This interesting surname of Spanish origin with variant spellings Torrente, Torrante, Torrant, etc., is a topographical name for someone who lived by a flood stream, deriving from the Spanish "torrente". Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguish names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname dates back to the early 17th Century (see below). Church records include, Mary, daughter of Robert and Vrslye Torrent, who was christened on June 23rd 1661, in St. Dunstan's Church, Stepney, London, Ann, daughter of Thomas and Jane Torrent, who was christened on January 8th 1678 in St. Benet's Church, Paul's Wharf, London, and Edward Torrent who married Alice Thompson on June 1st 1681, in St. Marylebone's Church, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Torrante which was dated 1612, marriage to Jane Lawrence, at the "Church of St. Lawrence Poutney, London", during the reign of King James 1st of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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