Torr Family Account Books, 1802-1852

Collection number: MC 317
Size: (1 obox) (0.5 cu.ft.)

About the Torr Family of Dover/Durham:

Benjamin Torr (ca. 1787 Durham NH – April 19 1852 Dover NH) was a farmer on the Durham side of Dover, NH. He was the son of Andrew Torr (1744-1815) and Mary Molly Jones (1745-1809), and the grandson of Vincent Torr (1708-1744). Both his father and grandfather fought in the American Revolutionary War. Benjamin Torr married at least once, and had at least five children. Though his grave is unmarked, he is likely to be buried in the Torr Cemetery near the intersection of Mast Rd. and Rt. 108 in Dover.

Vincent Torr (June 1777 Durham NH – September 3 1815 Dover NH) was an elder brother of Benjamin Torr. He married Sally Torr of Rochester in 1804, according a local newspaper the Dover Sun and his own records. Vincent and Sally had two children: Mary (born 1807) and Andrew (1807-1827). Beyond this little is known about his life or death, other than that he was a competent farmer whose household produced substantial additional income from the spinning, weaving, and dying of fabric (detailed dye recipes are included). He also worked lumbering and plowing with oxen and spent some time working for the Durham Sawmill (as noted in his daybook).

Other Torr family names mentioned include Joseph Biford Torr, George Henry Torr, Simon Torr, John H. Torr, as well as Harriet, Mary, Sarah, Molly, and Andrew.

About the Torr Family Account Books (1802-1852)

The Torr Family Account Books (1802-1852) consist of three incredibly detailed volumes:

  • Benjamin Torr Account Book No. 1: 1810-1852
  • Benjamin Torr Account Book No. 2: 1833-1836
  • Vincent and Simon Torr Account Book: 1802-1849
These books depict the farm economy, family relations, dye recipes, community members and their professions, and so forth. For example, accounts are kept for William Reynolds (cobbler), Samuel Kelley (tailor), Benjamin Hanson (blacksmith), Jacob Joy (sheep shearer), and many others whose professions and lives are thus illuminated. Purchases and daybook entries range from the everyday (“gug of cydar” [jug of cider]) to significant family events (“John began school with Doctor Hilyard Aug the 20”). Local institutions in Dover, Madbury, Lee, and Durham, such as the Durham Sawmill, are described in some detail.

A partial family genealogy is contained in the back of one volume, quoted verbatim below:

Vincent Torr & Salley Torr

Was Married December 16th on Sunday 1804

Mary Torr Was Born On Fryday April 17th 1807

Andrew Torr Was Born July 6th on Thursday 1809

[some lines left blank]

Molley Torr died 10th day of September 1808

Aged 54 Years and six months

Vincent Torr died 3th day of September 1815

Aged 38 Years and seven months

Andrew Torr died September 6th day 1827

Aged 18 years two monts [sic]”

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [Folder Number], Box 1, Torr Family Account Books, 1802-1852, MC 317 , Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Purchase, ca. 2010



Genealogical Papers
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