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Tomkins Notebook

Identifier: MG Nwk -Tomkins

Scope and Contents

This notebook contains notes on the genealogy of many different branches of the Tomkins family including Uzal Tomkins in Morristown and Edward Tomkins (Tompkins?) of Oakland, CA. The writer also transcribes notes from Records of the town of Newark. Most of the Tomkins recorded in the birth are from the 17th and 18th centuries. The latest births recorded are in the 1860s.

A child's glove is also included which was found in the notebook.

An email from Tim Crist detailing his research on the book is included.


  • c. 1880s-1910s


Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff. Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

Biographical / Historical


The Tomkins family in Newark dates back to Micah Tomkins I (1616-1690) who settled Newark with Robert Treat and features in the 1916 Pageant of Newark. Micah Tomkins is featured on the well-known map of Newark lots from 1666.

The genealogy in relation to reach the Tomkins of the Tomkins Bros firm goes through Micah's son Micah Tomkins II (1659-1710), to John Tomkins (1680-1764), Joseph Tomkins (1727-1818), Enos Tomkins (1770-1854), Ambrose Tomkins (1802-1851) and finally George W. Tomkins (1842-1911).

Within the notebook, other lines of the Tomkins genealogy are also explored.


This notebook was found at the site of the Tomkins Bros. firm in Newark, which was run by the immediate family of George W. Tomkins.

George W. Tomkins was born in Rockland County, New York. His father Ambrose Tomkins was one of the largest hat manufacturers in the Oranges, and in 1837 established, with his brothers, Newark Lime and Cement Company. Shortly after Ambrose extended the business to Tomkins Cove (named for the family) in Rockland County and moved his family there. In 1859, the family moved back to Newark and George began work for the firm. In 1872, he became superitendent of the firm and served for 20 years.

George Tomkins and Phebe Ann Townley (1836-1899) had two sons: Ambrose (1863-1951) and Brenton Tomkins (1865-1926). They founded Tomkins Bros. on Passaic Ave (78 Passaic Ave. in 1896, in 1916 it covered 48-94 Passaic Ave) in 1887. It was a coal and mason's materials company. In 1892, George quit the cement business to work with his sons.

George Tomkins was President of the Board of Trade, Vice president of the Board of Education, and very active in the community. He died in 1911 in Newark.

Brenton died in 1926 in Bermuda and Ambrose died in Florida in 1951. The company remained in operation until about 1958.

George, Ambrose and Brenton Tomkins were all members of the Sons of the American Revolution due to their long genealogy in Newark. They all applied in 1897. We may guess perphaps this notebook was part of research for that application. The handwriting on the applications looks quite similar to what is in the notebook, suggesting again that one of these three likely authored the notebook.

George was also a lifetime member of the New Jersey Historical Society. Some of the correspondance in the notebook is credited to William R Weeks, a lawyer, also a Son of the American Revolution and a lifetime Historical Society Member. It could be speculated that George Tomkins worked with Weeks on his family research and he is the book's author.


The notebook itself bears the name of "M. Plum" Matthias Plum Sr. (1839-1916) founded Matthias Plum Inc. in 1864. Plum Inc. manufactured blanbooks, and was also identified by the time of his death as a "printers, stationeers and paper merchants". It was on Clinton and Beaver Streets (1916). The Plums traced their lineage back at least 200 years in Newark as of 1916.


.42 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This notebook, author unidentified, contains notes on the genealogy of the Tomkins family, some of the first Newark settlers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This notebook was found at 74 Passaic Ave. by Bob Longobardi who sent it to Tim Crist of the Newark History Society who donated it to the library in 2022.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center, Newark Public Library Repository

3rd Floor
Newark Public Library
5 Washington St.
Newark NJ 07102 United States