R. Shabbati Sheftal Margolioth was the son of R. Gerson ha-Levi of Tarnopol and studied there under R. Joshua Babad the author of Sepher Joshua (Zholkva 1828). He was a receipient of responsa by R. Moses Sofer (Hatam Sofer) and several other noted contemporary Authors who address him with the highest respect. R. Israel Rapaport (Responsa MaHaRi ha-Kohen, Lemberg 1869) in a lenghty responsa (ibid #24) writes "my dearest friend, famed rabbi, reknown for his erudite knowledge and wisdom in Torah." A similiar language is used by R. Moses Sofer in responsa #24 of Likutei Shu't. After his separation from Kastel he accepted the rabbinical position in Sethin where he served until his passing.
The Margolioth family traditionally traces its descent from Rashi. The name derives from margalit (מרגליות), Hebrew for "pearl." The earliest identifiable member of the family was R. Jacob of Regensburg.