Iman family notes






Early Illinois Census Findings



Illinois Imans and Eymans

Early Citings of Imans/Eymans in Illinois.

Abraham Eyman, of St. Clair/Belleville may have been the first of Eymans to move to the Illinois Territory. He seems to have visited in 1796, staked out land at American Bottom, and returned with family the next year. Bought lands in New Design, and subsequently migrated to Belleville prairie where he was one of the first settlers near Turkey Hill, along with his brother-in-law Stookey, neighbors Teter, Primm, and Millers. Abraham is listed in many St. Clair historical records and was elected to the second House of Representatives for the new state of Illinois. He died a very old man, likely pleased with the attention of being one of the last surviving founders of the area. There's a great deal of confusion in family circles about where Abraham came from, though it's likely that he was a country boy from Upper Paxtang. The old German must have had some cross-cultural gifts, for he gave most of his kids in marriage to off-spring of the flinty Joseph McClintock. Other Eymans are said to have been involved in the ill-fated Badgley migration from Hardy County of West Virginia to New Design before the turn of the century, but no names of participants have been identified.

The names of Christopher Eyman, (St. Clair/Belleville) and Henry Eyman, (St. Clair/Belleville) also appear in various  early records for the area. Illinois Trails, for instance, ( citing "The History of Randolph, Monroe and Perry Counties", lists a Henry and a Christopher Iman as  early owners of stock 1816-18. Both of these names also appeared in the two censuses (county & federal) taken for 1820 as well, though it appears that these may be the same household (record #213 in state census records). That two similarly structures households provided different names of the "head of household" is suggested by a census audit which seems to have resolved the issue toward defining this as the household of a Henry Eyman. See the related file called "Early Illinois Census Findings" for a fuller discussion census data.

It's possible that both of these names were in the same 1820 household. A Henry, thought to have been born 1790 in Hardy, would not have been one of the elderly couple reported to be in the household, though Henry's father and mother, Christian and Catherine, thought to have left Hardy by 1815 or so, may have been among the 264 males and 165 females over the age of 45 in St. Clair that year. While most descendants know the Hardy Imans as "Christian" and Catherine, tax findings, and sometimes property titles, are found in the name of "Christopher". The son Henry, born near 1790 , married a Catherine Elizabeth Sites in Hardy in 1811. I believe that it's this same Henry Eyman who showed in the 1850 census for Mordock precinct of Monroe, but by 1860 had migrated toward Bond County.

Sorting out and clarifying this secondary Eyman household in the St. Clair is a personal preoccuption since I believe my own ancestry arose from this household. A Christian Iman, born 1799 or so in Hardy is though to have migrated from there with his father of the same name. Christian the younger married a Mary Whiteside in 1828. This poor couple died of a cholera episode in 1850, with fragments of the family left to be raised in the Henry Eyman and Clark households.

Before 1820 there may have been other Eymans and Imans in the area. Several citations have been found which are not fully understood. Cahokia Court Records 2082 & 2083 p. 54 for 1812 show a Joseph Iman providing sworn testimony to work events 22-23 years before (1790 or so?) in the area, Joseph is described here as serving as a laborer to build a lean-to structure formed by a large fallen tree. (If we trust this account, we might assume that the laborer might be 20 years of age and thus born perhaps 1770?). Apparently the testimony was in support of a land claim by a French neighbor who was appealing for land rights based on previous inhabitation. Courts in those days were apparently full of fraudulent claims of the sort. There is no other pointer to a person of this name.

In addition to this unknown Iman, a Charles Eyman is listed in St. Clair Couty Board of Minutes Index (p.,27) 1817-1821. So far we have no other information about this person.

By 1830, new Eyman names appear in St. Clair census records. These are primarily recognized as the children of Abraham, including Daniel, Abrahim Jr., and Jacob Eyeman. By this year, new migrants to the Missouri area (St. Charles MO) put relatives Daniel and James Iman in the neighborhood.  A number of Eymans and Imans by then were migrating northwards in Illinois, or were heading over into Missouri.  Old store records from the Monroe area are repleat with charges to the accounts of "father Henry" by sons Samuel and Absalom.