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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Surname Saturday: Tarkington

According to, the surname Tarkington is an ancient English locational name which means "one who came from Torkington in Cheshire." It is also spelled Torkington and Turkington.

A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames confirms the information about the surnames Torkington and Turkington, and mentions another variant form, Talkington. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames [database on-line]. Provo, UT: Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: Bardsley, Charles Wareing Endell. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames : With Special American Instances. London: H. Frowde, 1901. Page 759. 

My proven Tarkington ancestors are:

Anna Gertrude Tarkington
born 16 April 1889, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee
married Henry Brown Gatlin 19 November 1909, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee
married Walter Enloe Davis
died 9 July 1959, Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York

James William Tarkington
born 28 May 1850, Tennessee
married Anna Malvina Binkley 30 November 1880, Davidson County, Tennessee
died 12 June 1894, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee

Joseph Tarkington
born 8 November 1830, Tennessee
married Amanda Russell 12 June 1849, Davidson County, Tennessee
died 19 April 1903, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee

I suspect that Joseph was the son of Joseph S. Tarkington and Amelia Owens (or Owings or Owen), but Joseph S. Tarkington's statement on his Southern Claims Commission application that his only children were a daughter that died in infancy and a son who died in the Mexican War make it difficult to prove. (Joseph S. did not raise his son(s) and may have thought that his claim would not be approved if he admitted to having a son who was in the Confederate army.) If I am right, I descend from two Tarkington lines: Amelia's mother was Nancy Tarkington, the daughter of William Tarkington.

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