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Archiver > TORBETT > 2003-11 > 1068167716

From: "Arlin Torbett" <>
Subject: RE: [TORBETT-TORBERT] James Coulter marriage to ? Torbett
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2003 17:15:16 -0800
In-Reply-To: <002501c3a48f$a92049d0$0927410c@warren>


In my research thus far, I have found that in the 1600s the name in Scotland
was Tarbet (most likely derived from Tarbert--narrow stretch of land across
a peninsula: See location of Tarbert Castle, built by the Tarberts for
Robert the Bruce, in Argyll, Scotland). Somewhere around 1700, the name
Torbet began appearing in Scotland interchangeable with Tarbet. When the
Scots immigrated in mass to Pennsylvania around 1740, the Tarbet(Torbet)
name appeared for the same person. It was not until two generations later
that John D. Torbett started using "tt". When his son, Granville C. Torbett,
was elected to the Tennessee state legislature and later became Treasure of
the State of Tennessee in the 1860s, all the Torbetts started using "tt". In
Scotland, the "tt" appeared about the same time and survives there today (I
recently have been in touch with Gary Torbett, living near Kilmarnock.)

I know that James (Tarbet) Torbett was born in Renfrewshire, Scotland on 26
February 1652 and married Elizabeth Hew in Kilbarchen, Refrewshire, Scotland
around 1692. We think that his son was Robert (Tarbet) Torbett, born 20
February 1698, in Renfrewshire, Scotland and died 1771 in Fawn Township,
York County, Pennsylvania, USA. Robert married Agnes Finlay on 23 May 1717,
in Edinburgh. It is believed that Robert had five children [Agnes (b.1719 or
1725 in Renfrewshire), John (b. 2 Jun 1729 in Kilbarchan,Renfrewshire,
Scotland), Robert II (b. 1738 in Renfrewshire, Scotland), Hugh (b. 1740 in
York County, PA, USA), and James (b. 1746 in York County, PA, USA)]. John is
my 7-great grandfather and we have documented evidence of the family from
that point forward. Seems that John was a VERY popular name and used many
time each generation.

Unfortunately, I have no documented connections of the Coulter and Torbett
(Tarbet) families. However, there were quite a few Torbett (Tarbet) families
in the 1500s and 1600s in and around Kilbarchen, Renfrewshire, Scotland.
Given the turbulent times in Scotland (wars, feuds, etc.), I sure some
Torbetts (Tarbets) got to other parts of Scotland, including down to
Dumfries, Scotland.

Good luck on your search. Let me know if you find the connection. I am going
to Scotland next June and plan to do more family history research in the
archives in Edinburgh.

Best regards,

Emerson Arlin Torbett

-----Original Message-----
From: warren coulter [mailto:]
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2003 9:59 AM
Subject: [TORBETT-TORBERT] James Coulter marriage to ? Torbett

Dear Listers,

I never heard of the name Torbett until yesterday and yesterday I joined
this list to see if any of you could help me.

Yesterday I received a packet from a researcher in Dumfries, Scotland, which
included a copy of the 2 July 1694 Minutes of the Dumfries Town Council
meeting. The Minutes disclose that "..James Coulter son-in-law to umquhile
(i.e., deceased) John Torbett late Baillie;...were all admitted burgesses
and freemen of this burgh...".

For years, we (Coulter cousins) have been looking for the maiden name of
James Coulter's wife, we only knew her name as Eleanor Coulter. So now, I
am asking you listers if you have any information about a marriage between
James Coulter and Eleanor Torbett sometime between 1655 and 1694. Do you
have knowledge of any Torbett/Coulter marriage around the same time period?

The Coulters and the families they intermarried with were clustered on farms
and estates around Roucan and Torthorwald, just outside of Dumfries. I can
find, however, no other Torbetts located in the area. The only Torbett in
the area is the above mentioned John Torbett, Burgess and Baillie of
Dumfries. James Coulter was also a Merchant and Burgess in Glasgow,
perhaps John Torbett was also and that's where he came from. Can you tell
me where the Torbett's were located in and around 1694 in Scotland. Also,
these Coulters were involved with "The Tobacco Lords" of Glasgow. Do you
know of any Torbetts involved in the Virginia to Glasgow tobacco trade?

Looking forward to hearing from you Listers and informing me about the

Thank you.

Warren Coulter

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