This unusual name seems to have originated in the Bristol area of South West England, which explains the use of the word as an occupational surname for one who worked with tar or bitumen in waterproofing ships, Bristol having been an important trading port for centuries. The derivation of "tar" is from the Old English "te(o)rn". The parish records of West Bagborough in Somerset show the marriage of one Elizabeth Tarr to Henry Thrasher on the 23rd of April 1639. Sara Tarr was christened on the 14th June 1667, at Chipstable, Somerset. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Francis Tarr, married Ann Day, which was dated 1584, Stockland, Bristol, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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