James Vance was born in Porter’s Ferry (Portaferry), County of Downs, Ireland in 1753. The Vance family, originally from Scotland, formed part of a colony sent by the English Monarch to colonize part of Northern Ireland with a strong body of Scotch Irish Protestants.

When James was around 20, he emigrated to to America, landing in Philadelphia where he lived for awhile. In September of 1778 he enlisted in the Revolutionary Army . He served 10 months as a Private under Captain Reddin and Col. Chambers and engaged in the battles of Monmouth and Germantown. He spent the winter at Valley Forge with Washington’s Army. There is a note in one of the family trees that says: “He left New Jersey as an agent of the government on Indian Scout Work. He was in some very close calls”

After his service he bought a farm near Morristown NJ and married his wife Amy Slack. His children  were all born in NJ but they eventually moved to Greensboro PA where his sons began a pottery business. James and Amy’s children were James, Alexander, Mary and Rebecca. James and Alexander were the potters. And Mary married into the Boughner family and continued the pottery work.

His son James married Margaret Elizabeth Eberhart . This is our line. James and Margaret had nine children: Alexander, CHARLES, Sophie, Amos, James, Elizabeth, Christina, Louis and Albert. Charles was our Great grandfather. Charles and Louis would later become involved in the booming steamboat business along the Ohio River, and their story is next to be posted!

James is listed in the 1830 and 1850 census of Green County PA. On the 1850 census he is listed as a glass blower and other names on the census are Kramer, Reppert, noted New Geneva PA. glassworks/potter families.


The internet opens a wonderful world for piecing together genealogical information. Thankfully, people share bits of their own family history so that others can also learn about their roots.  Through the Boughner line ,transcripts from a family Bible have been made available.  The Bible includes the dates of births, deaths, and marriages. There is also a page from the diary of James Vance confirming his date and place of birth, and information on his wife Amy’s family.

A book published in 1923 called The History of West Virginia, Old and New by the American Historical Society Inc, Chicago, includes information on James.

Other records can be found in the Daughter’s of The American Revolutions books and Revolutionary War Rosters.

Amy’s grave: