Carson Surname Genealogy

Carson is a name of Scottish origin, possibly from a long lost
place-name.  The first
record of the name
occurred in Dumfries in the 13th century
in the form of
Acarson.  The Corsans or Carsans were a long-standing Dumfries
Select Carson Resources on The Internet

Carson Ancestry

Early Carsons were noted for their ferocity.  John a’Carson
and his followers seized the castle of Dumfries in 1305.  They
were to settle in Dumfries a hundred years later.

“Sir John Corsane, the next heir male,
settled at Dumfries and was the head of a far-descending line which for
eighteen generations presented an unbroken array of male heirs, all
bearing the name of John.”

These John Corsanes were provosts of Dumfries during the
1600’s and wealthy.
John Corsane of
Meikle Knox who died in 1777 was the last of this male line.  But
the name Corsane or Corson, more often now written Carson, is still
in Dumfries.

Ireland.  Carsons
migrated across the Irish Sea to Ulster at the time of the Scottish
Plantations of the 17th century or later.  They settled first
in county Tyrone and then spread to other parts of the province,
to Antrim and Derry.  A number of these Scots Irish Carsons
and there is one family history which traces a Carson family from
Antrim who made the
reverse journey to Ayrshire in Scotland in 1873.  But many stayed.

A Carson family had moved to Dublin from Dumfries in 1815.  They
were a wealthy Anglican family in Dublin during the 19th century.
Edward Carson of this family made his name as a barrister in the Oscar
Wilde trial of 1895.  He subsequently became a politician,
espoused Unionism, and led the Irish Unionist party between 1910 and

“In 1932, he witnessed the unveiling of
a large statue of himself in front of the Parliament Buildings at
Stormont in Belfast.  The statue was unveiled by Lord Craigavon in
the presence of more than 40,000 people.  The inscription on the
base read: “By the loyalists of Ulster as an expression of their love
and admiration for its subject.”

America.  Carsons in
America are most likely to be of Scots Irish origin.

The most
famous of
them was the trapper and Indian agent Kit Carson,
born in Kentucky in 1809.  His
grandfather William Carson had arrived in America in the 1750’s and received
a land grant in Iredell county, North Carolina.  Robert
Trennert’s 2003 book Kit Carson and
His Three Wives
is a recent family history of the man.

Another Carson, John Carson, preceded him.  He was an 18th
Indian trader who founded Carsonville in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania
in the 1760’s.

One family history traced the story of a Carson familiy from county
who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1773 and
migrated to Georgia, Alabama, and then to Brazos county, Texas.

Talk show host Johnny Carson was born in Iowa in 1925.  It was
Marshall Carson,
four generations back, who had made the move from
Maine to Iowa in the 1870’s and his forebear, Adam Carson, who had
arrived from Ireland in the 1750’s.

William Carson grew up in Belfast and migrated
to Canada via New York with his wife Anne in 1832.
He bought land unseen on a bend in the Ottawa
river called Gore of Lock Harbor.  The
land must have been all right because he farmed and lived there until
his death
in 1874.

John Carson was another Irish
Protestant, in this case a tenant farmer from the Curragh in Kildare,
who came
to Quebec in the early 1830’s.  It is
possible that he lost his first wife during the 1832 cholera epidemic
Montreal.  He married his second wife
Mary in Montreal in 1834 and they moved to the English river area of
around 1850.

Carson Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Carson Names

Kit Carson was a 19th
century American frontiersman.  Carson City in Nevada was named
after him.
was the leader of the Irish Unionist party between 1910
and 1921.
Rachel Carson was an acclaimed
American conservationist, the author ot the seminal work Silent Spring.
was English champion jockey four times in the
1970’s.  He also rode four Epsom Derby winners.
Johnny Carson was an American
TV host and comedian, the long-time front of the Tonight Show.

Select Carsons Today

  • 14,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Northern Ireland)
  • 21,000 in America (most numerous in California)
  • 11,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)



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