TARBOX & variants, Ippollitts, early 17th century

May 2001




PLEASE NOTE: When this question was asked the amount of information available online was very restricted and the only census available (on a CD) was the 1881 census. The answer given below should be carefully checked using the additional information now readily available online.

Rob Tarbox (totlawn @t hotmail.com) of New Hampshire, USA, claims to have traced his line back to about 1067AD and wants to find out more information about his ancestor, John Torbock who was born in 1576 at Torboc Hall, Lancashire. He died in1621 in Ippollitts, Herts. I also know he married a Julia Clarkson in 1607 but I cannot find anything else on her sadly enough. [He also asks a question about Lancashire irrelevant to this web site.]

You fail to mention any sources (despite the request on the form you filled in) and sources are absolutely essential in this type of query. The vital question to ask is why on earth a John TORBOCK of Lancashire should have died a John TARBOX Ippollitts, Hertfordshire? Unless there are good sound evidence from contemporary sources for such a move the likelihood of the two references being to the same individual are so low that you should reject the possibility.

The name Tarbox - with its many spelling variants - appears to be clustered in West Hertfordshire. The earliest marriage on the VRI is for 1684 in Great Gaddesden, with 18th century examples in Redbourn, Flamstead, Berkhamsted and Bovingdon - all relatively close to one another. Baptisms show a similar picture the first Hertfordshire baptism on the VRI being at Great Gaddesden in 1675.

A check on familysearch shows the following earlier references from the Ippollitts parish registers:

Baptism: Agnes TARBOX - 17 Apr 1625 - Father Joseph
Marriage: John TARBOX & Mary OVERALL - 1 May 1633
Baptism: Thomas TARBOXS - 9 Feb 1633 - Father John
Baptism: John TARBOXE - 28 Apr 1636 - Parents John & Mary
Baptism: John TARBOX - 31 Dec 1637 - Parents John & Mary
Baptism: Elizabeth TARBOXE - 28 Oct 1641- Parents John & Mary
Baptism: Maria TARBOXE - 20 May 1644 - Parents not given

The fact that the earliest reference is to 1625 tells you no more than that the earlier parish registers no longer survive - and for all we know there may have been many Tarbox entries in the missing registers which would originally have started in 1538.

However some records do survive from 1602 in the form of Bishop's transcripts. These have not been indexed on the IGI at familysearch - and you will need to look in the LDS library catalogue to see if they are available to you via your local LDS Family History Centre - and if not you will have to arrange for the originals to be viewed at HALS.

familysearch also turned up four rogue entries. For instance one says that John TARBOX was born in 1612, was "of Ippollitts, Herts" and married Rebekah ANDREWS and another says that John TARBOX born about 1619, of Herts, married Rebecca ANDREWS WID. No LDS sources are quoted. There is a record which records a death with the name of the parents including the mother's maiden name - which is obviously an artefact from a family tree rather than taken from a primary source. These are typical of the input of vague and inaccurate family trees in the early days of the IGI and my experience is that they are often inaccurate guesses made many years ago by amateur American genealogists, with little understanding and with very little access to English records. If such entries do not check out with the appropriate source they should be treated as misleading rubbish.