Friday, August 21, 2015

The Bonus is in the Details

Sometimes, the best policy is to keep searching, even after finding the details you are seeking.

Finding the mention of Sarah Howard Ijams Jackson in her brother's will, as we did yesterday, was helpful. It provided the link that has been—so far—missing from what I can find online concerning her father's will.

Pursuing further information on Isaac Ijams, however, yields a few more details of interest. Thanks to that Rootsweb entry I mentioned a while back, there were some clues that Isaac—along with his brother William—had also served during the War of 1812.

While I've yet to locate any pension record for Isaac, there is a likely entry for him in the file, "U.S. Army Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914"—available both at and at—showing his enlistment in March, 1812. The entry showed a twenty three year old man by the name of Isaac Ijams enlisting in Pittsburgh for a period of five years—much like the entry we found earlier for the younger William Ijams. And, just like that William Ijams, this Isaac was born in Washington County, Maryland—and, apparently, enlisted on the same day.

What is valuable to note, concerning this Isaac Ijams, are the details included in his file. Among other things, the record summarizes his service, including:
D.R. Capt. John Whistler's Co. Feby. 16 & I.R. June 30/15... I.R. & D.R. Capt. John Whistler's Co. 3d U.S. Infy. Oct. 31/15 Present. Joined from 1 Infy. Oct. 1/15.

For all the time I've been wondering about the connection between Elizabeth Howard Ijams—the widow of the elder William Ijams—and her second husband, Captain John Whistler, here is yet another indicator that the two families had a number of connections.

Another entry in the notes for Isaac Ijams' military service provides cause for conjecture:
On leave for 30 days from Dec. 14/15.

Could that possibly have indicated the time at which Isaac's father was dying? After all, the senior William signed his will on December 27 of that same year, and on that same date, along with Peter Black and John Sunderland, Isaac Ijams had served as witness to that final will of his father.

One last observation came with noticing the date of Isaac's discharge—on March 2 of 1817. Wherever Isaac had been stationed at that point, perhaps he didn't make that return home alone, for it was only a matter of ten more days until his captain was wed to his widowed mother, back home in Fairfield County, Ohio.


  1. This family truly lived on the "frontier" - even Pittsburgh would have been "pretty out there" and Ohio even more so in 1812.

    1. Yes! The more I followed my hunch and delved into the local history during that time period, the more it confirmed my doubts about the seeming story that Sarah and her widowed mother just up and decided to head down river to Saint Louis to marry John Jackson. That was some pretty rugged territory back then, in every sense of the word.


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