Torrney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Torrney family name to the British Isles. They 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. 
Early Origins of the Torrney family
The surname Torrney 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  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. " 
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 Torrney family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Torrney research. Another 202 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1664 and 1681 are included under the topic Early Torrney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Torrney Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Tournay, Tornay, Tornai, Tourney and others.
Early Notables of the Torrney family
More information is included under the topic Early Torrney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Torrney family to Ireland
Some of the Torrney 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.
Migration of the Torrney family
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Torrney or a variant listed above: Louis Tourny arrived in Philadelphia in 1858; James Torney arrived in Philadelphia in 1835; Patrick Tornnay arrived in Philadelphia in 1865.
- 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
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print