Tatum - Mariners


Nathaniel Tatems of Bermuda, Barbados

& Norfolk County, Virginia and their Descendants

A Family Reconstruction of the Mariner Tatems


The Mariner Tatems of Norfolk are divided into four chapters:


(I). Nathaniel Tatem (ca1625) “I” through “III” are covered in this chapter.  

(II). Nathaniel Tatem “IV” (~1715 to 1771) and his descendants.  See his chapter.

(III). John Tatem (~1716/20 to 1776) and his descendants.  See his chapter.

(IV). Nathaniel Tatem “V” (1744/45 to 1791/92) and his descendants

Researcher is J. R. Murphy, planetmurphy.org, previous revision 2 December 2014; this revision 16 December 2016.



Overview of Norfolk County Tatems from Bermuda and British West Indies


            These Tatem’s were mariners earning a living in a world of sloops, brigantines, and privateers.   They first settled in early Bermuda about or before 1626 and from there began sailing the seas between England, America, and the West Indies.  In 1711, some family members of Nathaniel Tatem “II” permanently moved to Norfolk County, Virginia.   From the ports of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Hampton, they shipped tobacco, pork, lumber, and manufactured American goods in exchange for sugar, spices, rum, salt, and slaves from Bahamas and Barbados.   In Norfolk, they became suppliers of lumber and wood products.   They were part of a wealthy southern culture which involved the wrongs of slavery. 


Tatem Ships based from Norfolk, Virginia


1726 - Sloop “Elizabeth and Ann,” owned by George Newton and commanded by Nathaniel Tatem “III”

1730’s - Sloop “Indian Creek,” and the ship “Caeser,” with Nathaniel Tatem “III” owner.    

1736 - Brig “Charming Ann,” with Ship Master John Brown and owned by Nathaniel Tatem “III”

1745 & 1746 - Brig “Industry” with Ship’s Master being Trim Tatem 

1753 - Brig “Amy” with Captain Trim Tatem

1755 - “Industry” with Ship’s Master being Timothy Tatem (correct name is Trim Tatem); Virginia to Madeira

1790’s - Schooner “Fanny” owned by Solomon Tatem  


Other Mariner Tatem Ships - Relationship and Base Not Known


1671: Ship unnamed, Ship’s Master – “Samuel Tatham” (“a Barbadoes”); Port of London; imported 1800 pounds of Virginia tobacco.  Merchant was Thos. Beale. ***   Another source states Samuel Tatham’s ship was the “Happy Adventure.” ^

1720 October 13 – Sloop “Mary and Martha,” Master John Tatem. Philadelphia to Barbados.

1745 October 10 – Sloop “Adventure” skippered by Samuel Tatem; Va to Bermuda

1751 December 12 – Ship “Recovery” by David Tatem; Bermuda to Va.

1755 December 19 – Ship “Samuel,” skippered by John Tatem; Va. to Antigua Island.

1755 - French and Indian War: Ship “Hero”, a privateer out of Norfolk, owned by Benjamin Tatem and skippered by Hugh Sprowle.  

1776 October 14 - Patriot privateer “General Gates” under Captain B. Tatem, six gun schooner.   In 5 April 1779, “General Gates, was listed as a Maryland Schooner with 8 guns and a crew of 10, with Master Benjamin Tatem.  Reported taken off Portsmouth, New Hampshire by the English. *

1776/79 – Ship “Lucy,” Master of Ship – David Tatem, registry not given, on voyage from N.C. to Cadiz, Spain and captured by privateer “Revenge” - Anthony Stewart, Commander.   Many court and ship “Lucy” papers;” not recorded by Lib. of Virginia and not clear how David Tatem fared. **   See detailing near end of chapter.

1795 - Schooner “Nancy Tatem” was captured and wreaked during her passage from Honduras to Jamaica.

* A History of American Privateers, by Edgar Stanton McClay     

** Library of Virginia; Va. Memory, Va. Colonial Records Project of repositories in Great Britain and other countries, under “Tatem,” High Court of Admiralty – Prize papers.  Public Record Office HCA 32/392p, SR 05688a/p15

*** ibid, 190/56/1

^ Publication of the Navy Records Society, Volume 27, 1904, p. 308


Research Notes


The Tatem spelling predominates with descendants in Norfolk and in most Bermuda resources.  Notice that many early male Tatems had shortened life-spans.  A will or estate administration has not been found for John Tatem “I” and Nathaniel Tatem “V,” and appear lost.  


Warning – This Tatem reconstruction still has issues needing resolution and major changes could take place later.  Dates with “ca1720” and “~1720” are speculative estimates, with ~1720 having a better foundation than ca1720.    Name numbers such as “I”, “II” are used for Nathaniel Tatem “I” and “II” to separate individuals and are not found in original records.  Family records are few and little help. 


Family Reconstruction Summary of the Mariner Tatems

Bermuda, Barbados, and Norfolk County, Virginia


Samuel Tatam + (possibly Mary Wainwright) – Earliest known record begins in 1626 Bermuda.  No will/no admin/limited data.  Possible children are listed as 1 -, 4 -:  


1 - Hannah Tatam who married Charles Souther -  Husband has 26 March 1670 Bermuda will.  Norfolk Tatems associate with a Southerland/Sutherland line.

2 - Nehemiah Tatam/Tatem + possibly Patience Bullock.  Proposed children:

(I). John Tatum of East New Jersey in 1689 + Elizabeth _ + Mary __.

(II). Samuel Tatem of Flushing, Long Island in 1688 + Elizabeth Roe.

3 - Samuel Tatam/Tatem (ca1620 to ~1679?) + Ann Knowles (_ to <1684?), married 4 March 1643 Southampton, Bermuda Register/no will.   “Ann Tatem,” if correct person, had land in early Upper Norfolk County, Virginia (Nansemond/Isle of Wight Counties) before 1684.   Known children are (I), (II):

(I). Samuel Tatem II (Baptism record 20 June 1647 Southampton, Bermuda Register, father - Samuel and mother - Ann).  

(II). Ann Tatem (~1648) married 7 November 1667 Bermuda to Joseph Todd.


4 – Nathaniel Tatem “I” * (ca1625 to 1687 Bermuda will) + Mary (possibly Underwood); Home was Bermuda.  This write-up begins here.  Children per Bermuda will are (I to V):


(I). Samuel Tatem.  In his father’s 1687 will and bequeathed his father’s Bermuda mansion house.   There is trouble separating from other Samuel Tatems and didn’t reside in Norfolk.  One report stated he was taken prisoner in the Caribbean.

(II). Mary Tatem:   Questionably the correct person married 14 December 1680 Bermuda to Gideon Johnson (Pembroke Register, Bermuda)

(III). Elizabeth Tatem

(IV). Sarah Tatem


(V). Nathaniel Tatem “II” (ca1660 to 1711 Barbados will) + Elizabeth Turner (_ to 1714/18), daughter of Jonathan Turner + Bridget Trimingham.  Purchased Norfolk County, Virginia lands in 1710.   Children per will - (1) to (4):


(1). Elizabeth Tatem (Baptized 16 April 1693 – Pembroke Register, Bermuda). Came to Norfolk County.

(2). Martha Tatem married William Linus and lived in Norfolk County.   

(3). Mariam Tatem married James Egerton 1717 in Norfolk County


(4). Nathaniel Tatem “III” (__ to 1739 Norfolk will) + Ann Godfrey (_ to 1744).   Settled Norfolk in 1711.   Mariner, Merchant, Planter, Judge in Norfolk.  Children per Norfolk will (i) to (iv):


(i). John Tatem Sr. or “I” (1716/20 to ~1776).   See his chapter and descendants.  Some “Tatom” descendants of Va. NC and Georgia claim this ancestor via 1748 Capt. Stephen Wright will and other information.  John Tatem Sr. is associated with 3 or 4 possible wives.   Wife names include Anne Wright (mar. 1743 – county record), Elizabeth in 1761 deeds, Mary _ in 1762 will of Trim Tatem, and Abey Smith (“Senior” married in 1774 – county record).  Occupation: Virginia General Assembly, Sheriff of Norfolk Co, Planter.  Lived in Portsmouth, Norfolk Co. Virginia.  Incomplete tax records 1730 - 1780 show John Tatem, Sr. and Jr. listed together in 1771 and 1773.  There is no other John Tatem in tax records which may exclude renters.  No Will/Admin found in Norfolk books; probably lost.  His last record found, so far, is 1776.   


(ii). Love Tatem


(iii). Trimingham/Trimagin “Trim” Tatem (1716/20 to 1762 Norfolk will) + Ann Moore (1768 Princess Ann Co. will).  Mariner.  One child per Trim Tatem will, (a):

(a). James Tatem; not in Ann Tatem’s 1768 will and may not be living.


(iv). Nathaniel Tatem “IV” (~1715 to 1771 Norfolk will), most likely son of Nathaniel Tatem “III” and not son of John Tatem “I.”   See his chapter and descendants.  Married 1st 1743 Norfolk to Prudence Wilson (county record); married 2nd 1755 Norfolk to Dinah Nash (county record) who died 1784 and had a will.   In a separate chapter is his son, Nathaniel Tatem “V” (1744/45 to 1791/92 Norfolk, another missing will) and wife Rebecca Portlock.


Miscellaneous information on Tatems includes nearby Currituck Co. NC Tatems, i.e. “Thomas Tatem/Tatum” (will - 1767/1790 Currituck Co.) and others in Currituck.  Thomas Tatem/Tatum begins in 1751 Currituck tax.   Possible different line or a mix?   Deeds have not been reviewed.


Details in This Write-up Begin with 2nd Generation of Tatems


Nathaniel Tatam/Tatem “I” (ca1620 to 1687) married Mary ___ and lived in Bermuda.  Mary’s maiden name suggested to be “Underwood.”


1646 September 11 – Bermuda: Abell Swightson (or Shingleton) of “Barbados” paid Nathaniel Tatem of “same island,” mariner 4.10.0 pounds money. *

1659 November 21 – Somers Island (Bermuda): An agreement betwixt Mr. John Bennett, Counsellor and Mr. Nathaniel Tatam (who is a) Church Officer of Warwick Tribe, of the one part, and Mr. George Tucker and John Darrell on the other parte…relating to church lands at Turtle Bay, etc. *

1660 November – Bermuda: Jury duty (included) Nathaniell Tatem. *

1662 – Bermuda: Nathaniel Tatam owned ½ share in a certain Warwick Tribe land.

1662 November 28 – Bermuda:Nathaniel Tatom” of Warwick Tribe, Bermuda apologized to Henry Ward for wrongfully accusing him.  Witnesses: John Darrell, John Wainwright the elder, Charles Mitchell, John DeWitte. *

1678 October 18 – Bermuda:  Edmund Underwood of Paget Tribe, Planter leased to Capt. Nathaniel Tatom, Senior of the Tribe and same Island aforesaid (Chirugien) seventeen acres for 21 years on the south side sea, east of land of Henry Moore and west of Mr. Henry Ford….   Witnesses: Charles Wainwright, John Rawlings (Constable). * 

* Above 1646-1678 sources are from:

Tatum Narrative, 1626-1925 by Richard P. Tatum, 1925; available to read on ancestry.com.

Bermuda Settlers of the 17th Century: Genealogical Notes from Bermuda, By Julia E. Mercer, 1942, pages 209-210   


1682 – Bermuda:The following year (1682), race relations in the (Bermuda) colony were disturbed by a rumor that all native-born blacks were to be freed at the king’s command.  A petition, dated March 12 was submitted to Governor Florentius Seymour declaring that the master of the (ship) Resolution, Captain Leonard Bushell, had ‘bin empowered by the Kings Majestie’ to free ‘the Negroes born in these Islands.’   On April 6, …the Governor’s Council declared it ‘altogether falslie alleaged….  The captain having denied it, the council found that the ‘petition was promoted by the assistance of English persons…John Dorsett and John Hamman….  According to the testimony of another colonist Nathaniel Tatem, John Hamman, whom Tatem identified as ‘Mr. Samuel Trotts Smith’ (blacksmith), came to Tatem’s house and told him that he (Hamman) had just visited ‘Mr. Rainer (Rayner’s) Negroes Cabbin.’  Hamman had told the blacks at Samuel Rayner’s that ‘there was good Newes for them: The King had sent to free them….:

Slaves and Slaveholders in Bermuda, 1616-1782, by Virginia Bernhard, 1999, page 193 


1686 Bermuda Will of Nathaniel Tatem, Chirurgeon: Will (abstract) 14 November 1686 of Paget Tribe, Bermuda.  Remarks by Richard P. Tatum are enclosed with ( ).

Wife Mary  

Son – Nathaniel (married Elizabeth, daughter of Jonathan Turner of Devonshire) and wife Bridget (Trimingham) fifty pounds upon his going to Bahama Islands or before his going away from these Islands, and he has resided since his departure from mee at the Bahama Islands…   

Daughters Mary Tatem and Elizabeth Tatem.  Gives them Indian girl Bess and the great cuppard in the hall, the little table and forme in Chimney Chamber. 

Son Samuel after mother's death to have my Mansion house and land, one great table and 2 fformes in Hall and one great chayre. 

Daughter Sarah all the profits of my shallop that went to Bahama Islands….  

Wife and Cousin Benjamin Wainwright (to be) Executors. 

Proved 26 October 1687.   Witnesses: John Bryan, Christopher Apowen, Cornelius White.

Tatum Narrative, 1626-1925 by Richard P. Tatum, 1925 


Children of Nathaniel Tatam/Tatem “I” and wife Mary

3rd Generation per will are (I), (II), (III), etc:


(I). Samuel Tatem, son of Nathaniel Tatem “I,” was bequeathed his father’s Mansion House in Bermuda in 1686.  He cannot be separated from other Sam Tatems at this time.


(II). Mary Tatem, daughter of Nathaniel Tatem “I,” is in her father’s 1686 will.


(questionably) 1680 December 14 – Bermuda: Marriage of Mary Tatem to Gideon Johnson

Pembroke Register Marriages, page 1014 from Early Bermuda Records 1619-1826, by A.C. Hollis Hallet, 1991. 


However, possibly against this, Nathaniel Tatem’s 1686 will notes daughter as “Mary Tatem” and not more correctly as “Mary Tatem Johnson.”


(III). Elizabeth Tatem, daughter of Nathaniel Tatem “I.”


(IV). Sarah Tatem, daughter of Nathaniel Tatem “I.”


(V). Nathaniel Tatem “II,” (ca1660 to 1711 Barbados), son of Nathaniel Tatem “I,” married Elizabeth Turner (born _ and died after 15 May 1718), daughter of Jonathan Turner (_ to 19 December 1705) and Bridget Trimingham. 


            The author Mercer states that Nathaniel Tatem, the son, had 50 pounds money before he left Bermuda for Bahamas and a similar amount after he was settled there.  He was also given a negro boy and now his father bequeaths him 100 pounds and negroes as his share of estate.  Nathaniel Tatem, this son, died in Barbados 1711 leaving wife Elizabeth in Bermuda, a son Nathaniel and daughters Marian, Martha and Elizabeth.

Early Bermuda Wills 1629-1835 by C.F.E. Hollis Hallett, 1993

Bermuda Settlers of the 17th Century: Genealogical Notes from Bermuda, by Julia E. Mercer, 1946, page 210/211


So far, these Tatems have not been found in available Barbados references. Wife Elizabeth actually came to Norfolk.  


1692 November 30 - Bermuda: Inquest held in Warwick concerning the death of Capt. William Nelmes.  Jury included Mr. Nathaniel Tatem. 

Bermuda Settlers of the 17th Century: Genealogical Notes from Bermuda, By Julia E. Mercer, 1942, page 137.


1703 Bermuda Petition: List of names includes John Tatem, Joseph Tatem, and Nathaniel Tatem.

Early Bermuda Records 1619-1826, by A.C. Hollis Hallet, 1991, page 53.


1705 December 19 – Bermuda: Will of Jonathan Turner mentioned his daughter Elizabeth who is married to his son-in-law Nathaniel Tatum.  (WB 4/74)

Tatum Narrative, 1626-1925 by Richard P. Tatum, 1925; available to read on ancestry.com. 

Early Bermuda Records 1629-1835, by C.F.E. Hollis Hallet, 1993


1707 April 30 - York County, Virginia: Thomas Nelson, his power of Attorney from John Clark of the Island of Barbados, merchant, bearing date Aprill 30th, 1707 was this day proved in Court by the oaths of Nathll. Tatem and Samll. Smith, evidences thereto, and is ordered to be committed to record. 

York County, Virginia Land Records, Wills, Inventories 1694-1729, Colonial Roots on CD, 2009.


1710 November 30 – Norfolk County:  Indenture from Joseph Church and his wife Julian of Norfolk County to Nath. Tatem of the Island of Bermuda, Mariner, for 200 pounds sterling, 120 pounds in hand paid…550 acres of land on the south side of the eastern branch of Elizabeth River in Norfolk County…bounding down a Creek called Billingsgate Creek…into the woods…along William Joye…to Richard Whitbys line…to a creek called (can’t read).  Signed: Joseph Church, Julian Church.  Witnesses: Lem. Newton, William Godfrey, Richard Church.  Court 15 November 1710.  (DB 13/221)


            This deed handwriting is awful both times the 2nd creek is mentioned.  Possibly, the creek’s name is Nelsons/Nelson Brass/Branch, but that’s pushing the readability.  These colonial deeds describe the land but rarely detail included buildings.  High cost of property suggests building(s).   In Virginia, land can quietly pass from one generation to the next by only bequeathing them in wills, which are usually poorly described.  This makes it hard to determine what lands a certain descendant has. 


1711 April 3 – Barbados – Will of “Nathaniel Tatem of ye island of Bermuda, now in ye Island of ye Barbados, mariner, signed at the Island of Barbados 3 April 1711.”

To son Nathaniel Tatem, 200 acres being part of the 550 acres which I bought of Joseph Church, lying in ye Elizabeth River in Virginia – 200 acres being part of 550 acres I bought of Joseph Church with mansion house lying in ye Elizabeth River in Virginia;

To Daughter Mariam Tatem 170 acres being part of 550 acres and next adjoining unto the 200 acres given my son. 

To Daughter Martha Tatem 160 acres a parcell of land which I bought of William Beerton situate in the southern branch in Elizabeth River.

To Daughter Elisabeth Tatem my land on the southern branch of the Elizabeth River. 

Wife Elizabeth Tatem now in Bermuda remainder of my land of my estate

Nominate and appoint my loving wife Elizabeth Tatem and my cousin Benjamin Wainwright, executors.

Signed: Nathaniel Tatem.

Witnesses: Christopher Blake, Richard Harwood, John Wheeler.

Proved 18 May 1711.   Signed at Barbados.

Sources: (1) Barbados Records – Wills and Administrations Volume III, 1701-1725, by Joann McRee Sanders, 1981, page 332.  RB6/5, page 481;

(2). Tatum Narrative, 1626-1925, by Richard P. Tatum, page 22 -23

(3). Early Bermuda Wills 1629-1835, by C.F.E. Hollis Hallet, 1993 (WB3, 1/11)

(4). The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1913, page 368-369.   Details vary with source.


1711 April 15 – Norfolk County: (Abstract) I, Elizabeth Tatem, widow and relick of Nathaniel Tatem, deceased, for love and affection give to my daughter Elizabeth Tatem one negro slave called Dick, (2) one __ about 10 years old, (3) one silver Tankard, one piece of furniture and __, and (4) the fourth part of my mother Brig’t Turner’s Estate in Bermuda after her decease.  15 April 1714.  (Signed) Eliz (x) Tatem.  Witnesses – William Godfrey, William Nicholson, Miram (x) Tatem.             Entered 21 May 1714.  (DB 9/294)


1711 May 10 – Norfolk County: (Abstract) Know all me by these presents that I, Elizabeth Tatem, widow, Executrix by the last will and testament of my husband Nathaniel Tatem, deceased of Bermuda…authorize Capt. George Newton in Virginia to be my attorney for my financial power regarding rents of land, money, merchant goods and wares due me.  (signed) Elizabeth (x) Tatem.  Witnesses – Josaphat Wattman, __ Smith, Thomas Underwood.  Entered 6 May 1711.   (DB 9/54)


Children of Nathaniel Tatem “II” and wife Elizabeth Turner

4th Generation, (1), (2), (3), etc:


(1). Elizabeth Tatem, daughter of Nathaniel Tatem “II.” 


1693 April 16 – Bermuda: Elizabeth Tatem was Baptized 16 April 1693 in Bermuda - father named was Nathaniel Tatem. 

Pembroke Register Baptisms, page 4007 from Early Bermuda Records 1619-1826, by A.C. Hollis Hallet, 1991


1714 April 14 – Norfolk County: Elizabeth Tatem of Norfolk County, Virginia and daughter of Capt. Nathaniel Tatem, Mariner, late of the Islands of Bermuda and deceased, deeded to Peter Edwards, Shipright of same county, for 17 pounds, 14 of which in Spanish Gold…one plantation or tract of land with 105 acres which belonged to Capt. Nathaniel Tatem, Father of the said Elizabeth Tatem, bought of William Bustin 14 June 1710…containing 130 acres…in Norfolk County near the mouth of the southern Branch of Elizabeth River on the western side of the branch.  (Signed) Eliz (x) Tatem.  Witnesses: Samuel Newton, John Tucker, and William Godfrey.  Entered 21 May 1714.  (DB 9/295)


1718 November 21 – Norfolk County Court: Dismissed, the case brought by Capt. Geo. Newton against Elizabeth Tatem…(can’t read rest).  (DB 10/34)    


(2). Martha Tatem (_ to 1766), daughter of Nathaniel Tatem “II,” married William Linus after 1724.


1719 February 7 – Norfolk County Court finds information against Martha Tatem for causing above trouble(?) is by the Court dismissed at her cost, she having paid Benjamin the __ __.  (DB H, within unnumbered page)


1724 December 19 – Norfolk County: Nath’ll Tatem deeded to Martha Tatem, both of Norfolk County…for 5 shillings silver…Nathaniel Tatem doeth hereby acknowledge and sell her land…175 acres…(their) father gave unto her in his will, …bought of Joseph Church.  (Signed) Nath’ll Tatem and seal.  Witnesses: Solo Wilson, George Planey.  Entered 18 December 1724. (DB F/128)


1732 May 16 – Norfolk County: William Linus and Martha his wife deeded to Nathaniel Tatem, Gent., all of Norfolk County, for 60 pounds Virginia money…land lying in Norfolk County that Nathaniel Tatem the Elder, deceased bequeathed unto the said Martha by his last will…containing 175 acres, part of 550 acres, which Nathaniel Tatem the Elder brought from Joseph Church.  Signed by William Linus, Martha Linus.  Witnesses: Paul Portlock, Jno Nicholson, Alex’l McPherson.  Entered 17 May 1735.  (DB12/64-66)


1757 October 3 – Norfolk County:  Martha Linus was a witness to the will of Elizabeth Godfrey. 


1765 April 29 – Norfolk County: Will of Martha Linus. 

Executor – Nathaniel Tatem, Senior.

To Nathaniel Tatem, son of Nathaniel Tatem – negroes Nancey and Affa; bed and bed stead, sheets, plate, quilts, silver pepper box, etc…if he dies all goes to his brother James Tatem.

To Lovey Tatem, daughter of Nathaniel Tatem – negro Juda…if she dies, Juda goes to her sister, Ann Tatem

To Marian Abyvon – chest and 5 pounds cash

To Ann Tatem, daughter of Nathaniel – chest and silver teaspoons

To Mary Avery – 5 pounds cash; To Mary Carter, daughter of Mary Avery – bed, rug, etc.

To Cousin – Nathaniel Tatem, Senior – Negro Jammy; remainder of estate not before given.  

Probated 15 May 1766.  Witnesses: Matthew Godfrey, Dinah Tatem  (F/144)

Norfolk County, Virginia Will Book 1, 1755-1772 by Elizabeth B. Wingo 1986 


(3). Miriam Tatem, (various spellings), daughter of Nathaniel Tatem “II.”


1717 July 31 - Norfolk County: Marriage bond - James Egerton of “Province of Maryland” to “Mirium Tatem,” daughter of Elizabeth Tatem who consents for her.  Surety: James Cumming.  Witnesses: Rand. Edgerton and Moses Kedwood. (county record) 


1717/18 January 3 – Norfolk County:  James Edgerton and his wife Marian and Nathaniel Tatem deeded to Lemuell Newton, Surveyor…for 20 pounds…175 acres being part of 550 acres given to the said James Edgerton’s wife by her father’s will, being part of 550 acres granted Capt. Richard Church by patient dated 20 April 1668.  Land adjoins Capt. Nicholson.  Signed: James Edgerton, Mariam “M” Edgerton, Nathaniel Tatem.  Witnesses Geo. Newton, John Willis, Richard __, Sarah “x” Guy.  Court 26 February 1719. (DB 10/4) 


(4). Nathaniel Tatem “III,” son of Nathaniel Tatem “II.”  His birth date is difficult to estimate and died 1739 when his will was probated.   He married at an unknown date/location to Ann Godfrey about 1713/1714 and lived in Norfolk County, Virginia.  Nathaniel Tatem “III” was a mariner, merchant, and a judge in Norfolk County.


Details for Nathaniel Tatem III and Ann Godfrey:


1715/16 March 13 – Norfolk County: Will of Mathew Godfrey:  (A very long will of Mathew Godfrey who apparently was not married and did not have children.)  Several items to note:

…to my Cusen Mathew Godfrey the son of my brother John Godfrey…negro man called Tom Butt.  (Cousen Mathew is named to inherit further lands…lands in Norfolk County…lands in at the Great Bridge    

…to my Cosen William Godfrey and Anne Tatum and Amee Hutchings each of them ten shilling a piece to make each of them a ring

…to my cusens Randle, Thomas, George, and James Egerton, 10 shillings (and) a piece to make them a ring. 

…to my Cosen Joseph Perry all my land in Corotuck Bay the Raged llands and alsoe my  part of the Ceader Island.

…to my Cusen Thomas Perry one cow…on Ceader island…my Cattle that I shall have in in Corrotuck…divided among my Sister Jacksons children.

…my Great Sloop called the America...the Sloop that I have begun to build at the Quarter near the North River in Norfolk County…   Proved 17 May 1717.

Book 9, p. 591.


Currituck Bay lands should be in nearby Currituck County, North Carolina which is in the most northeast corner of North Carolina.  Currituck has more Tatems or Tatums with their relationship not understood.


1715 November 26 – Norfolk County: Col. Edward Moseley of Princess Anne County deeded to Nath’l Tatem of Norfolk County, land on Elizabeth River, at the head of Western Branch of Indian Creek.  (DB F/94)

History of Perquimans County, Ellen Goode Rawlings Winslow and Winslow, 1931, page 424-425.


1718 August 15 - Norfolk County Court: Plaintiffs John Hutchings and wife Amey against defendant Nathan’ll Tatem by Jury Trial.    John Godfrey on 5 August 1708 had three negro slaves called Joe, Dianna, and George.  They and their increase were willed to his wife Mary Godfrey who in turn gave them to daughter Amey Godfrey.  In the meantime, the slave Dianna had two children.  The youngest of the children was called Phillis who was deeded 17 April 1713 by Mary Godfrey to her daughter Ann Godfrey.    In the meantime Amey Godfrey had intermarried to John Hutchings (and Ann Godfrey to Nathaniel Tatem).   Phillis was rated at 20 pounds sterling.    On 19 September 1718 Court, the case was dismissed against the defendant Nathaniel Tatem and adjusted only to the court cost. (DB 10/29 and 10/30 court minutes)


1719 May 16 – Norfolk County: Will of Mary Godfrey of Norfolk County.  Proved 18 October 1719. 

…to my son Mathew Godfrey one horse called Robin…

…to my Son William Godfrey one whip saw which is now at my Son in Law Tatems and one pair of Money Scales.

…to my Daughter Amy..two heaters…

…to my Daughter Ann Tatem one feather bed…

…to my Daughter Amy Hutchens one feather bed…

…to my Son Matthew one house bell…

…to my Daughter Whitkhouse one small feather bed…six leather chairs…

…to my children Mathew and William and Mary & Daughter Ann and Amy…

…my two Sons Mathew and William Godfrey…Sole Executors. 

Witnesses: Lemil Simmons, Cathe Godfrey.  Signed: Mary Godfrey & S.

Book Orders-Appraisements-Wills (Book OAW, p. 38)


 Mary Godfrey was the widow of John Godfrey of Norfolk County who had a will dated 5 August 1708 and proved 15 May 1710.   In this will, daughters Anne and Amie Godfrey received one acre of land in “Norfolke Towne” to be split between them.  Daughter Ann was to get the “fore Street Lott.” 


1719 August 27 – Norfolk County: Arthur Godfrey and wife Isabella of Norfolk County deeded to Nathaniel Tatem, Mariner…for 4 pounds…land and buildings at the upper end of Norfolk Town(?), part of a lot given by Mr. Mathew Godfrey, deceased to Arthur Godfey.  Land where now John Murphy now liveth.   On 1721 August 11: “Nath’ll Tatum” deeded this land to John Murphee (Murphree) of the Town of Norfolk for 5 shillings…land being a lott of ½ acre lying and being in Norfolk Town.  Signed: Nathaniel Tatem.  Witnesses: Lem’ll Langley, William Batts, Samuel Powers.  Entered 15 December 1721.  (DB F6/7 and 10/73).  


1722 July 19 – Norfolk County: “Nath’ll Tatum” of Norfolk County deeded to William Godfrey of said county for 5 shillings, 130 acres lying near the mouth of the southern Branch of Elizabeth River in said county.  Land had been bought from Bustin by Nathaniel Tatem, father.  (this is the lease portion of the lease/release deed) Godfrey to pay yearly rent of one ear of Indian Corn at the Feast of John the Baptist.  (signed) Nath. Tatem.  Witnesses: J. Carson, John Hutchings, John Guy.  Entered 20 July 1722.  (DB 7/47; release part of deed unreadable on microfilm) 


1723 – Norfolk County: Col. Edward Moseley of Princess Ann County deeded to Nath’l Tatem, Mariner, for 22 pounds money, that Moseley had bought from William Thorogood of Princess Ann County and recorded in Norfolk County as 200 acres of land …being on the head of the western branch of Indian Creek joining the land of Capt. John Halstead, Capt. Richard _, William Nichols, and Mrs _ Land.  (Signed) Edward Moseley.  Witnesses: William Parson, Peter Malbone, William Godfrey, and John Lamberts.  Entered 15 November 1723.  (DB F/94)


1724 December 19 – Norfolk County: Nath’ll Tatem of Norfolk County deeded to Martha Tatem of said county…witnessed that the said Nath’ll Tatem for 5 shillings silver, paid by said Martha Tatem….   Nathaniel Tatem doeth hereby acknowledge and sell her land…175 acres which said land my; father gave unto her in his will, which father Nathaniel Tatem bought of Joseph Church.  (Signed) Nath’ll Tatem and seal.  Witnesses: Solo Wilson, George Planey.  Entered 18 December 1724. (DB F/128)


1726: George Newton’s sloop “Ann and Elizabeth,” commanded by Nathaniel Tatem, was initially listed as “of Bermuda” (5 February 1726), but thereafter it was designed “of Virginia.”

In the Eye of All Trade: Bermuda, Bermudians, and its Maritime Atlantic World 1680-1783, by Michael J. Jarvis. 2010, Page 604.


1726 – Bridgetown, Barbados - The following ships were bound for Virginia from Barbados; 4.5% Duties Barbados, as recorded by Barbados Dept. Treasury Accounts:


Duties collected for the Elizabeth and Anne, “Nathaniel Tatem,” between 25 February and 25 March 1726: 900 gallons rum; 700 gallons rum; 900 gallons rum; 900 gallons rum; 900 pounds sugar, 120 gallons rum; 700 gallons rum; 900 pounds sugar, 600 pounds sugar; 1580 gallons rum; 3000 pounds sugar, 240 gallons molasses, 200 gallons rum.   Duties collected by James Carmichael, collector at Oistimi Bay.

Virginia Colonial Records Project, Survey Report 04584, Library of Virginia on-line.   


1728 February 24 – Norfolk County: Will of William Nicholson, Senior of Norfolk County.  Proved 17 May 1728.  …unto my loving Son William Nicholson, the manner plantation and houses whereon I now live together with all houses and land on the westerne or westward side of the Holly Boush branch excepting the now brick Roome which I Shall hereafter direct and dispose of…after the Decease of my Loveing wife Alice…  Witnesses include Nathl Tatem, George Sparrow, Peter Lowe.  (book __, pages 118-119)


About 1730 to 1737 – Norfolk:  Nathaniel Tatem and most other Bermudian families lived (one) …block inland on Bermuda Street (in Norfolk town), where the wealth and fashion on the borough resided. .   …Nathaniel Tatem, Robert Tucker, and other Bermudians also invested shipping profits in large interior tracts.”   Item lists in Tatem’s 1743 inventory suggest that he harvested timber, grazed livestock and grew corn on his property to supply Norfolk, urban market and furnish his own vessels with cargoes.   …Each of these families acquired several urban properties over time, which they either rented out to the mariners and craftsmen they employed or used to house their slaves.”  Jarvis states these people had first lands on Grand Caymans.

In the Eye of All Trade: Bermuda, Bermudians, and the Maritime Atlantic World 1680-1783, by Michael J. Jarvis, 2010.   


The corner of Bermuda and Church Street seems to fit the mentioned location, although Nathaniel Tatem owned numerous lands.  Bermuda Street no longer exists and is probably today’s Main Street.  South end of Church Street is now St. Paul’s Blvd.   If this is correct, the location appears near today’s civic center.    


1730 to 1736 June 10 – Norfolk County tax:  Tithables for Capt. Nathaniel Tatem,

Location: Indian Creek Canton 1730 -1733; Ferry Point to Great Bridge 1734 – 1736.  Tax records are missing for the years 1737 – 1749.

Tithable lists recorded by Samuel Boush 1730-1733; Capt. Nathaniel Tatem 1734-1736.

Included with Capt. Nathaniel Tatem on his tax are William Gwinn – 1730; George Maxwell – 1731, 1732; William Ivey 1734; William Motley 1734 – 1736; William Tominson 1735; (a 2nd) Nathaniel Tatem 1736 only

Male Slaves: Arolon 1730; Dick 1730, 1735; Phillip 1730-1732; Kitt or Kit 1730-1735; George 1730-1732; James 1730-1735; Tom 1730-1734; Tom Jr. 1731; Indian James 1731-1734; Markalass?/Herkilus 1731, 1733; William 1732; Ark 1732; Sambo 1732-1736+; Joiles 1732; Harlo 1735

Female Slaves: Ruth 1730-1735; Phillis/Files 1730-1736+; Magg 1735-1736+; Beach 1735; Betty 1735-1736; Wanne 1735; Beck 1730-1736+; (a 2nd) Beck 1736

Notation for 1736: Ruth and Johnson sublet.

Notation for 1733: Capt. Nathaniel Tatem - Absent.

Source: Norfolk County, Virginia Tithables 1730-1750 by Elizabeth B. Wingo, W. Bruce Wingo, 1979.  


1731 June 18 – Norfolk County:  Edward Mosely of Princess Ann County deeded to Capt. Nathaniel Tatum of Norfolk County, one lot of land situated and being in Norfolk County, 235 ft x 231 ft. x 56 feet on Main Street at the corner of Back Street.  (Signed) Edw. Moseley.  Witnesses – John Phipp, Jas Camble, John Rawley.  Recorded 18 June 1731.  (DB 11/7)


1732 May 16 – Norfolk County: William Linus and Martha his wife of Norfolk County deeded to Nathaniel Tatem of aforesaid County, Gent. for 60 pounds Virginia money…tract plantation of land Nathaniel Tatem the Elder, deceased bequeathed unto the said Martha by his last will…containing 175 acres, part of 550 acres brought by the said Nathaniel Tatem the Elder of Joseph Church lying in Norfolk County.  Signed: William Linus, Martha Linus.  Witnesses: Paul Portlock, Jno Nicholson, Alex’l McPherson.  Entered 17 May 1735.  (DB12/64-66)


1734 August 2 – Norfolk County: Will of Richard Joell of Norfolk Town in Virginia. 

….to my Loving Wife Rebecca Joell all my Estate which I am possest of…until she changes her name, but when she changes her name then she is to have but one third part of my estate and the rest to be equally divided between my children Susanna Joell, Rebecca, Richard & Hannah, and Stafford Joell.

….friend Capt. Nathaniel Tatum and my well beloved Wife Rebecca Joell to be my Executor & Executrix.  Witnesses: J. Phipp, James Giles,  Signed: Richd Joell (seal).  (DB12/18)


1735 September 29 – location not given: Nathaniel Tatem letter to Mr. James Cox, Mate of the ship “Caeser” in London by Capt. Turner.    “I hope Capt Harwood has chartered my ship to Mr. Jonathan __but if not…I have ordered him to send my ship direct to Virginia without a very good freight offers….   If you come Master of my ship, I order (it) from London to Virginia…. (Signed) Nath. Tatam.  P.S. Pray be kind to my son John Tatam.  All your friends was well in Bermuda about 20 days ago.  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. 


Captain Nathaniel Tatem of Norfolk owned the ship Caeser worth 625 pounds and the sloop Indian Creek worth 25 pounds money.

Norfolk: Historic Southern Port by Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, 1931, page 44. 


1736 June 6 – Norfolk County: 16 Tithables for Capt. Nathaniel Tatem and Nathaniel Tatem.


         The 2nd Nathaniel Tatem should be Nath’l. Tatem “IV” (~1714 – 1771)


1736 – Norfolk County: That same year (1736), Captain Nathaniel Tatem owned the ship Caesar and the sloop Indian Creek, but he also owned cartwheels, chains, axes, whipsaws and wedges – the tools required for cutting and hauling planks (as noted in a 1744 inventory .  About this time the sloop Industry was constructed in Norfolk….   Yarsinske also notes the close proximity of Norfolk to the Dismal Swamp provided what early settlers believed was an endless supply of timber.

The Elizabeth River by Amy Waters Yarsinske, 2007, page 85

Norfolk: Historic Southern Port by Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, 1931, page 30. 


1736 November 26 – Virginia Maritime Logs: Brig “Charming Ann, Master – John Brown, 45 tons, 6 guns, 8 men, built 1732, registered in Williamsburg on 21 March 1732 with owner being Nathaniel Tatem.  Sailed from Antigua to Hampton, Virginia with 1 slave.

Virginia Slave Trade Statistics 1698 – 1775, by Walter Minchinton, Celia King, and Peter Waite 1984.


1737 May 20 – Norfolk County:  Nathaniel Newton and his wife Elizabeth deeded to Nathaniel Tatem of Norfolk County for 35 pounds 175 acres in Norfolk County bounded by a creek with Capt. John Nickolson.  Signed: Nathaniel Newton.  Witnesses: Jno Watkins and William Conner.  Entered 20 May 1737.   (DB 12/251)


1737 August 5 – Norfolk County: On 5 August 1736, James Nimmo and Stephen Wright, Gent. Administrators of Lewis Connor, deceased, and heirs Jarvis Connor and Elizabeth Lawson deeded to Nathaniel Tatem, Gent. 300 acres of land in Norfolk County, location never detailed but a complex history of the land was given...for 82 pounds money.  (Signed): James Nimmo, Stephen Wright, Jarvis Connor, Elizabeth Lawson.  Witnesses Jno Sheldon(?), Enos Tart, John Harris, Timothy Fenton(?), John Simmons, John Williams, Frances Wishard.  Entered 19 August 1737.  (DB 12/194-196)


1738 – Norfolk County: Justices of Norfolk County, with approximate date of commission: (include) Capt. Nathaniel Tatem, 1738

The County Court 1637-1904, Norfolk County, Virginia by Charles B. Cross, Jr. 1964, page 145.


1738 November 30 – Norfolk County: Indenture from Peter Malbone of Norfolk, Mariner  to Capt. Nathaniel Tatem of said county…for 68 pounds Virginia money… a lott on Church Street in Norfolk Borough, bounded on one side by Church grounds and other side by land of Capt. Simeon Hancock…58 feet on the street by 58 feet deep.   Signed: Petter Malbone.  Witnesses; Lem’l Langley, James Smith, A. McPherson.  Entered 15 November 1741.  (DB 12/298-300)


1738 November – Norfolk County: “and the deed of Peter Malbone to Capt. Nathaniel Tatem in November 1738 indicates...First Church was standing next to and north of Malbone’s land and gave its name to Church Street.”

Norfolk’s Church Street: Between Memory and Reality, by Amy Waters Yarsinske.


1737 October 18 – Norfolk County: Will abstract of Capt. Nathaniel Tatem (probated 17 August 1739 and 21 September 1739).


In the Name of God Amen, I, Nathaniel Tatem of the Colony of Virginia, Mariner being Sick and weak of body but of Sound disposing mind and memory…give and bequeath….


To son Nathaniel Tatem…750 acres of land with the Mansion House thereon Standing…in Elizabeth River in Virginia…but my mind and will is that my Loving wife Ann Tatem shall live in the mentioned house with half the plantation together…during her Natural Life.   Item, my negro man Tom to son Nathaniel Tatem….  Item: Sixty pounds Virginia money to son Nathaniel Tatem to build him a house on the Land I gave him. 

To son John Tatem…all the land I have at Crane (Craney) Island…about 780 acres with the Mansion House and all other (buildings)…being at the mouth of the Elizabeth River in Virginia….  Item…my negro man James and Bray to son John Tatem. 

To son Trimingham Tatem…that lot or half acre of land in Norfolk Town which I bought of Colonel Ed Moseley and negro boy Dick and negro boy Sam and negro girl Rose….

To my daughter Love Tatem…negro man Kit and negro man James and one named May and negro woman Betsy and her boy Danill and negro boy __ and negro girl Mol; one feather bed and furniture and half dozen leather chairs and half dozen cane ones, cedar oval table and my negro woman Beck….

Item: Two hundred pounds Virginia money to be equally divided between my four Children, viz: Nathaniel, John, Trimingham, Love….

Item: I give and bequeath all my vessels, viz: my ship Caesar and half the Brigantine Charming and my Sloop Flat and sailing boat.

To my Dear and Loving wife Ann Tatem, the rest of my negroes….Filory, Dick, Sambar, Yamouth, Sol, Sam and Will.  (separation not clear for next entry)…Will and Magg are to remain on the said plantation with said house and houses and everything in my house, but what has been given before unto my Loving Wife Ann Tatem during her Natural Life and afterward to be equally divided and share and share all alike among my four children - Nathaniel, John, Trimingham, Love Tatem. 

Nominate and Appoint my Said Loving Wife Ann Tatem and Capt. John Hutching, Executrix…this 18 October 1737.

Item: 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, Trimingham, and as come to age to have the land.

Item: It is my will and Desire that the lott that lyes in Norfolk Town I give Tomy Loving Daughter Lovey and her heirs the said lott bought of Peter Malbone.

Item: I give unto Mary Snelings, the Daughter of William Snelings, 12 pounds Virginia money.

Signed: Nathn’ll Tatem, Wax Seal.   Witnesses: William Wood, James Cox, William Godfrey.

Collection of Unrecorded Wills, Norfolk County, Virginia 1711-1800 by Elizabeth B. Wingo 1961, pages 108 and 109.


William Godfrey made oath he see Capt. Nathaniel ...& that ye last Paragraph was wrote by ye said...& that he saw William Wood and James Cox sign ye said Will...Ann Tatem relict & Executrix herein name renounced any benefit...ye other Executor named Swore to ye Same Will according to ...(born)...is accordingly granted to due form.   Proved in Court, 25 September 1739, by ye Oath of Capt. William...(torn)...James Cox....


1744 – Norfolk County:  1744 inventory of Mrs. Ann Tatem showed one pair of cart wheels and chains, several whipsaws, one cutting mills, three wedges….


            The following deeds haven’t been seen: (1) Nath’l. Tatem et ux to Cornelius Calvery F/67, (2) Nath’l Tatem from Lewis Conner G/138+


Children of Nathaniel Tatem “III” and Ann Godfrey

5th Generation Tatems, (i), (ii), (iii), etc.


(i). Nathaniel Tatem “IV,” son of Nathaniel Tatem “III.”  See his separate chapter – Nathaniel Tatem “IV.” (~1714)


(ii). John Tatem “I” (ca1716/20 to ~1774), son of Nathaniel Tatem “III.  See his separate chapter – John Tatem “I” (~1716)”


(iii). Love Tatem - daughter of Nathaniel Tatem “III.”


(iv). Trimmagin (Trimingham)“Trim” Tatem (1716/20 to 1762), mariner - son of Nathaniel Tatem “III.” He does not appear in Norfolk marriage records, but few Norfolk County marriage records survived before 1742.    


 1745 May 19 – Virginia Maritime Log: Brig “Industry” with Trim Tatem -  Master, 70 tons, no guns, 8 men.  Built 1740 and registered Virginia 24 October 1740.  Owner – John Hutchings, Virginia.   Sailed Barbados to Hampton, Virginia with 55 slaves.

Virginia Slave-trade Statistics, 1698-1775, by Walter E. Minchinton, Celia Mary King, Peter Waite, 1984.


            John Hutchings married Amey Godfrey, sister of Ann Godfrey who married Nathaniel Tatem “III.”


1746 August 16 – Virginia Maritime Log: Brig “Industry” with Trim Tatem – Master, 70 tons, no guns, 7 men.  Registered last in Barbados 7 July 1746.  Owner was John Hutchings of Virginia.  Sailed Barbados to Hampton, Virginia with 3 slaves.

Virginia Slave-trade Statistics, 1698-1775, by Walter E. Minchinton, Celia Mary King, Peter Waite, 1984.


1746 December 10 – Norfolk County: Will of Capt. Reodolphus Malbon.  Witnesses were Mathew Godfrey, Trim Tatem, Amy Hutchings.  (DB H/196)


1750 – Norfolk County tax: 12 Tithables for Nathaniel Tatem, Trim. Tatem and negroes Pony, Darby, Toney, Manuel, Will, James, Sam, Jenny, Phillis, Nancy. (Mr. Christopher Perkins list)


1750 October 9 – Norfolk County: “Ordered that Mr. Matthew Godfrey, Mr. William Nash, Capt. Trimagan Tatum and William Ashley shall have leave and are hereby empowered to build a Gallery in the church in Norfolk Town, reaching for the Pulpitt to the School Boys Gallery equally betwixt them and their heirs forever to have and hold.

Vestry Book of Elizabeth River Parish 1749-1761, by Alice Granbery Walter, 1967, page 5.


1751 to 1761 – Norfolk County Tax:  Tithables for Trim Tatem (various spellings)

Years noted: 1751, 1753, 1757, 1759, and 1761.

Tithes taken by: Capt. John Willoughby 1751, Capt. Josiah Smith 1753, Major Josiah Smith 1757, 1759; Lemuel Willoughby 1761

Location: Borough of Norfolk from as far as Spratts Bridge and all the south side of Tanners Creek 1751, 1753, 1757, Borough of Norfolk, south side of Tanners Creek and to Great Bridge 1759.  No location given 1761. 

Slaves: Sam 1751, 1753, 1757, 1759, 1761; Abey 1751, 1753, 1757, 1759, 1761; Tamer/Tatmer 1751, 1753, 1757, 1759, 1761; Dick 1759   


1753 February 8 – Virginia:  Cleared outwards ship, Amy – Trimingin Tatem for Barbados with 2893 bushels of corn,  90 bushels of peas, 108 barrels of pork, 30 boxes of candles, 6000 feet of boards, and 1000 hoops (for binding staves of barrels).

Virginia Gazette 2 March 1770, page 4/ column 4; microfilm Library Virginia


1753 May 11 – Princess Anne County: Will of James Moore.  Executor – friend William Nimmo and son James Moore.   To daughter Anne Tatum.  To sons James Moore all the plantation I bought of Francis Spratt and his brother Thorowgood Spratt.  To son John? (ink spot on name) ½ the houses in Norfolk.  To son Francis my dwelling house in Norfolk.  Witnesses: James Godfrey, John Chapman, and Thomas Buller. Entered 17 December 1753. (DB7/547)

Princess Anne County, Virginia Land and Probate Records Abstracted from Deed Books 8-18, 1755-1783, by Anne E. Maling, 1993.


1755 February 12 - Norfolk County: Marriage bond of Nathaniel Tatem to Dinah Nash.  Sureties: Nathl Tatem, Trim Tatem (County Record).


1755 April 1 – Virginia: Cleared Outwards, ship “Industry, Timothy Tatem, for Madeira, 1780 bushels of wheat, 800 bushels of corn, and 600 staves.

Virginia Gazette, 23 May 1755, page 2, column 1, Lib. Va. microfilm


            Ship’s Master is incorrect and should be Trim Tatem, who was reported twice earlier as its ship’s master.


1756 April 15 – Norfolk County:  Wilson, Euphan – Orphan of James Wilson.  Guardian - William Nicholson, Additional Security – Trimagin Tatem.  Bond – 500 pounds.

Norfolk County, Virginia Guardian Bonds, 1750-1788, by Elizabeth B. Wingo, 1993.


1757 April 22 – Norfolk County: (abstracted) Nathaniel Tatem and Dinah his wife, of Norfolk County deeded to Trimmagin Tatem (various spellings) of the Borough of Norfolk, mariner, for 220 pounds Virginia money, a lot about ½ acre in the borough.  History: was Gassans(?), then divided by the last will of Nathaniel Tatem the Elder deceased, to his son Trimmigan Tatem…who sold it to Nathaniel Tatem.  Signed: Nathaniel Tatem, Dinah Tatem. Witnesses; Sam Benish? Jr., James _am, Ja. Holt.  Returned 22 April 1757.   (DB 18/36).   On 4 May 1757, this deed was cancelled by General Court and returned to Trim and wife Ann Tatem, who then proceeded to sell the land to John Ramsay for 277 pounds Virginia money. (DB 18/37)


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.


1762 October 2/probate 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) 

Norfolk County, Virginia Will Book 1, 1755-1772 by Elizabeth B. Wingo 1986 


764 September – Norfolk Court: Estate audit returned to court.  Of note - slave “wench” Tanner (or Tatmer) sold to John Moore; slave “girl” Rose sold to John Wilson, and Slave Sam to James Moore.  

Norfolk County Audit Book, 1/74.


1767 - Norfolk, East Division of Borough of Norfork:   Tithables for Ann Tatem for Negro Famer (possibly is Tamer), 1 poll tax.


1768 June 24 – Princess Anne County, Virginia:  Will of Anne Tatem names brothers James and John and children of my deceased brother Francis Moor land given my father Capt. James Moore.  Ex: brothers, not named.  Witnesses Tully Robinson, William Smith, Abigal Strowd.  (DB 10, page 255)

Princess Anne County, Virginia Land and Probate Records Abstracted from Deed Books 8-18, 1755-1783, by Anne E. Maling, 1993.


            Notice that Anne Tatem doesn’t mention her son James Tatem or any children.   Could her son James be dead? 


1772 March 26 – Norfolk County: George the Third by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland and defender of the faith…To the Sheriff of Norfolk County…Greeting.  We command you that you summon Thomas Nash, Junior Executor of Nathaniel Tatem, deceased to appear before our Justices our county Court in Chancery at the court house of the said county…on the third Thursday in April next to answer a bill in Chancery exhibited against him by John Tatem, Gent, Executor of Trimingham Tatem…26 March 1772…(no further details).

Library of Virginia, Chancery Records, Norfolk “County, index number 1772-011, plaintiff - Exr. of Trimingham Tatem versus defendant – Exr of Nathaniel Tatem. 


Children of Trimagin Tatem and Ann, per will: (a). James Tatem.  Nothing further found.


Miscellaneous Information on Tatems


1 - Tatem Marriage Bonds in Norfolk County, Virginia (County Record)


Scribes spell surname as Tatem.  Before the year ~1742, recorded Norfolk marriages are fewer.   Bondsmen, witnesses, and aside comments seem to vary with sources. 


1717 July 31 - Norfolk County: James Egerton of “Province of Maryland” to “Mirium Tatem,” daughter of Elizabeth Tatem who consents for her.  Surety: James Cumming.  Witnesses: Rand. Edgerton and Moses Kedwood.  

1743 November 7 - Norfolk County: John Tatem to Anne Wright

1743 December 13 - Norfolk County: Nathaniel Tatem, Jr. to Prudence Wilson

1755 February 12 - Norfolk County: Nathaniel Tatem to Dinah Nash.  Nathl Tatem, Trim Tatem

1770 June 1 - Norfolk County: Francis Wright to “Ann Godfrey Tatem,” with surety being John Tatem and (one source) adds Francis Wright.

1772 November 7 - Norfolk County: John Tatem to Eliza Wright Carney

1773 July 6 - Norfolk County: “Lovet Tatem” to William Nicholson with bondsmen: William Nicholson and Nathaniel Tatem.   One source states “William Nicholson and Lovet, orphan daughter Of Nathl Tatem, deceased.

*Va. Co. Records: Miscellaneous County Records by William A Crozier.

1773 October 29 - Norfolk County: Nathaniel Tatem to Rebecca Portlock with Bondsmen: Nathaniel Tatem and John Portlock

1774 March 2 - Norfolk County: Diana Tatem to James Herbert.  Diana is the daughter of Dinah Tatem who consents for her.  Surety is Caleb Herbert.  Witness is William Hunter. 

1774 March 30 - Norfolk County: “John Tatem, Se’r.” to Abey (or Alsey) Smith with Bondsmen: John Tatem Senr and John Archer 

1774 December 7 - Norfolk County: Ann Tatem to Malachi Oldner, with surety James Tatem.  Hannah Edy makes oath that Ann, daughter of Nathaniel Tatem, deceased, is of lawful age.  Malachi Oldner is the son of George and Dinah Oldener.  witnesses Jno Boush and James Tatem

1778 December 19 - Norfolk County: Solomon Tatem to Sarah Carney

1782 July 9 - Norfolk County: James Tatem to Polly Williamson

1785 February 22 - Norfolk County: Nathaniel Tatem to Elisabeth/Elizabeth Wright

1785 May 21 - Norfolk County: Lydia Tatem to John Trimble.  George Wilson, guardian of Lydia, consents for her and is surety.

1799 April 1 – Norfolk County: James Tatem and Miss Margaret Nash

1800 August 5 – Norfolk County: John Tatem and Ann Nash

1802 February 21 – Norfolk County: Miss Catherine Tatem and Robert Barclay

1802 December 13 – Norfolk County: Benjamin Montgomery and Betty Tatem

1804 April 12 – Norfolk County: Rebecca Tatem to Charles Nash; surety Nathaniel P. Tatem.

1806 January 25: Married on Saturday by Reb. Coe, John Cowpes to Miss Prudence Tatem, both of Norfolk (per Norfolk and Portsmouth Herale, publication dated Tuesday, 28 January 1806.   Another source states marriage bond 23 January 1806, Miss Prudence Tatem to John Cooper,  Father is James Tatem.  Cowpes should be corrected to Cooper.

1807 April 4 – Norfolk County: Nathaniel P. Tatem to Mary Nash

1810 October 6 – Norfolk County: Lovy Tatem to William Portlock.  Daughter of Rebekah Tatem who consents.  Married by Rev. Thomas T. Jones on 6 October 1810.

1815 February 27 – Norfolk County: Patsey Tatem to Thomas Carson

1816 February 19 – Norfolk County: Wilson Tatem to Hannah M. Holstead

1816 December 12 - Norfolk County: John Tatem and Mrs. Nancy Etheridge

1817 March 20 – Norfolk County: Lovey Tatem to Maurice L. Tabb; surety James Tatem.

1817 March 20 – Norfolk County: John Tatem to Charity Stokes

1818 January 22 – Norfolk County: Diana Tatem to Charles Clark

1818 February 18 – Norfolk City: Maria Tatem to John Walher

1818 December 8 – Princess Anne County: James Tatem to Abigal Murden

1819 December 30 – Norfolk County: Charity Tatem to Samuel Britmore

1821 March 2 – Married in North Carolina on March 2, by Reb. Jokaff; Mr. Malcomb Manning to Miss Virginia Ann Tatem, daughter of James Tatem of Norfolk County.

Norfolk & Portsmouth Daily Advertiser, Pub: Saturday, 10 March 1821, Lib. of Va. 

1822 April 11 – Norfolk City: Robert H. Tatem to Ann R. Ghesetin

1825 May 5 – Married at Portsmouth: (Miss) Sarah Wright Tatem to William Smith Whitaker (American Commercial Beacon, Lib. Va. Online)

1826 June 6 Portsmouth: Marriage of Robert H. Tatem to Miss Mary Ann Bruce, all of Portsmouth.  (From Norfolk & Portsmouth Herald, Monday 12, 1826, Lib. of Va

1830 June 17 Norfolk County:  Marriage of Edward H. Herbert to Miss Rebecca A. Tatem, eldest daughter of John Tatem, all of Norfolk County.  (Lib Va. online)

1832 August 29 – Norfolk County: Ann Elizabeth Soller Tatem to Thomas O. Dixon

1833 January 31 – Norfolk County: Married on Thursday, 31 Jnaury 1833 by Rev. Webb; Stephen Tatem of Norfolk County to Miss Elizabeth Ann Poole, daughter of Mrs. Keziah Poole, of Portsmouth.  (Am. Beacon and Va & NC Gazette, 2 Feb. 1833, Lib. Va. 

1835 June 26 – Norfolk City: Sarah C. Tatem, age 21 to Solomon Hodges

1838 January 29 – Norfolk City: Joseph Tatem age 21, to Harriet F. Douglass by Rev. D.S. Doggett.

1858 April 15 Norfolk County: Married on 15 April 1858 by Rev. M.B. Barrett, Nathaniel Portlock and Miss Mary A. B. Tatem, all of Norfolk County (Richmond Whig, Lib. Va online)


(1). Ancestry.com: Virginia marriages.

(2). Marriages of Norfolk, Virginia, 2 Volumes, “1706 – 1792” and “1788, 1793-1817,” by Elizabeth B. Wingo 1963

(3). Abstracts from Norfolk City Marriage Bonds (1797-1850), by George Holbert Tucker, 1934   


2 – Old Tatem Home as noted on 22 July 1937


            Subject - The Tatem Home.  Location – 2302 Beechland Street, west side between Springfield Avenue and Water Front; (Newton Park), Norfolk, Virginia.  Date estimated built – 1730.  Owners – Tatem; A. J. Newton Sr. and then to Jr., George Todd, Mary Lucille Todd (between 1730 – 1936).


            Description: “This is an old square brick building which sits back from the road facing the Elizabeth River with a nicely kept lawn…Black walnut, sycamore, elm trees and the grapes in the yard.  The rooms are large, the fire places are deep and the doors are old ‘Witch Doors.’  The old mantels were of painted oak, but the Todd family put in slate mantels.”


            Building plan: square, 2 stories brick, gabled roof, 2 chimneys, cornices plain pine.  Windows 2 with 12 panes each 9x10.  No shutters.  Porch – 1 in front, 12 in back, each small 1 story.  Entrance – 1 large 4 panel oak door transom light.  Square columns.  Six large rooms, ceiling height about 12 feet.  Stairway – closed string, painted black, walnut hand rail and balusters with small newel post, 2 flights.  Cellar – entire length of house.  Doors – 14 doors of painted oak, some are 6 panel, some 4 panel.  Papered walls.  Floors – wide heart pine, very irregular.  Mantels – slate.  Present condition – good.  Information per Daisy Lawrence.     


            Historical Significance: “This home was built by the Tatem family on land granted them by the Crown, and remained in the Tatem family until 1850 when the late A. J. Newton, Sr. purchased it.  This house was said to have been built between Bacon’s Rebellion and the Revolution.  This house was erected by the slaves and was built of hand made brick, made from oyster shell mortar.  The walls are solid and eighteen inches thick.  It (has) nothing regular about it.  The bird bath on the lawn is said to have been a solid rock hollowed out by the Indians to beat corn in for meal.  Newton Park took its name from the Newtons who lived here.  Miss Allene Todd and Dr. Cecil W. Tucker were married on the law here June 1916.”


            Sources of Information: Mrs. Mary Lucille Todd, 2302 Beechland Street, Norfolk, Virginia.  Library of Virginia online.  Va. Historical Inventory Project.    Survey report – the Tatem Home, 22 July 1937; research made by Daisy Lawrence.


             So far, this writer cannot find a deed transferring Tatem property to Newton, nor any information linking this house to Tatems.  Beechland Street is gone, but Newton Park and Springfield Road are within the NE quadrant of today’s I-460 and Highway 407, now in Chesapeake City limits.   The original 500 acres purchased by Nathaniel Tatem “II” was somewhere on the east arm of Elizabeth River and could be compatible with the house location.  


3 - Tatem Sources for Bermuda – Barbados:


(1) "Tatum Narrative 1625 – 1925" by Richard P. Tatum, 1925, found on ancestry.com.

(2) "Bermuda Settlers of the 17th Century," by Julia E. Mercer, 1982. 

(3) "Caribbeana" by Vere Langford Oliver, Volume II, 1912.

(4) "Early Bermuda Records 1619-1826," by A.C. Hollis Hallet, 1991.

(5) Early Bermuda Wills 1629-1835" by C.F.E. Hollis Hallett, 1993.         

(6) Barbados Records - Wills and Administrations." Volume III, 1701-1725, by Joann McRee Sanders, 1981.

(7). Early Bermuda Records 1619 – 1826, A Guide to Parish and Clergy Registers by Archibald Cameron Hollis Hollett, 1991.  (out of print – not seen but snippets on Google Books show many Tatem entries, with one being Ann Knowles - Samuel Tatem 4 March 1643 (page 19)


4 – Book Resources at Library of Virginia


“A Guide to Bible Records in the Library of Virginia, Volume 2, by Dale F. Harter, 1999.  Bibles with the Tatem surnames in the Library of Virginia:


1 - #1420. Tatem Family. Norfolk County. 1775-1896. Acc. 35083. 4 pages.  Other surnames mentioned. Hewlett, Portlock, and Sparrow.  (This should be the James Tatem Bible Record mentioned and rearranged)


2 – Hebert-Tatem-Portlock family Bible record, 1756-1975.  Bible belongs to Mrs. Hunter Joyce Bert.   Tatem names include:


Marriages: William Tatem and Ann Wiles Herbert married 7 June 1835.   William Tatem and Virginia W. Kuling? married 18 February 1847.  Franklin Portlock and wife Eugenia H. Tatem married 14 April 15, 1858.  Jack Quarles Hewlett and Mary Love Virginia Tatem married 30 September 1874.  Thomas W. Butt and Eugenia Tatem Portlock 23 December 1870


Births include: William Tatem, son of James and Margaret Tatem, born 2 May 1806.  Mary Eugenia, daughter of William and Ann Tatem born 7 April 1832….   Emily Boughan daughter of William and Ann Tatem, born 23 April 1833….


Deaths include: Ann Wiles Tatem, wife of William Tatem departed this life at 10 clock a.m. Saturday 7 November 1834.  William Tatem, husband of Virginia W. Tatem departed …4 October 1853.      


5 - Books on Tatems:


Tatum Narrative, 1626-1925 by Richard P. Tatum, 1925; available to read on ancestry.com. 


            Richard Tatum makes an excellent effort to link immigrant John Tatem/Tatum (ca1660 to 1738) of New Jersey and his brother Samuel Tatem/Tatum of Long Island to the mariner Tatems.   His book has many details concerning Tatem/Tatam/Tatums in Bermuda.   Similarity of first names to descendants of a different immigrant, Nathaniel Tatum (1599 to 167?) is quite confounding.  Consider this an important book to review.  A few errors do exist.


The Tatem Family of Bermuda, Bahama Islands, Norfolk and Princess Anne Counties, Va. Mrs. Alice Granbery Walter, 1962 (out of print - not seen).  Thought to be two pages, but needs confirming. 


If two pages, this may be “Tatem Family Genealogical Chart- 2 leaves, found at Library of Virginia, concerning descendants of Nathaniel Tatem (ca. 1650-1810) and his wife, Elizabeth Tatem (b. ca. 1670), and related families.

Library of Virginia call number 25908, system number 000497413


The Tatem Family of Norfolk County, Virginia by Charles Tatem 2005 (out of print – not found).


6 - Other Useful Books


The Lower Norfolk County Virginia Antiquary, Volumes 1-5, edited by Edward Wilson James.  Partially covers Norfolk marriages and Princess Anne County, Virginia


7 – Mariner Tatems who cannot be placed:


1720 October –Philadelphia, Pa Weekly Mercury Newspaper: 6 October 1720 - Entered outwards – Sloop Mary and Martha, John Tatem for Barbadoes.  13 October 1720 – cleared – Sloop Mary and Martha, John Tatem to Barbadoes.

The American Weekly Mercury Dec. 22, 1719 – December 20, 1720. Issues 1-52.  Vol. 1, #42 and #43. 


Note that there was a New Jersey John Tatem before these years.  He was a ship’s carpenter on shore, but there is no indication that he was a mariner.  “John Tatem for Barbados” could also be from England or Bermuda.  About 1722, the sloop Mary and Martha was taken by pirates.  The sloop “Mary and Martha” had several masters; for instance George Osburn was Master of the Mary and Martha in 1705 which was listed as a merchant ship.


About 1722 (date in question), “…Two ships the pirates had set on fire (in Antigua) were the Mary and Martha from Bristol (England) and….   Another source indicates they were taken near the island of St. Kitts.  It’s possible there were several such ships named “Mary and Martha.”


1745 August 23 – Virginia: Cleared and outwards Sloop Adventure, Samuel Tatem, for Bermuda with 660 bushels of corn, 4000 feet of planks, a parcel of oak timber, and 35 bushels of Peas.

Virginia Gazette, 23 May 1755, page 2, column 1, Lib. Va. microfilm


1751 November 27 – Virginia: Entered in York River, ship “Recovery, David Tatem from Bermuda.

 Virginia Gazette, 12 December 1751, page 3, column 2, Lib. Va. microfilm


1755 November 26 – Virginia:  Entered inwards in the Lower District of James River, ship “Samuel” John Tatem, from Antiqua with 500 bushels of salt, 2 Tierces Sugar, 2 ditto Molasses, 3 heads of Rum.

Virginia Gazette, 19 December 1755, page 2, column 2, Lib. Va. microfilm


Captain Benjamin Tatem – origins undetermined.


1752 February 3 – Location not determined: Protest of Benjamin Tatem, BCV 10.2:321

Bermuda, Bermudians, and the Maritime Atlantic World 1680-1783, by Michael J. Jarvis, 2010, page 547.


~1755 Norfolk County: During the French and Indian War, a privateer was operated out of Norfolk, owned by Benjamin Tatem and skippered by Hugh Sproule.   


1781 – Bermuda: Somerset Bridge (mansion) was owned by Captain Benjamin Tatem in 1781 and was valued at 100 pounds in 1789.  This was the easterly wing of the present house and probably dates from before the 1750’s.  Nothing is known of Benjamin Tatem and he was dead by the privateering years of the 1790’s.

Bermuda’s Architectural Heritage by Sandys (Andrew) Trimingham), 1999, pg 101

David Tatem – origins undetermined.


1776-1779:  Virginia Colonial Survey by Library of Virginia of repositories in Great Britain and other Countries – (British) Public Record Office:


         “This folder, dated 1776-9, contains 21 numbered documents, 8 court papers and 13 ships papers, relating to the Lucy, David Tatem, Master (See 32/391 folder 38), and her capture by the privateer Revenge, Anthony Stewart, commander.  There is nothing to connect the Lucy with Virginia.  She was not a Virginian vessel, and she was on voyage from North Carolina to Cadiz when captured.  Two of her crew – the Captain, Anthony Stewart (incorrect name, since he was also named with the Revenge), and one William Cook, a passenger aboard, both state in their various depositions that they were born and resided in Virginia.  The depositions are numbered 3 and 7, but I suggest that none of this folder need by microfilmed.” (Folder 37).

** Library of Virginia; Va. Memory, Va. Colonial Records Project of repositories in Great Britain and other countries, under “Tatem,” Public Record Office HCA 32/392p, SR 05688a/p15


Miscellaneous Tatems linked to Norfolk not identfied


1812 December 14 – Norfolk and Portsmouth Herald Newspaper:  Died this morning, Joseph Tatem, late of the island of Antigua (p. 3, c. 3).  Publication date Monday, 14 December 1812. 

Library of Virginia, system number 001161419


1815 February – Norfolk County: Estate audit on Rebecca Tatem, deceased, with James Tatem, administrator.  Names of interest in audit, N.P. Tatem, John Tatem.   Final audit entered in Norfolk County Court 17 March 1817.   (Audit Book 2/115)


1818 Norfolk County Personal Tax, eastern section: Sally Tatem (“n.w.”) 1 0 0 0 0, (one white male 16+)


1821 Norfolk County Personal Tax, eastern section: George Tatom, 0 0 0 0 0  (Doesn’t appear again)


1850 US Census of St. Brides Parish, Norfolk County, Virginia: Charlotte Keeling 73, Va., Polly Tatem 69 Va., Mary A. Keeling 30 Va.


7 - From book: “Abstracts of Wills and Other Records in Currituck and Dare Counties, North Carolina” by Gary Jones, Gordon C. Jones


1751, 1752, 1755*, 1758 Currituck County: Tithes include Thomas Tatum

Currituck County, North Carolina 18th Century Tax and Militia Records, by William Doub Bennett 1993.  In 1755 and 1758 spelled Tatom, otherwise Tatum.

*North Carolina Taxpayers, 1701-1786 by Clarence E. Ratcliff, 1984.


1767 February 24 – Currituck County: Will of Thomas Tatem, recorded/probated? 12 December 1769.  (WB 1/51) 

To sons William Tatum all my land and plantation whereon I now dwell

To son John, liberty of marsh pasture at Cannedies and to cut timber 

Daughters Sarah Tatem liberty of house and home while single

To daughter Betty Brable….. 

Appoint Exrs. John and William Tatem.  Wit. Josiah Nicholson, Thomas Mitley.

Wife reported to be Sarah, who died before will.


1779 Currituck County: Tax list includes William Tatem and John Tatem.


1790 US Census Currituck County, North Carolina

Benjamin Tatom 1-2-2

David Tatom 1-1-1

John Tatom 3-2-5

William Tatom 2-3-3


Currituck County, North Carolina Wills


1815 Currituck County:  Will of John Tatum, January 27, 1815.  C1815.  WB 3.  Wife: Polly.  Son: Gehue.  Daughters: Betsey, Zelphae.  Exrs: Wife and Isaac Robards.  Wit: Dory Dauage, Joseph Tatum


1817 May – Currituck County:  Will of William Tatum, March 1, 1817.  May 1817.  Wb 3.  Wife: Winny.   Sons: Peter Lugg Tatum, Holowell, Nathan.  Other legetees: Annis Brumsey, Elisabeth White, William Tatum Tillet.  Exrs: Wife and Samuel Thompson, William White.  Wit: Jas. Nicholson, James White, William Bell.


1832 February – Currituck County:  Will of Joseph Tatum, January 15, 1832.  February 1832.  WB 3.  Wife and Exr: Pagey.  After her death to Washington Umphery…Melisey MClannel.   Wit: M. Bunnel.


1843 February – Currituck County: Will of Benjamin Tatum, November 28, 1827.  February 1843.  WB 4.  Wife: Mary Ann.  Sons: Joseph, Thomas.  Daughter: Easter Brable.  Grandchildren: Margaret, Betsey and Joseph Brable, children of my deceased daughter Mary Brable.  Exrs: Sons. Wit: Isaac Baxter, S. Farebee.


1844 November – Currituck County: Will of Thomas Tatum, September 23, 1844.  November 1844.  WB 4.  Wife: Susan.  Exr: Christopher Bundy.  Wit: John L. Cox F.A. Jarvas. John Tatem, December 8, 1807. E1808.  WB 2.  Sons: John, Daniel.  Daughter: Rhoda Sawyer.  Equally divided between Rhoda Sawyer, Mary Roberts, Daniel Tatum, Darkas Sawyer, Maxey Tatum, Samuel Tatum.  Exrs: John and Daniel Tatum.  Wit: Dory Dauge, Demay Doxy.


Nansemond County, Virginia


1691 October 20 – Nansemond County (Upper Norfolk County), Virginia: Virginia land grant of 100 acres of lands to Richard Wilkenson, formerly granted to Andrew Burton and “Thomas Tatum.”

Library of Virginia on-line Virginia Land Grants


Chowan County, North Carolina


1737 August 6 - Chowan County, North Carolina: Deed of John Freeman to Thomas Freeman, 100 acres on NW side of Catherine Creek Swamp in Indian Neck.  Test. Richard Tatem, Thos Rountree.