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Vance Families

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Alternate Spellings - Vanse, Vantz

Links - Fuller, Halstead, Vanatta, Pearson, Clark, Mosley/Knott, Essley, Kellogg (Misc Families)

Contacts - Judy Parish is granddaughter of Robert Alonzo and Nellie Neely Vance and sent information on that family.

Vance families contact with New Boston Township was short but we are including a full page as descendants of these families spread to other townships and lived out their lives in Mercer County. There were other Vance families in Mercer County originating from different states and as time permits we will add census and cemetery records here. Untangling all the Vance families would be a big project. There are 44 burials and 34 marriages for Vances and many different areas of the country represented in census records.

There were 82 heads of families named Vance in the 1790 Census, spread across ten states. The majority (35) are found in Pennsylvania. Because of the number of early Vance families one cannot assume that all the Vance families in Mercer County were related.

John Vance Family of New Boston

The only information we have on this family is the 1860 census in New Boston Town: John Vance, 45, Brickmaker/mason, born Ohio; Mary A., 33, born NY; Henry, 19, laborer, born Il; Brazillia France (mistranscription for Vance?) 2/12, born Illinois. With them is a Nancy Poland, 10, born Ohio. We do not know her connection to the family. They are not in Mercer County in 1850 or 1870 and we suspect John Vance came to work on a special project in New Boston and left when it was done.

William and Rachel Vannatta Vance

James Vance was son of William and Rachel Vannatta Vance, born February 15, 1825, in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. We suspect Rachel Vannatta Vance was related to the early Mercer County Vannattas, and the Vances came to Mercer County at their invitation. The History of Mercer County 1882 tells us that James Vance removed with his father's family to Mercer County in 1833, settling in Keithsburg Township where the village of Keithsburg later stood. After one year they removed to Rock Island County, and at the end of another year returned to Keithsburg township, where they made farming their business. More on James and Sarah below.

We actually find Rachel Vance in either Millersburg or Mercer Township in 1840. The census taker made the dividing line between the two townships after the names were written, as he wrote the totals for Mercer Township on top of Rachel’s record so she must have lived on the dividing line of the two townships. The family is listed as Rachel (head), 1 male under 5, 2 males 15-20, 1 female 5-10, 1 female 10-15, 1 female 15-20, 1 female 30-40 (Rachel). We do not know if William was deceased or merely away from home as we do not find a burial record for him in Mercer County. We do not find Rachel in 1850. Below are some speculations on the makeup of the 1840 family.

Catharine Vance Kiddoo

Catharine Vance came with the family to Mercer County and on 3/3/1853 she married William Kiddoo who also came from Beaver County, Pennsylvania, but in 1847. Catharine's history says that she was born in 1834 in Pennsylvania and that the Vance family came to Mercer County in 1836. There are some slight differences in her sketch from that of James Vance and the information may have been furnished by a member of the Kiddoo family. William and Catharine Vance Kiddoo had seven children: Evila Jane, Nancy Alice, Olive, Forbes M., Mary, William M., and Rachel E Kiddoo. William died in 1867 and Catharine is found as a widow in Millersburg Township in 1870 with her seven children. Catharine Vance Kiddoo remarried on 11/16/1871 to Frank B. Bryant of Ohio and had three children by him: Laura B., Frank, and Archie H. Bryant. Catharine is likely the female 5-10 listed in the 1840 census above. Her naming children Rachel and William indicate she was daughter of William and Rachel Vance.

In 1860 there are two other Vances living with William and Catharine Vance Kiddoo: Gersham, 22, laborer, born Il; and Joshua, 13, born Il. Gersham could have been the male under 5 in the 1840 census above. If William Vance was deceased in 1840, Joshua could not be another son.

Gersham Vance married Emma Kiddoo, daughter of James and Margaret Kiddoo, on 6/24/1863. Joshua married Maria J. Mosely, daughter of Mary Mosley Knott, on 9/30/1868 (we will be putting up a Mosely/Knott page as they lived in New Boston Township). Neither Gersham nor Joshua are found in the 1870 census in Mercer County. Joshua evidently returned as Joshua and Maria are found in Joy, Millersburg Township in 1880: Joshua Vance, 32, laborer, born Ia, parents unknown; Mariah, 29, Il, parents unknown; Walter, 11, Il; Elmer, 7, Il; Lizzie 5, Il. Nothing in this record indicates that he was son of William and Rachel. Joshua and Maria are buried in the Peniel Cemetery in Millersburg Township: Joshua 1845-(n.d.) and Maria J. 1850-1912. Because the date is not filled in on the tombstone Joshua may not actually be buried there.

Eliza Vance Brewer

Eliza Vance was possibly daughter of Rachel and William Vance. She married Holman Brewer on 12/29/1842 in Mercer County. They are not found in Illinois or Iowa in the 1850 census.

More on James and Sarah Pearson Vance

James Vance married Sarah Pearson, daughter of Mark L. and Mary Steward Pearson, on 5/7/1846 in Mercer County. Soon after their marriage they removed to Davis County, Iowa, where they remained six years. They then removed to New Boston Township in Mercer County where they resided three years. From there they went to Abington township where Mr. Vance bought the farm where they were living in 1882. The farm "contains 170 acres of excellent land, and Mr. Vance and his family of boys have devoted most of their time to tilling the soil."

James and Sarah Pearson Vance had twelve children born to them: William R. (born New Boston); Robert L., Josiah W., Elijah A., Nerva A., John W., Marion E., Gershan H., James B., Forbes N., Mary V., and Martha E. (deceased by 1882). Martha E. is buried in Greenmound Cemetery, died 2/20/1881, age 9 yr 4m 21 d.

The 1882 History tells us Mr. Vance was politically a "greenbacker" and religiously a "moralist." "Of late years he has had rather poor health, and took a trip last summer to California, Oregon and some of the western territories, from which he received much benefit. Mr. Vance can relate many incidents in the early settlement of the country of much interest. He saw the distinguished Indian chief, Black Hawk, and six hundred of his dusky warriors."

The six year Iowa residency of James and Sarah Vance is mentioned as a "short time in Iowa" in the 1882 History in a short sketch of their son, William R. Vance. It states, "William R. [Vance] was born in New Boston Township, Mercer County, Illinois, September 20, 1847. He has spent all his time in Mercer County, except a 'short time' in Iowa." William remained at home until twenty-two years of age, when he bought a farm in Abington township. In 1876 he moved to Ohio Grove township, where he bought 160 acres of the NW 1/4 of Section 37. He was married January 7, 1875, to Jennie Brown, daughter of John Brown of Mercer County, and a native of Mercer County. The Mercer County marriage records show their license taken out 1/10/1874 so they may have been married earlier. In 1882 they had one child, Olive B. Vance. This was Olive Bertha Vance who married Harry Somerville Lafferty on 5/2/1895 in Mercer County. We need to check the 1900 Mercer County census for more children.

The 1870 Census of Abington Township seems to contradict a six year stay in Iowa, as it shows all their children born Illinois: James Vance, 48, farmer, born Pa; Sarah, 42, Oh; Wm R., 22, Il; Robert, 21, Il; Josiah W., 18, Il; Minerva, 17, Il; Elijah Albert, 14; John W., 12; Marion E. (Male), 11, Il; Gersham H., 9, Il; James B., 7, Il; Forbes N., 5, Il; Mary V., 3, Il. Nancy Pearson, likely a sister of Sarah, age 35, born Ohio, is with them.

Son Robert Vance married Matilda L. Anderson, daughter of James and Mary Anderson of Pennsylvania, on 2/21/1878 in Mercer County. We believe Robert was named after a brother of James Vance. An older Robert Vance is in Abington Township in Mercer County, not far from the James Vance family, in 1870: Robert Vance, 41, born Pa; Violette, 52, born Oh; James M., 21, born Iowa; Rachel, 18, born Iowa; Claudius, 14, born Il; Marquis L., age 12, Il; William R, 10, born Il; Mary J., 8, born Il. Note the two children born Iowa, perhaps James Vance's history is confused with Robert, or perhaps the birthplaces of some of James's children in the 1870 census are incorrect. When time permits we will check the 1880 census for further information. We also need to check the 1900/1910 census for the children of Robert and Matilda Anderson Vance. Robert was born 5/9/1848 and died 6/24/1918. Matilda was born 6/11/1855 and died 11/18/1940. They had a son Clarence J. (12/9/1878-3/1/1904). All three are buried in Greenmound Cemetery.

Son Josiah W. Vance married Helena M. Clark, daughter of widow Minerva Clark of Indiana, on 3/14/1872 in Mercer County. The Clarks lived two doors from the Vances in Abington Township. Minerva Clark is probably the Mary Jane Springer who married John Watson Clark on 6/8/1848 in Crawford County, Indiana, as her mother, Comfort Springer, 77, born Pennsylvania, is living with them in 1870. When time permits we will look for a cemetery record for John Watson Clark in Mercer County. Helena Clark Kellogg is buried in Greenmound Cemetery: 8/20/1852-6/11/1901. There is an infant son died 10/10/1877 and a daughter Madora, died 3/9/1875, buried with her. We do not find a burial record for Josiah. The family is in Millersburg Township in 1900: #188 Josiah Vance, born October 1851, age 49, married 28 years, farmer, born Il, father born Pa, mother born Ohio; Helena, born Aug 1852, age 49, married 28 years, 8 children born, 5 living, born In, parents born In; Robert A., son, born April 1876, 24, born Il, father Il, mother In, farmer; Fred, son, Oct 1882, 17, farm laborer, born Il; Bessie J, dau, March 1885, 15, Il, at school; Ed, son, Jan 1891, 9, Il, at school; Thomas, son, Oct, 1894, 5, Il; Nellie, daughter-in-law, June 1880, 19, Il, parents born Il (see more on Robert Alonzo and Nellie at the bottom of the page).

Daughter Minerva (Nerva) Vance married James A. Kellogg on 2/18/1873. There is a short sketch of the James Kellogg family in the 1882 Mercer County History. James Kellogg was born in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, November 23, 1848. His family immigrated to Bureau County, Illinois, in 1852, and then to Mercer County the following year. Shortly after his marriage James Kellogg purchased a farm of 80 acres in Ohio Grove Township, being the E/2 NW/4 Sec 28. James and Nerva Vance Kellogg had children: Arthur L., Frank R., and Inis L. Kellogg. We have a Kellogg family up on our Miscellaneous Families page, but they are descended from New York Kelloggs. James A. Kellogg was the son of James and Martha Kellogg of Abington Township (again very near the Vance family). James Kellogg, Sr. was born in Massachusetts and their children were all born Pennsylvania.

Son Albert Vance married Dorleska A. Dihel on 10/26/1876 in Mercer County. There were two different Dihel families in Ohio Grove Township in 1870 but we do not find Dorleska in either one so we do not know her parentage.

Son John W. Vance married Margaret J. Dalrymple on 2/7/1883 in Mercer County. Margaret was daughter of James and Mary Dalrymple who came to Mercer County from Connecticut. She is buried in Greenmound Cemetery: Margaret, wife of J. W. Vance, born 7/15/1858, died 1/26/1892. There are two infant stones with her with no dates. John W. Vance is buried next to her: 1857-1921. John W. Vance married again. Elmira, wife of John W. Vance, 1865-1947 is buried next to John and Margaret. We do not find a marriage record for John and Elmira in Mercer County.

Son Marion E. Vance married Margery Seaton on 2/28/1884 in Mercer County. There were two Seaton families, John and James, in Abington Township in 1870 living near the Vance family. Each had a daughter Margery who could have been the wife of Marion.

Son Gersham Vance married Orpha Delinda Palmer on 2/19/1885 in Mercer County. Orpha was daughter of Gaius (deceased) and Susan Palmer of Keithsburg Township. Gersham was named after Gersham Vance, possibly a brother of James, living with William and Catherine Vance Kiddoo in the 1860 census, age 22, laborer, born Pennsylvania. We need to examine the 1900 census to find children of Gersham and Orpha. Gersham and Orpha Palmer Vance are both buried in Greenmound Cemetery: Gersham H. 1860-1924 and Orpha D. 1864-1928. We know of at least one son, Ward, who is buried between Gersham and Orpha: 1890-(n.d.). There is also a daughter, Edna Marie, buried with them, died 5/29/1888.

Son James B. Vance married Rebecca E. Carnagy on 3/5/1884 in Mercer County. Rebecca was daughter of John and Mary E. Carnagey of Kentucky and Indiana, and again lived near the Vances in Abington Township. There is another James B. Vance found in Mercer County, older (born 1843), and not to be confused with this one.

Son Forbes N. Vance married Roxie A. Crook on 2/13/1889 in Mercer County. Roxie was daughter of Galen and Olive Crook of New Boston Township. We will be adding the Crooks to the Miscellaneous Families page. Forbes and Roxie lived out their lives in Mercer County and are buried in Greenmound Cemetery: Forbes 1865-(n.d.); Roxie 1869-1936. Again since Forbes's date is not filled in on the tombstone we are not certain he is actually buried there. They had a daughter Pauline (1907-1908) and another Esther (2902-1920), both buried beside Roxie.

We believe that daughter Mary V. Vance is the Mary Violet Vance who married Ed L. Wickett on 2/15/1888 in Mercer County. Ed Lee Wickett was son of Jesse and Mary Wickett of Indiana who also lived in Abington Township.

There must have been a very strong family relationship for all these children to remain near their parents in Mercer County during the latter part of the century when so many people were moving west. James and Sarah Pearson Vance are buried in Greenmound Cemetery: James 2/15/1823-2/19/1895; Sarah Pearson, wife of James Vance, 4/2/1827-1904.

Alonzo Vance Family

Alonzo Vance is the Robert A. Vance shown in the 1900 census as son of Josiah and Helena Vance (above). Nellie Neely married Alonzo Vance in Mercer County on 3/1/1900. They are living with Josiah and Helena Vance in 1900. Both are buried in New Boston Cemetery. Nellie died in 1936 and R. A.'s tombstone reads 1876-1955. Judy Parrish tells us they had daughters Maud, Opal and Linnie.

Andrew and Rachel McIntire Vance

The Andrew Vance who married Rachel McIntire on 10/31/1844 in Mercer County might have been the other male, age 15-20 in the 1840 census above and son of William and Rachel Vance. We are uncertain of this however because of birth place information in 1880: New Boston #224 Andrew Vance, wood chopper, 60, born In, father born In, mother born Ohio; #225 Andrew Vance, 30, wood chopper, born In, parents born Indiana; Sarah, 28, born Oh, parents born Maine; Rachel, 6, Il; Kate, 4, Il; Libby, 2, Il. This daughter Rachel was probably named for Rachel McIntire and does not indicate a connection to William and Rachel Vance.

James and Loisa(?) Vance Family

There is another James Vance Family in New Boston in 1880: #258 James Vance, 28, farmer, born Ia, parents born Ohio; Loisa (Louisa? Lois?) E., 23, born Ohio, parents born Ohio; Laura A., 6, born Iowa; Minnie Belle, 5, Il; Olive J, 3, Il.