We estimated the time difference between the 1854 CE Ansei–Tokai and Ansei–Nankai earthquakes from tidal records of two tide gauge stations (San Francisco and San Diego) on the west coast of North America. The first signals of the Ansei–Tokai tsunami were apparent, whereas those of the Ansei–Nankai tsunami were obscured by the later waves of the Ansei–Tokai tsunami. Waveforms of the Ansei–Nankai tsunami simulated with non-linear dispersive wave theory by assuming an origin time of 07:00 GMT on 24 December arrived earlier than in the observations. The normalized root mean square and the misfit between the simulated and observed waveforms of the Ansei–Nankai tsunami showed a time difference between them of approximately 0.4 h. This finding suggests that the actual origin time of the Ansei–Nankai tsunami was approximately 07:24 GMT on 24 December. A previous study estimated the origin time of the Ansei–Tokai tsunami to be about 00:30 GMT on 23 December. Thus, we concluded that the time difference between the 1854 CE Ansei–Tokai and Ansei–Nankai tsunamis was 30.9 h. Despite the significant difference in the time resolution between the seasonal timekeeping system used in Japan in 1854 and waveform digitization, our result is roughly in agreement with historical descriptions of the tsunamis, suggesting that such information can be effectively used to determine the origin times of historical earthquakes.