Re: Tarbutton Query

We have received the following two emails in response to the request for information on the William Tarbutton descendants. The original posting is here. (Click Link)
Email 1
I descend from Joseph A. Tarbutton s/o William B. Tarbutton. I noticed on Ancestry that two William Tarbuttons were apparently combined. Since Wood county is a burnt county, makes research more difficult. William B, and wife Eliza died before the 1880 census, and their children were scattered about. Joseph married Mary Cogswell in 1880 in Wood co., she is the daughter of Levi Cogswell and Sallie Wallace (He from Gwinnett co. Ga. , Sallie Marion co. Miss, or was it Hancock co. , don’t have my data in front of me and since its 2:20 a.m. don’t want to get up.) Joe Tarbutton and his in-laws moved to Shelby co. Tx. Mary Cogswell Tarbutton died in 1890 and is buried in Shelby co., Joe remarried to a Mary Ann Sanders , they are living in Houston co. on the 1900 census, but kids from the 1st marriage are living with the Cogwells in Shelby co. Mary Sanders divorced Joe and moved back to Ark, found info on the second family with the help of Joe died of Brights disease (kidney problems) in 1906, I think. Idella married a Cansler and lived in Walker co. and had a bunch of kids. Robert lived in Rains county. I think James married and died young in the 1890’s , don’t know what happen to Mary if she lived long-she just disappeard. Didn’t even know William or James existed till they were listed on the census. My great gdmtr Maud Tarbutton Martin died in 1937 at age 57 (I think-could be 1939). On my line people died young; even though Levi and Sallie Cogswell lived to be elderly, of 7 children only one lived to be in her seventies, only two were living on the 1900 census. Joseph’s parents died young, Joe died young, and his siblings lived away. Information gets lost.

Email 2
Reread the query. Got up and got my papers. This is what I have.
Joseph A. Tarbutton born Oct 1858 (soundex) died 1906 Shelby co, Tx
s/o William Tarbutton and Elizabeth Ann/Eliza Scarborough (name has a lot of vowels). Elizabeth is the dau. of Stephen and his wife Winney (Tarbutton), William and Eliza were cousins-possibly 1st. cousins. William Tarbutton father was probably Joseph Tarbutton he is on the 1860 mortatily schedule-so he died in 1859 at age 86 of consumption and was born in Maryland. Seems all the Tarbutton men are either John, Joseph or William and the women are all name Mary or Elizabeth. Is Ron Tarbutton from Robert Tarbutton line, brother of my Joseph?


Patricia Jones
21410 West Martin

9 Responses

  1. Thank you for your responses, We have been confused by all the Joseph’s, William’s and Robert’s too. Ron must have married me to bring another Elizabeth to the family! I am fairly confident that if we can determine William B’s parents without a doubt, that the line will tie to the Maryland line that is well documented. My husband, Ron, is the grandson of Robert Howard, born to Joseph A. and Mary Ann Sanders. Robert Howard was a noted aviation pioneer in Oklahoma.

    If you have any suggestions on other areas to search, we live in Denton, which is an easy trip to the Wood County area.

    • liz I am the great grand daughter of Idella Tarbutton Cansler, and have been diligently looking for the gravesites of William and Eliza. Do you know where they are?? I am in Quinlan, fairly close to Quitman and Wood county.

      • No, we can’t seem to figure out what happened to either William B or Elizabeth. We have them documented in Tennessee in 1867 and the youngest son, William, says that he was born in Texas in 1869 on the 1880 census. That period between 1869 and 1880 is a mystery. I have done online searches for their gravesites and haven’t come up with anything. Based on the guardianship case for Idella and William being filed in 1880, I am guessing that the children were orphaned closer to that date than to 1869. Do you have any ideas on who William B.’s parents are? The last poster suggested that William B was probably born to a Joseph, and I think that is likely the case, also. I can’t find any documentation though–my guess is purely based on who is in the area and of the correct age.

  2. I recently found an article in the Rains County Leader about an event that occurred in 1919 and the Tarbutton Restaurant is mentioned in this article. I noticed that you mentioned that Robert Tarbutton had lived in Rains County and I am wondering if the restaurant belonged to him.

    I am working with a friend who is a historian. We are trying to establish a history of families and businesses that existed in Rains County. Could this restaurant have belonged to one of your family members?

    • Thank you for the information. R. A. Tarbutton is one of the children of William B. Tarbutton and Elizabeth Scarborough. Is there any chance that an obituary for Robert Aris has survived? I don’t know whether the restaurant is connected. Chances are that that the 1919 restaurant is connected to him in some way. As far as I know, R.A. Tarbutton and his direct descendants are the only Tarbutton’s in Rains County. I have seen current references to a Tarbutton Family Restaurant in Henderson.

      • Elaine Bay, historian and author, has transcribed many of the old Rains County Leaders and has written several books on Rains County history. She has just published a new book on the History of Rains County (up to 1950) and has a photograph that she believes to be the Tarbutton family; however, she is not certain. You may want to contact her at

        In fact, anyone who thinks they have ancestors that lived in Rains can benefit from Elaine’s research. In addition to transcribing the Rains County Leaders and compiling the history of the county, she has documented many of the cemeteries in the area.

      • Liz,
        Jeri & I have been emailing back and forth on this family. In one of the news clips from the Rains County Leader, it mentions that he and his wife had added a sandwich shop to their business, which might mean the same as a restaurant in the early 1900s.
        I’ve just send Jeri a pictures of a family that I used in my book Images of America: Rains County. I usually keep notes with my pictures but can’t find any with this picture. Hope you can identify the people in the pictures. I see no way to attach a photo so I will let Jeri send the picture to you or you can contact me personally at

  3. I talked with my friend, Elaine Bay (the historian) about theTarbutton family in Rains County. She has transcribed many of the old Rains County Leaders and sent me the following information

    Rains County Sentinel
    Friday, March 23, 1894

    Business Directory
    R.A. Tarbutton : Jeweler

    Mr. R.A. Tarbutton, our fellow townsman, who has returned from the bedside of his brother, who was shot last week, reports him doing well.

    Rains County Leader
    March 18, 1904
    R.A. Tarbutton, Jeweler
    I have a nice lien of jewelry, and invite the public to call on me at the Reeves stand. I do all kinds of repair work.

    Point Enterprise
    July 2, 1914
    I have moved from the Nix Drug Store to Cains Store. All kinds of watch, jewelry and spectacle repair work.
    R.A. Tarbutton, Cain’s Store, Emory, Texas

    Rains County Leader

    Jan 29, 1916
    Spectacles for sale and all kinds of spectacle repairing – R.A. Tarbutton, Emory, Texas

    Feb 25, 1916
    Get your eyes tested and glasses fitted by R.A. Tarbutton

    April 21, 1916
    Mr. Willis Dean and family of Marshall asre visiting at the home of R.A. Tarbutton and family this week.

    Aug 11 1916
    Mr. and Mrs. R.A. Tarbutton are rejoicing over the arrival of a bouncing boy at their home last Friday.

    Feb 2, 1917
    Get your eyes tested and glasses fitted by R.A. Tarbutton

    June 23, 1922
    Mrs. R.A. Tarbutton and son R.D. left last Thursday for a month’s visith with her brother, Mr. Mack Dean, in Hill county,

    July 7, 1922
    Do you need Glasses: I now have one of the most up-to-date eye testing device of today, The Shore self Fit machine. It is absolutely correct you do not hahve to take our word for it, you simply have to look thr the glasses on the machine and determine for yourself whether you are in need of glasses. The Short Optical products are guaranteed to me, and I guarantee them in turn to you. Come in today and test your eyes and see for yourself. It will not cost you one cent. Don’t wait.
    R.A. Tarbutton, Emory, Texas
    2 doors North of Depot in Mrs, Seaton’s store

    Oct 20, 1922
    R.A. Tarbutton, The Jeweler: opposit old postoffice building
    We, wife and myself, have opened a lunch counter in connection with our Hamburger stand, where you will be served with clean, wholesome food. Lunches from 10c to 25c and other prices reasonable.

    Feb 24, 1933: Marriage License
    R.A. Tarbutton and Mrs. Jane Wright

  4. Eli Tarbutton, born Sept 30, 1789 & died Nov 26, 1858 in Putnam Co.,
    Indiana has on his grave stone that he was born in Maryland and
    his wife was Margaret born Oct 12, 1789 in Virginia. Can anyone
    help us to find his parents. He came to Owen Co., Indiana about
    1820. Their only child, Mary Jane, md John Adams, a Baptist
    Minister, Oct 14, 1846 and there were many children born to
    John & Mary Jane.

    Marilyn McGill Clearwaters

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