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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, German

Where did the English Tanner family come from? What is the English Tanner family crest and coat of arms? When did the Tanner family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Tanner family history?

The Tanner family name dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. The name comes from when an early member worked as a person who worked as the local tanner. This occupational surname was originally derived from the work that the original bearer did. In this case the original bearer treated animal skins with tannin in order to prevent the skins from decomposing so that they could use the leather to produce various goods. Occupational names frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames.


Tanner has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Tanner, Tannor and others.

First found in Devon where they held a family seat from early times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tanner research. Another 159 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1674, 1735, 1630, 1682, 1657, 1658, 1613 and are included under the topic Early Tanner History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 65 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tanner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Tanner family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 123 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Tanners to arrive on North American shores:

Tanner Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Daniel Tanner settled in Virginia in 1618
  • Josias Tanner, who landed in Virginia in 1624-1625
  • Barbary Tanner, who landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Daniel Tanner, who arrived in Virginia in 1640
  • Tobias Tanner, who landed in Virginia in 1642

Tanner Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Anne Tanner, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Urban Tanner settled in New England in 1709 with his wife and four daughters
  • Palle Tanner, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Thomas Tanner, who arrived in Virginia in 1715
  • Michael Tanner, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1727

Tanner Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Henry Thomas Tanner, who arrived in New York, NY in 1837
  • Nicholas Tanner, who landed in New York in 1840
  • Georg Tanner, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847
  • Sabastian Tanner, who landed in Arkansas in 1849
  • Franz Tanner, who landed in New York, NY in 1850


  • Charles William Tanner (b. 1929), American former left fielder and manager in Major League Baseball
  • Joseph Richard "Joe" Tanner (b. 1950), former NASA astronaut with over 262 hours in space
  • Antwon Tanner (b. 1975), American actor
  • Elmo Tanner (1904-1990), American whistler, bandleader, singer, and radio personality
  • Erin Tanner (b. 1985), American singer
  • Gid Tanner (1885-1960), American fiddler
  • Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937), American painter
  • James T. Tanner (1858-1915), English dramatist
  • Alain Tanner (b. 1929), prominent Swiss film director
  • Charles Albert Tanner, Canadian politician in Manitoba



  • Sidney Tanner: His Ancestors and Descendants by Elizabeth De Brouwer.
  • Three Pioneer Rapides Families: A Genealogy by George Mason Graham Stafford.
  • Genealogies of the Tracy-Tanner Families, and Other Genealogies by Mathew J. Tracy.

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  1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  6. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Tanner Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Tanner Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 23 January 2014 at 14:35.

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