Thomas Tinsley, of Totopotomoy Creek

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Thomas Tinsley, of Totopotomoy Creek

Also Known As: "Thomas Tilsley"
Birthdate: (82)
Birthplace: Tinsley, near, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Death: October 9, 1700 (78-86)
Totopotomoy Creek, St. Peter's Parish, New Kent, Virginia
Place of Burial: New Kent, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir John Tynsley and Elizabeth Tinsley
Husband of Elizabeth Tinsley
Father of Cornelius Tinsley; Rachel Tinsley; Issac Tinsley; Edward Tinsley; Richard Tinsley and 10 others

Occupation: Tobacco Farmer
Managed by: Linda Sue
Last Updated:

About Thomas Tinsley, of Totopotomoy Creek

Thomas arrived in Jamestown, Virginia Colony, in 1638, his transportation furnished by John Robins of James City County. (1) In early land documents his name is spelled virtuously by scribes and copyist as Thomas Tilsley (1638)

Thomas migrated in 1638 to Jamestown colony, Virginia. He became an extensive land owner & planter shipping tobacco to England and imported domestic luxuries and clothing. Virginia history states that he was a man of "high esteem, great influence, and courage."

Thomas Tinsley built his home on Totopotomoy Creek, formerly known as Moses Run, 12 miles north of the present site of Richmond. This creek, enclosing a peninsula in the present Hanover County, was named for Totopotomou (d.1656), chief of the Pamunkey Indians and a successor to Powhata. The ancestral place of the Tinsley family, called "Totomoi", still remains in the possession of descendants. (8)

He participated in Bacon's 1676 Rebellion, the opening breach for American Independence.

His will is dated October 9, 1700, New Kent County, Virginia. Witnesses were Richard Meriwether, Jeremiah Pope, and John Oaks. It was recorded in 1702, in New Kent County, upon the corporal oaths of Nicholas Meriwether and Hohn Oaks. (18). In his will, he left to his elder son, Thomas, "one young Gray Stoned Colt branded 'T T'. This was one of the first known brands in the US.


  1. The Quit Rents of Virginia, 1704
  2. U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s
  3. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900


  1. Tinsely Family History


Origin Notes

TINSLEY-origin of name ?

The following account describing the origin of the Tinsley name was passed on to my by relatives and the reference is quoted as "Yorkshire Notes and Queriers and Folk, Vol. I page 221. Hallam, Middle Ages, Chapter 2, Page 2." Reference is also made to "Collection of Names of the Nobility from Yorkshire England" by Thomas Robson. No dates are given in the data to follow but it is mentioned that the Tinsley Coat of Arms became hereditary (heraldry) in the time of Henry III (1216-1273).

Roger Magerolles, Lord of Tinsloo, married Eune Busby, dau. of Roger Bushby and had issue:

William Magerolles, Lord of Tinsloo, son and heir of Roger, married and had issue:

Godose(a) Magerolles married Sir William Brette.

Betryce Magerolles married William Londoner, alias Tinsley, Lord of Tinsloo.

Godosa(e) Magerolles married Sir William Brette and had issue:

Rychard Brette who married and had issue:

Rychard Brette II who married and had issue:

Rychard Brette III who married and had issue:

Walter Brette, Knight, married and had issue:

Lucy Brette married Sir Henry Tinsley (whose ancestors were called Londoners, alias Brebroke, Lord of Tinsloo) and had issue:

William Tinsley married a daughter of Sir William Wadesby and had issue:

Lucy Tinsley married William Wentworth.

Betryce Magerolles married William Londoner, Lord of Tinsloo, and had issue:

William Londoner, Gentleman, married and had issue:

William Londoner II, Lord of Tinsloo, married and had issue:

Adam Londoner, alias Brebroke, married and had issue:

Sir Henry Tinsley.

Betryce Magerolles' husband, William Londoner, took the name of his wife, Tinsley of Tinsloo. She was probably married later than her sister and perhaps not as young when she married as there is another generation of Brettes.

The coat of arms described by Robson is:

A Chevron between three wolves heads, erased.

Burk's Heraldry gives the same later a stork is found on the coat of arms as a crest. The motto: Sine Labe Fides.

Totomoi. Totomoi, the Tinsley ancestral home was a Royal Grant about the year 1650 to the first Thomas Tinsley. It has remained in the family to this date (1968), now being owned by T. Rutherfoord Moncure, whose mother had been Margaret Tinsley. The original name was Totopotomoi, the Indian name of the creek running through the place. The creek was named for a powerful and friendly chief who is mentioned in Butler's "Hudibras". The first Thomas Tinsley was instrumental, with others in negotiating a treaty with hostile Indians. More than likely the place was named for the chief rather than the creek.

History: Arrived at Jamestown in 1638 - Transportation furnished by John Robins of James City Co., VA

Built his home "Totomai" on Totopotomay Creek 12 miles north of present day Richmond

He was a tobacco planter - shipped tobacco to England and imported domestic luxuries and clothing


Geographical: National Gazetteer (1868) - Ragland

"RAGLAND, a parish and small town in the lower division of the hundred of Ragland, county Monmouth, 7 miles S.W. of Monmouth. It has a station at Ragland Road, about a mile from the village on the Monmouthshire branch of West Midland railway. The town is situated midway on the road from Monmouth to Abergavenny. It is celebrated for the ruins of its moated castle, which stands on a gentle eminence partially hidden from view by a grove of ancient trees. It is said to have been mostly built by one of the Lords Herbert on the old castle erected in the reign of Richard II. It was gallantly defended by the renowned Marquis of Worcester against General Fairfax, after the entire reduction of Wales, and until the imprisonment of Charles I. at Holmby, when at last the marquis surrendered it to the parliamentarians after a siege of 10 weeks.

The ruins of the castle cover a large space of ground in which is the Yellow Tower, 10 feet in thickness and 193 in circumference, also a large gateway with machicolated hexagonal towers, a hall with an oriel window, extensive stone court, a chapel and Charles I.'s tower. There are also a terrace 260 feet in length, and an oak tree, measuring 285 feet in circumference. A fine prospect is obtained from the tower. The Monmouthshire hounds meet in the neighbourhood. There are quarries of building stone. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £301, and the glebe consists of 25 acres. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Llandaff, value £270. The church, dedicated to St. Cadocus, is a stone structure with a square embattled tower. It stands about the centre of the village, and contains several monuments to the earls of Worcester and the Somerset family. The parochial charities produce about £6 per annum, exclusive of a share with Eton Bishop. The Baptists have a place of worship. This place confers the inferior title of baron on the Duke of Beaufort."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)

Dynasty: Tinsley of Tinsley

The United Kingdom Tinsleys

The family of Tinsley, Tineslawe, Tinslow or Tynslow is very ancient. The arms - a chevron between three wolves (or foxes) heads, erased gules - have been borne by the family for many generations.

The village of Tinsley is two miles from Rotherham, Yorkshire. King William the Conqueror (1066-87) gave the Manor of Tinsley to Roger de Busli, and it became a dependence of his castle in Tickhill, Yorkshire. In the twelth century, the Manor was held by Henry de Tinsley, who had to visit Tickhill castle every Michaelmas, bringing a pair of white gloves, and receiving a hawk in return. The Tinsley family held the Manor till about the middle of the eighteenth century.

A female of the direct line having married a member of the Wentworth family, the estates passed to the Wentworths, who thenceforward, quartered arms with the Tinsleys. Their descendants, the Wentworth-Fitzwilliams, into whose possession the estate passed, continue to bear the quartered arms to this day.

The other branch of the family, whom, it appears had no legal claim upon the estate, continued to live at Tinsley until the late eighteenth century. The Manor and estate having passed to the Wentworths, and the elder male member of the Tinsleys having married a second wife, led to general dispersion of the children of the first marriage.

In the late eighteenth century Henry Cole Tinsley moved to Holbeach, Lincolnshire. Another member went to America, of whom all trace has been lost. Henry Cole Tinsley became a landowner and farmer and lived in Holbeach on an estate which he acquired, until the time of his death. Various branches of the Tinsley family live and/or own land in the Holbeach area today.


Burke's, Genealogies of the Families of Great Britain.

•Immigration: 1638 VA •Burial: New Kent Co, VA •Probate: New Kent Co, VA •Note:

1650 land grant, 300a, James City Co,VA;
1662 bought 300a, New Kent Co,VA; Pat Bk 8-25, 111a. Rappa Co., 20Oct1689;

Children 1. John Tinsley b: ABT 1642 in New Kent County VA 2. Alice Tinsley b: ABT 1646 in New Kent County VA 3. Sicily Tinsley b: ABT 1649 in Hanover County VA 4. Mary Tinsley b: ABT 1651 in Hanover County VA 5. Anne Tinsley b: ABT 1654 in Hanover County VA 6. Thomas Tinsley b: ABT 1655 in Rappahannock County VA 7. Cornelius Tinsley b: ABT 1660 in Hanover County VA

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Thomas Tinsley, of Totopotomoy Creek's Timeline

Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Age 21
James City, Virginia, United States
Age 22
American, Allen, OH, USA
Age 22
New Kent, VA, USA
Age 22
Hanover, Hanover, VA, USA
Age 24
, James City, VA
Age 24
Age 24
Age 26