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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Tomlinson family come from? What is the English Tomlinson family crest and coat of arms? When did the Tomlinson family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Tomlinson family history?

The rich and ancient history of the Tomlinson family name dates back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from the personal name Thomas. Tomlinson is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. This surname came out of the religious given name tradition, and derived from the personal name Thomas, which means twin. Thomas was a popular name, owing to its biblical origins.


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Tomlinson have been found, including Tomlinson, Thomlinson and others.

First found in Durham where they were Lords of the manor of Gateshead from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tomlinson research. Another 305 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1811, 1617 and 1681 are included under the topic Early Tomlinson History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 75 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tomlinson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Tomlinson, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were :

Tomlinson Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Joane Tomlinson, who landed in Virginia in 1618
  • Mathew Tomlinson, aged 31, landed in St Christopher in 1635
  • Mathew Tomlinson settled in St. Christopher in 1635
  • Peter Tomlinson settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Edward Tomlinson, who landed in Virginia in 1637

Tomlinson Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Elizabeth Tomlinson, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1718
  • Benjamin Tomlinson, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1732-1733
  • Richard Tomlinson, who arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in 1775
  • William Tomlinson arrived in Pennsylvania in 1782

Tomlinson Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Abel Arthur Tomlinson, who landed in America in 1811
  • George Tomlinson, who landed in New York in 1831
  • Joseph Hale Tomlinson, who landed in New York in 1831
  • Henry Tomlinson, who arrived in New York in 1833
  • Mark Tomlinson, who arrived in New York in 1840


  • Gerald Tomlinson (1933-2006), American crime writer
  • Raymond Samuel Tomlinson (b. 1941), American inventor, originator of the '@' separator used in e-mail addressing
  • LaDainian Tomlinson (b. 1979), American NFL football player
  • Roger F. Tomlinson (1933-2014), English geographer and the main originator of modern Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Sir John Tomlinson CBE (b. 1946), English opera singer
  • James Tomlinson (b. 1982), English cricketer
  • David Cecil MacAlister Tomlinson (1917-2000), English film actor who portrayed George Banks, head of the Banks family in the 1964 Disney film "Mary Poppins"
  • Henry Major Tomlinson (1873-1958), English author
  • Alfred Charles Tomlinson CBE (b. 1927), British poet and translator
  • Richard H Tomlinson (b. 1924), Canadian chemist and philanthropist



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  1. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  8. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  11. ...

The Tomlinson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Tomlinson Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 1 October 2014 at 16:19.

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