Torrance History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Torrance family

The surname Torrance was first found in Stirlingshire. The name is a habitation name from either East Kilbride or north of Glasgow where it is derived from the Gaelic word "torran" which means "hillock" or "mound" or "little hills." [1]

"John Torrance is recorded in Nethir Cloychtquharne in 1555, and John Torrance was a tenant of Newbattle Abbey in 1563. The name also occurs in Edinburgh in 1561 as Torrens. David Torrance (1840-1906), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, U. S., was born in Edinburgh." [2]

Early History of the Torrance family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Torrance research. Another 132 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1563, 1690, 1780, 1864 and are included under the topic Early Torrance History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Torrance Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Torrance, Torrens, Torrence and others.

Early Notables of the Torrance family (pre 1700)

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

Torrance Ranking

In the United States, the name Torrance is the 13,391st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Torrance family to Ireland

Some of the Torrance family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 123 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Torrance migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Torrance Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Torrance, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1808
  • James Torrance, aged 28, who arrived in Maryland in 1812 [4]
  • John Steele Torrance, who landed in New York in 1834 [4]
  • M Torrance, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]
  • Charles Edward Torrance, who landed in California in 1894 [4]

New Zealand Torrance migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Torrance Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Catherine Torrance, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Rajah" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 6th October 1853 [5]
  • Mr. Robert Torrance, (b. 1863), aged 9 months, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th February 1864 [6]
  • Mrs. Isabella Torrance, (b. 1832), aged 31, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th February 1864 [6]
  • Mr. William Torrance, (b. 1832), aged 31, British bricklayer travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th February 1864 [6]
  • Miss Jane L. Torrance, (b. 1856), aged 7, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th February 1864 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Torrance (post 1700) +

  • John "Jack" Torrance (1912-1969), American shot putter and football player; he held the shot put world record several times in 1934
  • David Torrance (1840-1906), Scottish-born, American soldier, lawyer, politician, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in Connecticut
  • Jared Sidney Torrance (1852-1921), American real estate developer and founder of Torrance, California
  • Ellis Paul Torrance (1915-2003), American psychologist, developer of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking and published over 1,871 articles
  • Wilfred G. Torrance, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State Senate 1st District, 1940 [7]
  • Robert E. Torrance, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Jersey, 1916; Chair of Hudson County Republican Party, 1919-21 [7]
  • James F. Torrance, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1940 [7]
  • H. E. Torrance, American politician, Delegate to Illinois State Constitutional Convention 16th District, 1920-22 [7]
  • David Torrance (1840-1906), American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Derby, 1871-72; Secretary of State of Connecticut, 1879-81; Superior Court Judge in Connecticut, 1885-89 [7]
  • Cyrenus C. Torrance, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1876 [7]
  • ... (Another 13 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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