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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Tatum family come from? What is the English Tatum family crest and coat of arms? When did the Tatum family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Tatum family history?


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Tatum include Tatham, Tatam, Tatem, Tatum, Tatim, Tathem, Tattum and many more.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the year 1208 when William Tatham held estates. It is said that King John, while being the Earl of Moreton, gave the service of William of Tatham to Robert de Monte Begon (probably about 1185).


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tatum research. Another 211 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1230, 1185, 1455, 1487, 1632, 1664, 1632 and 1641 are included under the topic Early Tatum History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 43 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tatum Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Tatum Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Ralph Tatum, who landed in Virginia in 1642

Tatum Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Ed Tatum, who landed in Virginia in 1700

Tatum Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Joseph J Tatum, aged 38, arrived in Maryland in 1812
  • Jacob Tatum, aged 23, arrived in Missouri in 1839
  • Theodore Tatum, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850

Tatum Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Edward Tatum, aged 30, who settled in America, in 1908
  • Charles F. Tatum, aged 65, who settled in America, in 1911
  • Dorothea Lloyd Tatum, aged 23, who emigrated to the United States, in 1917
  • George Tatum, aged 17, who emigrated to the United States, in 1918
  • Alton J. Tatum, aged 20, who emigrated to the United States, in 1918

Tatum Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Diana Tatum, aged 25, landed in Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia in 1774


  • Arthur "Art" Tatum (1909-1956), American jazz pianist
  • Edward Lawrie Tatum (1909-1975), American geneticist, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1958
  • Channing Matthew Tatum (b. 1980), American actor
  • Beverly Daniel Tatum (b. 1954), president of Spelman College, Georgia
  • James M. "Big Jim" Tatum (1913-1959), American football and baseball player and coach
  • Bradford Tatum (b. 1965), American actor, writer, and producer
  • Donn Tatum (1913-1993), the first non-Disney family member to be president of Walt Disney Productions
  • Charles "Chuck" Tatum, American Marine in the Battle of Iwo Jima. In the mini-series The Pacific; Tatum is portrayed by actor Ben Esler
  • Kevin Martin Tatum MBE (b. 1964), British former international motorcycle speedway and Grasstrack rider
  • John Tatum (1772-1858), British scientist and philosopher


  • Rising in the West: The True Story of an Ok.
  • Family by Dan Morgan.
  • The Name and Family of Tatum or Tatham by Media Research Bureau.

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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  6. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  7. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  11. ...

The Tatum Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Tatum Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 17 January 2015 at 19:34.

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