I was so interested to run across your web site "Orphaned Ancestors" with the photograph of John Tarbell. I have been researching this man for several years in conjunction with a photo essay he made in the fall of 1903.

John Henry Tarbell was born in Groton, Massachusetts, in 1849. Neither he nor his brother Frank ever married. They were the last of their line. When Frank died in 1921 he left John his Phi Beta Kappa key, which you see in the photograph. When John died in 1929 there was no one left to bury him except the family's lawyer.

He must have had an affectionate relationship with his cousin Kate Tarbell, as he left her $500 in his will.

I thought you might be interested in having some of his biographical details.

yrs, Rob

Robert P. Emlen
University Curator and Senior Lecturer in American Civilization
Brown University Box 1892
Providence RI 02912

I was so pleased to receive the email below from Robert P. Emlen identifying John H. Tarbell. John's photo was one of the first I did and a real favorite of mine. It is rather coincidental that John turns out to be a photographer himself. I did a web search for any information on John's photographs and links to the results follow the letter.

You're welcome. I've attached a photo marked in the lower right "Copyright by John H. Tarbell" from the collections of the Library of Congress. The original copyright has expired and because it's in the Library of Congress there are no new copyright restrictions on its use, in case you want to link it to your site.

When I wrote back thanking Mr Emlen he replied:
Attached was this  terriffic photo taken by  John. (click on it for a larger version)
Some other links related to John H. Tarbell...