The origin of this real-photo postcard is a mystery, but the person it pictures is not. More about the mystery later, but first some information about the person.
According to the caption handwritten beneath the photo, this is Sally Stockman Tarr, born 1809. Based on the records I’ve found, Sally was actually born a year earlier, on Sept. 18, 1808, in Gloucester, according to state vital records. (Remember, Rockport did not exist as a separate town until 1840.)
Sally Stockman Tarr was a descendant of Richard Tarr, Rockport’s first settler. She was the daughter of Sally Tarr and John Stockman. The elder Sally Tarr, born in 1788, was a fifth-generation descendant of Richard Tarr. The elder Sally was the daughter of Jabez Tarr, who fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775, and his second wife Peggy Somes.
John Stockman was originally a mariner and then a farmer. Sally and John married on Jan. 28, 1805. Sally died in 1844 and John later married Mary Parkhurst, the widow of John Wonson. John Stockman died on May 30, 1858. Both John’s gravestone and Sally’s gravestone can be seen in the Old First Parish Burying Ground.
Sally’s Husband and Children
Sally Stockman Tarr married Charles Tarr, who was also a fifth-generation descendent of Richard Tarr. Charles was born on Dec. 22, 1805, and died July 2, 1878. Sally and Charles were married on Dec. 23, 1830. Charles was the son of Benjamin Tarr (born 1767) and Lucy Pool.
Charles and Sally had eight children, five sons and three daughters:
- Charles William Tarr, born September 29, 1831, in Rockport, and died November 13, 1895, in Gloucester.
- Benjamin Tarr, born July 29, 1833, in Gloucester, and died November 30, 1895, Gloucester. Benjamin married Alice Whalen and was a carpenter.
- Silas Stockman Tarr, , b. May 19, 1836, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; d. April 08, 1922, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts.
- Lucy Maria Tarr, b. March 30, 1840, Rockport, Essex, MA; d. May 19, 1924, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts.
- Mary Bartlet Tarr, born May 08, 1844, in Rockport, and died February 10, 1927. Mary married George Dorman, a railroad engineer.
- Albert Bradford Tarr, born March 18, 1847, in Gloucester, and died March 21, 1853.
- Sarah Sayward Tarr, born March 09, 1848, and died July 05, 1849, in Rockport.
- Orren Somes Tarr, born February 24, 1855, in Gloucester, and died June 15, 1923.
Now About the Mystery
As mentioned, this is a real-photo postcard, meaning it was printed directly from a photographic negative, not through a commercial printing process. There were various brands of real-photo stock. The stock on which this particular postcard was printed was produced from 1906 to 1915.
However, Sally Stockman Tarr died on Feb. 10, 1892. Thus, this postcard was produced at least 14 years after her death, possibly even more.
It would therefore seem that someone created this postcard several years after Sally’s death using a negative of a photograph taken while she was still alive. Perhaps the postcard was made as part of a memorial service for her or simply as a family remembrance.
If you are at all interested in the Tarr family history, there is a website that traces the Tarr family genealogy in detail. Information about Sally Stockman Tarr can be found starting on this page.
That genealogy shows that Sally had 11 siblings, five brothers and six sisters, all by her parents Sally Tarr and John Stockman. They were:
- John Stockman, b. September 07, 1805.
- James Stockman, born September 20, 1807. James died on October 21, 1826, when he was drowned at sea.
- Lucy Pool Stockman, born March 10, 1812, and died October 26, 1826.
- Anna Maria Stockman, born October 22, 1814, and died September 02, 1848, in Hamilton.
- Silas Stockman, born November 09, 1817. He later married Martha Maria on October 23, 1841.
- Margaret S. Stockman, born September 09, 1820, and died October 11, 1842. She married John James Giles on April 11, 1840, in Ipswich.
- Marinda Stockman, born January 24, 1823.
- Mary Stockman, born June 27, 1825, and died February 16, 1853.
- James Stockman, born August 31, 1828, and died November 27, 1858.
- Lyman Beecher Stockman, born November 13, 1831.
- Lucy Pool Stockman, born November 24, 1834, and died April 30, 1839.