African American Genealogy: Tracking Lee Vance, Brother of Rev. Lafayette Franklin Vance
by Robin Foster
We have a hard time tracking family of
ancestors because some left the place they were living in droves due to persecutions
or the search for jobs to take care of their families. One such person was Lee
Vance of Abbeville County, South Carolina. He appeared on the 1870 Census and
1880 Census for Abbeville County as an elder child of Beverly and Matilda
Dunlap Vance. Lee Vance was listed as third
oldest in the household of Vance’s in 1880:
Lee was listed as fourth oldest in the 1880
It seemed as if he had died or something because I could not find him after 1880. It was not until I discovered Rev. Lafayette Franklin Vance and Calvin Vance living in Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina in the city directories that I knew he too had moved to Columbia. Robert Lee Vance and Mary were living in Columbia. At first, I did not recognize this was Lee.
Robert Lee Vance had married Mary A. Robinson,
and one of their children was Lillian Henrietta Vance.
They had lived for a time in 1900 Florida
before moving to Columbia:
He was listed as Lee Vance in the 1910 Census
in Columbia, SC with the same wife and some of the same children on Green Street:
Robert Lee Vance and Mary were list in the Columbia
city directory as having moved to Huger in 1917:
In the 1903 Columbia city directory, you can
see how many African Americans there are with the last name Vance. The is an
asterisk beside their names. Calvin and Lee are brothers to Rev. Lafayette
Sharpen the Saw
It took many years to prove Robert Lee Vance
was the same Lee Vance which was the same brother to Rev. Lafayette Franklin
Vance. I found him in Florida and Columbia so far. I have more things to reveal
in upcoming posts.
For now, can you take a person that you found
on an earlier census but cannot seem to find on a later census? Use different
resources to locate that person. Remember, I had no one to tell me what
happened to them. I have recently discovered more to share. I am doing this so
that you will have an example that will keep you from giving up.
Our ancestors had to move from different places to flee persecution and to find jobs. Use the tools available to find them. Share your experiences in our Facebook Group