TARMENT (TARMAN), Redbourn, circa 1820

September, 2006

Ann Godden (anngodden @t of Hull writes: "I've traced a family back to Priscilla Tarment born c.1798 in Redbourn (source IGI for her marriage).  I see from the IGI that it seems to be a name peculiar to the area and over the border into the Luton area.  I can't get any further and wondered if you had any information on the origins of the name."

A quick check of Ancestry, familysearch, the British Vital Records Index, the National Burial Index and  the Hertfordshire Burial index shows that there appears to be no mention of the name (spelt "Tarment") anywhere in England before 1816 until the following entries appear in the Redbourn Registers. 

It seems quite likely that Joseph, Pricilla and John were siblings - and all the later references to the name (almost all before 1900 relate to a small area which includes Redbourn and Luton) could well refer to them or their descendants.

You must remember that most people at the time could not write their own name, and members of the "Tarment" family would have no idea what the vicar wrote in the register. "Tarment" was no more than the vicar's idea of what he thought their name was! Basically he unintentionally created a "new" name and as the spelling of names became fossilised in official records during the Victorian period the new spelling stuck - because that is how the vicar had written it in the 1820s.

The problem is merely one of finding out how other people had described the "Tarment" family in other documents.

If you look for Pricilla's baptism in the Redbourn register (available to order at your nearest LDS family History Centre - address on familysearch) you should have no difficulty in finding the relevant entry, and other members of her family. You will see that the vicar at that time recorded the name as "Tarman." (It is also recorded as "Tarman" on familysearch and possibly in other modern computer indexes.)

If you continue your search looking for "Tarman" (and its many variants) as well as "Tarment" you should be able to add at least one further generation without difficulty. Don't forget to follow up all index entries by looking at the microfilm of the registers. The originals often contain important extra information and sometimes show that the index is wrong. In any case the sight of the original handwritten documents will remind you how essential it is to make allowances for variations in spelling when using modern sanitised typescript indexes. 

There is a web page for Redbourn

If you can add to the information given above tell me.


Page created September 2006