Seeking Tarkington Descendants!

As I have heavily documented already, I have been searching for the parents of my great-great-great-grandmother, Rebecca Ann (married name Dial). Her great-granddaughter agreed to do an AncestryDNA test for me. I believe I have narrowed down the grandparents of Rebecca Ann.

I already knew Rebecca was connected to the Thomas Goff family through other DNA tests I’ve studied, but the new DNA showed closer matches to Thomas’s daughter, Mary Helen Goff who married James W. Tarkington.

In September 1852 when Thomas Goff’s will was proven, it listed Mary and James Tarkington as being residents of Lawrence County, Tennessee. (Source is records.)

By 1860, Mary and James were living in Henderson County, Tennessee. I cannot find the family on the 1850 census.

Rebecca Ann was born between 1851 – 1856. My guess is that her parents met, and possibly married, in Lawrence County, Tennessee.

I have tried to make a list of Mary and James’s children, but I don’t have records to go by for the older children not on the 1860 census. I have found a couple of older family trees that list a daughter named Mattie born 1832-1842 who married “Ben Hartin”. As referenced in my Rebecca Ann timeline article, two of her sons gave Rebecca’s maiden named as “Hardin”/”Harden”. Hartin sounds close to me!

I have not been able to find any proof that Mattie Tarkington or Ben Hartin ever existed.

Using the website, I was able to pull up two old websites from the early 2000s: and Mickey Tarkington Delatte’s.

“Chapter 14” on the website:
View Mickey’s letters and research:

It appears Mattie is referenced as both Mattie and Matt in old letters from the 1960s and 70s. No concrete evidence exists.

Tarkington relatives: if you’re out there, please get in touch:

Originally posted April 11, 2018
Updated April 18, 2018

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