Son of Robert A. Cardwell and Alice Rucker of Campbell Co., VA. In 1807, Robert married Elizabeth Copelin in VA; in 1810, the Cardwells moved to Grainger Co., TN. Robert and Elizabeth were the parents of seven children: John Wesley; Alice (Alcy); Robert, III; Mary Ann; Elizabeth J.; Jas. Thompson; and Wm. After the death of his son-in-law, Andrew Chamberlain, in 1833, Robert was named the guardian of his and Mary Ann's two minor children.