A Short History of the Vance Surname

Different origins of the Vance name

Around the world today the surname "Vance" is found mainly in English-speaking countries like Australia, the UK and Ireland, Canada, and the United States.  The global spread of the Vance surname from the 1600s through to modern times has been documented through maps in our blog in a post from October 2013.

The paper document trails of these Vance family lines suggest that their family name came from one of two main origins:

1.  The Wentz/Wantz origins

Many of these families have traced their surname origins to original immigrants in the 18th or 19th century from Germany or Switzerland whose last name was Wentz or a variant like Wantz.  In their new English-speaking home, the last name sounded like "Vance", and either through regular usage or by the pen of a government official the new spelling stuck.

Several books (see Online Books of Interest) describe the origin of the Wentz surname as a diminutive of "Wenceslaus" or the German variant "Wenzo", and track the name's association with a Saint Wendelin and of course several kings named Wenceslaus, with variants "Wenzelo" from 1198 through "Wenzel" in the 1300s.  "Wentz" and "Wenz" were later variants appearing in the 1300s and 1400s near Basel in Switzerland and several locations in Germany.  Other sources cite Slavic variants like Vaclav but agree on the same basic timeline. 

The stories say an original Wentz family came out of Bohemia (part of the current Czech republic) or Pomerania (now part of Germany and Poland on the south Baltic Sea) and migrated into Bavaria in western Germany and to the city of Basel in Switzerland some 700 years ago.  These stories have so far not been verified.  In the 1700s and 1800s, however, several German and Swiss Wentz families immigrated to the US where the name became written as Vance.   
           

2.  The de Vaux/Vans origins

The majority of the Vances today, these families are either Irish or trace their surname to immigrants from Ireland, where "Vance" has been a Protestant name in Ulster since the 1600s.  The generally accepted origin of Vance in Ireland is from Scotland where the name was Vaus or Vans.  In 1860, a Scottish genealogist named William Balbirnie published a book that tied the Irish Vances back to a Rev. John Vans/Vance who lived in Kilmacrenan in county Donegal in Ireland from about 1617 onward, and connected him to a Vans family of minor nobility in Barnbarroch, Scotland.  The Vans of Barnbarroch have ties to the Vaux family of Dirleton near Edinburgh and from there back to the medieval de Vaux family who came over to England from Normandy with William the Conqueror around 1066. 

"de Vaux" was a Norman French place-name meaning "of the valleys", and although their exact origin in Normandy is unknown, the story of the de Vaux family in England and Scotland is fairly well-documented from the 11th century onward.  Legend ties the de Vaux family to the French/Italian de Baux family who themselves claimed a family tie back to Balthazar, one of the Magi Kings, but there remains no proof of any of those connections. 

The legends and facts surrounding the Vance origins from the de Vaux are covered in the book Path of a Family, which can be found under Online Books of Interest in our Useful Information section.

Modern DNA testing has suggested that the origins of the Irish Vances is not as simple as that proposed by Balbirnie, although one group of modern Vances has confirmed ties through DNA to the Vans of Barnbarroch and so to this general ancestry.  Whether the story is completely accurate, and whether other Vance family groups who trace their lines to Ireland have the same surname ancestry (as opposed to genetic ancestry) is unknown at this time.

3.  Other possible origins

Modern DNA testing has identified at least 9 different genetic origins (within the timeframe that surnames have been in common use) for the Vance families who have been tested so far.  While certainly some of those groups may still have derived their last names from the same origin, it is also very possible that some origins of the Vance name remain unknown. 

There is a town in Belgium named Vance and a local family of minor nobility named "de Vance" who lived there at least from the 11th through the 17th century.  However, the family name seems to have died out after that and no modern Vances trace their ancestry to this area.

Other towns in France have similar names, like Vancé in Sarthe and Vence on the Mediterranean, but these have different origins and no families with those names or anything similar to "Vance" are known to have come from those areas.

The Irish author John O'Hart proposed that the "Vance" name was derived from the Gaelic O'Uain, meaning lamb, but no evidence for this origin has been found.

Edward MacLysaght's book The Surnames of Ireland, a major reference work on Irish surnames, agrees that "Vance" first appeared in Ireland in the 17th century but says it came from Old English fenn meaning dweller by a fen (marsh) - an interesting idea, but then why did "Vance" only originate in Ireland and not also in England?  Mr. MacLysaght includes William Balbirnie's book in his bibliography but it is still unknown why he proposed this completely different theory (and offered no supporting evidence).  As far as is known today there is still no evidence of this origin from Old English.

Do you have other family stories for how your Vance ancestors got their last name?  Post them here - you may add another piece to this complicated puzzle!

116 comments:

  1. I'm a Vance my family is Irish, Scottish, German and the Dutch.

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  2. Hannah, welcome. How much do you know about your Vance ancestry?

    Sincerely,

    Dave

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  3. I'm a Vance as well, I'm related to the Hatfield clan. My grandfather was the great great grandson of Jim Vance.

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    1. mine was as well im related to jim

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    2. Thats funny my Great Great Great Grand paw was Jim Vance

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    3. I'm supposedly related to the Hatfield clan and Jim as well although I've never been able to find any documented proof for this. I'm a Vance from the tri-state area of Ky (Ky,WV,Oh). Are either of you from that area?

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    4. Hi Kelly; I have spent a lot of time in WV but my Vance line isn't from there. However, there are several Vance families related to Jim Vance and his grandfather Abner Vance who moved to those states (mostly KY or WV; there are several unrelated Vance lines in OH also).

      How much do you know about your Vance line? Who is the oldest Vance ancestor that you know of? If you had his/her name and birth/death dates, perhaps where they were born or lived, I can check if anyone connected with the VFA has done research on that line.

      You can also reach me directly at davevance01@gmail.com.

      Dave

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    5. I'm also a Vance related to the hatfields coming out of Logan county wv

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    7. My grandmother has told me that I am part of the Hatfields as well out of Logan WV...
      The oldest Vance I have proof of is my great grandfather James W Vance (Born around 1906) married to Etta Bryant (Born around 1907) from West Virginia.
      Any further info would be awesome.

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    8. Bryan, I spent some time on the WV online records database (wvculture.org). The ma=
      rriage record for James W. Vance and Etta Bryant is there which lists James'=
      s parents as William Vance and Mary Lucas.

      There is no marriage listed for those two exact names but there IS a marriag=
      e record for William Vance and Mary Luther in 1904 which fits. However thei=
      r parents are not listed.

      William Vance says he is 21 in that record which makes his birth year 1883. =
      There are two possible William Vances listed in the birth records for WV at=
      that site; one born in 1883 and one in 1885. The 1885 William is the son o=
      f J.P. Vance and Melissa Toler which is a possible ancestry.

      The more likely William Vance however is listed as a son of Rhoda Vance and a=
      ttested in the birth record by an Ed Marshall, no father listed. However, t=
      here is also a marriage record for Rhoda Marshall and Monterville Vance in 1=
      879 which is likely them. Monterville clearly died young perhaps even befor=
      e William was born.

      In that marriage record Monterville lists his parents as Aderson (Addison) V=
      ance and Sarah Curry. Addison was the son of Abner Vance and Christina Elki=
      ns, and Abner was the son of Richard Vance who was in turn the son of the mo=
      re famous Abner Vance who was hanged in Abington. FYI Jim Vance of Hatfield=
      -McCoy fame was Richard's nephew.

      You'll need to fill in some birth/death dates etc and you could verify that l=
      ineage with a DNA test but it looks pretty solid. Hope that helps.

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  4. Welcome as well! Out latest blog post is about Jim Vance, but you probably saw that. Enjoy the Vance History Online blog and if we can help with your research please let me know.

    Sincerely,

    Dave

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  5. Hi..my maternal line is Vance. I'm in the early beginnings of searching genealogy trails in memory of my mom, Irma Jean Vance, her father, Claude Nelson Vance who is the son of Chance, Chancy or Charly Vance son of William Vance and Eliza Redmond. My grandpa always said he was one half maternal Cherokee (I can not find that) and I can not find little to nothing on him. TY for the site! Very nice.

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    1. Pamela, welcome. I don't see anything specifically about your Vance line in the VFA master surname list, but I'll send you a private message about some sites that might help.

      Dave

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    2. I am a Vance descendant as well. My maternal great grandmother was EFFIE VANCE (m Cotton) b 1871 TX . Her sisters were Lula Idella (Della) Vance b Mar 1868, TX and Anna Vance, brother John Vance b. Sep 1865 TX. Effie Vance m "Bud" Cotton and birthed my grandmother Dixie (Roxy) Cotton before becoming Effie Cain.
      Having much difficulty locating their parents.
      Kay Fontenot

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    3. Also, from pictures gathered, I believe there is some Indian heritage to this Vance line, perhaps Choctaw or Cherokee, but not sure. I have not searched VANS yet, tho that seems to be Irish, correct?
      Kay Fontenot

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    4. Hi Kay! Not a lot is known for sure about your Vance line yet (that I'm aware of) but here are some ideas/clues:

      1. Della (as Lula) and John Vance are shown as children of Charles W. Vance and Roena D. Vance in the 1870 US Census in Precinct 4, Washington Co, TX. Lula, John, and "E.L" Vance (presumably Effie) are listed as their children in the 1880 Census for the same location. The children are the right ages for the birth dates you mentioned, and Charles is listed as born in North Carolina and Roena in Georgia which agrees with how Effie reported her parents' birthplaces on the US censuses during her lifetime.

      While the census takers were often inaccurate, that's a pretty good consistent set of data over several census records and enough to say that Charles and Roena were very probably your Effie's parents.

      That connects to this record here for Charles: http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I32205&tree=2 which shows his Vance parentage going back two more generations to James Alexander Vance, born about 1750. While I can't speak to the accuracy at least it's a place to start.

      If that data is correct, then your Vance line is of Irish origin and most likely goes back to John Vance of Coagh in Ireland. Several descendants of his came to the US.

      The Vance last name is not of Indian origin (it's mostly Irish with a few German lines) but I'm told that several Vance men in the US married women from Indian tribes in the 1700 and 1800s so it is certainly possible that their descendants today have Indian heritage. I have not seen details of those marriages though.

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    5. By the way, there is another researcher looking at this Vance line who posted this query back in 2010: http://boards.ancestry.com/surnames.vance/539.1/mb.ashx. She lists her email id as leanna@seark.net.

      It looks like she is descended from a brother of Charles. If she is still active online, you might get more information from her about Charles and Roena Vance and their ancestry.

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    6. My name is Erma Vance, I'm African-American. My father B.Vance, always told us he had Cherokee Indian in him.

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    7. Welcome Erma! There are at least two or three lines of African-American Vances in the US; I don't know their origins but I'd love to find out more. Did you catch the "Finding Your Roots" episode where the actor Courtney B. Vance found out more about his ancestry? Could be a different Vance line of course.

      If you have any details about your Vance ancestors (full names, birth/death dates, places they lived) send me a note at davevance01@gmail.com and I'll see if I can find any other research that's been done on them!

      Dave

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  6. Hi, I'm also a Vance. I was able to only go as far back to my great great grandfather who was James Vance, he was born 1816 in Ohio, and died September 23, 1869 in Guernsey Co., Quaker City, OH. He married Maria Jane Henderson on October 29, 1840, daughter of William Henderson and Nancy Ann Clendenning. I'd like to know more about him and his lineage.

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  7. Enrique, welcome of course. You should obviously verify this information, but it looks like James was a descendant of William Vance who moved with his brother Ezekiel Vance from PA to Guernsey Co, OH before 1804. They were sons of Ezekiel Vance who died Mar 24, 1768 in Menallen Twp, York (now Adams Co), PA.

    More detail is available here: http://genforum.genealogy.com/vance/messages/3661.html and if you have an Ancestry.com membership, here: http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/24237502/person/1494325962/storyx/1?pg=32817&pgpl=pid. Or if you are a VFA member, the pedigree is on pg. 89 of the July 1997 VFA newsletter.

    This was research submitted by a researcher named Carolyn K. Shearer, although there is no contact information on her in the VFA newsletter. But several Ancestry.com public family trees also have the same information (like the one I linked to above) and you may be able to find more from those researchers also.

    Dave

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  8. Bonjour, je me nomme Alain Monier je suis francais. Mes recherche ADN IGENEA me mette en rapport avec un Vance Aglo saxon au meme titre qu'un Dalton, un Ferrand Irlande, un Majors. Mes antecedents ADN sont Anglais, Irlandais. J'ai 22 marqueurs sur 24 Cordialement. Alain Monier.

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    1. Alain, bienvenue. Vous parlez d'un test d'ADN-Y? Est-ce-que vous connaissez votre haplogroupe?

      Vous avez peut-etre vu ici qu'une des origines du patronyme "Vance" est la famille de Vaux, en fait en Ecosse medievale un des de Vaux a pris the nom "Dalston", ce qui ressemble fort a "Dalton"... coincidence peut-etre.

      Ca me fait du bien de voir des francais qui font des recherches d'ADN; les bases de donnees ont grand besoin de resultats en dehors des anglophones!

      Vous pouvez me retrouver a davevance01@gmail.com si je peut vous etre utile en quoi que ce soit.

      Dave Vance

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    2. Bonjour, mon haplogroupe est Rl21. Je n'avance pas beaucoup dans mes recherche. Savez vous s'il existe un clan MONIE, MONIER ? Tres heureux d'avoir pu vous contacter. Cordialement Alain Monier

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    3. Alain, d'abord mes excuses pour mon retard à répondre. Je ne vois pas de clan Monie ou Monier, mais si vous etes R1b-L21 je peux peut-etre vous aider (je suis R1b-L21 moi-meme).

      Il existe un groupe francophone pour les L21 a Facebook ici: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1221040614703462/.

      A part ca, le projet pour les L21 en generale (en Anglais) c'est ici: https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/r-l21/about/background. Il faut d'abord transferer vos resultats d'ADN de IGENEA a Family Tree DNA (je vois que c'est possible mais pour les details il faudra contacter IGENEA). Apres ca, vous appuyez sur "Join" a la page du project des L21 ce qui passera vos resultats aux administrateurs du project qui vous aideront a analyser vos resultats et a quel sous-groupe vous appartenez. Le groupe a plus de 14000 membres et vous pouvez voir le nombre de sous-groupes sur la page du projet.

      Je reste a votre disposition aussi, bien-sur.

      Dave

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  9. Hi I'm also a Vance, it was my mother's maiden name. I'm from the Philippines.
    I don't much about my mother, because my parents separated when I was just a 6 years old.
    So I can't recall much. Appreciate this blog. I've been searching for my mom for years now. I don't even have a vivid memory of her. Anyway, I hope she's doing Okay though.

    Thanks so much for this site.-

    LK Vance Sate

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    1. LK, sorry for the delay in responding, but welcome. Did your mother live in the Philippines? I don't know much myself, although there is a Lee W. Vance and a John R. Vance who both wrote about the Philippines. If you have ANY details send me a note at davevance01@gmail.com and I can help you look.

      Some people have luck taking DNA tests and finding lost family connections, although you'd need that someone from your mother's family had tested too so that the DNA matches show up, so it's a bit luck of the draw. In your case you'd want either an autosomal DNA test (called variously Family Finder, or Family DNA tests) or a mitochondrial DNA test (called various names but often "maternal line"). Anyway that's a possibility too.

      Dave

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  10. my maiden name is vance. my dad was glenn roger vance he was born in Richmond va. I think in 1943. some family say we are related to jim vance I don't know. I am just trying ti find some of my ancestors from my dads side. his dads name was doug vance and his mother was mollie vance. could you help?

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    1. Hi - sorry for the delay in responding. If you can send me a note at davevance01@gmail.com, I can point you to what I think is information on your grandparents - could they be Henry Douglas (Doug) Vance and Mollie Vance (nee Street) who lived in Buchanan County, VA?

      Dave

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  11. I'm a Vance, we are part Dutch, Irish, German, and Native American, our last names were originally Vans, but when our ancestors came to America they changed it to Vance.

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    1. Britney, apologies for the delay in responding and welcome to the site. Do you know what line of Vances you come from, or who your oldest Vance ancestor is? The VFA has info on many Vance family lines and we might be able to connect you with other research or researchers.

      In any case, enjoy the site!

      Dave

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  12. I am a Vance. We are Irish, Scottish, English and Chickash/Choctaw. My family is from Oklahoma. My dad and grandpa names are Roger Sr. And Roger Jr. My name is Rodney. I am trying to learn more about my family history. Thanks

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    1. Rodney, welcome. What else do you know about your Vances? I know of one Roger Thomas Vance Sr, born about 1944 who passed away in 2012 who had a son Roger Thomas Vance Jr - is that perhaps your line?

      For male Vances (or female Vances who have living male Vance relatives) I always encourage a Y-DNA test with one of the major companies (Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, Family Genomes Corp, etc); it's not always cheap but a lot of research has been done on the Y-DNA of the Vance lines and it's improving all the time. That might connect you into known Vance family lines in cases where your traditional research runs cold. But first if you can tell me more about what you know of your Vance line (or send me an email at davevance01@gmail.com) we can see if there is other research first!

      Dave

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  13. My father's mother was a Vance: Mary Vance, born outside Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1885. Her mother was Elizabeth Somerville Vance; her father was Thomas Vance. She had 3 sisters and 4 younger brothers. Mary emigrated to the U.S. (Boston area) at the age of 17, but the rest of the family stayed in the Belfast area. I was told that Mary's family originally (or at least previously) came from France. I am interested in any information that might be available about this part of the Vance family.

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    1. Welcome to the site! I suspect this is your Thomas and Elizabeth Vance family in Belfast: http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I10647&tree=2; not a lot of detail there but it looks like Mary had at least two brothers (she's not even listed there!).

      Try this descendant report also: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDgQFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rootschat.com%2Fforum%2Findex.php%3Faction%3Ddlattach%3Btopic%3D570955.0%3Battach%3D264313&ei=TE9eVPz2I86cygStqoGQDg&usg=AFQjCNHs2Xtux3lfFYm_qSY0Lf_iH6bE-A&sig2=Ose9riCq5RoJ6pmU_BFpYA&bvm=bv.79189006,d.aWw

      It gives a huge family tree and includes Thomas Vance and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Somerville Vance around page 30, BUT I don't know the origin or depth of research of this tree, so please use it only as a guide and not as established fact until you can either prove or disprove it!

      As to Mary's origins from France; I don't know if that refers to the traditional story of the Vance surname in Ireland coming from the de Vaux family of Normandy (as told on in our history above) or if it means she was from a later French origin. I know of cases where Huguenot French families named Vaux emigrated to the British Isles in the 17th and 18th centuries, although I'm not aware of actual examples where those lines had their names evolve into "Vance", it's always possible.

      I'll explore more about this Vance line in the VFA files, but send me a note at davevance01@gmail.com if you want any additional help in looking into it!

      Dave

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  14. My maiden name is Vance. My dad is from Logan county west Virginia. His name is Johnnie and his brother is Dennie. My grandparents name are Wesley Vance and Hattie's proctor. Wesley's parents name are bud Vance and Mollie Stephenson. I am not sure if bud is a nickname or not. I was told we have Cherokee and also related to the Hatfield's and McCoys. Not sure which side. If anyone has any info, please email me at deeceetreasures@gmail.com.

    Thanks, Denise

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  15. My last name is Vance, My grandfather Mose Vance was a cousin to Jim Vance. His fathers name was Meek Vance and mothers name was Laura bell France before marriage, After his father passed away his mom married a man by the name of Dock Johnson. I know he was born in Mingo county west Virginia in 1911 and played in the tug river with cousins ( Hatfields ) as a child, trying to find more info on my family. Also heard we were related in some form with the Cantrell family and was courious about that as well.

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    1. Welcome to the blog! There is at least some information about your grandfather in this family tree online: http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=hagerj&id=I322641, including his lineage back to Abner Vance (Jim Vance's grandfather).

      If you're on Facebook, there is a FB Group dedicated to these lines of Vances at https://www.facebook.com/groups/692661887461090/. You could join there and probably connect to folks who know your line at least wherever they connect to your ancestors. Or I know a couple of researchers who are active on Abner's descendants also if you want to send me a note at davevance01@gmail.com I can put you in touch.

      I'm connected to your line also myself, but long before these folks - back in Ireland some time in the 1600s! Our ancestors came over separately to the US. DNA testing is helping to sort the old lines out.

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  16. Sam N. Vance here, son of Sam J. Vance and grandson of Sam H. Vance of Hillsboro, OH. Our ancestors moved to South Central Ohio from Virginia, and from what I remember, the South Central Ohio region was part of lands promised to soldiers that served during(I think) the war of 1812.

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    1. Sam, welcome! There were Vances in Highland Co, OH pretty early on but I think most of those were from Fayette Co, PA originally. You can find some bits about those Vances at these links: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohcnewma/pdf_files/doc-vance.pdf and https://books.google.com/books?id=3DsVAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA503&dq=vance+hillsboro+ohio&hl=en&sa=X&ei=nD7OVIDtGMmqNqDHgfgC&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=vance%20hillsboro%20ohio&f=false

      But if your Vance line came from Virginia then it's possible there was a connection but they might not be related.

      There is also Gen. Joseph Vance who served in the War of 1812 and then became Governor of Ohio in the mid-1800s, but I think his Vance line was from Greene Co.

      Since you are a male of Vance descent, a DNA test (the Y-DNA test) could tell you which Vance line you descend from and which were your closest other Vance family lines! Let me know if you need more info about that but it's one option if your research hits a dead end.

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  17. I am a Vance also I have traced the history back to the Bible and I refuse to go back any further. I can trying to find out some more about my grandfather William Lewis Vance, about him being in the Army and I am having no luck. So could someone please help.

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    1. We have a number of William Vances and Lewis Vances, but only one William Lewis Vance that I know of. Is this your grandfather: http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I12352&tree=2? If that is him, then your Vance line also runs back to Abner Vance. I could put you in touch with some researchers on those lines or FB pages if you're interested.

      You didn't leave any contact information but if you want to send me an email at davevance01 @ gmail.com I'd be happy to follow up.

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  18. My name is maynard w vance from maine

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    1. Hi Maynard, apologies for the delay in responding; sometimes my day job intrudes. Welcome to the site of course!

      How much do you know about your Vance ancestry? There was a Thomas Vance who came from Ireland and lived in Caribou, Maine starting around the 1840's; his descendants are part of Vance DNA Group 2a. Or did your Vances come to Maine at a different time?

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    2. My father's name was Fenton W Vance born 1932 my grandfather name was Henry Vance born 1898 or 99 ...was told that my name and my father's name was called family names

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    3. My father's name was Fenton W Vance born 1932 my grandfather name was Henry Vance born 1898 or 99 ...was told that my name and my father's name was called family names

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  19. Hi, my grandfather beast Jerry Lamade Vance, I can trace his family back to 1753 with George Vance in Donegal County Ireland. And that's where I'm stuck. Any information would be great.

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  20. Nick Vance here. I'm told my grandfather, George Washington Vance, came from Ireland along with four brothers to Maine before scattering to various states. I believe one went to NC and another to the Northwest. All were logging men. My grandfather went to Mississippi, where he lost his legs in a sawmill accident and died too young. My father, Joseph Cecil Vance, became the family breadwinner at age 14.

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    1. Nick, welcome. I have logging relatives myself; no legs lost that I know of but many fingers missing on that side of the family...

      I see several family trees for George Washington Vance on Ancestry.com - some have him a descendant of Samuel Vance and Sarah Colville (a known Vance line in the US), others say different; so it sounds like this line of Vances has differing theories. As a Vance male descendant you could get your Y-DNA tested (the Y chromosome passed down only by men) which might tie you into one of the 10 known Vance male DNA lines - that might not give you your exact ancestral line but it would tell you where they came from before the US and might connect you to descendants of the other brothers!

      Dave

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  21. Hello~
    My maternal great grandfather was James Vance of Anderson, IN. He worked for the railroad and lived to be 99 years old. I am just starting my journey on tracing my origins. Any help you can give me or places to do research would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!
    Angie
    ps- I wonder if we're related!

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    1. Hi Angie and welcome to the blog. What do you know about your James Vance (birth/death dates, spouse's name, etc)? I see 3-4 James Vances in this database if any of those match: http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/search.php?mybool=AND&nr=50&tree=-x--all--x-&mylastname=vance&lnqualify=contains&myfirstname=James&fnqualify=contains&mydeathplace=in&dpqualify=contains

      We may well be related - DNA testing is showing that many of the Vance immigrants into the US were offshoots of the same original families in Ireland, Germany, or wherever else they came from. Do you have any Vance male cousins who have or could take a Y-DNA test? That tests the y-chromosome which men pass to their sons and since that's the usual way last names were also passed, it is useful to tie Vance families together. But for our purposes the man who takes the DNA test has to have inherited his y-chromosome from his Vance male ancestor.

      Otherwise explore the blog links and information and see if it generates any ideas, or send me a note at davevance01@gmail.com if that raises any questions!

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  22. Hello,
    I'm David Vance born in Birmingham, Al... Father's name is William H. Vance he had 2 brothers and 2 sisters... unsure of their names. ..

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  23. Hi David and welcome! I know there were several lines of Vances who made it to Alabama, if your Vance line has roots there. Some of them are documented in this Ancestry thread: http://boards.rootsweb.com/thread.aspx?mv=flat&m=1469&p=surnames.vance

    Otherwise if you know more about your Vance line back in time (names, dates, etc), post them here or send me a note at davevance01@gmail.com and I'm happy to help.

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  24. Hello David! This is Jerry in Virginia and I am also a Vance descendant! My Great great grandmother is Rachel Patterson Vance (b. 1834 Washington Co PA - grandaughter of Capt William Vance) - I have had some difficulty in verifying the link between our Vance ancestors in PA and the Vans of Barnbarroch - might you be able to provide any assistance - I haven't yet figured out quite how to read the DNA tree charts! Your site here is wonderful - I appreciate all the hard work that must have gone into it! Thanks again!

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  25. Hi Jerry! I've been looking into the line of Capt. William Vance and it appears he is part of what is called Vance Group 1b in the DNA research. We know that line was connected to the Vans of Barnbarroch (who are Group 1a), what we don't know is exactly when they split. It could well have been before the Rev. John Vans of Kilmacrenan (if he even WAS of the same line, see our blog post about him here for the various debates). It could even have been before the Barnbarroch line was founded (c. 1384), meaning 1b could be an offshoot of the Vaux of Dirleton or the de Vaux of England/Normandy (if you accept the whole origin story).

    If you want the details on Group 1b including Capt. William Vance's line you can find them here: http://www.vancegenealogy.com/Group%201%20Overview%20-%20Genealogy%20of%201b.pdf. Or the comparison between Groups 1a and 1b in detail is available here: http://www.vancegenealogy.com/Group%201%20Overview%20-%20DNA.pdf. Happy reading!

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    1. I have to agree with you - keeping all those Vance's in Frederick Co VA straight is enough to make your head spin! A cousin of ours published a family history some 30 odd years ago that traced our Vances back to the Vans/Vaux/de Vaux of England with no mention of Barnbarroch so perhaps that split happened very early indeed. Thanks for all your time and assistance - and it's a pleasure to be a part of such a influential and prodigious family :)

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  26. My husband is a Vance. He descends from Joseph Vance b1782 NC d1857 Coweta CO, GA. We are new to this exciting adventure of ancestry. Any helps/guidance you can provide will be greatly appreciated. We are also interested in participating in the DNA project. Thanks, Cindy
    Best contact: holtonvance@aol.com

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    1. Hi Cindy! Joseph Vance is shown here as the son of Samuel Vance and Alice Carr: http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I2417&tree=2. Honestly thought I tend to doubt that entry since both his mother and father would have been 56 at his birth in 1782. They could still be his grandparents though! And the birthplace of Samuel Vance listed as Scotland is probably conjecture based on his DNA lineage.

      That Vance line has been identified as Group 1b (the same as Jerry's above). There is an overview of Samuel Vance on page 18 of the Group 1b report here: http://www.vancegenealogy.com/Group%201%20Overview%20-%20Genealogy%20of%201b.pdf. You might also read the Group 1a/1b joint report at http://www.vancegenealogy.com/Group%201%20Overview%20-%20DNA.pdf.

      Since your husband is (presumably) a direct male Vance descendant he can verify his Vance DNA Group with a Y-DNA test. To participate in the Vance DNA project, he needs to take an "STR test" at Family Tree DNA, testing at least 37 markers although more is better. Those run $169-$359 and you can find out more here: https://www.familytreedna.com/y-dna-compare.aspx.

      But if he just wants to see if he's in Group 1 (a or b), he can do that for $17.50 by testing what's called an SNP. He would use a company called YSEQ and test for the SNP "A3". That would give him just a yes/no answer for whether he's in Group 1 or not. You can find out more about that here: http://www.yseq.net/product_info.php?products_id=6048 or send me a note at davevance01@gmail.com.if you have questions on any of this.

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  27. My grandmother maiden name is Vance her Mother and Father was Joseph Anthony Vance and Clara Vance(maiden name Patton) of Louisville, Kentucky .he had a Brother named Oscar which I noticed in a earlier post someone said they have Choctaw genes this is true because Oscar Vance married a Choctaw women with the last name Lisenbe which had a Brother or father named Cleo ! All the Vance I found that I'm related to are from Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvanian, Virginia and for some reason Alabama is where Josephs parents got married and had a child ! If needed I can provide more names ! Any information. On the European side would be helpful to me ! My mother has always claimed our bloodline is from France? Also she said our name is really pronounced VON-SAY ? Thank you

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    1. Hi! The largest number of Vances in the US today come from immigrants from Ireland, and the one known origin of the Vance name in Ireland is from the Vans family in Scotland who originally came from the de Vaux families in Normandy in France. So that may be the source of your mother's claim that the bloodline was French. You can find out more about those origins in the book Path of a Family, Part 1 (not Part 2) that's available here for free: https://sites.google.com/site/vancepath/.

      I'm not sure where the pronunciation VON-SAY came from; in French "Vance" would normally be pronounced VON-SE. There IS a town called Vancé (with an accent) in France that would be pronounced VON-SAY, but there's no known connection (so far) between that town and Vance as a last name.

      Otherwise your Vances cover a lot of states! Who is the earliest (oldest) Vance in your ancestry that you know of?

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  28. Hi, Dave - I'm a Vance descendant through the David Vance / Joseph Colville Vance / Wilson Vance / Miles Wilson Vance line that ended up in Ohio . My dad's DNA analysis a few years ago revealed that we are part of the Barnbarroch line, and my family visited that area as well as Dirleton when we were in Scotland two years ago. Now we are considering a trip to Ireland, and I'm hoping to be able to target a few regions or counties where it's likely my ancestors lived after their time in Scotland. As I understand it, there's not currently any way to determine when my specific direct ancestors left the Barnbarroch area and went to Ireland -- or even WHETHER they went to Ireland and had descendants there who were the ones who came to America, or whether they came directly from Scotland. My earliest American ancestor, David Vance, is kind of a murky character genealogy-wise, and I'm not sure that the frequently seen "born in Ireland" for him is accepted as being true or not. I see the link to Path of a Family and will read it -- thank you for making it available free!

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    1. Hi! You're part of what's called Vance DNA Group 1b, which is a very interesting group because it split off the Barnbarroch line earlier than the rest of the Barnbarroch descendants (who are Group 1a). It's possible that it started with a junior son in the first few generations of the Barnbarroch line or even that it was a direct offshoot of the de Vaux of Dirleton or even earlier!

      The Group 1b members are all found in the US today and you're right they haven't found the link back to Ireland or Scotland yet.

      The "Path of a Family" Part 1 book traces what's known of the early Scottish and Irish Vance lines. You'll note there are at least two emigrants into Ireland from Scotland - the Rev. John Vans of Kilmacrenan who was either of the Barnbarroch or Menie Vans lines, and George Vaux/Vans who was from Cumberland (which is actually northern England, not Scotland and George was likely a descendant of the Vaux of Cumberland who were a different branch. That's a POSSIBLE origin for Group 1b but certainly not the only one.

      Anyway we're getting closer to being able to suggest more DNA testing for the Group 1a/b lines that will help sort out the timeframes and relationships, so if you're interested stay tuned to the blog!

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  29. My name is Richard Bohn Vance, Jr. My grandfather was Bohn Vance and his father was Guy Warren Vance and his father was Melanthon Cramer Vance. They seemed to be in Skeedee/Pawnee, Oklahoma for a long time. I have traced the line pretty far back using Ancestry.com, but I'm not sure how accurate that data is - I have gotten all the way back through Patrick Vance(1589-1673) & Catherine Kennedy, to William Vans & Catherine Douglas (1300's).
    Thank you for your great site and all the work you have done.

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    1. Richard, greetings. What I can find of your Vance line takes it back in the US to a William Vance who died in PA in 1803; he was possibly married to a Mary Montgomery. Does that sound right?

      I did not see that we know which line of Vances yours is related to, so if you had a chance to take a Y-DNA test it would tell you a lot about which other Vance lines you were most connected to before your US line. You can contact me at davevance01@gmail.com if you want more details.

      The connection from the US Vances to William Vans and Catherine Douglas as it is usually documented typically includes the Rev. John Vans of Kilmacrenan in Ireland back to the Vans family of Barnbarroch and from there to William Vans and Catherine Douglas who were the last Vans baron and baroness of Dirleton, Scotland. That lineage has three main breaks - first we have not really connected (to my knowledge) any US Vance lines securely to the Rev. John Vans of Kilmacrenan. We know many US Vances came from Ireland originally and he is the best known of the Irish Vans/Vances of the 1600s so it's certainly possible he has descendants but we don't know which ones. Second, we have no proven link from the Rev. John Vans to the Vans family of Barnbarroch. And third, although there is other evidence (heraldic, for instance) that the Vans of Barnbarroch descend from the Vans of Dirleton, there a gap of a couple of generations between the two families and the exact link is unknown.

      However, we know through DNA analysis that some of the US Vance lines DO descend from the same original family as the Vans of Barnbarroch and they all probably broke off some time between the 1300s and 1600s. So the basic story (whether it runs through the Rev. John Vans or someone else) is factual!

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    2. Thanks, Dave. I have ordered my DNA kit so I will be able to know more, soon. There are a couple William and Mary's in my tree; a Mary Engle (d. 1830) and Mary Colville (d. 1757). That is from work done by others. My documentation goes only to John Vance (1812-1889) m. Jane Hanby (d.1892). The first US Vance in my line is Andrew (1666 Ireland-1754 PA or VA) m. Jane Hoge. I'm just getting back to doing research; there is so much more data available now than there was 5 years ago.
      rvance@alaskastyle.com

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  30. I am Christopher Vance son of Daniel Brett Vance of La Jara or Alamosa Colorado. My dads siblings were Gloria and Gary. Just getting started looking into this

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  31. My name is Misty Patton. My paternal grandmother was Sidney Vause Clark (nee Vance). She married Cornelius Frank Clark in Lewis Co. Ky in the town of VANCEburg (founded by joseph Vance, a relative of hers). I'm afraid that's all the info I have on her. The family has either died out or have parted ways so getting any further info is up to me. Any info as to our line of Vance's would be appreciated. Please email me with any questions misty_c_clark@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Misty; I did not find anyone actively researching your Vance line but I have an unproven theory, pulled mainly from census records.

      I see your grandmother Sydney Vause Vance was born in 1900 in Lewis, KY and died in 1979. In the 1910 US Census in Vanceburg there is a John Vance born about 1859 in Ohio married to a Stella R Vance born about 1875, and their second child is a daugher Sydney about 9 in 1910. This is very possibly your grandmother. A John Vance born 1859 then appears in Concord in Lewis, KY in the 1870 census as the son of David Vance born about 1820 who was married to a Margaret J Vance born about 1832. Those are quite possibly Sydney Vance's grandparents.

      There is quite a large group of Vances who came I think from Pennsylvania originally and moved to Ohio. Then two brothers went to Lewis Co, KY in the late 1700s. Then some of those Vances came back to Ohio about 1810 or so including the Joseph Vance you mentioned and who I think was the father of the Joseph Vance who was Governor of Ohio in the 1830s. Anyway it's pretty likely those are the Vance lines that your grandmother is from.

      There is a discussion on the Ancestry forum about these Vances that you might look at mainly because several researchers looking at these lines have posted there, and you might be able to connect with some of them who might know more about these Vances and where exactly your grandmother might fit. The discussion link is http://boards.ancestry.com/thread.aspx?mv=flat&m=3282&p=surnames.vance.

      Anyway best of luck in your research! I hope you find your connections and if we can help further just post here or let me know.

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  32. My name is trina vance im from fremont ne. My father is james vance born 1954 in omaha and his father was melvin vance born 1935 his father was roy franklin vance. He and his wife lived in kentucky.. my father says we are english irish german polish and dutch. That is all I know so far any help would be appreciated thank you.

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    1. Hi Trina. There is an Ancestry.com member named kayfeaster90 who seems to have researched this Vance line; her tree for Roy Franklin Vance is at http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/18802612/person/717299982 if that helps any; you might try contacting her. She does not list your Melvin Vance as a son of Roy Franklin's, but if you check Roy's family in the 1940 US Census in Fremont, Dodge, Nebraska, Melvin is listed there as their youngest child.

      She takes this Vance line back to William James Henry Vance (also just James Henry Vance) born about 1848 in NY. Other researchers have suggested that HIS father was James Joseph Vance born around 1814 in Orange Co, NY.

      Do you know if any of your Vance male relatives have taken a genealogy DNA test? For these purposes it has to be a male (since normally men pass down the last name also). But if your father or any of your male Vance relatives would be willing to have their DNA tested it might connect you to one of the known lines of Vances in the US who are usually of either Irish or German origin. It won't tell you exactly who your relatives were but it may connect you to other researchers who are looking into the same lines.

      Dave

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  33. My grandfather was Newton E. Vance, Sr. I don't know where he was born but he died in Villisca, Iowa. He wife's name was Jessie. My mother's name was Mary Loma Vance (Peterson-Hoover), her sister was Ruth, brother was Newton, Jr. and another brother that I knew only as "Bud."
    Can you share any information?

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    1. This is not a well-researched Vance line but hopefully I can add a little. Please note this is only based on a short bit of research and you should look for more evidence to corroborate all of this!

      Your grandfather Newton Emerson Vance Sr. was born on 11 Feb 1879 in Ashland, Nebraska, according to his Social Security application and other records on Ancestry.com, although some records show him born 11 Feb 1880. In the 1880 Federal Census, a 1-year-old Newton Vance and his 3-year-old brother "Chas" are shown living with their mother, Loma Vance, born about 1854. She is listed in the census as a widow, so with a 3-year old and a 1-year old presumably her husband had recently died.

      Here it gets interesting. Pvt. Theodore F. Vance (he was a private in the Civil War), born in 1844, married a woman named Louisa born in 1854; they are listed in the 1870 Census living in Stove Creek only 20 miles from Ashland, with no children. In August 1879 Theodore was living in Ashland where he died from being kicked by a horse (per Nebraska records on Ancestry.com).

      There is a lot of what I'll call circumstantial evidence that "Loma Vance" and "Louisa Vance" are the same person - they were both born in 1854 in Ohio and lived in Ashland in the 1879/1880 timeframe and never show up together at the same time in any records, and so on. And the 1880 census says Newton and Chas's father was born in Ohio also, which Theodore was. So for all those reasons I believe that Theodore was Newton's father.

      Happily Theodore and Louisa fit into a known Vance line. Here is a family group sheet for them (http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I20157&tree=2) that ties them into a Vance line connecting back to a John Vance who died in Pennsylvania all the way back in 1734. I don't believe we know yet which DNA group this Vance line connects to, but I'll look closer at that piece.

      Hope that helps!

      Dave

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  34. Hi! I've always been told I was Irish, German, and native American. My father James Milton Vance II's father (James milton vance I) of Irish decent mother Judith Cremeens of German. Was curious what info may be out there or resource I may be able to find out for myself?

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    1. Hi Jeremy; was your grandfather James Milton Vance from San Antonio, TX by any chance and died around 1930? That's the one of that name that I know of but there may certainly be lots of others.

      Otherwise if you can post any dates when they were born and died or anything else about your Vance line I can check if there is more information. You can reach me at davevance01@gmail.com if you'd prefer. The Vance Family Association also has access to more research than I do and you can also contact them directly through the links for the VFA provided here on the blog.

      Ancestry.com also has a lot of user-posted family trees and you can often find other researchers there who have ancestors in common with you, but you can't always count on the accuracy of their research.

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  35. I'm a Vance that lives in Northern BC Canada. We are of Tahltan First Nation, Irish and Scottish. :) My Great Granfather Charles Vance came from the US for the Gold Rush way back when and married a Tahltan women from the area.

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  36. I'm a Vance that lives in Northern BC Canada. We are of Tahltan First Nation, Irish and Scottish. :) My Great Granfather Charles Vance came from the US for the Gold Rush way back when and married a Tahltan women from the area.

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    1. Ah, BC... I spent a very enjoyable summer once fishing the Skeena and Kispiox rivers west of Prince George...

      Is that Charles William Vance born about 1880 who moved up to Telegraph Creek? I'm aware of that Charles Vance at least but I haven't seen that anyone knows much about him before he came to BC. I think he came from Minnesota?

      If you are a male-line descendant I would defintely suggest a DNA test to find out more about what line Charles Vance was from. Contact me at davevance01@gmail.com if you'd like more information!

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  37. I am a Vance. my grandma's last name was. hackney. that's about all I know as of now. idk where I'm from and would very much like to find out.
    -Shannon vance

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  38. I am a Vance. my grandma's last name was. hackney. that's about all I know as of now. idk where I'm from and would very much like to find out.
    -Shannon vance

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    1. Hi Shannon - was your grandmother Beulah Mae Hackney, and passed away in 2001? That's the only recent Hackney I see connected with the Vances in the online database; if you try this link you'll see what is there:

      http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I27219&tree=2

      That also traces back her husband Theron Vance's line (click on his father's name and his father etc) back to Vances from Logan County, VA in the 1780s.

      Many of the Vances in Logan have been connected to Group 2 in the Vance DNA project which is the subject of our recent article here and is known to be originally from Ireland (and mostly from Northern Ireland). We don't know much more about its origins. But Theron Vance's line hasn't had their DNA tested yet so we don't know where they fit in for sure.

      If you have brothers or cousins who still have the last name Vance (and who as males would carry the Y DNA we need for testing) then they could get their DNA tested to see what group they fit into.

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  39. Hi Dave,
    My maiden name is Vance. My father is Donald Roy Vance, his Father Roy Vance. I am from Ontario Canada. Any links?

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    1. Now that's an interesting origin, Melanie, and you've got me a little stumped. Is this perhaps your grandfather by any chance?

      http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I37180&tree=2

      It could be but I can't really tell if that line stayed in Ontario or not. If that IS your line, then it appears to have come directly from Scotland to the US and I'd very much like to locate a male Vance descendant who would be willing to get DNA tested. Most of our Vance lines in North America came from Ireland and although the Scottish lines are related it would be very interesting to see where one that stayed in Scotland might connect.

      I may be off-base of course on where you connect so if that's not right and if you have ANY other information about your Vance ancestors (dates, places of birth, etc) I'd be happy to follow up. You can reach me directly at davevance01@gmail.com.

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  40. My maiden name is Vance. My dad is Charles Daniel Vance from WV. His dad is Charles Homer Vance from WV. WWII. His dad Homer Lewis Vance from WV. WWI. His dad is Charles Vance from PA. His dad is James E. Vance from Oh. His dad is Thomas Vance of VA. Thomas married his half sister Sarah N. Colwell. Their mother is Rising Sun.

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    1. Welcome Tracy! I think that Thomas Vance is the one who moved from Rockbridge Co, VA to Gallia Co, OH? If that's the one there have been a few articles about him and his descendants in the VFA newsletters but he remains a pretty elusive character. His Vance line has been classified as Group 5 in the Vance DNA project but I don't think there have been enough people tested in that group to draw many conclusions about it. Best of luck in your research and if we can help let me know!

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  41. Hello! My name is Bailey Edsall-Parr. I'm a 23 year old adoptee {Afro-American mixed with English and Scots} and anthropology student from Michigan. I recently discovered I'm descended from Abner Vance- via his grandson James Browning.

    I've heard many stories about Abner Vance online. One rumor is that he was part Native American- other Vance descendants claim oral tradition of this. Is there any truth to this? I know he was listed as "white" during the colonial and post-Revolutionary days. There are also rumors that his wife Susanna Howard was Cherokee or Native American. Would you know anything on this?

    I'm just curious. My personal email is baileyedsallparr@yahoo.com if you want to contact me directly. I hope you can help me & I thank you for your time.

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    1. Bailey, welcome to the Vances!

      Few Vances have so many legends attached to them as Abner Vance does. He was said to be an Indian scout, an itinerant preacher, and lots of other things. As far as I know all we DO know is that he was descended from an Irish Vance line in what is now known as DNA Group 2a and most likely a son of Matthew Vance of Pittsylvania. and of course he was hanged in Abingdon in 1819 for the murder of Lewis Horton and wrote the Vance Song etc.

      A good unbiased overview of what is known about Abner is at http://blueridgecountry.com/blogging/hatfields-mccoys-revisited-blog/hatfields-mccoys-revisited-part-5-1-abner-vance/. That's the first article in a 3 part series.

      Does that mean he or his wife did NOT have American Indian heritage. No, of course. But as far as I know those stories have never been proven.

      I would be happy to help you investigate your Vance line further. I'm very interested in how the Vance surname originated in the African-American community!

      Sincerely,

      Dave

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  42. I have followed my family tree back to William vance of County Antrim Belfast Ireland born in or around 1776 he was married to mary small, but this is as far back as I have gotten, 3 years of searching and this was my dead end I don't know what else to do there aren't any marriage records or gravesites or death certificates I can find to tell who his parents were. so I'm at a standstill.

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    1. Hi! There is some collected information on this William Vance and Mary Small here: http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I8291&tree=2. But I would also urge you to join the Vance Family Association if you haven't already and look at their newsletter index for anything else published about this family. And of course please submit what you know also as an article for the VFA newsletter!

      Unfortunately many of us are stuck in the 1700s with our Irish lines; I am as well. Records are just so scarce for Ireland from there back that you have to be VERY lucky to find them mentioned.

      More and more Irish records are being digitized; you might try the pay site RootsIreland.ie to see if they have indexed anything, or FamilySearch gets more records added from time to time also. Or you can also try the "census substitutes" - the hearth tax rolls, the muster rolls, and so on, but those vary by county. There are many Vances listed on them but you have to know which county William's family was likely to have lived in at that time.

      This is a pretty well-researched Vance line; have you connected with other descendants to see what they may have uncovered? The sources listed on that link I put above show posts from some of the other researchers, or sometimes just an Internet search for the pair will list questions or information posted by other researchers and you can connect that way. Or the VFA would probably know some of the active researchers if you send them an email.

      That's just a few suggestions and you may have already tried them all of course! If I think of anything further I'll post it here.

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    2. Thank you kindly for your time im much obliged for it and ill give that ago. Hopefully we all wont be stuck in the 1700s good luck on your search as well any other tips or want to get ahold of me hres my personal email goldennightshade05@gmail.com or any others on here need help to this line of Vance's I'm here.

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  43. I am Julie Vance. My Vance line is: father, Bobby Joe Vance, grandfather William Jack Vance, g grandfather Hezekiah Karr Vance, gg grandfather James Jackson Vance born in Jefferson Alabam and died in Polk county Arkansas, I think his father was David H Vance born in 1815 in North Carolina died between 1850 and 1860 at short creek, Jefferson co Alabama. Do you have anymore information? Is his father Samual Vance son of David of Mecklenburg NC? Is Hezekiah's middle name "Karr" a clue that he may be from Samual Vance and Alice Carr?

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    1. Julie, welcome but I'm sorry I don't have more information for you. If you're the same Julie Vance that I see has corresponded with Jamie Vans in the past you'll be familiar with this line of Vances in his database here: http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I16166&tree=2 but I don't see any more information than you already have collected there or in the VFA newsletters.

      If regular records have been thoroughly researched it may be that a DNA test on a male Vance descendant of James Jackson Vance would be the best way to determine their older connections.

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  44. Ok. My father, both of my uncles and both my brothers would do DNA testing. What do we need to do to get that started?

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    1. If you're looking just at your Vance line, you'd want ONE of your male Vance relatives (father, uncle or brothers would be fine) to take a Y-DNA test (a test of their Y chromosome). Just a warning they're not cheap - anywhere from $269 to $900.

      Two companies offer them - www.fullgenomes.com and www.familytreedna.com. Full Genomes has deeper tests but also more expensive; Family Tree DNA has a broader range of cheaper tests that tell you less but should still give us enough to check where your line is relative to the known Vance DNA groups.

      DNA testing isn't precise enough to tell you exactly where your line branched off of other Vance lines or who your exact ancestors were. What it WILL do is find what other Vance family trees you match more closely and we know some of those groups better than others. Just as an example, I was able to find records of my Vance ancestors in Ireland, so other Vances who match me but didn't know for sure that their lines came from Ireland were able to confirm that, and so on.

      To get started, visit those websites and take a look at the companies. I have no association with them, I just try to help people who want to get started on DNA testing.

      FYI there are other DNA tests also - autosomal tests (often called "Family" or "Family Finder" which test ALL of your DNA, or mtDNA tests which test your mother's line. Those are fine tests for other purposes but since we're talking about researching your Vance paternal line it's the Y-DNA test that would be most useful there.

      Happy to help further if you have any questions and if they do get tested I can help interpret the results. Contact me at davevance01@gmail.com if I can be of further help.

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  45. Hello! I am a Vance and it is my proud maiden name. My father's name is Darryl Vance and he is the son of Cecil Vance from Delaware who married Mildred Rippetoe, (I think that is spelled right?). I have not been able to find out about Cecil's parents, as he passed away when I was 10. But my father claims we are related to the Abner Vance line. Can you help me with this and possibly confirm? I think I can talk my brother into a DNA test if you are successful. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Crystal - I think I can help. According to the 1920 US Census, Cecil E. Vance was born in 1916 to Charley J Vance and Dora B Vance (born Dora Belle Adkins); in 1920 they were living in Sheridan, Lincoln, WV. By the way, the Missouri records online (and Ancestry.com) also have the marriage license for Cecil and Mildred Rippetoe in Jackson, Missouri on 6 Apr 1946.

      Charley J Vance is recorded in Ancestry.com public trees (with links to Census evidence) as the son of Leander Jackson Vance and Parlee Chafin from Logan, WV. and Leander is the son of Levi Jackson Vance and Mary Bane McDonald; Levi is the son of John Vance and Hannah Rader, and John was Abner Vance of Logan, WV's son. That is your link to Abner.

      If your brother took a DNA test he should be in Group 2a of the Vance DNA project.

      If you want more details on these lines, contact me at davevance01@gmail.com and I can share or point you to the records. There is also a Facebook group that you might consider joining for descendants of Abner at https://www.facebook.com/groups/692661887461090/ and the researchers there have a lot of details on Abner's lines; you might connect with others with the sane ancestors.

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  46. I'm a Vance from my fathers side & am so excited to find this site!
    I've been wanting to do our family genealogy for years but don't know where to start.
    I've long suspected we have Irish in our lineage somewhere but everyone scoffs & laughs. A boy I went to high school with also had the last name Vance & people thought we were related, but we weren't. I bumped into him at one of our high school reunions & he told me he was doing his families genealogy & Vance was an Irish surname.
    I would love to find out so i can share w my children & grandchildren!
    Where do I start?

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    1. My fathers name is Philip J Vance, son of Charles Vance & Frances ? (Don't know her maiden name)

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    2. Hi! Do you know your grandfather Charles Vance's birth/death dates, or perhaps where he was born or lived? That would help narrow him down to find if others have included him in their research. Or do you know anything else about where your Vance line came from?

      You can also reach me at davevance01@gmail.com if you prefer.

      Dave

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  48. Hi Vance here! I don't know much about my dads side with the exception of my Grandfather Earl Milton Vance (1920-1986) married to Betty Jean Maus and my Great Grandfather Paul Bowen Vance (1895-1977) married to Ruth... I've always been interested to know my Vance side!

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    1. Hi! You can find out a little more about your great-grandfather and great-grandmother here: http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I33106&tree=2, including the name of his own father. But it looks like we don't know a lot more. I'll take a look at a few other sources and see if there's anything else about this line!

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    2. Thank you much! That'd be great!

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    3. I have a few more Vance generations for your family here. I've included the records where I found references to parents, but you should always double-check all sources and form your own conclusions!

      Based on that link above, Paul Bowen Vance's parents were James Milton Vance (b. 1859 in IN) and Florence E. Bowen, who were married in IN on 25 Sep 1882. Their marriage record lists as parents of James, William Vance and Amanda King. William and Amanda were married 17 Feb 1846 and THEIR marriage record lists William's father as William Vance (b. 1790) who married Harriet Thomas.

      You can find William Vance (b. 1790)'s record here: http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I22323&tree=2 and his father was James Vance (b. abt 1771)who married Azubah Garrison. That database by the way doesn't have the links all the way down to Paul Bowen Vance, so it needs to be updated. But the marriage records from IN seem to fill in the gap so it looks pretty reliable.

      Most of the above I found by searching records on Ancestry.com. Also at the links above for William and his father James are some references to Ancestry.com family trees and some records on Ancestry. So there is a fair amount on Ancestry about this line if you search there. However I would take the public family tree information with a grain of salt because people aren't always particular about where they get their information and some of it isn't reliable. The digitized records are more reliable but not always perfect (and often have misspellings etc).

      Hope that helps...

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  49. Looking for William Jacob Vance b abt 1779 in TN. He appears in Lawrence AR census in 1850 and 1860 with wife Sarah. Children William Jr, Davidson, Clarinda(my line),Samuel, George, Anderson, Gainsboro, Martin, and Mary A.
    Any help appreciated.

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    1. Linda, you can find William Jacob Vance here: http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I22889&tree=2 although he is listed there as William L. Vance but I have seen him listed as William Jacob before. I think there was some confusion over one or more of the records. Anyway he was married to Sarah Hudson.

      His father appears to be a Jacob Vance (possibly not born in Ireland, if you look HIS father was John Vance who married Mary Kennedy and lived/died in VA).

      So far that's all I can find; will check a couple other sources but by the early 1700s the records become hard to find!

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  50. its ironic because my full name happens to be Vance Lamb

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  51. I'm a Vance! My knowledge on my family line goes only as far back as my grand parents, Melvin Doyle Vance who married Margie Zimmermann and they were from Texas. I've recently moved to Texas and have become very interested in learning as much as I can about my family history. Any help would be grand!

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    1. Hi Sierra! Based on others' research it appears Melvin was the son of George Washington Vance and Dosia Ann Franklin; you can find several generations of Vances by following the links back starting here: http://www.genealogy.com/ftm/h/a/n/Amelia-mimi-n-V-Hanna/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0010.html. Another generation or two back comes from this database of Vances: http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I11752&tree=2 (starting with Hugh Lavean Vance).

      I haven't checked out Ancestry yet but there might be other researchers to connect with there also. I would encourage you to double-check with your own research of course - knowing where the census records or birth/marriage/death records etc are that confirm all this and verifying it with your own eyes always helps to avoid basing your tree off of someone else's possible misreading or misinterpretation!

      It looks like we don't know yet where this Vance line goes back to (i.e. Ireland versus Germany or perhaps elsewhere). That's where additional research or DNA testing (if you have male Vance descendants in the family) would help!

      If I find anything more I'll post it here - and best of luck in your efforts!

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  52. I am a Vance from far western Kentucky my great grandfather was Jim Vance my grandfather was Grover Vance 1910 2000 and my dad was Charles Keith Vance 1944 2016 I would love to know about my family history

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    1. First, my condolences on your loss since I see your father passed away just recently.

      In looking through census records and on Ancestry.com, it looks like your grandfather Grover was the son of James Madison Vance Jr. (1893-1987) and Mae Ella (Ella) Heflin (1894-1962). James Madison Vance Jr. was the son of James Madison Vance Sr. (1848-1934) and I don't have his wife's name yet. James Sr. was the son of John Vance (1831-1858) and Mollie Smith (1835-1910), and they were from Calloway KY. John was the son of Andrew Vance (1805-1857) and Parmelia Cunningham (1808-1847) from Tennessee. And Andrew was the son of David Vance (1771-1857) and Margaret Rhue Taylor (1780-?).

      This line of Vances was obviously in the US for a very long time but as far as I can tell we don't know where they came from originally. Just from the English first names it's likely to have been from Ireland though (as opposed to Germany).

      And if they WERE from Ireland those Vance lines have been fairly well mapped with DNA research. If you have any male Vance descendants from Grover or Charles Keith still in the family you could probably find out through a DNA test where you connect in Ireland (generally if not exactly).

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  53. Im from Texas and we are Irish.. Oldest relative is Roscoe Cleveland Vance my grandfather born the 1890's or early 1900's.. It'd be cool if anybody knew of him..

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    1. Hi Quinten! It looks like there has been some research done on your Vance line; you can see your grandfather here: http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I24147&tree=2 with another six generations of Vances back from him.

      There isn't any information in that database about where this line of Vances came from before the US, but most of that info is at least 5 years old so you might have better luck contacting the original source - it looks like there's a researcher named Charles Kyle "Kyle" Vance at kyle@vanceservices.com that might still be doing research on the same line.

      Dave

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  54. I am getting ready to go on a trip to Ireland. My relatives have done quite a bit of research and I am a descendant of Leon Sullivan Vance I believe our roots originate in Ulster but not certain.

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    1. Is your ancestor the Leon Sullivan Vance (b. 1877, married to Emma Dale Calvin) at this site: http://genealogy.jvans.co.uk/getperson.php?personID=I310&tree=2 ?

      If so, then your Vance line is descended from Matthew Vance of Pittsylvania and is part of what the Vance DNA project calls "Group 2a". Other descendant lines in this group include Abner Vance, Jim Vance of Hatfield/McCoy fame, and my own Vance line.

      We know the original group came from Ulster but we don't know where exactly; only a few lines have found their immigrant ancestor's starting point in Ireland (mine for instance came from the Inishowen Peninsula above Londonderry). Different men of these lines immigrated to the US over a period of nearly 100 years so it is likely the families had spread out even in Ireland.

      You can reach me at davevance01@gmail.com if I can help further!

      Dave

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  55. Thanks! And yes that is the Leon :)

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