Thomas James Pearce Jenkins, civil servant, was the son of Isaac Pearce Jenkins and his wife Rachel. He came to Pretoria at the age of six years and was appointed as a clerk at the Transvaal Museum (now the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History) on 15 June 1907. He also collected plants for the museum. Though he was subsequently appointed as a second grade clerk in the accounts branch of the Department of Lands from 1 July 1909, he continued to collect plants for the museum until 1913. Shortly afterwards he was transferred to the Department of Inland Revenue, where he spent the rest of his career until his retirement in 1938.
Jenkins contributed more that 1200 plant specimens to the museum, which later went to the National Herbarium in Pretoria as part of the museum's herbarium. He collected mainly in the Transvaal, but also around Durban and in Mozambique.
He was married to Dories Prince, with whom he had two sons and three daughters. After his retirement he was elected on the Pretoria town council and served as mayor in 1944. He then retired to Margate, KwaZulu-Natal, where he served as mayor in 1946. Tom Jenkins Drive in Pretoria was named after him.