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Excerpt from A Contribution Toward a Genealogy of All Torreys in America: Being Genealogical Notes Showing the Paternal Line of Descent From William Torrey, of Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset County, England, A. D. 1567, to Abner Torrey, of Weymouth, Massachusetts With All Descendants of Abner Torrey, With an Appendix
It is believed that in their evolution human societies have passed through a phase of social organization in which the children have taken their names and traced their descents on their mother's side only, the paternal lineage being ignored then even more than is the maternal one with us. In virtue of natural laws, each child combines characteristics of all the lineages which have been blended in its parents, and needs must take an account of all of them, as far as possible, in learning to know itself. Thus there is no reason, in genealogical records at least, why a full account of both paternal and maternal lineages should not be preserved and equally regarded. Our family names are only conven tional designations, serviceable for individual identification, and are but one of many hundred names to which any one of us are naturally enti tled. For in each living person is an admixture of the blood of families innumerable, being two with the parents, four with the grandparents, and so doubling with each generation counting backward in time. The number of ancestors becomes so large within a few centuries as to exceed in number the present population of Europe. While intermarriages have lessened the apparent number of them, even this circumstance does not remove very far back the date when the total population of the coun try to which we trace our origin must be included among our ancestors, and thus in a literal sense, rather than in a sentimental one, every man is my brother.
While special effort has been made to secure accuracy of record in the text of this book, it is foreseen that many errors will be discovered in it. All that can be done to remedy such errors is to take an account of them and also of omissions and misapprehensions of statement other than those of records, any of which should be reported to the compiler, within the present year, addressed to 81 Fulton street, New York City. They will be properly written up in an interleaved copy of the book which will be deposited in the library of the New England Historical Genea logical Society; Boston, M ass., for the benefit of genealogists. Possi bly these corrections may be embodied in a printed circular for distribu tion to all possessors of the book.
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