Lawrence R. Tormey
Email Address: email@example.com
Postal Address: 3104 Arthur Street, Wall Township, New Jersey 07719, U.S.A.
(The following was written and submitted by Larry Tormey on March 9, 1998. If you have information that might be helpful to Larry in his research, or if you would like to know more about his personal collection of Tormey genealogical information, he welcomes you to contact him at the address or email listed above.)
At age 64, I have been TORMEY-tree-tracing since 1965. Only Irish blood flows in my veins, from my maternal grandparents (Cork born Barrys and Shinnicks), and my paternal great grandparents (Ireland born Tormeys and Growneys and Husseys and ??). My father was MALACHY TORMEY (b. Jersey City, NJ 1912, d. 1982); his father, my grandfather, CHARLES TORMEY (b. Jersey City, NJ 1882, d. 1915); his father, my great-grandfather, ANDREW TORMEY (b. Ireland 1842 or '45, d. 1889).
My father, Malachy, knew nothing of his grandfather Andrew and little of his father Charles, who died when Malachy was three years old. The clan lived in cold water tenements, near the Jersey City shore of the Hudson River. They were poor and uneducated people who earned their paltry wages with their backs and their hands. Their lives bore great parallels to the McCourts in "Angela's Ashes". My father thus turned his back on his Irishness at an early age. And his disinterest later prompted me to decide that I would learn all I could about the O'TORMAIGHS.
I started with cemetery records in Jersey City. This led me to the Census of 1880. The census indicated that ANDREW, a "laborer", his wife, JULIA (GROWNEY) TORMEY, and their four children, were then living in Jersey City and that the parents had been born "in Ireland", not otherwise specified. it also indicated that they had lived in Manhattan the year before (1879). I then obtained their first son JAMES' birth certificate which indicated that they had lived at 200 West 52nd Street. I also obtained Andrew's death certificate which indicated that his parents' names were JAMES TORMEY and BRIDGET (maiden name unknown) TORMEY, both born in the generation before Andrew, in Ireland. And, with one exception (see below), that is as far back as I have been able to trace Andrew and my lineage.
Through these years, I have shot countless arrows into the air, in all directions, hoping that I would be able to learn something of the birthplace of Andrew. Though I have not been successful in learning this vital piece of information, I have received enormous pleasure from establishing contact with many other Tormeys. Through Michael's website, that pleasure continues to increase.
My wife and I have been to Ireland twice, first in 1978 (bus tour), and then in 1997 (self tour). Soon after the '78 bus trip ended, I placed a small ad in the Westmeath Examiner requesting Tormeys in Westmeath to contact me. One did. Brigid (Dunne) Tormey, a gardener's wife from Tyrrellspass, wrote back. Though we could subsequently never establish a link between her (late) husband Christopher and myself, over these years we have become as close as family. We met Brigid for the first time during the 1997 visit. It was a very emotional coming together and the warmth flowing from Brigid and her family to us will never be forgotten. We were subsequently delighted when the Westmeath Examiner ran a story, with photos, of our visit to the Tyrrellspass Tormeys.
In 1996, I was contacted by Marybeth Tormey Stevens. Marybeth advised that she and Mary-Deirdre Coraggio had begun an extensive Tormey genealogical project. I was delighted to offer whatever assistance I could. I soon became (and continue to be) a great admirer of these two genealogists. Marybeth's diligent research efforts revealed the fact that my great-grandfather Andrew might also have lived on East 50th Street, in 1874, thus pushing the horizon back a few more years. I feel certain that if I am able to reach back beyond Andrew, Marybeth will be principally responsible for that achievement.
After a number of years with the RCA Corporation as a marketer and sales representative, I became a fund raising administrator at two New Jersey Catholic colleges, one of which was my Alma Mater. I have recently retired. My wife and I live a short distance from the Atlantic Ocean. We have four adult children, a teacher, lawyer, banker and advertising executive. We recently welcomed our first grandchild, Aidan Tormey.
My files are filled with correspondence, compiled over the years to and from Tormeys and Tormeys-by-marriage, in Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and yes, even Ireland. I would be pleased to share the contents of that correspondence with whomever may be interested.
I am most admiring of Michael and his excellent efforts in furthering the noble name of Tormey.