Well, I think I'm having hallucinations!Yesterday I sent a response to your first post of the day fairly early in my day.In the evening it still wasn't showing up on this site.Surprisingly, this morning it was on the site, I read it over and realized I had made a typing error--1950 when it should have been 1850.Later in the day I returned to the site to post a correction and my message was gone!!
This is great information on Luke!You have access to files that I didn't even know existed---"midterm" census records as I refer to them---midway between federal census records.I've never found one for Oregon.I believe they did a 1849 census (in preparation for becoming a state, I presume), at least it's transcribed as 1849.Then they did another one in 1850 if I remember correctly.And who knew that you could get anybody's tax records--even from a long time ago!
Your new information on Luke sent me on some searches and I found the following marriages in IL:Albert Torrance to Annie Nichols 1863-11-13 in Adams Co.; Wilber Torrance to Minnie M. Vanarsdale 1896-02-13 in Henderson Co.; and Elmer Torraance [sic] to Edith B. Gilbert 1909-01-20 in Warren Co.Albert would have been ca. 19 but if Wilber and Elmer are sons of Thomas and Lavinia, they would no longer have been "spring chickens" at the time of these marriages.These are just from the index so no identifying info.Henderson and Warren Cos. are right next to each other and Adams Co. is one county away from them.
I also found these Torrances in federal census records:In 1870 in Burlingame City, Osage Co., KS, Elbridge Torrance, 20, b. New York?, in the home of Ezra Z. and Elizabeth L. Olney, he b. New York, she b. Massachusetts; in 1870 in Eureka Twp., Greenwood Co., KS, Jerome Torrance, 20, b. Illinois, in a boarding house with Jarrat(Baker) and Elizabeth Gardner, with 5 children and 15 boarders; in 1880 in Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS, Dewit E., 31, b. Illinois, and Ada O. Torrance, 21, with Estella, 7, Mabel, 6, and Luke E., 1.Some of these may be "finds" which you've already posted.
I also found, surprisingly, some ship's passenger lists of vessels sailing from various Atlantic seaports for California.I didn't look at all of them but the only Torrance I found was on the Steamer Falcon from NYC, sailed on March 8, 1849.There's only a surname.Certainly the 1854 date for Jeduthan's trip seems to be verified by the birth and death of Jeduthan and Emma's daughter Sara Jane.She was b. Dec. 19, 1852, in Enfield, Hampshire Co., Mass. and d. July 20, 1855 in Multnomah, OR.
I didn't do an exhaustive search but the ships I looked at were supposedly going from the east coast to the west coast.By definition they couldn't be going to Panama because the passengers on those ships would have disembarked at Panama and then taken a different ship from the west side of Panama to California.However it seemed that the same ships made the trip several times a year.I really need to find out more about this whole thing.
However the info in the "black cloth" story re Luke's coming to OR doesn't make sense, unless he made at least two trips.
Has it ever crossed your mind that Thomas and Luke may have been twins?The records seem fairly consistent on Thomas for an 1811 birth date; not so for Luke, but in the 1860 census he is 49 which would suggest an 1811 birth date.There were twins in the family, at least the early generations.I'm not aware of any in the later generations but maybe that's just because those generations haven't been worked out in enough detail.