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Edward Tatum ca. 1700-1744

by Ronnie Tatum 

    Edward Tatum was in Brunswick County, Virginia by 1732. Edward Tatum leased 227 acres from Peter Tatum in 1732 (Brunswick County deed book 1 page 31,32) for five shillings. The location of this land was on the south side of Reedy Creek, which is on the north side of the Meherrin River. This land between their plantations, was half the land granted to Peter Tatum in September 1728. Apparently from the wording, between their plantations, may imply that Edward had land in this county at the time of this lease aggreement. Since Edward Tatum left a little over 600 acres to his three sons after his death. These lands could have been purchased or inherited, but we may never know because of the loss of Records from Prince George County.

    Edward Tatum was active in the affairs of this new county, as we can see from the early records of Brunswick County, Virginia. We find that on November 2, 1732 that Edward "appointed surveyor of the High Ways from the reedy Creek below Jackson's the church and it is ordered that all the male laboring tithable persons assist him..." On March 1, 1733 from the same record page 18 we find, "...Charles Kimball and John Ross ordered to assist Edward Tatum and his gang in clearing a bridle way from the Reedy Creek below Jackson's Mill the most convenient way into the road that leads from this courthouse to Surry County." This road was called Tatum's Road, but was later changed.

    He also served on the Grand Jury of Brunswick County several times until his death. Edward was appointed clerk of St.Andrews Parish in 1732, where he served until his death. Tobacco was the payment he received for serving as clerk. He served as clerk each year from 1732 to 1744. In 1737, he served as the clerk at both St. Andrews and the Meherrin Parish. The year Edward died his son Jesse was paid for helping with the duties as clerk of St. Andews Parish. We find that it was ordered that the church wardens give the payment of tobacco to the administrator of his will for services by Edward and Jesse for that year. Jesse later served as clerk at the Rattle Snake Chappel from 1750 to 1753. The will of Edward Tatum dated April 5, 1744, (recorded in Brunswick Co. Va., will book 2, page 79,80) listed sons Jesse, Edward, John, and daughters Martha, Frances, and wife Martha. Jesse received land on the north side of a branch that ran into Reedy Creek. Edward received 200 acres with the plantation. John received the remainder of the land that belonged to Edward Tatum. "To my beloved wife Martha all the rest of my estate..." Martha Tatum married William Scoggins after the death of Edward Tatum. William Scoggins was appointed guardian in 1753 of Edward Jr., John, and Frances. And remained so until 1759. In that year Edward Tatum, Jr. was appointed guardian of John and Frances. He was guardian of Frances until 1760 and John until 1761. What happened to Frances and Martha, the daugthers of Edward d.1744, is unknown. After the death of William Scoggins, Martha received money from St. Andrews Church in 1769, 1770. We then find the following entry in the vestry book on November 30, 1771. "To Edward Tatum for maintaining his mother from 15th Dec. last till the 11th April being the
time she died." There was an interesting notation made in the same vestry book after the death of Martha Scoggins. "Ordered that the church wardens examine and discharge Doctor Ridley's accusation against Edward Tatum for attending his mother in her sickness."

1. Edward Tatum, Testator, Will Book 2, page 79, 80, Office of the County Clerk, Brunswick County, Virginia.

2. Peter Tatum to Edward Tatum, Lease of Land, Deed Book 1: 31,32.County Clerk's Office, Brunswick County, Virginia.

3. Historic Roads of Virginia Brunswick County, Road Orders 1732-1746, by Nathaniel Mason Pawlett: Faculty Research Historian, Virginia Transportation Research Council, Charlottesville, Virginia 1988.

4. Orphan Records of Brunswick County, Virginia.

5. Saint Andrew's Parish, Vestry Book, 1732-1798: Filmed by Genealogical Society of Utah, 1947, 1949 2 reel. Microreproduction of org. records at the Virginia State Library.