Vance/Vans/Wentz Surname Y-DNA Project
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Dave Vance Dave Vance
August 1 @ 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").
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 @ 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.
Dave Vance Dave Vance
May 27, 2019 @ 7:02am
Anyone in Group 10? This group appears to share a common ancestor around 1450-1600AD. The current members all descend from Wentz immigrants to the US in the early 1700s, all of whom (so far) came from the Rhineland-Pfaltz (Palatinate) area of what is now western Germany. I have completed at least the draft report for Group 10 which is available on our Results page for the Vance DNA Project or can be found directly here: There are still a couple of updates I need in that report from a couple of group members, but let me know if you have any feedback on the new report!
Dave Vance Dave Vance
March 17, 2019 @ 12:15am
I have recently completed updating the Analysis reports at least for the first DNA Groups which had original reports by Adam Bradford. All of these reports can be found on the "Results" page of the Vance DNA Project at this link: . If you scroll down to the table on that page, you will see columns for "Original Reports" (the 2011 reports by Adam Bradford), "Current Analysis" (my new Analysis reports), and "Current Branching" (SAPP trees showing the likely branching between group members). I will provide updated analysis reports for the new groups (groups 9-14) over the next few weeks but wanted to announce these at least.
Jason Vance Jason Vance
August 18, 2017 @ 9:42pm
Stopping in here to take a break from crashing into the proverbial brick walls. Let's go Group 12! All the way up to THREE people! Every time I check in here I'm hoping that someone from left field will fall into our group and suddenly all my questions about who's Hiram's daddy will be answered. But alas, I will have to dream a bit longer.
Robert Vance
December 19, 2018 @ 9:12am
Hi Jason: Didn't you indicate your ancestry traces to Alexander Vance (b 1732 VA, d 1811 KY). My tree has family records to Pitman Station KY and William and Alexander; however, we were not confident in ID of Alexander's father. My DNA kit # is 851835 (shows as Alexander) and was placed in Group 16.
Dave Vance Dave Vance
March 25, 2018 @ 7:13pm
Adding to Nate Douglas's post below, here's how we currently think the members of Group 7 are related based on the DNA results. The tested people are the yellow boxes and the blue boxes represent common ancestors of theirs where mutations would have occurred. The numbers in black above each box are the STR mutations that occurred on those lines. Known ancestors or groups (like the Randolph Co, IN Wentzes) are also marked where known. The blue boxes also have time estimates listed in green on them - these are calculated statistically from the mutations that occurred and are just general pointers (they're not always precise). Although for instance the estimate for George Vance/Wentz in this case seems spot-on! This picture is generated from a tool based on the most likely mutation patterns but we can adjust it as we know more about the genealogies etc. For instance Nate, if you're descended from "Gary" Wentz and we knew he was related to one of these lines we could slot you in there. RIght now your STR mutations don't show a common pattern with anyone else in the group so it looks like your Wentz line probably split off from these others around 1600AD (give or take 100 or so years).
Dave Vance
March 25, 2018 @ 7:16pm
If you'd like a larger version of that tree picture you can find it here:
Nate Douglas
April 10, 2018 @ 3:55pm
Thank you so much for sharing this with me Dave!
Michael Wentz
October 29, 2018 @ 9:45am
Dave Vance.....I believe that the group of Wentz families that you have on the above referenced chart all have one common ancestor...kit 296810 is my son Michael Wentz. He is directly descended from Johan Phillipp Wentz (1732-1795) who resided in and around Dover Twp. York Co. PA. A few years ago I was able to confirm that he also had a few siblings residing in and around York Co., PA as well. Urban Wentz/Vance and Anna Catharina Dorothea (md. WILHELM, MITSCHELE and FLOHR) . They are some of the children of Adolph Wentz who resided in Marienthal, Rockenhausen, Bayern and I have done a good bit of work on these families as well. The group of Wentz from Marienthal appear to all descend from a Michael Wentz who was born probably no later than 1673'ish. I was able to match the birth/baptismal record of Johann Phillipp Wentz with the birth date that appears on Phillip's gravestone at Strayer's Churchyard in Dover Twp. Also, 2 other records for both Catharina Dorothea & Johann Phillipp report they are children of Adolph Wentz. I always believed that Urban Wentz/Vance was closely related, either a brother or cousin and the records from Marienthal have proven he is indeed a son of Adolph. Also, I have found at least 2 records that indicate that a Michael Wentz is also in the same general area as Phillip, Urban and Catharina Dorothea. I believe that Michael is indeed related to the 3 listed, as either a brother or cousin. Michael is listed cNov 1770 in estate records with his brother Urban for Georg Mitschele. A Michael Wentz is also listed in the 1779 PA tax list for York Co., Germany twp., (where Urban also resides). I can't seem to find him again until the 1800 PA Census for Elk Lick Twp and Bedford Co. Adolph's son Michael Wentz was born in 1736. I believe that the George Wentz/Vance b. 1776 who is from PA and resides in Indiana is a son of this Michael Wentz/Wense/Vance. I also believe he had a son, John and Jacob and possibly Michael among others. I believe perhaps these persons above listed may also be related to a Margaret Wentz--- she is either the widow or daughter of a Peter Wentz who also lived in York Co. area in mid1700's. She was married to a Christopher Koble/Cobel/Gable. Phillip Wentz and his wife were baptismal sponsors for a few of their children. Would love to discuss this further if anyone is interested. Thanks!!