Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Today was a unique experience to me, but one that could be played out all over this country. I knew my ancestors had slaves, but today I met my cousins, the descendants of those slaves at a reunion of the Carson family held at the Carson House in Marion, NC. Seems great-great-great-great grandpa had two full sets of children with two women, just across the creek from each other, each in their own house. The black slave woman with whom he had 12 children was named Kadella. She was considered a princess, perhaps the daughter of an African king and did no work except for making beautiful quilts and exquisite hand sewn clothing.

My new long lost cousins

My new long lost Carson cousins - Preston & Ken

That and having kids all the time. They say she never walked anywhere and was carried around by the other slaves on a palanquin. An interesting note to this story was that Master John Carson sent the children (update – make that just the boys) he had with Kadella to the north as soon as they turned 14 so they did not become slaves themselves, except for the last two who probably turned 14 after his death. (Another version of the story is they were sent away because of their “shameful likeness” to their father.) I could not find whether any of the people at the reunion were related to those children who went north. Lots of the history is a bit fuzzy for obvious reasons. Names came up again and again. My great great grandfather William Carson was the son of the original John Carson. There were several Will and William Carsons there. People came from NY, NJ and Texas. Many others from NC, Hickory, Statesville, Morganton, Marion, stayed close to home.

My family on Mom’s side is so small, it was fun to be among this large extended family. Sure, at best we are probably 6th or 7th cousins, but blood is blood.

Where it all began

Where it all began

There is a moment in history where we were joined. It is a strange history, a bitter one, and I was ambivalent about one of the other white relatives who gave a short talk and apologized to all the black Carsons. Should we be sorry that we are all here today together? That our common ancestor was the man he was? Isn’t it presumptuous to apologize for their own progenitor as if we as 21st century white people bear more responsibility for his actions than they do? We are all his descendants. I am sorry that it happened, but can only do what I can do in this life to see that the wrongs of society are addressed in the here and now.

One of the other black Carsons (could not find him after he talked to get his name) got up and led with the line,”Guess who’s coming to dinner” which got a great laugh and applause.
_DEB0046_2He went on to say, “This is where it started. Our Chicken George, our Kunta Kinte. We built this house. And today, nobody came in the back door.” Earlier when he was sitting beside me he mentioned the family resemblances and pointed to his little boy, “see that nose?” And sure enough, looking at my Mom, that was a Carson nose.

The black Carson relatives have been having reunions for years, but this is the first time they came to the Carson House where it began. And the first that the white side was invited, kind of. Mom saw something about it in the newspaper. It said all relatives were welcome. We were a tiny minority, but I am glad I went, though I would be interested to meet more relatives on any side. There are so many intertwined stories there. It would make a great book, or movie or miniseries. The sensibility now would be very different from the days of Roots when it would not have been p.c. to explore the depths of the love John Carson had for his slave wife and children. Or to talk about the intermarriages of his sons with the slave women as well as the indigenous Cherokee.

There was another quilter in the house, a woman named Fatima. _DEB0027Her story could be yet another thread in the saga. She claimed to be of noble blood and claimed to be able to read and write though her writing was illegible to anyone in the house, until a traveling preacher who had been in Africa as a missionary came through and recognized her writing as Arabic. It also explained that she had brothers named Mohammed and that she was a Muslim. She was also apparently very tough to deal with and was traded after being there for a short time. I would love to know her whole story.

The slave records had been transcribed for this event and there were lists with names and ages. It was interesting to see that there were a number of people 60 and older who were just listed as invalids, taken care of when they could no longer work. I wish there were time machines to go back and see how it really was. _DEB0044_2No doubt, it would sicken me a lot of the time, but I know it would be very different from our pictures of the life, since there are no real histories, only fragments of what the educated thought should be written – their version of the story, leaving out the majority of the people – slaves, women, the Cherokee.

At the Carson Plantation, during the Civil War, when the Yankees came through on Stoneman’s Raid, the slaves put mud on faces of the master’s children and hid them and their mother and fed them from their own meager stores of food. Many of the slaves stayed on with the family long after the war ended and they were freed. I think that these families in the isolation of the western mountains had become close. There are stories of slave-master children marrying into the families of the locals and in the end, the ancestry is so mixed as to be indistinguishable. When we arrived, one woman who spoke with me early on was a white woman whose great-great grandfather had a child with a slave woman who was her great grandmother. I would love to see a family tree and I am hoping that some of the people I talked with and traded email addresses with will be able to help with the other (until now unknown) side of the family. I hope this is just the beginning of a beautiful kinship.


Filed under americana, self

74 responses to “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

  1. How wonderful!!!! I believe that I am related to you in some fashion. My second cousin, Howard Carson, has shared a lot of the information you posted. Please email me so that we may converse. I look forward to hearing from you.


      The carson family reunion was a great success, but what I heard about the history of John Carson from blacks and whites was vastly different.

  2. Jill

    Please elaborate. I am interested in the whole history, not one or the other.


    Jill, I have been working on the genealogy of the African American Carson family since 1986. I identified three different stories about the Carson family . The first story was in the official history about the Carson House. This history is straight forward. The second story is much like the one in the artical “guess who is coming to dinner”. The third story is what I have uncovered over the years. Do a Google search on the Carson -Young family reunion.
    Without restating what was in the article, here is some of my story.
    1. John Carson’s wealth came in part by breeding and trading in slaves. It cost less than $100 to “raise” not rear a slave to 14 years old and sold for ten times as much.
    2. The Carson men were three generations of slave owners who sexually exploited female slaves. Love had nothing to do with it.The black Carsons were descended from Eliza, J.L Carson’s aunt. J.L. Carson ,the slave owner,had a child by Mary , a slave and Eliza’s first cousin.
    3. Harriet was not Eliza’s daughter. Harriet was not the Harriet who married Stephen Carson in McDowell County. He was Eliz’a son who married a Harriet Carson in Lincolnton. He Harriet in McDowell County was J.L. Carson.
    4. Nancy Bailey was not a slave of the Carsons, she was a free person of color and employee. Her brother John joined the Union army in 1864. Logan Carson , a former slave of the Carsons also joined the Union army.
    5. the carsons refused to allow their slaves to be impressed into Confederate service as the law required.
    6. The Carson House invited the family to hold their reunion there.
    Dennis Carson one of the organizers of the reunion mentioned the Freedom Quilts which was a hoax started in 1999.

    • Elizabeth Thomas

      Hi, I just wanted to add a little piece of related knowledge I’ve recently uncovered. My family – the Avery family – owned Swan Ponds plantation in Burke County. One of the slaves, Rufus Avery, was bought by William Waightstill Avery from Sam Carson. Rufus was very light skinned and stated that he was the son of Sam Carson and a woman named Nancy. Rufus was clearly an amazing man: he was the overseer on the plantation; after the war and W.W. Avery’s death he ran the property entirely and, in was involved in many real estate ventures in Morganton.

      His story, as told by my white family, falls uncomfortably (for me) into the pat “faithful slave” narrative and I’m sure there was so much more to it that hasn’t been uncovered. Anyway, thought you’d want to know about yet another Carson descendant!

      Rudolph Young, I’d love to be in contact with you, as I’m writing a history of my family which is, it’s become clear to me, a history of the establishment of white supremacy in America.

      • Elizabeth , my e-mail is in these posts. You can get my cell number on the website My other e-mail is . I can send you a book on the African Carson family ,but I need your address. E-mail it to me. There is a Facebook site called the The Carson Family. I am connected with Carson family at the Carson House , Morganton ,Connelly Springs and Lincolnton. We do what is called a peer trace. I would like for you to trace my research about Rufus Avery. such a trace exposed Alex Haley’s false roots.
        Rufus Avery was born, free, on the plantation of George M. Carson. His mother was Nancy Bailey , a free person of color, who later worked for JL Carson at the Carson House. Rufus was a victim of the abuse of the Sponsorship System of McDowell and Burke Counties. Rufus ended up on the plantation of W.W. Avery of Burke County. He was not treated as slave ,but rather as a white overseer . He was allowed to lead a group of slaves to California to look for gold. Some of these slaves remained in California,. Rufus returned because he was not a slave ,not because of some misplaced loyalty.
        Remember you cannot prove paternity.


        I must rewrite ROOTS ON A PLANTATION it seems that I had false assumptions about race relations on a slave plantation, racism in not hate ,and hate is not the absence of love. I got it all wrong.

  4. K.A.Carson

    I’ve recently came accross this artical . I am a member of the Carson family and would love to hear from more members of the clan blk/wht . I really wish I had known of the reunion earlier I would have attended. Please inform me of the next. There is a lot of likeness in the photo of Preston & Ken to my Dad and Son . I’d love to meet more Carsons.


    Dear K.A.
    There were two clans at that reunion. they are called the Maple Grove Clans of Burke County. Ken and Preston are brothers from Hickory in Catawba County. These clans are Carson-Bradshaw and Carson -Young they are descended from African Cerancy “Cera”Carson a.k.a Sarah and her daughter Eliza,who is also the daughter of John Carson. There is a Carson family website . We would like to know your story.

  6. toni

    I am a decendant of the Carson. My grandmother said that Elizabeth was Cerancy and Sarah was her child. My dad remembers Sarah Jane Carson. Her daughter LilyBelle was my grandmother’s mother. My grandmother made me write everything down before she died. She said that Cerancy African name was Agajaby. I am spelling it phonetically. She was named Elizabeth and her daughter’s name was Sarah Jane. Elizabeth’s nickname was Betsey. Her father was Colonel John Carson. Where are you getting your facts about this line of the Carson family. If anyone has information about this and the next renunion please contace me at


    the Elizabeth that we know is the daughter of Cerancyand Stephen. Elizabeth was called Betsy, she married Harvey Carson. This family was at Slade’s Chapal A.M.E.Zion Church in Morganton, Burke County.Cerancy had a daughter by Samuel Price Carson, who was John Carson’s son.Sarah Jane , according to Regina -Lynch Hudson was the daughter of Kadella. Send all the information you have to or 591 alexis. NC 28006


    AGAJABY is a modified traditionalGambian family name. AGA does not normally belong with the family name Jaby[Jabbi] which means a family as big as the sky.

  9. R. M. G. H.

    I am a descendant of John Carson. I have a photograph of a woman that has been identified by my father, now deceased, as being an image of someone he called Aunt Cera Carson. He said that she had lived near the house in which he was reared in Lincolnton, NC. I think that the lady in the photo is holding my uncle and aunt, a tolddler and an infant. Do you have an image of Cera Carson? I would like to think that the photo I have has been identified correctly, but one never knows about such things after so much time has passed. Do you have any interest in seeing this photo? If so, please let me know.

  10. Jill

    There is now a John Hazzard Carson Descendants’ page on Facebook. Everyone should join in.


    Cera and her husband John lived in Lincolnton. She died in 1930. Yes, I would like to see the photo. Send to Who was your father? This coming Saturday 1-22-11 at 12:30 , Lincolnton library, there will be a discussion about the African American descendents of John H . Carson and Mingled Blood at Pleasant Gardens.

    • R. M. G. H.

      Mr. Young,
      Sorry it took so long to reply. I will get my photo scanned into my computer and send it along. It is very old, and is printed on very thin paper and is yellowed with age. She is a regal woman in appearance. My father was William Grigg, Jr. He was the son of William Edgar Grigg, and his mother was Elizabeth Motz. They lived on South Aspen Street in Lincolnton in, I think the 700 block. I will send the photo shortly.

    • sorry, Cera’s husband in Lincolnton was Charles H. Carson

  12. cira kelley

    hello all, I am a direct dependent of Cera Carson through her son Albert who was my grandmothers father…in fact I’m named after her tho my spelling is different…my name is Cira…
    some of the facts here are different then those I know but most names and the location is what i know to be fact…
    we have pictures of Cera, her husband and most of her children…
    please get in touch with me or my mother…my email is and my mother’s email is


      Cira, we are preparing to have our 2011 reunion. We are collecting pictures and stories. Do you know carrie Carson , Cera’s grand daughter who lives in PA. and is 101 years old?
      send you pictures ,stories and information to

  13. Donna Davis

    I have been doing some research and found out my great great grandmother is the son of a slave. Her name is Katherine E. Carson, his name is Davis Carson. He was born 1849 and died 1922. He was mulatto from Barbados. Can anyone tell me if he was also an Irish slave?

    • Jill

      Donna, You’ll see a number of emails in other comments here that could help. There is also a Facebook page for Carson relatives. I am not sure how much they discuss the slave descendents. There may be another group for that side. I so wish that both sides were able to get together as one family by now. I think there is a reunion coming up in June.


        DONNA, Davis Carson was born in North Carolina his grandmother Cera came to Barbados from Africa.

    • Gayle

      Hi Donna,
      I am also a descendant of Davis Carson through Katherine E.’s sister, Sallie. You are probably aware of this by now–our Davis (born 1849) does not appear in the 1860 US Census, and later census records show his birth in North Carolina. Also, my great aunts left a letter at the Carson House in 1969 (I have yet to read) that Albert Hunter references in his website; he notes their belief that Davis was fathered by a slave master.
      I met Katie’s daughter, Edith, when my great aunts came to vist me in Cincinnati in the ’70s and early ’80s.

    • Donna, after working with this family for 30 years, I have found that there are a lot of hang ups and misunderstandings about race.

      • Veronica L. Lee-Drewry

        Rudolph, my name is Veronica Lee-Drewry. My Mother is Judy G. Hough-Walker, her Mother was Lillian Francis Whittington-Hough and her Mother was Cora Carson-Whittington whose husband was John Whittington. My Mother told us from the time of understanding that the first to come was “Sarah”, she was an African Princess. My Grandmother Lillian Francis (Angeline) was born in Buncombe County and lived in Asheville, NC. I’m in search of our family, for our family. I’ve done our DNA and to no surprise from me it read: 73% Sub-Saharan, 24% European and 3% Native American. We’re the Carson-Whitttington clan, I have more family members to share but was curious to know more from the reunion. Is it possible to obtain via e-mail the slave roll? Would you know when the next Carson House reunion would be? I believe we’re related, there are SOOO many of us, this part of your family are from NJ but have spread apart (GA, FL, PA, VA) and some are still in Asheville, NC. If you could assist me I’d be most grateful. God bless you and I love you wherever you may be! Blessings Fam…

  14. After reading each of your discussions about Kadella’s descendants, I’m hoping to have better knowledge who I am, hoping someone reads my request. I’m Earl D. Jackson, Sr., born in McDowell County, NC to Fred & Hazel (Mashburn) Jackson. My Mother’s Dad was George Walter Mashburn of Old Fort, NC who lived off of Sugar Hill Road near Bat Cave Road Intersection. His parents were George “Sandy” Mashburn & Katherine Carson Mashburn who lived in the Glade of Old Fort. I know George was born just before the Civil War in Crooked Creek, NC. However, there’s a “Kat”, Kattie, Catherine and Katherine in a lot of the details I’ve read. Would anyone happen to know my Grandmother’s connection, if any, to Kadella, Sera, and Eliza?

  15. Tirika Carson

    I think that we are apart of William Carson side of the family. My grand-father name was William Carson aka (willy). We don’t know much about our family. Please contact me with more info at my e-mail. Can’t wait to here from u all! Thank you!

  16. If Katty, (or Kattie), Catherine (or Katherine) is a relative of William Carson, what’s her relationship to him; who were his parents and were they part of Kadella, Sera, Eliza Line? When Col Carson brought Kadella from Charleston, was Sera with her? Anyone have any idea what part of Africa Kadella is from?

  17. rudolph young


  18. Brett C. Davis

    Hello, I am a descendant from Davis W. Carson, a slave at the carson house, who perhaps was the son of Jonathan Logan Carson and a woman slave. Katherine Carson, one of Davis and Nancy Lackey’s daughters, was my great great grandmother, who moved to Cincinnati around 1910, which is where I and many of her descendants live today. I am interested in finding more information about the history of Davis W. Carson, specifically who his parents were and where they came from. Please let me know if you have any information on this. I would appreciate it. Thanks!

  19. Nicer Young

    Davis is Cera’s grandson Mary is his mother by JL Carson. Cara is called Sarah on the census

    • Runolph Young

      Davis had a full sister call Harriet who married Stephen Carson. Davis had a cousin called Albert Carson who married Morning Fox and lived in Cleveland ,Ohio.

      • Runolph,

        Are you aware of a “project” addition to the Carson Site, an outdoor arranged assembly to be built & completed this fall, as a tribute to the historical Carson Slaves? I’ve requested information several months ago and did receive a response from their director indicating there is more info to follow. However nothing yet.

        I know there is a white Carson Family Reunion about to take place next month at Buck Creek, NC, so maybe there will be something sent out afterwards.

      • Cira

        Hello everyone- Albert Carson is my maternal grandmothers father- Morning Fox was his second wife and not my grandmothers mother- her name I believe was Josephine

  20. Albert Hunter (Kenny)

    Historic Carson House will Open for the season Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    Our annual “Dinner on Buck Creek” will be held Saturday, May 17, 2014


    Contributions toward the construction of the Jubilee Arbor continue to grow toward the goal of $180,000. Cash and generous pledges have been received from Carson Society Members, Historic Carson House Board and Partners, Carson Descend-ants, local community agencies, organizations, businesses, and private individuals. While cash gifts and pledges are currently $35,000 short of the goal, the HCH Board was sufficiently confident to move toward actual construction this spring and summer.
    A contract for heavy beam construction will be let to Cabin Creek Timber Frames of Franklin, NC. A major contract for all other aspects of the project will be awarded to a local contractor in late May.
    A public ground-breaking ceremony will be scheduled after the local contractor is chosen. It is hoped that construction will be completed in the summer months in time for a grand opening in early September in commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the formal opening of the Historic Carson House to the public in 1964.
    For completion of the Jubilee Arbor project it is essential that the $180,000 goal be reached. Individuals and businesses who have not yet contributed are urged to do so. Cash gifts and in-kind gifts of goods or services are equally welcomed. Contact Campaign Chair Linda Cloherty at Historic Carson House (1805 Hwy. 70 West, Marion, NC 28752, Telephone 828-724-4948, or at e-mail, Contributions are tax deductible since the Carson House is a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation. Checks should be made to “Historic Carson House” with the notation “Jubilee Arbor.”

  21. Jonathan Byers

    Um, hi, I’m not sure if anyone is still reading the comments or any thing…

    My great great grandfather was William Oscar Carson (1879-?) Of Polk, North Carolina. His father, Harve/Harvey Carson (1852-?) was born a slave on Joseph McDowell Carson’s Green River Plantation. I don’t know if his father was Joseph, but I think its possible. Anyway, his mother was Angeline who was born 1825. I think her sister was Sarah Carson (1830/1837-1872), “wife” of “Uncle Bone” Napoleon Bonaparte Carson (1823-1884) son of Frank Moore (1772-1826) and Kizala Carson (1781-1892). His sister Sofa, I think , had three sons by either John W. Carson or maybe even John Hazzard Carson, both white slave owners. Does anyone know anything that could help me? Has anyone heard of Uncle Bone, Angeline Carson or other Green River Plantation Slaves?

  22. Jonathan Byers

    I just commented a few hours ago, and I was just feeling like I should express my surprise that no one has stumbled upon my leg of the family.

    My great grandmother was Eunice Carson (1910-1990) her parents were William Oscar Carson and Hattie Davis. William had several siblings by the names of Tamer, Robert, Hawkins, Hockens, David, and Della, the children of Harve Carson and Lucy Wilkins. Harve’s siblings were Milley, Louis, Matilda, Henry, Willie, and Sarah, children of Angeline, who disappears with all her children after census year 1870, where a woman named Sarah Carson lived with them. Matilda married Bart Miller (1852-?) And their daughter Martha/Mattie Ann married Leander Twitty, grandson of Bone (Napoleon Bonaparte) and Sarah Carson. Is it the same Sarah Carson? Please help me!

  23. Runolph Young

    This African American Carson family line is at Old Fort. The names are the same as on the Green River Plantation.your Harvey was white due to a skin problem . The Napoleon at the Carson ouse was a escaped slave of Leroy Springs. He was a shoemaker who could pass for white. .Our Sarah was actually called Cera. After the Civil War a lot of former Carson slaves went to Alabama, Texas and Tennessee . I noticed that some of them migrated from Alabama to Detroit during the Great Migration. My email is in these posts. tThe Africans Americans are having their reunion at the Carson House. RUDOLPH YOUNG

    • Rudolph,

      What’s the 2014 date for the Africian-American Carsons’ family reunion?
      There is another gathering (grand opening) at the Carson House this fall
      after completion of the Jubilee Arbor Project in commemoration of the
      Fiftieth Anniversary of the formal opening of the Historic Carson House to
      the public in 1964. Have you heard any discussion from Marion about any
      recognition of our ancestors through this outside covered overhead arena?

    • Jonathan Byers

      I found out today that Harvey Carson’s parents were Briggs and Sarah Carson. Oh, I knew Harvey had vitiligo, my 2x great aunt met him and told me. Do any of you know of a Briggs Carson who lived on Col. John Hazzard Carson’s plantation?

  24. Nothing, He came and he went. He could have been fired because, he was too brutal. The Carsons were more humane in the treatment of slaves. They employed the William Lynch method.

    • Jonathan Byers

      Sorry, Mr. Young, I meant the slave Briggs Carson. Whereas that was quite interesting about the overseer, what else do you know about the slave Briggs Carson?

  25. Jonathan Byers

    Please, anyone who has any details on any black Carson families, email

  26. Briggs Carson was born at Pleasant Gardens in 1828 and his wife was Sarah. Sarah died after 1852 and after Harvey was sent to the Green River Plantation. then Briggs married Mary Bailey who might have been his cousin.
    You need to check behind us .Check the slave list of John Carson and JL Carson.

    • Jonathan Byers

      Hi, again.
      I’m not so sure that Sarah died in the ’50s, cause in the 1870 census she appears living with Harvey and a woman named Angeline. It matches up with the other info I have.
      Plus, as far as I can tell, Briggs married a woman named Fannie, not Mary. But I’m gonna check, just to see.

  27. Cera ,yes, you are right Josephine Carter was Albert’s first wife. She and her mother came from Virginia. Does your family have anything to do with Carson Barber Supply in Cleveland?

    • cira

      I do not know but will research it- do you happen to have any information on his first or second wife? I have heard that they were Native American.

    • Earl D Jackson, Sr.


      Having read one of your responses to another Carson Family Member, I did not make contact with the lady who apparently confirms when a Black Relative’s DNA is from Col. John Hazzard Carson or not. Now that I know Katherine Carson Mashburn, the Great-Great Granddaughter of Sarah, nee, “Cera,” from Nigeria of the Yoruba diaspora, is my Great Grandmother is sufficient for me. (Obtained this from reading various transcripts from the Carson records.)

      Are you aware of any Black Carsons who the Historic Carson Society recognizes as having blood relations to John Hazzard Carson?

      In a past response there was a 62-page writeup you sent me. If it includes “Eliza and Her Kin” settling in Lincolnton, NC, I have it. If that was something else, could you resend it again, along with the name of the book you suggested for me to get also?

      At one time I was not interested in learning more about my family other than my grandparents, their children and their families. However, I began searching my Jackson & Mashburn Ancestors around 2008, and have learned quite a lot since then. You have been very helpful in my quest. One of the more interesting events that occurred in my life, although I have to believe my fraternal grandfather wanted me to eventually find out was: I spent 2 summers (1956 & 1957) working the land on the farm across U. S. Highway 70 from the Carson House staying with my Father’s 1st Cousin, her husband and family. I swimmed & fished in Buck Creek constantly, when not working. Although the Jacksons of McDowell County (Harriett Jackson was my Fraternal Great Grandmother) were never enslaved, I have never heard anyone of them, and we are plentiful there, ever mention the Carson legacy. The Carson House and land area as it is now did not exist until after I graduated High School and left to go to college.

  28. Earl , the African American Carson family members are not interested in the Carson family . You are an exception.

  29. does anyone have information on David Edward Carson, father David Carson cousin to Albert Carson.

  30. Gladys Copeland Davis

    I am a decedent of Napoleon Bonaparte Carson who was the son of Kizala Carson. I would love to stay in touch and find out about my heritage Cornelia Carson’s death certificate has John Carson as her father. Cornelia was my great grandmother the daughter of Sarah Carson. Any information and photos would be appreciated. Gladys Copeland Davis

    • Gladys, if you have been following these post , you should know by now that your Sarah1 and the Sarah at Pleasant Gardens are not the same African Cera called Sarah was born in 1799 and had no daughter called Sarah. Of all the Carson slave owners ,only JL Carson’s name was linked with having fathered a slave, look for a slave called Jack. I tell you this so you can use a process of elimination. send an e-mail to and I will send you a an e-book about Pleasant Gardens . There is a facebook site called Carson family . Also you can google Carson slaves and Carson Young of Maple Grove.

  31. Hello, I believe I am a descendant of Cera. I have done some basic research and I see her sometimes listed as Cera Hardy. Was she owned by someone named Hardy or did she marry a Hardy at some time? My great grandfather was William H Carson born about 1897 in Marion NC. Any information you could share would be wonderful. You can reach me at nhayes827 at


      I searched the name Hardy in North Carolina and can not find a remote connection . I now believe that was the name of her slave owner in Barbados .

  32. I am a researcher of the Carson family of Western North Carolina and also the administer of two Carson family DNA projects focusing on descendants of Col. John Carson and the interrelationships of the families connected with all of the Carson owned plantations. I am specifically seeking known descendants of the Cera Carson who married Charles Carson and lived in Lincolnton to participate in the DNA study. Additionally, I am looking for descendants of the slave families who lived at the Green River Plantation. I can be contacted directly at rvsailor @

  33. Earl D. Jackson

    I’m looking for documenated information regarding 2 Mary Carsons in this Carson Family. If subject data is available, please reply.

  34. Krislynn Patterson

    My name is Krislynn Patterson, and I am a descendant of the Carsons on my mother’s side (Crystal Corpening Patterson). My parents and I actually got to visit the Carson house a few years ago and were fascinated about the history. I would love to know any information you have!


      Are you related to Anita Patterson Bailey?

      • Earl Jackson


        Anita Patterson Bailey is my 1st Cousin & Kryslynn is my 2nd Cousin. Kryslynn is the daughter of Crystal Corpening Patterson, my 1st Cousin.

        Regarding the 2 Mary Carsons, as my research continues, I keep reading about a daughter or an older Mary Carson living with Eliza Carson apparently before my 2X Grandmother was born or still very young, i.e., maybe 2 or 3 years old. About th

        Sent from my iPhone >

      • Earl jackson

        About that time, the first Mary Carson was in her 30’s living with Eliza and her brothers and sisters, while it appears there was a very young Katy.

        While I have your attention, do you know for certain if Sugar Hill was ever a separate township from Old Fort. The census records indicate that fact. If so, what kind of community was it before being incorporated into Old Fort.


  35. D/A has proved that I am a descendant of Col. John Carson. When a child, my Great Grand Mother told me stories about her life in slavery, She said her father was the “Massa”. She told me circumstances surrounding her mother’s being stolen, brought to America on a big ship and how sad and unhappy her mother was as she was a princess in her country and missed her loving family, relatives, friends and country. She was devastated! None of the other slaves spoke her language. I have researched and fit in parts of that which she told me with Carson House history and they fit as do pieces in a puzzle. I am quite certain that the slave, Fatima was her mother and my Great,Great,Grandmother. I am now 90 years of age and wish to preserve this as a story for all black Carsons and particularly those Carsons who share this line of relationship with me.
    Author Evelyn Allen Johnson


      Family Members
      Please let me bring you up to date.
      Mary Carson is the daughter of Cera and Charles H. Carson of Lincolnton, NC.Mary went to DC during the Great Migration and became a school teacher for 30 years. She married James Catlett They had two daughters.Cera and Elizabeth. Elizabeth was Elizabeth Catlett Mora , a world famous artist and citizen of Mexico.
      Kate was the daughter of Cera before she went to Lincolnton . Kate was reared by her cousin Harriet, not her aunt. She grew up and married a Mashburn. Her father was George Carson, John Carson’s nephew.
      the Baileys were a family of free persons of color who worked on the Carson Plantation. John Bailey served in the Union army. Nancy had a child called Rufus for JL Carson. the older Rufus Carson led a team to California gold rush , they all deserted only Rufus went back to NC.Fatima was a Mende-Vai from what is now Sierra Leone. She could write in the Vai system of writing . She sewed the writing into a quilt.Tthe Carson historians wrongly believed that she was Arabic. She was a Muslim who was robbed on he way to an arranged marriage and taken to the baracoon at Gallenas now in Libera and sent to Charleston.
      I have updated the history of the family . I found a WR Carson who went Vicksburg , Mississppi opened up an account in the Freedmen’s Bank to buy a barbershop. He went to Texas and became a famous person.

      • There were several different Mary Carsons. I believe it is very important to identify which of the Marys we are discussing. I also believe it is extremely important to identify the source of information to support the descendants’ efforts to identify which Mary is their ancestor. Identifying sources allow the descendents to personally evaluate the validity of sources.


    My book, GARDENS will be released to the bookstores in September . The publisher is Green Ivy of Illinois .The book is about the Pleasant Gardens Plantation and the African American descendants in Western North Carolina . Thank all of you for your help over the years.

    • Rudolph, Where can I find your book? I’d love to read it.

      • Rudolph Young

        send me an email address and i will send you a file..Green Ivy shafted me out of 3,000 dollars

      • Rudolph Young

        Fatima was Fatima Bello of the SOKOTO Caliphate under her uncle Huhammed Bello. She was a Fulani. That is why James Haney Thought she was an Arab. She was sent to Liberia to meet Abdulraman Ibraham Sori. She as trained as an Islamic lawyer . She was sold to Squire Silvers in Yancey County where her name was changed. Her son, Sam, was sold to Jacob Link in Catawba County. Sam had a son called Sam by Jacob’s daughter ,Joanna . Sam was then sold to Daniel Shuford and his name was changed to Tom. Fatima.’s descendants are the Wilson-Link family of Iron Station.

  37. A quick google search found the BBB indicated Green Ivy Publishing appears to be out of business.

  38. Sharon Carpenter

    Hello! My name is Sharon Carpenter and I found your blog searching my ancestor Serancy Agajaby. I learned from your blog about the Carson Reunion every year and would like to get in touch with you. I’m hoping to also connect with some Carson’s in Marion as well. That is the family of my maternal grandmother Emma Sue Carson and she married a Young. My email is Please contact me as soon as you can. I look forward to speaking with you. Thank you.

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