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!

51 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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  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. 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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  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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