Iman family notes

Paxtang Eymans in the Revolutionary War

According to the Philadelphia Archives, two Jacobs and a Christopher Eyeman from Upper Paxtang were patriots in the Revolutionary War, serving at least for a short period in Colonel James Burd's 4th Battalion under the leadership of Captain James Murray. One thing to note about this important information is that the Eymans were not serving with German speakers, but with neighbors who were predominately Scottish or Irish in background. Another to note is that this comany of volunteers was among the very first in the area and in the nation to get into the field of battle. Perhaps Eymans were already moderately well assimilated. They seem not to have been retiscent based on religious grounds to protect the community. Perhaps they were influenced by the Paxtang Boys. A brief timeline for the Revolutionary War is provided for those seeking context.

Henry Peden, in "Revolutionary Patriots of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania 1775-1783" suggests that these Eymans were present at the battles of Princeton and Trenton. He also suggests that Jacob was with Captain Murray's Company when he lost his pouch and horn at the reduction of Fort Washington on November 16, 1776.

William Engle, in "History of Dauphin and Lebanon Counties" suggests: "This company first went into service in November or December of 1775, and was present at the battles of Trenton and Princeton. The members of the company nearly all resided in what was then Upper Paxtang township, or in the section of country from the present town of Dauphin extending to Halifax. Beyond and around the latter locality was Captain Reed's company.

Engle ("History of Dauphin and Lebanon Counties") considers the following report fairly comprehensive though he alerts to numerous spelling errors in the listing of names. Footnotes have been provided for comments.

A return of Captain James Murray's company of Associators of the Fourth Battalion of Lancaster County, commanded by James Burd[1], March 13, 1776:

Captain: James Murray [2]

First Lieutenant: Peter Sturgeon[3]

Second Lieutenant: John Simpson[4]

Ensign: John Ryen[5]


Ayres, John[6]

Bell, George

Bell, Isaac

Bell, James

Bell, John, Sr.

Bell, John, Jr.

Bell, William , Jr.

Bell, William

Bell, William, Sr.[7]

Boyce, John

Boyce, William

Brown, John

Brown, Peter

Christy, John

Cochran, George

Cochran, John, Sr.

Cochran, John, Jr.

Cochran, Samuel

Colligan, Joseph

Colligan, John

Davis, David[8]

Dice, John

Eyeman, Christopher

Eyeman, Jacob (1)[9]

Eyeman, Jacob (2)

Gallacher, Thomas

Gartner, George Adam

Goudey, John

Goudey, Robert

Hilton, William

Hoane, Anthony

Johnston, Richard

Lafferty, Patrick

Lindsey, William

Linord, James

Lockart, Moses

McCloskey, Henry

McFadden, John

McGill, Rogert

Mooney, Abraham

Peacock, James[10]

Plouge (Plough?), Samuel

Richmond, John

Smith, Robert

Smith, William

Sturgeon, Samuel

Sturgeon, Thomas

Thomas, John

Thompson, Thomas

Tinturf, Jacob

Tinturf, Phillip

Vincent, William

Yanelet, Michael

[1] James Burd, a Scot, was born near Edinburgh in 1726 and came to Philadelphia in 1747. He came to the Paxtang area in about 1755 where he resided until his death. He entered Provincial service as early as 1755 and helped to lay out a road from "Harris' Ferry to the Ohio". There are many historical citations of Burd's leadership in building stockades and roads during the French and Indian Wars. "Then the stirring days of the Revolution came, and with it disaster to Burd as a public man. An&an unfortunate dispute about crank occurred; that, with insubordination in his command, and some criticism in the "Committee of Safety," caused him to resign his civil and military employments.

[2] James Murray, the son of William Murray and was born in Scotland about 1729. His brother John also commanded Revolutionary troops. In 1768 he took out a patent for land in Upper Paxtang adjoining the present town of Dauphin. In 1775 he was chosen a member of the Committee foof Safety for his township, and on the 8th of November took his place in the gee general committee for Lancaster County.

[3] A family from Northern Ireland with children born in Upper Paxtang as of 1740s

[4] A John Simpson is listed in 1779 Upper Paxtang tax rolls. A 2nd Lt. John Simpson of Bucks County married Margaret Murray in 1776; She was the daughter of Captain John Murray, the brother of Captain James Murray.

[5] A John Ryan appears on 1799 Upper Paxtang tax rolls

[6] >AYRES, JOHN, son of the Irishman William Ayres and his wife Mary Kean, was born February 9, 1754 at Pennypack, Philadelphia County. The family migrated in 1773 to the Paxtang area when John was twenty-one . John subsequently became the owner of the homestead t called "Ayresburg." This may be the "Ayres house", a dwelling NW of Dauphin is listed as a restoration project of the Philadelphia Architects and Building Project. In 1775, on the first call for volunteers for the Revolutionary army, he enlisted in Capt. Matthew Smith's company of riflemen, formed in Lancaster county, and detailed on the expedition against Quebec under Arnold, but before Boston, he took sick. On March 13, 1776, he again enlisted in Captain Manning's company of the Fourth battalion of Lancaster county, commanded by Col. James Burd. His father and several of his connections belonged to the same company. He appears on the returns list above, perhaps between services. John Ayres was visible in Upper Paxtang tax listing for 1779 directly adjacent to Jacob Eyman.

[7] Served company of the 4th battalion of Lancaster County. Commanded by Colonel James Burd, Captain Murray's company. Captain Murray was captured by the British at the battle of Long Island, NY. William Bell was promoted to Captain, served in retreat from Brooklyn, Harlem Heights, Fort Lee. His company was surprised at Fort Washington and lost their guns, powder horns and blankets. (It is noted that two years later, Bell was fined seven bushels of fodder and two bushels of corn for his share of the losses.) He served in the retreat through New Jersey and fought in the battle of Philadelphia (Germantown?) . Elected Lieutenant, Flying Camp in 1776.

[8] David Davis served with the Eymans under Captain Murray, though little can be found about him. He may be the David Davis who married Sarah McCormick, the daughter of an Irish couple who had immigrated to American in 1735, locating in Paxtang township.

[9] This notation follows that provided by William Engle in his publication, "History of Dauphin and Lebanon Counties". Other listings have looked as though they might represent editing errors, while this reinforces the notion of two separate Jacobs. Perhaps information was not sufficient to label one "Jr." and another "Sr."?

[10] James Peacock, the eldest son of William Peacock and Mary McArthur of Scotch-Irish ancestry, was born in Paxtang township. Bittinger, in "Allegheny Passages" notes that Eymans of Hardy intermarried with the Peacock family there, though dates and possible ties beween the Peacocks have not been determined.