May 23, 2013 - Wilkinson Stories    2 Comments

Patrick Henry’s remark resonates today

Relationship: Reuben Nance was my fourth great grandfather

Philpotts and Nances lived in the beautiful western part of Virginia in Henry County.  Reuben is said to have had a total of 27 children by his two wives.

He lived just northeast of what is today Martinsville, Virginia and was a neighbor of Patrick Henry, for whom the county was named.  Upon his return from the convention for the adoption of the Federal Constitution,  Patrick Henry said to Mr. Nance that it, the Constitution, would prove a road of sand.

His daughter, Sarah Nance, married my 3rd great grandfather, David Philpott.  The Philpott family  migrated to western Georgia to Troup County.


  • I am a descendant of the Reuben Nance family of Virginia. I am aware of the story about Patrick Henry and his “road of sand” remark, too. Very interesting!

    My dad’s maternal grandmother was Sarah Jane (Nance) Pike. Sarah Jane’s parents were Charlotta (Funk) and John C. Nance, and (without my notes to help me) I think that John C.’s father was Reuben Nance, Jr.

    John C. Nance came to Ray County Missouri about 1840 I think. I found him listed in The Nance Register, along with their children. Someone had written in pencil Charlotta’s name as John’s wife. Their daughter, Sarah, was not mentioned, but her sibling were. I recall one was Bird Nance, and another was Charles Nance. I think there was a Fanny Nance, too.

    Dolores Owen
    Kansas City, Mo.

    • Thank you for your comments! My Sarah was the daughter of Reuben. It’s amazing how much you can find out about your ancestors and what interesting people they were.

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