Claims of Dutch, Flemish, Scottish & Welsh hav all been suggested. The first American Ijams was William Iiams, b. 1640. "He made an oath in the MD court that he was the son of Sir Robert I'ans, Chief of Ordinance for the Queen & Quartermaster General." However, some believe the name is a corruption of the ancient I’ans of County Cornwall. I’ans is also considered a corruption of Ian which is the Scot equivalent 4 John & Ion is the Welsh equivalent of John. Others believe we are descendants of the Innes family.However, the double vowels are characteristic of the ancient Dutch and Flemish tongues according to Henry Wright Newman.
William lived South River Hundred section of MD as early as 1665 & he spelled it both EYAMS & Iiams.
The name further evolved around the revolutionary war, the North Carolinan Iiams were told by a French teacher Marshall Ney, that their name was French in derivation & therefore should be spelled Ijams not Iiams. Since, many used I ande J interchangable at this time, some changed and some did not.The Iiams in PA around that time removed the second i and went by Iams.
Hope that helps.
I am down: William Iiams William Iiams Jr. John Ijams (Capt Rev War) Thomas Plummer Ijams (OH rep then senator)