History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index



THE VANSANT FAMILY. The VANSANTS of Bucks county are descendants of a common ancestor, Gerret Stoffelse VAN SANDT or VAN ZANDT,* (otherwise Garret VAN SANDT, son of Stoffel or Christopher), who emigrated from the Netherlands, probably from Zaandam in North Holland, or Zandberg in Drenthe, in or about the year 1651, and settled in New Utrecht, Long Island, on the records of which town he is frequently mentioned as Gerret STOFFELLSE. He was one of the fourteen patentees mentioned in the patent form Governor Thomas DONGAN, May 13, 1686, for the Commons of New Utrecht, "on behalf of themselves and their associates, the present freeholders and inhabitants of the said towne." His land was located at Yellow Hook, "under the jurisdiction of the town of New Utrecht." He was a magistrate of New Utrecht in 1681. By deed dated July 31, 1695, he conveyed his yellow Hook plantation to Derick Janse VAN ZUTPHEN, and removed to Bucks county, where Joseph GROWDON on 12 mo. 10, 1698-9, conveys to him 150 acres in Bensalem township, and on the same date conveys a like tract adjoining to his son Cornelius. It is probable that he was located for a time in New York, as he had two children baptized at the Dutch Reformed church there in 1674 and 1676, respectively. It is generally conceded that he was twice married, as the record of the baptisms above mentioned gives the name of his wife as Lysbeth GERRITZ, while the later baptisms at New Utrecht and Flatbush churches give it as Lysbeth CORNELIUS. It is, however, possible that in one instance her father's surname is used and in the other his first name as was common on the Dutch records. Cornelius GERRETS was a member of the Dutch church at New Utrecht.

Garret VANSAND died intestate in Bensalem township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, prior to June 5, 1706, the date upon which his ten children make a conveyance of his land purchased as before stated in February, 1698-9. The record of baptism of seven of his ten children appears at the Dutch church of New Netherlands, and will be given in connection with a sketch of each child, taken in regular order of birth, later in this article. The names of the ten children were: 1. Stoffell; 2. Cornelius; 3. Josias; 4. Harman; 5. Albert; 6. Johannes; 7. Jacobus; 8. George; 9. Jesina; 10.Garret. (Harman was really the third child in order of birth, and Josias fourth).

1. STOFFEL VAN SANDT, eldest son of Garret, was born in the province of New York about the year 1670, and took the oath of allegiance at New Utrecht, Long Island, as a native of New Netherlands, in 1687. He probably removed to Bucks county at the same time as his father, in 1699. He was a member of the Bensalem Dutch Reformed church, with wife Rachel COURSON; having joined by certificate in 1710. He seems, however, to have become a member of Abington Presbyterian church at its organization in 1714, and was made one of its elders. He purchased of Henry PAULIN on May 23, 1706, 300 acres of land in Middletown, 200 acres of which he conveyed to his sons Garret and John, and died seized of the balance in 1749. He was a justice of Bucks county, 1715-18, 1723-27, and a member of colonial assembly, 1710, 1712, 1714, 1719. His children were:

1. Jannetje, baptized at Brooklyn, September 3, 1693, married November 3, 1711, William RENBERG.

2. Garret, baptized at Brooklyn, May 4, 1695, probably died young, as the son Garret, mentioned later, was certainly a younger man. (These children above were by Stoffel's first marriage with Annetje STOFFELS, who probably died prior to the removal to Bucks county.) The children of Stoffel by his second marriage with Rachel CORSON, daughter of Hendrick COURSON, were eight in number and as follows:

3. Joshua, Married February 20, 1728, Catharine JOHNSTON, and settled in Kent county, Maryland, on land conveyed to him by his father, October 28, 1728.

4. John, who married Rebecca COX, of Philadelphia, August 19, 1728, and settled in Middletown, on land conveyed to him by his father in 1738, and died there in 1750, leaving daughters Ann, Elizabeth, Catharine, Rebecca, and Mary and one son, John.

5. James, who was baptised at Abington as an adult September 16, , 1716, and had children, 1. Rebecca, 2. Flora, 3. John, 4. Jacobus, baptized there 1719-1733.

6. Garret, purchased land of his father in Middletown in 1742, died there in 1789, leaving large family of children; see forward.

7. Elizabeth, who married John ENOCH, in 1718, and left a large family.

8. Alice, or Alshe, married Samuel RUE, and left a number of children.

9. Rachel, married Lewis RUE, March 24, 1736, and left children.

10. Jesina, who never married.

II. CORNELIUS VAN SANDT, son of Garret (1) was born in New York, probably about the year 1672. On 12 mo. 10, 1698-9, he purchased 150 acres of land adjoining his father in Bensalem township, Bucks county. On May 4, 1714, he conveyed this tract to Thomas STEVENSON. It was probably in exchange for land in Cecil county, Maryland, as on the same date STEVENSON conveyed to him 1,035 acres on the west side of Elk river, in New Munster township, Cecil county, Maryland. He was baptized at Pennypack Baptist church, September 14, 1712, and in 1714, with wife Dericka, was "dismissed to Welsh Tract" Baptist church in Pencader Hundred, New Castle county. This church was organized by a colony of Welsh Baptists at Milford Haven, when about to embark for America, in 1701. On arriving in America they located at Pennypack, where they remained until 1703, when they located in New Castle on land donated to them by James JAMES, and were ever after known as the "Welsh Tract Baptist Church." Cornelius VANSANT remained a member of this church , and was buried there May 1, 1734. His will, probated in Cecil county, mentions wife Mary and children Cornelius, Garret and Rebecca, all apparently minors. He evidently married a second time after his removal.

III. Harman VAN SANDT, son of Garrett and Lysbeth GERRITZ, was baptized at the Dutch Reformed church of New York, June 10, 1674, and died in Bensalem township, Bucks county, in 1759. He purchased August 1, 1704, 250 acres of land in Bensalem of Thomas STEVENSON, and on April 26, 1712, 250 more. On May 26, 1713, he purchased 125 acres which had belonged to his brother Johannes, and devised it in his will to his daughter Catharine, wife of Daniel SEVERNS. On May 20, 1741, he purchased 100 acres for his daughter Gazina, wife of Jacob TITUS. He also purchased in 1711 50 acres on Southampton, which he conveyed to his brother Jacobus. Harman VANSANT was three times married. His first wife, whom he married in New Utrecht, was Elizabeth BROUWERS. He married (second) in 1733 Jane JOUDON, and (third) on November 9, 1738, Judith EVANS, who survived him. She had been twice married before becoming the wife of Harman VANSANT, first to Cornelius MCCARTY, and second to John EVANS, both of Basalem township. The children of Harman VANSANT were as follows, all probably by Elizabeth, his first wife:

1. Garret, who died in 1755, leaving a widow Mary and four children - Harman, Peter, Elizabeth and Garret. Harman, who married Eleanor VANDEGRIFT, was the administrator of his father n 1755, and executor of the will of his grandfather in 1759. He was devised by the latter 125 acres of the land whereon his father had lived, and subsequently purchased considerable other land in Bensalem where he died in 1815. His children were:Jacob, baptized at Southampton church, July 7, 1754; Joseph; Mary VAN HORN; Eleanor, wife of Robert WOOD; Sarah COX; Ann PLEAMESS and Garret. Peter was devised 100 acres of land by his grandfather. Elizabeth and Garret were the ancestors of practically all the VANSANTS of Bensalem.

2. Gazina, who married Jacon TITUS and lived on land devised to her by her father. She died prior to April 30, 1772, leaving children; Elizabeth, who married Ephraim PHILLIPS, of Burlington, New Jersey; Olshe, who married Joseph SEABORNE, of Warwick, Bucks county; Catharine, who married John BAKER, of Mr. Holly, New Jersey; Charity, wife of Samuel SUTTON, of Byberry, Jacob, Seruch and William, of Bensalem; and Sarah of Byberry.

3. Elizabeth, who married May 6, 1719 Volkert VANDEGRIFT, and had nine children, and died before her father. See VANDEGRIFT Family.

4. Katharine, who married Daniel SEVERNS and lived on land in Bensalem devised to her by her father.

5. Harman, who married Alice CRAVEN, of Warminster, Bucks county, and died in 1735, leaving four children, mentioned in his fathers will in 1755, three of whom were James, Harman and William. James was born in 1731, and died in Northampton, January 31, 1798; he married August 23, 1756, Jane BENNETT, daughter of William and Charity BENNETT, and settled in Northampton in 1764; James and Jane were the parents of thirteen children; Harman, married Alice HOGELAND and settled in Warminster; Charity, wife of John CORSON, Esq.; William; Charles; Elizabeth; Eleanor, wife of John BROWN; Richard; Isaac; John; Alice; James; Aaron, and Mary. Harman, son of Harman and Alice (CRAVEN) VANSANT, married Catharine HOGELAND, and died in Warminster in 1823; was many years a justice; he left but one child, Elizabeth, wife of James Edams. William died in Warminster in 1805

IV. Josias Van Sandt, son of Garret and Lysbeth GERRITZ, was baptized at York, October 29, 1676, but as we find no further record of him he probably died in childhood.

V. ALBERT VAN SANDT, son of Garret (1) was baptized at Flatbush, May 13 , 1681. He married November 8, 1704, Rebecca VANDEGRIFT, daughter of Leonard and Gertje (ELLSWORTH) VANDEGRIFT. He probably removed with the rest of the family to Bensalem, Bucks county, as he joined in the deed conveying his father's real estate, but in 1708-9, in connection with his brother-in-law, Jacob VANDEGRIFT, purchased 500 acres of land in St. George's Hundred, New Castle county. He seems also to have purchased land in Georgetown, Kent county, Maryland, which he conveyed to his brother George, May 14, 1737. In 1743 he and his wife Rebecca, of St. George’s Hundred, New Castle county, Delaware, joined in the deed for his father-in-law's real estate in Bensalem. After this date and prior to December 16, 1751, the date of his will, he married a second wife, Sarah, who is named executrix. His children were: Elizabeth, baptized October 3, 1705, married a JOUDON; Leonard, baptized November 5, 1707, probably died young, not mentioned in will; Harmanus; James; John; Garret; Christina, married a DUSHANE; Rebecca, married a MARTIN; and Ann, who married a BROWN.

VI. JOHANNES (or John) VAN SANDT, born on Long Island, son of Garret (1), married at the First Presbyterian church of Philadelphia, 12 mo. 17, 1702, Leah GROESBECK, probably daughter of Jacob GROESBECK, who accompanied the VANSANTS from Long Island to Bensalem and purchased land there. John VANSAND, as he signed his name, purchased August 1, 1704, 125 acres of land in Bensalem of Thomas STEVENSON, but reconveyed it to STEVENSON, May 17, 1714, and the latter immediately conveyed it to Harmon VANSANDT before mentioned. On the same date STEVENSON conveyed to him 500 acrs of land on Elk River, Cecil county, Maryland. It is probable that his intention to move to Maryland was frustrated by his sickness and death. His will is dated October 30, 1714, and was proved the sixth of the following January. It devises to son John forty shillings, and to his wife Leah his personal estate and the use of his Maryland real estate, if not sold, during life for "the education and maintenance of herself and children." Believing that it will be necessary to sell his Maryland real estate, he empowers Stoffel VANSAND and Bartholomew JACOBS to sell it. If not sold, to be valued and divided between the two boys, they paying their sisters their equal shares. The only child mentioned was John. It is possible that the other of "the two boys" was Garret, who had a number of children baptized at St. Stephen's church, Cecil county, beginning with 1721. A daughter Rachel was baptized June 5, 1711.

JACOBUS (or James) VAN SANDT, son of Garret (1), was baptized at Flatbush, Long Island, February 15, 1685, and removed with his father to Bensalem, Bucks county, in 1699. He married at the First Presbyterian church of Philadelphia, on January 7, 1707-8. Rebecca VANDEGRIFT, daughter of Nicholas and Barentje (VERKERK) VANDEGRIFT, who had come to Bensalem from Long Island at the same date as the VANSANTS, (See VANDEGRIFT Family). Jacobus and his wife joined the Bensalem church, Neshaminy branch, at its institution in 1710. On April 7, 1711, Benjamin HOPPER conveyed to Jacobus VANSAND, of Bensalem, yeoman, 100 acres of land in Southampton, and on January 1, 1712, his brother Harman VANSANDT and Elizabeth his wife conveyed to Jacobus fifty acres adjoining the 150 which had been purchased by Harman of Ezra BOWEN, June 13, 1711. He later purchased 144 acres of land of Cornelius EGMONT, which he devised to his son Nicholas. The will of Jacobus VANSANDT, of Southampton, is dated December 12, 1744, and was proven January 9, 1745. It devises to son Jacob the 150 acre farm on which he dwelt, reserving certain privileges to his wife Rebecca; the EGMONT farm to son Nicholas; mentions daughters Elizabeth and Rebecca as having received their shares, the latter being deceased; sons Jacobus, Garret and Isaiah, and grandson Charles INYARD, to have equal shares. The will names "kinsman John VANSAND" and friend Nathaniel BRITTIAN as executors, but they renouncing, as also did the widow, letters were granted to the sons James and Nicholas. The will is signed "J. V." His widow Rebecca survived him two years, leaving will dated November 18, 1746, and proved January 13, 1746-7, and mentions the same children, and grandson Charles INYARD. The children of Jacobus and Rebecca VANDEGRIFT VANSANDT were: Jacobus (or James) baptized December 1, 1708; married 10 mo. 1, 1732, Margaret BREECE, daughter of Hendrick and Hannah (FIELD) BREECE of Bensalem; see ancestry of Lewis R. BOND, in this volume.

2. Elizabeth, baptized May 21, 1710; married 4 mo. 1, 1732, Charles INYARD, of Warminster, and left one son, Charles INYARD.

3. Garret, married May 13, 1739, Ann GROOME of Southampton.

4. Nicholas, baptized January 1, 1711-12, married May 18, 1744, Mary BRITTIAN.

5. Rebecca baptized August 7, 1716, married Isaac LARUE.

6. Isaiah, married June 6, 1732, Charity (or Gertrude) VANHORN

7. Jacob.

James, who married Margaret BREECE, was a mason, and in 1734 purchased of Gidean DE CAMP 100 acres in Warminster, which he sold in 1748. At about the same date he signed a release to his brothers-in-law, Hendrick, and John BREESE for legacy left his wife by her father, and probably accompanied his brother-in-law Hendrick BREESE to Harford county, Maryland. Garret, the second son, was a blacksmith in Southampton. His will dated 9 mo. 29, 1779, is on file in the register of wills' office of Bucks county, but does not appear to have been proven. It mentions wife Ann and the following children: William; Phebe, who married Miles STRICKLAND, December 24, 1760; Mary and Rebecca WALTON; Margaret FOSTER; daughter Elizabeth's three sons, Amos, Breece and Mahlon VANSANT; John; Ann Richardson; Ester VANSANT and James.

Nicholas, the third son, married Mary BRITTIAN and had two children, Captain Nathaniel VANSANT, of the Revolution; and Rebecca, who married January 9, 1768, Daniel BOILEAU. Nicholas died about May 1, 1801, and his widow Mary in March, 1808.

Isaiah, the fourth son, married Gertje (or Charity) VAN HORN, daughter of Peter and Elizabeth VAN HORN of Middletown.On March 18, 1736-7, he purchased at sheriff's sale 178 1/4 acres of land in Makefield township. In 1754 he purchased a small tract adjoining, and in 1768 purchased of John SCOTT 100 acres in Upper Makefield. His children were; Isaiah; Elizabeth, wife of Cornelius VANDEGRIFT; Rachel, wife of George MERRICK, married 4 mo. 12, 1769; Charity; Sarah, who married Christian VANHORN, June 14, 1764; Mary, who married Gabriel VANHORN, January 18, 1772; Joshua; Peter, who married Elizabeth WOLLARD April 8, 1778, and (second) Alethia CURTIS; Gabriel; and Cornelius, who married Mary LARZELERE,. The will of Isaiah VANSANT, is dated April 15, 1786, and was proved September 28, 1786. It devised to son Joshua the land bought of John SCOTT in Upper Makefield, and to Gabriel and Cornelius the home plantation, "reserving one-fourth of an acre for a graveyard, where I have began to bury, for myself and my relations;" mentions Elijah, eldest son of Isaiah, daughter Rachel's three children; daughter Charity's four children, and daughter Mary, and her daughter Charity; and daughter Elizabeth.

Jacob, the youngest son of Jacobus and Rebecca VANSANT, inherited from his father the homestead in Southampton, and died there in 1812, devising ninety acres thereof to his daughter Elizabeth VANSANT. His other children were; Jane, who married Samuel DICKSON; and Margaret, who married Jacob ROADS.

VIII. George VAN SANDT, son of Garret (1) was baptized at Flatbush, Long Island, April 24, 1687, and removed with the family to Bensalem, Bucks county in 1699. He married 12 mo. 17, 1706, Micah VANDEGRIFT. He joined his brother Jacobus in the Purchase of his father's Bensalem farm in 1706, and purchased his brother's interest on April 2, 1711. On May 17, 1714, he and wife Micah conveyed this 150 acres in Bensalem to Thomas STEVENSON, and removed to Cecil county, Maryland, where he purchased of Gideon PEARCE, February 20, 1721, a tract of land called "Forks and Revision," and in 1737 purchased of his brother Albert part of a tract called "Tolchester." On October 17, 1733, he and wife "Mary" convey to his son Nicholas, a tract called "Nicholas' Inheritance," and on same date, they convey to son George other lands. It 1745 they convey parts of "Tolchester" to sons Ephraim and Benjamin. From the will of George VANSANT proven March 22, 1755, we learn that his children were Nicholas, Cornelius, George, Benjamin, Ephraim, John; Elizabeth, wife of Peter COLE; Hester NEWCOMBE, Resultah SALISBURY, and Ann SMITH.

X. Garret VAN SANDT, youngest son of Garret (1) was a minor when his father's real estate was conveyed in 1706. He settled in Wrightstown township, near Penn's Park, where he had a large plantation. He died in 1746, leaving a widow Claunchy, sons Garret and Cornelius, to whom he devised the plantation; and daughters Sarah SACKETT, Rachel DUNGAN and Rebeckah VANSANT, the latter a minor. Cornelius married Mary LEE, December 6, 1748, and died in March, 1789, without issue. His wife Mary died in August, 1808 Garret, eldest son of Garret and Claunchy, inherited one-half of the Wrightstown homestead, and died there in June, 1806. He married April 30, 1760, Rebecca EVANS, who survived him. She was possibly his second wife. Their children were Elizabeth ADDIS, Rebecca McCLELLAN, and Mary, wife of Joseph CARVER. Rebecca, daughter of Garret, Sr., married a BRITTAN, whose son Joseph and grandson Cornelius are mentioned in the will of Cornelius VAN SANT.

Garret VANSANT of Middletown, son of Stophel, received by deed of gift from his father on October 21, 1742, 95 1/2 acres of land, part of 300 acres purchased by Stophel of Henry PAULIN in 1706, and on January 10, 1748,m purchased 214 acres in Middletown of Charles and Ann PLUMLY. On June 25, 1789, he conveys the last mentioned tract in about equal parts to his sons, Garret, Jr., and John, and on July 31, 1789, he conveyed to his son George the 95 1/2 acres conveyed to him by his father. No record appears of the name of his wife. A Garret VANSANT married Leah NIXON at Churchville, April 15, 1747, which was probably this Garret, although it may have been his cousin Garret, of Wrightstown. The will of Garret VANSANT is dated July 7, 1789, and was proven August 7, 1789,m only a week after the conveyance of his land. It mentions the children of his son Jacob, and their mother Mary VASTINE; daughters Rachel HARRISON, Keziah SWEETMAN, Vashti VANSANT and Sarah HISE; sons John, Garret and George, and grandson James VANSANT. Jacob, the eldest son, married Mary RICHARDSON, daughter of Joseph RICHARDSON, and settled in Falls township, Bucks county, where he died in April, 1785, leaving children; Elizabeth, James, Catharine and Garret. His widow married Benjamin VASTINE prior to 1789. George VANSANT married Sarah JOHNSTON, December 24, 1783. He sold the old homestead to Joshua WOOLSTON in 1794, and removed to Bristol township. John married Letitia LEAW and died in Middletown in 1812, leaving a son John, and daughters Ann Leah LOVETT and Amelia BOOZ. Garret VANSANT, Jr., remained on the homestead purchased of his father in 1789 until 1822, when he conveyed it to his sons James and John, and soon after removed to Newtown, where he died in 1842 at an advanced age. His wife Mary had died many years previously. The children of Garret and Mary VANSANT were John, James, Martha; Jane, wife of Isaac RANDALL; Rachel, wife of Eber RANDALL; and Mary, wife of Jonathan HUNTER. James died in Middletown in 1833, leaving a widow Amy and two children, Elizabeth, born March 11, 1821 , and James born May 1, 1826.

JAMES TITUS VANSANT, of Middletown township, son of John and Mary (HUNTER) VANSANT, and grandson of Garret and Mary VANSANT, last mentioned, was born in Middletown township May 23, 1837, where he was educated at the public schools, and has spent his whole life on the farm that has been the property of his direct ancestors since 1748, and part of it since 1704. On January 21, 1863, he married Lucy Ann CARMAN, daughter of Samuel and Mary Ann (BROWN) CARMAN, of Bensalem township, and granddaughter of Barzilla and Beulah CARMAN. Her maternal grandparents were Israel and Sarah (HELLINGS) BROWN, the latter being a daughter of Nathan and Rachel HELLINGS, of an old Middletown, Bucks county, family whose progenitor was Nicholas HELLINGS, an early settler in Northampton. Mr. and Mrs. VANSANT are the parents of eight children, viz.: Samuel Jennings, born August 15, 1865, died February 28, 1904; William Carman, born May 14, 1867; John Andrew, born August 11, 1869; Howard, born September 12, 1871; Clarence, born August 22, 1873; James Merton, born November 15, 1875. Joseph Winter, born January 10, 1879; Lucy Ann, born June 16, 1883, Samuel Jennings VANSANT married August, 1891, Martha A. TOMLINSON of Fox Chase, and they are the parents of three children - Roy, Arthur and Frederick. William Carman VANSANT married January 1, 1894, Melvina SEARCH, and they have four children - Charles Search, James Merton, Mary, and Edward. Mrs. Melvina SEARCH died in December, 1904. John Andrew VANSANT married April 13, 1900, Ella SICKLE, and had one child Esther Helen. Clarence VANSANT married, January 25, 1898, Clara WORTHINGTON, and their children are; Harriet, born October 21, 1898; and Samuel, born October 19, 1901. James M. VANSANT married, March 6, 1900 Ada K. HIBBS, and their children are; Albert Hunter, born December 31, 1900; and Clifford Randall, born July 31, 1903. Joseph Winder VANSANT married June 1, 1904, Matilda Prevost McARTHUR.

Mr. VANSANT is one of the prominent and successful men of the county, and has held many positions of trust. He owns a large amount of real estate, in dwellings and farms and takes a lively interest in the affairs of the county. He and his family are members of the Methodist church. In politics he is a Republican. He is a member of Neshaminy Lodge, No. 422, I. O. O. F., of Hulmeville.

HOWARD VANSANT, fourth son of James T. and Lucy Ann (CARMAN) VANSANT, was born in Middletown township, September 12, 1871, and received his elementary education at the public schools. He graduated from Pierce's Business College in 1891, and for one winter filled the position in that institution as teacher in the banking department. He then accepted the position of bookkeeper for Augustes BEITNEY, which he filled for six years, and then entered into the employ of Walton Bros., grain merchants of Philadelphia, as bookkeeper, and after a short time was promoted to the position of general superintendent, having general charge of their large warehouse. The firm has for many years done a large business, and is one of the largest dealers in that line in Philadelphia. In politics Mr. VANSANT is a Republican, and takes an active interest in the affairs of the town in which he lives. He has been for many years a member of the borough council, and is now filling the position of clerk of that body. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being affiliated with Bristol Lodge No. 25, F. and A. M. He is also a member of Neshaminy Lodge, No. 422, I. O. O. F., of Hulmeville, of which he is a past grand. He married, November 12, 1895, Cora WILSON, daughter of Charles and Sarah (SNYDER) WILSON, of Trenton, New Jersey, and a granddaughter of Christopher and Sarah (SNYDER) WILSON. They are the parents of two children, Ella Praul, born February 23, 1900; and Elisha Praul, born March 9, 1904.


Captain Nathaniel VANSANT, only son of Nicholas and Mary (BRITTIAN) VANSANT, of Southampton, was born on the old homestead in that township, March 13, 1745. At the outbreak of the Revolution he was a resident of Bensalem township having purchased a farm there in 1777. He was commissioned first lieutenant of the Associated company of that township. From the very beginning of the arming for the conflict with the mother country, the VANSANTS were foremost in offering their services for home defense and militia service. Garret and Peter were members of the Bensalem company; Garret, of Southampton, brother of Nicholas, and uncle to Captain Nathaniel, was second lieutenant of the Southampton company in 1775, and was second lieutenant of the Fifth Company of the First Battalion in the reorganization of 1777. Nicholas, father of Captain Nathaniel, and Jacob, his brother were both members of the Southampton company in 1775. In Middletown, George and John, sons of Garret and grandsons of Stophel, were members of the Associated company of that township. James, son of Harman and grandson of Harman, Sr., the only member of the family in Northampton, joined the Associated company there in 1775. Peter, of Lower Makefield, son of Isaiah and grandson of Jocobus, was captain of the company of that township, and his brother Cornelius was second lieutenant.

The member of the family, however, who rendered pre-eminent service and suffered untold hardships in the defense of his country was Captain Nathaniel VANSANT, of Bensalem. He was commissioned a captain January 5, 1776, in Colonel Robert MAGAW's Fifth Pennsylvania Battalion of the Flying Camp, in which there was a large number of Bucks countians, who through the treachery of MAGAW's adjutant, were badly routed at Fort Washington, New York, on November 16, 1776, and 2,700 American soldiers ere taken prisoners, including MAGAW and almost his entire command. Captain VANSANT was captured with the rest, and for two years suffered the horrors of imprisonment in the floating hells in New York harbor and the loathsome warehouses in the city. Many of the letters written home to his wife while a prisoner are in the possession of the Bucks County Historical Society and of members of the family. The quaint chapeau worn by him in the service is also in possession of the Historical Society.

Captain VANSANT married August 27, 1768, at the Dutch Reformed church of Southampton, Hannah VANSANDT. There seems to be some dispute about the maiden name of Hannah VANSANT; both the church records and that of the granting of the license by the civil authorities give it as VANZANDT, while his descendants claim that her name was BRITTIAN, the same as that of the Captain's mother. It seems to be conceded that she was his cousin, and it is probable that she was the daughter of his uncle, James VANSANDT, who married Margaret, daughter of Hendrick and Hannah (FIELD) BREECE. Hannah was born January 16, 1746, and died August 19, 1818. The children of Captain Nathaniel and Hannah VANSANT were as follows; Harman, who died of yellow fever in Philadelphia during the epidemic of that disease in the city, about the close of the century; and Nicholas, born February 25, 1771, died April 19, 1850.

Nicholas, as only surviving child of Nathaniel and Hannah VANSANT, inherited the real estate of his father, who died August 8, 1825, intestate. He lived and died on the old homestead in Southampton, which remained in the family for six generations and until 1889, when it was sold, a period of at least one hundred and fifty years. Nicholas married Mary LARZELERE, daughter of Nicholas and Hannah (BRITTIAN) LARZELERE of Bensalem township. She was born September 8, 1772, and died October 27, 1863. The children of Nicholas and Mary (LARZELERE) VANSANT were:

1. Mary, born September 6, 1795, married Jacob VANSANT, and had two children, Franklin, who married a HOGELAND, and Angelina.

2. Nathaniel, born April 14, 1797, married Alice VANARTSDALEN; see forward.

3. Elizabeth, born February 24, 1799, married Silas RHOADS, and had one child, Mary Ann, who married William GOFORTH.

4. Benjamin, born February 14, 1803, died June, 1869; married (first) Sarah CAMPBELL, born March 7, 1810, died March 10, 1853; and (second) Jane LUKENS. The children of the first marriage were: Lendrum L., born October 4, 1832; Elizabeth R., who married J. Paul KNIGHT; Harriet P., who married George SHOEMAKER; and Charles R., who married Carrie SAURMAN. The only child of the second marriage was Dr. Benjamin VANSANT.

5. Nicholas L., born September 7, 1807; married Margaret VANDEGRIFT, and had two children, Mahlon and Mary Ann.

The children of Nathaniel and Alice (VANDERGRIFT) VANSANT, were:

1. Mary Amanda, born March 26 , 1824, married Anderson LEEDOM, and had three children; Thomas, deceased; Alice, wife of John TOMLINSON; and Nathaniel, who married Martha COMLY.

2. Casper R., born April 3, 1826, died June 26, 1881, married Ellen FIELD, and had two children: Nathaniel, born October 12, 1859; see forward; and Levi, who married Ida SICKLE.

3. Nicholas B., born January 28, 1828, went to California, where he probably died.

4. Hiram R., born January 12, 1831, died September 19, 1888.

5. Jacob 2., born March 7, 1833; married Esther BUCKMAN, and had five children; Alice, who married William BRADFIELD; Watson, who married a VANREIF; Howard, who married Lydia STOUT; Leonard, who married Sarah YERKES; and Mary who married Horace BLAKER.

6. Howard S., born February 13, 1835; married Elizabeth FETTER. he died July 9, 1866.

7. MARTIN VAN BUREN VANSANT, born on the old homestead in Southampton, February 4, 1839. He was reared on the old homestead and educated at the public schools. He learned the trade of a miller, and was engaged in the milling business at Churchville for a number of years. At his father's death in 1883 he purchased the old homestead in Southampton, and subsequently sold it to Dr. Benjamin BAER, of Philadelphia. Mr. VANSANT was never married. In politics he is a Democrat. He never held other than local offices, having filled that of assessor, which office, by the way, was held by his great-great-grandfather under Colonial authority, the original commission being in possession of the Bucks County Historical Society.

NATHANIEL VANSANT, son of Casper (4) and Ellen (FIELD) VANSANT, was born at Somerton, Philadelphia county, October 12, 1859, but was reared in Southampton township, Bucks county, and educated at the local schools. His father purchased a farm in Southampton in 1870, which he conveyed to Nathaniel in 1888, and he has always followed the life of a farmer. In politics he is a Democrat. He has filled the office of school director for several years. He was married in September, 1888, to Wilhelmina DEPEW, and they are the parents of two children; Blanche, born March 10, 1890; and Viola E., born October 8, 1892.


* For much of the information contained in this sketch, more especially that pertaining to the early generations of the family, we are indebted to R. Winder Johnson of Philadelphia, who has made extensive researches covering nearly twenty-five years pertaining to the ancestry of the Vansants and other Holland families from whom his is decended. He is himself a descendant of Garret Vansandt through his son, Jacobus (7), and his fourth son, Isaiah Vansant, who married Charity VanHorn, the descent being shown more in detail in the article in this volume on the VanHorn Family.

Text taken from page 24 - 30 of:

Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania (New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905) Volume III

Transcribed July 2000 by Robert C. Sommerfeldt of Wisconsin as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published August 2000 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/

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