Show ContentsTerrett History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient roots of the Terrett family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Terrett comes from when the family 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 Terrett family

The surname Terrett 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 Terrett family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Terrett research. Another 94 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1621, 1642, 1646 and 1784 are included under the topic Early Terrett History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Terrett 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 Terrett has appeared include Tarrant, Tarrents, Tarrent, Tarant, Tarent, Tarrat, Tarrett and many more.

Early Notables of the Terrett family

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

Ireland Migration of the Terrett family to Ireland

Some of the Terrett 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 Terrett 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 Terrett arrived in North America very early:

Terrett Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Nicholas Terrett, who landed in Maryland in 1666 6
Terrett Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Terrett, aged 21, who landed in America, in 1892
Terrett Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Eleanor Terrett, aged 64, who landed in America, in 1907
  • John Isaac Terrett, aged 27, who settled in America from London, England, in 1909
  • Cordilia Terrett, aged 34, who immigrated to America, in 1910
  • George Sydney Herbert Terrett, aged 57, who immigrated to the United States from Sydney, Australia, in 1918
  • Mildred Terrett, aged 37, who landed in America, in 1919
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Terrett migration to Australia +

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

Terrett Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Walter Terrett, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Camden" on 21st September 1832, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 7
  • Mr. William Terrett, English convict who was convicted in Maidstone, Kent, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Equestrian" on 25th January 1844, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) 8

West Indies Terrett migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. 9
Terrett Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Ralph Terrett, (b. 1610), aged 24, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Hopewell" arriving in Barbados on 17th February 1634 6

Contemporary Notables of the name Terrett (post 1700) +

  • Courtney Terrett (1903-1950), American film writer, known for her work on The Famous Ferguson Case (1932), Made on Broadway (1933) and 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932)
  • Lt John Terrett, American soldier who was killed in the Battle of Monterrey in 1846, eponymn of Fort Terrett, now a ghost town in Sutton County, Texas

  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. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 2nd December 2020). Retrieved from
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 4th May 2022).
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