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Capt Robert Vance

Capt Robert Vance

Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia, USA
Death 18 Aug 1818 (aged 70–71)
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Oakdale, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 25943627 · View Source
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Captain Robert Vance was a patriot of the Revolutionary War and an early pioneer in the Pittsburg, Pennsylvania area. He was born about 1736 (more likely 1746) in Virginia to Samuel and Sarah (Colvill) Vance. He married Jean White on 24 March 1775 in Culpepper, Virginia. They were reportedly the parents of David, Samuel, Sarah, Elizabeth, Joseph, Jane, Robert, John, William, and Andrew. Captain Vance died on 18 Aug 1818, according to the Vermont Gazette, in Pittsburgh.

Some of his accomplishments may have been embelished over time, but it is indisputable that he served his country with great devotion from 1776 to 1781.

According research from the City of Coraopolis, Vance is reputed to have been the first permanent white settler in the area that is now Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. He took up settlement near Montour's tract about 1773. For the protection of his small group of neighbors and his own family against attacks from hostile tribes, Vance built a stockade which became known as Vance's Fort or Fort Vance. Some sources states he served in the French and Indian Wars at the Braddock expedition under the command of George Washington and was reputed to have been charged with the secret burial of General Braddock after Braddock's defeat. However, these military records have not been found.

Vance served in the Revolutionary War in the 9th and 13th Virginia Regiments eventually gaining the ranks of lieutenant and Captain.

In a letter written to his brother Sam on August 2, 1792, we hear the words of one aging patriot to another - both who had grown old in the service of their country:

August 2, 1792 "We have 11 of a family and I am growing old and not able to do much, but the boys is growing up to help me, and I have no reason to complain...
Oh, Sam, let you and I be very busy and up and doing while it is day. For the Lord cometh wherein no man can work. There is no work done in the grave were we are fast a hastening. Let us try to make our Call and Election sure by getting an interest in Jesus Christ and a hiding place to cover us from the wrath of God that will surely overtake a Christless world. I hope you will set a pious and Exemplary Life before your children for example is more powerful than precept and heads of families have a great charge the charge of precious souls the value of one of which is worth more than ten thousand worlds. May God grant his grace to each of us and able us to discharge every duty incumbent on us and prepare us here in the Kingdom of Grace for the enjoyment of Himself in the Kingdom of his Glory."

The following death notice was found by Mary Vance Norfleet in the Vermont Gazette, October 12, 1818:
"At Pittsburgh, Capt. Robert Vance in the 71st year of his age. In the death of this aged citizen, the small residue of revolutionary band again suffers diminution." Based on this report, Robert was born 1746-7, which is more in line with known birth dates of his siblings.

Robert Vance's grave site was lost for over a century. Two newspaper articles, one from the Pittsburgh Press and the other from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette announced the rededication of his gravesite.
From William Vance:
In the "Montours Presbyterian Church: One Hundred and Fifty-Seventh Anniversary, September 1 and 2, 1935. Homecoming, Sunday Morning and Afternoon, Vance Memorial Services, Monday, Labor Day", there is a biographical sketch of Captain Robert Vance and his family. The pamphlet lists the children of Captain Robert Vance and Jean White as follows:

David, born in 1777, married Ann Pinkerton
Sarah, born in 1779, married William Fergeson
Samuel, born in 1781, married Nancy Newell
Elizabeth, born in 1783, died in infancy*
Joseph, born November 14, 1784, died in infancy*
Jane, born May 8, 1786, married Squire James McCabe
Robert, born June 10, 1788, married Margaret Moore
John, born June 19, 1790, married Kate Atchison
William, born June 21, 1792, married Rachel Vanetta
Andrew, July 27, 1794, married Nancy Byers*

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  • Maintained by: Pam
  • Originally Created by: LF
  • Added: 12 Apr 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 25943627
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Capt Robert Vance (1747–18 Aug 1818), Find A Grave Memorial no. 25943627, citing Montour Cemetery, Oakdale, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Pam (contributor 47212213) .