Last name: Carson

This interesting Scottish name is of uncertain origin but is probably a locational name, despite appearing to be patronymic. The development seems to be from Maurice Acarson, bailiff of the isle of Man, but this is uncertain. What is certain is that 'the Corsans or Carsans were an ancient Galloway family whose lineage ended in the direct line of James IV in the late 15th Century. The Carson's were provosts of Dumfries for several generations in the 16th century, and were also prominent in the local affairs of Kirkcudbrightshire. The early name holders were known for their ferocity, and in 1305 John a'Carson and his followers seized the castle of Dumfries. Their later fate is not known, although in 1503 Andrew Akersane was 'respited' for his part in burning Dunskay House. Rather against the trend two of the name bearers listed in the Dictionary of National Biography were ministers, although Kit Carson the famous Indian scout is rather more true to form, whilst Joseph Carson, in 1776, a Philadlephia merchant, born in Scotland, gave considerable assistance to the American Independence movement. The coat of arms includes the blazon of a silver field, a chevron between three red crescents, and the crest of an elephants head. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir Robert de Carsan, which was dated 1276, in the "Records of Holm Cultram", Scotland, during the reign of King Alexander 111 of Scotland, 1249 - 1286. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Gary Carson
Thanks for your website....great work. Regarding the Carson surname, one publication on the origin of names says that the surname Carson came from the surname Carr, which originated from an old Norse word "Kiar" which meant "dweller at a marsh" that in Middle English became Carr. The surname Carson would mean "son of the dweller at a marsh". Among the Carson YDNA project participants, there are two predominant paternal origins that are not related to one another as far as a common Carson ancestor is concerned. The R1b haplogroup, which is referred to as of Western European origin, is very common in western parts of Europe and the British Isles (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland). The I2b haplogroup is of a "Norse" or "Nordic" stock, and is a haplogroup common in Scandinavia. One theory is that it originated with the Norsemen/Viking settlers c700 a.d. because, other than the Scandinavian countries, it shows up most frequently in Britain, Ireland, Normandy, and some coastal areas of Europe along the Mediterannean into southeastern Europe. Some others speculate that the ancient Pict tribes in Britain were a Nordic stock from Scandinavia, which would be another source. It may be that the Carson surname evolved from more than one root word and location even though it's spelled the same. Thanks

Carson Clan
Thanks-this helped my geneology project and book.

Matthew Carson
Carson is a Gaelic word that translates to "found in the marshes or wetlands". It's possible the the first Carson was a foundling, or that the family lived in the marshes.

A few miles from the sweetheart Abbey is a little town called "carsethorn " .it seems likely ,to me, that this is where the surname "carson " originated .we know that the Carson family "built the sweetheart Abbey ".the town was founded by Danish Vikings .

Toni Carson
I like the reference to the Irish clan MacCarrghama which moved to the west borders of Scotland in the 9th Century from Galway, Sligo and Mayo. I have also seen a definition of Carson as son of Carr and there is a Carr in Tyrone where many Carson's went to settle with the plantations in Northern Ireland. My Carson relatives in Ireland today live 14 miles from this Townland (unit of land) called Carr. (Carr is pretty common as derivatives in all the place names with plenty in Mayo and Galway.

Philip Dru
Naturally Americans will be creaming themselves at any suggestion of Irish or Scottish connections, which make it politically convenient to label this definitively 'Scottish' name even as its mysterious origins are conceded in the very next breath. We know Scots and Irish lay claim to anything that isn't nailed down, and I've seen before how this site panders to fashion, for all its many other attributes. Well Carson one HASN"T been nailed down, so caution is advised. That a name occurs in a particular country doesn't make it native, especially when the suffix 'son' could well incline us to infer a legitimate Scandinavian element.

My middle name is Carson. I'm only seeking it's origins.

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