Category: Torrens Family Journal
Hits: 244
Print

Contents Index

Torrens Family History Journal

This web page uses Sliders to allow easy access to all 53 pages of this document.

Clicking on the Sliders opens or closes that page or set of pages.

Clicking on the page numbers in the at the start (just below) or the Surname Index at the end

automatically opens the required page.

You can also create a URL link to a particular page e.g.  www.david.torrens.me.uk/tree#p43

The buttons below will open or close the whole document.

Link to Contents

"Grandpa's Book of Irish Verse"

Contents

Title Page .................................................... 2

 

Joseph Torrens and Aunt Norah ...................... 3

Dermot Patrick Joseph Torrens

             tribute by Simon Torrens 2004 .......... 44

Sources of Information................................... 7

E Mail About Mrs. Hogg May 2007.................... 8

Email About the descendants of Edna Torrens... 8

James Torrens of County Donegal.

By R.M.T. 1963 with Quotes from R.J.T............. 10

Mandevilles and Herberts............................... 19

Other Inquiries............................................. 19

American Cousins......................................... 22

The Meeting with Madeleine............................ 30

Questions Unanswered and Speculations

               January 1963................................. 36

More From Madeleine, November 1963............ 36

Conclusions - November 1963........................ 40

John Torrens, Farmer of Rahan Co. Donegal.... 42

Joseph Torrens (1811 - 1857).

Dates corrected from 1807-1853 by R.M.T. 1965.. 42

The Family Holiday to Ireland Summer 1966........ 43

Information Gathered by R.M.T./J.H.T.

                  Ireland ; 1966............................... 46

Other Information from JHT’s Notebook............. 47

List of Genealogical Charts............................... 49

Surname Index............................................. 51 52 53

 

 

 

Pages 2 to 5

 

Title Page

 

Torrens Family History Journal

From the viewpoint of the family of

the Reverend Richard John Torrens (RJT) BA TCD 1877 - 1952.

Copies of papers and notes originally compiled by his son

Richard Michael Torrens(RMT) in 1963 and Jack H Torrens (DT's Father)

Revised by

R.M. Torrens and RJT’s grandson David J.G. Torrens (DT) in 1995

Revised February 2015

 

Please send any corrections/additions etc to this journal to

David J G Torrens

37 The Firs, Whitchurch Shropshire, England SY17 1NL

E Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.david.torrens.me.uk/tree

This document has an Index at the end that lists all Surnames

 

Download as PDF Download as Word File

 

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 2

 

Joseph Torrens and “Aunt Norah” ;

Joseph Torrens 1838 to 1909 and his Daughter Norah Agnes Elizabeth Torrens 1883 to 1970

 

joseph_EM

 

The Great Grand Children of

Joseph Torrens

------- Surnames Index    

 

Page 4

 

Dermot Patrick Joseph Torrens tribute by Simon Torrens 2004

Dermot Patrick Joseph Torrens. ; Known affectionately as “Pat” to his friends from Canada to Arizona & from Scotland to North Africa, has left us after a remarkably full and useful life.

He never liked his first name, Dermot – foreign-sounding to his playfellows - but he wore it well: it means ‘free man’ in Gaelic.

Born in 1920 to a world that still marched to the horses’ pace, when the year, like the working day, was ruled by the rhythm of the sun, he was in turn Greek scholar, pilot, husband, father, sailor, golfer, gardener, grandfather, friend, mentor and example to us all.

Should anyone ever tell you that no-one is irreplaceable, it is clear they never knew him.

Almost a half century ago to the day, I remember sitting on the doorstep one summer afternoon, when a giant appeared at the garden gate. The gate opened and the giant approached. Then came the flash of recognition and I toddled towards to hug an abrasive, cloth-covered knee.

There was always something of the giant about this man, and not only physically…

I never knew the parson’s son, with the bishop’s ring from loving his thumb. But I do remember his knack for banishing childhood fears by waggling his ears, a trick that never failed to surprise and fascinate, and was typical of his gift for answering a problem at its own level. From this, among many examples, it was clear that - as with every happy, fulfilled adult - the child still lived on in the heart of the man.

As a youth he won a place at Leatherhead School as a Greek scholar. Here he also gathered a thorough knowledge of History and Natural History. He remained a formidable opponent in quizzes and general knowledge competitions to the end.

At a time of life when a young man’s fancy turns one way, he took the path of serving his country, to defend common decency and freedom. Training as a pilot in Canada, a country his own father knew well, to his mastery of classics he went on to master the air, navigation by stars and survival. He served in the Royal Air Force until demobilisation in 1946. Having earned his peace-time, he settled down to raise a family.

As a father, he gave the greatest gift a parent can give – he encouraged independence and self-reliance.  Although he was a gentle man, I did know the lawgiver; and his strongest expletive, a thunderous “By the Centre!” that stilled all opposition and silenced all argument. I must confess I have borrowed this once or twice, and it still works awfully well.

Gentle, yes. But not one to tolerate foolishness gladly. “Use your nous!” rang out from time to time in the house. He had an uncommon affinity with common sense, which it sometimes seemed he expected everyone to share. “If something’s difficult, you’re doing it wrong” he used to say. I believe this approach holds a key to his extra-ordinary breadth of abilities.  For despite his keen intellect, he was no mere intellectual, but a man of considerable practical skill.  It seemed he could do everything: from mending cars to crawling under floor boards to install central heating. From lighting a campfire - with only one match - to converting a folding canoe into a sailing boat, complete with dagger boards and a balanced lug sail.

In truth this giant body had a mind to match. He was a fine mathematician. Given a column of figures to total, he could add the three lines of pounds, shillings and pence at the same time: a feat that staggered me as a child, and is almost beyond imagination in today’s decimal world.

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 5

 

This is neither the time nor the place for false sentiment, I must be honest. He was never a natural dancer. But I believe the only time he ever stood on someone’s toes was on the dance floor.

Even in his 80th year, he could still surprise. When someone asked him the time, he glanced at his watch and said “12.25” I too had looked at his watch, and it read 11.40 something. In answer to my inevitable question, he explained that during the war they were all given watches and told to check their deviation. “All you have to do” he said “is remember when you last set it, and add or subtract accordingly”. This sort of quiet daily habit for concentrating the mind was typical.

In 1966 he moved to Malta and took to sailing in his spare time. And, almost immediately, he began collecting trophies: ‘Round the Islands’ races, ‘Middle Sea’ race, ‘Single-handed’ races… When asked about his characteristic loose grip of the wheel or tiller – he let it waggle when others gripped it firmly – he would answer: “well, I think the boat knows how to sail better than I do”. Correctly set up, he claimed that a boat could sail itself. The row of trophies on the mantelpiece bears him out.

So, having already mastered the airs, he now mastered the seas. This period of his life saw some profound changes. A new happiness, a new satisfaction, and a new light began to shine in his eye and in his smile. And during one of the longer races, The Beard appeared which he kept - I believe originally as a wager – but it became an integral part of his persona. Here he could follow in the wake of Homer’s heroes, and enjoy his favourite moment of the day. A quote of his – I believe the translation to be his own – springs to mind: “when Dawn’s rosy fingers stretch out across the sky”. He loved to take the “Dog watch” on board, just to welcome the new day.

Returning to England, he settled in the South and eventually retired from professional life. And took up golf, a fine fashion to combine his love of open spaces, nature and – in a typical, neat phrase of his – to “see if my cunning has lost its hand”.

In retirement he was a happy, relaxed man who frankly made one look forward to growing old – if one could be like him.

As a grandfather he was kind and loving and much loved. Understanding little fears and keen to play – and ready occasionally to lose when playing, knowing just how good and important it is for “Davids” to triumph over “Goliaths” from time to time.

Many people claim to love life, but on closer enquiry what they mean is that they like enjoying themselves. Here was a man who truly loved and appreciated life in all its forms. A connoisseur of butterflies, a botanist of considerable scope, just from the trees, plants and grasses he could guess the subsoil and geology. A more than competent gardener, his garden was a rich and much appreciated haven for birds, both regulars and migrant visitors. He knew them all by name and had a special love for them: anyone who has seen him in field or garden could be forgiven for thinking that he understood the secret language of birdsong, and agreed with every word.

Not an outwardly religious man, but he had a profound and real respect and love for all creation - with the possible exception of magpies, couch-grass and bindweed... For experience had taught him that some things need to be dealt with promptly.

One could forgive a man of so many talents a certain superiority, a touch of aloofness, yet this was never the case. His pervading calm, his ease of manner, his delight in his fellow man knew no bounds of rank, age or class. He seemed to take as much delight in the diversity of man as he did in the diversity of nature. He always found time for others, and he was a firm and steadfast friend to many…

Whenever family or friends were in difficulty or a quandary, he was always unjudgemental and supportive. To converse or spend time with him was ever a refreshing experience. And many were marked by the particular aura of calm which surrounded him to the end.

To sum up such a man and do justice to such a full life in a few minutes is an impossible task. A man who was equally at home in the air, on the sea and on land.

We each have our fond memories of a truly remarkable man, we all saw some of the facets of this wide-ranging, diamond-sharp mind, and these are the memories we will cherish. It is very clear that we are all grateful to have known him.

Only this can I say:

Of all things bright and beautiful,

Of all creatures, great and small,

One shines clear in our hearts this day,

One who stood, O so tall!

------- Surnames Index    

 

 

Pages 6 to 16

 

Page 6

 

Sources of Information

Copy of Marriage Certificate; Joseph (born 1838) and Louisa Torrens 1873. (Corrected from 1838)

Burial Certificate; Anna Torrens 1896

Elizabeth Glass letters 1896 and 1908 to Joseph Torrens

Richard Torrens’ note book

Holy Trinity Church, Metcalfe, Ontario. The 50th anniversary booklet.

William Torrens Buchanan ; letters 1918 and 1923.

R.J.T. letter to WTB 1923 (From copy in former’s notebook)

WTB letters to R.J.T. 1929

Mrs. McCauley letter to WTB 1929.

John Torrens of Liverpool; letter 1931.

Church Army letter 1932 concerning Thomas Scott T.

US Post Office to R.J.T. August 1948

R.J.T. original letter Eva B. Torrens Sept. 1948

John Kennedy Torrens; letter to R.J.T. Oct. 1948

Notes by JKT and copy of memo by his mother Nancy Park Torrens sent to R.J.T. Oct. 1948

Eva B. Torrens; letter to R.J.T. Nov. 1948

TCP Mulholland ; letter to R.J.T. Nov. 1946

Madeleine Torrens; letters to Richard Michael T 1962

Copy of letter written by Mary Torrens in 1849

Pencil diagram of Adams and Park s families shown by Madeleine T too R.M.T. 1962

Note on Margaret Park La Forge shown by MT to R.M.T. 1962

Note on Family of David Torrens shown by MT to R.M.T. 1962

Letters MT to R.M.T. August 1962, Oct. & Nov. 1963 with fuller charts of families of JKT and his wife Anna Torrens Hardy

Notes by John Herbert Torrens from Dictionary of National Biography

Sir Arthur Bryant “Years of Victory” footnote Chap 13.

“Retrospection’s of Dorothea Herbert ” published by Gerald Howe; London 1929

Information to R.M.T. from “Aunt Norah” (Torrens)

Notes supplied to D.J.G.T. by R.M.T. about the trip to Ireland 1966.

Notes in J.H.T.’s Notebook added since 1963.

P.M. Torrens’ journal for the Ireland Holiday 1966

Email from Brandi Lewis April 2007

------- Surnames Index    

 

Page 7

 

E Mail About Mrs. Hogg May 2007

Farrell Hogg

 

To: David Torrens

Subject: Hogg

In the summer of 1966 one of the Torrens (See Page 44) visited Ireland. They were met at the dock by Mrs. Hogg and taken to her mothers for breakfast. Can you tell me anyting of Mrs. Hogg?< p>

My 4th great grandparents were William Hogg and Martha Torrance Hogg who emigrated to So. Carolina in 1774. I have not been able to go beyond William Hogg from Caheny, N.I.They are mentioned in the 3 Letters on the Torrens website. I don't know who William's parents were or if he had siblings. I am descended through Samuel, one of their sons who served in the REvolutionary War, volunteering in July l777. After the war they moved to Greene Co., Georgia, so I am interested in Hogg family genealogy.

Thanks for any help you can provide,

Sincerely, Farrell F. Hogg Abilene, Tx

Email About the descendants of Edna Torrens

Please refer to Other references to Edna Page 26

From: (E Mail to DT if need address)

Sent: 27 April 2007 18:40

To: Torrens, David

Subject: RE: Torrens Family History

Edna Torrens [Refer below to page XX] was born October 10 1885 in New York, New York and Died November 2 1961 in Winslow, Arizona. She married Albert Wallace Newhall (Albert was born on Dec 6, 1885 in Worcester Massachusetts and died on Sep 26 1948 in Los Angeles, California) on Jun 13 1914 in Montclair, New Jersey. They had three children.

 

Mary Wallace Newhall

Albert Wallace Newhall Jr.

Jack Newhall

 

Mary Wallace Newhall was born on Jan 2, 1915 in Montclair, New Jersey and died September 11, 2001 in Las Cruses, New Mexico. She married Harry Richard Evju Long on Jun 9, 1940 in Lordsburg, New Mexico. (Harry was born on Dec 6 1916 in Fall City, Washington and Died on Sept 22, 1977 in Prescott Arizona). They had two children Hazel Kristen Long, and Harrie Edward Long.

 

Hazel was born on November 22 1942 in Long Beach, California, and is still living. She is my Aunt.

 

Harrie Edward Long was born on Jan 21 1946 in Phoenix Arizona, and is still living, he is my father. He married Patricia Ann Polinder on September 8 1972 in Bellingham, Washington. Patricia (she is called Pattie) was born on September 15, 1952 in Bellingham, Washington. Harrie and Pattie had 4 children.

 

Brandi Marie Long born April 3, 1975 in Bellingham, Washington

Clinton Matthew Long born June 11, 1976 in Bellingham, Washington

Stacie Carene Long Born December 19, 1977 in Bellingham, Washington

Harrie Tyson Long born August 21, 1979 in Bellingham, Washington

 

I married David Lewis on November 3, 2000, in Seattle, Washington and we now live in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. David was born on October 17, 1977 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. We have two children.

Olsen Hugh Lewis born February 12, 2002 in Bellingham, Washington, USA

Alexandra Mary Lewis born August 25, 2003 in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.

 

Clinton (called Clint) married McKinzie May on August 8, 1998, in Seattle, Washington. McKinzie was born October 28, 1976, in Everett, Washington, they have two children.

Aiden Evju Long born 15 April 2001 in Bellingham, Washington.

Marianna May Long, born 2 March 2001 in Stockton, California.

 

Harrie Tyson Long married Mellisa Torres on December 17, 2004, in Bountiful, Utah. Mellisa was born on September 1, 1984, in Portland, Oregon. Their first baby is due in September.

------- Surnames Index    

Page 8

Albert Wallace Newhall Jr. was born on June 25 1917 in Orange, New Jersey and died in 2002 I don’t have the exact date but my cousin Eric would and I can get his email for you from my dad. He Married Elaine Aleise Segal on Mar 6 1946 in Jacksonville, Florida and they had two children.

 

David Wallace Newhall born 25 Nov 1948 died 12 Apr 1963 (no issue)

 

Eric Newhall – I don’t have his birth date but he is still alive and living in Florida with his wife Debra. They don’t have any children, he is my father’s only living cousin and they are still in contact so I can forward your e-mail onto him and he can send you more information about his father who was an interesting man. He married a couple more times after Eric’s father but Eric and David are the only children.

 

Jack Newhall was married on Mar 11, 1921 in Arizona and died on Aug 4 1996 in Chicago, Illinois. He was married once but divorced. He never remarried and died without children.

 

 

Hope this helps you update your files.

 

Sincerely,

 

Brandi Lewis

------- Surnames Index    

 

Page 9

 

 James Torrens of County Donegal . By R.M.T. 1963 with Quotes from R.J.T.

On 7th August 1948 my father, the Rev R J Torrens who had recently retired, wrote to me from 112 Maybury Road, Hull then the home of my brother the Rev J H Torrens. He referred to the fact that there was another Major Torrens at Fivehead, near us in Taunton

Notes from R.J.T. to R.M.T. 1948

“.......certainly a coincidence and it is not unlikely that he is connected with us. I enclose notes covering all the information I have. He would need to have more on his side to make a link-up possible. I hope you will go and see him and perhaps Aunt Norah might be able to recognize some family features! Any common Torrens ancestors of his and ours, was of course previous to the Mandeville connection”.

The “notes covering all the information” were as follows;-

Torrens

Family ---

James Torrens born in or near Edinburgh c. 1785 the youngest of ten sons and one daughter. ‘They’ (?? The whole family) ‘had to leave owing to their religion – being Covenanters’. Settled in Rahan, near Letterkenny, Co. Donegal! (NB Not clear whether this refers to

him or them. Probably him only – others probably in C. Derry).

James married (I) Ann Larkin of St. Johnston m 1805 and lived there (?Rahan) till 1845 when he bought a farm at Trainbeg and married (ii) Mary Bovaird . By first marriage he had five children –

(A)James (B) Joseph (C) David (D) John and (E) Mary.

By his second marriage he had one son (F) David and three daughters.

(A) (your great grandfather) was Accountant at Watts Distillery Company Londonderry, and had by first marriage with Elizabeth who married Alex. Glass and lived in USA [the following children]

Joseph your grandfather b 1838. James, Rector of Charlemount, Co. Armagh, and Anne and by his second [marriage] John, father of Mollie Torrens.

(B) & (E) both went to the USA [Joseph and Mary]

(C) Died a young man

(D) Married a Miss Robinson and lived on at the farm (?Rahan) when his father moved to Trainbeg. No information as to his progeny and the same applies to (F) [David and three daughters]

“ It is just conceivable”, wrote R.J.T. “that ‘Major Torrens’ of Fivehead might be a grandson or even great grandson of (D) John Torrens, but much more likely that he is descended from one of the ten elder brothers of the original James (above), i.e. if he is connected with us at all. The fact that he has nothing to do with the Wellington lot is a hopeful sign!”

There seem to have been other Torrens in Co. Derry who quite likely may have sprung from some brothers of “James I”, but I have reason to think that there were some of the name who came over from Scotland during the Ulster Plantation in the 17th Century.

We called and saw Major Torrens of Fivehead and I have a note that he told me that his grandfather was one of two sons of a Bel fast Solicitor. We could only guess at what the connection might be. The solicitor might have been a son of John Torrens and Miss Robinson or he might be descended from one of James Torrens elder brothers. R.J.T. wrote to me that there were ten of these, but his evidence was that there were eleven.

This was a summary of the position so far as my father knew in 1948 and it is the basis on which I have tried to compile a family tree.

It is best to set down the story of the search more or less chronologically because, as new information is obtained, errors in what had been noted before become apparent and corrections will continue to be made in the future by anyone who interests himself in the subject.

First , I will look back at the evidence upon which, in 1948 R.J.T. based his information.

In 1912, returning from Canada on the SS Lake Champlain, he had met a Miss Margaret Buchanan , daughter of Martha Torrens and John Buchanan, Martha being the eldest of three daughters of James Torrens and Mary Bovaird .

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 10

 

Letter W T Buchanan to R.J.T. 27 th July 1918

The Rev RJ Torrens -

My Dear Mr. Torrens,

For very many years I have been looking for you as I knew my mother had some of her family in the ministry but somehow I never knew they were not in the Presbyterian Church. When I came to visit my sister whose pleasure it was to meet you five or six years since crossing the Atlantic I learned the truth and she still has your card - She has since married, has a little girl 3 years, and her husband, GW Greer is in France

My mother is Martha Torrens – now in Bel fast, well – daughter of the last Jas Torrens and if I get it correctly Aunt of your father. It is indeed a great pleasure for me to learn so much of you.

The writer is a graduate of college and seminary and Minister of the Presbyterian Church in the US and a member in good and regular standing in the Presbytery of Philad’a. While visiting my sister I decided if God opened a door I would remain. This is not a populous part of this country, I am therefore wondering if farther East is a better place to work and so I combine business with pleasure and wonder if you know a Presbyterian Minister through whom you might be able to help me.

If I could get a place to supply during August it would pay my expenses, give me opportunity to do some good while here and the pleasure of seeing around. I am ready to go for the 1st Sabbath in August and either be a supply or a candidate

Technically I cannot be a candidate, I think until after received by the General Assembly but being an ordained Minister I could do all the work of a pastor until the Assembly meets in June.

Do not trouble writing to me until you have seen a Minister and see what he thinks. I will take anything for a start, or supply any place. My wife and children are in Philadelphia and I would rather preach if I only make expenses.

Glad to learn so much of you, hoping to hear from you at your convenience and that we may meet some time, and with very kind regards in which my sister joins, cordially,

W T (Torrens) Buchanan

Hampton Station, N.B..

This letter from William Torrens Buchanan was addressed to R.J.T. at Metcalfe Ontario. In 1912 when he met Miss Buchanan my father was returning to resume his duties as Rector of Metcalfe. Shortly afterwards he moved to the parish of Stafford but, in 1918, he had been back in Europe for two years and was serving with the Church Army at Dunkirk. So WTB got his letter back unopened. The following is a copy of the second of four letters from WT Buchanan which passed to my eldest brother J H Torrens when our father died in 1952.

Letter W.T Buchanan to R.J.T. 17/10/1923

Fort Pitt Hotel

Pittsburgh , Pa 10.17.1923

My Dear Mr. Torrens,

This is what the ladies would call a P.S.

The letter written from my sisters was as you will see returned. I changed my mind --- concluded that there is no place like the United States. The letter was among things which remained unopened until Mrs. Buchanan found it a few days since and women like opened it. So to save writing it again I will send it, much of it is out of date.

East Liverpool is just over the Pennsylvania line, a nice city of 30,000. I have the 2nd U.P.Ch.3000 members; salary $1800 and fine modern manse.

It would not be good taste to say I hope you had a pleasant time “Somewhere in France” but I hope you got home safe and that you are well. Should you find any pleasure in writing me sometime I would be delighted to hear from you and hear something about my uncles whom I never saw and whom I know only the little I remember hearing my dear mother speak of them and indeed I think she knew little of them . I left home when only a boy and got my arts degree and theological training in this country.

Grandfather Torrens (b 1805 ) was the dearest man. I can barely remember him. He married twice - if I remember correctly - the 2nd time when he was 60 (1835 ). By this union there were 3 girls -Martha, my mother, now living in Bel fast, Ann Jane and Margaret and one boy David. The girls married 3 Johns - John Buchanan a schoolmaster gone home; John Elder –a farmer; also departed, and John Davis - a school teacher. He and his wife Aunt Margaret are living in Australia. My mother had a big family – 9. Mrs. Elder –Aunt Ann Jane had also a large Family but lost all but two girls – both married. Mrs. Davis has no family. Uncle David had a large family but passed away young.

I think Grandfather Torrens was always a farmer. This is how he was. By his first marriage he had a large family as I remember, most of them - the boys, I never heard anything of girls –were prepared for the Ministry. One remained at home, worked and was to receive the farm. When Grandfather decided to marry (1785 + 60= 1835 ) he would not disappoint his son and heir so he went out leaving his home and everything and started life anew and my mother being the first of the family

------- Surnames Index    

Page 11

and married when about 16! I remember my grandfather’s home quite well. (>c 1867 Trainbeg J.H.T visited Trainbeg in 1966 and 1968 ) They had a fine farm with full and plenty of everything. He -grandfather - was some kind of clergyman but did not live by his profession. He was called a Bible Rea der.

In my letter I only spoke about my sister Margaret. I have two sisters, married to two brothers. Both the boys got home quite safe.

Cordially,

W.T. Buchanan .

Among my father’s papers is a draft for his reply to Mr. Buchanan . He wrote from Wick Vicarage, Pershore, Worcestershire, England.

Draft reply R.J.T. to W T Buchanan 1923

Dear Cousin Buchanan ,

Your welcome letter of October 17th forwarded from Metcalfe reached me some weeks ago - a pleasant surprise. When I met your sister on the “Lake Champlain” in 1912 I believe she gave me her address, but about a year later when, owing to an awakened interest in family history, I wanted to write to her, I could nowhere find the address. The opportunity of learning anything more about the “Torrens Clan” was apparently quite lost. Now you have restored it, I am glad to say, and I am more glad to hear from you than my delay in answering might indicate.

I have been waiting ‘till my mother came to us for Christmas hoping that she might be able to add to the scanty information. Well she is now with us and I can tell you a little, but it is not much altogether - only a poor return for what you have told me. Perhaps it will be clearer in the form of the “Genealogical Tree” which I enclose. It is more remarkable for its omissions than for its contents, and I shall be grateful if you can enlarge or correct it.

Please remember me kindly to (your sister), I am glad to hear that she is happily married and that her husband returned safe and sound from France. I had an interesting time there. When you wrote me the letter that was returned to you I was Superintendent of the Church Army hut at Dunkirk; far enough from the front but we .......

That is all there is of the draft letter. There is no copy of the Genealogical Tree which R.J.T. sent with it, but this will have shown his own family and himself as grandson of James Torrens. It will also almost certainly have referred to an “Aunt Nancy Torrens” who , he knew, had died at Montclair, New Jersey, in 1908, at the home of her son James; to another of her sons, William, and to his son Dr. Ben Torrens. These had all been mentioned in letters from his aunt, Elizabeth Glass , to her brother Joseph. These letters were in his possession in 1923; they remain now with the papers upon which these notes are based and copies of them are included later.

The family tree, then, which R J Torrens sent to William Torrens Buchanan in 1923 must have been something like Chart I. [Next Page]

 

 

  ------- Surnames Index    

 

Page 12

 

 

Chart I As Richard Torrens Might have Prepared it in 1923

Surnames; Glass , Mandeville , Palmer , McIwain , Goslin , Sainsbury , Hawkins

 

Before examining Mrs. Glass ’s letters and their reference to her American Aunt and cousins it is best to follow the correspondence with the Rev William T Buchanan to its important end. It seems likely that between 1923 and 1929 there must have been at least one

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 13

 

 

other letter from my father to WTB because in a letter dated 1929 the latter seems to be commenting on my elder brother’s and my own choice of careers. R.J.T. cannot have given him any information on this subject before 1928 when the choice was made.

Letter to R.J.T. from W.T. Buchanan 7.2.29

5918 Ellsworth St .

Philadelphia , Pa

7/9/29

Very dear Mr. Torrens,

Your kind and highly appreciated is a treat both from the point of sentiment and information. It has given me knowledge for which I have been looking all my life unsuccessfully because in the wrong place. I left home when I finished school –common with a fraternal cousin who was home on a visit from this country. I was too young to take much interest in relations whom I did not know. After studying both Arts and Theology in this country, being of the opinion my mother’s brothers were in the Presbyterian Church I looked there and could not understand my inability to find them. While visiting sister Margaret I learned about you. My dear Mother’s family all turned out well, thank God, both from the moral and the economic. No wonder. Grandfather Torrens surely was a good man. He was really a clergyman tho’ probably not ordained. He was a lay reader. Now it is quite clear why his boys were Episcopalian.

When sister told me of you I don’t know whether she understood the relationship – I did not until I received your letter. James Torrens was your grandfather and mine. Your father and my mother were his children - half brother and sister. (no: he was R.J.T.’s great grandfather + WJB’s grandfather see Chart II ) If not entirely you and the scribe are as near as they can come to first cousins.>

You are not by nearly 14 years as old as I am. July 26 1863. This makes me a day or two over 66 but I am like grandfather Torrens strong and hearty. I am not sure how old he was when he went home but as I recall he was 60 when he married. I remember him very well. In all probability Elizabeth (Who was Mrs. Glass ) Torrens has passed on. My mother was called away about 2 years since. She was as I remember about 85. Aunt Elizabeth was of course older. It seems I know a Dr. Torrens who may be Aunt E’s nephew. I will endeavor to look him up . ( Dr. Ben was son of Elizabeth Glass’s cousin William )

You surely have a nice family -4 boys and a girl. John and Richard are very nearly my children’s age: Bernice Rea will be 19, October 17; W.T Jr. Will be 18 this December 31. Our oldest child was a boy, called away in infancy. His name was W.T. also I must have been selfish but their mother decided that. She was Mae B. Nichols called away when the children were small. God gave me another.

John is doing well at school. He is a little older then Bernice. She was in college last year. “Bill” goes this year, please God. He graduated in high school and has been accepted by college. They will be in the same one. It is the college of which the scribe is an alumnus. My boy has not decided in favour of theology yet but I am hoping he will. My earnest prayer is that God may bless all your dear children, above all bring them each to himself in a covenant never to be forgotten.

Richard is bright. He has a very good mouth. His line is a good one. He will probably make more money than his brother but, My! the world need clergy.

I hope the war has not had such a bad effect, morally on England as it has had on this country. It seems to me we are near the limit . We had too much money during and since the war and in consequence all our ethical standards have been lowered.

The Church did not escape. I am sorry to feel there are religious politicians as there are political Opportunist in our church worked themselves into power. They have circulated propaganda both doctrinal and political which has done much damage. But God still lives. Sometimes when I see the material with which divine work is done my wonder is, not why God’s work progresses slowly but how he accomplishes so much. I wrote an article for the “Presbyterian” dealing with this subject. Just now I am not able to lay my hand on a copy but I will try at the printing office and if I get a copy I will send it to you. If none goes you will know I could not get one. They may not be able to keep many on file.

I really know all I wished to know of my mother’s family. I say this because I do not wish to trouble you with further research. Some people are enthusiasts on this but I am not. This will not of course depreciate what you did. Indeed you took a lot of trouble but everything is of inestimable value to me. For the first time in my life I have information for which I have learned. With all my heart I thank you but I wish to know I am well supplied and satisfied.

I am giving you my brother James’ address. He is a salesman in Wanamaker’s where he has been ever since he began work. He comes next to me in family and is an elder in the Presbyterian Church – very active in Church Work. John, next in the family is an elder also. James is very wealthy. He took me to the other side several times. He has two children. Margaret graduated one year since in the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She obtained a position - very good - in the Presbyterian Board of Publications & Sabbath School Work in the city. “Bill” is a class mate of Bernice. John has one child, John A. Jr. Who is a dentist. Joseph has three boys. He is an electrician, a good boy. The scribe is the poorest in the worlds goods. All the others own beautiful homes on main streets. David is in Bel fast; so is Mary Jane. Tillie went to Aunt Margaret ( Anne Margaret in Australia ). Margaret and Bessie are married to brothers in Canada and each has a nice family.

Kindest wishes to you all

Your cousin W.T. Buchanan

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 14

 

R.J Torrens must have replied promptly to correct WTB’s mistaken belief that they were “as near as they can come to first cousins” because a few months later WTB wrote again. (1929?)

Letter to R.J.T. from W.T. Buchanan 1929

My dear cousin RJ

Thank you for your card. I thought you might enjoy a little note more than a card of the season.

You may not let me hold my pet theory that we are cousins since we are not so close as I worked out when I believed we had the same grandfather. If you are technical you will not. However, thank God by his mercy we are more then cousins, we are brothers in Christ whom we both serve.

We are nearing the season when we should think more than I fear we do of divine love and good news. Before leaving there I was too young to be impressed by moral questions but here I sometimes feel we do not employ this season as much to our souls’ good and God’s glory as we should. We commercialize rather than spiritualize. In the ------ for business ------ we forget, I fear, the Christ. Man is very materialistic. Still in life there is a great deal of the true spirit of him through whom we have so much joy.

May the blessing of the season bring much to you and your family both in pleasure and in spiritual good. Probably next to ---- God’s family the best is to have health and strength to enjoy the blessings of the Christmas Season. May God grant you all much of this.

With all good wishes and the Compliments of the season

Cordially, W.T. Buchanan

12/10/29

There is this undated note -

Undated Note to R.J.T. from W.T. Buchanan

Sorry I led you somewhat into heresy but you will understand. My information was from tradition which is never very reliable. If however you are having as much pleasure as is the scribe you will not mind going around a little to learn such valuable history. I have it straight now your grandfather was my grandfather’s son. I always believed Mother to hold that the two clergy in the family were her brothers. This is why I came to conclusions so soon. James Torrens the son of James Torrens made the mischief. You need not return cousin’s letter. I am very sorry you must rearrange after having so much work. I am glad to help you get it right.

Fraternal regards W.T.B.

The “cousin’s letter” to which he refers is a letter he had received from a Mrs. McCauley daughter of his mother’s sister, Ann Jane. The first page only of this letter remains with the papers but there is a copy of the whole of it in my father’s handwriting. Evidently, as a result of his correspondence with R.J.T. , Mr. Buchanan had written to his mother’s sister Ann Jane asking for information about the family of James Torrens of Rahan and Trainbeg. The original page is dated October 1st and, on my father’s copy the year 1929 is added. This letter ends the first stage of R.J.T.’s search; it is the basis of the information given to him in 1948.

Letter to W.T. Buchanan . from Mrs. McCauley 1.10.1929

Magherabony,

Manor Cunningham, Co. Donegal

October 1st 1929

Dear cousin, in answer to your letter received Sat. Mother (Anne Jane Torrens Elder ) is glad to know that you and your family are well. She is not able to write but is willing to inform you all that she is willing to inform you all that she possibly can concerning the Torrens family.

Grandfather Torrens (James I ) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, his father had eleven sons and one daughter. Grandfather was the youngest.

They had to leave there owing to their religion being Covenanters. They settled in Rahan, Letterkenny. The grandfather at the age of 19 married Ann Larkin in St. Johnston lived there and had five children their names James (James II ), Joseph, David John and Mary. James went to be clerk in Watts distillery in Derry at the age of 13 remained there until he was an old man and died he also had five children, two of them were ministers one went out a missionary took ill and came home & died the other belonged to the Episcopal church he lived and died in Dublin, their two sisters one died young the other was a governess, then he married secondly and there was one boy his name was William (No John ? )

Then grandfather’s second son John lived in Rahan on the farm. David was a teacher he died a young man. Joseph married a Miss Park R.J.T.’s copy shows “Jack”. . The M/S is damaged but the last three letters are –ARK and the first letter does not match Mrs. McCauley’s other many capital “Js ”) and went to America. Mary married a man named McGirr and went to America.

Grandfather was a ruling Elder in Convoy (Convoy; Place in Ireland visited by JHT etc. in 1968 Irish Covenanting Church where he was married 1 st time. After his first wife died he came to Rahan his son John married a Miss Robinson . Grandfather didn’t care much for her so he bought Trainbeg and married Mary Bovaird our Grandmother they were married in friends house near Convoy the name of Gregg by the Rev. Stooth their own minister. Grandfather was 60 then the mistake is mother don’t remember any date but she was 36 (26 surely ) when she

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 15

 

married and grandfather died a short time before that and he died at the age of 91 then uncle --(Here the M/S page ends and the following is taken from R.J.T.’s copy ) David was the oldest, my dear Aunt Martha (your mother) my mother and Aunt Margaret the youngest. I am afraid I am not answering all your questions correctly as my mother’s memory is not so good, but any further information I can give you believe I gladly will. If my dear Aunt Martha had been alive she certainly could as she was blest with such a wonderful memory. I do miss her so much. She came every year as she said one time herself that when she saw the swallows we might be on the lookout for her and she did till the last few years I saw she was getting weaker and the last time she was here she didn’t feel well at all but she still said if she was back in Bel fast that he Dr. would soon make her alright. One of my boys and I drove to Strabane with her as she didn’t feel well. I intended going to Belfast with her but she improved well by the road and at Strabane station I met a girl going to Belfast so I left Aunt in care of her. Anyhow she made her last journey alright that was the end of July and I never saw the one I loved all my life after. Just when we were thinking of it coming near the time to come again it was the sad news of her death came but I am sure she is happy now with her Saviour whom she trusted.

Mother (Aunt Jane ) is the last of that family so here we two are wearing in our time together

Yes the(re ) are 3 of my family out there too pushing out for themselves the last boy went in May he was just 18 I didn’t like to see him going off so young but W.J. (who is WJ ?) and Anna pleaded so much that I thought it best to let him go. I can say they are good children and I trust it is all for there own good that they are leaving here as Ireland is not to be envied any more. My second son is still at home and 3 younger ones the youngest is 10 years old – seven we have 5 boys and 2 girls. Please if there are any mistakes in your questions I will gladly correct them if it is possible.

Your affectionate cousin

M J McCauley

PS Mother says that all grandfather’s sons are Elders in the Covenanting Church

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 16

 

Chart II Information Obtained by Richard John Torrens from Letters Written 1923-1928 by William Torrens Buchanan of Philadelphia and Mrs. M.J. McCauley of County Donegal.

Based on R.M.T. drawing of 1963 but drawn to show how the additional information added to Chart 1.

 

------- Surnames Index    

 

Pages 17 to 27

 

Page 17

 

Chart III Mandevilles & Herberts.

Surnames Herbert , Cliffe , Russell , Bradshaw , Mandeville, Roe , Parnall , Springfeild , Alcorn , Edwards , Hamilton .

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 18

 

Mandevilles and Herberts

On 31st December 1873 the Reverend Joseph Torrens of Upper Buckingham Street Dublin ( son of James Torrens, Accountant) was married in St. John’s Church, Greenwich, to Louisa Sophia Mandeville of Colmore St. John’s, Blackheath (daughter of Reverend Nicholas Herbert Mandeville)

Louis’s Nephew Geoffrey F. Mandeville , in April 1929, published some writings of his great-great Aunt Dorothea (1770-1829) under the title “Retrospections of Dorothea Herbert ” (Two Volumes). The first volume included a genealogical chart showing relationships of characters mentioned in the book; the second volume records the marriage of Dorothea’s sister Sofia to John Mandeville, grandfather to Louisa whose son was the Reverend Richard John Torrens.

Information from the chart in “Dolly’s Diary” is included on Chart no III.

Other Inquiries

In 1946 R.J Torrens received the following letter , which gave him no help but which is recorded here for possible future reference.

Letter to R.J.T. from TCPO Mulholland 7.12.46

Bowlfield

Gee Cross, Hyde

Cheshire

7/12/46

Dear Mr. Torrens,

Thank you very much for your letter of December 6 th . I was extremely interested to hear that there is yet another Torrens family in Ireland. One of my Grandparents was a Torrens and according to family tradition came from Scotland at the time of the Plantation. Exactly when I have not so far been able to discover. I am naturally interested to hear that your ancestors also came from Scotland. I wonder if you could give me any information about the Part of East Lothian your family came from. I should be very pleased to see a copy of your family tree if you could send it to me. Although I started on this investigation to try and find out something for some American relatives, I have widened the scope of the inquiry. At present I am trying to find out what had already been done. Several correspondents have mentioned the enquiries of twenty years ago but none of them can say who it was or where the results are to be found. I wish I could find out. I shall be glad to let you have any interesting facts that I may discover about your family.

Yours sincerely

TCP Mulholland .

So far as is known no interesting facts were discovered and sent to R.J.T..

Chart IV [below] gives notes on bearers of the name Torrens prepared by the Rev J.H.T.

Major general Sir Henry Torrens, fourth son of Rev. Thomas Torrens had a brilliant military career in all parts of the globe. Returning from India on sick leave he stopped and stayed at St. Helena, married the Governor’s daughter and returned with her to India. Wellington was their son’s Godfather, hence the child’s names.

In connection with these notes by J.H.T attention may be called to the fact that Sir Arthur Bryant refers to Henry Torrens in his “Years of Victory”, 1802-1812, first published 1944.

There is evidence in R.J.T.’s rough notes that, in 1948 or thereabouts, he wrote letters of enquiry to

 

Dr. James Torrens

8, The Mall, London , Sw14

 

David Torrens (Woolen Industry)

61, Poland Street, London W1

These names apparently came from the telephone directory, the ‘James’ and ‘David’ are interesting but no information of value resulted.

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 19

 

Chart IV Based on notes by Rev J.H.T on some famous Torrens Apparently unrelated to David & James T. (From Dictionary of National Biography)

 

Surnames; Curry , Bristow , Patton , Murray , Park , Anson , McCullagh , Clay , Harrison , Russell .

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 20

 

In 1956 J.H.T had some correspondence with JW Pinkerton & Sons, Solicitors of Ballymoney, Co. Antrim who were seeking information concerning the next of kin of Kate Torrens of Ballymoney who died a spinster intestate on 31 May 1956. Her father was John Torrens who died about 1875 and her mother, who died about 1896 was a cousin of her father and had the maiden name of Jeannie Torrens. Kate Torrens and her forebears were Presbyterians.

The information known about the family of James Torrens of Co. Donegal was passed to Messrs. Pinkerton but they considered that it gave “no clue as to the relatives of Kate..” who appeared “ ...definitely to be descended from another source”

Perhaps one of James’ ten brothers

 

In 1956 a Mr. R.G. Torrens having heard of J.H.T through Messrs. Pinkertoon wrote to him that he came “from the line of Torrens of the Bann Valley. J.H.T sent him also particulars of James Torrens family and descendants so far as they were known and he received the following reply.

Letter to JHT from R.G. Torrens 3.11.1956

West Close

Wick, Bournemouth

Nov. 3rd 1956

Dear Mr. Torrens

Many thanks for your most interesting letter to which I have delayed answering in order to complete my researches. The result however has not been very helpful, as it is quite obvious that our respective families, although probably from a common source, are quite distinct. The earliest trace of a relative of mine was Hugh Torrance of Mayoughill, 1695-1779. The name was changed to Torrens when James of Gortin (his grandson) married Anne Dorrens about 1800. He was buried at Aghadowey.

In the protestant householders list of 1740 (at Dublin Castle) there are records of eighteen Torrens at various parts of Antrim and Londonderry and of most of these I have no detailed knowledge.

Tradition has it in our branch of the family that we came over from Scotland during the Ulster Plantation, during the early years of James I reign. Following this, recurring rebellions destroyed most of the records. A Hugh Torrens was engaged in the 1641 rebellion in County Londonderry and he is mentioned in the 1663 subsidiary roll as a land owner in Caheny and Culnaman. The Bann Valley has been the seat of many Torrens from that time.

There is also a tradition of some very close connection with the family and estates of the Hamilton s (See Chart III Margaret Hamilton ) about ten miles from Glasgow. The estate is named Torrens (means a man of the hills). The Ducal mansion was demolished in 1925 and most of the treasures have gone into museums and private collections.

Armorial bearings exist with three Boat Oars and a Boar’s Head with the motto “I save the King” as a result of the services rendered King Bruce before 1314, when he was ferried by two brothers across a firth to save his life. Our branch has a martlet with the motto “Esto semper fidelis”. The martlet indicates a seventh (I believe it indicates a fourth son RMT ) somewhere, but exactly where this occurs I know not.

Our common origin would probably be found somewhere in Scotland earlier than 1695, but that is where records are almost impossible to find.

Regarding the questions posed in your letter, I am sorry to say I cannot find any details in the few records at my disposal. However I am very glad to have made your acquaintance and look forward to meeting you in the not too distant future, when we may compare notes in Person.

Yours sincerely

R.G. Torrens

PS. I know of a Joseph Torrens who was at Coolbanagher Rectory, Portlington in 1899, possibly this might have been one of your relatives, and there is a Joseph mentioned in your tree.

In a brief earlier letter , 24th Sept. 1956 R.G. Torrens had written to J.H.T, “I come from the line of Torrens of the Bann Valley ”. J.H.T replied by sending particulars of the family of James Torrens of Rahan and wrote of “another branch with descendants in Ireland, which also included the S. Australian Statesman and Major General Sir Henry Torrens who served under Wellington ”.

If This is connected it may be as distant as through Scots emigrants to Sweden ..... There used to be a Rev. Thomas Torrens in Crockford’s Clerical Directory whom my father once met. He lived, I think, in the West of England ....

 

The list of family crests of Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, and Canada, Published in Genealogical Quarterly, Vol. No. 1 XXIV, 1957, includes the following:-

TORRENS , a martlet, or

TORRENS , a martlet, Sa., round neck, a blue ribbon, pendent therefrom, on breast, a medal.

------- Surnames Index    

 

Page 21 American Cousins

 

American Cousins

As mentioned before R.J.T. had in his possession several letters from his Aunt, Elizabeth Glass in the USA to his father Joseph in Ireland.

The letters referred to an Aunt Nancy Torrens and to her children and grandchildren. The first letter speaks of the death of her (and Joseph’s) sister Ann. Among the papers is a “Certificate of Registry of Burial” in the Parish of Coolbanagher – Anne Torrens on 22nd April 1896 age 44, the service being performed by “J. Torrens”.

Letter to Joseph Torrens from his Sister Lyza T Glass 10.9.1896

360 West 117th St.,

10th September 1896.

My Dear Joseph

I received yours of July 17th telling me of Annie’s death some weeks ago. I also received your letter enclosing Ann’s about the first of January. I am very sorry I had not answered them both especially as hers was the last I shall ever receive from her. You told me then that her health was not good that she had been confined to her room for several years, but she wrote so cheerfully herself and said nothing about her health that I was greatly shocked to hear of her death.

I ought to have written oftener but I have felt so perfectly satisfied about her since she has been with you and Lou I knew she was as happy and well cared for it was possible for her to be in this world and so many other things pressed on my attention that I neglected writing.

I knew that Annie was inclined to be melancholy at times and I am sure it was not strange considering her physical weakness and the strong doses of religious fatalism we used to hear administered at times by the instruction(s) of our youth, which taken together I always thought to be the cause of Ann’s tendency to despondency but I have no doubt she is now released from all doubt & fear & suffering and is with the lord as he said in his Father’s house.

I am sorry to know that John is again in trouble; you mentioned in January that he was contemplating marriage and that he had been in steady employment for some years so I hoped that he was on the way to prosperity at least so far as to be able to support himself for the future. I am sorry to say that neither Sandy nor I can see that his condition would be improved by coming here. Any definite prospect of employment would be very hard to find for the simple reason that the applicants far outnumber the situations and so many strangers coming into the city keeps up the same condition of affairs; besides as you know with us no matter how smoothly things may have been going everything gets a general shaking up once in four years at Presidential elections and that makes a bad year for business and just now the “Silver Craze” adds to the confusion and uncertainty.

I am sorry both for John’s sake and his wife’s that he is so unfortunate as he has been here three times he ought to have a fair idea of what to expect in this city.

I am greatly pleased to hear so good news of your family and of James widow and children, and that your services to the Church have not been unappreciated. I am sure you have earned the honour (He had been made Archdeacon of Kildare; Joseph, Born in 1838 would have been 58 in 1896 ) conferred on you and I am glad that your health is so good and that you are able to do so much, the need is great indeed all over the world though those who realize the truth of it are few.

Give my love to the children and to Lou & I thank her with all my heart for all the love and care she gave Annie. Write soon again

Your Loving Sister

Lyza T. Glass

I hope you are able to read this I can’t write decently any more. I am not sure about this being properly addressed but if not set me right when you write.

Letter to Joseph Torrens from his Sister Lyza T Glass 24.8.1908

2432 Seventh Ave

August 24 1908

My Dear Joseph

It is so long since I wrote to you that I cannot recall the exact time but it is a very long time and many things have happened since then the most recent my husbands death last April., seventeenth.

He appeared to be well as usual all winter though not quite so active as he wanted to be owing to the state of business. Late March he went to Shilton in Connecticut on business intending to stay for the summer coming home on Saturdays & returning on Mondays. He was well pleased with the place and people but was there only ten days when he was taken ill. We were notified by telegraph and David and Dr. Torrens went up to Shilton and brought him home and for a few days after coming home he seemed to improve. Although he was seriously ill from the first none of us realized that the attack would be fatal until he ceased to recognize any one. He had an attack of kidney trouble more than a year before but Dr. Torrens’ treatment was so successful then that we hoped it would be again but there were other complications. The cause of death was hardening of the arteries.

It was a very great shock but if his life had been prolonged he would never have been himself it would have been a living death & that I could not wish for anyone.

Last January our old friend Aunt Nancy Torrens died at the home of her son James in Montclair New Jersey. She was in her 95th year and had outlived all her

------- Surnames Index    

 

Page 22

 

own children except James. She died of old age but her mind was always perfectly clear.

My son David is married a little more that three years. They have a baby boy six months old, he is named Edward and is a fine healthy little fellow, his mother and he are in the country just now while the weather is so hot. Their home is quite near us so we can see them every day. My daughters are quite busy as usual as indeed we all must be here to keep going. Anna is a bookkeeper and cashier for a firm of printers and engravers and Elizabeth and Christine in the bookkeeping department in “Wanamakers (Where WTB’s brother James was a salesman in 1929 ).

We would be glad to hear from you as soon as you can write.

When you last wrote Richard (R.J.T. went to Canada in 1907 after curacies at St. Luke’s Belfast and at Portlaw ) was at Trinity preparing for the Church so he must have been ordained some years ago. I hope that you are all well and that you will be able to write soon no doubt your family is all grown up now & James too. I often think I would like to see them all or at least some of them the trip is so short now that it may be within the compass of a summer #vacation & some of your people may think of coming.

I know you were never unduly partial to this side of the Atlantic but you might find many things of interest if you could spare the time.

I must close now with love to all

Your loving sister

Lyza T Glass

Letter Joseph Torrens from his Sister Lyza T Glass 15.12.1908

2432 Seventh Ave.

December 15th 1908

My Dear Joseph

Your letters of 3rd September & 15th October reached me in due time. We were all very glad to have them both & to receive the assurance of your sympathy with us in our loss. We do believe that God knows and does what is beat for all of us and so we leave the past with Him and trust Him for the future.

You have had to part with your dear Herbie. I think none are more missed than those constantly dependent on our care they have their work on the world and his was evidently done well.

We are all greatly interested in all the news your letters contain about your family and James’ all usefully and honorably taking their part in the world.

It must have been hard indeed fro you to leave Coolbanagher where you had been for so many years and even harder now to give up all clerical work. I am very sorry that your rhumatism ( Dr. Desmond says that he actually had Addison’s , Pernicious Anemia, as had J.H.T himself ) makes it necessary. I hoped from your first letter that it was of a milder type & might improve. But I hope that the change will be for good to you and that you may find a modern house near Dublin more healthy than one 700 years old.

St. David’s may have had something to do with the rhumatism. Doctors now-a-days tell us old houses harbour many strange guests as unsuspected as they are unwelcome; but is does come hard to be laid aside disabled while you are so willing to continue & it is a great trial to your patience. I am glad that you are provided for by the Supperannuaton Fund.

Forty on years of work is good to look back upon yet one who has been so long engaged sees as others may not know how great the work is and how great the need for it.

I am glad that Dick (R.J.T. ) is so pleasantly situated and working so happily in his new field (Metcalfe, Ontario Canada ) though it is farther from you than you would wish.

You asked about Dr. Torrens , he is cousin William Torrens (See Chart I page 13 ) second son. William died when his children were young. Ben the younger son studied medicine at Columbia College in this city (in colonial days King’s College) and took his degree as physician & surgeon when he was 21 and has been practicing about 15 years very successfully and is well liked by his patients. He is not married but lives with his brother and sister. I hope your young Doctor ( Dr. Dudley F Torrens ) will be as successful. I am sorry that John and his wife seem to have rather a hard time for poverty and sickness combined are hard but I hope things may improve.

The election resulted as most people expected and I hope it will be for good, whether Taft will be better than Roosvelt is all in the future I hope he may be as good. Roosvelt is a good man though thought to be inclined to exceed his authority & very impulsive & his impulses lead him generally in opposition to the political bosses to their great consternation.

I think that you are not afflicted with the political boss, or his counterpart & I hope not. This city is where the type flourishes to perfection but I am glad they did not succeed in defeating Governor Hughes of this state of Gambling.

I hope this will reach you before Christmas but I have been delayed several times in writing. We are all well and send love to you all and best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in your new home.

Baby Edward has been sick with tonsillitis but is well now. We are to celebrate his first Christmas this year.

Your loving sister

Lyza T. Glass

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 23

 

Elizabeth Glass refers in her letter s to John, known by R.J.T. to have been the half brother of Joseph. Before following up clues to American cousins for which Elizabeth’s letters are mainly interesting, the following extracts from letters are recorded:-

Letter to R.J.T. probably from John Torrens

18 Glenvale Street

Breck Road, Everton

Liverpool

7/4/31

Reverend Sir

Your a/d has been sent to me unsolicited , by a relative in New York who has in the past few years helped me at times since our return to Liverpool from Derry where I was tenor soloist for some years.....

Soon after our return I got a clerical job but firm failed in 1923 and I being then over 60 found myself unable to get work of any kind ..... We have a son Thos Scot Torrens a Cptn in the Church Army who pays our rent and our daughter ........ is a Government Typist. Our other two sons John Joseph and James have been for months unemployed. My wife has had a long illness.

The letter is unsigned but evidently from the John Torrens, (See Chart II page 17 ) who, judging by references to him in Elizabeth Glass ’s letters , was unfortunate all his life. What reply R.J.T. made is not known but in the following year he was enquiring about Thomas Scott Torrens; there is this letter –

 

Letter to R.J.T. from H. Bird of the Church Army

The Church Army,

55 Bryanston Street,

London , W.1.

Mission Van Department

6th September 1932

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your letter of Saturday’s date. Captain Thomas Scott Torrens is at present enjoying a holiday at home. His address is 18, Glenvale Street, Breck Road, Everton, Liverpool. On the 24th September he will be returning to the Van he is in charge of in Co. Down, Ireland. He has recently laid his mother to rest. He is a comrade beloved by us all and we are happy about the work he is doing and doing so well. It would be interesting indeed if he were a relation of yours.

 

Believe me,

Yours very sincerely

H. Bird

Mission Van Secretary

These notes began by a reference to a letter written in August 1948 (Page 8 ) by R.J.T.. His interest was aroused and , at much the same time, he must have written to the United States making enquiries concerning the James Torrens of Montclair, New Jersey, at whose home Elizabeth Glass ’s “Aunt Nancy Torrens” had died, aged 94, in 1908.

Letter to R.J.T. from Postmaster 23.8.1948

United States Post Office,

Montclair, New Jersey.

August 23, 1948.

Rev. R.J. Torrens

High Clows , (Then the home of Lt. Comdr. G. B. Torrens R.M.T.’s brother)

Clows Top, Kidderminster, England

Dear Sir,

Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of August 10, 1948 and we have obtained the following information in connection with your inquiry.

Mr. James Torrens, formerly of North Fullrerton Ave Montclair N.J. is survived by three children, as follows:

Mr. James H Torrens

558W.170th St. Apt 28 New York

N.Y

------- Surnames Index    

 

Page 24

 

 

 

Mr. John K. Torrens

155 Prospect St.. So.Orange , N.J.

 

Miss Eva B. Torrens

Martha Washington Hotel

225W.29th St. New York , N.Y.

The above information was obtained from Mrs. Grace Torrens 225 Walnut Street , Montclair, N.J widow off Joseph Torrens, a brother of James Torrens about whom you enquired.

( Who is this? James had a cousin Joseph , son of Francis, but no brother Joseph so far as we know. Joseph’s wife was Elizabeth Kennedy , see Chart VII Page )

[Following note by J.H.T in pencil may have mistakes due to Dad’s handwriting ;The widow of Joseph, Madelein’s Uncle also died in 1937? According to Chart V and 1943 0/c chart 8 and these called Gertrude Sandford . The postmaster was likely to have x the names wrong. James of Montclair had no bro. Joe and if he had, would his widow be giving information in 1948 ? ]

I trust this is the information you desire. Thank you very much for set of Olympia Stamps.

Very truly yours

Richard F. McMahon

Postmaster

The following original letter was returned to R.M.T. by Madeleine Torrens in 1962.

Letter To Miss Eva Torrens from R.J.T. 21.9.1948

At/St. Leonards

Colwall, Malvern, England

Sept. 21 1948

Miss Eva B. Torrens

Martha Washington Hotel

225 W.29th St. New York , N.Y.

Dear Miss Torrens,

As you will never have heard of me previously, may I first be allowed to introduce myself as Richard John Torrens, and, I think of the same Scottish-Irish stock to which you and yours belong. I have now retired after 46 years in the Ministry (Episcopal Church - in Ireland, Canada and England) and I hope to spend a little of my leisure time in completing some notes on Torrens Family History which began about 12 years ago.

They began with

James Torrens who was born in or near Edinburgh in 1785 and later farmed at Rahan, in Co. Donegal. One of his sons (James) was my grandfather, another “Joseph married a Miss Jack (See note at end of letter ) and went to America”. This is my only record of him, and so the place where his family and descendants should be recorded has remained blank. What to do? All attempts failed – and then , only last July I chanced upon a likely clue, which led me to esquire for descendants of a

Mr. James Torrens living at Montclair N.J. some 40 years ago. So by the kindness of the Postmaster there , I have been able to hear of you and of your brothers John K. and James H, and also that you had an Uncle Joseph.

Well, these names which are already contained several times over in my “Family Tree”, convince me that you must belong to the same Scottish-Irish Stock, and my guess is that Joseph who “Went to America” was your grandfather.

If so my Doctor brother Dudley F. and I and my sister Norah E.A.T - share the same great grandfather with you and your brothers. I hope you can confirm this and, if you are interested I shall be most pleased to send you a summary of my notes on Family History - I shall then be most grateful for some account of the “American Branch”.

I had your brother’s address too, but on the “Ladies first” principal decided to write to you. If I did wrong please pardon me. I look forward to hearing from you but if this is impossible or not convenient I hope you will get some other member of the family to act for you.

My wife (Constance) and I have 4 sons all married in this country and 1 daughter (married) in Buenos Aires. All served through the war years and returned safe and sound. Thank God.

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 25

 

We are hoping to move into a home of our own before Christmas - but I have gone on long enough!

Hoping you and yours are in good health, and not unduly troubled by global anxieties - I send you

My cordial greetings

Your unknown cousin

Richard J. Torrens

See page 15 R.J.T. is quoting from Mrs. McCauley ’s letter. He wrongly assumes the name to be Jack. The edge of the page is torn so that it is impossible to say how the name begins, both the last three letters are A_R_K. More likely to be “Park ” than “Jack”. (R.M.T.).

This enquiry produced much interesting information. Before a reply came from Eva, R.J.T. received a letter from her brother -

Letter to R.J.T. from Eva’s brother John K. Torrens 20.10.1948

So.Orange , N.J.

Oct. 20 1948

Mr. Richard J. Torrens

St. Leonards, Colwall, Malvern, England.

Dear Mr. Torrens,

My sister Eva Torrens of New York, referred your letter of 9.21.48 to me a few days ago, we will be glad to give you all the data we can, but must ask your indulgence for a short period to enable us to locate some data my grandmother gave, but which has been misplaced.

I am going to give you what comes to mind; my grandfather was Joseph Torrens who married Nancy Park of Litakenny, Ireland; they came to New York about 110 year ago (JKT’s correction from 135 to 110 ), as near as I can figure it; Nancy Park Torrens died about 40 years ago at he age of 94 - she had three children, James, William, and Annie - my father was James as you say in your letter. My grandfather Joseph passed on early in life so I never saw him, he was a Theological student. My father has cousins in this country a David Torrens, Robert Torrens who had two sons who were Ministers in New York State - from your letter I take it that you are from a branch of the Torrens family apart from ours, however I will advise you on what data we have.

My grandmother always told me that all the spelt Torrens were related. I wish you all success, and best regards,

Sincerely

John K. Torrens

Age 76

The families I mention here were all members of the Reformed Presbyterian Covenanters Church.

Attached to JKT’s letter are some notes in his handwriting. They are written on notepaper with the following heading:-

Notes by RKT with his letter 20.10.1948

MISS MADELEINE TORRENS

WEDDING CONSULTANT

South Orange, New Jersey

Tel.: So..2-0462

The notes by JKT are-

Memo, left by my grandmother Nancy Park Torrens wife of Joseph Torrens

David Torrens had 9 children Margaret, James, Jacob, John, David, Edmundson, Nancy, Joseph (1) and Francis (2)

(1) Joseph married Nancy Park (3) ( No he did not it was another Joseph R.M.T. ). Children James (4), William, Annie.

(4) James (my father) married Sarah Kennedy - children , Joseph, John [illegible initial maybe K or H] , James H, Sara, Elizabeth, Eva and Edna.

(3) My grandfather Torrens died in 1908 age 94 grandfather Joseph died a few years after he came to America (age 46 when he died)

(2)Francis married Nancy Elliott children Nancy (5), Jane, Matilda, Joseph and David.

(5)Nancy married Charles Kee who were the grandparents of my wife Anna Torrens Hardy .

I trust this will be of some assistance to you.

John K. Torrens

This was the reply from Eva

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 26

 

Letter to R.J.T. from Cousin Eva 8.11.1948

Torrens

29 E 29 St. New York, N.Y.

USA

November 8th 1948

Dear Cousin Richard

I’m sorry to be so late replying to your mighty fine letter received some weeks ago. It reached me just about the time my sister Edna’s husband passed away suddenly in Phoenix, Arizona. Since then my has been in hospital suffering from shock.. She and I are very close, so I have been somewhat upset.

I enjoyed your letter and really do believe you are my cousin - I sent the letter to my brother John K. who lives in S. Orange N.J. He and my sister-in-law, formerly Anna Torrens Hardy , know more about my family than I do, So! They might write you.

My father was James Torrens who lived in Montclair N.J. for many years. We had a lovely home there. His mother and father were Nancy & Joseph Torrens. They had three children, my father William and Anna. My father married Sarah Kennedy and they had seven children. Joseph the oldest who died five years ago; John K., James Herbert., Sadie who died when she was about eight, Elizabeth who passed away six weeks before my brother Joe, Myself and Edna, the youngest. These are list from the oldest to the youngest.

Joe married Gertrude Sandford , a Montclair girl whose father was Town Councilman for a number of years (they call them Mayors now). They had one child , Margaret now Mrs. Harry Stonelake of San Calif. John has three lovely daughters Evelyn (Mrs. Alrin Carpenter ) Eloise and Madeleine . James Herbert has four boys, James Herbert Jr., Joseph, Milton & Raymond. His wife’s maiden name was Isabelle Niven - Elizabeth and I never married. My sister left High School to take care of my mother who was ill for many years. She had a chance to marry but my mother never wanted her to. I was engaged to a fine young man but my mother made me break the engagement. I think she found out he took a glass of wine at some time - anyway she was very strict. He wanted me to elope but I wouldn’t disobey. Now I wish I had - He turned out to be a very fine man and still lives near in Montclair. Such is life! Edna married Albert Newall and she has three grandchildren, Lt. Commander Albert Wallace Newall Jr., Jack Newall, at 23 Captain in the Army Air Corps in World War II & Mary Wallace who married Harrie Long . They live in Phoenix Arizona and have two children, Kristen 5 and Harrie Jr. 2 ½

My father’s brother William married Isabelle Brakine & they had three children, Dr. Ben, William, & Isabelle. Isabelle is the only living one of that family and is unmarried. Anna married Robert Killough and they had two sons Robert and Joseph, now deceased.

I forgot to say that brother John’s wife Anna, was related distantly to us. I believe our grandmothers were cousins. Her grandmothers name was Key

If you want to ask me any questions I’ll be more than glad to answer them. My father was never very interested in his relations so I don’t know an awful lot about them for I never heard him discus them. He was a very busy man and a wonderful Christian father, we were a very happy family but we three girls were the youngest and our parents were set in their ways when we reached our teens.

I live in N.Y. because my home was broken up twice in two months by death. I came to N.Y. to be near my office. I have a federal job and am still working hard and enjoying it.

I am interested in what you told me about your family, and I’m glad your boys came thru the war O.K.. You’ve evidently traveled around a lot, so maybe you’ll be this way some time. If so, look me up. I’d love to see a copy of your family history. I hope something of what I have written will be of interest to you. I’m sorry I don’t know more, but just like my father, I’m always too busy to visit much outside the immediate family, so that is why I’m not very good source of information on family histories.

Thanks again for your lovely letter and I hope I’ll hear form you again.

Cousin Eva

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 27

 

A rough notebook contains what is evidently a draft of a reply from R.J.T. to John Torrens—

Draft for reply by R.J.T. to Eva 1948

Dear Mr. T

Thank you for your letters of Oct. & Nov. I am especially glad to have the memo left by your grandmother Mrs. Nancy Park Torrens. This gives me a clear outline of the American Torrens connection but it also throws some valuable new light on the information I had previously.

Then the pencil draft is overwritten in ink by the following two sentences, which R.J.T. seems to have decided not, after all to include in the letter because they are ruled out.

As a result I see that there must be an error in that concerning the family of old James Torrens (of Rahan)?

The account I was given of the family of old James Torrens if Rahan must be revised

The draft Continues -

I note your grandmothers dictum that all who spelt their names Torrens were related. I only know of one possible exception - and that no (doubt) goes to prove the rule.

We are evidently cousins but probably more distant than I thought. I will revise the data I have in the light of what you have sent me - and will write again.

The rest of this very rough draft concerns the bronchial asthma from which R.J.T. was suffering, and which was evidently much on his mind, and he also wrote of the fact that “we are staying with an architect son” – pending the completion of the “troublesome business” of getting repairs and alterations completed at what was to be his new home for the first few years of his retirement.

While he was staying at “The Barn, Duddlestone, Taunton, Somerset, we called on Major Torrens of Fivehead, near Taunton. (See Page 10 )

Apart from what he knew to be true about his own immediate family the “evidence” to which R.J.T. could refer in 1948, in order to draw a Torrens family tree, is I believe all recorded in previous pages of these notes.

He was therefore on possession of information concerning the family of Old James Torrens, his own great-grandfather on the one hand, and of the family of a David Torrens on the other. His own Aunt Elizabeth referred to David Torrens daughter-in-law (should this be granddaughter , Nancy Park and great-grandson R.M.T. 1963 ) and grandson as “Aunt Nancy Torrens” and “Cousin William” respectively.

What was the link between the families of James and David?

What mistaken beliefs, if any, about their relations were held by the authors of the various letters to which R.J.T. could refer for information?

Richard John Torrens died on January 1st 1952. Aged 74 years and 11 months.

[P.M. Torrens Journal of her Son David J.G. Torrens;

D.J.G.T birthday was overshadowed by Grandpa’s illness. We had a tea party in the kitchen (Horley Vicarage) and then processed upstairs with lighted candles on the cake to the sick room so that all could join in the fun of blowing them out., Afterwards found out that the night nurse, asleep in the next room (who was always complaining of noise) was quite unaware of all these festivities. David romped as usual, climbing into the bed and slithering down over the iron bar at the end...............Xmas 1952 He (David) loved the tree in the drawing room, and behaved quite well when taken to the first matins. Grandfather (R.J.T) was in hospital for Christmas and died early on January 1st. David quite won Grannies heart by ‘helping’ her up the passage step with her trolley and then rocking his head on one side to say “All Right?”]

 

------- Surnames Index    

 

Pages 28 to 37

 

Page 28

 

Chart V Information Obtained by R.J.T. from John Kennedy and Eva Torrens in 1948,

Surnames; Carpenter, Hardy, Sandford, Stonelake <, Newhall, Park, Kee ,Elliott

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 29 Madeleine

 

The Meeting with Madeleine

Ten years after his death a letter addressed to Mr. R. J. Torrens arrived at my home. [R.M.T.], The Barn, Duddlestone, Taunton. It was from Madeleine Torrens of 155 Prospect Street, South Orange, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Letter Addressed to R.J.T. received by R.M.T. from Madeleine Torrens 26.3.1962

In 1948 you wrote to my Aunt Miss Eva Torrens of Montclair .... I believe my father John Torrens answered your letter. Since 1948 both my father and mother have died. In going through the papers I found the correspondence. I am anxious to learn if you were able to find any relationship ...

I visit England almost every year ... I would enjoy meeting you or any member of the family. I will bring with me the papers I have ...

The information sent by John K. and Eva had not enabled us to “trace any relationship”. Indeed it seemed to have removed the possibility that James Torrens of Montclair N.J. was a first cousin of R.J.T’s father, Archdeacon Joseph. Yet the fact remained that in 1908 Elizabeth & Joseph seem to have considered him to be a cousin and to have referred to his mother as “Aunt Nancy Torrens”. She was, according to John K.T., Nancy Park of Litakenny, clearly a misspelling of Letterkenny where our old James Torrens settled when they left Scotland. There was a close connection but apparently no clear evidence of the precise relationship.

The possibility of a meeting with Madeleine and a look at the papers she would bring was exiting. I wrote offering her a warm welcome, but kept no copy of my letter. She replied on 19 th April 1962.

Letter To R.M.T from Madeleine Torrens. 19.4.1962

Thank you so much for your letter of March 26 th which I have read with interest...

You see I have Torrens on both sides of the family. My maternal great grandfather was also a Torrens and mother’s middle name was Anna Torrens Hardy . My mother’s sister Miss Mary Hardy will give me their family tree which might identify this branch of the family. It is all very fascinating but I must confess I never took any interest in as much as my mother always had the information to who was who at her finger tips ....

You mention Aunt Gertrude in your letter. She was Margaret Torrens’ mother who died over 20 years ago. The only person to have any information is my cousin Mary Newhall and it was to her I wrote for information.

I just found something which may answer some of your questions. David Torrens daughter Margaret married John Park . Nancy Park Torrens married Joseph Torrens. James Torrens married Sarah Kennedy (these are my grand parents). John Kennedy Torrens marries Anna Torrens Hardy (my parents) .... Anyhow I shall bring these papers with me and you can have the fun of deciphering them!

Madeleine duly arrived and proved a most interesting guest. Previously I had prepared a genealogical chart setting out such information as I knew; this chart was prepared before I had obtained from my brother (and studied) the originals of some of the letters upon which my father’s beliefs about the family were based. There are some errors and omissions; this fact is mentioned because one or two copies of the chart (which is dated 1962) are in circulation both in England and America.

Of the family of David Torrens, Madeleine ’s information about the children of Margaret Torrens and John Park , helps to indicate the date of David’s birth. She also corrected the information given by her Father in 1948 in one particular. Francis’ Torrens wife was a Mary not a Nancy Elliott .

Madeleine ’s father, writing to R.J.T. in 1948, had spoken of a memo left by his grandmother Nancy Park Torrens and one of the papers given or lent to me by Madeleine appears to be a copy of this memo. It is written, partly in ink and partly in pencil on the back of a fairly old piece of Madeleine’s professional paper. The names of David Torrens’ children are given in a different order from that given by J.K.T in 1948. Francis for example is not shown as the youngest son.

In conversation Madeleine thought James (on both lists and the second child and eldest son of David) had sons named Joseph and John.

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 30

 

This is a copy of the memo:-

Memo by Nancy Park given by Madeleine Torrens to R.M.T. 1962

 

DAVID TORRENS

Margaret

Married

Park

Nancy

Mrs. Aitken

Brother

Park

J.

married

Joseph

Torrens

 

James

William

Annie

 

Married

Sarah

Kennedy

Joe

John

Bert

Sarah

Elizabeth

Eva

Edna

James

Joseph =

Married Nancy Park

Nancy

Francis =

Married Mary Elliott Jane

Matilda

Joseph - Eliz. Kennedy

David - Isabel Watson

Jacob

John

David

Edmundson

Nancy -unmarried

On this document “Nancy” written in ink has been over written in pencil by the name “Mary”, the surname “Elliott ” also following in pencil. The words originally written in ink are underlined here but not on the original R.M.T.

A not very legible pencil diagram gives information about the family of David’s daughter Margaret who married John Park . These were the parents of Nancy Park of Letterkenny, the “Aunt Nancy Torrens” who seems to be a key figure in the investigation into the relationship between David and James Torrens. Chart VI gives, not a copy , but an interpretation of this paper.

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 31

 

 

Chart VI Nancy Park of Letterkenny and her relations

Surnames; Adams, Park, Aitken, Bel, Rankin, Schaefler <, McConnell, McCauley, Stratton, Mackey, Coffee, La Forge

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 32

 

Note by Madeleine Torrens about Margaret Park La Forge

The third paper left by Madeleine relates to Margaret Park La Forge .

Margaret Park La Forge

Died Sept.20 th 1928

Born at Hudson New York Dec., 25 th 1844

Father’s name Samuel Park

Mother’s name (maiden) Mary Jane Rankin -

 

David Torrens

Margaret Torrens Park

Samuel Park

Mary Jane Park Rankin

Margaret Park Rankin La Forge

Other information obtained in conversation with Madeleine during her visit in May 1962 related mainly to the later generations of the family o Francis Torrens. (See next pages) After her return to America she wrote on 4 th June 1961 of hoping to see her Aunt Mary Hardy and to hear what she knew of Nancy Park or other members of her side of the family. “ I think we should plan an invasion of Letterkenny sometime to see what we can discover”.

On August 23 rd 1962 she wrote again:-

Letters to R.M.T. from Madeleine Torrens 23.8.62 and 30.8.1962

Dear Michael

....... I am enclosing some prints that I think came out fairly well. I will certainly enjoy having them in my album and have had great pleasure showing them to the rest of our relatives.

I have spoken to my Aunt Mary Hardy , whose great grandfather was Francis Torrens. She is looking up as much information as she can find and remember. Aunt Mary (Mary Hardy 1961(aged 87 )=born 1875) (see next page ) is now 87, and it is a little hard for her to remember. \she did get me a copy of a very interesting letter, the original of which is in her possession ..

........ If ever I get a day or two to myself I am going to the cemetery in Bronxville to make a note of the names on the tomb stones and see if we can get some of this worked out.

As ever

Madeleine

P.S. Have just talked to a Mr. Richard Fine whose grandfather was Mr. Robert Torrens (See Page 26 for Robert Torrens cousin to James of Montclair). They have a family tree and he will send it for our reference. I find no Robert on our list so this may give us a new tangent.

In another letter dated 30 Aug. 1962 Madeleine wrote of finding the “death notice of Mr. Fine’s “grandmother” Mrs. Robert Torrens among our papers. It will be interesting to follow this lead. I just called my second cousin –Helen Torrens Smith (F. Morse Smith) whose grandparents were William and Isabelle ...”

The information obtained in conversation with Madeleine , apart from that already recorded on last few pages concerned the family of Francis Torrens. Chart VII prepared in November 1962 enlarges and corrects Chart V.

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 33

 

Chart VII The Family of Francis Torrens. Information from Madeleine Torrens to R.M.T. in 1962

Surnames; Kee, Kilpatrick, Alexander, Kennedy, Hardy, Beck, Collins, Briggs, Parry, Gibson, Baird, Carpenter, Elliott

Letter to USA by Mary Torrens 17.2.1849

This is the “very interesting letter” in the possession of Mary Hardy. It is addressed to Mr. David Kee from Mary Torrens. Some of those referred to are shown on the charts V and IX. It must be remembered that Francis Torrens’ wife’s name has now been corrected to Mary Elliott. The letter is evidently from his widow to her children; it was written at the end of the terrible years of potato famine.

United States Contract Packet

To Mr. David Kee

Oakland Co.

Southfeild

State of Michigan.

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 34

 

Rahan, Ireland

February 17th 1849

My dear David Joseph and Nancy and Charles

This month we may as a family keep remembrance the very important lesson it has taught us that this is not out dwelling place, that here no continuing city is evidently brought home to us all. It is with the deepest sorrow I have to inform you of the death of your Dearly Beloved Father. He departed this life on the 8 th of this month. He had been moving about as usual and some minutes before had been up in your brother James House and as I always felt uneasy when he was out of sight I went to enquire at James if he was there. James thought he had gone down to his own house for said he, my father went down a few minutes ago, and we found him collapsed against the barn side and falling forward the breathing was suddenly stopped. There seemed to be little life when he was got but lasted no time.

He was respectably interred in Gortley (Where John’s family is too) and left I and you to lament the loss of a kind and dutiful parent and beloved husband.

But though to us a family loss, to him it is an infinite gain for surely to be absent from the body and present with the lord is far better - this is our great consolation. He lived the life of the righteous. Oh let our last end be like his for though he did not die in his bed to die in Christ is far more blessed.

Many times he would say Well if it was the Lord’s will I would be glad to be born.

With time he has been much lamented both by friends and neighbours. Your Uncle James (Presumably Francis’ brother James.) says his age was 64 years ( If so , he was born in 1785. This does not agree with information from Madeleine , Oct. 1963 which gave his age as 55 when he died) during which time he kept up a constant correspondence with his Master in Heaven.

All your uncles and Aunt in Creive are well. Your Uncle James Torrens and William Park well. Cousins John Torrens (John son of James stayed at the farm at Rahan in 1845 when his father went to Trainbeg) and David Park well. Brother James and family all well. All these feel much grieved for what has happened. John Kee < and family are all well. He has sold his farm in Rahan and all his stock but whether he will go out to that country or not I cannot yet say for he has been looking at some other farms since he sold his own, such as Frank Duffes in Borany and Neal Fricks in Balycomly, for there is scarcely a man in this country that would not sell his farm, taxes is so increased in this country and the want of potatoes that people would all be off if they could. There is such an increase in the poor rate and so many rushing into poor houses that every person going in to the poor house adds ten pounds sterling to the expense of our country. The poor rates have driven farmers out of their farms and estated gentlemen out of their estates, west. The result may He that rules all things and brings order out of confusion knows. Your uncle and your aunt join in sending their love to you all also your Uncle James Torrens wishes to be remembered to you all.

I know my dear children this letter carries to you sorrowful tidings but still there is great matter of praise that we have not to take up the lamentations of David in case of Absalom and if we make proper use of the visitation we will say with Job the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

I continue to live in my own house and intend doing so until I get word from you all again, as I wish I all my little affairs to have your advice and correspondence. I trust you will not be too much cast down when you read this for though it carries lamentations, mourning and woe, yet is carries matter of thankfulness that he is out of a troublesome world where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary find rest to their immortal souls.

It appears it was determined by the Most High that he was not to see you on this world though he had an anxious desire to see you all together but we with him must all shortly appear before the Judgment seat of Christ. My dear children, labour to enter in the straight gate. You know it is by him the righteous nation shall enter.

Pray for me that I may be found in Him at his coming. I feel very much to mention to you that I would very fondly change my dress and I am so circumstanced that I cannot command as much. If you could send me a little, it might enable me to do so. You will spare no time when this comes to hand, as a letter from you would refresh me greatly.

Little Jean Park sleeps with me at night. I remain your affectionate mother.

Mary Torrens

We all wish to be remembered to you, Uncle David and family also to Mr. McNeal, his father and family. By the Truth is the word of divine inspiration.

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 35 Speculations

 

Questions Unanswered and Speculations January 1963

Elizabeth Glass refers in 1908 to Aunt Nancy Torrens (See Page 22 ) Clearly this is Nancy Park of Letterkenny, but Madeleine ’s family believes her to have married Joseph son of a David Torrens in which case she cannot have been Elizabeth’s Aunt. What more can be found out about Nancy’s husband Joseph and his father David? Elizabeth also refers on page 23 to “Cousin William” and his son Ben, a doctor. She must have been related to Madeleine’s family but what was the relationship?

What can be found out about David’s son James? In the light of Mrs. McCauley ’s letter Page 15 is it possible that our James, first, could have been a son of Madeleine ’s David, the first? Could they have been brothers?

Is part of the text missing from the first paragraph of the typed copy of Mary Torrens letter dated 17 Feb. 1849? (Page 35 )

Who is, or was Mrs. Grace Torrens, said to the widow of a Joseph, brother to James of Montclair? (Page 25 )

More From Madeleine , November 1963

Letters from Madeleine Torrens October 1963

21 Oct. 1963

.... I also found that Nancy Park died at 94 and is buried in the Bronxville Cemetery in Bronxville. New York.

Nancy (Mary?) Elliott Torrens, wife of Francis came here in 1849 because of the famine – where her children were – Charles in her letter must have been the Husband of Nancy Torrens.

Little Jean Park would have been Mary’s sister in law Margaret Torrens Park’s daughter, whose sister Nancy Park married Joseph Torrens - Yes?

The David Kee referred to must have been a brother of Charles Kee who married Nancy Torrens .....

We were told by mother that we were French Huguenots from France - Holland – Ireland, then America. Torrens is an old Spanish name and at time of Reformation when Spain over ran the low countries a Torrens must have stayed and become a Covenanters. My Grandmother Mary Jane Kee met her husband George Hardy , in the Scot Covenanter Church in N.Y.C. ... and are buried in the Covenanter Church Cemetery in Bronxville.”

October 29, 1963

..... I have found a note that my mother left which may straighten out Nancy Park (!)

David Torrens daughter Margaret married John Park and they had a daughter Nancy born in 1834. (In a chart attached to this letter Madeleine gives Nancy Park’s date as 1814; 1834 here must be a slip) David Torrens’ son James married (??) and had Joseph and John. Joseph Torrens married his cousin Nancy Park. (This is important evidence) Referring to the letter I sent you from Mary Torrens, who wrote to her children David, Joseph, Nancy and Charles about her husband’s death - Charles , I feel sure, was a son-in-law, Charles Kee , husband of Nancy. Their brother James married Mary McClure . David married Isabelle Watson and Joseph married Elizabeth McKinney .

Mary the mother .... may have been (Must have been) Mary Nancy Elliott who married Francis. The Uncle James, she referred to in the letter, was the father of my great grandfather Joseph Torrens, who married Nancy Park . In the letter Mary said her Uncle James said her father was 64 - that is Francis, but according to our records we have him as 55. I must go to Rahan! She mentions William Park and David Park. Yet we have Margaret Torrens married to a John Park. We could have the given name wrong.

John Kee could be father of Charles Kee, who married Nancy Torrens, daughter of Francis and Nancy Elliott Torrens and, therefore my great grandfather. Could the little Jean Park mentioned by Mary be a sister of Nancy Park and , therefore, would be Mary Kee niece by marriage?

The James Torrens that you mentioned in connection with your family might be one of the James Torrens referred to above.

From all of our papers, the James Torrens son of David Torrens had two sons John and Joseph and Joseph married Nancy Park s my great grandmother.

Perhaps James had a son James.

From Robert Fine I learned the following;

DAVID TORRENS b. in Scotland 1745 - went to Ireland then to Philadelphia 1811 - d 1841.

DAVID II b 1793 in Ireland m Mary Laughlin in Philadelphia d. 1885 in Detroit.

Some of my mother’s side of the family lived in Detroit. Their children were

ROBERT b 1828 in Mauch Chunk, Penn. m Ellen Wray in Detroit, she was born in Ireland 1827, died in New York 1864.

In 1865 he married her cousin Sarah Wray , b Ireland 1835. D New Jersey 1915.

Also MARY JANE; MARGARET ANN; MATILDA; REBECCA.

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 36

 

 

 

Robert Torrens had the following children by Ellen and Sarah Wray:-

 

Matilda Jane b 1853 Detroit d 1915.

She married Richard Fine whose children were

George B. Fine

Richard D. Jnr.

Ellen Maud

Ethel T.

Lois R.

This is the George B. Fine I am corresponding with and have asked him for more information. According to our records George Fine’s great grandfather was a brother of my great grandfather on my mother’s side.

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 37

 

Chart VII The Family of John Kennedy Torrens from a chart Prepared by Madeleine Torrens in 1963

Surnames; Park , Elliott , Kennedy , Erskine , Killough , Hand , Sandford , Niven , Newhall , Stonelake , Smith , West , Carpenter , Allan , Deane , Hague , Cutting , Berguist , Morse

 

------- Surnames Index    

 

Pages 38 to 47

 

Page 38

 

image011

Chart IX The Family of Anna Torrens Hardy From a chart prepared by Madeleine Torrens in 1963

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 39

 

I wrote to Madeleine on 2 November 1963 -

.... your notes and questions interest me. First , the answers to your questions.

1. The Rev. Nicholas Herbert is irrelevant to our relationship; he was my father’s mother’s side

2. The Rev. Joseph Torrens (1838 -1909) my grandfather was probably born in Londonderry and he died at Naas near Dublin.

3. His father was James Torrens, b about 1806 and died “an old man” in Londonderry where his whole working life was spent. He had brothers, Joseph (Who went to U.S.A and may have married Nancy Park ) and John who farmed at Rahan and is probably the “Cousin John” in Mary (?Nancy) Torrens’ letter dated 1849. Rev. Joseph’s mother was Elizabeth (surname not known)..

4. Did Nancy Park marry her uncle Joseph? On the basis of the information sent by your father to mine in 1948 we thought she did, but some of our information must be wrong and it may be that this is. Before hearing from your father in 1948 we thought that Nancy Park had married Joseph the brother of our James Torrens (1785-1875). You now say (and this is a CLASS ONE CLUE if it is really so)

“ ...from all our papers the James Torrens son off David Torrens had two sons John and Joseph and Joseph married Nancy Park ”. If so , Nancy married her first cousin Joseph and NOT her Uncle Joseph, and it becomes practically certain that you and I are third cousins, sharing the same great-great grandfather, James Torrens (1785-1875) son of David Torrens (?1745-1841). The position May be

 

Madeleine replied on 8th November -

....You are correct –Nancy Park married her cousin Joseph who was a son of James Torrens and Ann Larkin ...... I have found definite proof in Mother’s handwriting that Francis Torrens married Mary Elliott - not Nancy .....

In order to reconcile James the son of David with James the youngest of 11 brothers and one sister (Mrs. McCauley , p 36 ) , I have made on chart X , What I think is the reasonable assumption that David Torrens (1745-1841) married twice. Perhaps Margaret and James were the only children of the first family to leave Scotland; their mother may have been already dead and the other elder children are likely to have been grown up and out into the world before their father , Margaret, James and possibly Francis, left Scotland.

 

Chart XX David Torrens (1745 - 1841) Deescendants

According to Madeleine (p 36 ) James, son of David, is believed to have had two sons Joseph and John. Why, if my assumption is correct is there no report of James’ other children , James, David and Mary? An explanation for this may be that the information comes from Nancy Park . By the time she married Joseph his elder brother James had been gone from home for a good many years . (p 15 ). Brother David died a young man (p 15 ), possibly before Nancy came into the family. (But this was a first cousin and her mother Margaret would have known the names of James children! R.M.T. 1966) Mary married and went to the U.S.A again perhaps before Nancy Park had a chance to know much of her.

Some such filling in of the gaps in the evidence is necessary because Elizabeth Glass ’s letter of 1908 (p. 23 ) surely makes it impossible to believe that her “Aunt Nancy” was not her Uncle Joseph’s wife.

My Conclusions in 1963 are set out in Chart X.

Conclusions - November 1963

DAVID TORRENS (1745 - 1841) Chart X

Born in Scotland, a Covenanter whose forbears may have come from the Low Countries. He had to leave Scotland because of his religion and went to Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Ireland, where he took a farm at Rahan . Later, c.1811, he went to America and is believed to have died in Philadelphia in 1841.

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 40

 

There is evidence that prior to the move from Scotland David had eleven sons and one daughter and that James was the youngest son. James was born c.1785. The arrival in Ireland must therefore have been after 1785.

There is also good evidence that David had children born after 1785, and that he had a second daughter. A son David for example was born in 1793 and Francis possibly in 1794.

One is forced to the conclusion that his first daughter Margaret and his youngest son James accompanied him to Ireland c 1790, that all or most of his other children did not, that his first wife may already have been dead and that soon after arriving at Letterkenny he married again. It may be suspected that David (b.1793) was the first son of his second marriage. There might well have been an elder David by the first marriage but he would have been grown up and out in the world before his father left Scotland.

The children of such a second marriage would have found Margaret and James already in the household; James, from being the youngest of the first family would have become the eldest boy in the second.

The known names of David’s children are;-

Margaret and James (born in Scotland prior to the move to Ireland?)

Jacob, John, David (b.1793), Edmundson, Nancy, Joseph, Francis (b. 1785 or 1794)

It is believed that in 1811 David (who was 66 in 1811 and his son David 18) went to America (where his son David was ) and that he died in Philadelphia in 1841, a very old man.

The farm at Rahan seems to have passed to his grandson John, son of James

James Torrens (1785 - 1875) Charts II and X.

Born near Edinburgh the youngest of eleven sons and one daughter of David Torrens (1745-1841), he left Scotland 1790 and his father and sister Margaret “because of their religion”; they were Covenanters. Most or all of his brothers probably remained in Scotland, although there has been a suggestion that they went to Co. Derry. James definitely settled at Rahan, near Letterkenny in Co. Donegal.

In 1805 at the age of 19 James married Ann Larkin in St. Johnston, lived there and had five children - James, Joseph, David, John and Mary. The eldest boy left home to work in Londonderry at the age of 13. Joseph, a theology student, married Nancy Park of Letterkenny, went to America c. 1838, and died a few years later. David, a teacher, also died young; John eventually took on the farm at Rahan but who had the farm between 1811 (when his Grandfather left for America) and John’s becoming old enough, is not clear.

After James first wife, Ann Larkin , died, he came to Rahan and at the age of 60 married Mary Bovaird . John married a Miss Robinson and his father left them in possession of Rahan and bought a farm at Trainbeg. Here James and Mary had four children, David, Martha, Ann Jane, and Margaret. (“David”, after James’ father and the son by Ann Larkin who had died young and “Margaret”, after the sister who perhaps had mothered him, a little boy of five on the journey from Scotland long ago). Of these four children of the second marriage Martha was either the eldest or the second. She was married at the age of sixteen, her eldest son (William Torrens Buchanan ) was born in 1863 and Martha died in 1927 aged about 85. The facts are the basis of the belief that James Torrens was born c. 1785.

James grandson, The Rev. William Torrens Buchanan wrote in 1923 -

Grandfather Torrens was the dearest man. I can barely remember him. He married twice ....

I think (he) was always a farmer. This is how just he was. By his first marriage he had a large family ... one remained at home, worked and was to receive the farm. When Grandfather decided to marry he would not disappoint his son and heir so he went out leaving his home and everything and started life anew and , my mother being the first of the family and married when about 16, I remember my Grandfather’s home quite well. They had a fine farm with full and plenty of everything. He, Grandfather was some kind of clergyman but did not live by his profession. He was called a Bible Rea der.

And in 1929 he wrote

My dear Mothers family all turned out well thank God .... No wonder. Grandfather Torrens surely was a good man. He was really a clergyman though probably not ordained. He was a Lay Rea der .... I am not sure how old he was when he went home but, as I recall, he was 60 when he married. I remember him very well.

Another grandchild of James and Mary Bovaird , a daughter of Ann Jane, Mrs. McCauley wrote in 1929 -

.... Grandfathers second son John lived in Rahan on the farm. Grandfather was a ruling Elder in the Convoy Covenanting Church where he was married, first time. After his wife died he came to Rahan. His son John married a Miss Robinson . Grandfather didn’t care for her so he bought Trainbeg and married Mary Bovaird our Grandmother. They were married in a friend’s house near Convoy - the name of Gregg - by the Rev. Stoott, their own Minister. Grandfather was 60 then and he died at the age of 91 ...... David was the oldest, my dear Aunt Martha, my Mother and Aunt Margaret, the youngest.

James’ eldest boy by his first marriage left home at 13, when James was only 33. David died young and Joseph had married and gone to America. John, perhaps, took over the farm at Rahan while his father was still at St. Johnston; Mary married a man named McGirr and also went to America. Ann Larkin died and John had married the Miss Robinson . The family was truly broken up when at 60 James decided to “start life anew”

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 41

 

 

James Torrens of Londonderry

Eldest son of James Torrens and Ann Larkin .

Born c. 1806 ? either at St. Johnston or Rahan, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal (b. in Scotland ?)

Married (1) Elizabeth ....

Four Children:- Elizabeth, Joseph b 1838, James and Ann b 1851 d 1896

Married (2) ?

One child: John b 1863

Died ? (an old man)

James at age 13 became a clerk in Watts Distillery in Londonderry and he remained there “until he was an old man and died”.

He was an elder in the Covenanting Church.

His eldest daughter (who may have been a governess as a young woman ) married Alex Glass and lived her life in U.S.A.

Joseph and James became Episcopal Ministers, the former becoming Archdeacon of Kildare. The latter had died by the year 1896.

R.J.T. described his grandfather, James, as “Accountant” of Watts Distillery Co. Londonderry. R.J.T. knew little of him because James, a strict Presbyterian, disassociated himself almost entirely from his sons when they entered the Episcopal Church This family rift between his father and grandfather was probably the reason for R.J.T’s knowledge about his forbears being scanty.

John Torrens, Farmer of Rahan Co. Donegal

Second or forth son of James Torrens and Ann Larkin who were married between 1799 and 1805. Therefore year of birth between 1801 and 1810. (We now know his dates are 1817-1905 R.M.T.)

Married a Miss Robinson .

Farmed at Rahan, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.

There is some evidence that he was alive in 1849.

No Information about his children, if any. An elder in the Covenanting Church. He was probably the forth son, his elder brothers being James, who left home and became clerk at the age of 13, Joseph who went to America, and David who died a young man. This is probably why he, John, is referred to by W.T.B. as James Torrens “son and heir” so far as the farm at Rahan was concerned.

Joseph Torrens (1811 - 1857).( Dates corrected from 1807-1853 by R.M.T. 1965 )

A son of James Torrens c. 1785 - 1875 and Ann Larkin . Probably the second son, born say, 1807 (Note added 1968: Information from Madeleine Torrens now gives Joseph T. as born 1811, died 1857.) two years after his parents marriage in 1805.

He married his first Cousin Nancy Park (born 1814) daughter of John Park and Margaret Torrens. Joseph is said to have been a theological student and to have gone to U.S.A. with his wife in 1838 where he died at age of 46.

Joseph and Nancy had three children, James, William and Annie. Nancy died in 1908 at Montclair, New Jersey, the house of her son James. James was the father of John Kennedy Torrens and Grandfather of John Kennedy Torrens and grandfather of Madeleine Torrens.

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 42

 

Chart X Family of David Torrens and The relationship between John Kennedy Torrens & Richard Torrens as Suggested by evidence available in 1963.

Surnames; Park , Larkin , Laughlin , Elliott , Robinson , Buchanan , McCauley , Fine , Hardy , Kennedy , Mandeville , Sainsbury , Glass , Bussell , Bray , Beare , Kerr,

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 43 Trip to Ireland in 1966

 

The Family Holiday to Ireland Summer 1966

The following are extracts from P.M Torrens’ journal of this trip to Ireland in the Summer of 1966. The initial trip was with Jack (J.H. Torrens), Priscilla (P.M. Torrens) David (D.J.G. Torrens) and Hedley Goldsmith (David’s friend). They were later joined by R.M.T. his son and daughter Sue and Michael John and Michael John’s wife (to be? ) Judy. The initial party sailed on the ferry from Liverpool to Belfast on Friday August 5th 1966. On top of the car was David’s canoe which he had built from plywood in the attic of the Horley Vicarage a year or so before.

Setting the Scene

...... When the boat docked at Belfast we were met by Mrs. Hogg , [Ref Email in May 2007 about this page 8] who whisked us off to her to her mothers house for a delicious breakfast.

Left Belfast about 11.30 , and drove out through Antrim to Woodschapel, stopping to buy food on the way. Arrived about 2 p.m. and were welcomed by Miss Lea , the church caretaker, who had put an immersion heater and had all the keys ready for us. Had a picnic lunch in the kitchen, and then drove back to Magherafelt to get car tyre mended and buy meat and veg. High tea and early bed.

Saturday August 6 th ; We all slept till 10am! Then packed lunch and drove to Toome Bridge, where Mr. Walter Scott, church Warden and sand and gravel merchant had offered us the use of his rowing boat. Jack returned home to rest and prepare for Sunday [we were staying free at Woodschapel Church in return for JHT taking the services ] while David and Hedley and I embarked in the rowing boat and took the canoe 2 miles down the river to Loch Beg. Blissfully quite and deserted, excepted for one boy fishing, and herons and swans and kingfishers. Crossed the loch and picnicked in a ruined church, where we sheltered from a shower. Rabbits dying of myxametitis(?spelling) - black & white and gray. After lunch the boys donned life jackets and got into the canoe, trying the new rudder for the first time ....

Sunday August 7th ; Communion at 8.30 , with about 5 people. Boys slept in , Hedley till 9.30, David till 11.30 when I called him for the 12 o’clock service. .... Quite a congregation, all very friendly, but we found it difficult to understand what they say!

Monday August 8th ; .... as it was wet decided to have an early lunch and drive in to Belfast .... bought Maps ... at St. Luke’s church found photos of Jack’s father who was curate there from 1905 - 07.

Tuesday August 9th ; Pouring rain and a gale. .....

Wednesday; Gale had abated and weather clear. ....went in car to explore the river at Coagh to see if it was navigable..... TV news gave government changes Stewart from Foreign office to Economic affairs, G Brown to Foreign office.

Thursday; ...... violent argument with David (about safe place to canoe) .... Saw Kingfisher and grebe. Landed at church Island for lunch. Boys spent all afternoon building a jetty while I wrote journal and botanised.

Friday; ... David was sick .. doctor came ... prescribed penicillin tablets and offered to lend an outboard motor to fit to the Scott’s boat.

Saturday; .. quite day in the house David in bed.

Sunday August 14th .; .... Hedley and I slept out under the stars in the garden. Lovely clear starry night. Saw a satellite go over from West to East about 4.20, and a slither of the old moon .... Managed to get warm with 4 sleeping bags, and a hot water bottle and a hot drink at 2 am!

Monday ; ..sunny day ... Ballycastle ... lunch with Mrs. Hogg , Alison (2) and Mrs. Kelly .

First Visit To Rahan and Londonderry.

Thursday; This was to be Hedley’s last day, and we planned a trip to Londonderry, Letterkenny & Rahan as he was keen to cross the frontier into Eire. We left about 11am and got to Londonderry for lunch. Picnicked by the river in a layby and were shown around the walls of the town by a student, son of a draper, who had made a special study of the history. The town was ‘planted’ or settled by English and then seized by James - papist rebels. In the fine City Hall we saw a portrait of Sir Henry Torrens K.C.B. 1779 - 1828. Freemason of Letterkenny, Military secretary to Wellington in the peninsula War. Painted by Thomas Lawrence 1820.

Also stained glass window of the history of Ireland, including one with Christ Hospital boys (the school attended by D.J.G.T., JHT and R.M.T .) who were the heroes of ‘The siege’ of 1689. They had been sent to the city as apprentices, and it was they who slammed the gates when James appeared outside. Whether the resulting battle was an unnecessary struggle or a glorious battle of loyal Protestants against papist rebels. Is all a matter of point of view! They were certainly regarded by their fellow citizens as heroes, and their graves are honored at the cathedral of St. Colombo.

... and we then drove to Letterkenny and enquired for Rahan, which was the farm where the Torrenses first settled in 1789. It turned out to be only a few miles inland and an elderly Mrs. McCarter insisted on coming on the car with us too direct us. We were most grateful , as it was so difficult to understand and directions we were given. With her help we found the farm a humble but substantial house standing in the side of the hill, with a derelict cottage at the back, and the old well still in use. Mrs. McNutt , an elderly widow, whose mother was a Miss Torrens, her sister and husband and a granddaughter of 15, Frances , all gave us a great welcome. She is a niece of James Torrens, and used to work for him as a girl. We promised to come back next week with Michael , and were begged to give them warning which day we were coming.

After leaving them we drove up the coast and had tea on a high rocky hill watching a glorious sunset over the sea .. ....

------- Surnames Index    

Page 44

Hedley Leaves an the Rest Arrive

Friday; Hedley had to leave Belfast Airport at 6 p.m. ... planes every 20 minutes ... Jack recognized the BUA traffic manager Terry Rose whom he had married at Horley.

Saturday; ... Another wet day. Took the rowing boat ...

Sunday; Mrs. Hogg , Alison and Mrs. Kelly came to lunch...

Monday August 22nd ; Prepared beds for Michael and Freda, Judy, Michael John and Susie who were crossing that day to Dublin. Then drove up the coast and explored the Giants Causeway ... Michael and Family arrived 9pm .. looked exhausted after camping in a thunderstorm in Wales..

Tuesday 25th ; All exploring and walking ..

Wednesday; Went to Ballycastle. Michael drove his young folk up into the hills to camp for the night and arranged to pick them up the next day.

Thursday; (Major river expedition PMT’s account runs to 7 pages!)

Visit Agilvey and Mrs. David Torrens

Mrs. David Torrens, a widow and her married son Robert, were expecting us at 3pm. The store is at a crossroads and used to be a public house. But Mrs. Torrens is a devout Covenanter still and had decided to let the license lapse, and run the shop, petrol pump and farm. In spite of a bad flood “ the lord has abundantly blessed us” and they seemed to be quite comfortably off. An American cousin, aged 80, who visited every 2 years was also there, Mr. Robert Michael . He told us his mother was a Torrens, and his wife . He worked for Carriere, a big heating & ventilating firm in America. Mrs. Torrens has also a daughter teaching at an agricultural college, and a son John who farms ‘The Homestead’ . He as 3 or 4 boys, and a son James home from hospital that day. We had a lovely tea party in their large kitchen, and Freda and I washed up. Afterwards in a beautiful modern kitchen with new sink and hot water. While we were doing this the men drove to the church and found numerous hideous marble graves, all Torrenses! The family is proud #to have been farming in the Bann Valley for two centuries.

Drove home and supper of sausages, beans and peas from the garden, stewed fruit and milk pudding for all eight (JHT, PMT, D.J.G.T., R.M.T. FT, MJT, JT, ST, ) The campers were again glad to have hot baths and comfortable beds.

The main visit to Rahan

Friday August 26th ; We packed food and camping things and got off in good time to drive over to Donegal and visit the Rahan cousins. Lunched in the Speneir ( Cant decipher this spelling ) mountains, and searched Convoy Church yard for Torrens graves on the way. Reached Rahan farm a bit early for 3pm and found them all spruced up in their best clothes. They still thought we were Americans ! The fact that Jack and Michael were born in Canada had perhaps confused them. After some talk in the kitchen we were ushered into the parlour, where ‘a snack’ had been prepared for us. This turned out to be a tremendous spread of ham and tomatoes, soda bread and cakes. They had set eight places, and would not sit down with us - indeed there was not room. A neighbor had evidently lent the china, and stayed to help and pour out our tea. On the wall was a photo of Mrs. McNutt ’s parents her mother bearing a strong resemblance to Aunt Norah.

After tea I did a sketch while the others took photographs and exchanged information about the family, Then we hurried off to find a campsite. Jack booked himself a room at Letterkenny, and the rest of us pitched tents on an official camping site near a lovely sandy beach called Marble Hill.

Another David Torrens living in a croft

Saturday 27th ; ..... Jack appeared ..very excited as he had discovered another David Torrens aged about 70, living with his half sister in a primitive croft and still farming. ... Jack found he had come away with the Torrens address book by mistake , so we re visited them on the way back, taking a gift of chocolates. David was amazed to see the primitive conditions in which they live. There were flowers growing out of the thatch on the roof, and it was propped up inside with timber. You could see the sky up the huge chimney, and an iron cauldron was boiling over the peat fire. Miss was churning butter in a primitive wooden churn. She gave us some and was so welcoming and delighted to see us. Mr. David really looked remarkably like Jack, and grinned sheepishly as he took off his hat to show us the likeness.

Sunday / Monday Canoeing and “ seeing Kingfishers2 and writing the journal....

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 45

 

 

Convoy Covenanters Church and more Torrenses

Tuesday August 30th ; .....So we decided to go for a last drive into Donegal and find Convoy Covenanters Church where Torrenses might have bee n buried. Had tea in a café in Limavade, and managed to buy chocolates for Miss Lea and a new mop head for Mrs. Coulson.

Wednesday; We found Convoy Church in a beautiful position by a stream, and a lady from the little shop next door brought the key and took us in. It was certainly old, very plain, dignified and peaceful, reminding me of a Quaker Meeting. The caretaker showed us the old heavy pewter chalice, patten and alms dish, now never used because so few people attend the church. She gave us the name and address of the minister and also told us of some Torrenses still living in the area. This led to a long and confusing treasure hunt down numerous lanes, but we did at last find a Mrs. John Torrens living with two married sons, James and Robert.

Off Homeward

Thursday: .... took the car down to the dock and handed it over ... (for crane loading into the ships hold this was before the days of roll on roll off ferries ) .... Traveled first class .... M 6 the M 1 and so home by 6pm Friday.

Information Gathered by R.M.T./J.H.T. Ireland ; 1966

26 August 1966 Agivey;

Met Mr. David Torrens (Widow) at her shop at Agivey; also her sons Robert and John.

Robert (b 1921) lives with her and farms 70 acres; he is married to Isobel. Her brother John has a farm at Carran Ho. Moneydig, bought from his Uncle William Torrens.

John (b.1924) has son aged 10 and 5 other children including a boy born a few days ago.

We met her and Mr. Robert Michael from USA, aged 81 but as spry as 60.

He married to an Aunt of Robert and John. He took us to Presbyterian graveyards at Garvach and Kisneydig (the latter dates from 1836) containing many Torrens gravestones , e.g.:-

Garvach:

James William TORANS d 1873 age 92, his wife Margaret d 1867 age 74, and daughter Mary Ann d 1857 age 23.

James William Torrens is believed to be the forebear of Robert and John and to have been the Son of one of the following brothers:- David, Robert, James, Andrew, Samuel, William, Hugh.

Robert and John believe their family to have been in the Bann Valley Co. Derry since 17th century, but they have no record of the birth of ancestors prior to James William T in 1781.

The Presbyterian Graveyard at Garnach surrounds a church of c. 1830 appearance but marked “Founded 1691”

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 46

 

Chart XI The Family of Mrs. David Torrens of Agilvey

Surnames: Torans , Michael ,

R.M.T. Note 1995: We met Robert Michael , a visitor from USA, in the shop at Agilvey on 25th August 1966. I wonder if the first “David”, top left above , might have been “our” David b 1745. He probably had relatives in N. Ireland when he decided to move at the end of the 18th Century.

Information about John Torrens of Rahan, obtained at visit to Letterkenny 1966

This is shown in the chart below.

Note by R.M.T. 7 October 1995: You (David) may have the above information because I think most of it came from you fathers (J.H.T.) after 1963. Is it not therefore in the 1963 “book”.

Chart XII Family of Mary Ann McNutt of Rahan

Surnames: Larkin , Robinson , Frisser , McPhea , Glenn , McNutt , Russell , McKnight

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 47

 

Other Information from JHT’s Notebook

Stone in Gortley Graveyard

Mary Torrens

wife of John T.

died 27 Oct. 1902

Aged 82

Thomas Torrens

 

died 14 July 1907

Aged 62

John Torrens

 

died 21 July 1905

Aged 88

Jane Fisher

wife of Thomas T.

died 21 Oct. 1909

Aged 61

James Torrens

of Rahan

died 23 Nov. 1921

Aged 72

Information From Fanny Kyle at Trainbeg October 1980

Mary Ann Torrens, John’s 4 th child, married Henry McNutt

Their children were:

HARRY m Margaret McPhee (cousin) and lived at Rahan

TELLEY m Kelso - in USA

SAMUEL m. 3 sons, 2 daughters

CASSIE m Alec McNiaght (?spelling) who was Fanny Kyle ’s Uncle (So his sister must have married (1) David Torrens of Trainbeg & (2) -------- Kyle)

Children of John and Jane McPhee or McAffee of Curonghlees (continued)

1) Hannah Jane m McCod . Baker in Boston, 3 Children

2) Richard killed in 1914/18

3) John m 1 son in USA

4) Margaret (1992-1974) m Harry McNutt (1887-1962) her first cousin. (Aged 13 she went to Rahan to look after Uncle James when Aunt Margaret married. Harry and Margaret had 4 children but only Elizabeth survived who is the mother of Frances McKnight and grannie of William and Iris the children of Robert and Frances McKnight who now (1980) farm 150 Acres at Rahan

5) Cassie (1899-1979) m Moses Russell n/c. were living and farming at Rahan with Margaret McNutt in 1966 and onwards and left the farm to the McKnight .

6) Tilley m Nicholson in Blackpool

7) Thomas invalid (Thomas and Tilley must have been older than Cassie)

8) Elizabeth (1900- )m McKay lives in Florida.

9) Ellen (1902 - ) m Galloway lives in Miami. (Both Elizabeth and Ellen had visited Rahan in 1980)

David Torrens c 1848(?)-94 of Trainbeg

1883 married to (a Miss McNiaght a/c Fanny Kyle )

Children;

1884 -1962 James

1885 -1952 Alexander

1887 Margaret (Mrs. Twamley )

1890 -1972 David u/m

1891 Elizabeth

1893 -1965 Sarah

In 1894 David died and his wife married again to a Mr. Kyle .

Their children were;

Andrew Kyle in Canada

Fanny Kyle at Trainbeg

 

Margaret Twamley sons;

James Torrens Twamley Hammersmith

m Olive n/c?

son in Dublin

daughter at Calford

Margaret Twanley , and her Aunt Martha Buchanan from Belfast tried to visit Archdeacon Joseph in Daltry, Rathmines in 1909, but arrived a week after he had died.

Joseph Torrens 1838 - 1909

1838

Born . Son of James and Elizabeth of Derry

1860/61

At Trinity College Dublin

1864

BA TCD

- ?

Married (1) Miss Fletcher . She and Children all died of flu.

1867

Deacon (Trinity $ 16 June) Arch B. Armagh

1867

Licensed to Curacy at Galloon 17/10/67

1868

Priest (Trinity $ 7 June) Down & Conner for Armagh

1870

Licensed to Curacy at Clonmel (Still B.A.)

1873

(17 Dec.) Licensed to St. Michan. Dublin (Now M.A.)

1873

(31 Dec.) Married (2) Louisa Sophia Mandeville . District Church of St. John, Greenwich. Witnesses: Henry Ambrose Mandeville and Eliza Mandeville.

1875

(17 June) Benefice of Coolbanagher.

1882

Prebendary of Rathangan

1894

Archdeacon of Kildare

1901

Benefice of Naas & Kilashee

-

Retired & lived in Rathmines Rd Dublin

1909

Died

Widow and Daughter moved to “Coolbanagher”, Swords.

 

Joseph & Loisa’s Children;

 

Henry died an Infant

1877-52

Richard John B.A. TCD

1879-07

William Herbert Crofton u/m (did he have spina bifada ?)

1883-65

Dudley Francis M.D.

?1883?-70

Norah Agnes Elizabeth

1923

Louisa S Torrens died at Wick Worcestershire. I believe she was 83 therefore born about 1840.

1910

Dudley married Kathleen Goslin (POW in 1914 1918 war)

1912

Desmond John Dudley m n/c G. P. Rotherfield

1920

Patricia Elizabeth u/m Hospital Dietitian

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 48 Richard John Torrens

 

Richard John Torrens 1877 - 1952

1877

Born at Coolbanagher

School at Galway Grammar School

and Portora Royal School

1899

B.A., T.C.D.

1901

Theol., T.C.D

1901

Deacon (Cashel & Waterford) All Saints Day

1901

Curate. Clonegam, Guilcagh & Mothel (Portlaw) (under William W. Hemyngl)

1902

Priest 21 Dec. (St. Thomas)

1905

(July 3) Curate, St. Luke, Belfast (Under Edward J. Crozier )

1906

Lieutenant. “Church Lads Brigade”

1907

(April 8) License as “Missionary”. Metcalfe. Ontario

1907

(August 14) married Constance Isabel Sainsbury at North Gower Church (by Rev, Wm. Netten )

1912

Furlough in UK

1913

(October 15) License. Rector Micksburg, St. Stephen and St. Patrick. (By Exchange with Rev. John Lowe )

1916

(July 18) Vicar of Wick, near Pershore. Worcs.:

1921

Freeman of the City of London

1931

(March 6) United Benifice of Berrow with Pendock

1943

(Sept. 27) Rector of Stockton on Teme

1947

Retired

1952

(January 1) Died at Horley , Surrey.

 

------- Surnames Index    

 

Pages 49 to 53 Lists and Indexes

 

Page 49 List of Genealogical Charts

 

List of Genealogical Charts

Chart I As Richard Torrens Might have Prepared it in 1923........................................... 13

Chart II Information Obtained by Richard John Torrens from Letters Written 1923-1928 by William Torrens Buchanan of Philadelphia and Mrs. M.J. McCauley of County Donegal......................................................... 17

Chart III Mandevilles & Herberts........................................................................................ 18

Chart IV Based on notes by Rev J.H.T on some famous Torrens Apparently unrelated to David & James T. (From Dictionary of National Biography)............................................................................................................................ 20

Chart V Information Obtained by R.J.T. from John Kennedy and Eva Torrens in 1948, 29

Chart VI Nancy Park of Letterkenny and her relations................................................... 32

Chart VII The Family of Francis Torrens. Information from Madeleine Torrens to R.M.T. in 1962 34

Chart VII The Family of John Kennedy Torrens from a chart Prepared by Madeleine Torrens in 1963 38

Chart IX The Family of Anna Torrens Hardy From a chart prepared by Madeleine Torrens in 1963 39

Chart XX David Torrens (1745 - 1841) Deescendants.................................................... 40

Chart X Family of David Torrens and The relationship between John Kennedy Torrens & Richard Torrens as Suggested by evidence available in 1963................................................................................................................ 43

Chart XI The Family of Mrs. David Torrens of Agilvey................................................. 47

Chart XII Family of Mary Ann McNutt of Rahan........................................................... 47

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 50 Distribution of the original Paper Document from 1963

 

Distribution of The Original Document from 1963

A copy was given to Madeleine Torrens on her visit from USA 31 Jan 1965.

She brought additional information but no formal corrections were made to the 1963 edition. Various notes etc. were added to copy (1) and incorporated in this revised edition in 1995.

Signed 1/2/1966

So there were 6 copies of the 1963 edition

1) to David Torrens September 1995 for preparing this revision

2) Given to Madeleine

3) (Original typescript) Hand ed to Patricia Torrens 25 th September 1984, without copies of charts VII & VIII

4) Sent to J.H.T Feb. 1966 D.J.G.T. seems to have mislaid this ?!

5) Sent to GBT Feb. 1966

6) Given to Pamela Kerr for her mother Elizabeth (nee Torrens) July 1968.

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 51 Surname Index A to F

 

Surname Index.

 

A

Adams........................................................................,

Aitken....................................................................... ,

Alcorn........................................................................

Alexander................................................................. ,

Allan........................................................................

Anson......................................................................

B

Baird....................................................................... ,

Barakine................................................................

Beare......................................................................

Beck...................................................................... ,

Bel................................................ , , , , , ,

Berguist..................................................................

Blair.........................................................................

Blake........................................................................

Bovaird..................................................................... , ,

Bradshaw..................................................................

Bray............................................................................

Briggs.........................................................................

Bristow.......................................................................

Buchanan..........................., , , , , , , , ,

 

Bussell.........................................................................

C

Carpenter....................................................... , , ,

Clay...............................................................................

Cliffe..............................................................................

Coffee...........................................................................

Collins............................................................................. ,

Cooper.........................................................................

Crozier.........................................................................

Curry..............................................................................

Cutting..........................................................................

D

Davis................................................................................ ,

Deane...........................................................................

Dr. Torrens...............................................................

Duffes..........................................................................

E

Edwards.......................................................................

Elder...........................................................................

Elliott......................................... , , , , , , , ,

Erskine...........................................................................

F

farm at Rahan...................................................... , ,

Fine................................................................ , , ,

Fletcher...........................................................................

Frances............................................................................

Frei...................................................................................

Fricks............................................................................

Frisser...........................................................................

 

------- Surnames Index    

Page 52 Surname Index G to P

 

Galloway..........................................................................

Gibson....................................................................... ,

Glass....................... , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Glenn................................................................................

Goslin.................................................................. , ,

Greer.............................................................. ,

Gregg................................................................................

Griggs..........................................................................

H

Hague......................................................................

Hamilton....................................................... ,

Hand.................................................................. ,

Hardy................................ , , , , , , , , ,

Harrison..................................

Hawkins..................................................................

Hayes......................................................

Herbert........................................................ , ,

Herberts................................................

Hogg.......................................... ,

K

Kee............................................................ , , , , ,

Kelly............................................. ,

Kelso.......................................

Kennedy................................... ,, , , , , , , , ,

Kerr.......................................

Key.............................

Killough................................... ,

Kilpatrick.............................. ,

King Bruce........................

Kyle..................................................................

L

La Forge................................... , ,

Larkin................................................ , , , , , ,

Laughlin............................................. , ,

Lawrence...................................

Lea................................. ,

Long.................................. ,

Lorence..............................

Lowe...............................

M

Mackey..................

Madeleine................................................ , , , , , , ,

MADELEINE..................................................................................

Mandeville.............................................. , , , , , ,

McCarter......................

McCauley...................................... , , , , , , , ,

McCauley’s.......................................................................... ,

McClure.................................................................................. ,

McCod...................................................................................

McConnell................................................................................

McCullagh............................................................................................

McGirr....................................................................... , ,

McIwain...........................................................................

McKay.......................................................................

McKinney............................................................................ ,

McKnight............................................................ ,

McMahon........................................................................

McNeal......................................................................................

McNiaght.....................................................................................

McNutt........................................................................ , ,

McPhea............................................................................................

McPhee....................................................................................

Michael............................................................. , , , , ,

Morse................................................................................................... ,

Mulholland.................................................................................. ,

Murray.................................................................................................

N

Netten.....................................................................................

Newall...............................................................................................

Newhall........................................................... , ,

Nichols................................................................................... ,

Nicholson.......................................................................................

Niven.............................................................................. ,

P

Palmer.........................................................................................

Park...... , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Parks................................................. ,

Parnall.................................................................................

Parry............................................................................

Patton.......................................................................................

 

------- Surnames Index  

Page 53 Surname Index Q to Z

 

Q

Quint.................................................................

R

Rankin............................................................................... ,

Rea................................................................... , , ,

Robinson................................................. , , , , , ,

Roe....................................................................................

Roosvelt...........................................................................

Rotherfield.....................................................................

Rowan................................................................................

Russell............................................................... , ,

S

Sainsbury............................................................... , ,

Sandford...................................................... , , ,

Schaefler.............................................................................

.......................................................................... ,

Springfeild.........................................................................

Stonelake................................................... , ,

Stooth..............................................................................

Stratton...........................................................................

T

Taft...........................................................................

Torans....................................................

Twamley...............................................................

Twanley.......................................................................

W

Wallace.............................................................

Wanamakers............................................................

Watson............................................... , ,

Wellington ....................................................... , , ,

West............................................. , ,

Wray......................................................... ,

------- Surnames Index