Thomas Tolman, of Dorchester

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Thomas Tolman

Birthplace: Lancaster, Lancashire, England
Death: June 18, 1690 (82)
Dorchester, Suffolk County , Massachusetts Bay Colony, Colonial America
Place of Burial: Canton, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Parkinson and Isabel Wilkinson
Husband of Sarah Tolman and Catherine Tolman
Father of John Tolman; Ann Lyon; Mary Collins; Thomas Tolman, III; Sarah Leadbetter and 4 others
Half brother of Robert Parkinson; Richard Parkinson; Alice Parkinson; Elizabeth Parkinson; Ellen Parkinson and 8 others

Occupation: Wheelwright
Immigration Year: 1630
Managed by: Lori Lynn Wilke
Last Updated:

About Thomas Tolman, of Dorchester

Not the son of Thomas Tolman, Esq. & Temperance Dolman

Pioneer of Dorchester

From Savage:

Tolman, THOMAS, Dorchester 1636, freem. 13 May 1640, by w. Sarah had Hannah, b. 27 July 1642; but prob. Thomas, bef. and perhaps also Sarah and Mary; beside John, perhaps, and Ruth and Rebecca, certain, after. He had also sec. w. Sarah; and d. 8 June 1690. His will of 29 Oct. 1688, names Thomas, his oldest s. and no other s. but John; d. Sarah. wh. had m. 18 Mar. 1669, Henry Leadbetter, Rebecca, w. of James Tucker, Ruth, w. dec. of Isaac Royal, Hannah, w. of George Lyon,

Disputed Origins

See the essay 'Thomas Tolman (1608-1690) of Dorchester, Massachusetts' on the website The most recent version (6 Nov 2018) contains at-DNA data which prove the Lancashire origin of Thomas Tolman and forever disproves the unsupported Salcombe Regis nonsense. Family Association:

Thomas Tolman is thought to be the son of Richard Parkenson and Isabel Towlminge, born out of wedlock. A baptism record for him at Lancaster, Lancashire, England, with a date of February 9, 1609 is found, which corresponds (considering the calendar shift) to the date of birth for this Thomas.[4] Two articles, backed up with DNA evidence and quality sources, support this information.[2][5]

Genealogical Summary 1: Ancestors of the Massachusetts Tolman/Touleman Family

Generation 1

1. Issabel Towlming was born abt 1588 of Lancaster, Lancashire, England.4 She had an illegitimate son with Richard Parkenson in 1608.5

Richard Parkenson and Issabel Towlming had a son who immigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635.

2 i. THOMAS TOULEMAN/TOLMAN6,7,8 christened 9 Feb 1608 at St. Mary’s, Lancaster, Lancashire, England; died 18 Jun 1690 at Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts.

Issabel subsequently married9 20 Oct 1612 at St. Mary’s, Lancaster, Lancashire William Wilkinsonn. He was born abt 1584.

William and Issabel (Towlming) Wilkinsonn had at least seven children.10


BIRTH & BAPTISM Thomas was born in 1608/9 in England[2,3] and baptized in Salcombe Regis, Dorsetshire, England on 9 December 1608. [NO]

DEATH He died in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA on 18 June 1690; he was 82[2,3,4].

MIGRATION This Thomas came over aboard the Mary & John in 1630 according to family histories and by the Mary & John Clearinghouse, where he is on their master index as #648: "Tolman, Thomas (1608-1690) of Dorchester, MA. Possibly from Salcombe Regis, Devon 14:65"[9]. Richard Anderson, however, demurs[4]. He maintains that Thomas probably migrated alone and was from the same village as Roger Clapp[5], but makes no mention of the Mary & John.

OCCUPATION Thomas was a Wheelwright[5].

EDUCATION He was educated enough to have signed and sealed his will[4].

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP His name is on the Church Covenant for the Church at Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA in 1636[4].

FREEMANSHIP He took the Oath of Freeman on 13 May 1640 in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA[4,5,6,7,8].

LEGAL MENTION & TOWN SERVICE He served as Constable for Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA in 1661[5]. His first official mention in Dorchester Town Records is on 31 October 1639: "It is ordered that Goodman Tolman¹s house be appointed for the receiving any goods that shall be brought in whereof the owner is not known"[4].

RESIDENCE & REAL ESTATE Once here, he settled in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA, where he owned lands in Dorchester from the seaside to the Dedham, Norfolk co., MA line and was the owner of a tract of land seven miles long, west of Neponset bridge in what are now parts of Canton, Stoughton and Sharon, MA[4,5].

He located near Pine Neck (known as Point Norfolk in 1860), his house having stood within one hundred feet of Pine Neck Creek on the west side and on the north side within about two hundred feet, the creek forming there an elbow shape. In 1852, the Old Colony Railroad Corporation removed the most of the cellar once belonging to his house. The house in which his son Thomas afterwards lived, between what is now Ashmont and Washington Streets, was probably built by him. In 1860, some of his descendants still owned and resided on land that belonged to him and remained in possession of one of the branches of the family[4]. From a 21st century perspective, it sounds like his land is currently under the Braintree branch of the Red Line.

ESTATE His will "commenced" 25 May 1688 and was signed and sealed on 25 May 1688[4].

MARRIAGE #1 Before 1632 when Thomas was 24, he first married Sarah [surname not known], in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA[3,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17]. Sarah died before Thomas' second marriage in 1677.

CHILDREN 3. i. Mary TOLMAN Please see her own page.

4. ii. Thomas TOLMAN, JR. Thomas, Jr. was born in 1633 in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA[4] and died in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA on 12 September 1718; he was 85[4]. Like his father, Thomas was a wheelwright[5] and lived on Tolman's Lane in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA. This lane is located one hundred feet from Ashmont Street[5]. He made Freeman there in 1678[4] and was admitted into Dorchester Church along with wife on 17 May 1674[4].

On 4 November 1654 when Thomas was 21, he married Elizabeth JOHNSON, daughter of Richard JOHNSON[3,5]. Elizabeth died on 15 December 1726 in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA[4].

5. iii. Hannah TOLMAN Hannah was born on 27d:5m(July):1642 in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA[5,22] and died in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA on 4 August 1729; she was 87[5]. Hannah first married George LYON and second married William BLAKE Jr..

6. iv. John TOLMAN John was born circa 1643, as estimated from his death information and died in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA on 1 January 1724/5; he was 82[4]. He made Freeman in 1678[4].

On 30 November 1666 when John was 23, he first married Elizabeth COLLINS, daughter of Henry COLLINS, Senior & Ann RIALL/ROYAL, in Lynn, Essex co., MA[23]. Elizabeth was born circa 1646 or 1648 in Lynn, Essex County, MA and died in Lynn, Essex co., MA on 21 February 1686; she was 40, as "Collins, Eliza, d. Henry"[24]. On 15 June 1692 when John was 49, he second married Mary [surname not known][4].

7. v. Ruth TOLMAN Ruth was born in 1644 in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA and baptized in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA on 7 December 1644[5]. She died in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA on 1 May 1681; she was 37[5]. Ruth married Isaac ROYAL.

8. vi. Rebecca TOLMAN Rebecca was born in 1647 in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA and baptized in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA in 1647[5]. Rebecca married James TUCKER.

9. vii. Sarah TOLMAN Sarah was born in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA[5] and died before 1691 in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA[5]. On 18 January 1659 Sarah married Henry LEADBETTER, in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA[5].

MARRIAGE #2 Before 1677 when Thomas was 69, he second married Katherine [surname not known], in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA[3,13,18,19]. Katherine died on 7 November 1677 in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA[4,20].

ISAAC, b. say 1644; m. (1) by 1668 Ruth Tolman, daughter of Thomas Tolman (eldest child b. Dorchester 2 November 1668 [DVR 11]; bp. of four children 28 October 1677 [DChR 209]; Thomas Tolman in will of 29 October 1688 made bequests to "the children of my daughter Ruth Ryall deceased" and to "Isaac Ryall's two eldest daughters Ruth & Mary" [ DeHR 5:67-70, citing SPR 8:37])

Thomas Tolman, second son to Thomas Tolman the first, was born in England, undoubtedly in Salcombe Regis, Devonshire, two mile northeast of Sidmouth, in 1608, as the parish records of that place state that "Thomas Tolman (son of Thomas) was baptized, December 9, 1608." It is also recorded that a Thomas Tolman died there and was buried August 24, 1632; and he probably was the father of this Thomas Tolman. This Thomas Tolman emigrated from Plymouth, England, on March 20, 1630, to America on the ship called "Mary and John" Capt. Squeb, arrived at Nantucket on May 30, 1630 and settled in Dorcester, Massachusetts, in 1630. His first wife's name was Sarah [ ] (we have been unable to find her surname). They were blessed with the following children: 1 (M) Thomas Tolman [the man we descend through] 2 (F) Sarah Tolman 3 (F) Hannah Tolman 4 (F) Rebecca Tolman 5 (F) Ruth Tolman 6 (M) John Tolman 7 (F) Mary Tolman The second wife's name was Katharine [ ] (we have been unable to find her surname); however, we know she died on November 7, 1677. Some records show that this second wife's name was Catherine Collins. They were blessed with six children, two boys and four girls. Thomas Tolman was one of the signers of the covenant of the First Church of Dorchester, made in 1636. He was made a "freeman" May 13, 1604; a Constable in 1661 and served for several years in that office. His name is frequently mentioned in the records of that town, not only on the church records, but on the earliest town records of that place. His house was appointed to receive "any goods that shall be brought in whereof the owner is not known." he owned extensive acres of land, one tract was westerly of Neponset Bridge. He had land not only in Dorchester, but also in what are not known as Canton, Stoughton, and Sharon, for the length of seven miles. His house stood, on the north side, within a hundred feet of "Pine Neck Creek" over which a turnpike road passes, about one-quarter mile from the bridge. Some of his properties were still occupied by his descendants as last as 1850. He died June 18, 1690, in his eighty-second year. Thomas was buried, probably, in the old cemetery at Upham's Corner, Dorchester, in the oldest part, where the graves were then covered with stones to prevent to ravages of the wolves. From him a numerous posterity sprang and today their are scattered all over the United States. From: "My Father's House" a book written and published by Charles Rendell Mabey, through Beverly Craftsman, 1947. Found in "The Tolman Family Book of Remembrance and Genealogy with Allied Lines.


  1. Tolman Genealogy, The New England Historical & Genealogical Register (NEHGS, Boston, Mass., 1860) Vol. 14, Page 247.
  2. Tolman, Richard L., PhD, Thomas Tolman (1608-1690) of Dorchester, Massachusetts, published December 12, 2019. Thomas Tolman
  3. Find A Grave Thomas Tolman 1608-1689
  4. England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975", database, FamilySearch : 21 September 2020), Thomas Parkenson or Towming, 1609.Baptism Record
  5. Tolman, Richard L., PhD, The Toulmin Family of Lancashire, England, published May 5, 2020. PDF Link
  6. Thomas Tolman, of Dorchester
  7. Ames, Jessie. Leadbetter Records (J.E. Ames, 1917) Page 17
  8. Henry Crane of Milton, Mass and Some of His Descendants Pg 21
  10. Suffolk County (massachusetts) Probate Records, 1636-1899. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1969. Probate records - new series v. 7-8 1636-1766 Film # 007703368. Vol 8. Image 325 page 37 (original), page 38 (original) Administration, Inventory, page 191.
  11. New England Marriages to 1700. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as: New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015. [1]
  12. Thomas TOLMAN Marriage 1642 Location Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Original Text TOLMAN, Thomas1 (1608/9-1690) & 2/wf Sarah ____ (-1677); by 1633?, by 1642; Dorchester {Reg. 5:466, 14:247; Blake-Glidden 244; Dorchester Hist. 134; Blakeney-Sabin 193; Townsend (,2) 31; Crane 5; Tolman (ms) 3; Blake (1898) 26}. Spouse Sarah UNIDENTIFIED Volume Name Volume 3 Page 1527
  13. Massachusetts, Compiled Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1700-1850 Thomas Tolman Birth Place: England Death Date: 8 Jun 1690 Death Place: Bridgewater, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA Spouse: Sarah Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 Thomas Toleman Death Date: 18 Jun 1690 Death Place: Dorchester, Massachusetts
  14. Frost, Josephine C., Ancestors of Benjamin Ferris Blakeney and His Wife Stella Peronne Sabine (1926) Page 193.
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Thomas Tolman, of Dorchester's Timeline

February 6, 1608
Lancaster, Lancashire, England
February 9, 1608
St. Mary's Church, Lancaster, Lancashire , England (United Kingdom)
February 9, 1608
Lancaster, Lancashire, England
February 9, 1608
Lancaster, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
December 9, 1608
Salcombe, Regis, Devon, England
December 9, 1608
Devonshire, England, United Kingdom
December 9, 1608
Salcombe Regis, Devonshire, England, United Kingdom
December 9, 1608
Salcombe, Regis, Devon, England
December 9, 1608
Salcombe, Regis, Devon, England
Probably England