Torry History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Torry family

The surname Torry 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 Torry family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Torry 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 Torry History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Torry Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Torry family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Torry family to Ireland

Some of the Torry 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 Torry migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Torry Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Torry, who settled in New York State with his wife Florence in 1739 with their two children
  • George Torry, who arrived in New York in 1739 [4]
  • James Torry, who landed in New York, NY in 1739 [4]
  • John Torry, who landed in New York in 1740 [4]

New Zealand Torry 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:

Torry Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Harriet Torry, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British Queen" in 1883

Contemporary Notables of the name Torry (post 1700) +

  • Robert "Guy" Torry (b. 1969), American actor and comedian, younger brother of Joe Torry
  • Joseph Pierre "Joe" Torry (b. 1965), American actor and comedian
  • Clare Torry (b. 1947), British singer, best known for her vocals on the song "The Great Gig in the Sky" by Pink Floyd on their 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon


The Torry 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. ^ 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)


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