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Nancy Lee Brooks Detweiler



The Middle Ages marked the beginning of widespread adoption of surnames to represent and distinguish families. These names were most often selected by the individual families and derived from one of four sources:

1. The name of the father Ö son of Richard = Richardson

2. The locality Ö a topographical feature = Churchill, Fields, Brooks

3. The occupation = Baker, Fisher, Carpenter, Miller

4. Descriptive Nickname = Small, Cheeks

Source: Article Ė "Anatomy of A Surname," Suzanne McVetty

Caudle is a location surname. According to research found on, Caudle is of Anglo-Saxon origin, deriving from any one of the places called "Caldwell" in North Yorkshire and Warwickshire, plus other places named with the same elements such as "Chadwell," "Chardwell," and "Caudle Green." Caudle means "cold spring or stream." In Scotland, it derives from "Caldwell" in Renfrewshire. There are many variants: Cau(l)dwell, Cawdell, Cadwell, Coldwell, and Chadwell. The first recorded spelling of the name is that of "Adam de Caldwella, dated 1195.

A Scottish researcher, Bill Caddell, claims the name is an ancient Highlander name from a Norman knight, Hugo de Cadella. This name became Calder, meaning "water between the woods." In the lowlands, the name became Cawdor. Bill Caddell states an ancestral castle was given this nameóthe Cawdor Castle in Nairn, Scotland. This castle continues to be the home of the Cawdor family; the castle and gardens are open to the public. The official website is: The Caudills are said to be a part of the Campbell clan in Scotland.

Another fascinating website is: Our Caudill

cousins have created a very informative website, including a description of their personal visit to the Cawdor Castle in Scotland.


Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation.

Sources: 1. Natalie Caudill at:


3. Phillips at

James Cordell is thought to be the first Caudle to immigrate to the colonies. He is listed in Early Virginia Immigrants (page 78) as having land in New Kent County, Virginia transferred to him by Arthur Nash in 1654.

Although some researchers state that James Cordell is the father of Stephen Caudill, I have seen no verification of this possibility. Further research of the Scottish records is needed.


The above is verification that Arthur Nash received a land patent in New Kent County, Virginia in 1654. He likely transferred a portion of this land to James Cordell.


This 1703 Land Grant to Thomas Pettis reveals that James Candle was already settled in King & Queen County, Virginia with land situated next to Captain William Smith.

During the early colonial days, counties were enormous in size and slowly divided as the need arose. This complicates research because the same person can be listed as living in two or more counties during his lifetime while remaining in the same location.


Genealogical research is a never-ending adventure. I am beginning my research with Stephen Caudill. He is one of the earliest immigrants on which information is readily available. There remains a fascinating venture for the researcher who can travel to Argyll, Scotland to explore the records and sites first hand. A tour of the Cawdor Castle in Nairn, Scotland would be exciting. Stephen Caudill is the accepted "father of the Candle Family" in America.

I have included historical facts and newsprint articles in an effort to integrate our family members into the history of America. I am convinced that history is best studied through genealogical research of individual families. In this way, history becomes an exciting journey depicted in the lives of our ancestors. We are truly a living extension of history! We come to know history and our roots.

As you read this family history, remember that additional verification is always in order. I have attempted to avoid mistakes in the transferring of this detailed information; however, there may be errors. Please report to me any mistakes you find. Thanks!




#1. Look to the chapter name (or title). For example: Stephen Caudill. The entire chapter will be on Stephen Caudill, his wife, and their children/grandchildren.

#2. Those names preceded by Roman numerals are Stephen Caudillís children. Each child is listed under his/her parentsí names.

Children of Stephen & Mary Elizabeth Fields Caudill

I. James Caudill

II. Benjamin Caudill


#3. Those names preceded by the number 1, 2, 3 are Stephen Caudillís grandchildren.

Children of Benjamin & Mary Elizabeth Adams

1. Absalom Caudill

2. Mary Caudill

#4. Those names preceded by numbers in parenthesis (1) (2) are Stephenís Caudillís great grandchildren.

Children of Absalom & Elizabeth Maness Caudle, Sr.

(1) Jesse Caudle

(2) Elender Caudle

#5. Those names preceded by small letters in parenthesis (a) (b) are Stephen Caudillís great, great grandchildren.

Children of Jesse & Abigail Caudle

(a) Allen Caudle

(b) Alfred Caudle


#6. Those names listed without a number or letter preceding them are Stephen Caudillís great, great, great grandchildren.

Children of Allen & Mary Smith Caudle

Adaline Caudle

Luvincy Caudle


Each child is listed under his/her parentsí names; however, you may run into an entire set of numbers/letters between names. For example:

I. Benjamin Caudill

1. Absalom Caudill

(1) Jesse Caudle

(a) Allen Caudle

Adaline Caudle

II. James Caudill

With each new chapter, the numeric scheme remains the same.




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