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Dear Donald: |
Welcome! It's really exciting to have someone looking at your side of the family and I hope that you will share what you learn. I hope that you have been in contact with Torsten (http://www.eymann.net) and Wolfgang in Germany since they probably have the best handles on elements of our family who were involved in Prussian migrations. I saw not too many years ago a fascinating article on Eymans and or Imans (I'm curious -- is it really 'I'man in your line?) which provided specifics about terms of living from those who accepted invitations to settle in some of those areas. I believe the article may have appeared in the magazine, "Mennonite Family History" produced by Masthoff Publishers, though I can't remember for sure and will be looking around to see if I can find it. Closer to my own home here in Southern California, I know that Eymans were among about 100 Molokan migrants from Russia who came to Southern California first, and then settled in the Guadalupe Valley area of Baja California in Mexico and produced a wine industry. Also, Eymans were part of a group of "old believers" who settled in Oregon near Woodburn. These were dissident Christians who split from the Russian Orthodox church in the 17th century and made it to America. There may have been as many as 10,000 people in this community of Russian Old Believers
There were a number of branches of the original Eyman family in Germany. Some remained Catholic, while the more anabaptist element migrated to Switzerland and from there were expelled or migrated often down through the Pfalz area of Germany, and from there to the new world. Some on that path though also migrated into Prussia. A good number of Mennonites accepted the invitation of Polish rulers to come to an area which was soon conquered by Prussia. Many lived there until 1789 when their liberties were denied and Russia's Empress Catherine Ii invited farmers to settle in an area near the Black Sea. In 1870, after Alexander II, a new Russian ruler of the day revoked the privilege of exemption from military service, many Mennonites began searching again for a place of religious freedom. This triggered migrations to Canada and the United States. Often there were Mennonite communities reaching out to these Russians and helping them to integrate with their communities.
It's possible though that there were even earlier migrations of Eymans. Part of family lore suggests that the Alfausen Eymans near Bremen found a disputed division of a founding farm in about 1701, after which one son went to Russia, one to France, another to Holland, and perhaps one to America, though there are also South American Eymans, perhaps from a surprisingly early period.
Davis is a pretty authoritative genealogist of the family, and he notes only one Eyman with connections to Russia. An Anna Magdalena born about 1762 married a Johannes Zurcher and migrated to Galicia in 1785. I suspect that your line comes somehow out of the Eymans who went out of Switzerland and were ancestors of early American settlers.
I don't have much of anything in the way of records for those of our family with Russian or Prussian experiences. I sure with I did have, and I hope you'll share much more detail either here or through email. I have tended to collect files from extended parts of the family and link them together, but I don't have a lot which might interest you as theory to start with. I know of a Clare Elizabeth Iman, born about 1870, who married a Simion Rumaugh (from Russia) and had a daughter Kathryn born 1893. I know nothing else about their lives.
Butler County of Pa has been a place where some Imans and Eymans have lived or wandered through. These might or might not have comprised connections for your people. In the past too, all these names have been thought related, and linking errors of names are possible. According to a web posting I once ran across, a Joseph W. Iman born 1902 in Donegal Township of Butler County of Pa was son of Hugh Iman and Loretta Ransell. Hugh had been born about 1874. Some think this John may have been a son of Jacob Eyman Junior and Anne Madison, though Jacob's brother Christian lived in the general area of Western Pennsylvania and is also thought by some to have had a son John. This line of Eymans (Jacob) is very close to the Jacob <1725> who arrived in 1749 and lived around Paxtang. After living in Hardy County of Virginia, a Jacob who I take to have been son of the Jacob of Paxtang, migrated with his family from the hills of Virginia to the Pittsburgh area.
I also know of a Phyllis Iman who married a Thomas Joseph Pistorius of Butler County in about 1948. Her parents were Elmer Iman (1879 or so) and Ethel Double. Elmer had been a son of Isaac H. Iman (1842-1884) who married Hariet Adeline Maxwell. Isaac had been born in Pennsylvania somewhere and died in Henry County of Illinois where his wife Hariet had been born. i really have no information about where Elmer lived, though if his daughter married someone from Butler, it's possible that this family was in the area?
We'v had Buter Missouri, maybe Kansas.
So.. how can you research back from grandfather? All details will count. Did he live on that farm with the uncle? Do you know years or death dates? Are there death records of any sort for your grandfather or uncle? Often these will provide some details about origin, provide a sense of timing on issues, etc. Was your grandfather himself a migrant do you think? Chances are he was a member of a group, or was supported by a group when he arrived? Names, dates, places.. and all the specifics that you can muster will help.
I'm a little puzzled by the migration path of "to the states from Germany to Russia to the states"? Any idea of dates, or why they would have thought this way? If he was part of the larger pattern, my guess would be from Germany to Switzerland in the early 1500s, down to Germany and the Pfalz after the 30 years war, from there into Prussia, maybe Russia with a group who considered themselves German Christians.. and from there to the U.S. Of course anything is possible;-0
Hoping to hear lots more.. Steve -- firstname.lastname@example.org