HISTORY OF THE CARSON FAMILY
By George W. Carson (date not mentioned)
I found a large folder in a box 2/15/2013, which contained this history along with many other pieces of information on the Carson family. I am putting it in a binder and will add it to our Family History section at the Jennings County Library. CAUTION - this is an old Family History and with the years there is probably much more information on this family available now.
We have been asked to write a history of the Carson family, never having written a history of any kind; realizing
the impossibility of ever being able to accomplish such a Herculean task, we foolishly perhaps promise to do our best.
We know that History is a narration of facts concerning individuals, families or nations. When of individuals of a
race or family of people, it might more properly be called Genealogy. Our little article will differ from true Genealogy in as much as the
latter is made up from tabulated letters of facts, while we have to depend upon tradition as well as upon tabulated records of facts or events.
When we undertake such a task and endeavor to be true to the life of such family, we find that each individual family
life has been so firmly woven into the roof and web of the social super-structure of the nation, state, county,and locality in which it has been
lived that it becomes next to impossible to separate one from the many with which it has become united. Especially is this true in reference
to any old family.
We of this twentieth century live so strenuous a life that we have little time or inclination to do more than consider,
"I am here and it matters not how or whence I came." Such was not always the case.
When an individual or a family become dissatisfied with home, country, surroundings, or conditions in such a place, there
is always an underlying cause which we must find in order to understand whether such dissatisfaction or conditions of mind arise from a laudable
ambition to improve the condition or from a rebellious state of mind; about the middle of the Eighteenth Century some countries were in tumult-among
these we find the little country of Ireland. There were mainly two classes, the Romanist who believed in Royalty by inheritance and were strong
supporters of the King. These were called Tories. Against these were the French Huegenots, Scotch and Irish Presbyterians who were zealous advocates
of greater liberty than was allowed in this, (as in now) oppressed country of Irishdom. Under such conditions it is not strange that many who
possessed a marked individuality should turn their backs to the Mother Country and seek a home in the Country of America.
As legend tells us and tradition affirms, a young man of the independent or Wig Party of Ireland, avowed his determination
to submit no longer to such restrictions as prevailed at the time and declared he was going to the Free Country of America. Two of his brothers
proposed he should not go alone. Accordingly they adjured, as they thought, all allegiance to the royal crown and embarked on one of the ships of that
day. Whilst upon that voyage this same young man heard a woman singing and remarked; "If I get to America, I'll marry the woman of that voice."
Whether he was successful or not, we do not know, but we do know that on the 6th day of February, 1754, in the State of Pennsylvania, Walter Carson
was married and that his wife's name was Mary, shown by old records preserved by Walter Carson, Jr. and later by Wm. Henry Carson, his son. The
result of this union was twelve children, six boys named respectively, Walter, Samuel, Abel, John, William, and Daniel, as shown by the papers
together with old letters. Five of whom lived to perpetuate the name. Abel died at about the age of fifteen years. The six girls were named Elizabeth,
Jane, Mary, Agnes, Isabella, and one whose name we are unable to give.
Thus far we have had only the name of Carson, but are brought now to the comingling of families. Three of the girls married
and lived in Pennsylvania, the southern part. One married Morrison, one married Maxwell, and one married Wm. McCarter.
November 8th, 1777, Walter Carson, the son avowed himself willing to sacrifice himself, if need be, to the cause of freedom
so dear to the father, by enlisting in Captain David Wilson's Company, Colonel Andrew's Battalion of York County, Pennsylvania. That he was promoted
to the position of Captain, was wounded and discharged, date unknown.
He was married April 21st., 1781.
The migration spirit of the father appears to have found new life in the boys and in company with the Gettys, Livelys, Longs,
Lattimores, Mitchells, and Cars we find them establishing a colony in the Carolinas. In 1783 we find them in Rutherford County, North Carolina, which
fact is shown by a letter bearing date September 14th, 1783, written by Walter Maxwell, from West Concocheaqee Settlement, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania,
to John and Mary Carson, Rutherford County, North Carolina, sent by a man by the name of Alexander, said John Carson being one of the sons of Walter
Carson, here to fore named, he having married Mary Withrow and lived on Canes Creek, and his brothers William, Daniel, and Walter lived in the same
Of Samuel Carson, son of Walter and Mary Carson, born February 18, 1764 nothing is known of record. The daughter who married
Gordon, Lewis Lively and William Gettys lived on Duncan's Creek in Rutherford County, North Carolina. Lively and Gettys lived on opposite banks of the
Creek at a point known as Pumpkins Roost.
Agnes, daughter of Walter and Mary Carson, was married to William Gettys and as above stated resided on Duncan's Creek. They
were permitted to raise seven children; Samuel, who married Nellie Gordon, Isabelle who married James McFarland. John who married Martha Abernathy,
Polly who married Gillum Price, and James, who was twice married, first to Bettie Walton, afterwards to Betty Goins. William McCarter who married Mary
Ann Carson, Nancy Gettys never married. She was a noted weaver and on her tombstone was engraved in weaver's shuttle.
The children, grand children, and great grand children of Agnes Carson Gettys as given in 1885 was:
|Geat Grand Children
John and Mary Carson raised six daughters and five sons. As has been said Mary Ann married her cousin, William McCarter
Gettys and raised a family of four girls and four boys none of whom can be more than mentioned, same Emily Santella, who married William P.Watson
and lived on the head water of the West fork of Cane Creek. Their family consisted of three boys and three girls, who belong to our present
John Carson was a man well beloved by the people. Was a well to do farmer for his day. He was a large man and his wife
was a large woman. The combined weight of the two was between seven and eight hundred pounds. While his brother, Walter Carson, was a small man.
Both lived in the same County, both raised their families there and both remained their until his death.
As the purpose of this sketch is to acquaint the living representatives of the Walter Carson race of Carsons, and since
said representaives belong to, or are descendants of Walter and John Carson, of whom mention has just been made by comparison, we shall endeavor
to be as minute as possible. And for the further reason that the two families became inseparably connected by inter-marriage.
John Carson was for a number of years Sheriff of this County and later was chosen to represent his district in the
Legislature of the State. His son, John was possessed of a desire to see some of the world. Pinkney married and lived in the home County where
he raised his family. In 1885 we had the pleasure of calling on two of his daughters who were living on the old place and were making their own
living in true farmer fashion. Their sister Jane Carson, was a dressmaker, and at the time mentioned was living with her uncle Oliver Perry
Carson, near Spartansburg, South Carolina. He was born shortly after Perry's victory on the Lakes, and our common school graduates should have
no trouble guessing at his age if still living.
Of George, nothing is known. Everything had been so formal and routine like.
It remained for Andrew Morrison Carson, the last son of John and Mary Carson deserving mention in this communication, to
break the monotony which up to this time had existed as hitherto everything had moved in the regular prosaic order. This he did successfully by
falling in love with the Presbyterian Preacher's daughter, her name being Betty Car. Noted for her beauty and musical voice, and whose father
had no intention of her wasting her talents on Morrison. Rather than have her do such a foolish thing he would resign his pastorate and take
Betty out of the reach of Morrison. This he did, moving to Tennessee. When leaving the young people were bidding each other an affectionate
farewell, when the old gentleman ordered Betty to quit her foolishness and come on or he would horse-whip her. Such conduct judged by the lads
and lassies of the Twentieth Centuary would be pronounced heartless and cruel and they would say, "well poor old fellow never was in love himself."
Morrison lived a disconsolate life for a time and decided to seek relief in travel and accordingly went to visit relatives
in Tennessee, and by chance on this trip, upon a fine Sabbath morning theirs a meeting was now inevitable, resulting in their undoing. Friends came
to the rescue. Each was comforted and assisted to their homes. Morrison when he came to himself, determined to take no more chances on such scenes
and took himself to the Lone Star State where after changing his name to __________________ he was able to overcome or outlive his love and
accordingly married and raised a large family, but was never known to any of his father's family afterwards and when an old man, refused to be
discovered by his brother Oliver, in a correspondence which he very abruptly dropped.
The dawn of the Nineteenth Century brought to the Race as to many others a restlessness or a desire to reach out after
better things. Chafing under the limitations of their knowledge of the County and their opportunities to get on in the world. Accordingly, they
began leaving the old home County, some going to Tennessee, Missouri, and other new country.
About the year 1909, John Carson, son of Walter and Mary Carson went on a tour of Investigation landing on Graham Creek
where he staked a claim, and it was about this time that John Lattimore did the same. Then returning to their home. John Lattimore returned to
his wife, Isabella, daughter of Walter and Mary Carson, born in Rutherford County, North Carolina, in the year 1782, July 21, and following
children, Daniel, Mary, Walter, and John Oliver. After settling in their new home five shildren were added; Isabella, Ann McFarland, Louisa,
William, and Jemima. While they were thus engaged in making a home in Indiana Territory, the family at home were having a varied experience.
The War of 1812, or Second War of the Revolution came up and William and Felix became soldiers. Proving themselves worthy sons, being willing
to defend that their father had helped establish. Encamped in possible reach and sick, the parents desiring to send such things as might be of
comfort to them called upon John. Who went at once and on arriving at the Camp and finding the sick brother better they started home and John
took sick with the disease and was taken home lifeless, by the ones he had succede. His young wife when appraised of his illness started at once
on horseback to meet them. She might be likened to Ruth in the Bible Story, who gave up her own Country and people to make her home with her
husband's people. When her son was born, she called him John Thompson Carson, for his father and for her own people. She made her home with the
people on Cane and Duncan Creek, as is shown by a letter in the year 1815.
Walter and Mary Carson with their single children and in company with James and Polly Mitchell, left Carolina to come to
Indiana Territory where John and Ibby Lattimore lived, as the bill of expenses shows they came over in the months of November and December of 1815.
The expenses of the trip where divided between Walter Carson Sr., William Carson, and James Mitchell, as here appended;
A bill of expenses as paid by Walter Carson Sr., William Carson and James Mitchell, from North Carolina, Rutherford County,
to Indiana Territory Jefferson County, in the months of November and December 1815.
Walter Carson, For horses. $11.00 Family $5.25 Toll $3.56 Total $19.61
William Carson, Horses $6.17 Family $1.25 Toll $2.00 Cows $.35 Total $9.75
James Mitchell, For horses $4.44 1/2 Family $3.62 1/2 Cows $.50 Total $8.56 3/4
Signed by Walter Carson, Jr.
June 16, 1816, William Carson returned to Carolina to look after matters there bearing a letter to Jane Carson, daughter
of John and Mary Carson, from Walter Carson Jr., William felt in duty bound to be just before being generous and instead of delivering the letter
he courted his cousin Jane and married her himself, and when he and Felix and others had shaped their business up, embarked with their little
families in an ox cart to join the friends in Indiana, sometime in 1819 or 1820.
When William's and Jane Carson's son John Haywood was between, two years old, he being born in the year 1818.
We now come to consider the descendants of Walter Carson, Sr., in our own State, he being an old man.
Can we by a stretch of the imagination go back and see the country almost an unbroken forest with here and there a log
cabin built near a spring of water where enough timber has been cut to give that much room, no railroads, electric cars, automobiles or any other
Standing on an elevation, five and one half miles south of the town of Vernon look one quarter of a mile south to the
home of Walter Carson Sr., where he and his single children live. A quarter of a mile south east on the banks of the creek is the son James
Porter Carson, three eights of a mile northeast William Carson and family, three quarters of a mile northeast Felix Carson and family, one
half a mile due north the home of the family of James and Polly Mitchell.
When Daniel Carson married Dalilah LaFerry he settled a half mile a little north of due east. Louisa, the youngest
daughter, married Louis R. Graham, but did not stay like the boys with her father, going to Johnson County, to make her home where she lived and
raised her family. Each of these children raised a family.
It would perhaps be hard to find a little settlement where the simple life was more thoroughly enjoyed.
Ibby and John Lattimore with their ten children, five boys and five girls. Polly Mitchell with her one son and two
daughters. William Carson with his two sons and one daughter. Walter Carson with his two sons and four daughters, Felix with his family of
nine, five boys and four girls, Daniel with three boys and three girls. Just across the creek from the home place lived Elizabeth and little
John, so grand children lived to raise familys of their own. We cannot enter into minute details concerning each family. There is one living
representative today of John T. Carson, Henry Newton, commonly known as Kit Carson.
Isabella Lattimore is represented in the generation by a number of grand children, who are now getting to be of good
age, among who might be named, Ann Denslow, Ellen Ward, and Damsel Simpson. (each of them have now passed away.)
Polly Mitchell is represented in this generation by one great grand son Dr. Walter J. Mitchell, (now passed away) the
last representative bearing the name, he leaves one daughter.
William is represented by a number of grand children, Jane C. Jordan and her family in Oklahoma City, Okla. Three of
the sons of John Haywood Carson, now living in Cass County Indiana, Indiana another representative Isaac Thomas Carson living at Whiteland,
Indiana, Mary Pennock living at Logansport, Indiana, another representative of Daniel Carson, Mrs. Sarah Utter.
The representatives of Felix Carson by the Carson name, James S. Carson Jr. a grandson, another grandson, Walter E.
Clarkson, living in Rushville, Indiana.
When we look to the family of Daniel Carson he is represented by two sons, James S. Sr. and Walter Graham. The sons
of James Sr., David, and Frank Carson, their sister Mrs. Grace Euler.
Walter Carson Jr. is represented by Gincie Winchester (......) and number of grand children.
Not stopping to consider further the Genealogy because of the fact that many are living whose history may be written
latter we would now take a retrospect to see whether the family has been an isolated one. In going back to 1780 or there about's we find them
in company with others organizing the little Brittany Presbyterian Church in Rutherford County, North Carolina, where the older members of the
family, so many of the original twelve children who migrated from Pennsylvania to Carolina, delighted to worship. Following them down to the
time when the younger generation decided to seek a home in the newer country we find the descendants of these people engaged in the organization
of a Presbyterian Church on the banks of Graham Creek, in the year of 1817. Where they delighted to worship in the rudely built log house until
Louisa Carson Graham, wife of Louis G. Graham, associated with others in the organization of the Bethany Presbyterian
Church in what is known as Whiteland, Indiana, in their own home, where they worshiped until such time when a church could be obtained.
While some members of the family have found Christian homes in other religious denominations, speaking of the Carson
Family as a race, they have adhered to the Presbyterian Faith, so far back as we know them. They have a liberty loving, law abiding people,
not seeking wealth so much as to live well their part in life's battle.
Speaking of he race politically, we found that the original representative came to America because of his political
principles, being called Wig. So with the earlier members of the family. They were first Wig, then No-nothing, and Republicans for the most
As the generations pass before us we find among them a few practicing physicians, who have stood well among their
fellow men in their profession.
We find a number of ministers of the Gospel whom many have delighted to honor. If we stop to name them we find
Daniel Lattimore, son of Ibby and John, holding to the Presbyterian Faith and preaching the Gospel until his work was done. Samuel Lattimore,
a brother of Daniel, went to the South, married and became a Baptist Preacher. While he visited the North, he never came to Indiana for a
home. We often hear it remarked that Preacher's boys are the worst boys we have. If such be true, in part, it cannot all be, as Samuel's
boys. John and Walter, followed in the footsteps of their father preaching the Gospel in the Baptist Church. While Walter O. became a
Presbyterian Church Preacher like his father Daniel. Our own day and generation is represented in the ministry of the Gospel of the
Presbyterian Church in the person of Daniel Clark Simpson, son of Damsel and William G. Simpson, great grandson of John and Ibby Lattimore.
For our physicians we look to the Mitchell branch of the Carson family and find first James Frank Mitchell, son of
Walter Carson Mitchell, and grandson of Mary Carson Mitchell, who in his day was a successful physician well beloved by they who knew him,
and later represented by his son Walter J. Mitchell.
Looking at the Graham branch of the family we find two physicians in the family of Louis and Louisa R. Graham. Also
one, a representative of the William Carson branch of the family, Louis Oliver Carson, before mentioned, son of Daniel and Polly Carson.
It is doubtful if we of this Twentieth Century can realize or care to realize the many changes and developments,
inventions, and discoveries a family so old as ours has witnessed in the history of its life. The rapid going steam ship has taken the
place of the sail vessel, the steam and electric care of the stagecoach, the self-binder of the sickle, the riding plows of the various kinds
of the old wooden mold board and the jumper, the corn planter of the hoe, the automobile of the big wagon as means of travel and implements
Nor do we realize the number of people with whom our race has some in touch in their social, religious, business,
and political life. A few families might here be named as the Morrison, Maxwell, McCarter, Lively, Gordon, Gettys, Lattimore, Mitchell
Graham, Torbett, McKeehan, Andrews, Vanwye, Shrewsberry, Miller, Dupree, Compare, McGannon, Thompson, Stites, Badgely, LaFerry, Clarkson,
Dunham, Simpson, Thomas, Owen, Barnes, and many others too numerous to mention.
And from investigation imperfectly we give descendants of Walter Carson Sr., Boy 4, Girls 6, Grandchildren, Boys
27, Girls 26., Great grandchildren, Boys 71, Girls 65. Making a total of 140 male, and 95 female descendants, or a total of 199. Of this
number, quite a few belong also to the John Carson descendants being descendants in direct line from Jane and Polly Carson, daughters of
John and Mary Carson, who married their cousins William and Felix who helped to form th colony in Hoosierdom.
If anyone not satisfied with what is herein contained and desires to investigate we would advise them to visit the
old stamping ground in Jennings County, Indiana, where they can meet the few who are left there, Walter G. Carson, David Mitchell Carson
Jr., Frank Carson, James S. Carson Jr., Mrs. Ernest Euler, living north of town. Mrs. Jane Jordon and family in Vernon, John O. Simpson,
Daniel C. Simpson, Mrs. Anna Carson, near Vernon, who will be glad to welcome and assist you in your research after knowledge.
From there you can go to Elwood, Indiana, and call upon Kit Carson, representative of the John T. Carson family
and on to Whiteland, Indiana where I.T. Carson will take the pleasure in entertaining you and send you on to his brothers, Dan and Will,
and sister Mary Pennock, living in Cass County, Indiana. If not satisfied cone back to the old Mitchell residence and see the youngest
living Walter Carson of the Carsons, as far as we know, Walter Simpson Carson, son of Walter M. Carson whos father's name was Louis
Graham Carson, as son of Walter Carson Jr.
We leave the subject with one question over which to ponder: "Who can measure the influence of the life of one
man, if that life be well lived, or mis-spent."
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