|Electronics & DIY
|Bann Valley families
These three form a nearly perfect equilateral triangle (23 km or 14 miles to each side) to the East of Glasgow. It is a legend in the Torrens families that this 'Torrens Triangle' seemed to be the origin of the Torrens families and may well demark the land reputedly given to the Torrance brothers by Robert the Bruce. See the story of Robert the Bruce.
This description clearly could not fit the hill shown on a 1933 map. However the modern Explorer map of the area does show The Tor, adjacent to the A276, abour 600m west of Torrance House, whose grounds are now a golf course. Personally I find David Ure's statement unlikely as Tor is such a widespread name for a small hill: it seems unlikely that a name would arise from any one tor!
This particular county is located southeast of Albuquerque and quite large in area (county seat - Estancia). There is also a small village of Torrance (at last count it had fewer than five residents), which is located east of Estancia near the town of Vaughn, New Mexico. The above were named after Francis J. Torrance of Pennsylvania, who came here in 1900, and along with several others founded the New Mexico Central Rail Road (now NMC RR). Lots of cows are in the area, but few people. That was true in 1900 and still true today. As you will recall, New Mexico did not become a State until 1912, so it was still fairly wild and woolly a hundred years ago. Information quoted courtesy of Nancy A. Coleman.
The first two of these, according to Robert M Torrence, were named after the explorer, Col. Robert Torrens who is a descendant of Thomas Torrens of Dungiven.
Legend has it (reports Linde Lunney) that the original Torrens settlers were brothers - quantity unspecified, perhaps three. They came up the Bann in an open boat. One settled on the Co. Antrim side and the other one or two chose Co. Derry.
Certainly my own line traces (we believe - though the early links are tenuous) back to Hugh Torrence of Culnamen and his putative sons Hugh of Cahenny and Alexander. They died about 1715.
The 1821 census lists 29 Torrens families in the Bannn Valley area and around 110 names - a quite possible descendency tree from the two brothers. So my current project is to collect all the available Torrens data for the time/area and see if I can make more connections. Is it demonstrable that these two brothers were the ancestors of all these families?
There was another group of Torrenses in the next valley (Thomas Torrens of Dungiven) during the same time, another family in the Tamlaghtfinlagen area (southern shore of Lough Foyle) and another lot in Letterkenny (Donegal). Another family was in Clogher, Tyrone.
Sgt. Hugh (bef: 1689 - aft: 1705) seems to have travelled widely throughout Ireland, being a soldier. Most of his line, it is claimed, emigrated to America. However it appears that several wrong assumptions have been made in compiling his tree: these errors have probably hindered many correct links. A discussion of the early Hughs of the Torrens Family in Ulster.
There are many untraced and unlinked descendants of these Bann valley Torrenses, but apparently very few still reside in the area. So did the families die out, did the name change through female progeny or did they emigrate?
Unravelling this group of families will involve drawing a multi-layered map with one layer for each, say, 10 years. I can show households, occupants and geographical changes. I may also need to study available data on other families in the area between, say 1650 and 1850, so if you have anything to add or can help in any way, please contact me. The only thing to hinder such a project may be lack of data!
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