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  • Died in Douglasville, GA  was married to Frank Vanzant. I am looking for descendants.

    You can reply here or contact me

    Chris Epps Wheeler

    PO Box 170

    Locust Fork, AL 35097

    Her husband Frank was my Great Uncle.

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  • I am going to be going through ALL my data I have collected over the years and if any of you see anything that you can help out with or that you may need please feel free to contact me at   Be sure to put VZ Genealogy in the subject.

    Willis Kay Vanzant or VanZandt son of George Rice Vanzant and Ann Kay Vanzant .  “Uncle Willie”  Rena V. Burns said when asked by Miss Ells Rhodeback, 5th Grade teacher in Upland, PA school where Alabama was. She answered “in the South because that is where Uncle Willie lives.  She was humiliated by the teacher!

    Willis Kay or William Kay Vanzant as I sometimes see it was my Great Grandfather.

    A letter from Signe Cowan who was Mrs. Fred Cowan 14 Jan 1977   “in folder George Rice Vanzant has Ann Vanzant died 30 Nov 1897, 63 years (b 1834 England)  small bible name Edward Kay given to him by mis Nanny Blakeley 24 May 1852. Letter as regards to his death as a soldier who was true to his country and to the UNION.

    Book of Common Prayer presented to Miss Ann Crowthers by her companion Alice Herrod and Mary Matley on the eve of leaving her native country for America.

    Also there was a picture of Willis K. VanZant , Anniston, AL 17 July 1917

    November 1984 Howard C. Vanzandt said George Rice VZ Lived with Mary Alice Moore Vanzandt after George Albert her husband, died leaving her with young children. He later went to Old Soldiers Home, VA where he died 9 Jan 1918.



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    Today my most wanted person is

    Thomas Cowan

    Died August 6, 1891

    Aged 63 years.

    I believe this is the father of my Great Grandmother Margaret Jane Cowan Vanzant.  She was born in Pennsylvania and died in Anniston, Alabama

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  •  This article was taken From the November 29, 1919 Philadelphia Enquirer.    Some questions has come up about was it Abraham Roland VZ’s son and grandson of Abraham Williams VZ.   If any corrections to be found, it will be posted later.



    A Shot Through The Heart!
    November 29, 1919 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Inquirer
    Cast of Characters
    Abraham Roland Vanzant, Albert D. Wray, Katherine M. Wray and Mr. Measer.
    Abraham Roland Vanzant committed a horrible crime, Murder in the first degree. A shot through the heart! He then staged a suicide.
    Abraham was 77 years old, a Civil War veteran and a night watchman at the Pennsylvania Sugar Refinery.
    This  begins to play out like a Lifetime Movie made for TV.
    Katherine M. Wray , the newlywed bride of Albert D. Wray. This was Katherine’s second abused marriage.
    Mr. Measer, a family friend who was a boarder at police officer, Sgt. H.P. Mortimer’s home.
    Abraham Vanzant was a boarder in the  Wray home, 955, East Columbia Avenue. It appears according to Abraham’s testimony that Mr. Wray has been abusing Mrs. Wray for some time now. She had previously been talking to Abraham about how Albert had been beating her. Mr. Measer witnessed the shooting. It was his suggestion to stage it to look like a suicide.
    From day one Mrs. Wray has been claiming a stormy marriage. She was a 30 year old divorced woman. She had married Mr. Wray 5 days after her divorce from Mr. Frederick Bender who she also claimed abuse.
    Albert Wray was a 35 year old son of a police officer. Albert’s occupation was listed as a riveter.
    The story begins on Thanksgiving day, November 29, 1919 . The couple was feuding. Albert Wray had been drunk raising hell all day long. At one time Katherine ran to Abraham’s room to seek assistance from the abuse. Katherine’s mother and a friend of the family stopped by the home to visit. Albert had left the residence. Katherine had confessed to her mother that Albert had been beating her. Katherine’s mother and her friend left before Albert returned back home. He came home and started raising hell with Katherine. Abraham asked him to stop and he came after Abraham threatening him with a iron lifter off the stove. Abraham and Mr. Measer then began to fight with Albert.
    The fight was going on and Katherine ran out of the room and out of the house to the steps on the front porch when she heard the shots fired. She ran back in the room to see her husband laying on the floor and a gaping bullet wound over his heart. She screamed out “My God you have shot my husband.”
    The three plotted for Measer to  take Katherine to her mothers and stepfathers home while Abraham left for his nighttime job at the refinery.  Then Mr. Measer was going to return to his boarding house like nothing happened.  After Abraham’s shift was over he was to return to home and discover that Mr. Wray had committed suicide.  Abraham took the revolver he used to Kill Mr. Wray and placed it in Wray’s left hand and the revolver that was in the back pocket of Mr. Wray he hid behind the stove.
    Katherine arrived at her mothers home and after being there a while she blurted out “Albert is dead” and told what happened. Her stepfather went with her to the crime scene in hopes that Albert was not dead but injured.  They arrived back at her home and discovered he definitely was  dead! The stepfather proceeded to Police St. Mortimer’s home to report the murder.
    When police arrived to arrest Abraham Vanzant, he was there and calmly said “I shot him.” He then got up and left was the police. Mr. Measer was asleep when they arrived to arrest him.
    Mrs. Wray gave her statement to the police. She and Mr. Wray had been quarreling. Mr. Vanzant had asked him politely to stop and he threatened Abraham Vanzant, she was afraid to see what was going to take place and she ran out of the room to only hear gunshots. Then she told of the story to plot to make it look like a suicide.
    Abraham Roland Vanzant stood before the magistrate and gave him his personal info but refused to make any sort of statement.
    The men had been arrested for murder and Mrs. Wray an accessory.
    Abraham had known Albert and Katherine a very long time. He even was present at their wedding at Christ Reform Church in Norristown, PA. Abraham and his wife were presently separated at the time of the murder.
    Vanzant’s father was Abraham Willis Vanzant who was once a Methodist Minister and a previous Sheriff of Delaware County, PA.
    Mrs. Wray said when her husband was sober you could not ask for a better man but when he was drinking he was evil and hell to live with. Katherine stated he always “was wanting to kill someone.”
    Mr. Wray’s mother had a different version. Mrs. Louis Wray continually stated that he was a good man and she blamed Katherine. She said “Albert, her son was a good man until he met THAT woman.”
    Vanzant claimed he was only trying to shoot in him the legs, not kill him.
    On March 11, 1920 according to the Pennsylvania Inquirer Abraham Vanzant, age 78 was acquitted of the charge of Homicide in the death of Albert D. Wray along with Mrs. Wray and Mr. Measer.
    Abraham Willis Vanzandt, father of Abraham Roland Vanzant was my 4th great grandfather on my paternal grandmother, Hannah Carroll Vanzant Epps side of the family.


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  • George R. Rice Military History

    Time and Place of each enlistment:

            September 12, 1864   Media, Pennsylvania


           2nd Lieutenant

    Company and Regiment:

           203 PA Infantry

    Time and Place of Discharge:

           June 22 1865, Ralleigh, NC

    Cause of Discharge:

           Muster Out

    Disabilities When Admitted to the Home:

          Arterio Sclerosis, Kyphosis Senility, Varicose Ulcer Right Leg.


    Where Born:


    Age 81,      Height 5’10”,      Complexion, Dark,      Eyes Blue,      Hair Grey,      Read and Write Yes,      Religion, Prot.      Occupation ( Can’t determine on the paper) Residence Subsequent to Discharge, Pennsylvania,     Married or Single, Widowed,       Name and Address of Nearest Relative, Harry Vanzant, Son, Upland, PA


    Rate of Pension  $24.00

    Date of Admission  Re-Admission and Transfer:  1st Admission June 2, 1915

    Date of Death:  January 9, 1918

    Cause of Death:  Mitral Insufficiency


    Papers  ADMISSION PAPER:  G.B. Patrick


    EFFECTS:    Cash $7.00    Pension Money  $106.00

    Body Shipped to:  Chester Pa January 10,  1918

    Personal Effect Disposed to Josiah Smith, Executor, Chester, PA

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  • During my years of research I made it a habit to write down everything I saw with the name that I was researching whether I needed it or not. I have found over the years either I came to need it or someone else did.  I am going to share my many finds on this site. Hopefully you can use it.

    Records of Zion Church of Little Neck at Douglaston, Queens County, New York

    Baptism 1830

    Frederica, Daughter of James T. and Maria Van Zandt. Born 9 July

    Theodosia, Daughter of Washington and Cornelia Van Zandt. Born 2 September

    Charles Collins, Son of Edward and Lydia B. Van Zandt. Born 10 August

    Maria, Wife of James T. Van Zandt

    Albert Gallatin, aged 2 years, 6 months son of Thomas and Louisa I. van Zandt

    Celestine Angela, aged 7 months, daughter of Thomas and Louisa I. Van Zandt



    Rosina Clarkson, born 19 July 1831 daughter of Robert B. and Mary Van Zandt.


    Hobart, born 13 September 1831 son of Washington and Cornelia Van Zandt.


    Estelle Emma, born 30 October 1831, daughter of James T. and Maria Van Zandt.


    Eliza Cunningham born 27 December 1831, daughter of Charles A. and Eliza Van Zandt.



    Charles Lawrence, born 1 Feb son of Robert B. and Mary Van Zandt


    Cornelia Sophia, born 7 June, Daughter of James T. and Margaret E. Van Zandt



    Adeline Louisa, born 18 September 1837, daughter of James T. and Margaret E. Vanzandt.

    Zion Church of Little Neck FUNERALS


    12 September  Theodosia Van Zandt, infant, Zion Church Yard


    6 November Wynant Van Zandt, Esq. in 64th year, Vault under Zion Church


    17 January, Rosina C. Van Zandt, 6 months, Vault.

    18 January, Elouisa Van Zandt , Vault

    2 May Estelle Emma Van Zandt, 6 months, Vault.


    7 June  Catherine Van Zandt, N.Y 16, Vault


    No date… Eliza B. Vunningham, wife of Charles Van Zandt, 28, Zion Church Vault.

    I belive the above records were taken from Vanzandt ancestors. Microfiched of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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  • George Rice Vanzandt

    Born 22 January 1834  Upper Darby Delaware County Pennsylvania

    Married 15 October 1868 Upland, Pennsylvania

    Died 9 January 1918 Virginia  Old Soldiers Home

    Buried in Chester Rural Cemetery, Chester , Pennsylvania.  

    His father was Abraham Vanzandt and Mary Ann Verlended. 

    George was married to (1) Hannah Slater and  (2)Ann Crowther Kay.

    Ann Crowther Kay . Kay was her married name.. She was married to Edward Kay.

    Ann was born 8 December 1834 in Oldham England

    She died 30 November 1897 in Chester, PA

    She is buried in Chester Rural Cemetery.

    I have in my possession her bible that she received on the eve of her trip to America. The sad thing is that they did not write the date in it.. Just who gave it to her when she left for her journey to America.


    Elisibeth Hannah Kay, daughter of Ann Crowther Kay and Edward Kay

    Elisibeth was born Dec 1858 and she died 22 August 1860.

    Son of George Rice Vanzant and Ann Crowther Kay

    Willia Kay Vanzant who Married Margaret Jane Cowan. This is my Great Grandfather and Grandmother.

    Willis was born 10 Octoer 1869 in Upland, Pa

    They were married about 1892

    Willis died 21 January 1939 in Atlanta, Georgia

    Daughter  Hannah Vanzant.  First Hannah was married to a Mr. Carroll and then to Frederick H. Cowan.

    Hannah was born 25 July 1871 in Upland, PA

    She was married to Mr. Carroll 20 Jun 1899 and then married to Frederick A. Cowan 18 January 1906 in Chester, Delaware County, PA

    She died November 2, 1955 in Detroit Michigan.

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    I am typing this just as it was written.
    The property of
    LT. George Rice VanZandt
    Upland, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
    George Rice Vanzandt
    2nd Lt.. Co. B. 203rd P.A.
    Vol R.P. Vol.
    December 7, 1864
    We left camp in front of Richmond about 5 o’clock in the afternoon having rained very hard in the forenoon the roads were very muddy. We marched to Point of Rocks on the Apamaticks where we arrived about 2 o’clock in the morning – halted until daylight, December 8th marched to Bermuda 100 there took the transport IDAHO for fortress Monroe where we arrived about on o’clock.. Dropped anchor in the Rhoads layed there until the afternoon of the 10th of December, the sea being very rough making a great many of the men sick. While ashore I went into the fort after getting the rations aboard we steamed out into the stream where we are now staying.
    December 11, 1864
    This morning was very calm and continued so until afternoon about five o’clock when it commenced to be windy and continued increasing into a heavy gale, freezing very hard. About 1 o’clock in the morning of the 12th of December a large schooner tangled her cable acrossed ours and had to slip it to get away just as she let go an another Schooner came broad side up against out bow staving a hole in the Schooner’s side She made fast to our boat until about 9’oclock in the morning when she was towed away by a tug. The sea was very heavy all day Orders came to put 2 company’s on board the Transport Rolic. We raised anchor steamed to her, troops getting aboard. We steamed back to our old anchorage where we lay until 3 o’clock in the morning of the 13th when we raised anchor and steamed out of the bay and around into the Potomac. Went up as far as Seivil or Seurl Point where we turned about and sailed down to Cherry Point Light House where we dropped anchor until 9 o’clock in the morning of the 14th when we raised anchor steamed the River passing Charles Point Light House about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Steamed out into the Atlantic Ocean sailed all night passed Cape Hatres daylight in the morning of the 15th continued on our course until we got opposite Wilmington, North Carolina where we stopped, floating about on the ocean.
    December 16, 1864
    The 16th still floating opposite Wilmington N.C. 17th Still floating opposite Wilmington 18th still floating opposite Wilmington, 19th Still floating opposite Wilmington. December 20th ran short of coal and water – ordered into Beaufort to get a fresh supply. Arrived opposite Beaufort about 8 o’clock at night dropped anchor for the night, the sea very rough
    December 21, 1864
    21st December daylight raised anchor signaled for a Pilot-one came and we steamed into the harbor between Morehead City and Beaufort, Fort Makin is at the south of this stream. A very fine Fort mounting some 40 or 50 guns. It is night and the men are buy putting coal out of the Schooner into our ship.
    December 22, 1864
    22nd December . Today I with several other officers were ashore in a small boat- went up to Morehead City which is about 1 mile from the landing, bout some bread at hospital. Came back took dinner at an eating saloon by the landing, after dinner Capt. Brook McCuen, Cook, Lt. Duncan Mulheran and myself went over to Beaufort in a sale (or small) boat which is almost three miles stayed until about half past four when we came back to the ship. The sea was very rough coming back. The weather calm and cold.
    December 23rd 1864
    Today the weather was clear and pleasant, went to Morehead City had a very pleasant time. Capt. McCuen, Capt. Smallwood and Sergt. Dick went for a small scow. Took it out along the each, filled it wth oysters, brought them to the ship. The boys had a fine sport with them. Had some stew for my supper.
    December 24, 1864
    Today clear and cold everything passing off very agreeably about 2 o’clock in the afternoon raised anchor and put to sea. Arrived opposite Cape Fear Inlet where we are ordered to stop about 2 o’clock being Christmas Eve. We had very jolly time, singing, drinking b——— —- and good draft ale.


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