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Thanks Martha. I too was excited to see Diana’s post about an interesting part of the family. I wrote to her privately and at length and we found much to share. I know far too little about your branch of the family, but I would very much like to learn more. Like your mother, I too have heard the story about three brothers. There’s also a much earlier one about 5 brothers who shared in the inheritance of a farm in Northern Germany, sold it, and went to five corners of the world;-) I think that the notion of three brothers carrying different names may not be true, but then it might. Often, and especially before 1800, Imans/Eymans, etc. often used different names on different paperwork — though I think in some cases the problem was more one of the ‘transcribers’ doing their best to capture the sounds with writing and not always getting it exactly the same. There are even cases of Irish census takers thinking we were “Inmans”;-) |
I’m pretty sure that your William Joseph, born Kanawha was a son of William M Iman and Lucinda Malcolm of Clifton Kansas. Early in his life, William M and been born on South Mill Creek of the Petersburg of West Virginia featured in the website. He was the son of Emanuel Iman and Barbara Sites, whose family is associated with the Sites Homestead still standing. Emanuel lived in various settings nearby, sometimes at higher locations toward “Upper Tract”, and sometimes along the South Mill Creek just to the SE of Petersburg and very near Elkhorn Cave. There was a beautiful stream on the land that Emanual had from his father Christian which was called Iman Run.
Yes, those names surely have changed, and get written down differently — even to this day. Emanuel’s father was often called Iman in the records, though sometimes he was listed as an Eyman. In historical records, Emanuel is sometimes noted as “Manuel”. I have no proof that he was the son of Christian who arrived in those hills in 1786, but I can’t help but think that’s the case in weighing and awful lot of evidence.
That Christian surely had brothers. The Abraham who went by Eyman was probably a brother, though the possibility that he was a cousin instead can’t be counted out. Abraham was from Pennsylvania and signed some of the deeds of Emanuel’s father, as did a Jacob Eyman (sometimes Eiman) who arrived a few years after Christian had arrived to the hills and took up quite old land at the headwaters of the Potomac along what’s today called “Spring Run” (water come gushing out of the ground with a force and pace which was noted in the earliers surveys of the area, and appeared described in the 1740s by backwoods preachers who observed sawmills within a very short distance of the outcropping of water which drains Elkhorn Mountain).
All of these brothers seem to be a match to the Imans/Eymans/Eimans of Upper Paxtang, whose father was a Jacob Eyman (he signed Eiman on the arrival of his ship in 1749). Down many of the branches of the family it’s known that Eyman ancestors came from Germany, though sometimes it’s not realized that they had lived there for several generations primarily in refuge from having been expelled of needing to abandon Switzerland for their beliefs. These Eymans came from a small village outside of Steffisburg which overlooked the Thun Sea. They were farmers and distillers, and knew a good deal about animal husbandry. They had a strong preference for limestone soils and tended to stick with Swiss families, and not just German ones that they met and interacted with. In Germany, many of the family had been managers of farms and estates. One was the very first farmer with a contract to farm at the top of Donnerberg Mountain. Some Eymans moved for jobs back and forth on the river, as tended to be the case with effective farm managers who had outside contacts so that they would learn where there were opportunities. Some of the Donnersberg Eymans of our closest family, for instance, moved back toward Switzerland just prior to immigrating to the new world. There were other Eymans coming out of Switzerland at a later date, some of them as parts of Amish communities. There are Eymans who stayed in the Donnersberg, including the father of the Jacob that you and I come from. He was among the very first Mennonite preachers to receive a university type education before a life of preaching.
I would love to learn more about the specifics of your family. I have few of the names. I have little bits and pieces of the names of the next generation down from William M and Lucinda, though things get very sketchy. For instance I think the children of William Joseph and Sara were Pearl, Lydia, Jenny, Ida, Carl, and Joseph, though I don’t have birthrates except broad guesses on years, and I have no information about families down from there.
Care and appreciation, Steve Iman