Return to Mercer County Home Page
Return to Surnames
Spelling Variations: Larrance, Larance, Larrence, Lawrence, Laurence, Laurens, Lorrance
Links: Carol Vidales' Web Site Lawrence/Larrance Family, Woodward Web Site Larrance Family Web Page, Swafford, Signor, Myers, Noble, Commons, Drew, Poffenbarger, Mannon , Prouty
Contacts: Carol Vidales (see Web Site above)
The progenitor of the Mercer County Lawrence/Larrance families is Edward Lawrence of Fauquier County, Virginia. Carol Vidales has a Web Page up with much information on this family (see Lawrence/Larrance family link above).
Jill Martin and Nadine Holder have a page up (Woodward Family Web Site link above) on Edward's son John Larrance, who was the ancestor of Mercer County families through a grandson Jonathan and wife Elizabeth Swafford. This Jonathan was a son of Peter Larrance. John Larrance had another grandson Jonathan who married Ann Woodward in Tennessee. This Jonathan was a son of Richard Larrance. Interestingly the Woodward and Larrance families connected again in Mercer County when Americus Vespucci Larrance, descendant of Jonathan and Elizabeth, signed a document that helped a Woodward descendant, John Welch, obtain a Civil War pension.
Jonathan Larrance, son of Peter Larrance, married Elizabeth Swafford 4/25/1830 in Henry County, Indiana. Elizabeth was possibly a daughter of Jeremiah Swafford, and related to other Mercer County Swafford families, but we have yet to prove this. We are not certain when John & Elizabeth came to Mercer County, but the History of Mercer County, 1882 says their son, Noah Noble Larrance, came in 1837, so Jonathan and Elizabeth probably came at the same time (since Noah was all of two years old!). There are no public land records found for the family.
Jonathan Lawrence is found in the 1840 census in the town of New Boston. His occupation is listed as commerce and trade. He is listed as age 30-40 which agrees with his birth date of 8/30/1806 in Randolph County, North Carolina, as he would have been 33. There are two unknown males with them age 20-30 and 15-20, too old to have been sons. Son Noah Noble Larrance, age 0-5 is with them. Elizabeth, age 20-30 is there, along with an unknown female age 15-20, and daughters Eleanor and Louisa, age 0-5. The unknown males and female may have been relatives of Elizabeth since several Swaffords are found in Mercer County, but only the one Larrance family.
Jonathan Larrance died 9/26/1845 in Mercer County, and Elizabeth died sometime between 10/22/1842 when Americus Vespuci was born, and 1850 when the census was taken. Carol Vidales found their children in the 1850 Census living with George Ralston, age 34, and Lavina Ralston, age 22, born Indiana. According to Mercer County marriage records an L. A. Swafford married George Ralston on 7/25/1848. Her name is given as Laura in the 1860 census records. She was no doubt a relative of Elizabeth Swafford Larrance to account for their having the children. She might have been the unidentified female in the Lawrence household in 1840. The children are listed in the 1860 census as Louisa B. Lawrence, 18, Eleanor W. Lawrence, age 17, Noah Noble Lawrence, age 15, farmer, all born Indiana. Noah's middle name caused some speculation about connections to the Noble family of Mercer County, but he was more likely named for the Indiana governor, Noah Noble. It was not unusual for children to be named after an admired public figure. Americus Lawrence (mistakenly shown as female), born Iowa, age 8, is with the other children in the 1850 census. The Iowa birthplace may be correct, as it was not unusual for the families to move back and forth across the river according to the seasons. If Jonathan was a trader he may have made temporary moves back and forth with his family in following his profession. Movement was facilitated by the existence of the New Boston Ferry.
None of the children are found with the Ralstons in the 1860 census. Louisa B. Larrance married William P. Myers on 12/13/1852. They are found in New Boston Township in the 1860 census with son Myron, age 5, and son Horace, age 1. William is a farmer, age 39, Louisa is age 29. In the 1870 census William is "keeping livery." Their children are Myron, age 15, Horace, age 11, Grace, age 8, Lloyd, age 6, Lillie, age 4, and Earl, age 1. Louisa Larrance Myers died 2/22/1872 in Mercer County and is buried in New Boston Cemetery. Her obituary is posted on the Mercer County Obituary Board. This family will be followed further on the Myers page.
Noah Noble, Americus, and Eleanor Larrance are not found in the 1860 Census in Mercer County. We did not find them in Iowa either. Curiously there is a Noble Lieurance, age 24, born Ohio in Lamar Township, Barton Co, Mo in 1860 with a wife Elizabeth, age 19, born In. Barton Co, Mo, would be on a reasonable migration path from Mercer County. Since Noah was about 28 when he married in Mercer County it is quite possible he had previously married and lost his wife in childbirth as so many did in that time period.
Noah Noble Larrance married Amanda Alice Mannon 11/28/1864 in Mercer County, Illinois. Amanda was daughter of Cyrus and Jane Myers Mannon. Amanda's mother, Jane Myers, was a sister of William Myers who married Noah's sister Louisa, above. Noah and Amanda had two children, Maude C. Larrance, born about 1866, and Rose Alice Larrance, born about 1868. Amanda Mannon Larrance died 3/2/1869 in Mercer County, Illinois. The two children are found in the 1870 census on the farm of Cyrus and Jane Mannon with their five children. Cyrus Mannon died in 1879 and Jane and her two granddaughters, Maude and Rose Larrance, are found in the 1880 census in Harvey County, Kansas, living next door to the Henry Prouty family. Jane's daughter, Elvy Mannon,was married to Henry . Elvy was great aunt to the two Larrance girls. Rose Larrance married U. S. Grant Commons about 1882 in Kansas. Maude married William Lawrence Spore about 1888 in Kansas. (marriage data from Carol Vidales.)
In the 1870 census in New Boston Town, Noah N. Lawrence is found living with his brother Americus Lawrence and his family. Americus is a livery stable keeper, and Noah's occupation is given as livery, so he apparently was also working for his brother. On March 30, 1871, Noah Larrance married Nancy A. Noble, daughter of Joshua Noble. Noah continued his interest in horses, as he participated in a colt show in New Boston in 1873 (see a copy of the article at the bottom of the Cook page). In the 1880 census, Noah and Nancy and their children are found in New Boston Township. Noah is a fish peddler, and they have children Harry O., age 6, Joshua E., age 4, and William, age 2. They are living very near Nancy's father Joshua Noble. Noah admitted himself twice to the Mercer County Farm for intemperance, once for four months in 1884 and once for slightly more than a year in 1886. Since we do not find a tombstone for him in Mercer County there is some possibility he died and was buried at the farm.
Americus Larrance's tombstone is found in New Boston Cemetery and gives a birth date of 10/22/1842 but no death date. Photo is courtesy of Jamie Paul. He was a member of Company G, 124th Illinois Volunteers. His name is given as Americus Lawrence of New Boston in the roster of Company G in the Illinois Adjutant General's Report. Americus enlisted August 2, 1862 and mustered in on September 10. He was discharged November 14, 1862 as disabled. The Adjutant General's report states that the regiment left for the front at Jackson, Tennessee, on October 6 where "in the crisp autumn air and lovely camp at Jackson the discipline and efficiency of the Regiment were rapidly developed and the foundations largely laid for all the distinction it afterwards achieved." Records discovered by a Welch researcher in Mercer County tell a wholly different story. In September 1862 the regiment was loaded into freight cars at Mattoon (Illinois) and transported to Louisville, Kentucky, when it was at once put to work under General Nelson to fortify the city against Bragg who was then advancing on it in pursuit of Buell. The regiment never had battalion drill and hardly any attempt at company drill so all the officers except the Colonel were 'raw recruits.' (Company G Officers were Lyman Scudder and Benton Pratt of New Boston.) On October 8, just 19 days after leaving Mattoon, the regiment was involved in the battle of Perryville, where at least 36 were killed and 180 wounded. Americus was discharged as disabled the next month and may have been among the wounded.
Americus Larrance married Rebecca Drew 9/24/1863 in Mercer County. She was daughter of Harrison & Eliza Drew. Americus and Rebecca are found in New Boston Town in the 1870 census where Americus is a livery stable keeper. He is 27, born Iowa, and Rebecca is 23, born Ohio. They have children Ethel Jane, age 4, and Pearl, age 1. Brother Noah N. Larrance is living with them. Alice Pearl Larrance never married. She was a teacher for a number of years in Mercer County and was the census taker in 1900 for New Boston Township. She died in 1915 and is buried in New Boston Cemetery. The 1900 census entry in New Boston shows: A. Larrance, widower, born October 1842 in Iowa, father born In, mother In, constable (he was listed as farmer in 1880); Pearl, born June 1869 in Illinois, teacher, father born Iowa, mother Ohio; Drew Harrison, father-in-law, born March 1828, age 72, widower, born Ohio, parents born Ohio.
Ethel Jane Larrance married Bert Poffenbarger, 10/14/1885 in Toolesboro, Iowa.
Americus and Rebecca had another child, Estella, born 7/10/1872, died 2/11/1874, buried in New Boston Cemetery (tombstone)). Rebecca Drew Larrance died 5/15/1893. There is a Civil War pension application for Americus Vespucci Larrance of Co G 124th Ill Infantry. His pension certificate was #913699. There was a widow’s pension certificate #836625 filed in Illinois by Eliza Larrance but we are not sure who she is. It might be of interest for descendants to obtain pension papers as they usually contain considerable genealogical information.
There appears to be one other possible Lawrence connection in Mercer County. George Signor of Mercer County was the son of John and Arminta C. Lawrence Signor. In the 1880 census George Signor is living next door to Noah Larrance so there may have been some connection.
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids