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Author Topic: Nathaniel Tatum the Immigrant  (Read 6871 times)
Ronnie Tatum
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« on: May 02, 2010, 05:47:22 PM »

Over the years there has been alot written about Nathaniel Tatum, and still I'm amazed at what we have uncovered yet about him. In my correspondence with other over the years, I have been enlightened to the material that is gleamed from the pass.

Here on this thread I would like to have a place where when you find material about Nathaniel the immigrant or find things related to the history of the period.  Also material that would help us to understand the situation that he found himself in this new world. There have been a few emails that I have received lately that have sparked this thread.

The first is from member T-24 midvale "
"Nathaniel was definitely on the Feb 1619 Bridewell list of children slated for passage to Virginia, and of course he stated that he arrived in May 1619 on the George, so that much is a safe bet.  As to whether he was an indentured servant, who knows?  But this book (starting at about the bottom of page 162) does suggest a lot of the Bridewell boys were indentured:"
" Masterless men: the vagrancy problem in England 1560-1640 By A. L. Beier "

The next is from T-14:
(" under "Timeline") "The first record of servants at Shirley Plantation dates to 1616 when John Rolfe documented that Captain Isaac Madison commanded 25 men in planting and curing tobacco. These men were all white and indentured servants, also called indentures. Indentured servants were the original labor force at Shirley as well as in the rest of the English colonies. Indentured servants were people of various races who were contractually obligated to become laborers for a specified period of time in exchange for debt repayment, food, lodging, transportation to the colonies, and the teaching of a trade. Indentured servants were brought from Africa, the Caribbean islands, Scotland, Ireland, and England."

From the above you can start to get a picture of the life that Nathaniel Tatum had to contend. Join in the thread. Thanks.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2010, 05:36:05 PM by Ronnie Tatum » Logged
Ronnie Tatum
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Posts: 9

« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2010, 08:02:34 PM »

Sorry to take so long to add this information. Ed Tatum has done a great job finding this information and providing it for us. He has taken the time to transcribe this for us, so it is easy to read. To my knowledge this info is not well known, so this is a real pleasure. I have not added pictures he provided, not sure of copyright issues, but you can contact Ed Tatum or me to receive a copy. Thanks again Ed, great job.

Ronnie Tatum


Evidence to suggest that the Nathaniel Tatum baptized at Holy Trinity the Less in 1599 was the Virginia immigrant

Complete list of Tatum records from the Parish Register of Holy Trinity the Less

Source: London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538‐1812 [database on‐line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

27 Feb 1596/7 (old style new year began 25 Mar 1597)

“1596…Februarye {The xxviith daye Jeromye the sonne of William Tatam was} xpened”

18 Nov 1599 “November 1599 {The xviiith daye Nathaniell the sonne of Willm Tatam was} Baptised”

25 Apr 1602 “Aprill 1602 {The xxvth daye Nehemia the sonne of William Tatam was} Baptised”

18 and 30 Jul 1603 “Julye 1603 {The Eightenth daye Mary Reynolds Servant unto Mr Tatam was} Buried…. {The xxxth daye Anne the wife of William Tatam was} Buried”

6 and 8 Aug 1603 “August 1603 {The Sixt daye William Tatam Carpenter was} Buried….
(The Eight daye Jeromiah the sonne of William Tatam was} Buried
{The same daye Nehemiah the sonne of William Tatam was} Buried”

At this point in the parish register, burial after burial is recorded. In 1603 London was hit by one of the worst outbreaks of Black Death in its history. Approximately 38,000, or one quarter of its population died. The Plague of 1603 was followed by several years of disease and misery.
[Source: The Encyclopaedia Britannica; A dictionary of arts, sciences, and general literature (1878), Volume 19].

From “The Wonderful Yeare,” by Thomas Dekker, 1603:

And even such a formidable shape did the diseased Citie appeare in: For he that durst (in the dead houre of gloomy midnight) have bene so valiant, as to have walkt through the still and melancholy streets, what thinke you should have bene his musicke? Surely the loude grones of raving sicke men; the strugling panges of soules departing: In every house griefe strinking up an Allarum: Servants crying out for maisters: wives for husbands, parents for children, children for their mothers: here he should have met some frantically running to knock vp Sextons; there, others fearfully sweating with Coffins, to steale forth dead bodies, least the fatall hand‐writing of death should seale up their doores.

As the known members of Nathaniel’s household all died within days of each other, and there is no further record of him in the register, the orphan Nathaniel appears to have been the only one in his family to survive the plague. Presumably, this is the same Nathaniel found fifteen years later in the same neighborhood of London. Roughly 150 yards from Holy Trinity, at Queenhithe, a "Nathaniell Tedome" was apprehended for vagrancy and taken to Bridewell Hospital. Holy Trinity was so close to Queenhithe that after it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London, its parishioners were simply absorbed into Queenhithe’s church (St. Michael
Queenhithe). Today, the site of Holy Trinity lies underneath the entrance to Mansion House tube station.

Map Source:‐queenhith.htm

Source: Minutes of the Court of Governors of the Royal Hospitals of Bridewell and Bethlehem (Guildhall Library Ms 33011/6)

15 Aug 1618 "Att a court houlden on Saturday the xvth of August 1618"

"Fookes/ Edward ffookes } brought in by the watch att Queenhith for Va[grancy]
Tedome/ Nathaniell Tedome } are by order of court d[elivere]d by passe, ponishment] spared."

The watch was the night guard, as opposed to the ward, or day guard. "Va", "dd", and "po" were the standard abbreviations used throughout the Bridewell minutes for "vagrancy", "delivered" and "ponished" (usually by whip, willow or holly rod). [Sources: Legacies of Colonial English: Studies in Transported Dialects, by Raymond Hickey; English in the Southern United States, by Stephen J. Nagle, Sara L. Sanders; Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, Volume 15, by John Pitcher, Susan Cerasano].

The process of delivery of beggars by passcart is described in Bridewell Hospital: Palace, Prison, Schools, by Edward Geoffrey O’Donoghue:

“After a night in the parish cage all those who have been netted by the constables are to be escorted to Bridewell. Vagabonds suffering from wounds or diseases are to be sent thence, if curable, to the two hospitals for the sick. The remainder, after a sound whipping, are to be given a passport, and conveyed from constable to constable to their native parishes.”

In Nathaniel’s case, the whipping, or “ponishment”, was spared. Perhaps he was taken by passcart back to Holy Trinity or St. Michael Queenhithe and held in the parish workhouse; or, he may have been released and later brought back to Bridewell, although there is no further charge recorded in the minutes. In any event, his name appears on the February 1619 Bridewell list of children to be taken to Virginia.

According to White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America (by Don Jordan, Michael Walsh), the first round‐ups in the campaign to ship vagrant children off to Virginia as indentured servants began on August 8, 1618. This makes Nathaniel one of the very first to be picked up.

Source: Minutes of the Court of Governors of the Royal Hospitals of Bridewell and Bethlehem (Guildhall Library Ms 33011/6)

27 Feb 1618/19 “Att a court houlden on Saturday the xxviith of ffebruary 1618”

“A note of the Names of the Boyes and Wenches that were appointed to goe to
Virginnia….Nicholas Granger….Nathaniell Tatam”

 cf 1625 Musters of the inhabitants of Virginia: “Nicholas Granger 15 by George 1618….Nathaniell Tatam 20 by George May 1619.” [Source: The Complete Book of Emigrants: 1607‐1660, by Peter Wilson Coldham]. Granger may have been referring to when the George departed London in March 1618 (1619 new style) rather than the arrival date.

According to White cargo: the forgotten history of Britain's White slaves in America, only children between the ages of eight and sixteen were to be rounded up for passage to Virginia. It’s possible Nathaniel did not know how old he was, given the circumstances, or maybe the rules were just bent. If he was born shortly before the November 1599 baptism, he would have been 18 years old when he was arrested.
Source for pictures: Bridewell Hospital: Palace, Prison, Schools, by Edward Geoffrey

Reference for transcribing the Tudor handwriting from http://paleo.anglonorman.

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