As Valentine's Day approaches, we are adding to the CCGS Library collection an important work on Colonial-era couplings: Clarence Almon Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700. This three-volume set was published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 2011, but is a transcription of a 12-volume handwritten manuscript held at NEHGS. This set is not the first publication of "Torrey"; previous editions included a CD in 2001. But this set identifies all known sources used by Torrey, and contains a comprehensive name index. It was purchased with funds given in honor of Roberta Bratti.
Clarence Almon Torrey (1869-1962) did most of his work on this amazing resource at NEGHS in Boston, after a career as a librarian at the University of Chicago. Over forty-plus years he consulted more than 2500 works, making handwritten notes which eventually he standardized in notebooks. It is not clear whether he intended this labor of love to result in publication.
Included in the book are all couples married in New England before 1700, or whose marriages can be inferred or that took place in their native country before emigration to the Colonies. Widows and widowers who made the crossing are included. In addition to New England states, some couples are included who lived in New York or New Jersey.
Volume I's introduction contains a key to interpreting the entries in Torrey, which give both spouses' names and dates, place and date of marriage, other spouses, place(s) of residence, and sources (abbreviated). At the end of the introduction is a page of Conventions & Abbreviations. Volume III contains the list of sources and a comprehensive name index.
Astute readers of this blog may recall that we also have in our library collection the Third Supplement to Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700, which updates Torrey's work with new information published since his death in 1962.