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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Tarr include Tarr, Terr, Tarre, Terre, Tara, Tarra and others.

First found in Somerset where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 13th century.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tarr research. Another 193 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Tarr History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Tarr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Tarr Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Robert Tarr, who landed in Virginia in 1719
  • Henerach Tarr, aged 23, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1742

Tarr Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • George Tarr, aged 40, a farmer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Elizabeth Tarr, aged 36, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Elizabeth Tarr, aged 7, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • John Tarr, aged 33, a farm labourer, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Elizabeth Tarr, aged 27, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "London" in 1842


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  • Frederick H. Tarr (b. 1868), American attorney and politician
  • Ralph Stockman Tarr (1864-1912), American geographer
  • Christian Tarr (1765-1833), American politician, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • Edward Hankins Tarr (b. 1936), American trumpet player and musicologist
  • Gerald LaVern Tarr (b. 1939), former collegiate and professional American football player
  • Bruce E. Tarr (b. 1964), American politician, minority leader of the Massachusetts Senate
  • Judith Tarr (b. 1955), American author
  • Christian Tarr (1765-1833), American politician, Representative from Pennsylvania 13th District, 1817-21; Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1821-22
  • Campbell Tarr (1819-1879), American Republican politician, Delegate to Virginia Secession Convention, 1861; West Virginia State Treasurer, 1863-67
  • Burton E. Tarr, American Democrat politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 32nd District, 1947-50

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  • The Ancestry and Descendants of Josiah Mendum Tarr and Mary Delia Sawyer by Hugh A. Johnson.
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  1. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  4. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  6. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  10. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Tarr Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Tarr 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 27 January 2016 at 09:51.

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