NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people and the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
All authorities agree that the twentieth century family of Vorce descend from French ancestry. The name has undergone many changes since it arrived in America, and even in the present day may be found as Vors, Vorse, Force, Broce, Bors, Fours, Fowers, Bores, Vores, Fores, Vorts, Vorch and Wors.
There is the same confusion is other family names arising from the fact of their being written by those unfamiliar with their correct spelling. Have these webpages helped you?
There are many traditions regarding the source of the American family. One is that the French name was La Force, the La being dropped, and Force converted into Vorce, conformabley to the pronunciation of their Dutch neighbors. Color is given to this by the fact that a Timothy Force was living in Dutchess county in 1775, but no mention is made of Vorce until later. Another tradition coming from the descendants of "ol Zebulon Vorce" is that the ancestor came from Holland to New Amsterdam, where "they were all Dutch together," and thence they moved up the Hudson river.
Zebulon Vorce is said to have been a French nobleman who came from France to America during the reign of Louis XIV on account of the wars then raging and the confiscation of his property. He settled in Manhattan, where there were but few people, there owned a large tract of land, built houses, and laid out village lots.
He married a Dutch wife. A Huguenot, Adrien La Force, was living on Long Island in 1684, where he married a Dutch girl, Jannetje Jans. This supports the claim that the ancestor was a Huguenot, who, with two brothers, ws "banished from France for his religion." It might with propriety be inferred (were such inferences allowable) that Adrien La Force came to New Amsterdam from Holland, whither as a Huguenot refugee he had fled from France during religious persecutions preceding the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and that by 1746 his descendants had removed to Dutchess county, N.Y., where in 1775 we find Timoth, Benjamin and Solomon Force residents.
Another theory may be advanced: James Riker, in his "History of Harlem," says that David du Four, who had numberous posterity, changed the form of his name to Devoor and Devoe. He was a native of Mons, in Hainault, during the wars, retired to Sedan, later to Amsterdam, where though fitted by education for higher employment, he was an "opperman" or drayman. He married (second) July 10, 1657, Jeanne Frances, from Queivrain, and the same year, with his new wife and infant son John (by his first marriage) sailed for America, settled in Harlem, where he obtained ten morgens of land in 1662, on which he was residing when Nocholas de Vaux arrived from France. The surnames of each being so much alike, they may have been led to the conclusion they were kinsmen, which led DeFour to alter the F to V, which later became DeVors, Devoe and other forms of the name, including Devoor, Voore, Vors and Vorce. John Devoor, born 1655 (infant son alluded to in preceding) married (first) and had twelve children. He married (second) Mary Van Woglum, of Albany. His son, also John, born 1680, married Catherine Van der Werken, of Half Moon, Saratoga county, N.Y., in which place he and two of his brothers are found in 1724. With equal propriety they may, some of them, have become Voors and Vorce.
But adhering to known facts and avoiding supposition, it must be admitted that so far no link has been found connecting the name of Vorce or Vorse during the colonial period. The family in Lewis county, N.Y., are descendants of the Vorces of Dutchess county, overflowing in Lewis county from Saratoga county.
The first known progenitor of the Saratoga county family is Timothy Vorce, who married, and before 1746 moved to Dutchess county, where he was a farmer. He was bitten by a rattlesnake, and died from the bite before the birth of his only child, Timothy Vorce (2), born in Dutchess county, N.Y. in 1746. He was the posthumous child of Timothy Vorce and may have been the ancestor of the Lewis county family. He was a farmer, and during the revolution was at various times a member of the military organization in Dutchess county. About 1790 he removed to Saratoga county, N.Y. He died by drowning in August, 1830, at the age of eighty-four years. He had been cradling grain and went into the river to cool off, was seized with cramp, and drowned before help could reach him. He was vigorous and active at eighty-four, of firm will, fearless courage, and great physical vitality.
(I) George Vorce was born March 20, 1812, died March 18, 1884 in Lewis County, N.Y., where he settled in 1825. After his marriage he settled on a farm of two hundred acres in Denmark, Lewis county, N.Y., which he improved and brought to an advanced state of cultivation. He ws one of the pioneer farmers of Lewis county, where his wife was born. He was a man of energy and determination (a Vorce characteristic everywhere), hopeful and courageous. He faced the privations and toil of a pioneer, succeeded, and became known as the owner of one of the finest farms in the county. He was a supporter of the Democratic party until 1860, when he became a Republican, ever after acting with that party. The family religion in which he was reared was that peculiar but worthy sect, The Society of Friends, or Quakers.
He married, 1834, Eliza Rich, born July 29, 1814, died April, 1905, daughter of Ives Rich and granddaughter of Josiah and Elizabeth (Stone) Rich, and a descendant of Richard Rich, who settled in Eastham, Mass. where he died in 1692. Richard Rich, of Dover Neck, is the American ancestor of all the Cape Cod family, which is by far the largest branch of the old English family in the U.S. English history abounds with the name Rich. In 1236 Edmund Rich was Archbirshop of Canterbury. Richard Rich, barrister, London, 1498, became baron, the wealthiest nobleman in England, and founded a most powerful family, known as "the Kingmakers." His son Earl of Warwick, is mentioned in connection with the American colonies. He was president of the Plymouth Colony and admiral of England. Warwick, Rhode Island, is named for him. The name is borne by authors, actors, scholars, ministers, soldiers, travelers, inventors and statesmen, men of many virtues and sometimes of many vices.
Richard Rich, the founder, married Sarah, daughter of Governor Thomas Roberts. They had seven children, of whom Richard (2) was the third. He married Anna _____, and had nine children, of whom Obadiah was the fifth. Obadiah, of the fourth generation, married Mary (Polly) Colby, and had seven children, Josiah, grandfather of Eliza Rich, being the third. He was born July 24, 1741, died in Lewis county, N.Y. in 1834, in his ninety-third year. He was a farmer, and emigrated to Lewis county from Claremont, New Hampshire in 1816. He married Elizabeth Stone, died 1819. They were members of the Baptist church, and known far and near for their hospitable entertainment of ministers and members of that demonination. Children: Samuel, Josiah, Poebe, Eliza, Bazalul Ives, Joseph, Benjamin H. and Ives Bazalul. Of these, Bazalul Ives and Joseph came from Claremont to the Black River country in 1801, where the latter took up a farm, built a log cabin, made a clearing during the summer, and returned to New Hampshire for his family, who returned with him in 1802.
Children of George and Eliza (Rich) Vorce:
Warren W., see forward.
(III) Warren W., son of George and Eliza (Rich) Vorce, was born in the town of Denmark, Lewis county, New York, Nov. 11, 1835. He attended the public schools of Denmark, and completed his studies at Denmark Academy. He grew up on the farm and chose for his life's work the same occupation. He first rented then purchased a valuable farm located east of Copenhagen village. He gave his business strict personal attention, and by enery and careful, intelligent method has made it a valuable and profitable imvestment. One of the first cheese factories in Lewis county was built on his farm, and as manager Mr. Vorce is in charge of the present factory. He makes a specialty of dairy farming, and maintains a herd of graded Holsteins as his favorite stock. The product in summer is made into cheese and in winter shipped to cities.
He has been connected with the Republican party ever since becoming a voter. He is a member of Denmark Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, and a firm friend of the order.
He married, Dec. 24, 1859, Caroline Hess, born Feb. 9, 1840, at Baldwinsville, N.Y., died March 20, 1909, daughter of John and Margaret (Coply) Hess. John Hess was born in Verona, Oneida county, N.Y., in 1814, died in Denmark, Lewis county, Oct. 13, 1900. Margaret (Coply) Hess was born April 7, 1818, died April 29, 1887, daughter of Samuel Copley. Her maternal aunt, Hannah Allen, married Nathan Jewett of Sacketts Harbor, N.Y. Their daughter, Adeline Jewett, married Dr. Samuel Guthrie, the discoverer of chloroform, inventor of percussion caps and the punch locks for exploding them, and in 1830 a rapid process for converting potato starch into molasses. He was a medical student, and among the earliest laborers in practical chemistry in the U.S. He was the original discoverer of chloroform, which was distributed, and his process repeated and verified by the elder Silliman at Yale College in 1831, while the Germans, Souberian and Leibig made their discoveries in January and March, 1832, respectively. His son, Alfred, a physician and mechanical engineer, is best known for his inception of the United States laws governing inspection of steamboats. He made numberous drawings and explanations, and drafted the bill finally passed by Congress in 1852, which greatly reduced the loss of life and property. Another son, Edwin, was a student of medicine, but abandoned that profession and settled in Iowa. He was captain of a company of Iowa volunteers in the war with Mexico, was wounded at the engagement at Pass La Hoya, suffered two amputations and died from his injuries. Guthrie county, Iowa, is named in his honor.
The principal early American settlement of the Hess family in 1712, when a Swiss colony came to America, among them Samuel Hess, who settled in Pennsylvania. He had a son Jacob, who was of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. His son John lived on the old homestead with his father, and died in 1778. He had two sons, Christian and John. Whether or not any of this family settled in Oneida county cannot be determined, or whether John Hess was a descendant of Alexander Hess, of Oneida county, and of German descent, cannot be stated. The names Hass, Haas and Hess are used interchangeably even by the same family, and in the absence of family records ancestry is difficult to determine.
Children of Warren W. and Caroline (Hess) Vorce:
Ida, born Jan. 25, 1860, died Oct. 30, 1905; married George T. Hamlin.
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