William IJAMS: Birth: 1670. Death: BEF MAY 1738 in Anne Arundel Co., MD
Elizabeth IJAMS: Birth: 1670. Death: 1710
Richard IJAMS: Birth: 1673. Death: BEF AUG 1761
GEORGE IJAMS: Birth: 1676 in South River Hund, Anne Arundel Co., MD. Death: BEF 12 AUG 1763
Susanna IJAMS: Birth: 1677 in Anne Arundel Co., MD. Death: AFT 8 NOV 1716
Title: Books IAMS of America and 3 Vols of Anne Arundel Gentry
Author: Ralph D. REYNOLDS and others
Note: Source: Anne Arundel Gentry, Vol I, section on IJAMS Family:
The family of IIAMS or IJAMS is distinctively Maryland, and perhaps no
family has intriqued the historian more as to its derivation. It is not listed
among the ancient names of Britain, although some believe that is a corruption
of James or the Scottish Ian. In the seventeenth century the letters i and j
were interchangeable, and the family and Christian name of James was ofter
written as Iames. In the early period of the family in Maryland, however,
there is a persistent double 'ii' which is certainly not characteristic of the
English language. Double vowels are an unmistakable characteristic of the
ancient Dutch and Flemish tongues, and there is more reason to believe that the
origin is Dutch or Flemish rather that British. Unforntunately, the emigrant
was unlettered and therefore no record of his signature is available to prove
the precies manner in which he inscribed his name. The clerk of the Probate
Court wrote his name phonetically as 'Eyonms' which would indicate that it was
pronounced at that time with two syllables.
It is related by the branch which settle in Western North Carolina that
they became acquainted with the alleged Marshal Ney, of Napoleonic Army, who
taught French in the neighborhood and that the name was French and that it
shoud be spelled with the 'j'. The tradition is that the French teacher or the
one-time Marshal Ney was smuggled out of France, whereby another man was
substituted for him at the execution. It is known, however, that some members
in Marylnad had already adopted the 'Ij' before the North Carolina migration.
The branches which settled in the southwestern Pennsylvania dropped the double
vowel and became known as 'IAMS'. The orthography of 'Jiames' is frequently
found in the colonial period.
As in all familes the emigrant is the most interesting. William IIAMS was
seated in the South River Hundred as early as 1665 and pursued the honorable
occupation of planter. His entry into Maryland is rather inauspicious, that
is, there is no record of his financing his own passage or being transported by
another or his coming in as an indentured servant. All extand records style
him as a freeholder. Furthermore, there is no record of filing a claim for
land-rights. Besides the deed of gift from his father in law, he had other
plantations at the time of his death.
An early courthouse fire at Annapolis destroyed all recorded deeds, but
many land owners brought their copies to court and had them recorded for
posterity. By this manner the family of his wife was identified.
'Elizabeth IIAMS relict of William IIAMS deceased produced a deed of gift
from Richard Cheyney and petitioned that it be recorded....Richard Cheyney the
Elder of South River Planter on 29 May 1663 was granted Cheyney's Resolution
lying on the south side of South River containing 300 acres...this tract he
conveyed on 1 March 1674...for the consideratin of natural love and affections
unto my son in law William IIAMS and daughter Elizabeth now wife of William
IIAMS with the consent of my wife of 400 acres of Cheyney's Resolution during
their natural lives and after their decease to the male heirs of their bodies.'
Richard Cheyney, the father in law of William IIAMS, was a large land owner and planter of the South River Hundred and had emigrated to Maryland
about 1650, with his wife, Charity. The Cheyney family of ancient antiquity
was ennobled in England, but through extravagance and being Royalists during
the Civil Wars lost most of their property. There is every reason to believe
that the Maryland emigrant was a scion of this ennobled family. He was
lettered and the fact that he financed his own passage and that of his YOUNG
wife is further indiciation of his social level. While many Marylanders today
can claim descent from this early settler, in some manner the younger
generations lost most of their porperty and were not inclined for public
service or social attainment, with the result that the later history of the
family from extant records is rather sketchy.
The earliest entries in All Hallow's Parish are those of the Cheyney family and while the entries antedate the establishment of the parish, it is
evident that the family kept their own records and at the time of the
establishment of the parish as the State Church, the heads of the family had
their births recorded for posterity.
The first wife of Richard Cheyney died early in Maryland and he married
secondly Eleanor and left a large issue her her - but the mother of Madam IIAMS
was of the first marriage which was certainly consummated in England.
Later spelling of the name became Chaney and CHENEY, but Cheyney was the
accepted orthography of the 17th century. Radulfus de Caisned was an English
subject shortly after the NORMAN Conquest - de Chainei was another ancient
William IJAMS last will and testament was dated February 16, 1698/9, with
Clement Davies, Richard Chaney, John Robertson and Robert Davis as the
witnesses. It was probated in Anne Arundel County on November 10, 1703. The
parish register records his burial as of July 29, 1703.
To eldest son William 5 shillings. To daughter Elizabeth Duvall 5 shillings. To son Richard and heirs 100 acres of land near the Patuxent River in Price GEORGE's Co.
To YOUNG son GEORGE 100 acres of land on the south side of Western Run.
To wife Elizabeth her dower rights. Residuary estate to children Richard, GEORGE, HESTER and Susanna. His widow and executrix filed an account upon the estate on February 7,
1706/7, and reported a balance in her possession of 37 pounds, 8 shillings and
HESTER IIAMS, a younger daughter of William IIAMS, was of a romantic nature
and had an affair with Captain John Duvall, one of the leading Military
officers of the Province, and the son of Mareen Duvall, the Huguenot. On April
April 16, 1705, with the consent of his wife, Elizabeth, he made a deed of gift
to HESTER IIAMS, 'spinster' of a portion of 'Burgess' Choice' which bordered
the portion which had been sold to Richard IIAMS. It contained a dwelling
house, orchards, gardens and other improvements. It was to be retained by her
during her natural life, or in the event of her marriage or if she had any
other children, the improved land with all household effects was to be divided
among the children of HESTER IIAMS then in being to share and share alike.
The register of All Hallow's Parish records the following children of HESTER IIAMS: Anne IIAMS, the daughter of HESTER IIAMS, baptized March 25,
1706; Elizabeth IIAMS, the daughter of Ester IIAMS, born August 15, 1703; John
IIAMS, the son of Ester IIAMS, baptized September 13, 1702.
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