Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Marriage and Will of William Iiams ~ Our Immigrant Ancestor ~

Today, in 1663/64, William Iiams married Elizabeth Cheyney (1652 - Aft. 1726), daughter of Richard and Charity (unknown) Cheney, in Anne Arundel Co., MD. Chaneysville, Pennsylvania, was named after Dr. Richard Chaney.

It is said that my 7th great-grandfather, William Iiams, was born about 1640 in England. It is believed that his father was from Wales and that he, William, immigrated to America.

It is also said that William Iiams (Eyoms), settled in South River Hundred of Anne Arundel County, Maryland. He is not recorded in the "List of Early Maryland Settlers." There is no record of his financing his own passage, being transported by another or his coming in as an indentured servant. Since the name had been spelled phonetically, there is always the possibility that the early records were written incorrectly or misplaced. There is no record of his filing a claim for land rights and all extant records style him as a freeholder. Besides the deed of gift from his father-in-law, records indicate at his death that he had other plantations. [1]

It appears that he married in Anne Arundel County, Maryland to Elizabeth Cheyney [Cheney] when she was just 16 years old. They were the parents of seven children:

  • Charles Iiams [1667-1673] which no documentation has been found that he is a child of these parents. 
  • William Iiams [1670-1736] married Elizabeth Yates Plummer
  • Richard Iiams - [Abt. 1673-1761] married twice, first to Anne Cheney, his cousin and second to Elizabeth Gaither
  • Susanna Iiams [between 1674-1680 died before 1753]
  • Elizabeth Iiams [Aft. 1675- Aft. 1741]
  • George Iiams [1676-1763]
  • Hester 'Esther' "the romantic" Iiams [1679-Abt. 1760]

It is believed that he was living in South River Hundred as early as 1665 and he became an important member of the community. The present town of Ijamesville in Frederick county establishes the importance of the family in that section.[2] He was called a 'planter' which was the term given by the British to 'farmers.'

Date of Will: November 10, 1703
    Bequeathed to his son, William and daughter Elizabeth, five shilling each. To Richard, 100 acres of land near the Patuxent River in Prince George's County; and to George, 100 acres on the north side of Western Run. To his wife Elizabeth, her dower rights. To Richard, George, Hestor and Susannah, the residue of the estate. He mentions his daughter Hestor. 
    His Widow was the executrix of the estate and she filed an account upon the estate on February 7, 1706/07, reporting a balance of 37/8/4 pounds. 
     In "Iams of America: Landed Gentry of America" edited by Ralph Reynolds, M.D. - Ann Ijams Callahan is of the theory that the William was a native of Whitstone, England, and that he journey [sic] first to Boston before settling in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland. Further, Anne felt that their William Ijams may have been a grandson of Robert Ijams, Esquire, Master of Ordinance to Queen Elizabeth; member of Privy council of Ireland; formerly in charge of a combined military and civil board that managed all matters concerning artillery, engineers, and material of the army. 
    On July 14, 1996, I (Roberta Iiames) wrote to Lois Hartman in California asking questions on some of the genealogy in her book, "Rememered in This Land". She was quite kind in answering my letter and making some necessary corrections. She also commented in the letter, "I am embarrassed that Page 68 in my booklet was not corrected in proofs! Please delete the page and use this [she enclosed a corrected page] mimeo sheet if you will. Also, on page 19 re: the tomb in Westminster Abbey. I now believe that the name was "James" & not "Ijams" altho I'd heard the comment from several sources I's and J's were interchangeable then &  led to this probable error. It was most interesting research nonetheless!
    To Maryland From Overseas, by Harry Wright Newman, page 98
Note: The origin of this distinctive family has been the subject of such and varied contention. Claims of Dutch, Flemish, Scottish and Welsh have all been suggested. The progenitor, William Iiams, was a native Britisher, as no record exists of his naturalization in Maryland. A descendant after extensive travel and research in Britian has revealed the fact that it is Cornish and the Maryland orthography is a corruption of the ancient I'ans of County Cornwell. The family I'ans was seated in the time of Henry VIII in the Parish of Stratton, Cornwell. Arms were issued to Robert I'ans of Whitstone by Elizabeth, her Master of Or dance and Her Majesty's Privy Council in Ireland. The family Pedigree in the County Record Office of Cornwall, who died in 1816, although he left married daughters who did not carry down the name. Col. I'ans served as His Majesty's Justice of the Peace for Cornwall and Devon.  The 13th century accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall contain such family names as Ian, Ians, Iane, Iannes, etc. The Maryland family always pronounced their name as one syllable. [Ref. Remembered in this Land by Lois Ijams Hartman] 
     William Iiams [or Eyoms] made oath in court in Maryland that he was the son of Sir Robert I'ans, Chief of Ordinance for the Queen, and Quartermaster General. this description sufficiently identifies him as Sir Robert Innes who is listed in the British records as having married Lady Grizel Stewart, daughter of the Earl of Murray. [By Elisha B. Iiams, S.A.R, A.O.P., W.C.H.S., U.O.V.G.A, N.Y.G.B.S Life Member]. 

More About William (1) Iiams:
Burial: 29 Jul 1703, All Hallow's Parish, Maryland
Comment 1: From all records, William was from Wales or his family was.
Comment 2: I have seen the marriage date as: March 1, 1673/1674 & depending how the individual input the dates, it could be March 1, 1672/1673.
Ethnicity/Relig.: Member of the Established Church, in good standing in All Hallow's Parish
Event 1: 29 May 1663, Granted "Cheyney Resolution" to William and wife, Elizabeth's father.
Event 2: 16 Feb 1698/99, Date of Will - Anne Arundel Co., Maryland - Probated on November 10, 1703
Event 3: His entry into Maryland is not recorded in the List of Early Maryland Settlers
Event 4: 1665, He was making his home in South River Hundred
Event 5: 1670, His first son was born about 1670 proving the earliest date of marriage as 1669. Occupation: Colonial agent for Lord Baltimore (Source: Genealogy of Demas Garber Iams & Elizabeth Anne Dunn [Sent by Dorothy Iams Sollinger].)
Religion: 1668,...later was a Vestyman for All Hallows Parish 

[1]-[2] Anne Arundel Gentry by Harry Wright Newman, Volume 1, 1933 and 1970
Source: Roberta W. Iiames ~ A huge thank you to Roberta...to all of her years of research
and all that she gave.

1 comment:

Clay B. said...

Thanks for sharing this information. Susanna Ijams is my ancestor.