Show ContentsTomkins History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Tomkins is of English origin. It is derived from the first name "Tom," the popular diminutive of the name "Thomas," and, when combined with the Medieval suffix of endearment "kin," means "son of dear little Tom."

Early Origins of the Tomkins family

The surname Tomkins was first found in Herefordshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times and were Lords of the manor of Monington. "This parish, which is situated on the river Wye, and on the road from Hereford to Hay, comprises by computation 1000 acres." [1]

Later the family was also found in Buckinghamshire where "the name of Tompkins occurred in Soulbury in the 16th century. Nathaniel Tomkins, Esq., who married a Miss Waller in 1624, attained notoriety from his connection with the Waller plot." [2]

Early History of the Tomkins family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tomkins research. Another 66 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1569, 1572, 1605, 1624, 1629, 1636, 1637, 1640, 1656, 1661, 1663, 1674, 1675, 1706 and 1930 are included under the topic Early Tomkins History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tomkins Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Tompkins, Tomkins, Tomkyns, Thomkins, Thompkins and others.

Early Notables of the Tomkins family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656), a Welsh-born composer of Cornish origins; James Tomkins (c.1569-1636), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1624 and 1629; and Thomas Tomkins (c.16...
  • Thomas Tomkins (d. 1656), was an English Tomkins, "was in holy orders and precentor of Gloucester Cathedral; he was descended from the Tomkinses of Lostwithiel. " [3]
  • Thomas Tomkins (1637?-1675), was an English divine, born about 1637 in Aldersgate Street, London and John Tomkins (1663?-1706), was an English Quaker annalist who attempted the first attempt at Quaker...

Ireland Migration of the Tomkins family to Ireland

Some of the Tomkins family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Tomkins migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tomkins Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mr. John Tomkins, (Tomson), who left England and arrived in Maryland in 1634 aboard the ship "Ark and Dove" [4]
  • Mr. Ralph Tomkins, (b. 1585), aged 50, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Truelove" arriving in Massachusetts Bay in 1635 [5]
  • Mrs. Katherine Tomkins, (b. 1577), aged 58, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Truelove" arriving in Massachusetts Bay in 1635 [5]
  • Miss Elizabeth Tomkins, (b. 1617), aged 18, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Truelove" arriving in Massachusetts Bay in 1635 [5]
  • Miss Marie Tomkins, (b. 1621), aged 14, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Truelove" arriving in Massachusetts Bay in 1635 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Tomkins Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mathew Tomkins, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [6]
Tomkins Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Richard Tomkins, who arrived in Virginia in 1887 [6]
Tomkins Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Arthur Burtin Tomkins, who landed in Michigan in 1907 [6]

Canada Tomkins migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tomkins Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Jacob Tomkins U.E., (Thompkins) who settled in Canada c. 1784 [7]
Tomkins Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • T. Tomkins, who settled in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1832 [8]
  • Christopher Tomkins, who was a fisherman of Fortune, Newfoundland, in 1871 [8]

Australia Tomkins migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Tomkins Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Tomkins, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Mr. John Tomkins, (b. 1798), aged 28, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 20th April 1826, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • Mr. William Tomkins, (b. 1792), aged 35, Welsh farmers man who was convicted in Denbighshire, Wales for 14 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Florentia" on 14th August 1827, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1836 [11]
  • Mr. Samuel Tomkins, British convict who was convicted in Buckinghamshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 1st October 1829, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [12]
  • Mr. Abraham Tomkins, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Fairlie" on 14th October 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Tomkins migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Tomkins Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Tomkins, aged 38, a bricklayer, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Mary Tomkins, aged 37, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • William Tomkins, aged 17, a bricklayer, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Emma Tomkins, aged 14, a sempstress, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • John Tomkins, aged 12, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Tomkins (post 1700) +

  • John J. Tomkins, American Democratic Party politician, Mayor of North College Hill, Ohio, 1944-47 [14]
  • Daniel Tomkins, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Rockland County, 1872 [14]
  • Silvan Solomon Tomkins (1911-1991), American psychologist and personality theorist
  • Calvin Tomkins (b. 1925), American author and art critic for The New Yorker magazine
  • Alan Tomkins (1939-2020), English art director who was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Art Direction for the film The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Thomas Tomkins (1743-1816), English calligrapher who kept for many years a writing school in Foster Lane, London
  • Peltro William Tomkins (1759-1840), English engraver and draughtsman, born in London, younger son of William Tomkins (1730?-1792), the English landscape-painter
  • Martin Tomkins (d. 1755), English Arian divine, said to have been a brother or near relative of Harding Tomkins (d. 1758), attorney and clerk of the Company of Fishmongers
  • Joel Tomkins (b. 1987), English professional rugby league footballer
  • James Tomkins (b. 1989), English footballer
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's. Retrieved January 6th 2023 from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm
  5. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's. Retrieved October 6th 2021 from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm
  6. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  8. Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  9. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agamemnon/1820
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  11. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th October 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/florentia
  12. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bussorah-merchant
  13. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st September 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/fairlie
  14. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, October 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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