Show ContentsTory History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Tory family

The surname Tory 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 Tory family

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

Tory Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Tory family

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

Ireland Migration of the Tory family to Ireland

Some of the Tory 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 Tory migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tory Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Hugh Tory, who landed in Maryland in 1657 4
Tory Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Tory, who settled in New York State in 1803
  • Henry Tory, aged 28, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803 4

Contemporary Notables of the name Tory (post 1700) +

  • John Stewart Donald Tory (1903-1965), Canadian lawyer in Toronto, founder of the law firm Torys
  • John Howard Tory Jr. (b. 1954), Canadian businessman, political activist, and former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, 65th Mayor of Toronto (2014-)
  • James Cranswick Tory (1862-1944), Nova Scotia businessman and politician appointed the 13th Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia
  • Henry Marshall Tory (1864-1947), founding president of the University of Alberta and the National Research Council of Canada
  • John Arnold Tory Sr. (1930-2011), Canadian lawyer and corporate executive
  • Roger Tory Peterson (1908-1996), American naturalist, ornithologist, artist, educator and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Tory K. Baucum (b. 1960), American Anglican priest at Canterbury Cathedral
  • Tory Kittles (b. 1975), American Image Award nominated actor, known for his roles in Next (2007), Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005) and Phone Booth (2002)
  • Tory Burch (b. 1966), American fashion designer, business woman and philanthropist
  • Tory Christman, prominent American critic of Scientology

The Tory 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) on Facebook