Tarrant History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Tarrant first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in in Dorset at one of the eight places that have the prefix Tarrant. They include: Tarrant Crawford; Tarrant Gunville; Tarrant Hinton; Tarrant Keyneston; Tarrant Launceston; Tarrant Monkton; Tarrant Rawston; and Tarrant Rushton. The place name Tarrant is derived from the "Celtic river-name possibly meaning 'the trespasser' and in 'river liable to floods." [1] All of these parishes and villages are in the Blandford union, hundred of Pimperne [2] and are collectively listed in the Domesday Book as Tarente. [3] It seems that in the 13th century the parishes either expanded or separated and accordingly a suffix was needed to distinguish them. In many cases, the suffix was used to denote the families that lived there as in: Tarrant Gunville, home to the Gundeville family; Tarrant Keyneston, home of the Cahaignes family; Tarant Launceston, home to the Lowin family; Tarrant Rawston, home to the Antioch family; and Tarrant Rushton, home to the de Rusceaus family. The one exception was Tarrant Monkton which denoted as 'estate belonging to the monks of Tewkesbury Abbey.' [1]

Early Origins of the Tarrant family

The surname Tarrant was first found in one of the aforementioned villages named Tarrant in Dorset. Some of the first records of the surname include Reginald de Tarenta who was listed in Lancashire in 1190, John de Tarent who was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Middlesex in 1212 and Ralph Tauraunt who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296. [4] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Abbatissa de Tarento in Dorset in 1273. [5]

Early History of the Tarrant family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tarrant research. Another 94 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1621 and 1784 are included under the topic Early Tarrant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tarrant Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Tarrant has appeared include Tarrant, Tarrents, Tarrent, Tarant, Tarent, Tarrat, Tarrett and many more.

Early Notables of the Tarrant family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Tarrant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Tarrant family to Ireland

Some of the Tarrant family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Tarrant migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Tarrant arrived in North America very early:

Tarrant Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Francis Tarrant, who sailed to Boston, Massachusetts in 1712
  • Henry Tarrant to Virginia in 1731
  • John Tarrant to America in 1754

Canada Tarrant migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tarrant Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Tarrant, aged 45 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "James Moran" departing 22nd May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 11th July 1847 but he died on board [6]

Australia Tarrant migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Tarrant Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Tarrant, English convict from Devon, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on March 6, 1848, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [7]
  • John Tarrant, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John Woodall" in 1849 [8]
  • George Tarrant, aged 36, a shepherd, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Oregon" [9]
  • William Tarrant (aged 18), a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aurora"

New Zealand Tarrant migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Tarrant Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Tarrant, (b. 1805), aged 56, British nurse travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1862 [10]
  • Miss Jeanetta Tarrant, (b. 1844), aged 17, British domestic servant travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1862 [10]
  • Miss Harriet Tarrant, (b. 1842), aged 24, British nurse travelling from London aboard the ship "John Temperley" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st June 1866 [10]
  • Mr. Christian Tarrant, (b. 1851), aged 23, English settler from Kent travelling from London aboard the ship "Sussex" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 17th July 1874 [11]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tarrant (post 1700) +

  • Jeffrey Tarrant (1955-2019), American investor and founder and chairman of MOV37 and Protégé Partners
  • William D. Tarrant, American politician, Mayor of Wichita, Kansas, 1965-66 [12]
  • Warren D. Tarrant, American politician, Circuit Judge in Wisconsin 2nd Circuit, 1902-03; Appointed 1902 [12]
  • John B. Tarrant, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Tennessee, 1912 [12]
  • Henry H. Tarrant, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Michigan 15th District, 1932 [12]
  • Glenn O. Tarrant, American Republican politician, Postmaster at El Dorado, Kansas, 1957-75 [12]
  • George Tarrant, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Alabama, 1916 [12]
  • Edward H. Tarrant (1799-1858), American politician, Delegate to Texas State Constitutional Convention, 1845; Candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Texas, 1847; Member of Texas State House of Representatives, 1849-53 [12]
  • Burr Tarrant, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Wisconsin, 1928 [12]
  • Richard Edward Tarrant (b. 1942), American businessman and politician
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 97)
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anna Maria voyage to Van Diemen's Land or Port Phillip, Australia in 1848 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anna-maria/1848
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOHN WOODALL 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849JohnWoodall.htm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The barque OREGON, 521 tons - 1851 voyage to South Australia. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Oregon.htm
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 27) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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