Saturday, June 8, 2013

Map of the earliest US Vances

I don't know if anyone has a list of the various mapping sites out there that help you show locations and migration paths on a world map.  I don't have a full list, but I've seen some of them in action and they work pretty well.

Me, I'm a visual guy.  I don't get the sense of where my ancestors lived or how far they traveled unless I see it on a map.  For instance, when I read all the Vance DNA group reports (available under "Vance/Vans/Wentz Y-DNA Project" on the right hand side of this blog or else here) I can see how the research connects the early Vances in the US, but I don't get a good sense of how many or how widespread they were.  So I mapped them.

I picked the Community Walk website mostly because it was easy and free, and it has pretty good options.  The picture shows the results - you can access and play with them using this link: 

Each pin is a county where genealogists have found their earliest Vance ancestor in the US.  The colors show what DNA Group (from 1 to 8) that ancestor belonged to based on the y-DNA tests of their descendants.  Using the Legend, you can turn on or off certain Groups, and using the "Show Marker Titles" option, you can see the ancestor's name and the record and year that first showed them in the US (warning:  it gets pretty crowded if you turn on titles when ALL Groups are shown on the map!).

Please note not ALL of these Vances were the first immigrants into the US - many are known to be born in the US, and some have been confirmed through DNA analysis to be related to each other.  They're just the different lines we all have found connections to (that still have male descendants available to be DNA tested).

Interesting?  I thought it was.  Do you have a better site for mapping your ancestors?


  1. There isn't a marker for James Alexander Vance?

    1. Thank you for that catch - I forgot to "turn on" Group 8! You should see Group 8 there now if you click on the Community Walk link, including James Alexander Vance. His first confirmed appearance was in the 1790 US Census in York Co, SC, but I have put him in Chester Co, SC since he was there by 1800 and most records about him are from there.

      Also I have listed Adam Vance in PA separately although the DNA and documentary analysis strongly suggests Adam was James Alexander Vance's son; however Adam still appears on some trees as their oldest known ancestor.

      The other Group 8 US "first immigrant" is a group of three Vances in Newton Co, MS, which I have grouped together since it appears they traveled together.

      Note also there are some Group 8 Vance DNA lines confirmed over in Ireland as well; if I get a chance to make a similar map of Vance lines in Ireland they'll show up there!