This most interesting surname derives from an ancient Pictish given name. The Picts are a member of any of the peoples who lived in Britain, north of the Forth and Clyde, in the 1st to the 4th Centuries, later it applied chiefly to the inhabitants of north-east Scotland. "Tarainus" was the name of a Pictish noble, and "Taran", son of Entefidich, a Pictish king, was expelled in 997. The name is equated with "Taranis", the Gaulish thunder god, from the Welsh "tarann", Irish "torann", and Gaelic "torrunn", thunder. In some instances, the surname may be a variant of the French name "Taurin", which derived from the Latin "taurus", bull, and would have been a nickname given to a large, aggressive man. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames are from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Tarrain, Taran, Tarran, Tarron, Tarren, Tarrane, Taurin and Torin. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of John Tarran and Isabel Hobson on October 10th 1611, at Gayton-le-Marsh, Lincolnshire; the christening of Jacob, son of Joseph Tarren, on August 8th 1630, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London; and the christening of Mary, daughter of John Tarren, on July 19th 1640, at St. John's, Hackney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jacobi Tarran, which was dated 1600, witness at the christening of his son, Johes, at Brompton by Northallerton, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "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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