Andrew Milton Vance (1804-1868)

My great-great-great grandfather

Andrew Milton Vance was born January 3, 1804 in Abingdon, Virginia to Samuel Vance and Mary Blackburn Vance.  He was the seventh of twelve children.

In 1818 Andrew received a bequest from his bachelor uncle, Andrew Vance, who was the fourth child of John Vance and Jane Black Vance, and Samuel Vance’s (who settled Paris) brother. (It is interesting to also note that this bachelor left all of his property, except for small bequests, to three nephews, all of whom were also named Andrew Vance.)

His father Samuel Vance moved west, first to Tennessee and then in 1822 to what became Edgar County, Illinois where he helped found the town of Paris.  Andrew, who was 18, stayed back and graduated from Washington College in Tennessee in 1826 and then went and joined his family in Illinois that year.

He purchased a tract of 80 acres in Edgar County in 1829 from the federal government; the land grant is signed by Andrew Jackson and dated December 8, 1830.  He bought another 80 acres on May 11, 1831 (also signed by Jackson), and 40 more acres on April 10, 1848 (signed by James Polk).

The Biographical Record of Livingston County, Illinois provides a biographical record of Samuel Elbridge Vance, one of his sons, and states about Andrew:

“In 1826 he came to Illinois and followed merchandising in Paris throughout his active business life. He died there in 1874 at the age of sixty-four years. [Note the dates of birth and death differ slightly from our own as well as place of death.]  He held some minor offices but never sought political honors, and in politics was a Democrat until the organization of the Republican party, when he joined its ranks, becoming a staunch supporter of its principles.  He, too, was an elder in the Presbyterian church for many years, and was a man honored and respected by all who knew him.”

He married Esther Shelledy on April 13, 1829 in the Presbyterian Church of Paris, Illinois.  The 1830 census shows him in Edgar County, and the 1840 census in Champaign County.  (These censuses show only heads of households.)

Children of Andrew Milton Vance and Esther Shelledy Vance

Samuel Elbridge Vance b. July 29, 1835 at Paris, Edgar County, Illinois

Julia Ann Vance b. October 13, 1838 at Paris, Edgar County, Illinois

James Andrew Vance b. October 11, 1841, Urbana, Champaign County, Illinois.

Esther died sometime after the birth of James, for Andrew married Sarah Amanda Shelledy on May 26, 1847 at the Presbyterian Church in Paris.  Sarah must have passed away because in 1849 he married Ann Green in the same church.  The 1850 census shows Andrew M. Vance with wife “Ann” and states that they had been “married within the year.” Samuel E. (14), Julia Ann (11), and James A Vance (9) were also with them.   Andrew was a farmer with real estate valued at $2200.

He married Mary Campbell (widow Calhoun) on May 22, 1851 at the same Presbyterian church.  The 1860 census shows him as a farmer with real estate valued at $35,400 and personal estate of $3577, wife Mary M and children S. Elbridge, James A (19), Jo Williamson and Walter B.  He was also in the 1865 Illinois state census in Edgar County with 4 males and 7 females living with him.

Most sources say that at some point after 1860, Andrew moved to Cassville, Missouri, where he died in 1868.  His son James A. Vance lived in Missouri from at least 1870 and several grandchildren were born there.


The Biographical Record of Livingston County, Illinois (Chicago, Ill. S.J. Clarke Pub. Co. 1900), pp. 219-20.

Birth, death and other records found on

Family records


Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: