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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the Irish Torpey family come from? What is the Irish Torpey family crest and coat of arms? When did the Torpey family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Torpey family history?

Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Torpey originally appeared in Gaelic as O Tarpaigh, which is derived from the word "tarpach," which means "sturdy."


Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Torpey dating from that time include Torpey, Tarpey, O'Tarpey and others.

First found in County Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, where they were said to be descended from the ancient tribe of Erainn stock into a tribe known as the Corcu Loegde who were pushed into south west Cork area by the Eoganacht. Their neighbors were the O'Sullivans, the O'Mahoneys and the MacArthys.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Torpey research. Another 201 words(14 lines of text) covering the year 1877 is included under the topic Early Torpey History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Torpey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Torpey family relocated to North American shores quite early: Patrick Tarpey who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1842; Thomas Tarpey, who came to Philadelphia in 1845; Martin Tarpey, who arrived at Philadelphia in 1869.


  • Erin Catherine Torpey (b. 1981), American actress and singer, best known for her role on One Life to Live
  • Alex M. Torpey (b. 1987), American politician
  • Stephen David James "Steve" Torpey (b. 1970), English footballer
  • Steve Torpey (b. 1981), English football forward


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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  3. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  4. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  5. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  8. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  9. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  11. ...

The Torpey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Torpey Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 4 June 2014 at 12:41.

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