The settlement and the river were usually spelled "Tom's River" in its early days, though its current spelling has been standard since the middle of the 19th century.Toms River was located in the southern section of the Township of Shrewsbury that obtained a royal charter to secede in 1767 and form Dover Township.Toms River Little League made it to Williamsport in 2010 giving Toms River its record fourth Mid-Atlantic championship. Cheerleaders from the Toms River Little Indians, Toms River Raiders, and the Toms River Angels (formerly the Saint Joe's Angels) have won many National Titles.Toms River is also home to many National Champion Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading titles. The first National Championship title was won in 1993 by the Toms River Little Indian Midget Cheer squad.In 2001, 2002, and 2003 the Toms River Angels brought home national titles resulting in the nations second ever three peat (meaning they brought home three national titles on the same level).In 2005, The Toms River Little Indians brought home two more national titles, and the Toms River Raiders won one.
In 2007 The Toms River Angels brought home one and the Indians brought back two more to add to their history.
In 1992, as part of celebrations commemorating the township's 225th anniversary, official recognition was granted to the tradition that the "Tom" in "Toms River" was for Thomas Luker, who ran a ferry across Goose Creek (now the Toms River).