The Mansons of Scotland, Virginia and Georgia

It took awhile longer than I thought to get back to this . . . oh, well! But now I present the promised feature.

From Scotland to Georgia

The surname “Manson” probably originated in Scotland (or, perhaps, it has occurred to me, in Sweden. Scotland is really a Scandinavian country, if you think about it). It probably is a form of “Magnus’ s son.” In any event, those bearing the name Manson belong to a sept of the Clan Gunn.

In Scotland, the Mansons seem to have been concentrated around Ayrshire, Caithness, Orkney, and Shetland. In England, there are Mansons in Cornwall–about as far away from Scotland as you get on that great British isle.

The Mansons came to America in the 17th century and landed in two principal places: New England and Virginia. In New England, the Mansons settled first around Kittery in what is now Maine. In Virginia, the Mansons settled first in York County. The earliest Manson in Virginia that I find is Peter Manson, born in 1635. The Mansons thrived in Virginia, prospering in York, Dinwiddie, Prince George, and Henrico counties, among others. Sometime shortly after 1800, James Manson (1774-1829) moved from Virginia to Wilkinson County, Georgia.

The Mansons were extremely successful in Georgia. James Manson’s descendants established a large plantation at Turkey Creek in Wilkinson County and owned land in Jefferson, Henry, and Houston counties. They owned a large number of slaves. Eventually, the Mansons migrated into nearly every region of Georgia.

In the 1850 federal census of Georgia, there appears a “mulatto” woman named Jane Manson with her children Matilda and Mary, living in Talbot County in western Georgia. It is not entirely clear how she is related to the Mansons who came from Virginia. As for Matilda, she later moved with her son Otis to Texas (see She’s Spanish posted here).

My current challenges are (1) to definitively connect Peter Manson (1675-1721) to his family of origin in Scotland; (2) to ascertain the origins of Jane Manson; and (3) to figure out why Matilda went to Milam County, Texas.

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Craig


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