Recorded as Tatam, Tattam, Tatem, Tatum, and possibly others, this is a surname of English origins. It is locational from 'Tatham,' a village in the county of Lancashire near the city of Lancaster. The placename is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Tathaim', and in the Fines Court Rolls of Lancashire for 1202 as 'Tateham'. It is believed to tranlate as 'Tata's homestead', from the Old English pre 7th century personal name 'Tata' and '-ham', a settlement or homestead. Locational names were usually given to the lord of the manor, and to those former inhabitants of a place who left to live or work in another area, and were best identified by the name of their birth-place. The early development of the surname includes recordingsa such as William de Tatham of Lancashire in 1230, and Johannes de Tatam in the Poll Tax register of Yorkshire in 1379. Nathaniell Tatam was an early settler in the New World; He is recorded as being a resident of 'Sherley Hundred' in the Virginia Colony in 1623, having emigrated in the ship 'George' in May 1619. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Tateham. This was dated 1208, in the 'Pleas before the King', for the county of Yorkshire, during the reign of King John, 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.