People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Isaac Tarr (c. 1762–1828)

Isaac Tarr (c.1762-1828) was a marine in the 26th (Portsmouth) Company when he arrived at Sydney aboard the Sirius in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. He served in Captain John Shea's Company at Port Jackson.

Tarr, who was by trade a tailor, decided to settle, and was sent to Norfolk Island on the Supply in March 1790. He was granted 60 acres at Morgan's Run, Queenborough, in January 1792 and was elected a member of the Norfolk Island Settlers Society in 1793. He sold his land a year later to Charles Grimes and joined the New South Wales Corps and left the island on the Daedalus in November 1794 with his partner Mary Watkins.

On 10 April 1797 Tarr married (as Isaac Tor) Elizabeth Crook at St John's, Parramatta. (It is not known if Tarr and Watkins separated or Watkins died sometime between 1794-97); their daughter Elizabeth was born in 1799. Tarr was granted 40 acres at the Field of Mars in November that year. In 1803 all the family were off stores with 40 bushels of maize in hand. He was farming 12 acres in 1806.

By 1814 the family was in reduced circumstances and relying on charity. In 1822 Tarr was described as 'aged & infirm', and as an invalid in 1825. It is possible he had had a stroke. In 1822 his wife had sent a petition to Governor Brisbane stating that her husband was totally incapacitated, 'having for eight years last past lossed the use of his limbs and being unable to feed or in any way to assist himself and in need of attendance both day and night...'

Isaac Tarr was buried at St John's, Parramatta, on 17 June 1828; his age was given as 66. 

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 350

Citation details

'Tarr, Isaac (c. 1762–1828)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 28 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Torr, Isaac
  • Tor, Isaac
  • Tar, Isaac
  • Carr, Isaac

c. 1762


16 June, 1828 (aged ~ 66)
Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Military Service
Key Events
Key Organisations