William Vann, (XV) died 11 August 1740 in Chowan County, NC. He married Sarah (Unknown).


William Vann, (XV) was born before about 1690, the first event for which there is a recorded date.

It is not known when William VANN first emigrated to America, but his name is found on the Quit Rent Rolls of Nansemond County, Virginia in 1704. (Cogants, ENGLISH DUPLICATES OF LOST VIRGINIA RECORDS p.199 and Smith, QUIT RENT ROLLS OF VIRGINIA, p91.)

The fact that there is no grant for this 100 acres would suggest that he obtained it by purchase, but the Nansemond County Court House was burned in 1866 thus destroying all records prior to that date and thus robbing us of all records of when and how he first obtained this and how he disposed of it.

The first extant record of land grant to a VANN in Virginia is 14 Dec.1714. For William VANN 130 acres in a place called 'Starrum' in Nansemond County, Virginia, for importing three persons. (VIRGINIA LAND GRANTS, Book 10, p103) and (Nugents, CAVALIERS AND PIONEERS III, p160.)

He is thought to be the one who moved into the old Chowan Precinct of North Carolina where he received Patent #90. William VANN, witness the sell of one of his neighbors land, Patrick and Patience LAUGHLER to John ALSTON, 50 acres more or less on the south east side of Bennetts Creek for 1000 pounds of tobacco, 28 Nov..1713 and again on 16 April 1714/15, 5000 pounds of tobacco for the "Back Swamp Plantation" Treddle KEEFE, Thomas MARTIN, Thomas WIGANS, also witness these deeds. (Margaret M. Hofmann, GENEALOGICAL ABSTRACTS OF DEED BOOKS 1696-1723, Deed Book W, Chowan County, N.C. #414 p202, #415 p203, )

William VANN,(XI) his mark, made his will in Chowan Precinct 16 April 1735, in which he named wife Sarah, "my loving wife Sarah all remainder of my estate" daughters Sarah HOGH, Ann VANN, son Edward, and grand son William, son of Edward. He lent his land to son Edward "my plantation I live on" for life, then to grandson William. This will was proven 11 August 1740. SECRETARY OF STATE NORTH CAROLINA WILLS and Grimes, ABSTRACTS OF N.C. WILLS p.387)

John VANN (IV) his mark, is thought to be a son of William and Sarah because he witnessed a will dated 14 Feb, 1738 of his probable brother Edward VANN (EV) his mark d.1752. (SECRETARY OF STATE NORTH CAROLINA WILLS and Grimes, ABSTRACTS OF N.C. WILLS p.386)

Joseph VANN (JV) his mark, is also thought to be a son of William and Sarah only by close proximity to the other Vanns in Chowan County, North Carolina. (SECRETARY OF STATE NORTH CAROLINA WILLS and Grimes, ABSTRACTS OF N.C. WILLS p.386

Source: Mamie C. Sawyer; THE HERITAGE OF SAMPSON COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA; The Sampson County Historical Society, Sampson Co., NC.

On present (1978) maps of Gates County, NC, there is a Creek flowing southwest near Buckland, NC, which is named Buckland Mill Branch, and which flows into Cole Creek just west of Buckland, NC.

Cole creek (called Sarum Creek in old records) is formed by the juncture of old Knotty Pine Swamp (presently Buckland Mill Branch) and Hacklan (presently Hackley Branch). Sarem, NC, lies on Hacklan Branch, and is about 3/4 miles west of Buckland, NC.

Bennetts Creek is formed by the headwaters of Duke Swamp (Creek) and Harrell Swamp (Creek), (which Creeks drain the area south of present Buckland, NC) and by Raylor Swamp (Creek which flows from the southeast part of Gates County to join Duke Creek and Harrell Creek. Bennetts Creek flows through present Gatesville, NC, within a stone’s throw from the Gates County Courthouse. Both Cole Creek and Bennetts Creek empty into the Chowan River Bay, which is at the northwester tip of Albermarle Sound.

Dismal Swamp lies about 9 or 10 miles east of Buckland, NC. Timber abounds in this part of Gates County, including pines and cypress. The land is generally sandy red clay, and not overly productive. Hogs are said to have been one of the staple food animals of the early settlers of the area. The pine trees which grew along Knotty Pine Swamp evidently had the propensity of producing an abundance of sap and resins. One of the money crops of the early settlers along Knotty Pine Swamp was pine tar and turpentine. These products had a ready to ship-building industries. Records show that Edward VANN, Joseph VANN and Thomas VANN dealt (at least partly) in the products from pine trees, which were obtained through a controlled-burning process of pine knots and other resinous pine materials.

It was into this area of Knotty Pine Swamp and Bennett’s Creek headwaters that our VANN ancestors first came to North Carolina. Later generations moved into this same area directly from Britain, but the first documented VANN settlers came from southern counties of Virginia. by the middle of the 17th century there are several VANN men recorded as living in southern Virginia. They were William VANN, John VANN, Joseph VANN, and Edward VANN. No documentation has been found to define their relationship. By the first decade of the 18th century VANNs are residents in Chowan County, NC. It appears likely that William Vann, Edward Vann, Joseph Vann, and John VANN, who begin to appear in the North Carolina records in the early 1700’s are descendants of the earlier VANNs in Virginia. More than a little speculation will be the constant specter of the VANN genealogist through the frontier period of North Carolina (as well as all family researchers in this area), because of recurring gaps of missing records. Ref: (Agnes Clorine Story and Ora Ellen Wilsey; THE GENERATIONS OF JACOB VANN; GS/SLC 929.273 V3 34s)

Children of William Vann and Sarah (Vann) are:

3 i. Sarah3 Vann. She married a man named Hogh.

4 ii. Ann Vann.

+ 5 iii. Edward Vann, (EV), born Abt 1690; died 04 June 1752 in Chowan County, NC.

+ 6 iv. Joseph Vann, (JV), born Abt 1690; died 27 April 1752 in Chowan County, North Carolina.

+ 7 v. John Vann, (IV), born Abt 1700; died Abt 1770.


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