This unusual surname is of Norman origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, and derives from the Norman personal name T(h)erry, Old French Thierri, adopted from the Old German "Theodoric", composed of the elements "theudo", meaning people, race, with "ric" power. Theodoric was the name of the Ostrogothic leader (circa 454 - 526) who invaded Italy in 488 and established his capital at Ravenna in 493. The popularity of the name is borne out by the number of surnames it generated. The surname dates back to the late 12th Century (see below), and early recordings include William Torry (1276) in the Hundred Rolls of Dorset, and William Tarri (1279) in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire. In the modern idiom the surname has a number of variant spellings ranging from Terrey, Terry, Tarry, Torrie, Torrey, and Torry, to Taree, Tarre, and Tare. London Church Records list the marriages of Thomas Tarre to Elsabeth Lawrens on November 14th 1547 at St. Margaret's, Westminster, and Richard Tare to Dorothy Wilkinson on November 29th 1613 at St. Margaret Lothbury. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Teri, which was dated 1199, in the "Register of the Freemen of Leicester", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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