By the 17th century, and probably well before, the Prances were widespread in the area. There was a concentration of families in Bideford and surrounding areas, particularly Northam, Appledore and Parkham. Further to the west there were also Prances in Woolfardisworthy. The history of the Northam Prances has been traced back to around 1480 by Michael Prance Williams the family researcher however the Parkham group has been more elusive having been traced with certainty to a John Prance born in 1789. There is speculative evidence to suggest a link back to about 1730 but more research is needed to confirm this. As yet no common link has been found between the Parkham families and other groups. At present this section deals mainly with John Prance and his descendants but other groups will be added as information becomes available.
Use the scroll bars below to view an extract from John Prance's family tree.
The following pages provide more information about the lives of some family members. The numbers after the names allow these individuals to be identified on the family tree above.
There is a long list of notable Prances, many of whom were great public benefactors and achieved considerable social standing. Accounts of these will be given space as the site develops.