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Rachel Tomlin Rankin and Tomlin family papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Ax 163

Scope and Contents

This collection contains notes, correspondence, and genealogical research conducted by Rachel Tomlin Rankin. The material primarily relates to the Tomlin family, and was used to compile Rankin's publication, The Tomlin Family. The publication covers, "a story beginning in 1685 and covering a period of two hundred and forty-three years to 1928, including many incidents in the life of the Almarin Tomlin family in New Jersey, of their settlement at Pleasant Plains, Sangamon County, Illinois, as well as something of the pioneer life of that period," according to the subtitle of the book. Matthew Tomlin (1685-1781) and his wife, Elizabeth, lived in Gloucester County, New Jersey after 1732, and possibly before. William Tomlin I (d.1804), a grandson of Matthew and Elizabeth, was a Revolutionary War veteran. Almarin Tomlin (1800-1869), grandson of William I and father of the author, married Rhoda Smith in 1821, and in 1837 moved to land just west of Springfield, Illinois. Descendants and relatives lived in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and elsewhere.

The bulk of the collection is handwritten notes detailing the names, birth, and death dates of various members of the Tomlin family line, as well as notes on the locations of family branches. There are several folders containing correspondence sent to Rankin from nieces, nephews, cousins, and others with recollections and summaries of family lore and history. Also contained within the records are several early copies of The Tomlin Family, including handwritten copies, typewritten copies, and copies with and without corrections, as well as one copy of the final published version. One box within this collection contains family tree information that has been handwritten onto sheets of paper which are then glued or taped together and extend well over four feet in length.


  • 1924-1932

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights and copyrights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives.

Biographical / Historical

Rachel Tomlin Rankin was born in Walnut Grove, Illinois in 1842. She graduated from the Illinois Women's College during the Civil War era. In 1870, she married Monroe Rankin, and the couple made their home in Portland in 1880. During her formative years, she was witness to the pioneer period of the middle and far west, documenting this history through her genealogical work. She served as an officer at the industrial school in Portland. The school eventually became the Florence Crittenton home, part of a network of homes for women in crisis established first in Portland and later throughout the country by Charles Crittenton in memory of his daughter, Florence, who died at age four. She served for years on the board of the institution. She died at age 90 in 1932 in Portland.


1.25 linear feet (2 containers) : 1 RSB, 1 flat box

Language of Materials



Family papers and genealogical data gathered by Rachel Tomlin Rankin in the 1920s-1930s. Rankin, a resident of Portland, compiled the genealogy into The Tomlin Family, published in 1932.



General Physical Description note

2 containers

Processing Information

Processed by Mahala Ruddell in 2023.

Guide to the Rachel Tomlin Rankin and Tomlin family papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by University of Oregon Libraries, Archivists' Toolkit Project Team
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA