Tomkins #5596

Nathaniel Tomkins (1612-1684)

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts probably several years before 1650 and

Elizabeth ( – )

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts in [date unknown].

Tomkins #5596


Nathaniel Tomkins is known to have been born in England about 1612, but beyond that, not much is known.  Although it has not been proven, in some genealogies he is said to be the son of Ralph Tomkins, who was born about 1585 in Monington, Hereford, England.  In September 1635, at age 50, Ralph left England on the Truelove  with his wife Katherine (age 58) and the following children: Samuel ( age 22), Elizabeth (age 18), and Marie (age 14). Nathaniel is not mentioned as being on this voyage in any source consulted, although he could have come to America either before or after other members of his family.  Ralph is also thought to have another son, John, who came to Massachusetts at an earlier date.  In order to account for others of the Tomkins name (John & Nathaniel), various researchers have reasonably speculated that he had other children (besides Samuel, Elizabeth and Marie) that preceded him to the New World or remained behind in England.   Under this scenario, it is supposed that John and Nathaniel came over over on a different ship, either before or after the voyage of the Truelove.  There seems to be more solid proof connected to John, who settled in Salem, Massachusetts.

For lack of a proven connection to Ralph, I consider Nathaniel Tomkins to be the progenitor of our Tomkins line in America.  However, I will relate what is known of Ralph Tomkins.  There is evidence that Ralph settled in Dorchester, Bridgewater and Salem, Massacusetts at various times, and that he returned finally to Bridgewater, Massachusetts to be with his son, Samuel.  Ralph resided at Dorchester in 1637, and became a freeman there on 2 May 1638.  Ralph is identified as the “goodman Tomkins” who is mentioned as a recipient in the widow Smead’s will in Dorchester in 1639.  At some point the family moved to the settlement in Milford, Connecticut, however, it was a marshy area and unhealthy, and they eventually moved back to Massachusetts.

Sometime after his arrival in America, Ralph’s first wife, Katherine (Foster?)  died, and he remarried Hannah Aborne.  Ralph apparently removed to Salem around 1642.  He remained there until he buried his second wife and then removed to Bridgewater, where he died in 1666.  His property in Salem was inventoried on 12 Nov 1666.  Administration was granted to son John.

Nathaniel Tomkins is reported by most sources to have been born about 1612 in Edlesborough, Buckinghamshire, England.  He married Elizabeth, whose last name is unknown.  He appears in the records in Providence, Rhode Island in 1650 with a younger son (Nathaniel Tomkins Jr.).  Previously, he had been a merchant at Boston and other New England localities.  The son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth in Nathaniel Tompkins (Jr.), born about 1650 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island and died 15 Feb 1731 there also.  On 15 Jan 1671, Nathaniel married Elizabeth Allen, born 5 Jul 1651 in Little Compton, Newport Rhode Island and died 24 Mar 1714 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island.  Elizabeth’s father is said to be named John Allen, but the John Allen who is our 10th g-grandfather is probably not old enough to be the father of this Elizabeth.  There may be a connection between Elizabeth Allen and John Allen and the other Allens discussed under the heading of George Allen (1568-1648), but so far I have not been able to determine the connection (if any).  Since John Allen is a common enough name, people with this name could easily be confused with each other.

The daughter of Nathaniel Tompkins (Jr.) and Elizabeth Allen is Elizabeth Tompkins, born about 1675 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island and died about 1729 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island.  On 17 Feb 1695, Elizabeth married William Ladd in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island.  William was born about 1665 in Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island and died 13 Aug 1729 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island.

The daughter of Elizabeth Tomkins and William Ladd is Mary Ladd, born 5 Mar 1698 in Newport, Rhode Island and died 26 Feb 1733 in Tiverton, Newport, Rhode Island.  In 1720, Mary married Joseph Seabury[2]Joseph was born 5 Jun 1678 in Duxbury, Massachusetts and died 22 Aug 1755 in Tiverton, Newport, Rhode Island.  The lineage of Joseph Seabury and Mary Ladd continues under the heading of John Seabury (1622-1649).

[1] Pope, Charles Henry, The Pioneers of Massachusetts (Boston: C.H. Pope, 1900.); Perley, Sidney, The History of Salem, Massachusetts (Salem, Massachusetts: S. Perley, 1924-1928.); Tomkins, Robert A., The Tomkins-Tompkins Genealogy (Los Angeles, self-published, 1942).

[2] This was Joseph’s second marriage.  He previously married Phoebe Fobes (or Smith) in 1701 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island.


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