John Vance (1794-1882) was a farmer; born in Cook County, Tennessee. He married Sarah Perkins in 1817. They moved to McDonough County, Illinois (right next to Hancock County where Nauvoo is located) in order to be close to to Sarah's family. After Sarah's death in 1836, he married Elizabeth Campbell, in 1837. The family was among the first in the county to join the Mormon Church in around 1839 along with Sarah's parents and siblings. In 1844 his son William was called to a mission in Tennessee with Abraham O. Smoot.
At Winter Quarters John served on the high council and as a Bishop. He was also called specifically to look after the families of the soldiers serving in the Mormon Battalion. The family arrived in Salt Lake Valley in 1847 where john was a high councilor (12 years), a school commissioner, a justice of the peace and a Counselor in seventh ward bishopric.
He was sent on a colonizing mission to St George with others in his family including his father-in-law.