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My ancestor George Vance was born in 1753 and shows him marrying his wife Martha Chamberlain in 1783 in St. Columb's Cathedral in Derry.  It also shows a birth record (for Upper Fahan) for their first daughter Elizabeth in 1784 that says the family was living in Meenalooban near Desertegny at that time.  They were Church of Ireland.

George and Martha had 7 other children and emigrated to the US in 1804.  

Any advice on where to look for other records for this family would be greatly appreciated.  There is a John Vance and an Alexander Vance in the 1740 Householder's Index for Desertegny and it's very possible John was George's father (as George's first son was a John) but I have no real evidence.

Are there any listings of tombstones in the Desertegny area or anyone that could tell whether the Vances left any?

Grateful for any further clues,

Dave Vance


Friday 15th March 2013, 09:13PM

Message Board Replies

  • There was an 1863 sale in the Landed Estates' Court of the estate of James Falls VANCE, owner and petitioner.

    Is this helpful? I have more details.


    Friday 15th March 2013, 11:23PM
  • There were a number of Vances in the Magherafelt area of County Derry in the 18th and 19th centuries.  I do not have George in my notes but a number of others.

    Ron Dale

    Ron Dale

    Saturday 16th March 2013, 03:46AM
  • There were a number of Vances in the Magherafelt area of County Derry in the 18th and 19th centuries.  I do not have George in my notes but a number of others.

    Ron Dale

    Ron Dale

    Saturday 16th March 2013, 04:03AM
  • First, thank you very much for the reply!  It might be helpful although it was nearly 60 years after my Vances left the area to emigrate to the US.  At the very least it would show some of the family remained in the area (I assume the estate was on the Inishowen peninsula?).  

    I would be very interested in any details that might point to other members of James Falls Vance's family or the area in which he lived - and thank you again!




    Saturday 16th March 2013, 04:13PM
  • Thank you also very much for taking the time to post a reply.  

    I was aware of Vances in Donegal further south near Donegal town, and also in Tyrone, but was not aware of any in Derry county outside of Derry town, so thank you for that.  If you have any details that can be easily emailed I would love to get any you can send.  

    I do know the surname came in the early Plantation days over to Donegal (town) and also to Kilmacrenan, and spread out to the other Ulster counties by the start of the 1700s.  By 1805 a James Vance was Lord Mayor of Dublin, and in the 1840-50s a John Vance was MP for Dublin and Armagh.

    There are also several Vances over the years who married at St. Columb's in Derry and a Vance family of merchants in Derry town as well, unfortunately I have never connected my George Vance to the right family.  Hard to find good records from the mid-1700s!  

    In any case thank you again for the reply and I would be grateful for any details - email is fine (I assume the Email button on the post should work but let me know if not).  



    Saturday 16th March 2013, 04:33PM
  • Hi Dave, 

    Will need direct email address for any attachment. The Landed Estate is described "TOWNS AND LANDS OF DUNTEAGUE, held in the Barony of Lower Strabane, and County of Tyrone. To be sold before THE HONORABLE JUDGE HARGREAVE, AT THE LANDED ESTATES' COURT, DUBLIN .. .. "

    This does not mean he ( J F V) lived there. I would not know if he had his own manor on the lands as well.




    Sunday 17th March 2013, 12:11AM
  • Dave, I'm sure I must have sent you this years ago, but for the benefit of anyone else who is following this thread, here is a list of the Vances I've found who originate in Lisfannon:

    1) Lisfannon, Fahan, Donegal

        (2) Henry VANCE [135]

          b. ca 1749, 30 yrs bef marriage/children

          Orig. Desertegny Parish, Fahan Upper, Co. Donegal

        & Lettice [135]

        (2) George VANCE [2], [270], [45], [250]

          b. 1753, Donegal

          d. 26 Jul 1847, Orangeville, Columbia Co., PA

          br. McHenry Cemetery, Orangeville, PA

          em. 1804 [250]

          occ. teacher

          Orig. Meenalooban, Desertegny, nr Fahan [949]

          rel. CoI

        & Martha CHAMBERLAIN [250], [949], [135], [2], [45], [270]

          b. Scotland

          d. 26 Sep 1823, Orangeville, PA

          rel. CoI

          m. 2 Sep 1783, St. Columb’s, Co. Derry [135], [949]

        (2) John VANCE [135]

          b. ca 1790, by deduction

        (2) William [135]

          b. ca 1790, 30 yrs bef marriage/children

        & Matty [135]

        (2) John VANCE [135]

          b. ca 1791, 30 yrs bef marriage/children

        & Martha [135]

        (2) Charles VANCE [364]

          b. ca 1796

          d. 31 May 1851, Lisfannon, Fahan Upper

        (2) Alexander VANCE [135]

          b. ca 1811

          d. 21 May 1875, Burt, Co. Donegal

          Orig. Figary Fahan

        & Anne [135]

        (2) Andrew VANCE [135], [790], [789]

          b. ca 1826, 30 yrs bef marriage/children

          occ. farmer

          Orig. Lisfannon


    2. “Vance/Vans/Wentz Y-DNA Project,” Adam Bradford (,, now at

    45. “,” Historical Records, some original, some transcribed,,, England and Wales, Civil Registration Index: 1837-1900, Census returns, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, US census and BMD records, 2003 and subsequent.

    Published by permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Office for National Statistics

    135. “Irish Family History Foundation (IFHF),”,


    270. “Orangeville, Pennsylvania, United States of America,”, Oct 28, 2008.

    364. Lindel Buckley, “Donegal Genealogy Resources,”, Jun 15, 2009.

    789. “Marriage Register 1845 to 1902, Fahan Presbyterian Church,”, Aug 13, 2010.

    790. “Irish Genealogy,” Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Ireland,, Aug 15, 2010.

    949. Dave Vance, “Vance book - Part I now completed,” 25 July 2011, and other emails. And, “Vance History Online,”

    Jamie Vans

    Monday 7th June 2021, 06:03AM