Hook Genealogy


Vannoy Genealogy

The Vannoy family, according to family tradition, is of Huguenot extraction, the early family having fled from France to Holland and from there to England during the reign of Charles I. The name in France was probably spelled Vannoise, or Venois. The latter were names of distinguished families in France during the 16th and 17th centuries. Tradition says that the father of the emigrant to America fought under the banner of Oliver Cromwell and was related to him by marriage.

The emigrant to America settled on Staten Island, New York, where he died in 1699, leaving his wife Rachel, and sons and daughters as follows:

(1) John, born 1686.
(2) Francis, born 1688.
(3) Abraham.
(4) Rachel.
(5) Sarah.
(6) Catherine.

The names of all these children are given in the census of the inhabitants of Richmond (Staten Island) of 1706, but with the spelling slightly varied. (See Historical and Genealogical Miscellany, Vol. I. by Stillwell, 1903.) The same reference says that Jan Van Oy was a collector of taxes in Richmond in 1698. This was no doubt John Vannoy, the name being corrupted by a Dutch registrar.

The land records of Richmond County, New York, show a land grant to Rachel Vannoy "widow of John Vannoy" dated March 17, 1700. The land was located "at the South Side of the fish kill" and amounted in all to eight acres. Another grant in the same location on the same day was made to the French Huguenot, John Journey. Near neighbors were other Huguenots; John Bellevile, John Gavvetts and Francis Gannit.

John Vannoy wrote his Will May 13, 1699. (Will on file in Surrogate's Office, New York City, N. Y.) It was proved, approved and allowed April 10, 17o8. He died, however, before March 17, 1700, as evidenced by the land grant made to his wife, Rachel, as above referred to. The substance of his Will reads as follows

"In the name of God, Amen, this 13th day of May 1699, I, John Vannoy, being very sick and weak. I make my wife Rachel sole executor, and given her all my estate for life and then to all my children. When my oldest son John is of age he shall have one half so much of the estate as any other child shall have and then to have an equal share with the rest." Wittnesses :-Sigmund Teunis Egbertse,

Thomas Came.


There seems to be no record of the inventory of the estate, but when Rachel Vannoy was appointed administrator, the Court referred to the estate as comprising-"goods, chattels and credits in divers places within this province." Several wills and deeds of Richmond after 1700 mentions land formerly owned by John Vannoy which leads one to suspect that the latter was well supplied with property even if it might not have yielded much in the way of profit. His will being signed with a mark would indicate that he lacked sadly in education, but it does not prove it by any means. Wills were seldom written in those days before the subject was thought to be bed-ridden with his last illness, and many times death came within a few hours of the making of the will. The fact that John Vannoy was a "collector" in the province only a year before his death, a job that would almost require that he read and write, would lend truth to the strong family tradition that the Vannoy emigrant was educated fairly above the average of those times.

The family of John and Rachel Vannoy drifted away from Staten Island between 1710 and 1720. Family tradition has it that one Vannoy family came from England and settled near Georgetown, South Carolina, about 1710. The writer cannot find a single record to prove this. John Francis Vanay did, however, settle in the Prurrysburgh District of South Carolina on land granted him by the state on warrant dated December 14, 1739. He was probably a grandson of John and Rachel Vannoy of Staten Island.

It is the family of Francis Vannoy, the second son of John and Rachel Vannoy, that interests us. He and his brother Abraham, and probably his brother John, moved to Hunterdon County, New Jersey, about 1714 and settled in Hopewell Township. Francis married, about 1715, a daughter of Cornelius Anderson whose wife was the daughter of Johannes Opdyke of Hunterdon County. These fine old families were among the most prominent of the neighborhood. They were ardent churchmen and devoted to the Baptist Church that was founded in Hopewell at a very early date. Francis Vannoy lived to be eighty-five years of age. He died in 1774, leaving three sons:

(1) John.
(2) Andrew.
(3) Cornelius.
(4) Hannah, who married Peter Willson.

So many New Jersey records were destroyed during the Revolutionary War that it is impossible to trace property ownership with any degree of satisfaction. Francis Vannoy, however, was the owner of a considerable acreage of land in and about Hopewell. His will, written August 15, 1768, and probated July 21, 1774, refers to his estate both real and personal and orders that it be sold and the proceeds divided equally between his three sons and one daughter, share and share alike. He also gave freedom to his negro man, Jack, and required that his son Cornelius provide for him. He referred to his son John as the eldest and gave him five pounds proclamation money over and above his equal share. He appointed his son Andrew and his son-in-law Peter Willson executors. The Will was signed in his own hand.

John Vannoy, son of Francis, was born about 1716. One tradition has it that he moved to the Jersey settlement on the Yadkin River in Rowan County, North Carolina, about 1740 and became the ancestor of the large family of Vannoys and Van Noys that have radiated from that section to all parts of the United States.

Another tradition states that the John Vannoy of Rowan County, North Carolina, came from near Georgetown, South Carolina; that he served the colonists in their struggle with the Spaniards at St. Augustine, Florida, and that he served in the French and Indian War.

The writer, after exhaustive research, believes there is ground for both of the above traditions being true. John Vannoy of Rowan County, North Carolina, certainly descended from the New Jersey family. Note the names of his children and how they compare with those of his father Francis, and grandfather John. Note the fact, also, that John Vannoy settled in the Jersey Settlement at the mouth of Lick Creek in Rowan County. This settlement was named by the settlers after the State of New Jersey whence most of them came. One Cornelius Vannoy was still living there in 1828, as evidenced by his will written September 4, 1828, and probated the following year. (Will Book I, page 114, Davidson Co., N. C.) His will mentions a son David and daughters Sally and Rachel, and grandsons Cornelius Thompson and James Anderson Vannoy. Note also the fact that the maiden name of the wife of John Vannoy was Susannah Anderson. The Anderson family was prominent in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, from the early part of the seventeenth century and frequently intermarried with the Vannoys. Indeed, the mother of John Vannoy was an Anderson, which proves old family memory that says that John and his wife were related. Finally, note the frequency with which the name Anderson is used as a given name in the North Carolina family.

The South Carolina tradition lacks documentary evidence, except that one John Francis Vanay (which might easily be a corruption of Vannoy) was granted fifty acres of land in the Prurrysburgh District on December 14, 1739. The Prurrysburgh District was located in the southeasternmost tip of South Carolina, very close to Savannah, and was settled about 173o by a group of Swiss and Palatine emigrants and some newcomers from the northern colonies. The writer, after exhaustive search, was unable to find any further clew than the land grant above mentioned, to support the tradition that John Vannoy and his wife originally came from there. But the tradition is strong and the writer has correspondence in his possession from an Uncle born in 1841 which says that he had been told that John Vannoy of Rowan County originally came from South Carolina and that he had taken part in the colonial wars against the Spaniards. This Uncle had undertaken the task of tracing down his ancestry, his mother being a Vannoy born in 1823. Her father was a grandson of John Vannoy of Rowan County and was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, in 1781.

After sifting all the evidence, the writer has concluded that John Vannoy of Rowan County was one of the group of Northerners who was attracted by the liberal inducements of Oglethorpe to obtain settlers for his enterprise in Georgia. He and his bride moved there from Hunterdon County, New Jersey, some time during the year 1739 and John, young and venturesome, joined in the many expeditions against the Spaniards that finally culminated in their decisive defeat at Frederica in 1742. John Vannoy may have been christened John Francis at his birth, and it is very probable that it was he to whom land was granted December 14, 1739. Here he lived for upwards of ten years, whereupon, hearing that some of his Jersey friends were settling on the Yadkin River in Rowan County, North Carolina, known as the Jersey Settlement, repaired there with his family where he lived near the mouth of Lick Creek at a spot long remembered as the old Vannoy Fish Dam. This spot was pillaged by the troops of Governor Tryon after the defeat of the Regulators at Alamance in 1771, and John Vannoy fled with his family, most of which was grown, to what is now Ashe and Wilkes Counties, North Carolina.

The family record of John and Susannah Vannoy and their son Nathaniel, and Nathaniel's son Jesse, has been preserved in an old family Bible which is now a possession of a descendant of the latter. The record is, for the most part, dates of birth, death and marriage. Other information from wholly reliable sources has been added.

John Vannoy, b. about 1716; d. about 1778. According to his grandson, Andrew, son of Nathaniel, he m. Susanna Anderson. He moved into Rowan Co., N. C., about 1748 and settled at the mouth of Lick Creek which empties into the Yadkin River near the old Vannoy Fish Dam in what is now Davidson Co., N. C. The first record of him in this vicinity was made by the Rev. Hugh McAlden, a pioneer Baptist preacher, who stated in his diary that he spent the night at the John Vannoy home on the Yadkin River, Sept. 3, 1755. The family lived here until 1772, when, terrorized by the troops of Governor Tryon, which pillaged and destroyed the settlements along the Yadkin River after Alamance, they fled to the mountains in what later became Wilkes and Ashe Counties where some of their children settled and raised families. Both John and Susannah were devoted to the Baptist Church and identified with the great religious revival which that church, through George McNiel and John Gano, was introducing throughout southern Virginia and the Yadkin Valley in North Carolina. The children of John and Susannah Vannoy were as follows:

(1) Rachel Vannoy, b. Apr. 12, 1741; m. Neil Patton.

(2) Andrew Vannoy, b. Aug. 12, 1742; marriage license to m. Susannah, dau. of John and Sarah Shepherd, dated Oct. 18, 1779. He was a Captain in the 10th N. C. Regiment of Continentals, Revolutionary War, and was granted land near Murfreesboro, Tenn., as compensation for his services.

(3) Abraham Vannoy, b. Jan. 15, 1745.

(4) Francis Vannoy, b. Aug. 13, 1746; d. 1822, near Barboursville, Ky., where he left many descendants.

(5) Nathaniel Vannoy, b. Feb. 16, 1749; d. July 26, 1835; m. Elizabeth Ray, of English ancestry, of Ashe Co., N. C. He was a pioneer settler in Wilkes Co., N. C., and lived on the north fork of Lewis Fork Creek. He was sheriff of Wilkes Co., during Revolutionary times and at the direction of Col. Benjamin Cleveland hung three Tories to a tree for horse stealing, a remnant of which still stands (1925) besides the Wilkes County Court House. He joined the regiment of Col. Benjamin Cleveland as a Sergeant Major and served throughout the Kings Mountain Campaign. Family tradition says that the Clevelands were related to the Vannoys and through common ancestors were related to the family of Oliver Cromwell. President Grover Cleveland presented a family bible to Caroline Yates, grandchild of Nathaniel Vannoy, as a memento of the family relation. The home of Nathaniel Vannoy on Lewis Fork bordered that of Col. Benjamin Cleveland and in its vicinity lived the Ellers, McNiels and Shepherds. He traveled considerably in his later life in N. and S. C. and Tenn. He was a member of, and one of the founders of, the New Hope Baptist Church that was organized in Wilkes Co., N. C., in June, 1830. During his last years he resided in Greenville, S. C., with his dau. Sarah Cleveland, where he d. and is buried.

(1) John Vannoy, b. Mar. 22, 1775; m. 1st, Miss Kilby; m. 2d, wife's name unknown; family moved to Moniteau Co., Mo., at a very early date and settled near the town of California, where some descendants still live. Issue by 2d wife as follows:

(1) William Thomas Vannoy, b. Mar. 13, 1827, in California, Mo.; d Mar. 2, 1900. He started for the Oregon Country in 1850, became ill en route, was nursed to health by some Mormons in Utah, and persuaded to remain with them. It is said that he m. four times; his first wife being Catherine Hendricks, his second, Agnes Burrell, and his third, Kate Bagley. The name of his fourth wife is unknown. By his first wife he had four sons and eight daughters. By his second wife he had five sons and six daughters. By his third wife he is said to have had four children. No record of any issue by his fourth wife.

(2) John Vannoy.

(3) James Vannoy, d. 1895 in Farmington, Tex. He m. 1st, Jane Hansford by whom he had issue, Nathaniel, b. Mar. 1, 1853, in California, Mo., whose son Lee Vannoy now lives in Los Angeles, Calif. James m. 2d, Nancy Starks who d. in Farmington, Grayson Co., Texas. Issue by 2d marriage;

(1) Minnie, m. William Johnson and lives in Collingwood, Tex.
(2) James.
(3) Edward.
(4) Rondo.
(5) Cora, d. young.
(6) William.
(7) Marybelle.

All born in Farmington, Grayson Co., Tex.

(4) Lorenzo Vannoy.
(5) Elizabeth Vannoy.
(6) Caroline Vannoy.
(7) Sarah Ann Vannoy.

(2) Joel Vannoy, b. Feb. 22, 1777; moved to Pike Co., Mo., and left many descendants, some of whom still live near Bowling Green, Mo. Descendants of this family founded the well-known Van Noy Interstate Co., whose ramifications reach every section of the United States.

(3) Sarah Vannoy, b. Jan. 16, 1779; d. 1856; m. Jeremiah Cleveland, b. 1774; d. 1845. His father was Captain Robert Cleveland, brother of Col. Benjamin Cleveland of Kings Mountain fame. Family lived in Greenville, S. C. Issue, eight children, as follows:

(1) Robert M. Cleveland, b. Mar. 3, 1803.
(2) Jesse Franklin Cleveland, b. Oct. 25, 1804.
(3) Jeremiah Cleveland, b. Feb. 4, 1806.
(4) Barnett Franklin Cleveland, b. Apr. 26, 1808.
(5) Caroline Cleveland
(6) Harriett Cleveland Twins, b. Feb. 2, 1811.
(7) Eliza Cleveland, b. Oct. 6, 1813.
(8) James Harvey Cleveland, b. Dec. 1, 1815.

(4) Jesse Vannoy, b. June 2, 1781; d. Nov. 26, 1875; m. Jan. 12, 1804, to Mary Shepherd (nee Kilby), b. Sept. 19, 1785; d. Feb. 14, 1864. She was the dau. of William Kilby and his wife, Mary Ann Tolds. He was a devout Baptist and it has been said that he could quote the Scriptures chapter by chapter from memory. He and his wife, Mary, who was of English ancestry, were constituent members of the old New Hope Baptist Church. She was called Aunt Polly by her neighbors who proclaimed her to be the most useful woman of the generation in her neighborhood. This was because of her fine Christian character and her helpfulness to her neighbors in times of sickness. Both are buried in the New Hope bury grounds near Wilkesboro, N. C.

(1) Elizabeth Ray Vannoy, b. Oct. 29, 1804; d. Aug. 24, 1868; m. John Eller, son of John and Susannah (Kearns) Eller. Family resided on Lewis Forks, N. C.

(2) Joel Eden Vannoy, b. Apr. 16, 1806; d. Jan. 15, 1826; unm.

(3) Sarah Jane Vannoy, b. Aug. 1st, 1807; d. Feb., 1897; unm.

(4) John Humphrey Vannoy, b. Dec. 26, 1808; d. Nov., 1888; m. Dec. 8, 1883, Rebecca McNiel, dau. of James and Mary (Shepherd) McNiel (See McNiel Genealogy). He was a well known Baptist minister in Wilkes and Ashe Cos., N. C. Was for years pastor of the old Baptist Church on Beaver Creek, N. C. Issue:

(1) Jesse.
(2) William.
(3) James.
(4) Wiley.
(5) Mary.
(6) Louisa, who m. James Madison Eller, son of Absalom.
(7) Tilda, who m. Henry Hardin and lived in Colorado.

(5) Katherine Ann Tolds Vannoy, b. Nov. 21, 1810; d. about 1850; m Abijah Fairchild and left issue in Wilkes Co., N. C.

(6) William Kilby Vannoy, b. May 21, 1812; d. Mar. 9, 1882; m. Matilda Wheeler. He was a Col. in the N. C. Militia and a soldier in the Cherokee Indian War. He left many descendants in Wilkes Co., N. C., some of whom now live in Oregon.

(7) Jesse Whitfield Vannoy, b. Feb. 14, 1814; d. about 1895; m. Sept., 1837, Elizabeth Fairchild. Of several issue is John Vannoy of Wautauga Co., N. C.

(8) James Nathaniel Vannoy, b. Oct. 20, 1815; d. Sept. 3, 1881 at Grant's Pass, Ore. He went to Ore. in 1849, where he left many descendants. Of issue: Anderson, who m. and raised several sons and Lone, who m. Mr. Scott.

(9) Abraham Wesley Vannoy, b. Sept. 6, 1817; d. Aug. 27, 1891; m Apr. 28, 1842, Aley, dau. of Absalom Eller, b. Mar. 12, 1826; d. July 16, 1892. (See Eller Genealogy) The family left N. C. in Apr., 1869, for Wapello Co., Iowa, travelling by wagon to Nashville, Tenn., from which point they travelled by river steamer via the Cumberland, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers to Keokuk, Iowa, and from there, overland by team to their destination. Issue, nine, as follows:

(1) Anderson Mitchell Vannoy, b. May 13, 1844, in Wilkes Co., N. C.; d. July 31, 1908, at the home of his sister, Mrs. S. C. Woodruff, near Highland Center, Wapello Co., Iowa. He m. May 6, 1866, in Ashe Co., N. C., Adeline, dau. of George W. and Aley Hubbard. He was a soldier for four years, C. S. A., with General Lee. Family moved in 1873 to near Alton, Osborne Co., Kan., where they lived until summer of 1875, when they returned to Wapello Co., Iowa. Issue, eleven, as follows:

(1) Victoria Lieuellyn Vannoy, b. Mar. 3, 1867; m. 1st, Mar. 18, 1882, Samuel C. Darden of Wapello Co., Iowa; m. 2d. June 25, 1905, Shurman Russel Knapp. Family now resides at Covert, Mich;

(2) Robert Addison Vannoy, b. Nov. 8, 1868; m. Oct. 29, 1896, Luella Frances Smith. Family resides at Harlan, Iowa;

(3) George W. Vannoy (called Jack), b. Mar. 7, 1871; m. July, 1893, Sarah Baldoser. Family resides, Fremont, Iowa;

(4) Ruda Hannibal Vannoy, b. Mar. 18, 1873; d. Feb. 27, 1891;

(5) Harley Abraham Vannoy, b. Nov. 3, 1875; m. Nov. 29, 1899, Maude, dau. of James and Louisa Mitchell of Pekin, Iowa; resides, Long Beach, Calif.;

(6) Aley Cornelia Vannoy, b. Apr. 19, 1878; d. June 1, 1897; m. Sept. 4, 1895, Cecil Double, no issue;

(7) Oscar Martin Vannoy, b. Sept. 1, 188o; d. July 7, 1899;

(8) Chester Arthur Vannoy, b. Jan. 30, 1883; m Jan. 19, 1905, Emma Margaret Held of Hardin Co., Iowa. Family now resides in Clarion, Iowa;

(9) Mary Eunice Vannoy, b. Feb. 16, 1885; m. Aug. 14, 1912, William J. Copenhaver of Iowa Falls, Iowa. Family resides at Mitchellville, Iowa;

(10) William Porter Vannoy, b. Apr. 26, 1887; m. Aug. 4, 1913, Ruth Frances Cleveland Franklin of Vancouver, Wash. Family resides, Eureka, Calif.;

(11) Lester Cleveland Vannoy, b. Nov. 23, 1890. Resides, Chicago, Ill.; unm.

(2) Mary Ann Vannoy, m George Bartlett McNiel (See McNiel Genealogy). Family resided Wapello Co., Iowa. Of issue:

(1) Margaret, who m. David Tinsley;
(2) Lutita;
(3) William.

(3) Sarah Carolina Vannoy, d. 1873; m. Lafayette Eller (See Eller Genealogy).

(4) George W. Vannoy, b. Nov. 13, 1850; d. Dec. 28, 1881.

(5) Elza F. Vannoy, m. Mattie Melson.

(6) Julia Vannoy, m. George W. Davis. Family resides near Farson, Iowa.

(7) Franky Matilda Vannoy, m. Samuel C. Woodruff.

(8) Katherine Vannoy, m. Alexander Melson. Family resides in Okla.

(9) Jesse Absalom Vannoy, m. Emma Riley.

(10) Frances Susannah Vannoy, b. Apr. 10, 1819; d., infancy.

(11) Andrew Jackson Vannoy, b. Mar. 27, 1821; m. Sally Reeves. Resided. Ashe Co., N. C.

(12) Mary Caroline Vannoy, b. Feb. 18, 1823, at Lewis Fork, Wilkes Co., N. C.; d. in Wapello Co., Iowa, at home of her dau. Maggie Davis, Jan. 1g, 19o4. She m. Harvey Eller in Wilkes Co., N. C., Nov. 25, 1841. (See Eller Genealogy) She received but scant schooling in the schools of her neighborhood, but it was sufficient to enable her to become a profound student of the Bible and kindred books. She was a member of the New Hope Baptist Church to which her forbears contributed so much. The writer of her obituary in the "Hedrick (Iowa) Journal" had this to say of her. "The death of Mrs. Eller removed from this community one of the saints of the earth. Nothing that the Journal can say will add to the reputation of this good woman. She spent her long life in good works and has passed to her reward, wrapped in a mantle of faith."

(13) Franky Matilda Vannoy, b. Sept. 28, 1825; d. 1902; m. Alfred McNiel. (See McNiel Genealogy)

(14) Anderson Vannoy, b. Apr. 23, 1829. He was a soldier, C. S. A., and was wounded at South Mountain and d. at Winchester, Va., in 1862. Some of his descendants live in Ashe Co., N. C.

(5) Andrew Vannoy, b. Nov. 4, 1783; d. Jan. 25, 1869, near Shelbyville, Tenn., leaving a number of descendants. A gifted school teacher and churchman and for twenty years Clerk of Courts of Bedford Co., Tenn.

(6) Elizabeth Vannoy, b. Mar. 4, 1786; d. Sept. 10, 1846; m. Mr. Peyton. Of issue: Caroline, who m. Jesse Yates.

(7) Jane Vannoy, b. Aug. 20, 1788; d. Sept. 17, 1846; m. Mr. Thurston. No issue.

(8) Ann Vannoy, b. Nov. 4, 1790; m. John Foster.

(9) Susannah Vannoy, b. Nov. 4, 1790; in. Mr. Parks. She was a twin sister of Ann.

(6) Hannah Vannoy, b. Mar. 26, 1751.

(7) Daniel Vannoy, b. Feb. 22, 1752; marriage license to m. Sarah Wilkerson dated Oct. 2, 1779.

(8) Susannah Vannoy, b. July 6, 1754.

(9) Katherine Vannoy, b. Dec. 26, 1755.



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