logo Thomas Tarbet


 See Introduction for some general background.

From Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 16, p.506/7

Thomas Tarbet was born October 12, 1812, at Peel, Isle of Man, the son of William and Catherine Cain Tarbet. He, his wife Eleanor Kelly Tarbet, with their three children, left the land of their nativity December 31, 1842, arriving at New Orleans after a voyage of eight weeks and three days on the sailing ship Swanton.

The night before they left, some of their friends gave them a party, during which someone burned their house. Fortunately, Thomas had taken all their belongings to the ship, so they had no trouble going on with their plan to sail. After eight weeks at sea they arrived in New Orleans, then traveled up the Mississippi River to Macedonia, Hancock County, Illinois, a small village a short distance from Nauvoo. Here the Tarbets' fourth child, Nephi, was born in 1843, then on May 15, 1845, their fifth child, Thomas Jr., was born in Nauvoo. Prior to their leaving the Isle of Man, a daughter Eleanor (born Jan. 26, 1840) died, and because of the anti-Mormon sentiment, the burial wasn't allowed to take place in the church graveyard. Therefore no death date can be found in the church records of Peel.

The Tarbet family remained at Council Bluffs until the spring of 1847, when they made their way west to the Salt Lake Valley. They lived at the corner of 4th South and 2nd West in Salt Lake City. In 1858, the Tarbets with their friends moved to the Prove Bottom, where they spent the summer in dugouts covered with the canes cut from the shores of Utah Lake. Their reason for moving was the invasion of the territory by Johnston's Army. When peace had been established, they returned to Salt Lake City, where they labored on their farm until the spring of 1859. That year they moved to Logan, Cache County, Utah, and engaged in agriculture, at which Thomas was very successful. They lived the first fall and winter in a covered wagon. This winter their youngest child, Heber, was born. Through all of their hardships Thomas and Eleanor were jovial and happy, always speaking an encouraging word to anyone who seemed downhearted. The Indians were friendly toward Thomas Tarbet and often camped on his land. Their home located at 366 West 1st North was made of stone.

Thomas Tarbet was sustained the first bishop of the Third Ward in Logan, where he presided without counselors until his release. He was highly respected by members of the ward and by all the people of Logan as a straightforward and honest man. He did a great deal for education and assisted in the surveying and construction of the canal. He labored arduously in the erection of the public buildings, among them being the hall on the corner of Main and First North Street, the Tabernacle, Z.C.M.I., and the Tithing Office. He was always at the front in public enterprises. Thomas died November 23, 1872. -Amelia Tarbet Ewer and Floyd Tarbet

William Tarbat was confirmed 10 Aug 1790 at Peel but there is no record I can find of his christening, a putative sister Ann Margaret Torbat was baptised 15 Feb 1782, daughter of John Torbat and Elinor Cannell (there is no other record of John Torbet/Tarbet other than a reference in the Athol Papers (X46-9) for a permit dated "Peel ye 26 Jan 1759 Permit Mr John Tarbett to pass for Scotland on his lawful occasions he having paid for it Wm Lidderdale Deput: Searcher" which would seem to imply that John Tarbet was somehow connected with the major trade of Peel at the time - running alcohol and tobacco duty free into Scotland). William described himself as a mason - he married Catharine Cain at St Peter's on 26 October 1800 and had several children before he died in 1828 (buried St Peter's 30 June 1828). Thomas, baptised 14 Oct 1812 at St Peter's, would appear to be twin to a William, who must have died shortly afterwards as there is another William baptised 1815 who also dies young (bur. 1817).

Thomas Tarbet married Eleanor Kelly at Peel (Kk German) 27 Jan 1838; Catharine Turbott christened 1 June 1838 at Peel. In the 1841 census Thomas and Eleanor are found in John Street, Douglas (with a John Tarbet shown as 4 months old - a John Tarbet was christened at St Barnabas, Douglas, on 13 Jan 1841; Catharine does not appear in the index). He is indicated as a baker - they had probably lived in Douglas for some time as Eleanor Turbett was christened at St Barnabas, Douglas, on 26 Jan 1840, judging from birth of John it is likely she had died by May 1840 - it is also likely that any burial would have been in Douglas or possibly on St Patrick's Isle rather than in the graveyard at St Peter's. They would almost certainly have used the steam packet from Douglas to Liverpool where they caught the boat to America.



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