Torrens and Allied FamiliesThis book by Robert McIlvane Torrens
was originally Published in 1938.
This is a reproduction of it.
Children of James Torrance, eight:
Samuel Johnston, Deputy Register. Note 120-1
No further references to this Aaron Torrence have been found.
The above William Torrence, who acted as Administrator for Aaron Torrence, was a son of William Torrence, brother of Aaron; be was therefore a nephew of Aaron. This William Torrence named one of his sons Aaron, doubtless in honor of this Aaron. This will appear in following pages.
The family Bible records of this branch, are preserved by the Maryland Historical Society, and have been very helpful in collecting this data. The exact date of the arrival of Charles Torrance in this country is not known, but judging from the records which follow, it must have been prior to 1767.
"Feb.19, 1779, James Torrence of Letterkenny Township, Cumberland County, Pa., farmer, sold land to Thomas and John Hope. Order of survey to Charles Torrence, who on Feb.25, 1769, sold the same land to James Torrence." Note 121-1
"Charles Torrence and his wife Elizabeth, of Baltimore, Md., sold a tract of 1800 acres to Thomas Grubb in 1804. They also sold a tract to James Galbraith. This latter was signed by the Mayor of Baltimore, Md., 'Thoroughgood'." Note 121-2
The U. S. Census of 1790 lists Charles Torrence, of Baltimore, Maryland, as having 2 white males over 16, 2 under 16, 5 females, and four slaves.
"Charles Torrence, in 1778, was one of 20 gentlemen, who came to Baltimore as residents, and by their wealth, credit and energy, did much to improve the affairs at that time." Note 121-3
Charles Torrance assessed in Peters Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1777; 270 acres, 1 horse, 1 cattle, and 1 slave. About the same for 1778; 300 acres in 1781; none thereafter. The names of Aaron and Samuel Torrence also appear on these lists at these same times. Note 121-4
March, 1767, Charles Torrence returned, August, 1789, to Joseph Wedner, 250 acres of land on the south side of Conococheagne Creek, 121 adjoining land of Albert Torrence and Benjamin Chambers, in Letterkenny Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Note 122-1
In these records, we find that Charles Torrance, who came to America much later than Albert Torrence and his family, is occupying lands adjoining those of his cousins, Aaron, Samuel, and Albert Torrence. Charles Torrance's name occurs in these early Pennsylvania records spelled with an e, whereas, he signed his will Torrance.
Charles Torrance, in the year 1777, married Elizabeth Galbraith, born 1758, in Deny, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and died May 24, 1829, in Baltimore, Maryland. (See Galbraith Chapter).
From land records previously quoted, it appears that Charles Torrance was in Letterkenny Township and Peters Township, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, as early as 1767; that he disposed of his properties there, and removed to Baltimore, Maryland, in 1778, where he died.
His will is recorded in Baltimore, Maryland, and was probated August 3, 1822. He left his large estate to his wife, Elizabeth (Galbraith) Torrance, in trust for their children. Note 122-2
The will of Elizabeth (Galbraith) Torrance, probated June 12, 1829, is also recorded in Baltimore, Maryland. In it, she leaves her interests to her children, as named: Elizabeth, married to Alexander Mitchell; Ann, who married Andrew Clopper; Dorcas, Mary, Louisa, John, Charles Jr., and George Torrance. Note 122-3 Children of Charles and Elizabeth (Galbraith) Torrance were eleven:
His will was probated July 29, 1839. Note 123-1 Dr. Lloyd Dorsey was his executor. He married twice. His first wife was Drusilla Simmons, whom he married February 15, 1795. She was born November 19, 1776, and died August 21, 1830. He had, by this marriage, five children. He married second, Mrs. Mary Ann Law. No issue. Mary Ann Law Torrance's will was probated in Frederick, Maryland. John Simmons was her executor. Note 123-2 123
Mrs. Rebecca Ann Law Dorsey, a daughter of James Torrence, wrote a letter in 1839, to Mr. Albert Torrence, of Salisbury, North Carolina, saying that her two sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, were with her, and that her father and mother were dead.
In October of the same year, she wrote another letter, in which she mentioned that Charles Hall's father had written a letter from Ireland, saying that "Uncle Andrew Torrance" and family were well.
These letters show the family connections between these Torrances of Frederick, Maryland, and those in Salisbury, North Carolina. They show also, that Rebecca Law Torrance had an Uncle Andrew Torrance in Ireland. This Andrew is thus a brother of James and Charles.
An autograph in a book belonging to Albert Torrence, of Salisbury, North Carolina, has the signature of George Torrance, stating he is a cousin of Charles Law Torrence, of Salisbury, North Carolina.
A letter from George Torrance, of Baltimore, Maryland, to Albert Torrence, of Salisbury, North Carolina, says he has a daughter Elizabeth Torrance, who is visiting Mrs. Dorsey, of Frederick, Maryland.
"Hugh Torrence, grantor, to James Torrence, his brother, recorded November 20, 1811, Toboyne Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania: This indenture between Hugh Torrence, of Mecklenburg County, in North Carolina, and Isabella, his wife, and James Torrence, of Frederick County, in the State of Maryland, of Newton-in-the-Trap.
This, for natural love and affection etc. . . . Location, Toboyne Twp. . . . bounded by a white oak at George Samll's land . . . same tract of land was surveyed to said Hugh Torrence on June 23, 1769, and is in the Surveyor's General's Office at Lancaster, in Pa.
Witnessed by one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, Samuel Laurie and James Latta." Note 124-1
James Torrance's will was probated July 29, 1839.
Wife was Mary Ann, to whom he left a clock "which I bought at a sale of her late husband's effects, now in my Mansion;" a slave called Jennie. To his daughter Rebecca Ann, who married Dr. Lloyd Dorsey, he left a slave; to his daughter Mary S., he left a slave. Will was witnessed by W. Ross and Wm. C. Hoffman. Bondsmen were Samuel R. Hogg and David B. Devitt. Dr. Lloyd Dorsey was executor. Note 124-2 124
The deed above quoted, Hugh Torrence to James Torrance, shows that Hugh Torrence of Mecklenburg, North Carolina, and James Torrance of Frederick, Maryland, were brothers. The letter from George Torrance of Baltimore, Maryland, saying he is a cousin of the Charles Law Torrence, of Salisbury, North Carolina, shows that Albert Torrence of Salisbury, is a brother of James of Frederick, and of Charles Torrance of Baltimore, Maryland. Hence, Hugh, Charles, James, Albert, and Andrew Torrence, were brothers. These families were closely connected, and corresponded. Children of James and Drusilla (Simmons) Torrance were five:
"Hugh Torrence married Martha White in 1760, widow of Captain John White, of Frederick, Maryland." Note 125-1 It is probable that Hugh Torrence's associations in Frederick, Maryland, may have led his brother James Torrance to locate there.
"Hugh Torrence, 319 acres of land in Cumberland County, August 18, 1768. Patented to Hugh Torrence, August 22, 1768." Note 125-2
The U. S. Census of 1790, lists Hugh Torrence in Salisbury District, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, as having one male under 16, 5 females and 12 slaves.
"Hugh Torrence married Isabella Tally, May 29, 1783." She was evidently his wife from 1783 to at least 1811, when she joined him in a deed granting land "for love and affection" to his brother James Torrance of Frederick, Maryland. This deed was witnessed by Samuel 125
Laurie and James Latta. The name of Latta and that of Galbraith occur in his descendants' lines. Note 1265-1
At this point, it is of interest to mention some of the early settlers in Pennsylvania, whose names are also found in North Carolina; many of these intermarried with the Torrences.
"The North Carolina branch of the Torrences settled first in Pennsylvania. Many of the families that later intermarried with the Torrences also came from Pennsylvania. As early as 1730, Scotch-Irish settlers came to townships Coleraine, Leacock and Pequa, now Lancaster County. Coleraine was doubtless so named by those settlers who came from Coleraine in County Londonderry, Ireland. Their names appear among the Warrants for lands, prior to 1740." Note 126-2
Large numbers of Scotch-Irish from Donegal and Perry, Ireland, arrived at Newcastle, Delaware. All were Presbyterians. Among these were Richard Allison, and John Galbraith, who built the first grist and saw-mills there. The latter became a famous Indian trader and fighter. Note 126-3
Andrew Galbraith was an Elder in Donegal Presbyterian Church in 1721. Note 126-4
Many of the Scotch-Irish who originally settled in Pennsylvania, travelled the wilderness road to the South, where their descendants are now found. Prior to 1730, in Donegal, are found the names of John, Patrick and William Allison, John Davidson, John, William and Robert Spear and their sons. Note 126-5
"William Bertram was a minister in Donegal Township, which furnished Colonels Bertram and James Galbraith." Note 126-6
""Among those who made improvements in the Manor-of-Maske, prior to January 18, 1741, and took up Warrants for land between 1765 and 1775, were Thomas Latta; 200 acres in 1761, and 350 acres in October, 1774. This land was called 'Rapho', a name directly traceable to Ireland." Note 126-7 126
The names of the descendants of this Hugh Torrence of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, have been secured through the kindness and assistance of a descendant, Mr. Richard Torrence Banks, of Charlotte, North Carolina.
The previously quoted records concerning the marriage of Hugh Torrence are at variance with those used by Mr. Banks, in that it is his belief that Isabella was the widow of a Captain Galbraith Falls. Repeated efforts have been made to clarify this difference, without success. In a letter to the compiler, Mr. Banks quoted from a paper, said to have been brought to America by this Hugh Torrence, as follows:
"From infancy, until after August 1, 1763, he lived within Protestant Dissenting Congregation of Five Mile Town, in Parish of Clogher, County Tyrone, Ireland." He said further, that Hugh is believed to have had brothers, James, George and Albert.
Mr. Richard Torrence LeGrand, of Shelby, North Carolina, another descendant of Hugh Torrence, sent a copy of a letter, which seems to be the same letter, but in more detail, as follows:
Five Mile Farm
Parish of Tyrone, Ireland.
August 20, 1763.
Hugh Torance is an unmarried person, descended from honest, reputable parents and from infancy lived in ye bounds of the Protestant Dissenting Congregation of this place and always behaved himself orderly and supported a very fair Character.
Certified to, by
Thomas Boyle, P.D.
The County of Tyrone, Ireland, is partly in the Diocese of Clogher, partly in that of Armagh, but chiefly in Derry. For the purpose of civil jurisdiction, it is divided into the Baronies of Clogher, Dungannon, Strabane, and Omagh. It contains the burough and market town of Dungannon, the assize and market town of Omagh, the disfranchised buroughs and market and post towns of Strabane and Clogher. .
Five-mile-town. . . . The principal villages are Claudy, Crogh, Dromore, Gartin, Pomeroy, Six-Mile-Cross (each of which has a subpost), Killeter, Newmills, Termonmaquirk, and Tullyhoge.
The first version says Hugh Torrence came from the Parish of Clogher, while the second version says he came from the Parish of Tyrone. Because of this difference in statements, which has not been explained, the exact location can not be determined.
Family tradition is, that Hugh Torrence had a brother James, who lived in Pennsylvania, and married a Galbraith; a brother George, who lived near Ellicott City, Maryland; and a brother Albert, who lived in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Because the previously quoted records very substantially establish the identity and relationship between these several brothers, they seem more convincing than the family traditions.
Hugh Torrence's widow, Isabella Torrence, is buried in the Hopewell Churchyard, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; her tombstone bears the following inscription:
"Isabella Torrence died February 1, 1816, aged 76."
This record would place her birth in the year 1740. The only son of Hugh 'Torrence and his wife Isabella Tally Torrence, was James Galbraith Torrence, who is also buried in Hopewell. His tombstone records his birth as of November 19, 1784, and his death as of December 12, 1847. His will, which is recorded in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, was dated July 2, 1845.
Returning to the Rowan County Marriage Records, wherein Hugh Torrence's marriage to Isabella Tally is recorded as of May 29, 1783, we find, by comparing this date with the birthday of their only son, James Galbraith Torrence, which was November 19, 1784, that he was born one year and seven months after the marriage.
Since Isabella Tally was born in 1740, she was 44 years of age when her son, James Galbraith Torrence, was born. This fact may account for her not having other children. Because of her age when she married Hugh Torrence, it is very probable that this marriage was not her first. This possibility may account for the belief of Mr. Banks that she was the widow of Captain Galbraith Falls. It does not account for her name being Isabella Tally, when she married Hugh Torrence, unless she had a second marriage to a Mr. Tally, after the death of Captain Falls. Repeated efforts have been made to get the facts in this case, but without success. 128
Child of Hugh and Isabella (Tally) Torrence was:
His will was probated in 1826, and named his wife Elizabeth; children Margaret, James, Charles, Elizabeth, and Albert. Note 129-1 His wife's will was probated in 1837. Note 129-2
The U. S. Census of 1790, lists Albert Torrence in Salisbury District, Rowan County, North Carolina, as one male over 16 years, with one slave.
Albert Torrence married, on October 27, 1791, in Salisbury, North Carolina, Elizabeth Hackett, who was born in Ireland in 1772. Note 129-3 She died September 8, 1837. Both are buried in the Old English Cemetery in Salisbury, North Carolina.
"The southwestern corner of old Rowan County, was occupied by a noble and patriotic race of people one hundred years ago. There you will find the original home of families known by the names of . . . Torrence." Note 129-4 "From Cowan's Ford, the British pressed on and soon met Colonel Webster's division, which had crossed at Beattie's Ford, at Torrence’s Tavern. . . . This place is about two miles above Davidson College, and within a quarter of a mile from 'Centre Depot', on the Atlantic, Tennessee and Ohio Railroad. They burned the houses of Mr. Torrence and John Bevard, General Davidson's father-in-law. . . . From Cornwallis's order book, we learn that the British encamped at Torrence's that night." Note 129-5
"From the Heights of Gowerie, generally known as the 'Torrence Place', the British, with their field glasses, could sweep their vision far over the famed 'Jersey Settlement', with its rich lands and substantial 129 farm houses. The Torrences, MacNamaras, Smiths, and other prominent families dwelt in that region. Note 130-1
"On the occasion of the visit of General Washington to Salisbury . . . that night, there was a grand ball given to the President at Hughes' Hotel, attended by prominent ladies and gentlemen, of Salisbury and vicinity . . . Maxwells, Chambers, Captain Beard, Mrs. Beard, Mrs. Torrence, Mrs. Giles. . . ."T COLOR="#F0000F"> Note 130-2
"Just below the Trading Ford, on a high bluff, stood the residence of Albert Torrence, still conspicuous from afar. It was from these heights, that Lord Cornwallis's artillery cannonaded General Green. Albert Torrence chose this airy bluff situation for a residence, from which he could watch the windings of the silvery stream, dotted with a cluster of beautiful inlets." Note 130-3
"At the organization of the Presbyterian Church, in Salisbury, Albert Torrence became a member, and one of the first ruling Elders. His remains, with those of his wife and several of their children, are sleeping in the English graveyard in Salisbury, under broad slabs, near the entrance." Note 130-4
Thanks are extended to Mrs. Margaret Allison Torrence, 1400 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte, North Carolina, for her interest and kindness in supplying, from Bible records, the names and connections of the descendants of Albert Torrence, her ancestor. In her possession, is a large silver spoon Note 130-5 bearing the initials of Albert Torrence, it being one of a number brought by him from Ireland, and given by him to his descendants. Mrs. Margaret A. Torrence wrote on September 17, 1935:" I know there were three brothers with him (Albert) ; Charles and James stopped in Baltimore, Maryland, and Hugh came on here to Salisbury, and it is he, who probably, sold the lands to James. Later on, James Torrence moved to Frederick, Maryland. They were connected with the Hall, Clopper, and Law families. In 1889, Mrs. Rebecca Ann Law Dorsey wrote to Mrs. Albert Torrence, of Salisbury, North Carolina, that her two sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, were with her, and that her father (James Torrance) and her mother, were dead. In October, 1887, 130 she wrote that Charles Hall's father had written from Ireland, that Uncle Andrew and family were well. We suppose that Andrew Torrence was a brother of Hugh, Albert, James, and Charles."
Children of Albert and Elizabeth (Hackett) Torrence were five:
"William Torrence of Chanceford Township, York County, Pennsylvania, died in 1752, leaving two sons, William and John." Note 131-1
""William Torrence, of Shrewsbury Township, died December 26, 1751. Left a plantation valued at £50. Total value of inventory, £76-4-0. Eleanor Torrence, who later married a Mr. Lester, was made administratrix. They had two sons, John Torrence, born January 1, 1750, and William Torrence, Jr. William Torrence a/c filed June 19, 1753. Appraisement by Alexander Wallace and Wm. Gemmell." Note 131-2
Original papers in York County: Bond of Eleanor Torrence, administratrix of William Torrance, deceased, dated Jan. 27, 1752; amount of bond, £150 current money of Pennsylvania; sureties, Alex. Wallace and William Gammel (signed Gemmel). Eleanor signed her name Torrance. In the index, it is noted "William Torrence, date of account filed June 19, 1753."
"Memorandum that letters of administration in common form were granted Eleanor Torrence, on the estate of William Torrence, late of York County, deceased, inventory to be exhibited on or before the twenty second day of February next, and an account on or before the 131 twenty second day of January, Anno Domini, one thousand seven hundred and fifty three. Given under the Seal of the Register's Office at York, the twenty second day of January 1752.
Geo. Stevenson, Deputy. Rr." Note 132-1
"August 29, 1759, Came into Court Alexander Creighton, of Shrewsbury Township and informed the Court, that Eleanor Lester, the widow of William Torrens, late of Shrewsbury Township, cordiner, deceased, who died intestate, left her child named John Torrens, a minor orphan, son of the said deceased, about five years ago (i. e. 1754) at his house, on trial, in order to have him bound an apprentice to him, the said Alexander, that the said Eleanor soon after died, that the said child hath remained with him since. And the said Alexander prays the Court that the said child may be now bound an apprentice to him, agreeable to the intentions of his mother. It is considered by the Court, and the said John Torrence, aged nine years, about the first of January last, is hereby bound an apprentice to the said Alexander Creighton until he shall be aged 21 years. In consideration whereof, the said Alexander Creighton doth covenant and agree to teach or cause to be taught, the said apprentice, the art or mystery of a weaver, to read the Bible, to write, and arithmetic, as far as the rule of three, direct and to furnish and allow said apprentice sufficient meat, drink, apparel, washing and lodging during said term, and at the expiration thereof, to pay unto him a good new weaver's loom, one good pair of temples and six new sleas of divers sorts and also two suits of apparel, one whereof, shall be new and of the value of five pounds, or five pounds in money, in lieu of the new suit, which the said apprentice, shall then choose." Note 132-2
"Dec.10, 1754, Upon the petition of William Lister (Lester) administrator of the estate of William Torrence, late of Chanceford Township, deceased, setting forth that he has maintained and clothed William and John Torrence, minor orphans, sons of William Torrence aforesaid, since the decease of their Father, praying that the Court will allow him compensation for the same. It is considered by the Court and ordered that he retain in his hands, the sum of ten pounds, in lieu of maintenance and clothing aforesaid." Note 132-3132
From the foregoing, it seems that after the death of William Torrence, of Chanceford Township, York County, Pennsylvania, his widow Eleanor married William Lester; that she died shortly thereafter; that the two sons of William Torrence, William Torrence, Jr., and John Torrence, were cared for by their mother while she lived, and that she had expressed her willingness that the son John might be apprenticed to Alexander Creighton. On December 10, 1754, their stepfather came into Court to ask for compensation for their support during the years following the death of their father. It further appears that on August 29, 1759, Alexander Creighton apprenticed the son John Torrence, from that date until he should reach the age of 21. The records do not state where the son William lived, while a minor.
The U. S. Census of 1790, lists William Torrence as having 3 males and five females in his family, and it appears that this reference is to the son of William Torrence, Senior.
Children of William and Eleanor Torrence were two:
He was a taxable in Monaghan Township, in 1771, and a subscriber to the Guinston Presbyterian Church, August 26, 1771. This church, in Chanceford Township, York County, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1745, and was first connected with the Associated Presbyterian Church, the history of which runs hack into Scotland as that of the Convenanters and Associators (Seceders), which was formed by a secession from the established Church of Scotland in 1733. Note 133-1
John Torrence is listed as a taxable in Monaghan Township, York County, Pennsylvania, on December 11, 1771, for the year 1772. There is no record showing this tax was paid for that year. In fact, his name disappears from the records of the county, and nothing is definitely known regarding his whereabouts.
Among the subscribers to the Guinston Presbyterian Church, are also found the names of Alexander Creighton, under whose care John Torrence was placed, and William Gemmil, who acted as one of the appraisers for the estate of William Torrence, the father of this John Torrence. Note 133-2 133
1783, Alexander Creighton to Patrick Purdy; Hopewell Township; refers to grant 1750; lands adjoin Alexander Wallace and William Gemmil. Note 134-1 Tax lists for Hopewell Township, now York, Pennsylvania, show the names of Alexander Creighton and William Gemmill, December 6, 1771, for 1772 taxes.
In the 8th, Congress, mentioned above, the name of Robert Crighton, is given among the settlers of the Manor of Maske, who made improvements before June 18, 1741. His date of settlement is given as June, 1739.
"William Gemmell, a native of Scotland, came to America before 1750, settled in Hopewell Township, York County, Penna., in that part, known as Shrewsbury Township, 1000 acres." Note 134-2
"William Gemmell, 150 acres, one slave, was a petitioner from Shrewsbury Township, in April, 1767, granted June 23, 1767. Original settlers In this district, were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians." Note 134-3 (See Torrence, Georgia branch.)
Children of Dr. Lloyd and Rebecca Ann Law (Torrance) Dorsey were five:
Children of James Galbraith Torrence and his first wife, who had been a Miss Davidson were five:
Children of James Galbraith and Mary (Latta) Torrence were two:
Children of James Gaibraith and Margaret (Allison) Torrence were six:
Children of Hugh and Zupha (Simonton) Torrence were two:
Children of Charles Law and Lavinia (Hayes) Torrence were four:
He speaks of himself as of Mount Pleasant Township, and mentions his wife, Ann. He leaves his estate to his several children, stipulating that they shall look after their mother during her lifetime, and that no property shall be sold by them, until after their mother's death.
Children of William Jr. and Ann Torrence were six:
No record has been found of the will of Ann, the mother of the above-mentioned children.
Children of Richard Allison and Bettie E. (Reid) Torrence were two:
Children of Muscendine Ebenezer and Margaret Simonton (Torrence) Matthews were six:
Children of Dr. John A. and Laura Jane (Matthews) Allison were five:
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