These pages are a record of the Tatham family of County Durham. Most of the family migrated to the south of England from the mid 1700s onwards, and their north country origins were gradually forgotten. By the end of the 19th century there were Tathams all over the world - in Australia, Canada, Ceylon, China, India, New Zealand and USA, as well as the long established colony in South Africa.
The idea of this website is to raise the family's awareness of our shared history, and to encourage interest and discussion about our heritage.
Feel free to wander around this site and explore. There's a basic guide to the contents at the What's Here page.
Enjoy your visit!
If you have any questions or comments, or would like to share research, please contact us.
Family members are encouraged to register as users, which lets them view details of living persons.
It is now more than two years since Roden Tatham left us, on 29 March 2013.
On Sunday, 6th October of that year, a beautiful autumn day, we laid his ashes to rest in a Norfolk country churchyard, at the parish of Great Ryburgh where he had been the patron since 1976. Roden loved Great Ryburgh, and its ancient round-towered church of St Andrew, and was generous in his support. Over the past two centuries the Tatham family has supplied five clergy to the benefice, and six patrons, of whom Roden was the last.
First a Choral Eucharist was celebrated in St Andrew's Church, with the Tomás Luis de Victoria Mass O quam gloriosum
, performed by the I Musicanti singers. Then in a simple ceremony led by the Rector, we buried Roden's ashes in the Garden of Remembrance, newly laid out last year. A stone in Roden's memory marks the spot, close by the graves of other Tathams, including that of the first family patron of the Ryburgh parish, Meaburn Tatham (1784-1875), restored for this occasion.
Afterwards a lunch was kindly offered by the Churchwarden in her home, for the family members, the rector, the singers and the Ryburgh parishioners, gathered together to bid Roden Tatham farewell.
Edmund Tatham (1822-1880)
Eleventh of the 12 children of architect Charles Heathcote Tatham, Edmund and his young family emigrated to Natal as Byrne settlers. They arrived on the Sovereign in March 1850 after a troubled 12-week voyage.
In Natal he was employed initially as a government surveyor, working under very difficult conditions. He had inherited some of his father's gifts in architecture and designed the Masonic Hall in Durban and the Dutch Reformed Church in Pietermaritzburg. Then until 1858 he was employed in the Civil Service in Pietermaritzburg in various posts, until he was appointed Acting Magistrate of the Upper Umkomaas Division, and then Postmaster in Pietermaritzburg.
In 1859 Edmund became Secretary, Surveyor in Charge, and Resident Engineer of the Natal Railway Company, to build the new railway from the Point to Durban. After its successful completion in 1860, he was appointed Indian Immigration Agent for the colony, and held that office until 1864.
He then retired, after a stroke, and moved to Ladysmith, where he spent his last years with his son, George. He died in 1880, and is buried in Ladysmith.
[Acknowledgements & thanks to Gill Tatham of Pietermaritzburg]