The Carson Family

From Washington County, Virginia 
To Rockcastle County, Kentucky
To Jellico, Tennessee
To Davie, Broward County, Florida


(Judge) John Evans Carson
Born: March 28, 1806 in Crab Orchard, Rockcastle County, Kentucky
Died: April 23, 1876 in Crab Orchard, Rockcastle County, Kentucky

Ancestors of (Judge) John Evans Carson:

Grand Parents: David Carson, born about 1741 and Elizabeth Dysart, born about 1745 in Washington Co., VA

Parents: Joseph Carson, born July 2, 1777 in Abingdon, Washington Co., VA and Mary A. Evans, born November 16, 1776 in Maryland

(Judge) John Evans Carson, the grandfather of Claudia Lung Carson (Big Momma), was born March 28, 1806 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. 




Around 1800, Joseph Carson, relocated Mary A. Evans, his wife of three years, and David, their first-born child, to Rockcastle County, Kentucky on the western end of the “Wilderness Trail.” John Evans Carson was the sixth child and second son born to Joseph and Mary (Evans) Carson.

On May 23, 1839 in Kentucky John Evans Carson married Marcinda W. Fish, who was born August 14, 1813 in Lincoln Co., Kentucky and died August 12, 1853 in Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky
. She was the daughter of James Shelby Fish and Sarah Lake Roberts. [Thomas Fish, the father of James Shelby Fish, served in the Revolutionary War and was a Justice of the Peace in Rockcastle County, Kentucky.] 

John Evans Carson and Marcinda Fish had nine children.

1. Sarah Elizabeth Carson was born February 8, 1840 in Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, Kentucky. She married William A. Brooks, an innkeeper, on May 17, 1859 in Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky. (See graves in Crab Orchard Cemetery)

2. James Fish Carson (see photo) was born March 24, 1841 in Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, Kentucky. He married Eliza Ann Myers, the daughter of George S. Myers and Elizabeth Proctor (the widow of John B. Cook), in January 1865 in Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, Kentucky. James Fish Carson and Eliza Ann Myers had five children: 
* Claudia Lung Carson (Big Momma) who married Samuel David Holman
* George Felix Carson who married Margaret M. Kelly and moved to Oklahoma; 
* William Sweeny Carson who died as a child; 
* John Zackary Carson who married Katy Slaughter (the sister of Capitola Slaughter who married David Carson Holman) and moved to the Gulf Coast region; and 
* Miranda Almine Carson who died as an infant. 

Record from National Archive: Certificate of Disability for Discharge:
"James F. Carson a Corporal, of Captain H. King's Infantry, Company F. of the Third Kentucky Regiment of United States Infantry, was enlisted by Capt H. King, of the third Regiment of Kentucky Volunteer Infantry at Crab Orchard, Kentucky on the 20th day of July 1861 to serve 3 years; he was born in Rockcastle County in the State of Kentucky is Twenty years of age, Six feet 2 inches high, fair complexion, dark eyes, light hair, and by occupation when enlisted a farmer. During the last two months said soldier has been unfit for duty 60 days. Rendered so by lying on the damp ground after having measles. Having no blankets, this at Shilo Battle Field from the 8th to the 15th day of April 1862 resulting in pulmonary consumption."
Station: Tuscumbia, Ala.
Date June 19th 1862
Discharged this 22nd day of July 1862 in Winchester, Tennessee.
W. L. Scott, Lt. Col. Commanding the post.
Place where soldier wishes to be addressed: Craborchid, Lincoln Co. KY.

3. Joseph Joplin Carson was born on August 1, 1842 in Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, Kentucky. On March 26, 1872 in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky he married Emma Smith Stouffer. He served as Captain in company 'F', Third Regiment, Kentucky Infantry Volunteers (Union Army) from May 17, 1863 to March 15, 1864 and received a land allotment for his service. He moved to Blackwell, Oklahoma Territory when the Cherokee Strip was opened September 16, 1893. Headstone in Blackwell, Oklahoma IOOF cemetery reads: "Capt. Joseph J. (Carson is on a central headstone in plot), Aug.1, 1842 - Dec.22, 1926".

4. John Madison P. Carson was born Jan 04, 1844 in Rockcastle Co., Kentucky and died as a child. Rockcastle Co. Kentucky State Vital Statistics and Federal Census Mortality Schedule from 1800s, page 202: "Carson, Jno M.R., died 23 Apr 1853, age 9 years of Dropsy. Parents: JE/Masinda Carson."

5. Zecharian Taylor Carson was born Feb 23, 1847 in Kentucky. He married S. Eugenia Parker.

6. Mary Ann Carson was born August 26, 1848 in Crab Orchard, Lincoln Co., Kentucky. On January 9, 1866 in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky she married George Washington Miller, the son of George W. Miller and Almina Fish (first cousin of Marcinda W. Fish). George Washington Miller and Mary Ann Carson first managed the Fish Plantation in Kentucky and then moved to Oklahoma where they founded the famous 50,000-acre “101 Ranch.” 

7. George William Carson was born July 6, 1849 in Crab Orchard, Lincoln Co., Kentucky. On October 12, 1875 in Newton, Missouri he married Mary Jane Estes, the daughter of Elisha Estes and Elizabeth Davis. According to 'The Real Wild West' by Michael Wallis, "...George W. Carson-who family records assert was given the middle name William after one of Kit Carson's grandfathers-eventually moved west with G.W. Miller and served as one of his first cowboys on the Texas cattle trails.”

8. Thomas B. Carson was born about 1850 in Kentucky.

9. John Evans Carson, Jr. was born April 24, 1853 in Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, Kentucky. On February 21, 1878 in Lincoln Co., Kentucky he married Mary L. Green, the daughter of William Green and Rhoda Ann Welch. The Mt Vernon Signal newspaper, on September 23, 1898 printed: “The Crab Orchard, Stanford and Mt Vernon Telephone Co has bought of W.A. Carson and J.E. Carson their stock in the Crab Orchard and lancaster line; also Mr Carson's private lines in Crab Orchard, from the depot to C.O. Springs and to Green Brier and Dripping Springs. These wires have been run into the exchange over Bastin's store thereby making connections more convenient for patrons.” [Note: William Archibald Carson, son of Archibald Meek Carson and Elizabeth S. Stewart , was the second cousin of John Evans Carson, Jr. and lived in Crab Orchard.]  The John Evans Carson, Jr. family then moved to Oklahoma where Mr. Carson sold real estate.

Marcinda W. Fish, the first wife of (Judge) John Evans Carson, died of Bilious Cholic on August 12, 1853 in Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle Co., Kentucky. (Rockcastle Co., Kentucky State Vital Statistics and Federal Census Mortality Schedule from 1800s, page 202: "Carson, Masinda, died 12 Aug 1853, age 40 years. Bilious Cholic. Parents: James Fish/Sarah Fish.") Marcinda (Fish) Carson is buried in the Elmwood Cemetery, which is located in the town of Mt Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky.
(Judge) John Evans Carson on June 13, 1857 then married Almina Fish, the daughter of John Fish and Mary Hiatt. (Marcinda W. Fish and Almina Fish were first cousins.) Almina Fish was first married to George W. Miller, with whom she had eight children (including George Washington Miller who married Mary Ann Carson). (Judge) John Evans Carson and Almina Fish had two children: David Carson, born 1856, and Hiatt Fish Carson, born February 23, 1860.


Hand written notes from Claudia Lung Carson's Bible (daughter of James Fish Carson and Eliza Ann Myers). 
Brothers and sisters of James Carson
*James Carson
*Joe Carson
*Zack Carson
*Tom Carson
*Elvira Carson
*Dave Carson
*George Carson
*Sarah Carson (Brooks)
                **John (Zylanyr Neuill)
                **Will (Molly)
*Mary Ann (Polly) Carson (Miller)


John Evans Carson owned land in the Skeggs Creek area. The January 20, 1842 property was adjacent to land owned by his mother Mary A. Evans, the widow of Joseph Carson.

Patent #: 04753 Grantee: Carson, John E. 
Grant Book & Pg: 10 360 Acreage: 50 
County: Rockcastle WaterCourse: Skeggs Cr. 
Survey Name: Carson, John E. 
Survey Date: 01/20/1842 
Grant Date: 08/27/1843 

Patent #: 09144 Grantee: Carson, John E. 
Grant Book & Pg: 19 127 Acreage: 100 
County: Rockcastle WaterCourse: Dry Fk. Skeggs Cr. 
Survey Name: Carson, John E. 
Survey Date: 02/13/1846 
Grant Date: 01/22/1847 

Patent #: 15520 Grantee: Carson, John E. & Lewis, David N. 
Grant Book & Pg: 31 248 Acreage: 50 
County: Rockcastle WaterCourse: Skeggs Cr. E. Fk. 
Survey Name: Carson, John E. & Lewis, David N. 
Survey Date: 10/24/1849 
Grant Date: 07/10/1850 




Volume 1, Part 1
Grantee            County   Acres   Survey Date    Book   Watercourse 
Carson, E       Rockcastle   75      2-13-1846     19          Skeggs Cr 
Carson, John E Rockcastle 100    2-13-1846     19 Dry Fk Skeggs Cr 


The Kentucky State Registry for 1847 on pages 149 and 150 show John E Carson in Rockcastle County as both Justice of Peace and Constable.



Carson, John 
State: Kentucky Year: 1850 Census
County: Rockcastle Roll: M432_217 
Township: Southern District 
Enumerator: Jen W. Brooks August 28, 1850

Dwelling 74, Household 74, Line 28
John Carson   age 44    Born Ky    Farmer    $1000 real estate
Marcinda       age 27     Born Ky
James            age 9                       school
Sarah             age 10                     school
Joseph           age 8                       school
John               age 7                      school
Polly A.          age 4                      school
Zechereh        age 3
George           age 1

Dwelling 75, Household 75, Line 37
Vincent Pointer        age 28      Born Ky        Farmer
         Margaret         age 34      Born Ky
Mary Carson            age 72      Born MD


Database: 1860 United States Federal Census
Crab Orchard, Lincoln, Kentucky 
Roll: M653_382 
Household 363, Family 363, line 38
J.E. Carson           age 54      KY         Hotel Keeper
Almina                  age 44      KY
Zack T                  age 14      KY
George Carson      age 12      KY
Thom B                age 9        KY
John E                  age 7        KY
Mary A                 age 16      KY
David                   age 3        KY
Fish Hyatt           age 6mos   KY


1870 Census Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, KY 
M593 Roll 482 Page 19
Enumerator: L. Lauderson, June 22, 1870
Household 6, Family 6
Carson, Jno E. age 64 Born Ky Hotel keeper $5,500 Real $800 Per.
Jno E., Jr.         age 17       "       School
David               age 12       "           "
Zachariah         age 23       "      RR engineer


The John Evans Carson family was active on the Union side in the Civil War


From 'The Interior Journal' of Stanford, KY Friday, April 28, 1876: "A BLOODY MURDER - Judge Carson Assassinated" "Crab Orchard was the scene, on Sunday last, of a most foul murder. Judge J.E. Carson a useful and respected citizen of that place, aged 72 years, while on his way to church, was shot and instantly killed, within a few steps of the church door, by a man named John Q. Smith, also a resident of Crab Orchard. Without any warning, and from the rear, Smith commenced shooting at Carson, and after firing three shots, any one of which would have proved fatal, a Mr. Foley caught Smith and endeavored to prevent him shooting again, but Smith, who is a very strong man, shook him away at the same time threatening to shoot Foley, if he further interfered. He then fired two more shots, both taking effect in the Judge's body. Smith made no effort to escape, and when, on being arrested, was asked why he did the shooting, only replied "that someone had to kill him, and it might have as well been me, as any one else." He is a man about 50 years old, a carpenter by trade, and is naturally, very reticent, and for this reason, and the fact of the bloody deed, is supposed, by many, to be crazy. It is said that he has cherished an ill feeling for Judge Carson since January last, when the Judge, in his capacity as Assessor of Crab Orchard, applied to him for his list. Some warm words issued between them, and ended by Smith running Carson out of the house with a hatchet. Smith waived an examining trial and as his case is not a bailable one, he will be held in jail here, to be tried for an indictment for murder at the next term of the Circuit Court--provided the friends of Judge Carson do not fear that justice will be thwarted and mete out a more certain punishment to him. Fearing this, the Jail has been nightly guarded by a number of young men summoned for the purpose. Such fiendish acts as the one recorded, deserve the quickest and direst punishment of the law, else no person in the country can feel himself in the least safe. If Smith is insane, he ought to be ironed and placed in an asylum, if not, then severest penalty of the law can hardly atone for his dreadful crime."

From 'The Interior Journal' of Stanford, KY Friday, April 28, 1876: "AN EXCITING SCENE"
"On last Wednesday morning, a very exciting scene occurred at the Court House. The man, John Smith, who killed Judge Carson, was brought out to the Court House to see whether or not the case could be tried at this term. Four sons of Mr. Carson, John, James, Joe and David, came into the room. The Court on hearing that they were armed, had the Sheriff to search them, but no pistols were found. Smith was remanded to Jail, with a guard of six or eight men, and on reaching the Court yard, young Joe Carson, sprang forward with a drawn Navy Revolver, and, placing it almost against the breast of Smith, attempted to fire, but the pistol snapped. The other three sons were present with weapons, but by the courage of the guard, they were all four caught and disarmed, and Smith's life saved, so far. The two young men mostly engaged in the affair, were taken before the Judge, who, at first, ordered them to give bond in $500 each, to keep the peace, but on reflection, concluded to take their word of honor to do no further violence to the prisoner, and they were thus set at liberty. The sympathy of the entire community is with these young men and we heard numbers regret that young Carson did not succeed in avenging the death of his aged father."

From 'The Interior Journal' of Stanford, KY, October 20, 1876:
"John Smith, charged with murdering Judge Carson, at Crab Orchard was brought up from Louisville last Wednesday, and his case will, in all probability, be called this morning, and tried during the term. The case creates much excitement."

From 'The Interior Journal' of Stanford, KY, October 27, 1876: "CIRCUIT COURT - TRIAL OF JOHN SMITH"
"Promptly at nine o'clock, last Saturday morning, the Court called the case of the Commonwealth against John Smith, charged with the murder of John E. Carson, at Crab Orchard last April. The court room was filled with people from all parts of the county, who were anxious to hear the trial. It was with great difficulty that a jury was obtained, as nearly everybody had come to an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the accused from reading the papers or from rumors. It took nearly an entire day to get a jury, but finally the following jurymen were sworn: A.K. Denny, J.M. Elder, Jno. W. Logan, J.B. McKinney, G.N. Bradley, John Jones, A.M. Jones, John Dinwiddie, Jno. Menifee, George Bright, George Tribble and T.M. White. After they were sworn, the attorneys for the defense put in the plea of not guilty on account of the insanity of the accused, to which plea of insanity the attorney for the Commonwealth replied in effect that it was simulated, not a real insanity, and that the case of the murder was jealousy. In other words, that there was a 'woman at the bottom' of the entire acts of the defendant Smith. A great many witnesses were examined, especially for the defense, the latter to prove the monomania of Mr. Smith. The witnesses for the prosecution, in giving their evidence in chief, necessarily confined themselves to the act and circumstances of the killing, which occurred on a Sunday morning in April last, in front of the Baptist church door, at Crab Orchard. Judge Carson, the man killed, was shot by Smith with a revolver, five times, either of which is thought would have produced death. Such was the advanced age (72 years) of the deceased. Divine services were just about to begin. A Mr. Foley was with Mr. Carson, who asked Smith not to shoot, and held him for a moment, but Smith was bent on killing Judge Carson. After shooting all the loads out of his revolver, but one, (which failed to fire), Smith walked deliberately across the street where his carpenter shop was situated, but was halted and arrested and taken to Stanford to jail. There was some proof that Carson, who was town Assessor of Crab Orchard, went to Smith's shop to get a list of his taxable property, some months before the killing, and that Smith greatly abused him. There was also some proof that a certain woman who lived near Crab Orchard, was visited now and then by both Smith and Carson, privately. Some proof was also given that Smith sometimes drank liquor, but not to excess. His character was proven by all the witnesses to have been that of a quiet, peaceable, unoffensive man, one who rarely ever said a word to anyone even on business. That he had a great impediment in his speech, and did not like to talk. At the close of the statements as to the killing, etc, the Commonwealth rested her case in chief. The defense then introduced their witnesses to prove the plea of insanity. The sister of Smith, with whom he lived, the niece of Smith and the brother, swore that Smith acted strangely for several months before the killing. That his health was bad, had but little appetite, was restless and lost much sleep. That he imagined there were several men after him to kill him. That there was a combination of men to ruin his character and break him up in business. That on one occasion he told his sister, a maiden lady of fifty years of age, one night at home, that there were three men around the house who had come to harm him. Smith would not be satisfied until his sister or some one else, went for the town marshal and another person, to look for the three men. The marshal and another came, examined the premises, and told Smith no body was there, and that if he was afraid to stay there, to go and stay all night with one of them. Smith accepted the invitation, and went and staid all night with a Mr. DeBord. Other witnesses, among them Col. W.G. Welch, a Mr. Myers and others, testified to acts of monomania, or insanity. The defense introduced two physicians, who had heard all, or nearly all of the evidence and after defining the various species of insanity, said that, if the evidence was true, as detailed by the witnesses, then in their opinion as medical men, the man, John Smith, was of unsound mind. Other witness said that in their opinion, Smith was insane. The foregoing are the main details of the evidence in the defense. After this, the Commonwealth introduced rebutting evidence to show that Smith was a sane man. These were not medical men, however, but were the men who had known Smith for years. Many of them said they believed Smith to be of sound mind, from conversations they had with him on certain occasions. One other physician testified for the prosecution, but his evidence differed but little from that of the other two physicians who testified at the instance of the defense. At the conclusion of the testimony for and against the prisoner, the court gave full instructions to the jury, and adjourned them at five o'clock Tuesday evening, until after supper. The sheriff kept them together until half past six, p. m., when they were called together and the argument was opened for the defense by J.W. Alcorn, Esq., in a forcible speech of about one hour. He was followed by Col. G.W. Dunlap for the prosecution in a speech of much power. He spoke over an hour and a quarter. After this, the jury were discharged until Wednesday morning, at 9 o'clock. At that hour, W.O. Hansford addressed the jury for the defense for over an hour. His speech was a feeling and good one. He was followed by Judge M.C. Saufley for the prosecution in a somewhat lengthy speech, but it had a seemingly powerful effect upon the jury and the audience. Next and last came Col. T.P. Hill, for the defense, in one of the finest and ablest efforts he ever made in behalf of a criminal at our bar. His speech, nearly two hours long, was logical, beautiful, eloquent and convincing. The case was closed by Commonwealth Attorney George Denny. Mr. Denny, as a prosecutor, has but few equals in any district of the State. To say that he did justice to the Commonwealth, would be only a slight compliment. His effort in the prosecution was bold and telling, and showed him to be capable of attending to the public interest in the field to which he has been chosen. A number of ladies attended the speaking, and seemed to be much entertained. The case was given to the jury at 6 o'clock, and they retired and remained in their room for about two hours, without making a verdict. The Judge then adjourned them for the night, but called them together the next morning and they remained out until nearly noon. Being wholly unable to agree, they came in and so announced to the court, and they were therefore discharged. How they stood in the matter, no one yet knows, as they made a solemn vow among themselves not to let the public know. Smith, of course, was remanded to jail, where he will remain until the next term of this court in April, and all the long and tedious trial will have to be gone through with again. Four days and a part of two nights were spent in the investigation of the Smith case, which is quite one-third of the entire term."

From 'The Interior Journal' of Stanford, KY April 27, 1877: "CIRCUIT COURT NOTES"
"The greater portion of the time of the Court since our last report has been taken up in the trial of John Smith, who our readers will remember, shot and killed Judge J.E. Carson, at Crab Orchard on the 23rd day of April, 1876. This is the second trial of the case, and as it has created great excitement throughout the county, it was impossible to obtain but four jurors out of the regular panel, to-wit: Thomas Robinson, Liberty Green, Perry Land and P.L. Simpson, and the Court being satisfied that a full jury could not be obtained in the county, appointed Mr. T.T. Daviess a special Sheriff to go to Boyle county and summons sixty men. On Friday morning about forty men, in obedience to his summons appeared in Court, from which the additional following jurors were obtained: Jeff. Hudson, Wm. Calvert, Peter Bonia, Anthony May, Wm. Dibon, J.N. Prewitt, Samuel McDowell and Nick McDowell, and the panel having been completed the jury was sworn in. The taking of the testimony was commenced at noon Friday, and after the examination of some thirty or forty witnesses was concluded on Tuesday morning, when the charges to the jury having been agreed upon, the argument of the case was begun. The plea of the defendant was that he was at the time of the killing, and is now, insane. He was very ably defended, the speeches of some of his counsel being especially comprehensive and eloquent. Commonwealth Attorney George Denny, Jr., closed the argument on Wednesday about 10 o'clock, with one of his best and most forcible speeches, and the case was then given to the jury, who, after a short retirement returned the following verdict: "We, the jury, find the defendant, John Smith, guilty of murder and fix as his punishment, confinement in the Penitentiary during his natural life." The verdict appears to give almost unusual satisfaction as it will be easy enough to change Mr. Smith's residence from the Penitentiary to the Asylum if the officers at the former institution discover the much longed for insanity. Since the first trial of the case in October last, Smith has been confined for safe keeping in the jail at Louisville, and we are informed by the Clerk of the Court that his case has already cost the Commonwealth over $2,000. It is to be hoped that it is at last ended."


Francis Carson Hubert, Carson Family Researcher, in a letter to Lula Jane (Carson) Holman quoted Minnie (Carson) Bennett, the daughter of William Lawrence Carson and granddaughter of Preacher David Carson:
Uncle Judge Carson was killed on church steps by man named Smith over war talk & I saw where they put the tape on holes.
Polly Carson (Miller) would ride by our house when I was small on her high and mighty horse and never stop. One day she started to stop when a storm was coming, and mother said "well Polly, why don't you ride on." So, she gave her horse a lick and away she went. One of papa's cousins said "Uncle Judge John Carson." So, I guess the one my dad and others called "Uncle Judge" was Polly's dad.

Mary Frank Holman,
daughter of Lula Jane (Carson) Holman, reported that Claudia Lung Carson had a man's billfold that had a bullet lodged in it.



Headstone in Crab Orchard Cemetery, Section B, Lincoln Co,, Kentucky, "John E. Carson, born Mar. 28, 1806, died Apr. 23, 1876."

See Crab Orchard Cemetery Page Two for photos of the graves of  Judge John E Carson and  J. F Carson (son of Judge John Evans Carson and Marcinda W. Fish and father of Claudia Lung Carson) Co F Ky Inf.

Two Holmans are in the Judge John Evans Carson section of the Crab Orchard Cemetery. See Crab Orchard Cemetery Page Three for photos of the graves of Samuel D Holman (son of James Holman and Martha Ramsey and husband of Claudia Lung Carson), and Fred C Holman (son of Samuel David Holman and Claudia Lung Carson). Also, see the graves for Sarah Elizabeth Carson and her husband William A Brooks

Other Holmans can be found in another section of the Crab Orchard Cemetery (see Crab Orchard Cemetery Page Four):

Frank G Holman (son of Samuel David Holman and Claudia Lung Carson

Billy G Holman (son of Samuel David Holman and Claudia Lung Carson

Amanda M (Holman) Tatem (daughter of James Holman and Martha Ramsey, and sister of Samuel David Holman and Daniel Holman)

William P Tatem (husband of Amanda M Holman)

Double stone for Robert L Collier and Mollie (Tatum) Collier (Daughter of William P Tatem and Amanda M Holman)

Double stone for Samuel J Tatem and Jennie (Son of William P Tatem and Amanda M Holman)



“Rockcastle Roots” (August 1992) is the second part of John Lair’s “Rockcastle Recollections.” The first volume was a history of Rockcastle County, Kentucky. This volume covers the history of individual Rockcastle County families. Some of our families are included:

Page 56
Page 57
Page 58
Page 59
Page 60


Descendants of Judge John Evans Carson


Preacher David Carson and Judge John Evans Carson were brothers.


Click here to return to Joseph Carson, born 1777

Click here to return to David Carson, born 1741

Click here to return to WAM Founders home page

Click here to return to home page



Copyright © 2000,   All Rights Reserved.    

Copying or Publishing this information strictly prohibited without written permission from the author.