Show ContentsTorrey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Torrey family

The surname Torrey was first found in "Kincardineshire and in Fife, but Torrie of that Ilk was seated in Dumfriesshire till their forfeiture in the reign of James III, who regranted to Thomas Carruthers the lands and church of Tony. " [1]

To the south in England the family descend from the castle and barony of Turry, Normandy. Not all of the family emigrated to England at the time of the Conquest as Henry and Richard de Tury, Turi, or Turri, occur in the Norman Exchequer Rolls of 1180-1195.

"Odo de Turri was a benefactor of Kenilworth Abbey in the time of Henry I.: and from this Odo, a man of large possessions in Warwickshire, Thoresby, in a detailed pedigree to be found in his History of Leeds, derives, in direct male descent, the existing family of Torre of Snydale (anciently Syndall) that bear Sable a tower Or within a bordure Vaire. They continued at Westwood in the county of Warwick till the end of the fifteenth or the beginning of the sixteenth century; we then find them in Lincolnshire; and finally, James Torre, living 1649-99, described as an eminent antiquarian, sold his property there, and acquired the manor of Syndale, still the seat of his posterity." [2]

"Other notices of the name are to be met with. In the Pipe Roll of 1189-90, I find Jordan de Turri, London and Middlesex; and Simon de Turri, in Notts and Derby. In 1261 Richard de Tur held lands in Aston-Clinton.—(Lipscomb's Buckinghamshire): and John de Tours or de Toury, in 1353, is mentioned in the same county, where their seat was Towersey.

A family "that gave as their arms a tower, were seated at Berwick in Dorsetshire, which their heir-general brought to the Russells."—Hutchins' Dorset.

John de Tours, who held of the Honour of Leicester, was a benefactor of Leicester Abbey; and 1232, Stephen de la Tour was a subtenant of the Lord of Belvoir. Isabella de Turs, probably his heiress, held in Thedingworth in 1296.—Nichols' Leicestershire.

It is not certain that these De la Tours, or those of Berwick, can be identified with the De Turris. But we may certainly include in the family Me de Turri, who in 1165 held a knight's fee of the Bishop in Worcestershire [3], and Stephen de Turs, a tenant of the Honour of Clare in Suffolk. [2]

Early History of the Torrey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Torrey research. Another 132 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1405, 1590, 1599, 1638, 1691, 1626, 1732, 1590, 1611 and 1586 are included under the topic Early Torrey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Torrey Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Torrie, Torrey, Torry, Tory, Torie and others.

Early Notables of the Torrey family (pre 1700)

Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Torrey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Torrey Ranking

In the United States, the name Torrey is the 5,689th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Torrey family to Ireland

Some of the Torrey 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 Torrey migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Torrey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Phillip and William Torrey, who settled in Boston in 1631
  • James Torrey, who landed in New England in 1640 [5]
  • William Torrey, who landed in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1642 [5]
  • Philip Torrey, who landed in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1644 [5]
  • Samuel Torrey, who arrived in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1656 [5]
Torrey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Dr. Torrey who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1763 with his wife
  • John Torrey, who arrived in Ohio in 1798 [5]
Torrey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Torrey, who arrived in Maryland in 1819 [5]
  • George Torrey, who arrived in Mississippi in 1849 [5]
  • D J Torrey, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • Elliot Torrey, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • H Torrey, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1860 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Torrey (post 1700) +

  • Reuben Archer Torrey (1856-1928), American evangelist, pastor, educator, and writer
  • Raymond H. Torrey (1880-1938), American outdoorsman and author in the New York Evening Post
  • Marjorie Torrey (b. 1899), American illustrator and writer, winner of two Caldecott Honors (1946, 1947)
  • John Torrey (1796-1873), American botanist
  • Dr. Gordon H. Torrey (1919-1995), American philatelist
  • E. Fuller Torrey (b. 1937), American psychiatrist and researcher
  • Charles Cutler Torrey (1863-1956), American ancient historian and archaeologist
  • Charles L. Torrey, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Putnam; Elected 1906 [6]
  • Charles John Torrey (1850-1917), American politician, Member of Alabama State House of Representatives [6]
  • Charles D. Torrey, American politician, First Selectman of Putnam, Connecticut, 1897-99 [6]
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Torrey Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Turris fortissima Deus
Motto Translation: God is a tower of strength to me.

  1. 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)
  2. 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
  3. Liber Niger Scutarii ("Black Book of the Exchequer"), containing reports by county on feudal holdings in England in 1166 (reign of Henry II)
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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)
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from on Facebook