Roddy McCorley, a Presbyterian radical, was a local of the parish in which the village of Toome is included: Duneane. He fought in the 1798United Irishmen rebellion against British monarchical rule in Ireland but was captured. He was executed on Good Friday, 1800 "near the bridge of Toome", which had been partially destroyed by rebels in 1798 to prevent the arrival of reinforcements from west of the River Bann. His body was then dissected by the British and buried under the road that went from Belfast to Derry until the mid-19th century, when he was dug up and given a proper burial in an unmarked grave. A memorial in honour of McCorley now stands in Toome as you enter the village from County Londonderry.
The largest industry in Toome is eel fishing, supplying the European market. The eels come from the Sargasso Sea in the Atlantic Ocean to Lough Neagh to mate. The eel fisheries have been commemorated in a number of poems by Seamus Heaney.
Within the last century mining for diatomite has developed as extensive deposits of diatomite are found in the Toome area. This mineral was used as an absorbent for gelignite and for toothpaste.