Family History by Robert Monroe Fleming (Sr.)
Nance Memorial Book Data - Part 2
Note: The division of the text into parts is not in the orginal text. It is done in transcribing the text into web pages, to keep individual web pages from getting too big.
Transcribed by Robert M. Fleming Jr.
Just when this Clement Nance came to America, if he really came, is unknown. From the Vestry Book and Register of Bristol Parish, Virginia (Exhibit "F"), we get the first birth records known. The number is about twenty five, and date from 1712 to 1745. They contain the names Daniel, Elizabeth, Elinor, Phebe, Lucy, Mary, Eliza, John, Jane, Thomas, Richard, William, Leonard, Nathaniel, Anne, Martha, Giles, Sarah, Priscilla and Nancy. Several of the names are repeated several times. The first was for 300 acres in Henrico County, to Richard Nance, for Transporttion of six persons into the colony. This was issued Mar. 18, 1639. Only thirty two years after the first permanence settlement in Virginia. One patent to 1574 acres was granted to Giles Nance Dec. 1, 1779. This is no doubt the tract from which he deeded something over 1000 acres chiefly to our Clement and his family from 1787 to 1796.
The Clement names in patent to 270 acres is the ancestral head of Part I. There are about twenty five supposedly distinct families named in this volume. The particulars of each family are given in the proper place. the author can only mention a few of the most prominent as to size here. Early in his researches for his own family, that of Clement Nance, senior, Part I he came across the descendents of Zachariah II, Part II, in the family of A G Nance, Petersburg, Ill. About the same time he was put into correspondence with Miss Bethenia H Nance of Nashville, now of Murfreesboro, Tenn. She is descendended from David Nance who was uncle of Zachariah II, above. Mrs Lucy Baxter Hunt is Descended from the same David, but through another son. The family of David, as well as that of Zachariah II isa very large one. It is very evident that Zachariah I and David were brothers. Also as told more fully in Part I, many of us believing that the father of Clement, of Part I, was William How Nance. Who also had a brother Frederick, father of Cloa Nance Mitchell, we settled down to the belief that these four, Zachariah I, David, William How, and Frederick were brothers. This would connect three of the largest families, and a smaller one. Making a family of many thousands. This seemed almost positive the more so in that Zachariah II remembered seeing his Uncle William. He also membered his uncle's son, Thomas, and son-in-law, Tucker. They returned to New Kent County after the Revolution for the purpose of obtaining their Mother's dowery from the Vaughan estate. (See Part II) Some months since, Prof. Shields, of Part I, sent the author copies which he obtained of some old wills. (Exhibit "H") Among these wills is one of William Nance, evidently the uncle remembered by Zacharia II. In this will he names his children, but does not Clement. This the author confesses was a hard blow to him for he had learned to love the family of Zacharia II. We have, therefore, been loth to give this information out, as it cuts him off from close relationship to these two large families.
There is another very large family with Richard as ancestral head. They are widely scattered, Mr J A McDannel of Washington, D C, a member of this family was a great help to the author in tracing this family. Another large family has Reuben as ancestral head. They are widely scattered. A north Carolina family, a large one, has John as ancestral head. His grandson, John Webb Nance resides at Abingdon, Ill. His picture appears with the family history. All these from Zacharia II down, and many more, appear in Part II. They are an intersting study. The author has no doubt a good many of these families could be traced to a common ancestry. If one had the time and money and a copy of this memorial should visit Virginia and make personal investigation. He trusts someone may do this in his day.
OUR RELIGION: All Nances in America are Protestants. A few have married into Catholic families. But the author has never heard of one becoming a Catholic. As to Protestant bodies, a very large majority of Nances are members or adherants of the Christian church. Clement (Part I) and his descendents are fully nine-tenth of that faith. Zacharia II (Part II) and his descendents are very largely of the same faith. The descendents of David are largely Baptists. The author is not informed as to the church affiliations of the descendents of Richard to any large extent. But they are of the Christian church as far as his information goes. The descendants of Reuben are of the same faith as far as the author is informed, which is quite general.
OUR POLITICS: not one of the name, as far as known, be it said to our honor has ever taken up politics as a profession, or as a livelihood. (Note: Since the author's time of life there has been a very honorable, a man of proven integrity, a descendent of the early day Nances, who as a Democrat made politics his main endeavor in life. To such as extent that he rose from Texas politics around Uvalde, became a long time member of United States Congress. Then against his desires was elected Vice President. Where he served with great honor. John Nance Garner proved to be one of the most highly respected Vice-Presidents this country had ever had). We are strong in our adherence to what we believe to be right. We are lovers of political and religious liberty for which our forefathers came to this country. We are strong in our party affiliations. We are great lovers of our country and our religion. And we are ever ready to die for either. This is evidenced by the very many who entered the armies in the rebellion of 1861-5. Those in the Sourth land being found generally in the Confederate army. And those of the North in the army for the preservation of the Union. Coming from the South it is natural that we should be largely Democrats, of course there are very many exceptions to this. Those settling farthest north are more largely Republicans. The prohibition party has its usual percentage of adherents in one family.
OUR VOCATION: More of our family are tillers of the soil than follows any other one calling. Among the professions, tht of medicine is far in the lead. (This is certainly true of Clement's fanily. But the author is not as well informed as to the other families). The law has it devotees, as well as gospel. Quite a number are professors in colleges, or teachers in other schools. He thinks we have attained greatest success as merchants and traders. We have a good sprinkling of bankers. We are found in all honorable vocations of life. We have never heard of a saloon keeper, gambler, or criminal in our family. There are a few weak ones, weak to resist temptations of the open dram shop set along their path by our so-called Christian civilization. be this said to the everlasting disgrace of the Protestant America. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, when you find a Nance, you will find a citizen in the middle walks of life. Honored and respected by all who knows him. This last sentence is the highest compliment that can be paid any people. Many of the family have such wealth. And some are quite independent. But the author does not believe that amassing of wealth is a characteristic of the family.
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©2009 Robert M. Fleming Jr.
This page was last revised on 30 August 2009.