Iman family notes



David Badgley - preacher friend



The Return of Jacob Stookey


  Inventory of Illinois Eymans


  Abraham's Land













Early Illinois Census

Population records for Illinois are very spotty due to innumerable problems of the day. First, the area, once part of Virginia Territory, became a segment of Indiana Territory, then Illinois Territory before the struggle for statehood early in the 1800s. When Eymans first migrated to Southern Illinois, the area had become somewhat unpopulated by French, some of whom moved into Louisiana Territory, where maintenance of slavery as a practice seemed more likely. Thee were many efforts through this period to do enumerations, though local sheriffs were sometimes fined for not doing their part in developing inventories for war taxes. The war of 1812 caused dislocations, and fire losses were not uncommon. In 1935, when Margaret Cross Norton attempted to reconcile state and federal census findings throughout the period published her work, full federal findings had not been published, and local tax and voting rosters had not as yet been compiled.


Early compilations of data from 1810 and 1818 show no record of Imans or Eymans, though there are plenty of court and land records in the name of Abraham Eyman, who by this period had moved from New Design or American Bottom up to the nearby prairie near Belleville. When historians searched archives for the state of Illinois, they found one bound volume of 1810-1818 records, though for St. Clair County in particular, pages were missing or charred from fire, and badly water stained. It's likely that Eyman records for Belleville would have perished, though it's also true that many names (e.g. Stookey) don't appear for St. Clair while one would have expected them to.

One might have expected to see other Eymans or Imans listed for Monroe County by 1818, though none appear – either for failure of records, or for lack for some other reason. Of the 700 families in Monroe county at the time, Carrs and Kidds, Shepherd, Brownfield, Whitesides, Lemens, Badgleys, Moredocks, and other names one might expect do appear.


Published Illinois census returns for 1820 as published by the Illinois State Library compare state and federal findings in the 1818-1820 period and provide more complete information. If and when full federal census results are published, even more information will be available on ages, occupations, and township locations of those who were enumerated. When we check these findings, we do locate Abraham and his known family in St. Clair county, residing alongside Daniel Stookey (see Figure 1 below). Findings for Monroe, however, leave us a bit puzzled, for we find conflicts

Historians have had to deal with the confusion of multiple censuses for 1820 since there were enumerations taken both at the state level and for the federal census. There are many names which appear in federal and not in state records, as there are the reverse. The Eyman family of Monroe was found in both censuses, though there was a discrepancy in names recorded (See Figure 3 below). For the state census, a Christopher Eyman was named as the head of household, while the federal count registered the head of household as "Henry Eyman".

There are a variety of reasons that such discrepancies might have appeared. First, the countings were taken two months apart from one another, and the structure of households might have changed. Families frequently lived together temporarily and might not name the same man as head of the family to different enumerators. Census takers can be expected to have had difficulties with names if their language impacted their efforts at phonetic recording – though one wonders if Christian-Christopher would have been substituted for Henry[1]. In Germanic households, first names often had religious and formal significance, while second, or "middle" names were used familiarly – in which case both names might apply to the same person. It's also true that the authors, in compiling records noting this discrepancy might have had access to listings in the name of Christopher for 1818 which did not appear in census publications, but which created an apparent discrepancy in the 1820 record of a household for Henry Eyman. Until better data is available from archived records not yet published, perhaps we need to inspect the findings themselves to try to make sense of the situation.

The 1820 Household of Christopher Eyman

It seems that in 1820 there was a household of twelve persons that was found in St. Clair County of Illinois, rather than in the Monroe County location which we would have anticipated (See Figure 2 below). Census records were listed by neighborhoods, and though we have no land records for a Henry or a Christopher Eyman from the period, we know that the neighbors in the census (Thomas Primm), moved in 1817 to a farm about 3 miles southwest of Belleville – thus these Eymans were very close to Abraham Eyman[2].



males 21-45






1820 state census








family of Henry Eyman







Note that the census describes a couple in the household as being over 45 years of age. The Henry Eyman who arrived from Hardy during this period was married in 1811, and all records suggest that he was born about 1790. He and Catherine sites had a number of children, though best estimates would suggest the smaller household depicted in the table about. Henry would not have been old enough to fill the shoes as the elder of this house in 1820; nor would his wife, estimated to be born at about the same time. We think it likely that the Christian and Catherine of Hardy County migrated to Illinois with their son Henry and his wife, Catherine Sites. There may be other siblings of Henry who were in the area that we don't as yet know about. St. Clair genealogical notes not reviewed index a "Charles Eyman" who has not otherwise been known; a court case in the early 1800s involved testimony by a Joseph Eyman on behalf of a neighbor's land claim (these were often questionable) from near 1790.

Figure 1

Abraham Eyman's family in St. Clair 1820

Figure 2

The household of Christopher Eyman involved elders in the state census for 1820.

Figure 3

State records for Christopher Eyman were reconciled to Henry as head of household in federal records of two months later.

[1] The person we know of from Hardy County called "Christian Iman" as often appeared in tax listings as "Christopher". One military record perhaps attributable to him provided the name of "Chrisley". One piece of land, said to have been purchased by Christian Iman was sold by a Christopher Iman. Most have concluded that both were the same person.

[2] "The History of Randolph, Monroe, and Perry Counties, Illinois" also list both a Christopher and a Henry Iman as early owners and farmers owning stock between 1816 – 1818.

[3] The federal census showed that 3 of these boys were under 10 years of age, and one was 10-15. There was 1 male 18-25, 1 25-44 and one over 45. The family was listed as being involved in agriculture.

[4] The federal census clarified this to suggest that 3 of the females were under 10 years old, one female was 25-44, and 1 was over 45 years of age.