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Re: Joshua Pettit - late 1700s on South Branch
Posted by: Stephen Iman (ID *****0360) Date: May 28, 2007 at 16:23:13
In Reply to: Re: Joshua Pettit - late 1700s on South Branch by B W Pettit of 3105

Thanks B. W. I hope we can find something here, though timing and location may be off a bit? I'll try to provide context in my comments, but I'm not the best historian to do so by a long shot. And the property we're talking about seems to have been deeded over to Eyman/Iman in about 1790. It was land of the Northern Neck real estate people of that Fairfax Manor, though I'm not sure when Pettit might have given up his interest, with the land passing to next purchaser from Northern Neck, or as a sort of sale to Eyman/Iman with Pettit involved -- or what;-)

Christian Iman/Eyman was a Swiss German, and he may have been son of a Jacob Eiman (Mennonite, Amish, or dunker) who arrived about 1749 and resided up the Susquehanna from Conestoga in an outward reach of what was then Lancaster County (to become Dauphin about 1780). Eymans were (somewhat strangely given the religious markers) patriots in local militia for Dauphin and perhaps Cumberland, and they migrated to the upper reaches of the Potomac about 1787 or so. That would have been about the time that Eyman started efforts to acquire the property which was owned by Pettit or had once been in his name. The land in question is along what's called the "South Branch" (headwaters of the Potomac) near today's Petersburg of West Virginia. These Appalachian hills were above the Shenandoah Valley into West Virginia from Rockingham of Virginia, where Lord Fairfax once held title to a huge amount of property. Within his vast lands, surveyed by George Washington when he was a young man, were several "manors" -- huge plots where Fairfax would only lease lands pending his own arrival and plan to develop massive personal estates on selected lands. Many of the Fairfax lands had been taken over by German poachers; Pettit seems to have held title to lands outside of the "manor" area where there were only leaseholds. I'm not exactly sure right off, the property which Petit had his name on, but I believe that it was around today's Dorcas of West Virginia, and in an area where there is a fish hatchery near Spring Run, once called Iman Run as a formal placename in Virginia. I believe it was this land which was described in a 1780 journal by a reverend Asbury (later a Methodist) who encountered 90 German speakers (with whom he prayed but with whom he could not speak). There were very early sawmills on this land, and apparently before 1780.

You ask about the county or district. Once part of Virginia's Frederic County, then Hampshire, then Hardy, the lands I have in mind are today in Grant County of West Virginia. Therefor I really wonder if this Pettit could be yours if the Joshua you know was near South Carolina prior to the Revolutionary War. I'm

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