Category Archives: Tarbox

Mystery Photo – Cleantha Cochran Tarbox, 1859-1942 and ???

Cleantha (Cannie) Cochran, left and ???

This is a photo in my collection that is just half a mystery. My cousin Charles passed this copy on to me of “Aunt Cannie” Tarbox, the wife of Charles Franklin Tarbox.

Cleantha was born in April 1859 in New Brunswick, Canada and died in 1942 in Attleboro, Bristol, Massachusetts. As cousin Charles and his mother lived in Providence for decades, I imagine that they visited Aunt Cannie and Uncle Charles many times.

I don’t think that the mystery lady in this picture is related to me. In fact, Aunt Cannie is an aunt by marriage. She was the sister-in-law of my 2X great grandmother, Nellie Tarbox Adams. Charles Franklin Tarbox was Nellie’s younger (by 3 years) brother.

I know one special thing about her though – she was, by family lore, the first woman operated on for cataracts at Boston General Hospital.

Cannie and our mystery subject were very stylishly dressed and I imagine this other person either lived in Washington County, Maine or just over the water in New Brunswick, Canada. That narrows it down, doesn’t it?

Both ladies appear to be in their young 20s. Their highly curled hair in front with the rest pulled back and the high necklines of their clothing were “in” during the 1880s. As Cannie was born in 1859 and 21 in 1880, the photo clues fit her age.

Cannie doesn’t really look like the other lady in terms of a family resemblance. She didn’t have any sisters, but did have five brothers. Could the mystery lady be the wife of one of her brothers? Or, could this be a cousin? Her mother’s maiden name was unusual – Zellma, while Cochran is quite common. Both of her parents were born in Nova Scotia. It’s also very possible she was just a friend.

Cochran Family

Charles C. Cochran married Salome-Salina (perhaps?) Zellma. They were born c1823 and c1824 in Nova Scotia, Canada. Their children were all born in New Brunswick, Canada. In 1881, the family lived in Milltown, New Brunswick, Canada. Except for Cannie and her brother, Osgood, nothing has been found after the 1881 census.

1. Ferdinand, born c1856
2. Cleantha, born 23 April 1859; died 1942, Attleboro, Bristol, Massachusetts; married Charles Franklin Tarbox, 19 October 1881, Milltown, New Brunswick, Canada.
3. John, born c1862
4. George, born c1864
5. William, born c1868
6. Osgood, born c1870; died 31 October 1910, Danforth, Washington, Maine; married Sarah Awilda Feero, 22 November 1892, Calais, Maine. She was born c1875; died 27 June 1913, Danforth, Washingtone, Maine. In both 1900 and 1910, they lived in Danforth.

Do you recognize this mystery lady? Please leave a comment if you do. 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.


An Early and Very Easy Genealogical Search – Tarbox Family

After last week’s 52 Ancestors “challenging” line, this week’s “easy” was super easy to choose. It’s my Tarbox family, likely due to the fact that the surname is rare, the family settled in colonial New England and articles about the family have been submitted to the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, now housed on, the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society located in Boston, Massachusetts.

Back in the olden days of 1979, when I first caught the genealogy bug, two of my friends caught the same bug at the same time. They both had significantly more difficult outside-the-U.S. family lines to trace and I felt a bit guilty at that time because my first steps were through New England.

I have written about my 3x great grandfather, George Rogers Tarbox, in earlier posts. Stepping back in time from George was incredibly easy.

George Rogers Tarbox

1. One of my first genealogical letters was to the City Clerk of Calais, Maine, requesting a death certificate for George Rogers Tarbox, who died on 27 January 1895.

Calais, Maine Death Certificate

Although it turned out that his father was William Tarbox, not John Tarbox, the important information here was that George was born in New Gloucester, Maine, which is in Cumberland County, near Portland.

2. From the New Gloucester Town Clerk, recipient of my next letter, came the transcribed page of birth records for the family of William Tarbox and Judith Haskell.

Births of William Tarbox’s Children

3. Next, I checked the New England Historical and Genealogical Register for Tarbox entries and found that Rev. Increase N. Tarbox was kind enough to write an article for me way back in 1888, detailing descendants of John Tarbox who had settled in  Lynn, Massachusetts  by June 1639.

NEHGR, 1888

4. By the 1990’s, The Essex Genealogist published information about John Tarbox’s origins in Ippollits, Hertfordshire, England, along with information about his first wife, Mary Overall, their children.

This is one of the shortest posts I think I’ve written, but it doesn’t take many words to explain “easy”!