Jimmy Carter’s family tree and its ties to Thomson

Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 4:34 PM EST
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THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - In recent years, President Jimmy Carter visited Thomson to look at an old home, but the reason for this visit was never clear until now.

One woman says she is a descendant of Carter, and her family built the home in the 1700s. We spent the day uncovering details linking Carter to Thomson.

The Rock House is the oldest stone residence in Georgia. For some, this is just an old house, but for Judy Candler, she’s stepping through the doorway of her family’s history.

“I am a descendant of James, who was the eighth and final child of Thomas Ansley,” she said.


Thomas Ansley came from North Carolina with the Quakers. He settled and built the Rock House in 1786 in what was called the Wrightsboro Community.

“He produced this beautiful three-story home for his family. There’s a basement area. There’s a main floor living area, and the third level is the living quarters and sleeping arrangements for the children,” said Candler.

From Ansley down the family tree comes Carter, making Candler and Carter fifth cousins.

“To know that he and I are cousins just gives me a little extra pride,” said Candler.

When Carter was governor of Georgia, he visited the home.

“Was saddened by its condition. It was in great disrepair, and voiced that he would offer financial support for the repair and reconstruction of the home,” she said.

Now the home is on the National Register of Historic Places.

“The fact that he has dedicated so much of his life to serving others,” said Candler.