Capt. James (Jacobus) Vansant by Thomas Reardon NSSAR #191903

James Vansant was a third-generation American, born in 1727 in Bensalem, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which borders the northeast section of Philadelphia. He was the third of four children; his parents were Harman Van Sant and Alice Craven. In 1756, he married Jane Bennett, a fourth-generation American. In 1764, they settled in Northampton Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. James and Jane were the parents of 13 children. They were members of the Southampton Dutch Reformed Church.

In August 1775 at the age of 48, James joined the 4th Associated Company of Northampton Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The Associated Company was organized pursuant to a resolution of the Committee of Safety and was composed of volunteers. He was one of 74 privates under Captain Henry Lott, First Lieutenant Gerardus Wyncoop, and Second Lieutenant John Kroesen.

James died in early 1798. As his wife had passed away in 1786, his will divided the proceeds from his estate to his children and grandchildren, with one exception: while many bequests in the amount of 100 pounds were made to his children, to his third son Charles, he bequeathed “seven shillings sixpence to buy a Bible, the Best of Books.”

Another interesting point was that his will provided for his youngest child Mary, to be educated in reading, writing, and ciphering (arithmetic) until she reached the age of 18. This was contrary to that period’s opinion that women only needed to learn the skills of a wife, which included caring for the home and family (including caring for the children), as well as growing, preparing and preserving food, caring for livestock, making clothing, and possibly producing items for sale.

References and Notes

Jordan, John W. Editor, Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania, Volume III, Clearfield Company, 1911.

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