Iman family notes

Upper Paxtang Eymans

The Peter Allen Estate, not far from Jacob Eiman's Clark's Creek lands in Middle Paxton.

dotClark's Valley reminiscence - by Pulitzer winner Conrad Richter who described frontier life and lived on or adjacent to Eyman land.

dotMay Apple Bottom and the Neighbors - Eyman/Raeif lands can be found in Google Earth and connected warrantee maps

Map of Dauphin County - see the Middle Paxtang/Paxton area -- which used to be in "Upper Paxtang" of Lancaster County. This part of PA became Dauphin County.

Paxtang Battalions - In addition to appearing on tax rolls from 1769 through the 1780s for Upper Paxtang, three Eymans served in the Revolutionary War as local militia from this far northern part of Lancaster County.

Jacob Eyman <1725>, who arrived in America 1749 may have been the Jacob Eyman who took land in partnership with Jacob Raeif in Upper Paxtang. The warrant suggests that interest had been paid on that 100 acres along Clark's Creek since 1770, and so it may be presumed that this might have been the residence of Eymans. The land was not surveyed, nor the land grant formalized until August of 1787, and it seems that the land was sold sometime between then and 1801 to a Jacob Hutts about which currently nothing is known. This is, however, and interesting time for the land ownership to be formalized since this is the year that there had been local initiatives by the neighbors to split Middle Paxton off from Upper Paxtang. The notion of residency at this location is also somewhat questionable, given a deed recently discovered, suggesting the sale of lands in 1771 by a Christian Eiman of Bethel Township in Cumberland County.

We can't be sure of the identity of the Jacob Raeif, "farmer and distiller" whose name appears on the warrant. It possible that this was a son of the Joseph Reiff taxed as a freeman in nearby Rapho Township in 1758, and who later resided in what is now Derry Township, where he purchased lands from James Shaw on January 7, 1769 (about the time of the warrant from Philadelphia for the land along Clark's Creek). Joseph, born 1739, was the 6th child of the prominent Mennonite, Hans Reiff, and early immigrant to Pennsylvania who had located on 300 acres in Rapho Township by 1745. Joseph's sons Jacob and Abraham later served as administrators of Joseph's estate. Among interesting stipulations of the will were to "...bury me by deceased wives at Michael Shank's burying ground..." (This may be the Michael Shank, whose son Adam married Magdalena Eyman in 1767. The daughter of Michael and Magdalena married Abraham Brenneman and was his second wife, following the death of Maria Reiff, born 1746.) While many facts seem to "square", it is though by some that the Jacob Reiff born of Joseph was born about 1772. This Jacob, if the birth date is correct, is not likely to have shared in living on the land with Eyman, though there may have been reasons in 1787 to put his name on the warrant?

It's not known whether the Eymans lived at the land referred to in the deeds, though it is likely that they did so for some time. It's known that Jacob paid taxes on lands in Upper Paxtang, in 1769, 1770, 1772, 1777, 1779, 1780, 1782, and 1783.

The Neighborhood

The descriptions I've so far been able to gather provide mixed perspectives on the value of this land. While some have suggested that the further inland one went from Dauphin the more desolate the land, others have commented that some of the Germans residing up that narrow Clark's Valley along Clark's Creek had very good farms there. An anaysis of deeds suggest that there were more Scotts-Irishmen than Germans in this area. To this day much of Clark's Valley remains very rural and is largely contained of protected forest. For a more precise location of the land and description of the neighbors, please see "May Apple Bottom and the Neighbors" linked on the left.

The 1787 warrant suggests that the land adjoined grants for James Manama, Ludwig Melsher (various spellings though Ludwig used "Minsker"; historians often refer to him as "Mansker".), and Thomas Carn (sometimes Kern). Though little is known of Thomas Carn, records show intermarriage between his children and those of his neighbor Ludwig. James McNamara, like the Eymans, served as a private in James Burd's Battalion, though McNamara served under Captain James Cowden. This may be a matter of language and cultural segregation since Germanic speakers may have enlisted with Captain James Murray. McNamara got married in this year as well, and was married by Parson John Elder; a name which rings bells in the political circles fomenting the American Revolution.

By 1787, McNamara had sold his property to Mansker. In 1787 he appeared as a shoemaker in Harrisburg. By 1800 he was showing in census data for Cumberland, and he seems to have migrated from there to Crawford County by 1804. He was a pensioned war veteran.

Ludwig Mansker, had been a German immigrant. A number of stories in the annals of county history revolve around him. One such tale involved his saving his wife and child from Indian raids by housing them in a chest of drawers taken from the log cabin to a higher pond a creek.

Between 1787 and 1800, a William Clark had taken possession of the lands earlier owned by Thomas Kern (Carn/Cairn) adjacent to the Eyman/Raief warrant. Most likely this was the Clark after whom the valley and creek were named, and the transfer may well have been a reversion of land rights. Clark was a very important name in the neighborhood, and in history.

Jacob Eyman lived in an area with important involvements in the history of the times. Upper Paxtang at the time was under siege by roving Indians and settlers were perplexed and angry at the lack of action on the part of Quaker politicians for Pennsylvania. An incident involving the "Paxtang Boys" involved a volunteer militia which headed off to protest the lack of security provided for frontier areas though the intentions of the drive to Conestoga are often thought to have involved the slaughter of stray natives.

The Paxtang boys' affair is seen in some quarters as having sewn the seeds of revolution. In 1774, meetings were held in different townships, the resolves of only two of which are preserved to us. The earliest was that of an assembly of the inhabitants of Hanover (presently Dauphin). These "Hanover Resolves" struck a note of safeguarding liberty and nominated a committee of nine to act on their behalf as emergencies may require. Elected to that committee was William Clark, Jacob Eyman's next-door neighbor. Jacob Eyman and his sons volunteered in 1775 – quite early and before strong pressures of muster were generated in 1776. Eymans were early and seem to have seen the worst. There is some evidence that they avoided some subsequent calls to duty, with both Jacob and Christian paying fines.

A William Clark born 1774 in Dauphin of a William Clark (himself a son of a William Clark!) became associate judge of Crawford County, Pa 1803-18, was brigade inspector of the western district of Pennsylvania during the war of 1812, was secretary of the land office from 1818 to 1821, state treasurer 1821-27, treasurer of the United States 1828-29, and a Whig representative in the 23rd and 24th congresses 1833-37. He died in Dauphin in 1851. If this William Clark and Abraham Eyman shared the neighborhood, Clark would have been seven years junior to Abraham.

Eymans were in Upper Paxtang before the Revolutionary War. Those were times of great disturbance, and there were periods during the decade where "Indian problems" led to widespread dislocation. With the turbulence of the war years and 1780s it's difficult as yet to know where our Eymans were landing. Jacob (one or another or both?) seem to have remained in the Upper Paxtang area, though there are years to account for before the 1790s and Hardy of West Virginia.

The land on Clark's Creek was assumed by a Jacob Hutts sometime between 1787 and 1801 or so. So far I've not been able to find any information on this Jacob Hutts. In fact the only Jacob Hutts I've been able to locate was a Jacob Hutts Sr. and Junior thought to be born in Hampshire County of Virginia!

Jacob Eyman, the son, seems to have retained ties with the area. In 1797 or so he purchased town lots including two residences from a Peter Bettlion (Bittlion?) who may have been an Indian trader of note earlier in his career. If so, we believe that it's this Peter after whom Peter's Mountain is named -- forming the northern side of Clark's Valley. The lot on 2nds street in Frederickstown (today's Hummelstown) included two residences. The town, laid out in 1762 was not incorporated until 1874 and has a present population of about 1500 people. This was at a time when Eyman and his wife Barbara seem to have been residing in Hardy Co and paying taxes there.

The Frederickstown land was sold fairly soon to a David Eckstein of Perry Township in Dauphin as of 1793. David had been born in Germany in 1758 and must have been a colorful person so know. He served as school teacher in Hummelstown for over 20 years, though he did run into problems with paternity suits, including one charging him of "bastardry on the body" of Rosina Hummel, who was to become his wife! David is thought to have served as the second bodyguard to George Washington during the revolution. A photograph of David apparently adorns with window of the Hummelstown Historical Society. Interestingly, the genealogy of the Johan Hummel family posted at the Dauphin County genealogy site shows Rosina Hummel as unmarried. Other Internet sources document the birth of David Hummel Eckstein Mary 27, 1803, probably not long from taking residence in one of the houses sold by Jacob Eyman.