William Torrey

M, b. 23 September 1701, d. 4 August 1769
FatherLieut. John Torrey b. 23 Jun 1673, d. 7 Jan 1729/30
MotherMary Symmes b. 1676, d. 14 Feb 1758
     William was born on Friday, 23 September 1701 in Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts.1 William married Bethia Bass on 7 December 1727 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.2 William and Bethia had children: William [6/07/1729][m. 11/01/1750 Abigail Nichols], Samuel [1/15/1730-1/16/1731], Bethia [12/30/1731][m. 10/20/1748 Joseph Mann], Esther [1/16/1733][m. 10/31/1751 Israel Cheever], John [8/14/1734-2/009/1808][m. 1/12/1758 Susannah Bowditch & 2nd. 10/01/1766 Hannah Bean] , Twins: Joseph [2/25/1736-9/30/] & Benjamin [2/25/1736], Mary [7/20/1737- 1743], Samuel [2/07/1739], Ebenezer [1/31/1741-3/14/1818][m. Sarah Willson], Mary [7/23/1743] & Abigail [11/09/1745][m. 9/1766 Cuthbert Englesby]. All of the children were born in Boston.3,4 He settled in Boston and was baker by trade. On 30 March 1730, he was appointed as guardian to his younger sister, Ann, and in 1748, his niece, Mary, daughter of his deceased brother, Samuel, appointed him as her legal Guardian. She wanted him to handle the inheritance she had received from her Uncle David Snowden.5 He is on a list of officers and men in His Majesty's service on board the schooner "Success" dated 3 December 1754. The shcooner was captained by his son, William. Wiliam's bakery on Water Street was destroyed in the Great Boston Fire of 1760. This was a great loss to him, his losses amounted to £600 in real estate and personal property of £200.6,7 William died on Friday, 4 August 1769 in Boston at age 67 years, 10 months and 12 days of small pox.


Bethia Bass b. 2 Feb 1704


  1. [S1930] Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1620-1850: Weymouth Volume 1 - page 315.
  2. [S1928] Clarissa Taylor Bass, Descendants of Deacon Samuel & Ann Bass, page 15.
  3. [S1928] Clarissa Taylor Bass, Descendants of Deacon Samuel & Ann Bass, page 28.
  4. [S143] Frederic Crosby Torrey, The Torrey Families in America, page 143-147.
  5. [S143] Frederic Crosby Torrey, The Torrey Families in America, Voume 1 page 151.
  6. [S1938] Great Boston Fire of 1760, The Great Boston fire of 1760 was a major conflagration that occurred on March 20, 1760, in downtown Boston. The fire destroyed 349 buildings in the area between the modern Washington Street and Fort Hill as well as several ships in port, and left over a thousand people homeless.
    At about 2:00a.m. on March 20, a fire of unknown cause broke out at a dwelling in Cornhill (modern Washington Street, nearly opposite to Pie Alley). Although the blaze was prevented from spreading much to the north or south, it aggressively made its way to the east to Oliver's Dock on the harbor, destroying most of the structures in its path. A veer in the wind caused the fire to change direction toward King (now State) Street, burning the homes on the corner opposite the Bunch-of-Grapes tavern and damaging the warehouses toward the Long Wharf.
    On its southeastern side, the fire expanded from Water Street to Milk Street, where it consumed many of the houses to both the west and east. From there it advanced via Batterymarch to Fort Hill, taking most of the buildings along the way, and reached the South Battery. A panic soon arose over the presence of a large deposit of gunpowder near the battery, but most of the store was hurriedly removed just before the fire reached the area. The remaining powder was ignited by the blaze, however, causing a huge explosion which was heard from as far away as Hampton, New Hampshire.[4]

  7. [S143] Frederic Crosby Torrey, The Torrey Families in America, Volume 1 page 77 & 353.