What can we find about this supposed Cherokee woman who married John Vann?

+2 votes
WikiTree profile: Mary Vann
in Genealogy Help by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (933k points)
And here's another Cherokee woman married to a possible duplicate Vann:


Eddie, please use GREAT caution when using anything by Don Greene, or from his Shawnee Heritage collection. As others with far more experience than I will tell you: it's rife with fiction.

I no longer work on historic/open profiles but thank you for the kind thought, Miss Jillainesmiley

Well, clearly you do because you just found a bunch of sources for one. ;-)

1 Answer

+4 votes
For starters, she wasn’t Cherokee.  The Vanns were white traders who went into the Cherokee Nation and intermarried.  I don’t know if there’s any evidence that “Mary” existed. John was a white man from Virginia who moved to Chowan County, NC.  He is believed to be the father of Edward and John Vann.  Edward was the father of Clement.  Most of what you find about the early Vanns and their Cherokee wives is speculative at best.
by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (915k points)
Thanks Kathie.  I've updated the profile.  Anynsources you can add are appreciated.

There is very little documented information about the Vanns who intermarried with the Cherokee.  There are tax records from Nansemond County, Virginia from the early 1700’s which include some Vanns.  It is assumed that these are the same families found in Chowan (later Bertie) County, North Carolina in the 1700’s, but I am not aware of documents definitively connecting either John or Edward Vann to one of these families.  The best research is that of Jerry Clark, a Cherokee who was an archivist at the National Archives for many years.  Here is what he posted on genealogy.com regarding John and Edward Vann:

"Old John Vann was an Indian Countryman (a trader with an Indian wife) and resided at a trading post between the Broad and Saluda Rivers near the frontier fort called "Ninety-Six" in northwestern South Carolina in the years 1750-1770. Later a man named Vann operated a trading post at Vann's Valley in western Georgia, which was destroyed by American militia troops during the American Revolution (ca. 1780). Later a man named Avery Vann, also a white man with a Cherokee wife, resided there. My research suggests (but does not prove) that old John Vann was the father of the half-blood Wor-le Vann, mother of James Vann. Vann's Valley was probably the residence of Avery Vann, Sr (probably a nephew of John Vann), and his son Avery Vann, Jr, who married a mixed-blood Cherokee named Peggie McSwain.I believe that the younger Avery was a first cousin of Chief James Vann. Chief James Vann's white father was probably named Edward Vann, and was likely the nephew of John Vann, the trader. The name of John Joseph Vann or Joseph David Vann has not been found in ANY of the Cherokee sources that I have examined."

 [Re:  Chief James Vann vs James Clement Vann, posted by Jerry L. Clark Feb. 06, 2003 https://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/vann/2141/]

"Edward Vann I married 1) (ca.1736) Mary Barnes and 2) (ca.1745) Charity _______?
b. ca.1720  d. March, 1773 at Horn's Creek, Abbeville Dist. SC
Children of Mary Barnes, daughter of Richard Barnes, Chowan Co, NC (Mary Barnes, b. ca. 1720 & d. 1744):
1) Joseph Vann [so-called "John Joseph"] m. Wah-li Vannb. ca. 1737; d. 1800
[Nancy Vann said her father's name was Joseph Vann]

2) Edward ( "Ned") Vann II m. Mary King b. ca. 1740; d. 1833 Horn's Creek, Edgefield Co., SC
[11/1/1818 an old man named Ned Vann visited Spring Place. He was a "blood brother of the father of James Vann and the mother of Joseph Crutchfield"]

3) Jenny Vann b. ca. 1742; d. ca.1820
[Clement Vann visited Spring Place with his sister Jenny]

4) James Vann b. ca. 1744; d. ca. 1820 Wilkes Co, GA

After the death of his 1st wife Mary Barnes, Edward Vann moved to the Ninety-Six District, SC, later known as Abbeville District, Pendleton District, Greenville County, and Edgeville County, SC, and married Charity_________.
Children of Charity _________ (a "Distressed Refugee, with 1 child, 8/11/1782) (b. ca. 1725; d. ca. 1790)

5) Clement Vann m. Wah-li Vann b. 4/3/1746; d.ca. 1832  [he came into the Cherokee Nation ca. 1779]
6) Thomas Vann m. Anne [said to be a Cherokee woman] b. ca. 1747; d. ca. 1839 Madison Co, AL

7) Edith Vann m. Arthur Archibald Coody (b.1742; d. 1782 Horn's Creek, Abbeville Dist.SC) b. ca. 1752; d. 1805 Wilkes Co, GA
[Edward Vann was one of the adminstrators of A. A. Coody's will; another was Littlejohn Perdue, who may have married a Coody daughter; a young man named Greenberry Perdue, whose mother was named Coody, visited Spring Place with his relative Joseph Crutchfield (i.e. 2nd cousin)]

8) Avery Vann, Sr. b. ca. 1755; d. ca. 1810
[Avery Vann, "a younger brother of Clement Vann" visited Spring Place.It was probably his son, Avery Vann, Jr.(contemporary in age with James Vann) who married Peggy McSwain (granddaughter of Indian trader John Downing). They were the progenitors of a large Cherokee family (the humorist Will Rogers descends from this line).
9) Susannah Vann m.(ca.1786) John Crutchfield (b. ca. 1755; d. ca. 1810, Wilkes Co,GA)
b. ca. 1760; d. ca. 1800 Wilkes Co, GA"

[Edward Vann, by Jerry L. Clark, Dec. 19, 2001  https://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/vann/1920/]


Thanks. I sure wish Jerry Clark had cited sources...
There isn’t much, if any, actual documentation.  A lot of relationships are calculated backwards from later records or comments.  Jerry often does quote from documents, but it can take sone effort to find them again.
Anne Vann, was Cherokee. She is my 5th great grandmother

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