Tag Archives: Samuel Tarbox

Samuel Tarbox & Deborah Sayward of Gloucester, MA & New Gloucester, ME

Samuel Tarbox and Deborah Sayward were either adventurous souls or else Massachusetts was getting too crowded for them, as they were the first of this branch of the family to head north to live in Maine (still Massachusetts at that time.)

Samuel Tarbox was baptized on 23 May 1731 in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts and was the son of Joseph Tarbox and Susanna Stevens. Deborah Sayward was also born in Gloucester, baptized on 10 April 1737, the daughter of Joseph Sayward and Sarah Giddings.

Samuel Tarbox married Deborah Sayward on 19 June 1755 in Gloucester, where they lived for several years. On 21 September 1761, Samuel Tarbox of Gloucester purchased land from William Stevens of Gloucester in Cumberland County, Maine (DB 4:461). The family likely moved to Maine in the spring of 1762. (Cumberland County, ME Deed Book 4:461-462, William Stevens to Samuel Tarbox, both of Gloucester, MA, Source: FamilySearch)


1. Deborah, born 25 July 1756, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; died after 1810; married Joseph Woodbury, 15 August 1778, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine. Joseph (aged 45+) appears in the 1800 census with a female over 45 and several younger people. He isn’t found after that time.
2. Samuel, born 5 August 1758, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; died after 23 November 1801 when they sold land with other Stinchfield heirs in Cumberland County, Maine. (DB43:456-457); married Rebecca Stinchfield, reportedly 26 April 1785, Cumberland County, Maine
3. Susannah, born c1761, probably New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; married William Royal, reportedly 15 November 1783, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine. The death record of their son, William, born in 1788, gave his birth as Pejepscot. Susannah was head of household in 1800, living in New Gloucester, but not found after that time. William apparently died before that census.
4. Sarah, born 28 October 1763, probably New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; died 13 April 1863, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; married John Maxwell Morgan, reportedly 19 April 1787, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine. Sarah’s original gravestone still stands in Lower Corner Cemetery and gives her age as 99 years, 7 months and 16 days.
5. Mary, born 2 May 1766, probably New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; died 19 January 1813, Norway, Oxford, Maine; married John Pike, reportedly 7 January 1786, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine. both are buried in Pikes Hill Cemetery in Oxford County, Maine. Their original gravestones are still legible.
6. Abigail, born c1768, probably New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; married William Nash, 26 April 1790. However, they are not in the 1790 Maine census, but they are living in Norway, Cumberland, Maine in 1800. William hasn’t been found after that time.
7. Rebecca, born c1773, probably New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; married John Frank, 19 January 1794, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine. In 1800, they lived in Falmouth, Cumberland, Maine.
8. Deliverance, born c1776, probably New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; no further record.
9. William, born 21 March 1779, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; died 22 May 1860, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; married Judith Haskell, 25 November 1802, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine

My line of descent continues through William and Judith (Haskell) Tarbox, but this family and later generations have already been discussed in my Haskell posts.

Here is my complete line of descent:

  1. John Tarbox & widow Andrews
  2. Samuel Tarbox & Experience Look
  3. Joseph Tarbox & Susannah Stevens
  4. Samuel Tarbox & Deborah Sayward
  5. William Tarbox & Judith Haskell
  6. George Rogers Tarbox & Mary Elizabeth Scripture
  7. Nellie F. Tarbox & Calvin Segee Adams
  8. Charles Edwin Adams & Annie Maude Stuart
  9. Vernon Tarbox Adams & Hazel Ethel Coleman
  10. Doris Priscilla Adams & George Michael Sabo
  11. Linda Anne Sabo Stufflebean – me!

1715 Will of Samuel Tarbox of Gloucester, MA

Next up in my Tarbox line is Samuel Tarbox, who married (1) Rebeckah Armitage and (2) Experience Look. Samuel did leave a very short will, which I did not include when I wrote about Samuel, his two wives and many children back in 2015.

Samuel wrote his will on 16 August 1715 and died a month later on 12 September 1715 in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts.

Will of Samuel Tarbox, 16 August 1715
Essex County, MA Probate Packet 27208
Source: American Ancestors

In the name of God Everlasting Amen — The Sixteenth Day of August In the yere of our Lord God one-thousand Seven Hundred & fifteen = I Samuell Tarbox of Lyn in the County of Essex in the province of The Massachusetts Bay in New=England Husband man=being under a wasting distemper of boddy & uever weak but of perfect mind & memmory Thanks be to God, Calling to mind the mortallity of my bodd Doe make & ordaine this my Lst Will & Testament That is to say. ffirst of all, I recommend my Soul to God that Gave it and my boddy to the Earth to be buried in a Decent Christian manner at the Descreshon o my Executrix. And as touching what Wodly Estate God hath been plesed to bestow on me I give & Dispose of the Same as followeth—

Imprimist That all my Just & Honest Detts & ffunerall charges be truly & honistly paid out of my Estate by my Executrix here after named–

In having but a small estate, and my children considerable grown up, and mostly taken care for, and I have done for according to my capacity, and my beloved wife being in years and a lame woman, my will is, and I doe hereby will and bequeath unto my beloved wife Experience Tarbox her heirs and assigns for ever, all my estate both real and personal, housing and lands, with all my movables both within doors and without doors, to be at her own pleasure, to give sell and dispose of as she see cause for her own comfortable subsistence. If my afore said estate may remain more than for her subsistence afore said my desire is that she doe, as I doubt not her loving nature will move her to dispose of the same among my children as Shee see cause.

My will is and I doe hereby appoint & ordaine my aforesd beloved wife Experience Tarbox to be my Lawfull Sole Executrix to this my Last Will & Testament And for Confirmation to this my Last Will & Testament I the before named Samuel Tarbox (???) to affixed my hand and Seale on the Day of the Date above written.

Samuel Tarbox (seal)

Signed & Sealed in the presents of us–

Theophilus Burrill
Thomas Graves
Jonas (?)



Which Ancestor Had the Largest Family?

About six weeks ago, Sally Knudsen on SallySearches shared some statistical numbers from her family tree using Legacy. One statistic she searched was how big the biggest family in her tree was. I didn’t have to generate a report to identify mine because his name has always stuck in my mind for three reasons- Samuel Tarbox. First, I remember him because he had so many children. Second, I noted that although he was away fighting in King Phillip’s War in 1675-1676, he managed to get back home to Lynn, remarry and keep the children coming. Third, his second wife, my ancestress, Experience Looke, is the holder of the title “The ancestor with my favorite name.” Although Samuel had a slew of children, there must have been quite a bit of heartache and sorrow because a number of them died young.

As far as I know, all those living in the U.S. today who carry the surname “Tarbox” are descended from one man, John Tarbox, born about 1612 probably in St. Ippolyts, Hertfordshire, England.

The village of St. Ippolyts is due north of London. If you head north on the A1, it is located between Stevenage and Hitchin. The village church was built about 1087, enlarged about 1320 and had extensive rebuilding completed in the 1870’s, but is essentially the same building in which the Tarbox family attended Sunday services in the early 1600’s.

John Tarbox married in England about 1631 or 1632. The name of his first wife is unknown and their son, Thomas, born in St. Ippolyts, died soon. His second wife, Mary Overall, was the mother of two children, both sons named John born in St. Ippolyts in 1636 and 31 December 1637, and both children died soon. Sometime between 1637 and 1645, John married a third wife, widow Rebecca (maiden name unknown) Andrews and emigrated to the colonies. No marriage date has been found for them, but Rebecca gave birth to four children – sons, John about 1645, Samuel about 1647, and Jonathan and daughter, Rebecca. John settled in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts and his children were all likely born in Lynn.

John’s son, Samuel, holds the title for “My Ancestor with the Most Children” with his eighteen children by two wives. Samuel’s first wife was Rebekah Armitage, who he married on 14 November 1665 in Lynn. They had six children and Rebekah likely died from a difficult birth as she passed away two weeks after the birth of her last child, daughter Mary.

Children of Samuel and Rebekah:

1. Samuel, born 20 June 1666, Lynn, MA; died before 1693.
2. Jonathan, born 3 July 1668, Lynn, MA; married Eleanor about 1693. He died before 1718 when widow Eleanor Tarbox married John Gott, widower of Jonathan’s sister, Rebekah.
3. Godfrey, born 16 August 1670, Lynn, MA; died before 1701.
4. Rebekah, born 8 August 1672, Lynn, MA; married John Gott of Wenham, MA. She died before 1718, probably in Hebron, CT. John Gott married her widowed sister-in-law, Eleanor Tarbox in that year.
5. Sarah, born 15 October 1674, Lynn, MA; married Ebenezer Batchelder of Wenham, MA.
6. Mary, born 21 February 1676, Lynn, MA; died about 14 March 1676.

It appears that Jonathan, Rebekah and Sarah are the only three who lived to adulthood and left descendants.

Samuel Tarbox was a soldier in King Phillip’s War (1675-1676) and was off fighting at the time that Rebekah gave birth to Mary and both died. When he returned home, he set about finding a new wife and married (2) my ancestress, Experience Looke, on 16 October 1678, also in Lynn, MA. I have always thought that Experience Looke is the coolest name and I’ve never had to worry about sorting out too many women with that name when looking for records about mine! Samuel and Experience were the parents of twelve children.

Children of Samuel and Experience:

1. Experience, born 1 September 1679, Lynn, MA; no further information
2. Hannah, born 12 March 1680/1, Lynn, MA; died 1 July 1718, Wenham, MA; married John Batchelder on 28 November 1702, Wenham, MA. She died 1 July 1718, Wenham, MA.
3. John, born 8 March 1671/72, Lynn, MA; died 14 March 1671/72
4. Thomas, born 8 June 1684, Lynn, MA; died 9 January 1774, Wenham, MA; married Esther Edwards
5. Elizabeth, born 6 January 1686/7, Lynn, MA; died 22 January 1686/7. Her twin brother was:
6. Joseph, born 6 January 1686/7, Lynn, MA: died 22 January 1686/7.
7. Benjamin, born 23 January 1687/8, Lynn, MA; died 27 September 1710, Lynn, MA; unmarried.
8. Mary, born 20 January 1689, Lynn, MA; married Ephraim Kimball of Boxford, MA on 8 December 1720. No further information.
9. Samuel, born 6 February 1692, Lynn, MA; married Elizabeth Maxey on 19 Jnaury 1715/6 at Beverly. He died 21 November 1755, Wenham, MA.
10. Ebenezer, born 1 August 1695, Lynn, MA; married Sarah Hall of Wenham on 5 March 1718/9, Lynn, MA. No further information.
11. Mehitable, born 12 June 1697, Lynn, MA; intentions filed 4 December 1720 in Beverly, but she of Wenham with John Herrick of Beverly. No further information.
12. Joseph, born 6 March 1699, Lynn, MA; died after 8 November 1753; married Susanna Stevens, 28 January 1724/5 in Gloucester, Essex, MA.

There are many Tarbox descendants today. If you are one of them, I would love to hear from you. Samuel Tarbox and Experience Looke are my 7x great grandparents, but the Tarbox name continued down through the centuries to my grandfather, Vernon Tarbox Adams, named for his paternal grandmother.