Welcome to the Vance Family Association Image Archive. The VFA has collected, created, and commissioned a number of images and photographs. Check this page frequently to see new images as they are posted.


The VFA coat of arms, designed by member Betty Silfies. Betty and historian emerita Kathleen Mason based their design on the arms created for Alec Vans of Barnbarroch:

For the VFA arms, three mollets (i.e., the stars on the band across the shield) were used rather than one, to represent the more distant connection and as an attempt to encompass all Vance families regardless of surname variation or origin. Anyone with Vance ancestors is free to copy and use the VFA coat of arms. However, while neither Betty Silfies nor the VFA reserve any copyrights or other restrictions, we would expect attribution and that the picture not be altered as long as it is being referred to as the VFA coat of arms. Jamie Vans, son of Alec Vans and the current heir of Barnbarroch, was kind of enough to loan us the above image of his father’s arms (now his) as well as all the images of the Vaus arms that follow.

Both Jamie’s seal and the VFA seal are based on an old stone coat of arms currently housed in the museum at Newton Stewart in Wigtownshire:

Jamie estimates that the stone dates probably to the 1700s, just before the marriage of John Vans of Barnbarroch to Margaret Agnew in 1747.

The Vaus arms are incorporated into the architecture of the Whithorn Priory in Wigtonshire, Galloway, where Patrick Vaus of Barnbarroch (1474-1503) served as prior:

Whithorn Priory museum. Arms of Vaus: bend surmounted by a crozier

Whithorn Priory entrance. Arms of Vaus: checky bend surmounted by a crozier.

Whithorn Priory doorway. Arms of Vaus: bend.

Side aisle of old Wigtown church, Vaus tomb.

Side aisle of old Wigtown church, Vaus tomb

Current state of the Whithorn Priory entrance. Arms of Vaus: bend surmounted by a crozier.

Current state of the Whithorn Priory entrance. Arms of Vaus: bend surmounted by a bishop’s mitre.

The following carving memorializes the marriage of John Vaus and Grizzell McCullough in 1649.

The carving consists of the arms of Vaus on the left below the initials “IV” (Iohannes Vaus) and the arms of McClulloch on the right below the initials “GMC” (Grizzell McCulloch). The checkered arms on the right do resemble the McCullough arms as seen here:

Jamie Vans was gracious enough to allow us to share these images with you of the Vaus arms. If you use them, we hope you will acknowledge his kindness as we have done.

VFA Corporate Tartan

The VFA was awarded a Certificate of Accreditation for this tartan on December 2, 1994, by the Scottish Register of Tartans. It is a restricted tartan, meaning that a tartan manufacturer cannot have the tartan woven without the permission of the VFA. If you are interested in having cloth woven to make an article of personal apparel (e.g., a kilt, scarf, or dress) in the Vance Corporate Tartan, please contact us.