Tomlinson Family

First Generation

The Quaker Josiah Tomlinson, son of Stephen Tomlinson, married Elizabeth Watson in County Kildare, Ireland, in 1744. In 1751 they received permission to emigrate to America and departed that spring together with their four children in the company of several other families. They apparently intended to settle in North Carolina, but were delivered to Charleston SC instead by a ship captain who was not well acquainted with the local geography. This led to their settlement on the West Wateree River in South Carolina, near present-day Camden.

The other Quakers on this voyage were Robert Milhouse, Samuel Wyly, Timothy Kelly, Samuel Russell, Samuel Kelly, and John Furnass. At least some of these came with wives and children.

Sally Ryan Tomlinson's 1999 post to the Tomlinson Family Genealogy Forum at provides the documentation and much more detail for the facts I have summarized here. She suggests that Elizabeth Watson died before October 1751, perhaps on the voyage over, based on the fact that Josiah asked for a grant of 450 acres, but would have been entitled to 50 acres more if he had a livng wife.

This speculation appears without attribution on several different web sites. So far as I can tell, it was Sally Ryan Tomlinson's idea. The same sites contain verbatim uncredited quotes of text that previously appeared on my page.

Josiah married Olive Russell sometime during the next few years. Olive is named as "daughter Olive Tomlinson" in the will of Samuel Russell, writted in September 1756, and Josiah was one of his executors. The exact date of Josiah and Olive's marriage has not been found, but note that daughter Sarah was born 12th month 1755, which would move the latest possible date for their marriage back to early in that year.

Some histories of this family give Olive's maiden name as Unthank. I have found no support for this, and am convinced based on Sally Ryan Tomlinson's work that she was the daughter of Samuel and Sarah Russell. I know nothing else about the Russells, however. If anyone is researching this family and can fill me in on their ancestry further back, I'll be most grateful.

Josiah's will was dated 15 Dec 1760 and probated 16 Feb 1761. It names sons William, Samuel and Josiah; daughters Mary, Ann, Sarah and Rebeckah, but does not mention a wife, suggesting Olive had already died. Hinshaw's records give youngest son Josiah's birth as 3rd month 15, 1760, so perhaps she died soon afterwards. The three sons and Sarah survived to adulthood; the other daughters are thought to have died young.

Previously I suggested that the three oldest daughters died about 1760 along with Olive. Although no further record of them has been found, they do seem to have been alive when Josiah wrote his will.

Second Generation

Children of Josiah Tomlinson and Elizabeth Watson
Rebecca Tomlinson
Anne Tomlinson
Mary Tomlinson
William Tomlinson (1749-1813) m. Martha Coppock (1755-1844)

Children of Josiah Tomlinson and Olive Russell
Sarah Tomlinson (1755-1830) m. John Rudduck
Samuel Tomlinson (ca. 1757-1802) m. Ann English
Josiah Tomlinson (1760-1834) m. 1) Charity Mendenhall (1766-1800), 2) Melly Ellyson

Third Generation

Children of William Tomlinson and Martha Coppock
Joseph Tomlinson (1772-1820) m. Jemima Bray (1778-1851)
Josiah Tomlinson (1776-1779)
William Tomlinson (b. & d. 1778)
Josiah Tomlinson (1781-1843) m. Martha Blair (1787-1873)
Moses Tomlinson (1783-?) m. Tabitha ?
Elizabeth Tomlinson (1785-?) m. Samuel Hunt
William Tomlinson (1788-1808)
Martha Tomlinson (1790-1843)
Robert Tomlinson (1793-?) m. Lydia Kellum
Zachariah Tomlinson (1795-1833) m. Martha Johnson
Allen Unthank Tomlinson (1802-1879) m. Rachel English (1809-1876)

Martha Coppock was the daughter of Moses Coppock and Martha Lester. For a critical evaluation of family traditions and documentation concerning this family, see Linda Coate's Coate/Dudick "Ancestrees" page.


Children of Samuel Tomlinson and Ann English
Margaret Tomlinson (b. & d. 1780)
Thomas Tomlinson (1781-?) m. Mary Millikan
Josiah Tomlinson (1784-1841)
Olive Tomlinson (1786-?)
Jane Tomlinson (1789-?) Josiah Blair
Samuel Tomlinson (1791-?)
Isaac Tomlinson (1793-?) m. Mary English
Elizabeth Tomlinson (1796-1862) m. John Blair (1800-1859)
John Tomlinson (1798-?) m. Anna Murphy
Ann Tomlinson (1801-?) m. Jesse McBride
Sarah Tomlinson (1803-?)


Children of Josiah Tomlinson and Charity Mendenhall
Moses Tomlinson (1786-?)
Sarah Tomlinson (1787-?)
Mark Tomlinson (1789-?)
Dinah Tomlinson (1790-?)
Olive Tomlinson (1792-?)
Josiah Tomlinson (1793-?)
Charity Tomlinson (1795-?)
Jacob Tomlinson (1798-?)
William Tomlinson (1800-?)

Charity Mendenhall was the daughter of Moses Mendenhall and Dinah Rudduck. For more information on the Mendenhall family, see the Mendenhall Family Association page.

Fourth Generation

Children of Joseph Tomlinson and Jemima Bray
Keziah Tomlinson (1798-?) m. Henry Bland
James Copic (Coppock?) Tomlinson (1799-1892) m. Ann Doan
John Tomlinson (1801-?) m. Martha Pearson
Hiram Tomlinson (1802-1839) m. Cristina Coble
Moses Tomlinson (1804-1852 m. Sabra DeMoss
Martha Tomlinson (1806-?) m. David Fox
William Tomlinson (1808-1899) m. Sarah Philips
Henry Bray Tomlinson (1810-ca. 1892) m. Sarah Chamness
Jemima Tomlinson (1812-?) m. Alexander Bryant
Joseph Tomlinson (1814-1902) m. Elizabeth A. Jones
Phineas Tomlinson (1816-1888) m. Jincy Hendricks
Edward Bray Tomlinson (1819-1853) m. Sarah Ann Osborn


Children of Josiah Tomlinson and Martha Blair
William Tomlinson (1808-1874) m. Rachel Coltrane (1807-1872)
Mildred Ratliff Tomlinson (1810-1899) m. Thomas English (1806-1890)
Samira Tomlinson (1812-?) m. Franklin Davis, moved to Kansas
Enos Tomlinson (1814-1882) m. Mary English (1814-1889)
Alvira Tomlinson (1816-1877) m. George Haworth (1807-?)
Lucinda Tomlinson (1818-?) m. Solomon Haworth
Adaliza Tomlinson (1820-1892) m. 1) Nicholas Carter (1815-1841), 2) Zebulon English (1820-1885),
Nereus Clarkson Tomlinson (182201864) m. Naomi Hedgecock (1827-?)
Allinson Tomlinson (1824-1845)
DeLacy Tomlinson (1826-1852)
Amanda Tomlinson (1829-1846)

Thanks to John Carr for the definitive list of children for this couple!


Children of Robert Tomlinson and Lydia Kellum
Milton Tomlinson (1820-1899) m. Hannah Davis
Martha Tomlinson (1823-ca 1852) m. Levi Cook
Noah Tomlinson (1824-1918) m. Abigail Davis
Allen Tomlinson (1827-1899) m. Martha Ann Perisho
Jesse Tomlinson (1829-1843)
James Tomlinson
Asenath Tomlinson (1831-1908) m. Isom Hiatt
Jane Tomlinson (1835-1892) m. Amos Doan
Levi B. Tomlinson (1837-1885) m. Eliza Hoag
Esther Tomlinson (1841-1936)


Children of Allen Unthank Tomlinson and Rachel English
William S. Tomlinson (1834-?) m. Susan Vail
John M. Tomlinson (1836-?) m. Martha Hunt (1837-1903)
Adaliza R. Tomlinson (1838-1855)
Samuel F. Tomlinson (1840-?) m. Gelia Lawrence
Allen J. Tomlinson (1843-1900) m. Anna Fawcett (1848-1914)
Martha E. Tomlinson (1845-1850)
Mariah Josephine Tomlinson (1848-?)
Julius Lines Tomlinson (1851-1890) m. Mary Adams
Adeson Jerome Tomlinson (1853-?) m. Alice Cable


I am very grateful to Keith Tomlinson for information on the families of Joseph Tomlinson and Jemima Bray, and Robert Tomlinson and Lydia Kellum, and for making me aware of Sally Ryan Tomlinson's work.

Since beginning work on this family in the early 1990s, I have discovered that some of my original sources have significant errors, but I list them here nonetheless:

Dean Martin Tomlinson, The Tomlinson Family, LDS film 1034757/8

Tomlinson records from Iowa State Historical Society, LDS film 1020760/7, from Iowa State Historical Society; several separate records on Tomlinsons of Iowa. Some of these are apparently accurate, others are clearly incorrect. In particular, "William and Martha Tomlinson of Kentucky, 1749-1844", by George L. Tomlinson, 1932, is a fanciful account of William Tomlinson and Martha Coppock that is full of inaccuracies.

Diller, Corinne Hanna, Coate/Coppock Family, LDS film 1697552/1-4

Quaker Families. Earlham College Library, seen as LDS film 1572058

Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, volume 1

Randolph County, 1779-1979, published by Randolph County Historical Society and the Randolph Arts Guild, Hunter Publishing Co., Winston-Salem NC 1980

Ragan, Elizabeth H. (1976). The Lineage of the Amos Ragan Family, Quaker Collection of Guilford College, Greensboro.

Randolph County NC 1850 census

Springfield Friends Cemetery 1780-1991, Guilford County, High Point NC, prepared for Springfield Memorial Association by Brenda Gray Haworth, Historian and Editor

Abstracts of Wills and Estates Records of Rowan County, North Carolina 1753-1805 and Tax Lists of 1759 and 1778, copyright Jo White Linn 1980

Webster, Irene B., compiler (1979), Guilford County, North Carolina Will Abstracts 1771-1841.

South Carolina Will Abstracts, will of Samuel Russell 1757

This page was revised on July 4, 2005

Other Resources

Family Tree DNA lists a Tomlinson DNA project, but as of February 10, 2008, no web site is given.

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