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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

The name Tarrant first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in the area known as Tarrant found in the county of Dorset.


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.

First found in Dorset, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tarrant research. Another 279 words(20 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.


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


Some of the Tarrant family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 127 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


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

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
  • John Tarrant arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John Woodall" in 1849
  • George Tarrant, aged 36, a shepherd, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Oregon"
  • William Tarrant (aged 18), a miner, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aurora"


  • Richard Edward Tarrant (b. 1942), American businessman and politician
  • Christopher John Tarrant (b. 1942), English radio broadcaster and television presenter
  • Colin Tarrant (b. 1952), English actor
  • Guy Tarrant, English contemporary artist
  • Chris Tarrant (b. 1980), Australian rules football player
  • Frank Tarrant (1880-1951), Australian all-rounder cricketer
  • Harman Tarrant, Australian politician who was elected as a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
  • Harley Tarrant (1860-1949), Australian builder of the first motor car built in Victoria, Australia and the first petrol engine motor car built in Australia


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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  6. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  7. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  10. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  11. ...

The Tarrant Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Tarrant 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 8 January 2015 at 12:49.

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