The Tathams of County Durham
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William John Underhill (1881-abt.1935)
William John Underhill (1881-abt.1935)
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!

Contact us
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.

Status of this website
Current situation

Meaburn Tathams, four generations (2nd photo)The Tatham Family History website has unfortunately not been regularly maintained for some considerable time, owing to family circumstances and pressure of other commitments.

Starting May 2019 it is gradually being brought back to life. This is taking some time, as there is much work to be done: responding to several hundred messages and requests, relearning and sharpening website skills, updating the software, learning and respecting the new regulations about consents and data protection, and no doubt many other tasks and obstacles we haven't yet thought about ...

Members and visitors are thanked for their patience and forbearance during this period. Their comments and suggestions are still greatly appreciated, and will be incorporated into the website as soon as time allows.

Update December 2020: The coronavirus restrictions announced by the British Government have kept the author of this website under effective house arrest, on and off, since last March. It has given a useful opportunity for bringing the Tatham project back up to date, although there is still much to be done.

Tatham of the Week
Ralph Tatham (1778-1857)

Tatham of the Week Ralph Tatham was born in 1778 in Northumberland, the eldest son of a north country clergyman. After Durham School, he followed his father and grandfather to St John's College, Cambridge.

An outstanding scholar, he became a fellow and tutor of his college, and was unanimously elected as its Master in 1839. He served for 26 years as the University's Public Orator - "well qualified by his singular dignity of person, courtesy of manners and a great skill in complimentary speeches" - and twice held the office of Vice-Chancellor.

Early in 1857, in anticipation of the visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to Cambridge, he had a fall from a stool on which he was standing while fixing up something on the wall of the Senate House. It is supposed that the shock of the fall - he was a big man, and then 78 years old - brought on his last illness.

After 60 years at St. John's College, he died at the Master's Lodge on 19 Jan 1857.