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Biography: Andrew Jackson Tarrant born June 17, 1832 – photograph

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Andrew Jefferson Tarrant

Genealogy and Biography

(b. 1832  –  d. 1922 AL.)

Jefferson County, Alabama

Andrew Jackson Tarrant, of Birmingham, Alabama was born June 17, 1832, in Jefferson County, Alabama. His father, Benjamin Tarrant was born Oct. 8, 1792, in Amherst, Virginia.

Benjamin Tarrant was the oldest child of James Tarrant, a native of Virginia, and a soldier in the Revolutionary war, one of the six sons of Leonard Tarrant, a native of Scotland who emigrated to America about the beginning of the seventeenth century, settled at Jamestown and shortly afterward married a young lady of English and Welsh descent.

All of the Tarrants in America trace their ancestry back to these six sons of Leonard Tarrant, the great-grandfather of Andrew Jackson Tarrant. Soon after Leonard Tarrant’s marriage he moved to Amherst, Virginia and thence to South Carolina, where he and his wife resided until their respective deaths. It is supposed that all the Tarrants moved to South Carolina together.

Benjamin Tarrant, the father of Andrew Jackson Tarrant, was in the War of 1812. He married, Dec. 26, 1815, Mourning Richardson, daughter of Mathias Richardson, a prominent farmer of the old Pendleton district, S. C., and in 1819 he moved with his wife and two children to Jefferson County, Alabama, locating below Elyton, near Bethlehem church. He resided there until his death in 1840. Benjamin was a farmer, a justice of the peace and represented his county in one of the early legislatures. He was also a local preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Captain Andrew Jackson Tarrant spent his entire life in Jefferson County. On Nov. 20, 1860, he was married to Martha J. Massey Ayres, daughter of John B. Massey and Sarah Ayres, who emigrated to Alabama from South Carolina. He entered the Confederate service as first sergeant in Company C, Twentieth Alabama volunteers on April 9, 1861, and took part in the following battles: Port Gibson, Baker’s Creek, the siege of Vicksburg, where he was wounded in the right breast. He surrendered, later paroled, and exchanged. Martha J. Ayres born 1829 1st married Benjamin F. Massey. Martha and Benjamin Massey had two children Thomas M. Massy b. 1848 and Sarah R. Massey b. 1850.

After this, his command was ordered to Lookout Mountain, and he fought in the “battle above the clouds” and Missionary Ridge, and from Dalton to Atlanta; from there he accompanied Hood into Tennessee and fought at Franklin, Columbia, and Nashville; from Nashville to Tupelo, Mississippi. He then went to North Carolina and took part in several engagements, including the battle of Bentonville, his last battle. He was sent home on detached service and was there at the time of the surrender.

After the war, Andrew returned to farming and continued in this occupation until 1880 when he was elected tax assessor of Jefferson County. He was re-elected in 1884. In 1890 he was elected as an assistant in the office under Professor S. L. Robertson and served six years. In 1900 he was elected a member of the board of revenue of Jefferson County and was chosen by the board as president.

He and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He was also a member of the Odd Fellows.

R. A. J. Tarrant and his wife, Martha had two children:

  1. Mattie J. Tarrant born Sept. 25, 1861, who married Frank Culverhouse, a resident of Pratt City October 30, 1879, in Jefferson County, Alabama.;
  2. George Benjamin Tarrant born Nov. 29, 1867, who was a clerk of the probate court of Jefferson County. George B. Tarrant married Addell, daughter of Henry Paul and wife, Frederica (Betts) Lewis on April 24, 1895.

They had four known children:

  1. Mildred Tarrant
  2. George B Tarrant., Jr.
  3. Henry Jack Tarrant
  4. Perry Lewis Tarrant

Andrew Jackson Tarrant passed away in 1922 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama. His wife, Martha died in 1910 and is also buried in Elmwood.


  1. Notable men of Alabama By Joel Campbell DuBose
  2. A History of Birmingham and Its Environs: A Narrative Account of Account of Their Historical Progress, Their People, and Their Principal Interests, Vol. 2, George M. Cruikshank, 1920
  3. Find A Grave Memorial# 123821197 # 123821281

This biography can be found in Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Volume VI

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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