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Biography: Judge John Coleman Carmichael born July 2, 1861 with photograph

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Carmichael, John Coleman




Jefferson County, Alabama

John Coleman Carmichael of Birmingham, Ala was chancellor of the northwestern division of Alabama. He was born in Orrville, Alabama July 2, 1861, the son of Dougald and Caroline E. Boothe(Coleman) Carmichael. John’s father was a native of Marion district, S. C., and the son of Dougald Carmichael, Sr.,(b. 1768-d 1830) a native of Scotland and Mary Carmichael (b. 1786 d. 1801 SC) John’s grandfather, after mastering shipcraft at Glasgow, moved to America and located on the Pee Dee river in South Carolina. There he opened a shipyard and continued shipbuilding until his death, about 1830. Dougald and Mary Carmichael had seven children.

John Carmichael’s father was born ca. 1820 in SC and died 1875 in Dallas County, Alabama. He married 1st Sarah Jane Laney in 1850 and 2nd Caroline E. Boothe in 1853, the father of John Coleman Carmichael.

Caroline Coleman, the mother of Judge Carmichael was born in LaGrange, Ga. She was the daughter of John Coleman and his wife, Caroline (Ware) Coleman. John Coleman, Jr. was a native of Georgia and of Welsh extraction. His father was John Coleman, Sr. a native of Wales, who emigrated to America soon after the Revolution and settled in Georgia, where he spent the remainder of his life. John Coleman, the grandfather of Judge Carmichael, moved from LaGrange to Columbus, Georgia., and engaged in contracting.

He was one of the prominent men of Columbus at the time of his death, about 1832. The Cherokee Indians at that time were raiding that part of the State. John Coleman was the captain of a company of State militia and was in command of the troops when he was shot and killed by the Indians.

Dougald Carmichael, Jr. moved from South Carolina to Russell county about 1830, and began developing a farm in the wilderness. After arriving at his majority he decided to enter the ministry, and joined the Alabama conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, and was engaged in the ministry practically all the rest of his life, although he was extensively engaged in farming and merchandising. He at one time was presiding elder of the Cahaba district, which included a great area in Alabama and a part of Florida and Mississippi. He died at Orrville in 1875, after a long and useful life. His wife survived him three years, dying in 1878. They had five known children;

  1. Dougald Huey Carmichael b. 1855
  2. John Coleman Carmichael b. 1861
  3. George Cobb Carmichael b. 1863
  4. William Daniel Carmichael b. 1867
  5. Lillie Hope Carmichael b. 1887

Judge Carmichael spent his youth at Orrville, Alabama. He attended the local schools and later attended the Agricultural and Mechanical college at Auburn, Ala. In 1883 he engaged in teaching school. In 1884 he began reading law at Phoenix City, Alabama, and edited the Alabama Free Press, a weekly publication. He continued his studies in 1885 in the office of the Governor William J. Samford at Opelika. He was admitted to the bar in Opelika in 1886, and in October of that year began the practice of law in Greenville, Alabama, where he remained until 1888, when he moved to Gadsden, Alabama.

He moved to Birmingham in 1888 and became the senior member of the firm, Carmichael & Thach. He remained a member of the firm until elected to Chancellor in 1898. He has always took an active part in politics. He was a delegate to the State convention a number of times: was an elector for the State at large on the national Democratic ticket in 1892 and repeatedly stumped the State in the interest of his party.

On Oct. 19, 1898, he married to Mrs. Jessie Turner daughter of Major J. G. W. and Agnes Leftwich, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Ohio. The judge was affiliated with the Methodist church and his wife with the Episcopal. He gave his whole time and attention to his official duties and made an excellent chancellor.

Judge John Coleman Carmichael died October 20, 1930, and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Jefferson County, Alabama.



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This biography can be found in Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Volume VI 

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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