Next time you happen to be in New York City, please take the time to visit the American Immigrant Wall of Honor on Ellis Island. On panel 569, you’ll find our immigrant Ancestor, Thomas Tolman. Thomas Tolman was born in England in 1608. He married Sarah Parkenson in 1831. Together they immigrated to Dorchester, Suffolk of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the mid-1630s. Thomas signed a covenant at the First Church of Dorchester in 1636 as Thomas Touleman. Thomas and Sarah had seven children.
As described by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, “The American Immigrant Wall of Honor celebrates the peopling of America. The names of individuals are inscribed on the wall for posterity as gifts of remembrance through donations made to restore and maintain Ellis Island.” We have our cousin, Eileen Tolman Olson to thank for her kind donation to honor Thomas Tolman.
The Wall of Honor description continues, “The circular wall contains over 500,000 names. It measures 262 feet across and 664 feet in length. The straight wall contains 56,000 names and is 213 feet in length.”
A tour of Ellis Island is a must-see for any visit to New York City and dramatically increases one’s appreciation for many of the challenges faced by our immigrant ancestors and how they endured and persevered.
For more information on the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the American Immigrant Wall of Honor, visit the Statue of LIberty-Ellis Island Foundation.