While it appears our William Ijams was too old to serve during the War of 1812, there was another man by that same name whose file showed up in the archives of War of 1812 records. This William Ijams enlisted at Pittsburgh for a period of five years, beginning March 2, 1812.
According to his record, he was a man of dark eyes, dark hair and dark complexion, standing about five feet seven and a half inches tall. William Ijams had been a laborer and farmer, born in Washington County, Maryland. At the point of his enlistment, he gave his age as thirty two, thus giving us an approximate year of birth in 1780.
This William Ijams was assigned to serve in the First United States Infantry under the company's commander, Captain Hugh Moore.
Though this most likely was not our William Ijams, what was interesting about this man with that identical name was the description of his service, as provided in the Records of Men Enlisted in the U.S. Army.
Appointed Corporal May 1/13. Present Sept. 25, Nov. 1, 14, Dec. 20/13, May 1 & Oct. 20/14. D.R. Capt. John Whistler's Co. Feby. 15 & I.R., June 30/15, Sergeant, Present. D.R. 3d U.S. Infy. Oct 1/15. Present, Joined from 1st Infty. Book 570. Discharged from Capt. C. Larrabee's Co. at Fort Wayne, March 2 or 3/17. Term expired. See Pension case.
While I've unfortunately been unable to locate that pension case mentioned in the summary transcribed above, the War of 1812 pension papers are still in the process of being digitized and posted online. Hopefully, this William Ijams' record will soon be accessible—and in a place where I can find it.
Even though this William Ijams was likely not our Sarah Howard Ijams' father, since he also came from Maryland as did our family, there is a possibility of a relationship with our Ijams family. At least, this is a lead to check out.
But more than that is a different detail that catches my eye—that of the location from which he was discharged. And one other name mentioned in this summary of William Ijams' service: that of his captain, John Whistler.
Before I can explain why that connection might be significant, we first need to explore a bit more about just who John Whistler was, something we'll begin with tomorrow's post.