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2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

The Tattershall 1 name study started about 50 years ago. It has been undertaken by my own direct kin and our cousins in the far reachs of what was the British Empire. I find myself as being the current keeper of a vast collection of paper records and photographs. I am slowly but surely putting it all into 1 single database whose contents I intend eventually to publish.

Variant names

Spelling of the name tends to be formatted as Tat(t)e(r)shal(l)e and predominately Tateshale prior to 1500.

The main variants that this study will deal with are Tattersall, Tattershell and Tattersill.

I am aware of the following phonetic deviants

Tottershall, Tittershall, Tautershall, Tattersell and Tattershill to name a few but I am currently shying away from these as they are few and far between.

There is evidence to support the suggestion that the surname Tattersley is also a variant of the Tattershall name.

Name origin

The name Tattershall is toponymic in origin, belonging to that group of surnames derived from the place where the original bearer once dwelt or held land. In this case the surname indicates "€œone who resided at Tattershall"€, a parish some 9 miles from Horncastle in the county of Lincoln. The place name itself is derived from the Old English €"Tatheres halh"€ and means "Tathere's nook" or "€œthe corner of land belonging to Tathere".

Historical occurrences of the name

Both the manor of Tattershall and the surname Tattershall have a long and distinguished history.

In 1066 William the Conqueror landed in England: among his companions in arms were two men, one Eudo son of Spirewic, and one Pinson. In return for their services William rewarded them with large grants of land, including Tattershall, in which Eudo seated himself.

The Abbey of Kirkstead was founded in 1139 with a grants from amongst others Hugh le Brito (otherwise Hugh the Briton son of Eudo), lord of Tattershall.

Early records of the surname Tattershall include a reference to one Hugo de Tateshal in the pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1191.

Originally from Tateshall near Pontefract we find Robert the son of Philip de Tateshall. Having spent 1198-1199 as Sheriff of Cumberland, Robert was appointed to the same office in Lancashire from 1199-1200. His plaque still remains to this day on the wall at Lancaster castle. He is alleged to have been the builder of Middleham Castle, which was to later become a favourite residence of King Richard III.

King John and the court visited Lancaster Castle during Robert'€™s tenure of office.

In 1231 Roberts'€™s son Robert received a license to build a castle at Tattershall. Robert served Henry the 3rd in arms and was present at Chester in 1258 when the king rode against the welsh rebels. He also took part in the Battle of Evesham. In 1295 another Robert de Tatteshall was summoned to parliament as the first Baron Tattershall. His son Robert became the 2nd baron and sat in parliament between between 1299 and 1303, when he died. The 3rd baron Robert de Tatteshall died in his minority and the title fell into abeyance.

In the Subsidy Rolls of York in 1301 we note one Joan de Tatersale.

In the Rolls of the Tower of London in 1408 we find the name of one Robert Tatersall who in 1422/3 is listed as Sheriff of London at the start of the reign of Henry VI. Robert's will is a fascinating document and I believe it is this that was, in my opinion incorrectly, used for the basis of the relationships at this time in Burkes Landed Gentry.

Shortly after the English Civil War Catherine Tattershall married the Honourable Bernard Howard of Glossop and it is their great grandson Bernard Howard, 12th Duke of Norfolk, from whom all subsequent Dukes of Norfolk are descended.

Name frequency

Now for some statistics. According to the man who does the maths at the UK statitics office in 2002 there were 308 people named Tattershall aged 18 or over in the UK fullstop. This is based on the 2001 full UK census. According to the same man there were 4309 people called Tattersall who were over 18 at that same time.

I have found census evidence that takes me all over the country. Currently I have trees for all the major UK pockets going back to when the current parish records started in circa 1540. Some of these trees are linked some are not.

Distribution of the name

Originally from Lincolnshire the name and its variants can be found in significant pockets in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and of course London. There are small pockets in Tyne and Wear and evidence of movement as far north as Aberdeenshire in Scotland.

With the advent of empire the name became global with significant pockets in North America (USA and Canada) as well as Australia, New Zealand, South African and the Far East. In fact anywhere the empire touched seems to have been touched by a Tattershall or one of its variants at sometime or another.


I have research going back 50 years done by family and potential family members.

I am currently cross referencing this with all other available data.


I currently am not running a DNA project but I do have tests from 'cousins' in the US.