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Surname Vance - Meaning and Origin

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Unraveling my Vance Lineage: Personal Reflections on the iGENEA DNA Test Results

Never have I been as self-aware as after engaging with my iGENEA DNA test. The revelations have not only geographically realigned my context but also deepened my appreciation for the Vance surname. The test extended my understanding beyond established local history, uncovering layers of familial narrative and global significance.

V. Vance

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Vance: What does the surname Vance mean?

The last name Vance has its origins in English and Scottish cultures. This surname is a variant form of Vaux, originating from a topographic name for someone who lived in a valley. It is derived from the Old French word "val," a word imported into Middle English as 'Vaus' signifying a vale, valley, or dale. In many cases, the name was given to individuals who lived in or near a valley. Another source suggests that it may have been derived from the Northern French habitational name Vance, from Vaux or Vanez in Belgium. Today, it is primarily found in the United States, England, and Australia, and it has been associated with the professions of farming and labor. It has become popular over the years due to notable bearers such as American author Jack Vance and American attorney and author J.D. Vance.

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Vance: Where does the name Vance come from?

The last name “Vance” is primarily found in the United States. According to the 2020 United States census, the name “Vance” is the 843rd most common surname in the country, with approximately 55,400 citizens bearing the name. The vast majority of people with the Vance last name reside in the United States (80.2%), followed by the United Kingdom (7.3%) and Canada (1.4%). The southeastern states of North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Texas are the states with the highest population of Vance’s. Over half of all Vances today are concentrated in those states, with North Carolina boasting the highest concentration of people with the name.

The Vance surname is believed to have originated in Scotland before its migration to North America. In Scotland, the surname Vance is derived from the now-extinct Gaelic word “Banas”, meaning “wetland”. During medieval times, the English interpreted this to “Vain”, and eventually became “Vance”. It is believed that at least three distinct branches of Vance’s migrated to the United States from Europe, one traveling through Ulster, Ireland, one through England, and one directly from Scotland.

Variations of the surname Vance

The surname Vance is derived from an anglicized version of the French name de Vaux or de Vallibus, first used by Anglo-Norman noble families, who were among the first to settle in Ireland during the 12th century. Variants of the surname Vance include Vans, Vanse, Vanss, Vanss, Vants, Vancs, Vancse, Vancss, and Vaughans. Additionally, other variant spellings worth mentioning are the Germanic and Dutch surname Van Alstyne and the German surname Fahn.

In various dialects the spelling and pronunciation of surnames often change over time, and the name-spelling of Vance is no exception. The name is also found in a variety of spellings and pronunciations, including Wade, Voight, Waines, Vane, Boyne, Voyce, Vawce, Vants, and Voce. Each of these spellings have different variations and pronunciations, making it quite difficult to determine the particular spelling—and country of origin—on one's own.

The different spellings of Vance have also led to various surnames of the same origin. Different spellings of the name Vance have given rise to the additional surnames of Vans, Vaughn, van Gaalen, Vaunce, Vanes, and Vonce. These variants can be found in countries all over the world, from English-speaking nations to German-speaking countries.

In conclusion, the variants, spellings and surnames for the surname Vance vary considerably. This is a result of the associated name's origin in France and subsequent adoption by various groups in different countries throughout the world. Nevertheless, all of the variants and spellings ultimately point to the same ancestral source.

Famous people with the name Vance

  • Trace Vance: American recording artist.
  • Joe Vance: American actor.
  • Erroll Garner: American jazz pianist.
  • Peter Vance: British journalist.
  • Courtney Vance: American actor.
  • Alison Vance: American golfer.
  • Dick Vance: American jazz trumpeter.
  • Cynthia Vance: American beauty pageant titleholder.
  • William Vance: Belgian comics artist.
  • Zachery Vance: American actor.
  • William D. Vance: American K-12 and university administrator.
  • O.J. Vance: American football coach.
  • Dan Vance: American ornithologist.
  • Rhonda Vance: American model.
  • Michael Vance: American chemist.
  • Charles Vance: British Royal Navy admiral.
  • Stan Vance: American football coach.
  • Cliff Vance: American politician.
  • Phil Vance: American record producer.
  • Bruce Vance: American actor.

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