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I Finally Found Robert Lee Vance's (1858-1940) Death; We are Closer


"United States Census, 1870," database with images,FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6WS9-CSH?cc=1438024&wc=92KC-PTT%3A518655201%2C519483101%2C519491701 : 14 June 2019), South Carolina > Abbeville > Cokesbury > image 38 of 55; citing NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).


Robert Lee Vance (1858-1940) is on line 30 above in the 1870 Census listed as "Lee" in Cokesbury, Abbeville, South Carolina. All I knew that he went by was Lee.

from the census. The 1880 Census he is also listed as Lee. It is below.

"United States Census, 1880," database with images,FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YBK-S3L?cc=1417683&wc=XW7Z-FM9%3A1589414013%2C1589414117%2C1589414580%2C1589395184 : 24 December 2015), South Carolina > Abbeville > Cokesbury > ED 12 > image 18 of 55; citing NARA microfilm publication T9, (National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., n.d.)



With twenty years before the next available census, I had no way of tracing Lee. I was in Illinois and we were on dial up then. Later after we moved South, I found Columbia City Directories at RichlandLibrary.com which are online at Ancestry.com now. I found them in 1903 in Columbia.


On the bottom of page 505, his youngest brother, Calvin Vance and his wife were listed. At the top of page 506, there was Lee Vance and his wife Mary. They both worked at Gas Co.

Title: Columbia, South Carolina, City Directory, 1903; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

Original data: Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information.



I tried to find the family after the 1903 Columbia, SC City Directory, but I could not until I left the place blank when searching. They did not go straight to Columbia. At least on the 1900 US Census, they were staying in Crystal River, Citrus, Florida.

Year:1900; Census Place: Crystal River, Citrus, Florida; Page:9; Enumeration District:0026; FHL microfilm:1240166



Next, they were not in Florida in 1910, so I resumed tracking them in the Columbia, SC City Directory. I found them on 912 Plain in Columbia in 1906:

Title: Columbia, South Carolina, City Directory, 1906; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information.



In 1909, they were still in Columbia, but they were on 922 Green:

Title: Columbia, South Carolina, City Directory, 1909; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information.



I found them in Columbia on the 1910 Census:

"United States Census, 1910," database with images,FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GT8P-866?cc=1727033&wc=QZZH-HVK%3A133639901%2C137190901%2C134840601%2C1589089148 : 24 June 2017), South Carolina > Richland > Columbia Ward 1 > ED 78 > image 30 of 70; citing NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).



In 1913, they were still on 922 Green:

Title: Columbia, South Carolina, City Directory, 1913; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information.



In 1915, Robert and Mary are still on 922 Green:

Title: Columbia, South Carolina, City Directory, 1915; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information.



Robert Lee Vance and Mary were living on 1507 Huger in 1917:

Title: Columbia, South Carolina, City Directory, 1917; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information.



In 1918, Robert Lee Vance and Mary are on 1507 Huger:

Title: Columbia, South Carolina, City Directory, 1918; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information.




The 1920 US Census listed Robert Lee Vance with Mary and Beulah born in Florida as living on Huger St.:

"United States Census, 1920," database with images,FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9RF7-ZLX?cc=1488411&wc=QZJT-DGZ%3A1036472401%2C1037996501%2C1036988201%2C1589332339 : 13 September 2019), South Carolina > Richland > Columbia Ward 3 > ED 84 > image 11 of 34; citing NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).



By 1923, Robert Lee Vance and Mary had moved to 1724 Pulaski:

Title: Columbia, South Carolina, City Directory, 1923; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information.



I had a hard time trying to find them in 1930 because they moved to a completely new place...or new to me. As it turns out, different branches of the family stayed in DC. My grandfather, Emory Wallace Vance even went there to attend Howard University.

Year:1930; Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia; Page:15A; Enumeration District:0023; FHL microfilm:2340027


That brings me to why I really wrote this post. I know you will really appreciate it. I have looked for a long time for the proof of the death for Robert Lee Vance. He was my great grandfather's brother, the brother of Rev. Lafayette Franklin Vance. Here I am shut off from the world because of covid-19.


I got up this morning and went straight to my computer and paid for a month of GenealogyBank.com. All I did was look up Vance's in DC. There he was right on the screen:

Robert Lee Vance, Evening Star, Wednesday, Mar 27, 1940, Washington (DC), DC, Page:15,

GenealogyBank.com <https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/newspapers/image/v2:13D5DA85AE05A305@GB3NEWS-16EE1FF5CA01AB1E@2429716-16EE2084B5773F9D@14-16EE2084B5773F9D@>


I could not believe it after all miles and time I have spent to find him. There he is! You might say, "Well it's just your great grandfather's brother." I love him as if he was a brother. He left his home in Abbeville County, SC. I know it was not a good situation. He went all the way to Florida with his family and came back to Columbia for a few years.


Then he picked up and moved to DC with his whole family. That was not easy back then. The worst part of it all is that no one remembers him. His obituary says, "the brother of Rev. Lafayette Franklin Vance." That speaks volumes to me. When we had to move around like that, we lost track of branches of our family. Robert Lee Vance you are not forgotten. Your wife will be remembered, your children, and your grandchildren. Just two short paragraphs in that obituary, but full of information that will lead me to putting this piece of my family back together.


On this day when I could very well be thinking of myself, I can give this post to my family and tell them how much closer we have gotten to putting our family back together. There are a few more posts about Robert Lee Vance:


African American Genealogy: Tracking Lee Vance, Brother of Rev. Lafayette Franklin Vance


A Deed Documents Father and Daughter


African American Genealogy: How Using a Timeline Helps in Your Research

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