Recorded in a wide number of spellings including Tarbarth, Tarbatt, Tarbert, Tarbet, Tarbett, Torbet, Torbett, Torbeck, Torbitt, Torbutt, Torbat, Turbat, Turbard, and others, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname of confused origins. If Scottish, or at least found in Scotland, it is (probably) locational and (probably) from Tarbart village in Eastor Ross, or from an estate known as the lands of Tarvit, within the parish of Cupar, Fifeshire, or from Torbreck, a place in the county of Sutherland, in the far north of the country. If and when the surname is found in England, it is probably not locational at all, but one of the numerous spellings which originate from the pre 9th century Norman-French name Turbert. This personal name was introduced into the British Isles after the Conquest of 1066. It has the original Norse elements (The Norman-French being of Norse origins, like so many of the later English and Scots!) elements of Thor meaning thunder, and -bert meaning bright. It was very popular, and first appears in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Tarbert of London, and Thurbert of Suffolk. The first recognizeable surname recording is probably that of the Latinized spelling of Gaufridus Torbertus, in the Curis Regis rolls of the county of Berkshire, England, in the year 1212, and later that of Thomas Torebat in the Hundred Rolls of Essex in 1279. The first recording in Scotland is probably that of Henry de Tarvethe in the homage lists of 1296, whilst John Tarbatt was a Notary Public in the city of Perth in 1421.
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