Joseph Artie Coston Civil War Service

Member Joe Coston submitted the following as a comment on the “Correction on John T. Potter Burial Site Dedication” post. It was decided it should also be shared as its on post as it provides interesting information about his ancestor Joseph Coston.

My great-grandfather, Joseph Artie Coston, who was a Confederate veteran (and a union veteran) is also buried at Shady Grove. His grave is in the far left corner of the cemetery and is (or was 15 years or so ago) marked with a Confederate veteran marker.


Joseph Artie Coston was born in Alabama, probably near Mt. Andrew in Barbour County but possibly in
Bibb County, on 5 January 1841. followed the example of his father and became a farmer. He
married Jemima Voorhees about 25 October 1867.

He joined Company K, 29th Alabama Infantry Regiment Confederate service at Clayton, Alabama immediately before the 10th of March 1862.

Confederate records show that Joseph A. Coston was reported as “missing” on a list of casualties and Federal records indicate that he was captured at Nashville on 15 December 1864. He was sent to the military prison at Camp Douglas (now in Chicago), Illinois on 20 December 1864.

On 1 April 1865, while still incarcerated at Camp Douglas, Joseph joined other prisoners who swore allegiance to the United States Government and enlisted in Company F, 5th U. S. Volunteer Infantry for three years with the understanding that they would serve on the western frontier. His service records indicate that he served as a private soldier until he was mustered out on 15 October 1866 at Fort Kearny, Nebraska Territory.

Coston family oral history related that Joseph Artie was a year and a half later than the rest of the Confederate soldiers in returning from the Civil War but did not provide a reason for hid tardiness except that ‘he had been in a Yankee prison camp.’ It is possible that he told no one of this adventure. His grandson, Ocie Coston, did not know that he had enlisted in the U. S. Army, and there is no evidence that any of his descendants were aware of this fact.

Joseph and his family moved to the Stout community in Wood County, Texas sometime between 1888 and 1900 where they resumed farming. Jemima died on 13 January 1919 and Joseph died on 17 January 1934 at the age of 93. Both are buried in Shady Grove.

Query: Tarbutton

A visitor to the society genealogy research room this week, Liz Tarbutton, sent us a follow-up email about the family.

“Thank you so much for your assistance. My husband, Ron, and I are researching his GG Grandfather, William B. Tarbutton.

“This is what we know:
William B. was born around 1823 in NC, married Elizabeth Anne Scarborough (b. appx 1829, TN). They lived in Madison County, TN documented as late as 1867 and had five children born there:
Mary Tarbutton, 1852
Joseph A. Tarbutton, 1858
Robert Aris Tarbutton, 1861
James Tarbutton, 1864
Idella Tarbutton, 1865

“We can’t find this family in the 1870 census. In 1880, the children are in Wood County, Precinct 6 and are living with different families. Ancestry has them indexed with the last name “Farbutton”. Mary is presumably married at this point, but we have no record of that.

William Brown (b. 1808, NC )
Liddy Brown (b. 1808, NC )
Alfed Franks (b. 1873, TX ), grandson
Joseph A. “Farbutton”, farm laborer
James “Farbutton”, farm laborer
Idella “Farbutton”, works on farm

Next door to:
Allex Brown (b. 1846, NC)
Mary Brown (b. 1852, GA)
Walter Brown (b. 1878)
Robert “Farbutton”, farm laborer

Also in Precinct 6 are:
Bass Green (b. 1845)
Amanda Green (b. 1852)
Francis Green (b. 1868)
Mary Green (b. 1871)
William Green (b. 1878)
William “Farbutton” (b. 1869, in TEXAS), works on farm

“On April 20, 1880 a case was filed in Wood County involving “Adella” and William Tarbutton, minors. The court clerk says that it was a guardianship case, but was apparently continued and never heard.

“So our questions are: what happened to William B. and Elizabeth? Based on William being born in Texas, we assume that they made it to Texas prior to 1870.

“Is there anything available that would give us William B.’s parents names?

“If anyone is digging in Ancestry, there is a lot of inaccurate information about William. There is a second William Tarbutton, who also happens to be married to an Elizabeth, who is from Tennessee, born in Kentucky and emigrating to Missouri prior to the War (if memory serves right, in the 1840’s). The other William died in 1867 in Missouri. The two Williams are different people, but many have their timelines/relationships intermingled.

“If you have any tips or suggestions, we would love to hear them! Thanks so much.”

If you can help Liz and Ron, you can respond here. We also have their telephone number, and members can contact the editor at if you wish to talk to them directly.

How to Handle Glut of Research Info Online

” I seem to get sidetracked easily and overwhelmed with all of the family. Is there any other tool or resource that you utilitze to keep focused and organized?”

This is a question from a friend from my years as a public school teacher. I thought I would share my answer.

You have run into the problem all genealogy researchers run into sooner or later. In fact, it never entirely goes away. There is too much info which is obviously relevant, might be relevant, or which you want to explore further whenever you research. It becomes a problem of keeping focus on your original goal. Here are some things I do:
1. Have a specific stated research goal such as a person, events, or family. (Family might be too broad. It depends.) Just browsing can be valuable but it leads to that scatter shot problem you referred to.
2. Take many, many notes. Don’t trust your memory. When online, I take them on the computer.
3. For note-taking, I keep note-taking software open. I usually use a simple, free program called Quotepad. There are some which really automate the process, but I don’t use them. The other thing I do if I don’t use note-taking software is to keep my word processor open. Then I copy and paste info and its url and other citation data into the word processing document. Later I go in and separate the data further into surname or individual person files.
4. I also have started using a free tool called Instapaper which makes it possible to go back and see an entire web page.
At that, I still have the problem you describe. I just try to stay focused.
Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions.

Workshop, Seminar Laptops

We got our first look at the new laptop computers we will have available for workshops, classes, seminars, and meetings. They are going to be a real asset. There are six Dell Latitude D820 models with big screens, a comfortable built-in keyboard, and lots of speed and memory capacity. You can get a look at what they look like at Be sure to hit the back button to return here.

They are equipped with Windows XP, DVD drives, and ample USB slots. Standard software available for us to use are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Roxio Creator, MS outlook Express, Window Media Player and Movie Maker, MS Office 2007 components such as word, Power Point, Excel, Publishing, Imaging, Scanning, and Picture Manager. These wifi enabled computers use Symantec Security software, Word Pad and Note Pad, Address Book,and Paint.

The computers are being processed, inventoried, and made secure for use, but they will be ready for our first classes on June 21.

Precinct 6 Location?

We’ve had a request from a visitor to the Genealogy Research Room for the location of Precinct 6 in the 1880 census. Is there anyone who can help with this?

Join Our Discussion On a Profile Pictures

We’ve started what appears to have the potential for a lively discussion on the profile picture for the Wood County (TX) Genealogy Research Community which we have set up on Facebook. If you have a facebook account, why not search on “Wood County (TX) Genealogy Research Community” from your Facebook profile or home page and look at the current picture and discussion and give us your opinion?

Sissy Spacek in the Genealogy Research Room

You just never know who will show up when you are in the Wood County (Tx) Genealogical Society genealogy research room at the Quitman public Library. Last Friday it was Quitman and Wood County native Sissy Spacek who was visiting in the area that day.

Delene Allen, Sissy Spacek, Maryanne Vollers

Sissy Spacek, Library Director Delene Allen (left), and author and journalist Maryanne Vollers


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