Show ContentsTomson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The age-old tribe of the Strathclyde Britons of the Scottish/English Borderlands were the first people to use the name Tomson. It is derived from the ancient personal name Thomas, meaning twin.

Early Origins of the Tomson family

The surname Tomson was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where the first listings of the name were found in the early 1300s. They include: John Thomson, "a man of low birth, but approved valour", leader of the men of Carrick in Edward Bruce's war in Ireland in 1318 and Adam Thomson who was listed as Lord of Kylnekylle, Ayrshire c. 1370-80. Closing out that century was Johannes filius Thome who was elected bailie of Aberdeen in 1398. [1]

In the 15th century, we found: "John Tomson [who] witnessed a grant in Ayr in 1401. Donald Thomson was one of an inquest to determine the rights of pasturage which the Temple lands had over the adjoining town and territory of Letter in 1461. John Thomsoun was juror on an inquest at Dunipace in 1426 (Cambus., 87), Duncan Thomsone of Auchinhampteris witnessed a bond of manrent in 1491." [1]

Just over the border in Yorkshire England, records there show Adam Thomasson and Johannes Thomasson as holding lands there at the time of the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls in 1379. [2]

Interestingly there is a record of the family far to the south and west in the parish of Tywardreath, Cornwall, England. "Treveryon-house and barton in this parish have been for many generations the property and occasional residence of the family of Thomson. This is now the property and abode of their representative H. Thomson, Esq. a captain in the Royal Cornwall Militia. Treveryon-house occupies an interesting situation, and claims something more than the mere mention of its name. In its front, it has four pillars of the Ionic order, cut from Cornish granite, of which they exhibit beautiful specimens. The front of this building displays much architectural elegance. The whole house is neat and commodious, and as a genteel residence according to its magnitude, it is deservedly to be reckoned among the abodes of gentility in this county. " [3]

Early History of the Tomson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tomson research. Another 330 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1318, 1370, 1461, 1511, 1517, 1527, 1539, 1547, 1561, 1588, 1608, 1613, 1619, 1636, 1668, 1676, 1700, 1735, 1750, 1763, 1765, 1771, 1779, 1799, 1801, 1803, 1809, 1817, 1830, 1831, 1841, 1843, 1846, 1875 and 1884 are included under the topic Early Tomson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tomson Spelling Variations

In the era before dictionaries, there were no rules governing the spelling or translation of names or any other words. Consequently, there are an enormous number of spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names. Tomson has appeared as Thomson, Tomson, Tamson, Thomsoun, M'Comie and others.

Early Notables of the Tomson family

Notable amongst the family at this time was

  • Laurence Tomson (1539-1608), was an English politician, author, and translator, born in Northamptonshire and Richard Tomson (fl. 1588), was an English mariner who may presumably be identified with the...

Ireland Migration of the Tomson family to Ireland

Some of the Tomson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Tomson migration to the United States +

The freedom, opportunity, and land of the North American colonies beckoned. There, Scots found a place where they were generally free from persecution and where they could go on to become important players in the birth of new nations. Some fought in the American War of Independence, while others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these Scottish settlers have been able to recover their lost national heritage in the last century through highland games and Clan societies in North America. Among them:

Tomson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Tomson, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [4]
  • Hather Tomson, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [4]
  • Paule Tomson, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [4]
  • Hather Tomson, aged 20, British settler who arrived in Virgnia in 1623 aboard the ship "Ambrose" [5]
  • Mr. William Tomson, aged 22, who arrived in Virginia in 1624 aboard the ship "Swan" [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Tomson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Tomson, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [4]

Australia Tomson migration to Australia +

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

Tomson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Tomson, British Convict who was convicted in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 20th April 1826, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Mr. George Tomson, English convict who was convicted in Sailsbury (New Sarum), Wiltshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Cressy" on 28th April 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • R. Tomson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tomson (post 1700) +

  • W. P. Tomson, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Oklahoma, 1956 [10]
  • Tomson Highway, Canadian artistic director and playwright

  1. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. 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)
  5. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's. Retrieved January 6th 2023 from
  6. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's Retrieved January 6th 2023, retrieved from
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th September 2021). Retrieved from
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st May 2021). Retrieved from
  9. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1846. Retrieved from
  10. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from on Facebook