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Calder Family Papers

Identifier: SC-MS-082

Scope and Contents

This collection contains original family documents consisting of a right-of-way agreed upon between William Calder and E.P. Hall, a deed between Phila C. Calder and James Lytch, two receipts, one for payment by Mrs. P. C. Calder, and the other for payment by Robert E. Calder, and a bond and warrant with a list of payments by Robert E. Calder.


  • Creation: 1844-1875

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

The Calder family of Wilmington can trace its ancestry back to Marks (1757-1833) and Rachel Benjamin (1762-1847) Lazarus of Charleston, South Carolina. Their oldest son Aaron Marks Lazarus (1771-1841) was a prominent, wealthy merchant in Wilmington during the 1830s. His oldest daughter, Phila Cohen Lazarus Calder (1806-1888) [Mrs. William Calder], is the source of the Calder documents in this collection. The Lower Cape Fear Historical Society Archives has an extensive collection of correspondence pertaining to the Lazarus-Calder families.

In October 1983, the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society, Inc. Bulletin, Vol. XXVII, No. 1 published excerpts from letters between family members and also provided further family history. Aaron Marks married Esther Cohen on May 10, 1803 and she bore him eight children; Gershon (1804-1868), Benjamin (1805-1806), Phila Cohen (1806-1888), Rachel (1807-1883), Washington (1808-1831), Angelina Green (1809-1887), Maria Cecelia (1811-1872), and Almira Emma (1814-1888). Esther died in November of 1816 and in 1821 Aaron Marks married Rachel Mordecai who bore him four additional children. When Aaron died in 1841 leaving no will it was noted that, "as a result of his death the house was abondoned, fortunes changed and the children scattered."

Phila Cohen Lazarus married William Calder and together they had three children: Catherine Theodosia, Robert Edward and Washington Lazarus (whose name was changed to William Calder, Jr. after the death of his father on December 9, 1844). Phila Calder spent some time in Rhode Island after the death of her husband but returned to Wilmington, NC in 1846.

Phila's brother Gershon Lazarus legally changed his name from Lazarus to Larendon on December 20, 1864 in Fulton County, Georgia. Phila addresses her brother's decision to her sisters Almira and Julia in a letter dated March 29, 1866 from Wilmington, NC. She notes that her Aunt Adeline who has recently died would have been "pained and annoyed" had she been aware that her nephew had renounced his family name.

Phila Cohen Lazarus Calder, the last surviving child of Aaron Marks and Esther Cohen Lazarus, died on September 28, 1888.

Lower Cape Fear Historical Society, Inc. Bulletin. Wilmington, NC. Volume XXVII, Number 1, October 1983.

Note written by Deborah A. Edwards


1 Folder (Contains 1 folder)

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note


Acquisition Information

These papers were donated by Mrs. E. J. Owens and family on September 13, 1972.

Processing Information

Originally processed by Lana Donaldson Taylor in 1994. In 2014, this manuscript collection was re-foldered and re-housed with current archival standard materials by Christine Hockaday.

Calder Family Papers
Special Collections Staff
1994 April 4
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository