My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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REV. JAMES GILLESPY CARSON. A service of over twenty years in the Second United Presbyterian Church, of Xenia, has made this faithful minister well known to most of the people of this locality. He came to Xenia in November, 1869, as pastor of his present charge, and during the years which have elapsed has, by his devotion to duty, been the means of greatly increasing the numbers and influence of the church. Not only is he held in high esteem by his own immediate people, but by the community at large. In the fall of 1873 he was elected Professor of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology, occupying the Chair for fifteen years, and until the spring of 1888, when, finding his duties too many, he resigned his Professorship, and now simply gives his labors to his ordinary church work.

The subject of this notice was born near Marysville, Blount County, Tenn., February 11, 1833, and is the son of Rev. David and Jane Walker (Gillespy) Carson, who were natives respectively of Franklin County, Pa., and Blount County, Tenn. The Rev. David Carson was, at an early age, graduated from Jefferson College, and then continued his studies under Dr. John M. Mason, of the Associate Reformed Church, for three years. Subsequently he studied under Dr. Joseph Banks, of Philadelphia, and who was also of the Associate Church. He then assumed charge of a church near Marysville, where he remained nine years. Then, in 1833, he was selected Professor of the Associate Presbyterian Seminary, at Cannonsburg, Pa., and which was later removed to Xenia.

The father of our subject came North in June, 1834, and died September 25, following, before entering upon the duties of his professorship. The parental family consisted of three children: Dr. David Walker Carson, of Burgettstown, Pa.; James Gillespy, of this notice; and Ellen J., who died in May, 1858, at the age of twenty-three years. The paternal grandfather, David Carson, emigrated from Ireland, it is believed, as early as 1775, and settled at Greencastle, Pa., where he followed his trade of a tailor. His wife bore the maiden name of Jane Oliver; she was a granddaughter of Rev. James Fisher, author of Fisher’s Catechism, and the great-granddaughter of Ebenezer Erskine, one of the founders of the United Presbyterian Church.

Grandfather Carson reared several sons, the eldest being William, a merchant of Chillicothe, Ohio; Thomas, who was Speaker of the Pennsylvania Senate; and James O., who rose to the dignity of Judge, and resided in Mercersburg, Pa. One daughter died unmarried. On the maternal side, Grandfather James Gillespy was born in Augusta County, Va., in 1772, and about 1780, removed with his parents to Tennessee, where he became a prominent farmer and politician, and served in the Tennessee General Assembly. His family consisted of four sons, who all became prominent men, and one daughter, Jane Walker, who became the mother of our subject. The maiden name of his wife was Elinor Cowan. Grandmother Gillespy had an aunt, Jenny Cowan, who was captured by the Shawnee Indians, in Tennessee, and conveyed by them to Old Chillicothe, now Oldtown, Greene County, where she was assisted to escape by an Indian chief, who sent her across Lake Erie on the ice to Detroit, whence she was taken to Pittsburg and from there down the river to Maysville, being returned to her home after an absence of seven years. Her husband was killed at the time of her capture, but she secured his scalp, which had been taken by the Indians, and carried it in her bosom. Subsequently she was again married, and captured a second time by the Cherokee Indians, with whom she remained two years, in Georgia. Then, her neighbors having captured some of the tribe, an exchange was made and her release secured.

The subject of this sketch was reared in Cannonsburg, Pa., and completed his education in Jefferson College, being graduated with the degree of A. B., in the class of 1849. Afterward he followed the profession of teaching for about three years, principally in Hookstown Academy, until the summer of 1852, when he entered the seminary of Cannonsburg, from which he was graduated in the spring of 1855, just prior to the removal of that institution to Xenia.

Mr. Carson was married October 1, 1856, to Miss Mary Houston Clarkson, daughter of Rev. Thomas B. Clarkson, of Mercersburgh, Pa., and granddaughter of Rev. James Clarkson, of Gurnston, Pa. After marriage he settled in South Buffalo, Pa., where he remained from the fall of 1856 until the spring of 1867. Thence he removed to Cannonsburg, remaining until the fall of that year and then took up his residence in Xenia.

During the progress of the Civil War Mr. Carson was connected with the Christian Commission, stationed at Romney, Va. The following Spring he went to Knoxville, Tenn. He is an able and eloquent divine, a close student and an extensive reader, and brings to the duties of his calling a large experience and an extended observation of human kind and its needs. To him and his estimable wife there have been born no children.

Elsewhere in this volume may be found a lithographic *portrait of Rev. Mr. Carson.

*A portrait was included in the original printed volume.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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