Joseph Torr was born in approximately 1789 in the region of Brabant (today part of the Netherlands). He served in Napoleon's army and fought against the Russians. He was captured by the Russians, and in 1812, was settled in the Volga German colony of Katharinenstadt. He is recorded on the 1834 Census of Katharinenstadt in Household No. 348 along with a note that he was removed from the list of colonists in 1817 and that his wife had been absent since 1819.
- 1834 Census of Katharinenstadt.
- Belousov, S.V. "Prisoners of war of Napoleon's army in the Volga region: the arrangement, content, relationships with the local population." Bulletin of the Samara State University, No. 1 (Samara, Russia: Samara State University, 2006): 48-55.