You are on track. The Calf(e)family came to East Anglia in 1066 from Normandy-With good old William the Conquerer. The original family name was Calfe,(earlier, Calf) the anglicized version of the french surname, which was Veal. Roger le Veal came with William and founded the English Branch, from which we are descended.In Normandy they spoke French and wrote in Latin. Latin for Veal (calf) is Calvus.Ricardo Calvus (Richard Calf) was buried in Bury St Edmonds in 1070,only 4 years after the Norman Invasion. Veal was a Norman Baronial name. The coat of arms for the Calf and Veal families show three calfs.
English as we know it was not spoken for 200 years after the Battle of Hastings (1066)so there are no early references to Calf(e) until later on in English history. Variants of the early name were: Veille, Val, Vel, Viel,Vail, Calvus, Calver, Calfo, Le Chauve.
In the historical rolls we find some interesting folks: Lawrence Calf was a Knight in Ireland (1351); Richard Calf was the Bishop of Down, Ireland (1354); Walter Calf was the Baliff (jailkeeper) of Dunwich, Sufolk, in 1289; Simon Le Cauf a Gentleman and Mariner, was killed in 1457; Maurine Calf was a shipmaker (1474) Lanfrance Calve was a Merchant in Genoa (1377)
St James Church, parish church to the early Calfe family still stands in Stanstead, Suffolk, East Anglia, Britain.
The William you refer to was born circa 1545 and was a yoeman (farmer) of Stanstead. He was buried May 2, 1600.
His son Jerome Calfe was the 3rd of five children and was baptized in 1572, died in Jan of 1638.
His son wasJoseph Calfe, sixth of eight children, baptized in 1609, died around 1650.
Joseph's son Robert Calfe was born in 1648 and baptized in Stanstead,England 1n 1648 (not 1674), Emigrated to New England, and died in Roxbury (Boston), Mass April 13 1719. Robert as you may know is buried in the Eustis Street Burying Ground in Boston.I am told the tombstone is in good repair.
It would appear that he changed the spelling of our name to Calef from Calfe.
In addition to Robert, who opposed Cotton Mather during the Salem Witch trials, we are also related to Gen. Joseph Warren who was killed @ the Battle of Bunker Hill. His grandmother was Mary Calef, daughter of Robert.
Robert was a very brave man as he took on Colonial Governor John Winthrop, as well as Cotton Mather - and fought against the bigotry that 90% of the early Colonists held as the truth.
Robert defended a number of the poor souls accused of witchcraft, including John Alden Jr., son of the John Alden that Longfellow made famous in the poem, "The Courtship Of Myles Standish".
The Rev. Increase Mather, President of Harvard College, ordered Robert's book burned in Harvard Yard in 1700. Very few copies survived.Robert had to have the book printed in London as no New England printer would touch it. The book, as you probably know, is titled "More Wonders of the Invisible World".
Lt. John Calef encountered the very first elements of the Confederate Armyyat the Railroad Cut, west of Gettysburg. John was an Artillery Oficer,and he opened fire with his horse drawn cannons, firing the very first shots in the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1, 1864. Interesting family we have Eh?
We are 9th geneation - direct from Robert.I am from Maine, and our 'branch' is all from Maine, NH and Vermont, after coming up from Mass. Maine was a part of Mass at that time.
Anyway,enough for now - I have more if you are interested. I apologize for rambling.
You can email me at email@example.com
With kind regards,
(Keith Ronald Calef Jr.) 13760 Forest Park Circle Penn Valley CA 95946 530-432-4449