Tormey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Tormey reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Tormey family lived in Shropshire. Their name, however, is a reference to Tournay-Sur-Dive, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Another source claims the name was derived from Tornai in Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Tormey family

The surname Tormey was first found in Shropshire where they were Lords of the manor of Kinnersley and other lands in that shire, which the Domesday Book in 1086 shows as being an under tenant of Earl Roger. They were originally castellans of the castle at Exmes for the Counts of Exmes, the Montgomerys. The Tournay estates were originally at Tournay-Sur-Dive at Orne in the arrondisement of Argentan in Normandy.

Walter de Torni held Tornai, Normandy it 1165, by Castle Guard. "Upon the redistribution of the conquered province of Mercia, when Earl Roger de Montgomery entered Shropshire to possess and rule, Gerard de Tornai, one of his followers, received as the meed of service, eighteen valuable Saxon manors, of which the largest was Sutton.

"Gerard was one of those western magnates who, upon the accession of Rufus, rebelled against him. At any rate, De Tornai's career in Shropshire terminated, about 1088, in a total and absolute forfeiture. The disinherited Baron had a daughter, Sibil, wife of Hamo Peverel, who by special favour acquired a succession to the forfeited estate, under a title from the first ambiguous."- History and Antiquities of Shropshire.

Goisfrid de Tornai held a fief in Lincoln 1086 [2] and William de Tornai was Viscount of Lincoln before 1130 (Pipe Rolls).

Simon of Tournay (fl. 1184-1200), was an early English schoolman, said to have been a native of Cornwall. His name was spelt many ways including Thurnai, Thurvay and in Latin as Thurnaius. "Whether he received that name because he was a native of Tournay, or because he subsequently held a canonry in the cathedral there, is uncertain. " [3]

John de Thorney, Lord of Figheldean in Wiltshire, was summoned in 1324 to attend the great Council at Westminster: Simon Thorney, in 1316, was Lord of Holcombe in Somersetshire; and William de Thorney one of the "Servientes" performing military service due from the Bishop of Worcester in 1310.-Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs.

In Devonshire, Hugh de Tournay, in 1212, bestowed part of his manor of Molland on St. Nicholas' Priory, Exeter (v. Cartulary). In 1264, Roger de Tournay, being in attendance on Henry III. during his visit at Hurstmonceux Castle in Sussex, was accidentally killed by a bowshot while he was hunting in the park. William de Tornei witnesses Henry I.'s charter to Thetford Priory. (Cleverland3)

Early History of the Tormey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tormey research. Another 202 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1664 and 1681 are included under the topic Early Tormey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tormey Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Tormey family name include Tournay, Tornay, Tornai, Tourney and others.

Early Notables of the Tormey family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Tormey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Tormey family to Ireland

Some of the Tormey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Tormey migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Tormey family to immigrate North America:

Tormey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Frank Tormey, aged 17, who landed in New York in 1854 [4]
  • Joseph Tormey, aged 28, who arrived in New York in 1854 [4]

Canada Tormey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tormey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Tormey, aged 60 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Agnes" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in June 1847 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tormey (post 1700) +

  • John Tormey (b. 1937), American actor, best known for his role as Louie in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
  • Chris Tormey (b. 1955), American college football coach, best known as the assistant coach for 16 seasons at Washington
  • Lawrence J. Tormey, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Kings County 3rd District, 1880-81 [6]
  • James Tormey, American Republican politician, Justice of New York Supreme Court 5th District; Elected 2009 [6]
  • Thomas Joseph Tormey (b. 1963), Irish recipient of the Scott Medal for his actions during an incident on 30 May 1978


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 58)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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