This unusual name is of English locational origin, from the town of "Trewhitt" in Northumberland, and commonly found as "Tyrwhitt", pronounced "Tirret or Terrett", in surname form. The placename is first recorded circa 1150 as "Tirwit" and means the clearing of dry, resinous wood, derived from the Old Norse words "tyri" and "threit" a clearing or patch of pasture land. The name development has included "William Tyrwhit" (1383, Gloucestershire) and "William Truwhet" (1515, Yorkshire). One "An Tirret" was christened in 1577 at St. Lawrence Pountney in London and "Charles Terrett" married "Sarah Wasfield" at St. James' Westminster on the 22nd July 1761. One of the earliest settlers in the New World was Ralph Terrett, aged 24, who departed from the port of London, aboard the "Hopewell", bound for the Barbados on February 17th 1634. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Tyrwyt (witness), which was dated 1256, Assize Rolls, Northumberland, during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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.