Mill Place Deed
Hardy County Taxpayers
falls at Brake Run
Four Eymans became mountain people of Virginina. Rather than inhabit
the fertile valleys of Rockingham, we're refererring to those
who lived high up in the Appalachians along the "South
Branch" (of the Potomac River)on the lands of Lord Fairfax.
The area around today's Petersburg WV was home to many Eymans
for over twenty years before the large majority proceeded West
in the ongoing quest for land. Christian migrated here first,
in 1787, followed by Peter and Jacob, then Abraham. We can't
say exactly how all of these relate to one another, but at least
Christian, Jacob, and Peter seem closely linked (and Abraham
<1767> sure knew them; witnessing deeds and marrying into
the same families!)
There's no question but that Jacob is from Upper Paxtang and
was married to Barbara Jones at the First Reformed Church of
Lancaster. Since his lands adjoin those of Christian Eyman,
these two look to be the Chrisley and Jacob who served in Paxtang
militia together in 1775. Peter is younger and from the same
neighborhood. He serve in the militia too, but not until 1781;
most likely too young to have been subject to call-ups earlier.
Peter served under the same Captain James Murray that the other
Eymans had reported to. All of these pointers suggest Peter
as a younger brother. If these three are sons of Jacob <1725>,
the same may also be the case for Abraham. There is so much
confusion about Abraham's parentage though, that we'll take
up that issue later.
Christian Iman owned over 500 acres of land in West Virginia
during the 1790s. Many Imans and Eymans migrated from this area
to Ohio and to Illinois shortly after 1800, though some remained
in what's today called Grant County. The descendants of these
Eymans were often described as "dunkers" - German
Baptists of the sort who were developing the Brethren church.
There's a great deal to learn about these Imans, how they related
(if at all) to "Conestoga" Eymans, or those of nearby
Rockingham County, Virginia. Emmert Bittinger wrote about the
Eymans and their close ties with many families in the area.
He believes that Christian was a descendent of earlier migrants
to the Shenandoah, and believes that Christian may have come
to America with Christian Eyman <1701> in 1750 on the
Royal Union to Philadelphia from Rotterdam. Others believe this
Christian to be the eldest son of Ulrich, who arrived in American
in 1763 and died shortly thereafter.
We can be sure that as early as 1787, a Christian Iman, appeared
on local personal propterty tax rolls. We could guess, but don't
know that he was married at the time. There were no children
over 16 in the house, though there was a male in the over the
age of 21. Christian also had a horse -- an important asset
in those days. If we are to assume that the "over 21" male was
a son, our Christian was most likely born over 40 years earlier
-- no later than 1747. Census data for this area was scarce
in those days. The first surviving Federal census for Hampshire
County was taken in the year 1810. The 1790 and 1800 censuses
were burned by the British during the War of 1812. There were,
however, Hampshire County census taken in 1782 and 1784. No
Imans appear on Hampshire tax rolls for 1782 or 1784. This may
be an oversight by tax collectors who went from door-to-door
in those days, though it may also suggest that Imans had not
yet arrived to the South Branch. The first solid evidence of
land ownership arises when grants were issues by the Fairfax
contemporary map to the right provides a number of
points of interest related to Iman lands which are
thought to overlap with those held by Christian Iman
in the 1790s. This map is provided by Carl Iman, who
currently lives at #6 on the map. He was born at #1
on the map.
What Carl identifies as the "old Iman properties" encompasses
most of the area in this diagram, with perimeters touching
the small towns of Landes, Pansy, Hiser, Dorcas, and
Rough Run. Middle Mountain centers the property, with
North and South Mill Creek on either side. Mill creek
flows into the South Branch of the Potomac just East
of today's Petersburg (population 2500). This is appelachian
hill country directly East of the Monongahela National
Forest, where about half of the 36 inches of precipitation
a year may be in the form of snow. Poultry, cattle farming,
mining, and timbering are still major economic activities
in the area.
the neighbors of the Imans was the Tschudy family, also
of Swiss-German origin. Their name became Judy. Among
the first family businesses was the E.L. Judy and Company,
a small country store at Pansy. A number of IUmans were
customers of the score as shown by old record books
of transactions dating from 1894 and 1895. A number
of Imans were listed in the ledgers: George H, Jacob,
Jacob, Jr., Jacob M., James W., Mary E., and Rebecca.
IN 1895 the Judys sold the store to William Harman,
who had long been a customer. Harmans remained owners
of the store until about 1950 when a Grandson, Ernest
Mullines converted the store to it's current use - home
of the Pansy Opry House.
Educator H.H. Eyman is listed in E. L. Judy's "History
of Grant and Hardy County West Virginia" as an early
teacher in Grant County. He appears at the upper right
in the photograph whe he had taken as a gift to members
of his school term ending February 18, of 1916. The
old schoolhouse had been located at #3 on the map above.
The photographer, G. W. Kesner had lived at #2 on the
the most popular names of Imans and Eymans has been
Jacob. That's a Jacob from West Virginia on the right.
He's the grandfather of Leanna Crawford of Petersburg,
Abraham Walter was the great grandson of the Christian
and Catherine of Hardy. He was the grandson of Emanuel,
and the son of the gunsmith, Cornelius Iman and Hannah
Kimble. Born in 1861 in Grant County, he married Mary
Cosner, and is the ancestor of Imans living in the Elk
Garden area of West Virginia today. He died in 1918
in Mineral County.
Look closely at that right hand of his and you'll see
a tattoo. If anybody knows why he wore that or what
it might mean, please let us know! You could
email or post a message in the Iman forums.
The Abraham Walter Iman family in
about 1906-1910 from top left. Lucy Jane, Carrie,
In-law holding Tom, Grandma Mary K, Grandpa Abraham
W., Ethel, Harry (aka Pete), Richard, Edna, Hilda,
Ada, Nora holding Delpford Whetsell, Arlie Whetsell
with Albert Whetsell. Picture is thought to have
been taken by John Iman, brother to Abraham.