Washington County PAGenWeb Genealogy Project


Biography of Joseph Vance

Source:  History of Washington County, PA; by Crumrine; pub. 1882.
 Contributed by Mona Knight

1.  Page 914, bio of Joseph Vance:
Joseph Vance came to Smith township from Winchester, Va., in 1774, and commenced to improve land where Presley Leach now lives, but William Crawford and Henry Houghland had a prior claim, and he abandoned it and took up the land now owned by Allison, Thomas P., and John S. Vance.  He was prominent in all the various expeditions against the Indians, and built the stockade fort known for many years as Vance's Fort by the early esettlers.  He was prominent in the Presbyterian Church at Cross Creek, a member of the Legislature from 1802-3.  He lived to eighty-two years of age and died March 6, 1832, and was buried at Cross Creek.  He left six children.  William, who inherited the homestead, was a captain in the War of 1812, a member of the Legislature of Pennsylvania in 1815-16.  He married Rachel, a daughter of William Patterson, the first of that family to settle in the county..  She was born June 3, 1778, and died January 9, 1817, leaving five sons, Joseph, James, William P., Allison, and David, and four daughters, Cynthia, Elizabeth, Anna and Rachel.  On the 12th of June 1818, William Vance married Hannah, the sister of his first wife, by whom he had two sons, Thomas and John Stockton, and three daughters, Mary, Caroline, and celesta.  His marriage to his deceased wife's sister gave rise to lengthy proceedings in the assemblies of the Presbyterian Church, which finally adjudged the married to be "contra legem ecclesiae."  William Vance died April 8, 1856, aged eighty years.  His widow, Hannah, died in 1880, aged ninety-four years.  His descendants still occupy the homestead.
 

Col. John Vance was the second son of Joseph Vance.  He was Colonel in command of the regiment that went to New Lisbon in 1812.  He lived in this township all his life, and died November 24, 1841, aged sixty-two years, and was buried at Cross Creek.  His son, Joseph, was Colonel of an Ohio regiment under Gen. Banks in the Rebellion and was killed in the Red River campaign. 
 

Joseph, a third son of Joseph Vance Sr., went to New Orleans and was never heard from. 
 

Hannah Vance, daughter of Joseph Vance, married ?? Patterson. 
 

Maj. William Vance came to this section of country soon after his son Joseph settled here.  He located on land where John Easton now lives on the valley road from Cross Creek to burgettstown.  A warrant was obtained later, and on the 4th of March, 1785, it was surveyed to him as the "Oat Field," containing three hundred and seventy-eight acres.  He was prominent in the organization of the Presbyterian Church at Cross Creek, a man of wide range of information and well-balanced mind.  He died April 18, 1788, aged seventy years.  Governor Joseph Vance, who was long a member of Congress from Urbana district, Ohio, and Governor of that State in 1836-38, was a grandson of Maj. William Vance.  David Vance, a brother of Col. Joseph Vance and a son of Maj. William Vance, took out a Virginia certificate for land in 1780.  This was surveyed to him as "the Corn Field," containing three hundred and ninety-two acres, Dec 10, 1786, adjoining John Marshall and William Campbell.
 

2.  Biographical info re Isaac VANCE:
 

Page 953-54, South Strabane Township:
Isaac Vance was a son of John Vance, of Somerset Township, who died in 1796.  Isaac was born Feb 11, 1754, and came to this county with his father.  On the 18th of November 1803, he married Mary, daughter of Henry Cotton. He purchased two hundred and fifty acres of land in Strabane Township of Hugh Cotton, his brother-in-law, April 23, 1810, on which he settled and raised a large family.  His wife died Nov 9, 1830 and he survived her until Nov 5, 1837, when he too died at the age of eighty-three years, leaving fourteen children:  John, Agnes, Henry, Hugh, Isabella, Samuel, Mary, Hannah, Martha, Isaac, Rachel, Joseph, Margaret and Lydia.  John and Henry Vance settled on Pigeon Creek, on land their father had located there, and where their descendants now reside.  Mrs. John D. Scott is a daughter of Henry.  Isabella Vance married John Scott, a son of Josiah Scott; they settled on the Scott farm, and both died of cholera in 1819.  Martha married David Riddle, and settled on Pigeon Creek, where their son now lives.  Isaac settled in Alleghany County, and died in February 1873.  His son, John, owns the property.  Mary married Samuel Davis, and settled on Pigeon Creek.  Samuel, a son of Isaac, settled on the homestead in Strabane Township, where hd died.  Of his children, John remained on the homestead, where he now lives; William settled on the Scott farm and died there; Isaac located in Carlisle, where he now resides; Joseph became a Presbyterian minister and located at Carlisle, but on account of ill health returned to the homestead and died when still a young man.
 

Page 120 relates a story about Indian raids and the men organized to fight against them, and it is stated that "Soon after leaving the deserted village, they passed a sugar camp which the Indians had used the preceding spring. Butterfield relates that, in passing this place, "Isaac VANCE, one of the volunteers from Washington County, espied a brass kettle that had been used by the Indians in this camp to boil sap in, and which had apparently been left in the bush through an inadvertence. This kettle, in the eyes of a backwoodsman, was a prize of too much value to be left in the enemy's country; so, dismounting and seizing a bowlder, he soon had the utensil flattened, ready for transportation. It was then securely fastened to his saddle, and notwithstanding the stirring scenes through which the finder soon after passed, was transported all the way to the home of the borderer. Isaac VANCE lived in the township of Somerset, Washington County, as did also his father, John VANCE." (Note:  spelling is exactly as it was in the book.)


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