Towray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Early Origins of the Towray family
The surname Towray 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. " 
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." 
"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 , and Stephen de Turs, a tenant of the Honour of Clare in Suffolk. 
Early History of the Towray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Towray 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 Towray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Towray Spelling Variations
Spelling variations of this family name include: Torrie, Torrey, Torry, Tory, Torie and others.
Early Notables of the Towray family (pre 1700)
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Towray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Towray family to Ireland
Some of the Towray 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 Towray family
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Dr. Torrey who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1763 with his wife; Phillip and William Torrey settled in Boston in 1631; James Torry settled in New York State with his wife Florence in 1739 with their two children.
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The Towray 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.
- ^ 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)
- ^ 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
- ^ Liber Niger Scutarii ("Black Book of the Exchequer"), containing reports by county on feudal holdings in England in 1166 (reign of Henry II)