The English surname Tanner, also found in Ireland, is an occupational name for a tanner of skins, derived from the Middle English term tanne. This was an important skill in medieval times when leather was used in the manufacture of everyday items such as buckets, shoes and clothes, and harness, saddlery and armour for the men at arms and knights. The first recorded spelling of the name is shown to be that of Henry Taneur, which was dated 1166, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk." One Daniell Tanner was an early settler in America; he is listed as one of those living in "Elizabeth City" in Virginia, in February 1623. The Tanner Coat of Arms depicts three gold crosses "formee fitchee", on a black chief, with a gold shield.
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