John Tatem Sr. or “I” of Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Virginia
Birth estimated 1716 or after; better 1716/20. Will of Nathaniel Tatem “II” on 18 October 1737 states son John Tatem was less than age 21.
Married: 1st to Anne Wright on 7 November 1743 (Norfolk County record). Other records mention three other wife names, including Abey Smith who married 4 March 1774 to John Tatem, Senior (Norfolk County record).
Died: Last record found is May 1776 when he signed a Norfolk Petition.
Will or Estate Administration: Not found and may be lost; nothing to indicate he left the area.
Parents: Nathaniel Tatem “III” (__ to 1739) + Ann Godfrey (- to 1744)
Brothers: Nathaniel Tatem “IV” and “Trim” Tatem
Born/Died: last noted living in April 1749
Parents: Capt. Stephen Wright and wife Pembrooke, per his 1748 will
Brothers/Sisters: Stephen Wright “II” and Catherine Wright.
Records mentioning: 1743 marriage record, 1748 Will of father Stephen Wright, and 1749 Chancery Court record.
Records mention only once - Abey Smith married 4 March 1774 to John Tatem, Senior (Norfolk County record).
Researcher: James R. Murphy, planetmurphy.org; this revision 1 December 2014
Summary - This Chapter Contains the Following Tatem Reconstruction:
(i). John Tatem Sr. or “I” (1716/20 to ~1775) of Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Virginia. His probable children are (a) through (d).
(a). Stephen Tatem, (1744/48 to >1761+). Birth date estimated between his father’s November 1743 marriage and the April 1748 will of Capt. Stephen Wright. He is the center of much confusion. In Norfolk, found only once more on the 1761 Norfolk County tax list of/with John Tatem.
(b). (possibly) Ann Godfrey Tatem: Placement here could be wrong. Married 1 June 1770 Norfolk to Francis Wright with surety being John Tatem.
(c). Nathaniel Tatem (ca1744/50 to 1787) - noted in Trim Tatem’s will; More likely is the mariner who married 22 February 1785 Norfolk County to Elizabeth Wright. Less likely, he is Nat. Tatem “IV” who had 2 wives and 9 children. Question if he married the widow of his brother John Jr. His last will and marriage date are the same 1784 year. Any children would be born 1785-1788.
(d). John Tatem, Jr. or “II” (~1744/50 – 1783 Norfolk) married 7 November 1772 Norfolk County to Eliza Wright Carney. Children per Orphans Court (aa) to (cc):
(aa) Carney Tatem
(bb) James Tatem (1774+ to 1846?) married to Jane B. __. Children (1^) Stephen B. Tatem (~1803 to 16 January 1872), (2^) Solomon Tatem, (3^) John Tatem,” (4^) Lovey Tatem who married Morris L. Tabb, (5^) Jane Tatem, (6^) Rebecca Tatem, (7^) Elizabeth A. Tatem (~1819 to 26 January 1890 death index), (8) Nancy Tatem.
(cc) John Tatem “III” (~1775 to ???)
(e). (likely) Solomon Tatem (~1746 to 1799 will) married 19 December 1778 Norfolk County to Sarah Carney. Mariner. Children: (1^) Sarah Tatem; (2^) Katey Tatem.
Details for John Tatem, Sr. or “I” (~1716/20 to ~1776)
5th Generation Tatem
John Tatem Sr. or “I” (1716/20 to ~1776), son of Nathaniel Tatem “III.” “Tatom” is associated with 4 possible wives or wives with several names – see list below. His occupations include Member of Virginia General Assembly, Sheriff of Norfolk Co, Justice of Peace, and Planter. He lived in Portsmouth, Norfolk Co. Virginia. Incomplete tax records 1730 - 1780 show John Tatem, Sr. and Jr. listed together in 1771 and 1773. There are no other John Tatems (by any spelling) in these tax records. No Will/Admin has been found in Norfolk books and is probably an unrecorded or lost will or estate administration. Norfolk estate administrator bonds show nothing. He disappears from Norfolk records in May 1776. Norfolk deed records do not show John selling his lands before he disappeared or died. Historically, some “Tatom” descendants of Va. NC and Georgia claim this ancestor via 1748 Capt. Stephen Wright will (Norfolk) and other records.
John Tatem is named with the following wife names:
(1) Anne Wright married on 7 November 1743 to John Tatem (Norfolk County record). Anne is also noted in 1748 and 1749 records.
(2) Elizabeth _, wife of John Tatem was named in twin 1761 Norfolk Co. deeds.
(3) Mary _, wife of “brother John” was named in Trim Tatem’s 1762 will. Son was Nathaniel Tatem per Trim Tatem’s will.
(4) Abey Smith married 4 March 1774 to “John Tatem, Sr.” (Norfolk County record).
1735 September 29: Nathaniel Tatem wrote a letter to Mr. James Cox, Mate of the ship “Caeser” in London. At end of letter, he mentions: “P.S. Give my kind love to my son John Tatam…N.T.”
Tatum Narrative, 1626-1925 by Richard P. Tatum, 1925; available to read on ancestry.com.
1736 to 1749 – Norfolk County: no tithables survived. White males 16+ would be listed.
1737 October 18 – Norfolk County: Will (partial abstract) of father Nathaniel Tatem “III,” Mariner gave son John Tatem about 780 acres at Crane (Craney) Island with the Mansion House lying at the mouth of the Elizabeth River in Virginia. Also, bequeathed slaves James and Bray. …”but my mind and will is that my Wife have the rest of the plantation at Crane Island and the Lot at Town till my two sons come to the age of 21 years, John (and) Trimingham, and as (they) come to age to have the land.” Proved 17 August 1739 & 21 September 1739. (Only John Tatem’s part given here.)
Collection of Unrecorded Wills, Norfolk County, Virginia 1711-1800 by Elizabeth B. Wingo 1961, pages 108, 109.
This will states sons John and Trim were not age 21 in 18 October 1737. 1737 – 21 = 1716. That makes their birth date 1716 or later or estimated to be 1716/20. Craney Island is really a peninsula at the north end of Portsmouth, Virginia and is now part of today’s world’s largest naval yard.
1743 November 7 - Norfolk County: Marriage bond of John Tatem to Anne Wright (county record).
1748 April 16 – Norfolk County, Virginia: Will of Stephen Wright on Norfolk County, Virginia, Planter, proved 20 January 1748/49 by Alexr Bayne and Martin Bayne. 16 March 1748/49 by Mr. John Tatem therein name the others refusing the Burthen…Probate is granted on…Capt. Stephen Wright’s Will.
…to my Daughter Ann Tatem one Negro
…to my Grandson Stephen Tatem one hundred pounds
…to my Daughter Katherine Wright 225 pounds
…to my loving wife Pembrooke Wright
…if it please God my wife should die before her mother
…to my Son Stephen Wright all my Lands…his Mother in Law…
…my Money in Virginia and in England…my plantations…they have done sawing for Capt. Powell, there should be no more Oak plank sawed till my Son Stephen Wright comes to the age of Eighteen…what Good I have sent whome…
…to my Daughter Catherine
…appoint my loving wife Pembrook Wright and Mr. Jas Nimmo and my Son in Law John Tatem…sole Extrs.
Witnesses: Alexr Bayne, Martin Bayne, Ann “+” Lewis
Signed: Stephen Wright (Seal) (DB H/239)
1749 April 11 – Norfolk County: Chancery Record (incomplete) – To the Sheriff of Norfolk County. Greeting. We Command you that you summon John Tatem and Ann Tatem his wife, Stephen Wright and Catharine Wright which said Ann, Stephen, and Catharine are the children of Stephen Wright, deceased, to appear before our Justices in Chancery at the Court House…to answer a Bill in Chancery exhibited against them by Robert Dickson and Pembrooke his wife…(no further detailing).
Library of Virginia, Chancery Records, Norfolk County, index number 1749-002 – Robert Dickinson versus John Tatem, 11 April 1748/49.
1750/51 March 7 – Norfolk County: Capt. Wright Westcott gave power of attorney to John Tatem, both of Norfolk County. (DB 15/31)
1750 June to 1778 June – Norfolk County Tax: Tithables for John Tatem
Tithable Years: 1750-1754, 1757, 1759, 1761, 1765, 1767, 1769; “John Tatem, Sr.” 1770-1771. Some tax years are missing in records.
Locations: West Branch Precinct (on both sides) 1751 – 1759; Portsmouth to Western Branch 1761, none listed 1765; Portsmouth Parish on west side of West Branch 1767, 1769; North side of the Western Branch 1770; West side of ye Western Branch Precinct 1771.
Tithes taken by: unknown 1751; George Veale 1750, 1752-1754, 1757, 1759, John Tatem 1761, 1767, 1769; John Tatem, Gent. 1765.
Other white males named, age 16 or over: John Bullock 1753, William Harris 1754, 1757, 1761; Stephen Tatem 1761; John Tatem, Jr. 1761, Solomon Tatem 1761, Michael Wilder 1771
Acres of land mentioned: 700 acres in 1767 & 1769; 914 acres in 1770 & 1771
Male Slaves: Bray 1750 to 1771 including 1757, 1759, 1761; Sam 1750 to 1771 including 1757, 1759, 1761; Sambo 1750 to 1771 including 1757, 1761; (a 2nd) Sambo 1750 to 1757; Yarmouth 1750 to 1757; March 1751 to 1757; Luke 1751 to 1765, but not 1759; Dave (Davey) 1754 to 1771; Napen 1761; Charles 1765, 1767; Friar 1765; James 1767, 1769 to 1771; Major 1767, 1770, 1771; Dick 1767, Hammer 1767, 1769, 1770; Toney 1769; York 1769;
Female Slaves; Judy 1751 to 1754, 1757; Pegg 1750 to 1751, 1754; 1757, 1761; Margrett 1752 to 1757; Sue 1752; Sarey 1761; Demse 1770, 1771; Hannah 1771, 1778;
Carriage tax: 1769, 1771
Note: On 18 March 1756, John Tatem sold to Edward Wright of Nansemond County the slaves Bray, Luke, March, Sam and Sambo. On 14 June 1762, Wright sold/returned the same five, naming Sambo as Sambo, Jr. (DB 17/96 & DB 20/195)
Norfolk County, Virginia Tithables 1751-1765 by Elizabeth B. Wingo, 1981. All Norfolk tithables from 1751-1765 are from this source
1751 September 17 – Norfolk County: Col. William Craford of Portsmouth Parish, Norfolk County sell to Messengers John Tatem and Thomas Veale, Church Wardens for Portsmouth Parish, Norfolk County…500 pounds Virginia money…land, buildings…175 acres…on the eastern side of the Western Branch of Elizabeth River, adjoining lands of Samuel Boush, John Scott, and widow of Thomas Scott. Signed - William Craford. Witnesses - Charles Smith, William Conner. Entered 17 September 1761. (DB 19/277)
1755 March 20 – Norfolk County: Miars, Joshua – Orphan of Joshua Miars. Guardian – William Miars. Additional Security – Robert Hatton, William Conner, John Tatem. Bond – 500 pounds.
Norfolk County, Virginia Guardian Bonds 1750-1800, by Elizabeth B. Wingo, 1993
1758 April 20 – Norfolk County: Robert Hatton. Administrator bonds – John Tatem with additional security provided by John Southerland and Trimegan Tatem for a bond of 500 pounds.
Norfolk County, Virginia (Extant) Administrators Bonds 1711-1850, by Sharon Rea Gable and Truit M. Bonney, 2008, page 71.
1758-1759 – General Assembly of Virginia: 14 September 1758, 9 November 1758, 22 February 1759, and November 1759: Members include John Tatem representing Norfolk County.
The Colonial Virginia Register by William G. and Mary Newton Standard, 1902 page 147-151.
Here is evidence that John Tatem lived away from Norfolk County while he was a Representative to the Virginia Colonial Government in Williamsburg. Williamsburg is in James City-County which lost all its records, but not its newspaper - “The Virginia Gazette. If John Tatem married Mary or Elizabeth here, the county record is probably lost.
1760 February 19/May Court 1760 – Norfolk County: Will of Wright Westcott, Mariner is witnessed by John Tatem, Samuel Southerland, William Conner, Richard Harris.
Norfolk County, Virginia Guardian Bonds, 1750-1788, by Elizabeth B. Wingo, 1993.
1761 May 20 – Norfolk County: (Abstracted) Two deeds from William Craford, Gent and John Tatem and his wife Elizabeth, all of Norfolk County, holders of 2 unpaid mortgages by Robert Hatton deceased (and by eldest son Demsey Hatton who released lands to the mortgage holders), deeded to Thomas Creech (1) 103 acres in Norfolk County near the head of the Western Branch of Elizabeth River for 51 pounds money, and (2) 100 acres on the NW side of the western Branch of Elizabeth River for 50 pounds money. Signed: William Craford, John Tatem, Elizabeth Tatem. No witnesses. (DB 19/227)
1761 June 10 – Norfolk County – Portsmouth to Western Branch: 11 tithes for John Tatem, Stephen Tatem, William Harris and negroes Bray, Sam, Luke, David, Sambo, Napen, Pegg and Sarey. (taken by John Tatem)
1761 July 16 – Norfolk County: Samuel Sutherland. Administrator bond for John Sutherland with additional security provided by John Tatem and Nathaniel Tatem for a bond of 300 pounds.
Norfolk County, Virginia (Extant) Administrators Bonds 1711-1850, by Sharon Rea Gable and Truit M. Bonney, 2008, page 147.
1761 September 17 – Norfolk County: Messrs. John Tatem and Thomas Veale - Church Wardens for Portsmouth Parish in Norfolk County and Colony of Virginia…
A History of the Trinity Church, Portsmouth, Virginia 1761/62 – 1961/62, by C. Charles Vache, 1962, page 157
1762 October 2/November 18 – Norfolk County: Will of Trimagin Tatem, Mariner. Executors: brothers - John Tatem and Nathaniel Tatem. Wife Ann Tatem – house and land whereon I now live and after her decease to my son James; also vacant land adjacent same; all household furniture; negroes Sam, James, Tatmer and Rose. Son James Tatem to receive above after decease of mother. Godson (sic): Nathaniel Tatem, son of John and Mary Tatem (to heir above if James should die). Item – if son James dies without heirs, negroes, etc. are to be divided among all my Godsons and Godaughters. Witnesses: Jane Keeton, Robert Moorie. (F/97)
1764, 1774 - 1775 – Norfolk County: Justice of Peace names include John Tatem
Justices of the Peace of Colonial Virginia 1757-1775 by Va. State Library
1768 and 1770 – Norfolk County: List of carriages/chairs taxed in Norfolk County: includes John Tatem, Senr.
1770 May 2 – Norfolk County: Eldred Fisher of the Borough of Norfolk, sud_r(?), deeded to John Tatem of Norfolk County, Gentleman…for 245 pounds Va. money…914 acres of land which Eldred Fisher lately purchased from said John Tatem, located situate of the Mouth of Elizabeth River on the west side in Norfolk County…lately surveyed by Arthur Boush, Gent, Surveyor of the said county. (Signed) Eldred Fisher: Witnesses: TG?: Usher St. George, William Farrer, Wright Westcott, Samuel Portlock, Ja. Holt. Entered 17 May 1770. (DB 24/252)
1770 July 27 – Norfolk County: “A list of the Gentlemen who have signed the Association in Norfolk;” A long list follows and includes: John Tatem, Junior and John Tatem (not next to each other), Caleb Herbert, Matthew Godfrey….
Virginia Gazette Newspaper, dated 27 July 1770, page 2, column 2.
This association of members consisted of merchants and planters who refused to pay for European goods heavily taxed by the King of England. In July, the Norfolk Association went so far as to forbid the landing and any storage of any European goods from the ship “Sharp,” with Capt. Robert Speir. Speir had first been refused landing privileges at Philadelphia prior to sailing for Norfolk.
A Planter’s Republic: The Search for Economic Independence in Revolutionary Virginia, by Bruce A. Ragsdale, 1996.
1770 October 17 – Norfolk County: John Tatem was appointed Sheriff of Norfolk with two Commissioners, Maximilian Calient and Daniel Hutchings by Honorable William Nelson, Esquire. Document states the duties of the Sheriff include collection of quitrents, fines, and forfeitures. Registered in Court, 22 October 1770. (DB 25/40)
1771 June – Norfolk County tax – Westside of ye Western Branch Precinct: 12 tithes – John Tatem, John Tatem, Jr., Solomon Tatem, Michael Wilder and negroes Demse, Hannah, Carriagge, Bray, Sam, Davy, Sambo, James, Major. 914 acres
1772 January 9 – Norfolk County: “Sheriff’s return on an Order of Court, dated 27 April 1771. By virtue of the within, to me directed, I have taken the within named: Singleton, Ward, Crutchet, and Fife, and bound them over as will appear by a bond of Recognizance here unto annexed. (Signed by) Samuel Portlock, Sub Sheriff for John Tatem, Sheriff….
Virginia Gazette, 29 May 1746, page 4, column 1, from Library of Virginia microfilm.
1773 June – Norfolk County – northside of Western Branch. 1 Tith - John Tatem, Junr. and no further description. Taken by John Tatem. Gent.
1774 March 30 - Norfolk County: Marriage bond of “John Tatem, Se’r.” to Abey (or Alsey) Smith with Bondsmen: John Tatem, Senr. and John Archer (county record).
1774 and 1775 – Norfolk County: Justice of Peace included John Tatem. Could be either John Tatem, Sr. or Jr.
Justices of the Peace of Colonial Virginia 1757-1775 by Va. State Library
1775 January 18 – Norfolk County: John Mariom? Herbert and wife Sarah Herbert of Norfolk deeded to John Tatem, Gent of same county…for 179 pounds 7 shillings Virginia money paid by said “John Tatem, Sr.”…land in Parish of Portsmouth, Norfolk County…102 acres, as follows…to John Herbert and John Mariom? Herbert…on Paradise Creek. Signed: John M. Herbert, Sarah “+” Herbert. Witnesses: Andrew Stewart, Edward Davis, J.R. Wilkinson. Entered 20 April 1775. (DB 27/21)
1776 Norfolk County:
Undated Petition of Inhabitants of Norfolk County
to the 5th Virginia Convention May 6 to 5 July 1776:
“To the honourable the President and Delegates for the several Counties and Corporations in the Colony an Dominion of Virginia in Convention Assembled. The Petition of the Freeholders and Inhabitants of the County of Norfolk humbly sheweth:”
“That they have been informed that a Resolution hath been Passed by this Convention to compell the removal of All the Inhabitants of the said County living on the South side of the Western Branch of Elizabeth River and on the North East side of the Road leading from the Head of the Branch to the Great Bridge and also on the East side of the Road leading from the Great Bridge to the North West Landing and (North) Carolina Line, which Resolution if carried into Execution will involve Your Petitioners in the greatest Distress as many of them have Large Families and have no Places to retreat to, nor can they Transport their provisions Necessary to support them, nor have they Money to buy it elsewhere, and most of them have Pitched their Crops for this Year. Your Petitioners further shew that by the burning of the Borough of Norfolk the Court-house of the said County was Destroyed and the Place where it stood in the Power of the Enemies of America whereby Your Petitioners were Prevented from Choosing Delegates to represent them in Convention from which unfortunate Circumstance Your Petitioners humbly Presume their Situation & Circumstances could not be Properly represented to this Convention. Wherefore Your petitioners humbly Pray that their extreme hard Case may again be taken into Consideration and that if any such Resolution hath Passed that the same my be rescinded or that they may have such other Relief in the premises as to you in your great Wisdom shall seem meet. And your Petitioners shall Pray & ca.”
196 Signers include Samuel Portlock, John Tatem, Senr., John Herbert, Matt. Godfrey, James Nicholson, John Nash, Thos. Nash, Nathaniel Tatem, Caleb Wilson, John Portlock, Geo. Abyvon.
Revolutionary Virginia, The Road to Independence, Volume VII, Part One, Independence and the Fifth Convention 1776, by Brent Tarter and Robert L. Scribner, 1983, pages 227-229.
The American Revolution in Norfolk is detailed in the write-up for Nathaniel Tatem “V.” This writer notes the Norfolk “vacate” notice took place 8 May 1776 and the Virginia Assembly Convention withdrew the notice on the 28th of May. One could speculate that John Tatem, Sr. signed this petition between 8 May and 28 May 1776. This is his last record so far found.
Children of John Tatem “I” – 6th Generation Tatems; (a), (b), etc.
(a). Stephen Tatem, son of John Tatem “I.” This writer speculates he was born after his father’s marriage in November 1743 and before the April 1748 Stephen Wright will. He is the center of much confusion. His only other Norfolk appearance is on the 1761 Norfolk County tax list of John Tatem.
1761 June 10 – Norfolk County tax – Portsmouth to Western Branch: 11 tithes for John Tatem, Stephen Tatem, William Harris and negroes Bray, Sam, Luke, David, Sambo, Napen, Pegg and Sarey. (taken by John Tatem)
Tithables for whites began at the age of 16. We are possibly seeing Stephen Tatem appearing for the first time as an adult. 1761 – 16= 1745. His father - John Tatem, Sr. was married 7 November 1743. His birth date could be estimated to be 1744/45. But where did he disappear to after this?
(b). Ann Godfrey Tatem. Placement not understood and may not belong here. Ann married 1 June 1770 Norfolk County to Francis Wright with surety being John Tatem and one source adds Francis Wright.
(c). Nathaniel Tatem (ca 1743/50 to 1785), son of John Tatem “I.” Noted in Trim Tatem’s will who is more likely (1) the mariner who married 22 February 1785 Norfolk County to Elizabeth Wright or less likely (2) Nathaniel Tatem “IV” who had 2 wives and 9 children. Until there is better evidence, Nathaniel Tatem, Mariner + Elizabeth Wright will be placed here. Both his marriage and his will are dated 1785, which is a surprise.
1762 to 1780 Norfolk Tax: Tax records show (1) Dinah Tatem who is the widow of Nathaniel Tatem “IV” and (2) Nathaniel Tatem who should be “V.” There is no other Nathaniel Tatem who could be this subject on these tax records.
Since he was a mariner, he
could be out of the country, which raises questions of a
Tatem home base or port in the Caribbean, possibly in Barbados or Antigua. Books with early Barbados records exist, but so far, no Tatems found. The Norfolk and Portsmouth Herald newspaper reported in 1812 that a “Joseph Tatem, late of the island of Antigua” died in Norfolk County. This island could be clue and Joseph might be someone’s Norfolk son.
Norfolk tithables list land owners and seem to miss renters. Therefore, there may be a subset of individuals who don’t surface in these records.
1762 October 2/November 18 – Norfolk County: Will of Trimagin Tatem, Mariner. mentions Godson Nathaniel Tatem, son of John and Mary Tatem. (F/97)
1785 February 22 - Norfolk County: Marriage bond of Nathaniel Tatem to Elisabeth Wright (county record).
The original 1785 marriage bond needs to be reviewed to see if there is further detailing. Elisabeth/Elizabeth Wright may or may not be Eliza Wright Carney, who married in 1772 to brother John Tatem “II” (ca1743/50 to 1783). Elizabeth Havens was guardian to the children of John Tatem “II” and her “Elizabeth” name raises questions.
1785/1787 Norfolk County, Virginia: Will of Nathaniel Tatem, Mariner – 22 August 1785 – 18 January 1787. Executrix: Wife, Elizabeth Tatem (all my Estate both real and person). Witnesses: William Hoffler, Enos Eastwood, Charles Connor.
Norfolk County, Virginia Will Book 11, 1772-1778 compiled by Pamela W. McVey, 1986.
(d). John Tatem “Jr” or “II” (~1743/50 to 1782?) married on 7 November 1772 Norfolk to Eliza Wright Carney. Sometimes listed as John Tatem, Jr. Notice that he died at an early age. Elizabeth Wright Tatem was the daughter of Barneby Carney.
1771 June – Norfolk County tax – Westside of ye Western Branch Precinct: 12 tithes –John Tatem and John Tatem, Jr. and Solomon Tatem, Michael Wilder and negroes Demse, Hannah, Carriagge, Bray, Sam, Davy, Sambo, James, Major. 914 acres.
1772 November 7 - Norfolk County: Marriage bond of John Tatem to Eliza Wright Carney (county record).
1773 April 24 – Norfolk County: Will of Barneby (Barnaby) Carney, probated July Court 1773. Ex’x – My lawful Wife, Sarah Carney and John Tatem, my Son-in-law. Gave to sons Wright Carney, Barneby Carney and James Carney. To daughter Elizabeth Wright Tatom negro girls Bridget and Hanner, Negro boys Peter and Moses, and 1 feather bed. To daughter Sara Carney. Witnesses: Richard Carney, Thomas Ward, Rebeckah “X” Welsh.
Norfolk County Will Book II, 1772-1783, by Pamela W. McVey, 1986.
1773 June – Norfolk County tax – north side of Western Branch. 1 Tith for John Tatem, Junr. and no further description. (taken by John Tatem, Gent.).
1778 Norfolk County tax – north side of Western Branch bounding on the Nansemond (County) line: 5 tithes – John Tatem and negroes Bray, David, Bridget, Hanner.
1782 April – Norfolk County personal property tax: Elizabeth Tatem with no white males 16+, 1 horse, and 5 cattle. Slaves over age 16 – Bray: Slaves under age 16 – Moses, Phebe, Abby(?).
John Tatem “II” is now missing and probably died before April 1782. Bray’s trail from Nathaniel Tatum “III” to John Tatem “I” to John Tatem “II” suggests Elizabeth Tatem’s 1782 tax record belongs here.
1784 May 20 – Norfolk County: Carney Tatem, John Tatem (“III”), and James Tatem – Orphans of John Tatem. Guardian – Wright Carney. Additional Security – William Booker. Bond – 1000 pounds.
Norfolk County, Virginia Guardian Bonds, 1750-1800, by Elizabeth B. Wingo, 1993.
From Eleanor W. Leigers: “Estate audit records of Norfolk County dated June 1788 give the estate of John Jr. This was itemized and stated that a sale had been held. This audit was authorized in 1786 (should be 1783 or 1784) at which date John Tatem, Jr. was deceased. Mary Nash Goodwin had stated that he died in 1783. His personal property tax stopped in 1782.* We can assume that the 1783 date is correct. Court records of 22 January 1790 an Elizabeth Havens was appointed guardian to James Tatem, orphan of John Tatem, Jr. who Wright Carney gave bond of $400. Since John Tatem Jr. wife was Elizabeth Carney with brothers Wright and Barney, she had probably remarried (possibly to a Samuel Havens) and that was why she had to get guardianship through the courts. A Samuel Havens bought almost all the personal property of John Tatem, Jr. at the sale held at the time of the audit. In the Court of 15 September 1794 James Tatem, orphan of John Tatem, Jr. deceased was bound out to a Mr. Dameron as a carpenter apprentice. This James left a will and in it he provided for the education of Nathaniel Tatem, his nephew which would be Nathaniel P. Tatem.
Eleanor Webb Leigers on John Tatem, Jr. found at familysearch.org photos and stories, 19 May 2013.
* This writer, J. Murphy, couldn’t find the 1782 tax for John Tatem “II” but could have missed it. However, his wife’s 1782 tax suggests otherwise. Date of death is probably before April 1772.
Children of John Tatem “II” and Eliza Wright Carney, (aa) to (cc):
(aa). Carney Tatem,- son of John Tatem “II.” Lost after 1784, unless he began using a different first name.
1784 May 20 – Norfolk County: Carney Tatem, John Tatem, and James Tatem – Orphans of John Tatem. Guardian – Wright Carney. Additional Security – William Booker. Bond – 1000 pounds.
Norfolk County, Virginia Guardian Bonds, 1750-1800, by Elizabeth B. Wingo, 1993.
(bb). James Tatem (born after 1773 to 1846?) - son of John Tatem “II” married Jane B. __. A few of his early deeds are mentioned here.
1790 January 22 – Norfolk County: James Tatem – Orphan of John Tatem, Jr. Guardian – Elizabeth Havens. Additional Security – Wright Carney. Bond – 300 pounds.
Norfolk County, Virginia Guardian Bonds, 1750-1800, by Elizabeth B. Wingo, 1993.
1800 – 1824 Norfolk County Tax, Portsmouth/Elizabeth River area: James Tatem. Not checked thereafter.
1810 US Census of Elizabeth River, Norfolk County: “Ja Tatem (P), 3 males 0-10; 1 male 26-44. 1 female 0-10; 1 female 10-15; 1 female 26-44; 1 female 45+, 20 slaves.
1813 December 30 – Norfolk County: James Tatem and Jane his wife of first part, John Timberlake of 2nd part, (deeded to) William Nash, Sr. and Thomas Edwards of 3rd part, all of Norfolk County….102 acres, for $515, being the plantation which the said James Tatem now resides…on Paradise Creek, intersecting land of John Timberlake, John Collins, William Nash, Sen., Thomas Dulton…. Signed: James Tatem, John Timberlake, Wm. Nash Sen, Thos Edwards. Witnesses: James H. Simmonds, Samuel Portlock, T. Thompson, Peter Edwards, Edward P. Edwards, Entered 17 January 1814 (DB 46/94)
Paradise Creek is within Portsmouth, Norfolk County.
1814 August 23 – Norfolk County: John A. Foreman and Anne his wife of the Town of Portsmouth, Norfolk County deeded to James Tatem of Norfolk County…for $300…40 acres or 1/3 part of all that plantation which lies on Paradise Creek belonging to Colonel George Veale…. (Signed) John A. Foreman and Ann Foreman. Witnessed by R. Thompson, T. Webb, Walter Beavans. Court 23 August 1814. (DB 46/136)
1815 February 7 – Norfolk County: Nathaniel Wilson deeded to James Tatem, both of Norfolk County…for $800…75 acres in Norfolk County situated on Paradise Creek…bounded by William Woods. Signed: Nathaniel Wilson. Witnesses: G. Whitehead, R.B. Wilson, Hot. Wilson. Entered 7 February 1818 (DB 46/166)
1817 December 26 – Norfolk County: James Tatem was highest bidder ($752) on 69 acres of foreclosed land being in Portsmouth Parish, with no further description. Signed over by Isaac Thompson, Trustee. Entered 12 January 1818 (DB 47/268)
1821 May 8 – Norfolk County: Will of James Tatem of “Paradise Creek” in Norfolk County, Probated 15 June 1846 (twenty-five years later)
To my loving wife Jane B. Tatem, lend all my estate during her natural life, with exceptions
To my three sons Stephen Tatem, Solomon Tatem, and John Tatem all my lands when they become age 21 years; also, two negroes.
To my daughter Lovey Tabb 2 negroes Sarah and Harriet.
To my nephew Nathaniel Tatem when he becomes age 21, lend 2 negroes Malissa and Sarah. Sum of $200 shall be applied to the schooling of my said Nephew Nathaniel Tatem to commence when he arrives at the age of 7 years.
After the death of my wife, rest of my slaves, 18 in number to my daughters Jane Tatem, Rebecca, and Eliza Tatem. Also, all my estate sold and proceeds equally divided between my seven children: Steven, Solomon, John, Lovey Tabb, Jane, Rebecca, and Eliza Tatem.
To my runaway daughter Nancy, 12 pence and no more because of her disobedience to me in her marriage.
Appoint executors, my friend John Collins and Morris L. Tabb, and my son Stephen Tatem. 8 May 1821. Signed: James Tatem. Witnesses: S. Whitehead, Steven W. Woolford, and Cassey W. Waples. Court probate held 15 June 1846 included a problem with terminology. Mentions Stephen B. Tatem. (WB6/208)
1840 US. Census of Norfolk County, location not given: James Tatem 1 male 60-70; 1 female 5-10, 2 females 20-30, 1 female 50-60. Next to him is Solomon Tatem, 1 male 0-5; 1 male 30-40, 1 female 15-20.
1850 US Census of Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Virginia: Jane Tatem, age 70; Elizabeth Tatem 25; Virginia Tatem 8.
Children of James Tatem (born after 1773 to 1846) and Jane B. __
Children’s names from 1846 will and presumed living in 1846.
(1^) Stephen B. Tatem (~1803 to 16 January 1872 per death index, ancestry.com), son of James Tatem (>1773 to 1846). Stephen Tatem of Norfolk County married 1st on 31 January 1833 to Elizabeth Ann Poole, daughter of Mrs. Keziah Poole, of Portsmouth. He married 2nd to Elizabeth P. Herbert (1812 to 16 December 1865), daughter of Reuben Herbert. Norfolk County tax records for him begin 1824 in Portsmouth.
Norfolk area in the year 1855 had many deaths from yellow fever. Virginia Deaths and Burials Index (ancestry.com) shows S. B. Tatem + Eliza P. Tatem, of Elbow Road, Norfolk are “parents” named with 6 deaths in 1855. No cause is given. Relationship of four of the named are not clear and may or may not be slaves: Mariah Tatem (~1838), Alice R. Tatem (~1847), James Tatem (~1852), and Albert Tatem (~1838). Albert Tatem is only listed from Elbow Road and should belong to S.B. Tatem. Two of their children did die in 1855: Olive Jane Tatem and Elizabeth P. Tatem. James Tatem, the actual son of Stephen B. Tatem was still living in the family in 1860 and 1870 US Census. Find-a-grave.com notes James Tatem was born 24 June 1855 and died 20 May 1920, with burial at Riverside Memorial Park, Norfolk City. Elbow Road still exists and is located within today’s Chesapeake City.
1840 to 1860 US Census of St. Brides Parish, Norfolk County: Stephen B. Tatem, farmer. Besides family, also in household 1860 are Ann Herbert 70, and Virginia Herbert 35.
1844 December 12 – Virginia House of Delegates: Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that Thomas W. Webb, S. B. Tatem, Joseph Fritchard, Jess D. Sikes, and William Mosley…be incorporated under the name…of The Great Bridge Canal Company. Bill #11.
Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1844
In 1855, the Great Bridge Lumber and Canal Company was incorporated, with one of the original founders being S. B. Tatem. They built and maintained the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal which linked an inland waterway from Norfolk to Albemarle Sound through Currituck County, North Carolina.
History of Norfolk County, Virginia 1637-1900 b y Col. William H. Stewart, 1902, page 401.
1851 Norfolk County: Magistrates of Norfolk County: S. B. Tatem, William Tatem
The Norfolk Directory for 1851-1852 by William S. Forest 1851.
1870 US Census for Norfolk County, P.O. Washington Point: S. B. Tatem and family
Children of Stephen B. Tatem + Elizabeth P. Herbert per census (i^), (ix^):
(i^). Olive Jane Tatem (1833/34 to 28 February 1855)
(ii^). John P. Tatem (1834/35), physician
(iii^). Elizabeth P. Tatem (1837/38 to 9 June 1855)
(iv^). Indiana “Indie” H. Tatem (1841/42 to 10 March 1865)
(v^). Anna or Amy L. Tatem (1843/46)
(vi^). Rebecca Tatem (1844/45)
(vii^). Stephen P. Tatem (1847/49)
(viii^). James Tatem (24 June 1855 to 20 May 1920 and buried Riverside Memorial Park, Norfolk City.
(ix^). Herbert Tatem (1857/59)
(2^). Solomon Tatem (1800/10) to 1840+), son of James Tatem (>1773 to 1846).
1840 US Census of Norfolk County, location not given: Solomon Tatem, 1 male 0-5; 1 male 3040, 1 female 15-20. He is next to father James Tatem.
(3^). John Tatem, son of James Tatem (>1773 to 1846+)
(4^). Lovey Tatem, daughter of James Tatem (>1773 to 1846+), married 20 March 1817 to Maurice L. Tabb with surety James Tatem.
(5^). Jane Tatem, daughter of James Tatem (>1773 to 1846+)
(6^). Rebecca Tatem, daughter of James Tatem (>1773 to 1846+)
(7^). Elizabeth A. Tatem (possibly ~1819 to 26 January 1890), daughter of James Tatem (>1773 to 1846)
(8^). Nancy Tatem,, daughter of James Tatem (>1773 to 1846+)
Continued – Children of John Tatem “II” (1743/50 to 1783)
(cc). John Tatem “III” (~1775+ to 1818*), son of John Tatem “II.” He married 20 March 1817 Norfolk (county record) to Charity Stokes (died 1824). Norfolk County (Portsmouth or Elizabeth River Parish) tax records are found for him from 1798-1812 and 1818 (Portsmouth).
From Goodspeed’s History of Dyer County, Tennessee: “Nathaniel P. Tatum...is the son of John C. and Mary (Stokes) Tatom. …Nathaniel Tatom was born in Norfolk County and … is an only child; his father was also a native of Norfolk, Virginia, where he received his education. About 1817 he was married to Miss Mary Stokes. He was a carpenter by trade, but died in 1818, about one year after his marriage. Mrs. Tatom was born in Norfolk and died in 1824.”*
1790 February 18 – Norfolk County: John Tatem – Orphan of John Tatem, Jr. Guardian – Elizabeth Havens. Additional security - Barnaby Carney. Bond – 400 pounds.
Norfolk County, Virginia Guardian Bonds, 1750-1800, by Elizabeth B. Wingo, 1993.
1791 September 19 – Norfolk County: Barnaby Carney. Administrator bonds with will annexed; additional security provided by Tucker Best for a bond of 400 pounds, “unadministered” by Sarah Carney and John Tatem.
Norfolk County, Virginia (Extant) Administrators Bonds 1711-1850, by Sharon Rea Gable and Truit M. Bonney, 2008, page 25
1797 to 1812+ (continuous) - Norfolk County, Portsmouth/Elizabeth River Parishes tax: John Tatem
1807 September 28 – Norfolk County: John Tatem deeded to James Tatem, both of Norfolk County for $2000..land in Portsmouth Parish, Norfolk County…102 ½ acres…now occupied by said John Tatem. Land history: conveyed by John Marcom Herbert and his wife Sarah to John Tatem, Senior, and then John Tatem, Senior to his eldest son John Tatem; last mentioned John Tatem to his eldest son John who presents. Signed - John Tatem. Witnesses - Mord. Cooke. Jr; Thos Brooke, John Collins. Entered 20 October 1807 (43/255)
This is an important deed in that this land was passed through three generations of John Tatums.
1817 March 20 – Norfolk County: Marriage bond of John Tatem to Charity Stokes (county record).
1818 - Norfolk County: Goodspeed states John C. Tatom died this year.*
1824 – Norfolk County: wife, “Mrs. Tatom…died in 1824.*
* Goodspeed History of Dyer County, Tennessee, 1887 as related in familysearch.org/photos/stories/1057623
Only Child of John Tatem “III” and Charity Stokes - (aa):
(aa) Nathaniel P. Tatem/Tatum (5 March 1818 Norfolk County to 16 December 1890 Dyer County, Tennessee and buried at Rehoboth Cemetery, RoEllen, Dyer County. His full middle name is not known, but there are two other Nathaniel P. Tatems with “P” for Portlock. In November 1843, he married 1st to Miss Matilda Boyles (died April 1848), daughter of Andrew and Anna Boyles. He married 2nd December 1848 to 2nd to Mary J. Wilkins (21 October 1827 to 27 July 1884, and buried at same cemetery), daughter of Archibald and Mona Wilkins, and had 10 children. * It is unclear which spelling of Tatem was preferred, but may be Tatem.
From Goodspeed: After his parents died, Nathaniel P. Tatom “was left an orphan when only six years of age; and until seventeen years old his home was with his uncle James Tatom; then began as an apprentice to learn the carpenters trade, which has been his chief occupation. In 1839, he moved to Dyer County, where he bought 50 acres of land, on which…he has since resided. …(As of 1887), Mr. Tatom still owns 420 acres of the best land in Dyer County.” *
* Goodspeed History of Dyer County, Tennessee, 1887 as related in familysearch.org/photos/stories/1057623
1821 May 8 – Norfolk County: From the will of James Tatem (brother to John Tatem “III”): To my nephew Nathaniel Tatem when he becomes age 21, lend 2 negroes Malissa and Sarah. Sum of $200 shall be applied to the schooling of my said Nephew Nathaniel Tatem to commence when he arrives at the age of 7 years. (WB6/208)
1850 to 1880 US Census - Dyer County, Tennessee: “N. P. or Nat. Tatum” and in 1880 “Tatem.”
1890 August 8 – Dyer County: Will of Nat. P. Tatum
To Tilda Ann Chitwood $1600
To M. B. Webb, wife of G. W. Webb $2500
To G. M. Tatum $2330
To C.E. Featherston, wife of W. S. Featherston $2270
To J.S. Tatum, 62.5 acres of land
To A.B. Tatum, my home place.
Appoint G. M. Tatum my Executor. Probated January 1891.
Children of Tennessee’s Nathaniel P. Tatem + Mary Jane Wilkins include, (1^), (2^):
As found on census records, Goodspeed, or the Will per Goodspeed.
(1^). Matilda Ann Tatum (1849/50) married S. N. Chitwood
(2^). M. B. Tatum – female (1853/54), wife of G. W. Webb
(3^) George M. Tatum (1856/57)
(4^) John S. Tatum (1860/61)
(5^) Archibald B. Tatum/Tatum (1860/61)
(6^) C. Ella Tatum/Tatem (1864/65), wife of W.S. Featherston.
Continued – Children of John Tatem “I” (1716/20 to 1775)
(e). Likely – Solomon Tatem (~1744/50 to 1799), son of John Tatem “I” was a mariner. Solomon Tatem married 19 December 1778 to Sarah Carney (1757 to 17 September 1825 per obit). His last tax record was in 1794 before his will was probated on 20 July 1799. His wife Sarah replaced him on the Norfolk County tax records from 1795 to 1809. Some tax years for Solomon Tatem suggest he might be living outside of Norfolk County. In 1790, he was at sea.
1771 June – Norfolk County - Westside of ye Western Branch Precinct: 12 tithables – John Tatem and John Tatem, Jr., and Solomon Tatem, Michael Wilder and negroes Demse, Hannah, Carrigge, Bray, Sam, Davy, Sambo, James, Major.
Norfolk County, Virginia Tithables 1766-1780 by Elizabeth R. and W. Bruce Wingo, 1985.
1778 December 19 - Norfolk County: Marriage bond of Solomon Tatem to Sarah Carney (county record).
1782 – Norfolk County Tax - North Side of the Western Branch taken by Chs Conner: Solo Tatem, 5 white, 5 black. Who is the 5th white?
The Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Antiquary, Volume 5, by Edward Wilson James, page 7.
1783-1794 Norfolk County Personal Tax – (1) Western Branch and/or Town of Portsmouth, and (2) Portsmouth and Elizabeth River Parishes: Solomon Tatem
Tax records show Solomon Tatem without any white male tax: 1787, 1788, 1789, 1790, 1791, and 1794. In 1790, he is recorded “at sea.”
Not named in 1792 and 1793 tax records and may be living elsewhere. He reappears in 1794 without any white male tax. Beginning in 1795, Sarah Tatum is yearly taxed until 1809 without any adult white male tithes.
Slaves: Peter 1783; Sarah (Sary) 1783-1785; Sam 1783-1785 (less than age 16); Simon 1783-1786 (<16); Nancy 1783-1786 (<16); Slaves unnamed after 1786: 3 - 1787; 2 - 1788;1 - 1789; 2 - 1790; 1 - 1791.
Horses: 2 - 1783; 5 - 1784; 0 - 1785; 1 - 1786.
Cattle: 5-9 from 1783 to 1786
1786 March 27 – Norfolk County: James Gaskins and wife Ann Gaskins of Portsmouth Town deed to Solomon Tatem, Mariner...for 150 pounds Virginia money… part of a half lot purchased from Col. Matthew Godfrey, Escheator for Norfolk County…land at southwest corner of Dinwiddie and King Street (Portsmouth). Entered July Court 1795. (DB 30/23)
1790 Norfolk: tax, personal – Solomon Tatum (at sea)
The Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Antiquary, Volume 5, by Edward Wilson James
1794 January 24 – Norfolk County: Sheldon Toomer and Francis his wife, of the town of Norfolk, Virginia deeded to Solomon Tatem of the town of Portsmouth, Virginia…for 100 pounds Virginia money…a half lot of land situate lying and being in the said town of Portsmouth, beginning at the land of William Elliot, 90 feet on Court Street, north by 113 feet deep. Signed: Sheldon Toomer, Francis Toomer. Witnesses: James Gaskings, William Portlock, Richard Bail. Entered 24 November 1794. (DB35/46).
1795 January 27 - Norfolk County (abstract): Will of Solomon Tatem. I, Solomon Tatem of the Town of Portsmouth, Virginia….
To wife Sarah Tatem…house and premises I do presently occupy….
Unto wife Sarah Tatem, use of my house and half lot bought of Sheldon Toomer until my daughter Sarah marries. Negros Simon and Nancy, my schooner – Fanny with all her apparel and furniture, all my household and kitchen furniture, two feather beds & furniture.
To wife, Sarah, use of my negro Girl Nancy, one feather bed and furniture, one cow with the benefits arising thereof until the marriage of my daughter Catey.
To wife, Sarah, use of my negro girl Sillah…one feather bed & furniture, one cow with the benefits arising thereof until the marriage of my daughter Sarah.
To my daughter Catey – upon my wife’s death, the house & premises I at present occupy. Upon my wife’s death, the rest equally divided.
Executors to be my friend Barnaby Carney and wife Sarah Tatem.
Witnesses: Andrew Kidd, Joseph Kinder, Benjamin “x” Culpeper.
Entered at a court held in Norfolk County, 20 July 1799. (WB3/155b-156a/b; My thanks go to Gary Tharp for this)
Solomon Tatem’s will is confusing. Did he have one or two houses? He did have two lots in Portsmouth.
1795 to 1810 - Norfolk County Tax – Portsmouth and Elizabeth River Parishes: Sarah Tatem with 1 – 2 unnamed slaves; and twice thereafter only 1815 and 1816 in Portsmouth area with 0 0 0 0 taxes.
1810 US Census of Portsmouth, Norfolk County: Sarah Tatem 1 female 45+, 1 female 16-26, 2 slaves; irregularly thereafter only 1815 and 1816
1820 US Census of Norfolk County: Sarah Tatum, 2 males 10-15; 1 female 0-10; 1 female 45+; 2 slaves.
1825 September 17 – Portsmouth City, Virginia: Obituary of Mrs. Sarah Tatem, who died 17 September in her 68 years, relict Capt. Solomon Tatem, a widow for 30 years.
American Commerical Beacon & Norfolk & Portsmouth Daily Advisor, 24 September 1825, Page 1, column 2, Henley Papers, Library of Virginia, as pointed out by Gary Tharp.
1825 October 3 – Norfolk County: Audit started for estate of Mrs. Sarah Tatem, with Robert Barclay, Administrator. Names of interest: 20 December 1825 – money paid for Barnaby Carney’s burial, Stephen Carney’s burial. Final court 19 June 1826. (Audit Book 2/287)
Children of Solomon Tatem + Sarah Carney
(aa). Catharine “Katey” Tatem. The following may or may not belong: Married on Thursday, at Portsmouth by Rev. Young; Capt. Robert Barclay to Miss Catharine Tatem, both of that place. Virginia Marriage bond states 21 February 1802.
Norfolk Herald, publication Saturday, 27 February 1802, Lib. of Virginia on-line.
(bb). Sarah Tatem