12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds: March 2016

We are already up to month 10 in Crestleaf’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds.

For many years, all I had was a name, one photo and a family story. Oliver Scripture Tarbox, named in honor of his great grandfather, Oliver Scripture. I think it was particularly important to carry on the name because Oliver’s, or Ollie’s as the family called him, Tarbox grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Scripture, had died when she was only 38 years old. Ollie’s uncle, his dad’s brother, was also named for Mary’s dad.

Oliver Scripture Tarbox, aged about 12

The family lore was that Ollie was out hunting and was accidentally shot and killed by his brother. Charles Chadwick, the cousin who shared this story with me, didn’t any of the circumstances surrounding the accident. Just that he had killed his brother and that Ollie was well loved and much missed.

Ollie was the son of Charles Franklin Tarbox and his wife, Cleantha (Cannie) Cochran Tarbox. Charles grew up in Calais while Cannie was from Nova Scotia. They married on 19 October 1881, just across the International Bridge, in Milltown, New Brunswick, Canada.

Charles’ and Cannie’s children were born in between the two surviving U.S. censuses, those of 1880 and 1900. The only census in which Ollie would have appeared, the 1890, is gone.

Vital Records from the Eastport Sentinal of Eastport, Maine 1818-1900, published by Picton Press, has a short entry for Ollie on page 581:

In Grand Lake, 14 Aug 1898, Oliver S. Tarbox, 14y. 8m. 8d.

The Tarbox family did live in Grand Lake Stream, a few miles from Calais. Their residence was mentioned in the newspaper account of Charles’s father’s last illness in 1895. However, by 1900, they were enumerated back in Calais. Perhaps the grief over losing Ollie made them return to the “big city.”

Charles F. Tarbox, born May 1859, Maine, 41 yrs., m. 19 yrs., grocer
Cannie C., born Apr 1861, Canada, 39 yrs., 3 children, but 2 living
George R., born May 1882, 18 yrs.
Othelia F., born Aug 1890, 9 yrs.

From the newspaper notice in 1898 and the 1900 census data, there is no doubt that Ollie was the son of Charles and Cannie and that he had died, but did he really die in a hunting accident? I had no reason to doubt that, but no documentation, either.

FamilySearch came to the rescue. One of their databases is Maine Vital Records, 1892-1907. There I found it:

Oliver S. Tarbox, Death

The family lore was right. Ollie’s cause of death: “Accidently shot.”

By all accounts, he was a great kid, well loved and his family suffered extreme grief over his death.

Oliver Scripture Tarbox
6 Dec 1884-14 Aug 1898

Gone, but not forgotten, not even 118 years later.


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