(A great deal of information needs to be incorporated
into the web site at this juncture to share the rich story of
Ulrich Eyman and with wife, Maria Agatha Essig and their descendants.)
The descendants of Ulrich Eyman and his second
wife, Maria Agatha Essig.
Jacob and other Eymans of Upper Paxtang
Eymans in PA taxes and census
- an attempt at an inclusive list of early Eyman sitings.
- factoids from 1749 to 1800
Like so many German immigrants, the Eyman settled in Philadelphia
for a period and then sought out their futures in other parts
of Pennsylvania. The earliest Eyman immigrants included two.
A Jakob Eiman <1725> arrived first to Philadelphia in
1749 on the St. Andrews and was noted in Philadelphia township
and county tax rolls of that year. He was a young man at the
time of his arrival. Though some believe he brought a wife with
him, others believe that he married after having arrived. We
believe he probably lived in what was then called Chester County
for a while, but he seems to have migrated to Upper Paxtang
-- and outlying area up the Susquehanna River. His descendants
seem to have migrated to Hampshire/Hardy County of Virginia.
Nearly fifteen years later, in 1764, Jacob's uncle Ulrich Eyman
and his family arrived in Pennsylvania on the Hero, and was
soon followed by his son Chrisitian. Though we have no specific
information as yet about how or when Christian arrive in America,
we do know that Ulrich had died within a year or so, and that
in the settlement of the estate, the eldest son Christian played
a role. Several other Eymans migrated to America later in the
1780's, but these two "founding" Eymans are the focus
of much Eyman genealogy. Ulrich's descendants either stayed
in the Conestoga area or migrated to Rockingham Virginia, though
almost all Eymans from both places subsequently headed to Ohio.
In trying to learn more about our ancestors we run into many
problems. Imans are lucky to have a name which is used rather
infrequently. Imagine going through thousands of deed entries
or unordered tax listings for a Smith'-) On the other hand,
Eyman names have varied dramatically and one often isn't sure
when records are "ours". At least parts of our family
was Mennonite -- these were people who distrusted institutional
churches and kept records in books at home. Furthermore, as
anabaptists they didn't believe in baptizing children as passive
and uninformed objects -- only adult believers took part in
ceremonies. In fact Mennonites tended to avoid entanglements
with the state of any kind, including staying out of politics,
the military, and away from courts. So records can be hard to
find! Some parts of our family were not strict Mennonites, but
participated in the First Reformed Church, where congregations
often teamed with Lutheran groups to share meeting places.
There are several areas of serious confusion in Eyman genealogy
for the colonial period. We are not sure who else might have
arrived with Jacob and Ulrich, and accounts vary. In almost
every Eyman family there was a Christian and a Jacob, and so
some figures in family history become quite shadowy and indistinct.
We believe that people often mix up the descendants of Ulrich
Eyman of Conestoga and his earlier arriving newphew Jacob of
One of the most confusing Eymans to "place" in the
history of the family is one of our most colorful ancestors,
Abraham Eyman of Illinois. A blacksmith and carpenter, Abraham
was a frontiersman of multiple skills and was elected by his neighbors to represent their
interest in territorial discussions about statehood, serving
again as an elected Whig representative in Illinois state government.
A number of questions could be resolved if we could find data
to clarify the many confusing versions of his parentage and
One of the most distinguished genealogists who have studied
the family, Emmert Bittinger, a professor of sociology and the
history of the Brethren Church believes that a third Eyman arrived
in America in 1750 mistakenly described in the ship manifest
as Christian Eyerman. So far we're tending to discount this
theory for lack of confirming evidence, though one can find
For now, it seems best to organize this site to tell stories
about the two main early branches of the family as we see it..
the "Conestoga Eymans" and the "Paxtang Eymans".
The Eymans settled in Pennsylvania before the birth of our
nation. We don't know yet all of the lands they visited as they
moved around to find a better life, and we're currently exploring
Cumberland as a region where there were at least some very early
land holdings and sales. Some early Eymans were Mennonites,
like many of the Eyman immigrants after 1800. Some Eymans, on
the other hand were more church-oriented and "Reformed".
The Paxtang branch may have leaned toward more "German
Baptist" beliefs; their descendants down the line are often
described as "dunkers".
Eymans were busy people.Some were farmers, some were patriots.
There were blacksmiths and carpenters, gun-makers and mill operators
(saw mills and grist mills for corn and wheat).
As the 1800s were rolling around, Imans and Eymans were on
the paths of migration into the new territories of Illinois
and Ohio, and from there on to Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, the Pacific
Northwest and California. Though a pacifist people, Imans seem
to have helped to fight in the wars of their times. Some were
compatriots of Danniel Boone, one was shot by Jesse James.
We hope to learn more about these Imans and would love your
help in filling these pages with links and information.