Vance/Vans/Wentz Surname Y-DNA Project
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Dave Vance Dave Vance
August 1, 2019 @ 12:02pm
I created this graphic to show how the 16 Groups in the Vance/Vans/Wentz DNA Project are related to each other. Based on Y-DNA testing to date, all men on the planet are believed to be related to each other back about 300,000 years ago (which is before modern Homo Sapiens first appeared!). Fast-forward to about 30,000 years ago in the Paleolithic era, and major haplogroups I, G, and R split from each other. From Haplogroup I descend 3 of the DNA Groups, Haplogroup G has 1 of the DNA Groups, and the other 12 DNA Groups are various flavors of Haplogroup R1b (M269). Note this frequency distribution is very similar to the frequency of these haplogroups among all English/Irish/German men so this pattern among the men of the Vance surname is entirely normal. Over the later millennia other branches split off and created new descendant lines. By 1800 BC (BCE) all 16 Groups had appeared and each DNA line shown in the graphic has descendants today who carry many different surnames. Only the Vance lines are shown here. Then anywhere around 1400 to 1800 AD (CE), depending on the Group, a man with a Vance/Vans/Wentz (or variant) surname in each Group had several descendants who eventually led to all the men in each Vance/Vans/Wentz DNA Group so far. Each Group is marked on the Present Day line just alternating blue/orange to set them apart, and the size of each Group is based on how many men are in the Group so far. The Groups are arranged by haplogroups on the graphic and so are not in numerical order. You can read more about each Group on the Results page here (select "About" first, then "Results").
September 12 @ 5:38pm
HI: Group 02A, with Abner Vance, John Vance, are there people here who descend from these men and their family?? Going down to my husband's ancestor, the very prolific, "GENERAL" TAYLOR ANDREW VANCE of Cranberry, Mitchell Co NC?? I have a specific reason for asking.... hope to hear there are some here from this family. Looks like "Gen" Vance really got around! Anyone else???
Dave Vance
September 12 @ 8:20pm
Hi Tina - thanks for posting! I’m actually Group 2A myself, although my line emigrated to the US separately from Abner Vance’s line and we haven’t found the exact connection through traditional genealogy records yet.
Dave Vance
September 12 @ 8:23pm
If you want to locate descendants of Abner Vance there is a Facebook group that I could point you to where they mostly collaborate. However, I took a look on Ancestry at Taylor Andrew Vance and I see at least from a couple of trees that he descends from Samuel Vance who married Sarah Colville. If that’s correct then he would be in our Vance Group 1b, not 2a. Group 1b doesn’t have an online collaboration site but I could put you in touch with some of the researchers if that would help. Or you could check with the Vance Family Association on what they know but you’d need to be a member (it’s only $15 but you may already be a member). Anyway let me know!
Mark Elliott Mark Elliott
August 22 @ 4:32pm
click right, open in new tab for enlarged image The Vance R-L193 the matches of Elliot, Little, and Glendinning,-3.1060402,17z/ borders place name, carry also like the Vance the R-L193, and many if not exterminated through James VI/I border extermination ended up exiled to the Ulster Plantation of Northern Ireland. ‘Sheep stealers from the north of England’: the Riding Clans in Ulster by Robert Bell (short history) With Jame V. Elliott an admin to FTDNA Border Reivers input; For R-L193 Jan 31, 2015 - Sinclair DNA Our R-L193 SNP study and STR matches are connecting surnames from records in Medieval England. Steve St. Clair; admin FTDNA Sinclair Study.
Dave Vance
August 31 @ 10:53am
Thanks Mark! The Vances of R-L193 are what are called Group 1 in the project, and we know that they split very early on (c. 1400AD) into two subgroups which we call Group 1a and 1b. Group 1a is the line of the Vans of Barnbarroch line which comes from Galloway in south-western Scotland. They survive today in the lineal heir of the Barnbarroch line, some Vance families still in Galloway and in southern Donegal county in Ireland near Donegal town, and in several US lineages from immigrants in the 18th and 19th centuries. We know two sons of the Barnbarroch line received land in southern Donegal in the early 1600s as part of the Plantation of Ulster, although they both sold their land within a short time and are not known to have started families there. There is also another immigrant to that area known as John Vaus of Capenach who MAY have been from the Group 1a line, so there are several candidates for the common ancestor of Group 1a in Ulster. Group 1b is definitely from the same root family but pre-dates at least most of the Vans of Barnbarroch and MAY be the line of the Vaus of Menie from Aberdeenshire for a variety of reasons that we explore in the Group 1 report on the Results page. This subgroup also has the best claim to descend from the Rev. John Vans of Kilmacrenan who was born and trained in Scotland and moved to Donegal also in the early 1600s. Today this subgroup has branches in the US, Canada, and Australia.
Mark Elliott
August 31 @ 11:05am
May find interesting; No Van.., but Ellott, Glendinning of Glendinning, Scotland and a Sincleare known of Scottish borderlands to carry R-L193. Little, Ellott, and Glendinning, of Debatable Lands carried the R-L193 Steel Bonnets (book by GM Fraser) In Debatatable Lands with George Macdonald Fraser and Eric Robson Elwald/Ellot/Elliot soldiered the Hermitage Castle, and it is likely my relatives Bothwell James Hepburn, Marie Stuart, Queen of Scots third husband's estate of Gorrenberry Tower to the west helped soldier the region. We were leaning Catholic, as Marie Stuart of France, Queen of Scotland was. The Protestants took her son, and she was behead by cousin Queen Elizabeth I (not II she is still queen). Crozier carry the R-L193 also; Descended as R-U106 from a Clementis Hobs (ie Clement Crozier's sister's son Robert Elliott) living around 1540 in the Borderlands. The Scottish Middle March; Armstrong Elliott, Nixon, and Crozier. The Nixon and Crozier rode with the Elliot.
Mark Elliott Mark Elliott
August 22 @ 4:28pm
click right, open in new tab for enlarged image. Utilizing family history and autosomal and mtDNA have found a path of migration between, England and Ireland the Smith crossing. With my Y-DNA have found another path called the Young path, a border Reiver surname.
William Vance William Vance has a question!
July 12 @ 7:55pm
Joe Wentz Joe Wentz
March 23 @ 7:39pm
I manage my dad's account. I know my Wentz linage to Johann Andreas Wentz also called Andrew born about 1729 that settled in Mecklenburg County, NC. I am not sure which of his sons is my direct ancestor? John Andrew or Valentine. John Andrew served in the Revolutionary War. One of them had a son Andrew which is my great-great -great grandfather. Andrew had a son Valentine my great great grandfather. Lots of Andrews and Valentine's in this family. I have been searching for years. I was hoping I could solve the mystery with DNA testing. Any suggestions for figuring this out?? Kathy Wentz Hartsell
John Craig John Craig has a question!
October 29, 2018 @ 11:48am
My name is John Craig. I have “Vance”as zero distance markers in my DNA results. Am I a part of the Vance project?
John Craig
November 3, 2018 @ 11:01pm
Thanks Dave,
John Craig
November 3, 2018 @ 11:08pm
I am in group 8. When I check my dna, I see a lot of Vance at “0” distance markers. I would like to talk to you about this. Let me know and I will send you my phone#. by email.
Dave Vance
November 11, 2018 @ 8:31pm
Hi John - sorry for the delay. That's fine; my own email is if you want to send an email.
Jeannie Knudson
January 15 @ 9:10pm
Hello and I'm new here, I'm usually on Ancestry. I don't have the magic Y but my ggrandmother was Vera Morgan Vance 1901-1992. Her father Was Ben Hill Vance and her ggrandfather was Adam Vance the son of James Alexander Vance. I knew her very well. In her words we are "Scots-Irish" and Ulstermen as Vances. Her father said the family went to Ireland from Scotland some time back. I'm still stuck at James Alexander as well, but as her father was born during the civil war, that's a fairly good oral confirmation from someone closer to the timeline.
Daniel Diver Daniel Diver
August 9, 2017 @ 4:01am
Hi, My Grandmothers maiden name is Vance (on my mother's side) married to a William Spence. Her family came from Raphoe in County Donegal Ireland.
Dave Vance
August 18, 2017 @ 10:33am
Hi Daniel; welcome and sorry for my delay in responding. We have a lot of Vances who came from the County Donegal area; and at least two known immigrants from Scotland to the area who arrived in the 1600s. The most well-known is John Vans (Vance) who was rector of Kilmacrenan from around 1607 until the 1660s. There are at least 3 DNA groups (Y-DNA) of Vances known to have lived in Donegal, with the Group 1 Vances (offshoots of the Vans of Barnbarroch) living around Donegal town in the south and Group 2 and 3 Vances up near Derry in the north. Which ones lived in Raphoe is still open. But there were Group 8 Vances also living in Tyrone county and other Vances around the north of Ireland that haven't been categorized yet, so the jury's still out. If you knew of any male Vance descendants of your grandmother's Vance line we could find out through testing which line you connect into. But if your Vance connection is to your grandmother, then you're close enough in generations that you may also find genetic connections through your autosomal DNA (Family Finder). If you DO find any connections that way let me know! Dave
Daniel Diver
August 21, 2017 @ 12:14pm
Hi, Dave thank you for the new information. My grandmother Isabella Vance b:1899 parents were William John Vance b:1866 Killygordon Co.Donegal & Elizabeth Byers. Williams parents were John Vance & Jane Roulston and John's father was William Vance. I have no dates of Birth of the latter two.
Jamie Vans
September 22, 2019 @ 2:26am
Hi Daniel, Gosh, I've only just realised this forum exists! It seems to replace Ancestry as THE place to discuss Vance origins! Daniel, do you know for certain that your William John was the son of John V and Jane Roulston? Have you seen an original record? They had a son born 19 Jan 1866 BUT according to the transcription at his name was William James. Of course I accept this could well be a mistake. Can you give me certainty? Jamie,
William Wentz William Wentz
July 18, 2019 @ 4:00pm
Hello, We just got my father's Y67 test results this week and our matches are in Group 7. Our documented line is: Michael Wenz (1687 Ober-Mehlingen - 1746 Baalborn) Heinrich Wenz (1737 - 1817) Philip Jacob Wentz (1775 - 1842) Johann Leonard Wenz (1801 - Unk) Daniel Wentz (1828 Baalborn - 1892 Hardin County, Ohio) (also have the Zivil birth records for Daniel and his siblings) John Wentz (1857 - 1907) Wm Monroe Wentz (1883 - 1917) Wm J H Wentz (1917 - 2019) (Tested) Jim Wentz (1951 - ) I manage the account. Jim Wentz
Dave Vance
July 25, 2019 @ 12:40pm
Jim, if you check the Vance project Results page ( and scroll down to the Group 7 entry in the table, you'll find your father's kit results have been incorporated into the Group 7 Report and DNA relationship chart now. Interesting to get another documented line for this DNA group! Thanks much for joining the project!
Dave Vance Dave Vance
November 3, 2018 @ 5:08pm
Group 7 Post Based on Michael Wentz (Cathy Wentz)'s comments below from Oct 29th on our earlier post, I have a new picture of how Group 7 likely shakes out. The common ancestor of all of these descendants is a Wentz born in Eastern Europe or Russia likely around 1600AD - possibly the old Pomerania, which is one of the locations that the Wentz's are traditionally supposed to have originated. There are two known immigrants of this Wentz family - one is Peter Georg Wentz, born in Russia in 1843 and emigrated to North Dakota. Our Douglas member, Nate Douglas, believes he is descended from this Wentz immigrant and the DNA supports that his Wentz ancestors are only connected to the others back around 1600AD in their original homeland. The other members of Group 7 appear to descend from Adolph Wentz as Cathy describes it. One major line is an offshoot of Johann Michael Wentz b. 1732, the other appears to be descended from Michael Wentz b. 1736. We do have a number of Group 7 members who have only tested to 37 markers - kits 808844, B10125, 296810, 95656 in particular, and I have no stake in selling DNA tests but we might be able to tell more if they were to upgrade to 67 or 111 markers. If this is enough for you for now though it's certainly more than other groups have been able to figure out! If anyone can't see the detail in this attached picture, there is a larger/downloadable version available at
bryan CALFEE
December 23, 2018 @ 9:56pm
I am B10125 and my brother is in the group and has upgraded to the y67 marker
William Wentz
July 18, 2019 @ 1:38pm
Y67 results arrived a couple of days ago and I was surprised to learn about the Group 7 matches in North Dakota out of Russia. There were thousands of Lutherans who left Wuerttemberg in 1816-17 and went to the Odessa area around the Black Sea. It is a fascinating story detailed on the North Dakota State University website here:
Daniel Vance Daniel Vance
May 31, 2019 @ 11:48am
Hello Everyone, I just joined after running into a dearth of information on my side of the Vances. Y-67 seems to confirm I'm from group 6, Also, I'm hitting matches from the Bassets as well. As far as we can trace it in records, I have: William Vance, 1715-1750 Thomas Vance, 1742-1817 William Vance, 1779-1854 Isaac Vance, 1801-1882 Abraham Vance, 1829-1886 Carey Vance, 1856-1906 Fred Vance, Sr. 1887-1970 Then my grandfather, and my father.