The T Tree

Vol. 1 No. 1                                                                                                       Summer 2008

Family Newsletter Unveiled
The 'T' Tree, a newsletter for all family researchers of the Torevell, Tollerve, Tollerfield, Torraville, etc families has finally made it to press, so to speak.

We are all related - just where we all fit into the broad picture has yet to be found, but we are all related just the same.

Now, finally, here is a vehicle that we can use to tell our stories to all the other family researchers and one day that little piece of information will come to light that will tie us all together - well that's the plan - and with everyone's participation it might just be a beneficial exercise.

The Way I See It....

I'll start everyone off with some information, then you send in a story, or a document - I could probably use two each time, but if I receive more I will then have something for the next issue, and the next. How often the newsletter goes out will depend on the information flowing in for it - If I get tons, I can send it out monthly - if I get zip I can send it out yearly. Myself, I'd prefer to be kept busy and send it out monthly or even bi-monthly, so put your thinking caps on and decide what sort of material you'd like to send for the second edition.

Once the newsletter gets going we can even start a 'discussion' page, or a question and answer page - anything that will assist us to bring all the various branches of the 'T 's together.

Where Did We Begin?

Because many of the old records do not name names of ordinary people - Domesday book, etc. - we can't be sure exactly where we started out. But the earliest records available to many of us seem to indicate we originated in Dorset. As research progresses, we may find this changing. One thing is certain about all family researchers, we love to see the places our ancestors lived. Often this would include the church where they were christened, or the churchyard where they were buried.

The Torevell families lived in many places, and in the mid 1700's some of them lived at Bere Regis.

Here we see the church at Bere Regis, probably about 1880. The village looked much as it did in the preceding 100 years. This photo is taken from the 'back' of the church - the little building in the foreground is the brewery.

The planning of communities is a relatively modern concept, and today a brewery behind the church would not be acceptable. In those days it just didn't matter! By seeing what towns and villages looked like in times passed we can get a feel for the lifestyles of our ancestors, and I think you could say their lives were unencumbered, compared to ours. Here in North America we buy and sell our houses just because we are tired of living in them. In the days of our ancestors they often held '3 lives leases' on a property, which meant that a possible three generations would live and grow in the same dwelling. James Torevell took out a three lives lease on a cottage at Bere Regis for his family, and I found his youngest son still there with his family, including grandchildren, fifty years later. For us today that is simply awesome! We think of multi-generational buildings as those belonging to the rich upper classes - estates! Well, that small cottage was James Torevell's estate. With his small income he managed to provide for many people for many years. Will we accomplish the same in our lifetime?

This is the will of James Torevell, found on the Bere Regis homepage on the internet. The site owner is digging around finding old Bere documents and there are two wills online from the Torevell family. Because each of us comes down from different brothers and sisters it would be a good idea to check out the Bere page. Loads of great stuff there!

Introducing The Editor's Family

Sher Leetooze, editor of this family newsletter, is descended from James Torevell's eighth child, Benjamin, who as a teenager went to Newfoundland with his cousin Thomas, in about 1783. Benjamin had at least six children, one of them a daughter, Susannah, but there may have been other girls whose records have been lost.

Of the other five children (sons), Sher is descended from the youngest, Charles. There are hundreds of Torraville families throughout Newfoundland today, all descended from Benjamin, and possibly his brother Jeremiah, who came to Newfoundland many years later.

... "My Mom is the Torraville descendant. She came from Change Islands, near Fogo where Benjamin settled. She was working in a shop in St. John's during the war when she met my Dad who was on active overseas service there - sub watch station - and the rest is history.." Both parents are still alive aged 85 and 90.


Completed this past winter, is Sher's book about the family, from William, born about 1598 through many branches of the family down to today.

$28.00 Cdn/US or £18 UK. Includes postage. For ordering instructions  please contact  Sher via e-mail