jr. - b.1885 - d. 1937

        *  Carl Arthur McCallister - b.1917 - d. 1968

           *  Julia Eleen McCallister (Herman) 

Excerpt from Voyage to America 1766 (copyright 2006 Jim Herman. No reproduction without permission)
                .....Follow this link to book ordering information>>> Voyage to America 1766

              1822 – New Bern Port, North Carolina

     Arriving in America in the year 1822 at the New Bern Port in North Carolina when he was twenty-two years old, Abraham McCallister signed his name in the port of entry logs as Abram McCallister.  Seeking others from his clan in Ireland, he located and stayed with friends and relatives at a large Clan MacAlasdar settlement near Cape Fear, North Carolina. 

     He planned to travel inland to the frontier lands of the Carolinas.  This journey would allow him to discover this new land first hand and provide valuable knowledge he would need to become a successful farmer.  Already the difference in the climate was too his liking and the people were friendly, and most of all, not the least bit concerned with his political and religious beliefs.

     Information obtained earlier from friends and dock workers at the port where he arrived, told of good land in western South Carolina.  From sale of his portion of land in Ireland, he would have more than enough money to purchase substantial acreage here in America since the reported price was less than one dollar an acre.

     Remaining with his Clan in the coastal township of Cape Fear for two months, Abram regained his strength from the arduous voyage to American that took nearly twelve weeks to complete.  Once again a healthy and strong twenty-two year old male, he purchased supplies and a horse to take him inland where he would explore the Carolinas, with a final destination undetermined.

     His success in Ireland was not the result of luck.  Abram possessed a knack for learning from observation.  Here on this land voyage across the Carolina lands, both north and south, he would gleam knowledge of crops and farming operations to use and apply when he obtained his own land.

     The first thirty days of travel brought him to the small cliffs of the wild Neuse River near the center of North Carolina, west of a large settlement named Raleigh.

     Earlier from New Bern he first passed over sandy light soil which would produce a poor crop even though the climate would be favorable near a full calendar year length.  As quick as his assessment of the poor soil was made a change to the better began near Kinston Town.  Now the soil was thicker and with a black hue.  The further west he traveled, on to the settlement of Goldsboro, the soil became black and thick but not too course to clot--perfect soil for farming.  From every direction he saw cotton fields and corn fields and occasionally, on a smaller scale, wheat and flax.

     Beyond the Neuse River he talked with travelers who told him of red soil further west, except in the bottom lands of rivers and streams; red soil that was difficult to till and produced little.  Armed with this information he headed south rather than west, following the flow of the Neuse River.  South into the part of the Carolinas now called South Carolina.

     Reaching the Pee Dee basin of rivers, the low county became damp with standing water.  Bogs he knew of in Ireland, but this was his first experience with what local farmers called swamps.  Here he turned westward and followed the footpaths of animals to a settlement called Camden where the rolling prairie of the middle Carolinas unfolded.  Taking the main wagon road west toward the Blue Ridge Mountains, he still hoped to find the right land to fit his needs; land similar to his home land in Ireland, but more fertile.

     Crossing the north to south great wagon road on his westward trek, Abram came upon a large high meadow that crested to the west.  The view, from north to south, unfolded the Blue Ridge Mountain Range as far as he could see.  This was the place he had pictured in his mind.  This was to be his home.  It was near a settlement named Spartanburg, in the new State of South Carolina, in America.

McCallister Origin History 

12th Century – Scotland

     The many spellings of the surname McCallister originated from the Clan Alasdair from Somerled, Lord of Argyll, through his grandson Donald who founded the large and mighty Clan Donald.  Many Clan branches descend from the original Clan Donald and one of them, Clan Alasdair (McCallister), was a West Highland clan centered on Kintyre Peninsula and the surrounding islands of Scotland.

     From this peninsula and surrounding islands of Scotland, some families from Clan Alasdair moved westward and settled in Northern Ireland and the Ireland lowlands to the southwest.  Alasdair Mor, the younger son of Donald who was the accepted Lord of the Isles, was the first of the MacAlasdair Clan that now proudly carry the McCallister surname throughout Scotland, Ireland, and America.

     Down through the years most MacAlasdairs were tenant farmers and fishermen who suffered the same plight as other clans of the Scottish Highlands.  The many factions of war and battle across the highlands from frequent political unrest, periodic famine, high land tariffs, and forcible eviction by clan chiefs when the estates of the wealthy chiefs changed ownership, drove many of the MacAlasdairs out of Scotland to Ireland.

     During the wars for Scotland’s independence—1297 to 1304 with Robert Bruce and 1306 to 1328 with William Wallace—Clan MacAlasdair supported independence and fought gallantly with other highlanders.  Following his victory at Bannockburn, Clan MacAlasdair was singled out and rewarded by Robert Bruce for their bravery.

     In the mid 1600s—during the wars of religion—Clan MacAlasdair was united in its support of Montrose.  Some of the Clan’s land holdings were lost following these battles, but twenty years later, they fought and won them back.  In a huge and fierce battle at Dunaverty Keep in 1647, a great number of the Clan MacAlasdair soldiers were massacred by British soldiers commanded by the British General Leslie.   Following the Scottish invasion of England, in support of Charles II, in 1650, a few of the MacAlasdairs were captured at the Battle of Worcester by Oliver Cromwell led British soldiers.  These captives were used as laborers and sent to the new world, America, in 1651.

     The Jacobite Risings—1689-1746—split the MacAlasdair support on both sides of the fighting.  Exhibiting their strong individuality, some of the battles Clan MacAlasdair vigorously supported others they did not participate in at all.

     Except for the small number of MacAlasdairs exiled to colonial America by the British in the year 1651, few if any migrated to this new land until the William Penn “Holy Experiment” began.  In the early part of the 18th century from 1720 and into the 19th century, to about 1820, Penn and his sons offered freedom from political and religious strife on inexpensive land in America.  The MacAlasdairs joined the tens of thousands from Europe seeking to fulfill the “Holy Experiment” and the promises offered.  They came through ports in New York, Philadelphia, Wilmington and Charleston harbors.  They undertook a voyage to America.