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Ephraim Vance

Also Known As: "Ephraim Vause"
Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: County Antrim, Ulster, Ireland
Death: circa 1790 (72-88)
Russell County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Andrew Vance and Jane Vance
Husband of Theodosia Marr Vance
Father of Alexander Vance; Thomas Vance; William Vause; Elizabeth Hoge 'Deliz' Hatfield; Jesse Vance and 7 others
Brother of John James Vance; Samuel Vance Sr.; Ann Vance; William Vance; David Vance and 2 others

Occupation: Miss McDonald shown as Abner's mother. Is this the same Matthew that married Anne Jones on June 5, 1746 First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Ephraim Vance

Hi Keith,

Sorry to take so long getting back to you. We have at least two Abner descendants in the project already. One of them is, like you, a descendant of Abner's son Richard (through his son Paris). We have about all we need on the DNA front when it comes to Abner. You're still welcome to test if you want, but it probably won't advance our understanding of Abner's genealogy. You can see the results here: As you can see, Abner's descendants closely match several other participants.

I don't think there's much debate over Abner being the son of Ephraim Vaus/Vance. Simply put, there's no good evidence to suggest that he was Ephraim's son. I'm sure a DNA test from an Ephraim descendant would settle the issue, but I think that's just one of those things you see floating around the internet that looks like it's on good authority, but actually there's no evidence for it. Incidentally, there's no evidence to suggest that Ephraim himself was the son of Andrew Vance. At one point, every single Vance in America was supposed to be descended from Andrew, so if the generation fit, people just made the person Andrew's son.

On the other hand, based on DNA it seems very likely that Abner was closely related to Matthew Vance of Pittsylvania County, VA. The DNA evidence and other traditional evidence link the two families. Opinions differ over whether Abner was Matthew's son or perhaps a nephew, but it is very likely that they were closely related.

Let me know if you'd still like to participate in the DNA project or if you have any other questions.

- Adam Bradford

Administrator, Vance Y-DNA Project

On Sun, Oct 5, 2008 at 10:58 PM, <> wrote:

I have documented my ancestry to the infamous Abner Sr which was hung in Abington, Washington County, VA in 1819. He was my GGGGGfather.

There seems to be a debate whether Abner Sr was the son of Ephraim Vance (vaus) son of Andrew.

Do you have any information on this and would I be a good canidate for your project?

Thank you

Keith Alexander Vance, San Diego, CA


Recently a very good friend found some documents in Pittsylvania County, Virginia on Matthew Vance and Anne Jones. Matthew and Anne married in the First Prebyterian Church of Philadelphia in 1746. She and I went to Philly and have copies of the church marriage register.

These new Pittsylvania documents found by Janice and Tom Vance listed "Matthew Vance and son John" on a tithable list for 1773. A second document in 1783 deed has Matthew and Anne selling their property in Pittsylvania to Edward Flowers. The interesting thing of this deed notes "Matthew Vance of Surry County, North Carolina". These documents to my knowledge have never been seen or written about in any form until I wrote a tiny article last November for my family and friends on the Vance MyFamily page. These 2 documents are new developments on Matthew Vance and are wonderful as they give my relative John Vance his parents.

Matthew Vance and son John can be found in Spartanburg census of 1790. John Vance then moves to Burke where he raised his children.

I have some other reasonable proof that Abner Vance who was hung, and Matthew and Barbara (McVeigh?)are also related to Matthew and Anne. Abner was hung in Abingdon as researched by others, and Matthew can be found in Greenville, SC before he moved to Burke County, NC also researched by others. He joined John Vance there about 1818.

Question: In an earlier Will of John Vance in 1754, Lancaster PA, John leaves brother Matthew, sister Margery, and sister Naley Smith some pounds and shillings and Margery as executor. John and Robert McCally witness the Will. Does anyone know of Naley (could be a mispelling for Nellie etc.) Smith that might have been in Pittsylvania, Virginia, or Greenville, South Carolina, or even Burke County, North Carolina? Any help on any Vance/Smith/Jones connections in those counties are appreciated.


Matthew Vance

My information about the Vance's came from Francis Vance Clemons, Ocala,FL. She is the daughter of Ivor Charles Vance. She is carrying on thestudy began by her grandfather David Todd Vance and plans to publish abook on the Plumtree, NC Vance's in the future.


Juda Vance was certainly right when she said that Matthew Vance was an"elusive person".

Everyone in our family who is interested in genealogy has been trying foryears to find the missing

link between Matthew and the Rev. John Vans, A.M., the Scottish ministerwho started the Vance

line in America.

In the meantime, we can only go on what we do know, and this is thelatest on MATTHEW VANCE of the CAROLINAS.- The Latter Day Saints, whohave the largest collection ofgenealogy material, list Matthew as beingborn in Laurens County in South Carolina on July 21,1764. They list hisfather as Samuel Vance who married Sara Colville. This Samuel wasprobably the brother of John Vance who had lived in Augusta County,Virginia. We don't know who was the first to move to South Carolina..

All we know is that Matthew was one of the first Vance's to move into ourToe River Valley. Why he chose this isolated part of the world in theearly 1800's will always be a mystery.. Most of the Vance's in this partof the country can trace their lineage back to Matthew and Barbara.


My (Fran) grandfather, D.T. Vance, was always interested in "where" theVance's came from, and he spent some time and money trying to find ourheritage from Europe. He obtained a copy of "The Vans Family of France -England - Scotland- Ireland and America" compiled form official sourcesby Anne Plummer Johnson of Memphis, Tennessee in 1929.

This is a long involved "Vance Lineage" from France where the name wasspelled Vaux, through Scotland and Ireland where it was spelled Vans, toAmerica and the Vance spelling, and goes back to 1066.While it isinteresting to read, it's hard to find the exact thread leading to theVance's of Plumtree, although it has been compiled for the directdescendants of Rev. John Vans A.M., the first of name to settle inIreland - which we are.

The problem is Matthew Vance 1. D.T.'s sister, Juda Vance called him "anelusive person" when she began her search of our "roots" years ago, andno one, so far, has come up with the direct connection back fromMatthew's first appearance in Greenville, S.C. around 1800. Juda saysthat he came into North Carolina and settled in Hunter's Chapel nearSpruce Pine. Others have said he

came up the John's River into the Altamont section. Either way, he wasthe beginning for the present day Vance's in Western N.C.!

The following account of Matthew is taken from a letter written by a Mr. Biggs in Deep Creek, Washington in 1950. Apparently Mr. Biggshad requested some information about our family and D.T. was happy toreply. The letter is written in longhand, as he explained, his secretaryis too busy to type for him.

"I have your recent letter and will attempt to answer most of thequestions you ask. I will begin with my Great Grandfather. Many years agoI asked my Grandfather, Louis Vance , if his father (Matthew) fought inthe Revolutionary war. He said that he was too young. My records firstmentions this: Matthew Vance, a sturdy Irish lad came to America to havea chance - and that he

married a Scottish lass who came to America for the same reason. I noticeyou state that she was born in 1770, which is about right."

Apparently Mr. Biggs had some information about Barbara McVeigh whomarried Matthew. It should be noted at this time that D.T. had suffered aslight stroke before this writing, and he did ramble a bit with thisstory.

The letter continues: "This Matthew Vance fought a duel with a man namedVaughn but before this he and Matthew started to fight, but a friendparted them. Vaughn then lived near Altamont, Avery County. Vance livedabout a half mile south west of Plurntree, When this man Vaughn spoke ofgoing into the N. Toe River section his wife said to him - if you go overthere and if you have any words with that man Vance he will kill you,saying that Vance was the best shot in WNC and that it is said that hewas afraid of 'neither the devil nor his angels'.

"Vaughn then said that there was no one that he was afraid of, remindingher that he could shoot too. The duel occurred about 1^ miles south westof Plurntree. Both had flint lock rifles and both fired at the sameinstant. Vaughn was standing on the door sill, but the door shutter wasnot clearly open. Vance's bullet struck Vaughn in the chest then itpierced the shutter. Vaughn's blood splashed against the shutter. Iasked my grandfather what became of Vaughn's bullet. He said my daddysaid Vaughn's bullet whizzed over his head. This was Burke County whenVance was tried at Morganton NC."

No one, to my knowledge, has ever checked the records to see if the trialtook place. If it did, he obviously was not convicted .

The day after the above letter was written, D.T. wrote a second letter toMr. Biggs as follows: "There was a little more that I wanted to tell youabout my Great Grandfather Matthew Vance. Just before he had the duelwith Vaughn he had been a soldier under Andrew Jackson, having fought atthe Horse Shoe Bend in Alabama in 1813 under Jackson and then again onthe Plain of Charlmotte near New Orleans on Jan. 8, 1815, but still wehave never found out when he died nor where his grave is, but it shouldbe near here (Plurntree). We did, however, locate the grave of hisbrother John who was born May 1, 1753 and died May 1830. His name wasnicely cut on just a country stone located in the Mount Carmel Cemeterythis side of Spruce Pine, he having lived on Buck Ridge near whereMatthew had lived. Matthew, of course, was familiar with Indian fighting,killing panthers also and that is why he was considered the best shot inWNC, and that he was afraid of 'neither the Devil nor his angels'. Nowthis is about all that I can tell you about my ancestors. Best wishes Iam yours very truly, David Todd Vance.

P.S. It just so happens I am a great, great grandson of John Franklin whocame to N.C. from Philadelphia to help drive the British armies out ofthe south, and in Nov. 1781 Cornwallis surrendered to Geo. Washington atYorktown, Va."


Clayton McDonald Vance

Twin to Suda Magdalene Vance


Ruth Banner

According to the source for the Vance information, Fran Clemons, Ruth wasraised by Juda Eudora Vance


Research by Patricia Douglas Vance using all sources available to me. If you family members see something you do not want included, please notify me.

Updated November 15, 1999

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Ephraim Vance's Timeline

County Antrim, Ulster, Ireland
Age 30
Shawsville, Montgomery County, Virginia, United States
Age 30
Augusta County, Virginia, United States
May 7, 1741
Age 31
Frederick County, Virginia, United States
January 1742
Age 32
Isle of Wight, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Colonial America
Age 38
Shawsville, Montgomery County, Virginia, United States
Age 38
Winchester, Virginia, United States
Age 40
Age 50
North Carolina, United States

Per Tazcova