We know a great deal about STEPHEN TATOM, but there is a great deal we
do not know. He was born in 1721 in Virginia, married a woman named MOURNING in Norfolk
County, Virginia about 1746 and died in Orange County, North Carolina about 1789. He was
buried in the family cemetary on his plantation on Camp Creek, a branch of Little River.
There is documentation indicating that the area that was STEPHEN'S plantation is now
On January 11, 1760 Stephen and Mourning lived in Spotsylvavia County in the Piedmont
section of Virginia. At that time this area was called St. George's Parish.
Some of Stephen's kinsmen, ABSOLUM and HOWELL TATOM, and his brother JOHN had moved into
the Granville District of the Province of North Carolina. They convinced Stephen to move
his family to this area of North Carolina.
So, on November 21, 1771, Stephen and Mourning sold their plantation on Douglasses Run to
Richard Blanton and George Anderson for forty-five pounds "Current Money of
Virginia", making a nineteen pound profit.
They made the move to the newly opened Piedmont section of North Carolina and settled in
St. Mary's District along Little River.
Stephen was too old to fight in the war of independence, but his sons John and William
fought in that great war. In fact, there is a memorial to John Tatum at the Dickson County
Courthouse in Tennessee for his service in that war.
The probated WILL of Stephen is recorded in Book "B", page 73, in the records of
Orange County, North Carolina.
The first census of North Carolina in 1790 depicts Mourning Tatom living near her son John
and his family in Orange County. So, we know that Stephen died between the date of his
WILL in September of 1788 and August 1, 1790.
We know that Stephen had brothers named John and Benjamin and sisters named Susannah,
Nanny, Jemima, Sarah (see "Will" of Susannah Tatom Fullilove)
Some researchers conclude that Stephen and his sibblings were the children of Nathaniel
Tatom III and his wife Ann Godfrey. This is really a stretch, since the WILL of Nathaniel
names not a single one of these children as his. In fact, in his WILL he speaks of,
"my four children", and names them as Nathaniel, John, Trimingham and Love.
Also, neither Stephen, John or Benjamin named one of their sons "NATHANIEL". It
is unbelievable that they would break such a long standing tradition of naming their
children after their parents and their brothers and sisters.
So who is Stephen's parents? Again I do not know, but I believe that Stephen decends from
one of the sons of Nathaniel II, Nathaniel Sr., Samuel of Bermuda or one of Samuel's
On the other hand, it is quite possibe that Stephen and his sibblings are from a totally
different emigrant ancestry than SAMUEL TATAM of Bermuda.
Although we do not know the ancestry of this family, we do know that they came from King
William County, Virginia (King William County was formed from part of New Kent County).
Most of the records of King William County prior to 1865 were destroyed or lost during the
CIVIL WAR. This maked it very difficult to trace this family's history before they came to
King William County, Virginia.
The Will of SUSANNAH TATOM FULLILOVE is the key document that establishes the family ties
of this family. Her Will is recorded in Volume 1, page 52, film #J. B. 938 of Granville
County, North Carolina.
The WILL was Probated in August of 1774. This WILL names all of Susannah's sibblings and
numerous other relatives.
John, Stephen's brother, moved his family to Granville or Orange County, North Carolina.
Stephen moved to Spotsylvania County, Virginia and later to Orange County, North Carolina,
near his brother John. Orange County and Granville County, NC were side by side. In fact
Granville was formed from part of Orange or vica versa. Most, if not all the other
sibblings had moved into the Granville District area by the date of SUSANNAH'S Will in
Stephens' brother JOHN moved to Wilkes County, GA. Stephen's sons William and John and
probably their brother Stephen along with Stephen's brother William also moved to Georgia
abt 1895-1898. We know that Mourning and her son Stephen were still in Orange County, NC
in 1897, because they signed deeds selling parcels of Stephen Tatom Sr. plantation which
he had left to Mourning.
We do not know whether Mourning died in NC or if she went on to Georgia with her son
Stephen to join Stephen's brothers John and William.
I believe that Stephen's brother JOHN remained in Georgia. However Stephen's brother
William and Stephen's sons JOHN, WILLIAM and STEPHEN moved to Dickson County, TN about
1803. All three of Stephen's sons, John, Stephen and William died in Tennessee.
Aside from his parentage, the main thing we DO NOT know about Stephen is the maiden name
of his wife MOURNING.
See William J. Tatom's Web Page (http://www.rootsquest.com/tatomwj/history.htm
On May 29, 1746, Stephen is mentioned in the Virginia Gazette published in Williamsburg,
Virginia when Mr. John Martin of King William County (Spotsylvania County was formed from
part of King William County in 1720) advertised for the return of and Irish convict
servantman who "stole a middle-sized gray spotted horse, well gaited and goes
spritely, with a bridle and an Englih double skirted saddle, the cruper made of Virginia
leather, belonging to Mr. Stephen Tatom."
On August 17, 1765, Stephen Tatom witnessed a Spotsylvania County deed from Wm. Garrett
and wife to James Rawley.
On October 4, 1765, Stephen Tatom of Spotsylvania County bought 150 acres of land in St.
Georges Parish from Thomas Lane and Ann, his wife.
On November 21, 1771, Stephen Tatom and Mourning, his wife, of Spotsylvania County, sold
150 acres of land to Richard Blanton and George Anderson.