Torrens Families Genealogy: Three 1700 Bann Valley Wills

Probably of high importance to Bann Valley Torrenses and others are three wills dating from 1717, 1748 and 1770 which connect together to make what is probably the earliest known family tree from this area. It links to these families. The documents concerned were in the papers sent to J.S.Torrance by J.W.Kernohan in the 1920s, so before the destruction of the records in the Battle of Dublin. The list below link to these documents. There are also other documents that refer to these families: We shall see how these wills link together. Notice how the spelling alters: in those days names were written phonetically with no fixed spelling

1717 Will of Alexander Terrence of Carnroe

Alexander's wife is Marien. Their children are

Also mentioned are

1748 Will of Archibald Torrence of Carnroe

This is surely Archibald son of the above Alex. Not only is Archibald an uncommon name in the family but his cousin is David Snell, witness to the above will. Also Archibald's will is some 31 years later than Alexander's.

Archibald has children

Also mentioned are

1770 Will of Alexander Torrans of Mullahinch

Alexander must be the son of James and grandson to Alexander Terrence of Carnroe as Archibald Torrence of Carnroe's will mentions "my cousin, Alexander Torrence of the half town of Mullahinch." His wife is Ann, who appears in a 1780 exchequer Bill.

Alexander children are

Alexander also mentions siblings:

But who is "my sister's son John Anderson's child Archibald". Alexander has only mentioned one sister, this must be another, un-named so presumed deceased.

Also mentioned are

1719 Exchequer Bill: John Miller, Plaintiff

This mentions as two defendants Archibald Terence & John Terence, presumed to be sons of Alexander Terrence of Carnroe and the same Archibald as he of the 1748 Will.

1748 Inventory of Archibald Torrens

Add little to the tree but mentions one Johnathan Jameson who prepared the inventory with Alexander Torrence. Since Archibald's own son Alexander was "abroad" this has to be Alexander Torrans of Mullahinch of the 1770 will.

1780 Exchequer Bill Anne Torrens widow of James Torrens

In the 1770 Will of Alexander Torrans of Mullahinch he made provision for Ann, his wife. Instructions to be carried out by his sons, James ad Alexander. They failed to honour these!

The final tree of Alexander Terrence of Carnroe d.1717. The link is to a drawing (.png file).

Birth dates

We only have the dates of the three wills, all of which were just prior to death. This makes connecting to the persons difficult. I have therefore estimated dates of birth - an estimate based on these three dying at age 65 and allowing 25 years per generation with an average of 2 years between births in each family. All estimates are possibly wide of the mark, but they do give some useful indication, perhaps ±15 years.

The tree of Alexander Terrence of Carnroe d.1717 with estimated birth dates. The link is to a drawing (.png file).

In particular we have a tree of an American Alexander Torrance born about 1713 who married a Mary Canon. Note how accurately the dates fit with the tree of Alexander of America, evidently the son of Archibald Torrence of Carnroe. Our estimate of birth year is 1717 and the American estimate is ABT 1713.


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