Sunday, November 25, 2012

How good is your Vance History?

Ok, this is a personal challenge I am throwing out as a contest to all readers in honor of the launch of the Vance History Online blog.   This is not a VFA initiative. 

The challenge is quite simple:  be the first to identify the two men (in order) and the castle on the blog header, and I will cover a one-year membership for you (or any one person of your choice) to the Vance Family Association. 

To win, you have to be the first to post the correct three answers in order as a comment here to this blog post.  No, I will not give hints, partial credit or even acknowledge partial answers. 

This is NOT easy, and you won't find the answer through random image searches with your favorite search engine.  This contest may well sit for a year without being won (or I may be surprised and one of you could win it tomorrow!).  However, in the spirit of ensuring a level playing field, officers of the VFA and Jamie Vans are excluded from participating in the contest. 

Good luck!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Around the Web - Barnbarroch House

A Scots artist named Duncan Tattersall has created an online blog called Ruination Scotland to share his passion for art inspired by derelict and ruined buildings.  One of his first postings is about Barnbarroch House, known to many as the ancestral home of the Vans of Barnbarroch (the family thought to be the origins of the Vances of DNA Group 1) which was ruined by fire in 1941.   Mr. Tattersall has written a very nice article about a visit he recently made to the ruins of Barnbarroch on his blog at, complete with pictures of the ruins and others like the one shown here of the house in its heyday.  If you're not familiar with Barnbarroch House this is a great introduction to it. 

More information about the artist and his work is available on his blog.  

Postcard of Barnbarroch House before 1941

Friday, November 2, 2012

The First Post - Welcome

Welcome to the Vance Family Association (VFA)'s new Vance History Online site.  You can read more about the VFA and the purpose of this site on the Welcome page under Useful Information on the right-hand side of this page.

My name is Dave Vance, and I've been a Vance researcher for over 30 years.  My own line of American Vances is Irish in origin (from the Inishowen peninsula in County Donegal) and I am in Group 2a of the Vance/Vans/Wentz y-DNA Project.  If you don't know what that means and want to know more, feel free to explore this site and its links or post a comment! 

The posts on this blog will be about various topics of interest to Vance researchers.  We will try to keep these short (you may notice for some - like me - that's a constant struggle).  Longer topics of interest will show up under Useful Information on the right, but if you see something missing or want to know more, don't just "lurk" on this site; write a comment or drop me or another author an email.  You can reach me any time at

Do you have questions about your own Vance family history?  The Message Boards listed under Useful Links are good places to post your question where it can be seen by many Vance researchers.  Or feel free to post a comment here and I will be happy to try and help, or other readers are welcome to comment also.   You can also check the Vance-related websites under Useful Links on the right-hand side of this page - any of them could have the answers you're looking for. 

If you have a family pedigree you'd like to share or an article you've written on some aspect of Vance family history, and you're a member of the Vance Family Association, please share those with the VFA for publication in our newsletter.  You can find more information about the resources of the VFA on our website.

Are those enough suggestions for the first post?  You've now read all the information linked from this site and still don't know where to go next?  Hmm.  Post a comment!