Coat of Arms
There has been recent research (1990’s) by some cousins that brings our ownership of the Coat of Arms into question; however, there seem to be arguments on both sides. Since it has been a family symbol for the duration of our organization, we are inclined to include it on our website. These thoughts from a 1944 letter of Myra Tolman Patterson to William O. Tolman (both former family genealogists) seem appropriate to introduce the explanations below.
“Now in regards to the Tolman Coat of Arms: I talked to Charles R. Mabey (former governor of Utah) yesterday. He said it was given to the Tolmans for their bravery in the time of knighthood. Just those who are distinguished in their lives for bravery and valiant deed… He said it would not mean much to us unless we carried on and made something of ourselves and were as valiant as our ancestors were. This life is not long at most and if we can do something here to unite us with those brave ancestors, how great will be our reward and we will be able to hold on to that coat of arms through ages to come.” (Note that this letter was written during WWII.)
Two of our cousins sent interpretations of the Tolman Coat of Arms.
“I was recently in a shop, Family Coats of Arms, in Petersen Village in Solvang, California. The researcher there was very familiar with the Tolman Coat of Arms. Her name is Donna Wheatley. She said the bird (martlet) on the Tolman Coat of Arms has no feet. (If you look it appears there are only feathers where the feet should be.) She said there was a meaning to this, and it meant faith.“ –(Ruth) Eileen Tolman Olson (John Emil), Uplands, California (1995). Eileen is a great-granddaughter of Judson and Sarah Lucretia Holbrook Tolman through her father, Wallace Richard Tolman and grandfather, Wallace Holbrook Tolman.
Blazon of Arms: Sable, a martlet argent between three ducal coronets.
Translation: Sable (black) denotes Constancy. The martlet is depicted without legs and signifies one who subsists on Wings of Virtue and Merit. The ducal coronets are symbols of Royalty and Authority.
Crest: Two arms in armour embowed, wielding a battle axe all proper.
Translation: The arm in armour denotes one who is fitted to do important tasks. The axe is symbolic of the Execution of Military Justice.
Origin: England. My source for this translation is the Historical Research Center. Tristan Lee Yeaman Tolman (Blair Vondell), Lehi, Utah (2002). Blair is the son of Farrell Delos Tolman, the son of Joseph Osborn Tolman, the son of Joshua Alvin Tolman who is the son of Cyrus and Alice Bracken Tolman.