Chris & Julie Petersen's Genealogy

Eller

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  • Name Eller 
    Born of , , Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Person ID I3633  Petersen-de Lanskoy
    Last Modified 11 Jan 2015 

    Children 
    +1. George Michael Eller,   b. Abt 1711, of, , Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 25 Aug 1778, , Frederick, Maryland, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 67 years)
    +2. Henry Eller,   b. Bef 1746, , , Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1788, , Washington, Maryland, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 42 years)
    Last Modified 22 Oct 2015 
    Family ID F1005  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • RESEARCH_NOTES:
      1. The following are comments from a conversation that occurred 24 Jul 2015-25 Jul 2015 between Devon Dahl and Rose Green . Devon was vice president in charge of research for the Eller Family Association. Rose green is a past resident of Germany and an expert German researcher whose husband is a German professor. Both are descendants of George Michael Eller. The conversation:
      A. He comments on the origins of George Michael Eller as follows:
      "Your question asking "proof" as to where the Ellers came from, is like asking me to draw you a map to the "spring" from which the waters of eternal life flows! It hasn't been revealed to me yet! As Vice President, with specific responsibility for research, I prepared a 5 days Eller Family Association Research Retreat on June 29 to July 3 2002 at the Family History Center in Salt Lake. We had 36 people from all over the nation -- Alaska to Georgia who came. We spent 3 days going through German microfilm going from city to city which [FHL-based professional German researchers] Trudy Schenk and Marian Wolfert believed from the name George or Georg Michael Eller. I had a cousin from Pennsylvania who speaks and reads German fluently, as well as my nephew who went on his mission in Germany and also reads and writes fluently. Many of us had done considerable research in German. I had them write down ANY name that was Eller, with all their possible derivatives -- i.e. Ehler, Eiler, Ellar, etc which included their birthplace, marriage, death, burial etc. When I got home I went through each sheet (a stack 3 inches thick) which our researchers compiled, and found none that had the right parameters to be our George Michael Eller. I ... couldn't link them together with any of our other Eller families. I had one cousin who lived in Salt Lake, and was a seasoned researcher. He went to the FHL for six months every week, and with help of professional genealogists in the International Section -- tried to "bust through" this block wall to no avail. ... I kept watching as people would write articles on how they had found the real George Michael Eller -- and mostly laughed at their ignorance. I wrote every descendant who submitted to the Ancestral File including Henry B. Eyring -- on my family lines. Many had theories which I'd previously proven didn't hold water -- but nobody could document with proof their theories. One cousin in the Eller Family Association said "he had proof" that his findings were substantiated -- when I asked for proof, he replied that he got it from Ancestral File! I reached a conclusion that unless God revealed it to me ... or had a newspaper from that period delivered to my doorstep in the middle of the night by an angel, that I wasn't going to find any "proof".
      B. In a subsequent separate email from Devon, he seems to offer a differing version of George Michael Eller's ancestry which is inconsistent to his remarks above:
      "My latest input places George Michael Eller -- not born in Baden, Baden-Wurttemberg -- but born in 1722 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He was married about 1745 to Anna Marie Schneider who was born in 1725 in Rowan County (now Ashe County) North Carolina. George Michael died in Frederick, Frederick, Maryland. I have taken photo's of all Rowan, Ashe county early records with my digital camera, and his will seems to indicate that he had at least one other wife -- because he offered Ann Marie his pewter plate and other tableware of she would take care of the older children after his death. If these older children were George and Anna Marie's children, why wouldn't the mother be willing to care for them without pay. Haven't found a better answer. Some say he was first married to a Salome -- but I can find nothing on her. His father was George Eller born in Kaltenbrunn, Underfranken, Bayern, Bavaria (later absorbed into Germany) and married to Margaretha Huels. George Eller's father was Johann Adam Valentine Eller born 1636 in Konighburg, East Prussia, Thuringia, Bavaria -- and dying in Kaltenbrunn, Unterfranken, Bavaria (which became part of West Germany). He was married to Margaret Gerbert born 1648 from Planer, Schmelzthal, Bohemen, Austria. Johann Adam's father was Johann Eller born 27 August 1611 in Koenigsburg, East Prussia, Prussia. Married Anna Barbara Startzig on 9 Feb 1635 in Hesse-Nassau, Prussia. Johann Ellers father was Matthes Eller born 1585 in Koenigsburg, East Prussia dying in 1660 in Koenigsburg, East Prussia.
      C. Rose Green responds with the following insight:
      "I also have large questions about this (which I have long seen passed around about this family, but never with good explanations): "His father was George Eller born in Kaltenbrunn, Underfranken, Bayern, Bavaria (later absorbed into Germany) and married to Margaretha Huels. George Eller's father was Johann Adam Valentine Eller born 1636 in Konighburg, East Prussia, Thuringia, Bavaria--and dying in Kaltenbrunn, Unterfranken,Bavaria (which became part of West Germany). He was married to Margaret Gerbert born 1648 from Planer, Schmelzthal, Bohemen, Austria. Johann Adam's father was Johann Eller born 27 August 1611 in Koenigsburg, East Prussia, Prussia. Married Anna Barbara Startzig on 9 Feb 1635 in Hesse-Nassau, Prussia. Johann Eller's father was Matthes Eller born 1585 in Koenigsburg, East Prussa dying in 1660 in Koenigsburg East Prussia."
      My question is about the locations. Kaltenbrunn is a village in today's northern Bavaria. Unterfranken was a region of Franken (Franconia), a country that united with Bavaria about 200 years ago. (We lived in Mittelfranken for some time and two of my children were born there.) About 10 km (so, 7 miles, within walking distance) is another village, called Königsberg. It is also in Unterfranken and is likely to be part of the same parish as Kaltenbrunn. However, Königsberg East Prussia is about 1000 km away, and definitely not in the parish. (It is also not in Thuringen. Or Bavaria. Today it's called Kaliningrad, and is a subautonomous enclave owned by Russia but located between Poland and Lithuania.) I realize that both Königsbergs exist--however, it would seem much more likely that the individual in question came from the one within the parish. Which makes me question the geography of some of the other people, in particular the Schmelzthal one--Bohemia is closer, but still well to the east; today's Czech Republic. I know there were migratory patterns out of Switzerland and western Austria shortly after the 30 Years' War--so, 1600s--but were people likely to move from Bohemia *westward* across Germany? I am not saying it's impossible, but I haven't seen much casual evidence of it, and so I would like to know more about that. I *can* see the possibility of the Startzig individual moving from Hessen to Unterfranken because it follows a known (east/northeasterly) migration pattern, but given my other questions, I kind of feel like that might need a closer look, too. So, hence my question: what is the source of this material? Last I checked, the records were not microfilmed (there is a Kaltenbrunn in the FHL catalog, but it's in Schlesien, which is a completely different area), and good friends/ward members in Germany who were originally from that area (and had Huels/Hüls ancestors from Kaltenbrunn) had had trouble getting access to the records in person. They exist, but whoever holds/held them was rather resistant to at least Germans coming to do genealogy. (I believe they may have been more open to foreigners viewing them.) Which parts are directly cited from primary sources, and which parts are logical conclusions (ie the location of Königsberg)? This is something I have tried to find out and never been able to track down. I would have consulted the records directly myself, but I do not have access to them.
      The individuals in Kaltenbrunn (at least the Huels line) did really exist. However, if it turns out that our Ellers are from somewhere else, I would not be disturbed (but would likely examine the evidence very closely--once you get to Germany, people do not tend to move around very much, and a strong knowledge of German and the local geography can usually yield good results. The weakest point and hardest to clarify is the connection from undocumented colonial America to Germany, of course.)"
      D. Devon responds as follows to Rose's comment apparently convinced of the errors of the above statement:
      "I believe you have helped us "narrow down" -- or at least eliminated some falsities ... regarding George Michael's parents. In the 1950s my father and mother ... spent a lot of time each winter going to Salt Lake to ... make legal sized family group sheets on our family lines ... they've given me tremendous insight and a far greater amount of information than most of my relatives. However, I also found that much of what they were being told by well meaning family members, and paid researchers just wasn't true. Mom always told me that the Stokers and Ellers came from England. Why? Because we were at war with the Germans -- and nobody in our flag waving town would admit their name was German. My research started revealing that our families did come from Germany, and France, and Switzerland and in the instance of the Ellers likely came in the 800's from Jutland -- a peninsula in Denmark -- into Lake Constance (the lake separating Germany, Switzerland, and Austria) as Viking like conquorors. They settled in the Hirshberg high in the Algauer Alps of Austria ... I believe those folks eventually realized they couldn't steal and pillage forever, when they already had taken everything worthwhile. They became farmers, and fishermen, and shopkeepers etc. to sustain life. I believe some of those Ellers eventually went north into Prussia and Bavaria--and are relatives that we are talking about today. I believe they eventually followed the immigration patterns -- going north or west or where ever clearing land until it was "farmed out" -- or growing too large as a family for the land mass they had claimed would no longer support and feed the family. As a result others moved on -- and some stayed in those areas. Eventually in the 1740s I believe those Ellers started trekking into Baden, in Baden-Wurttemberg -- floating down the Rhine River as a cheap and easy form of transportation to the open sea -- in Rotterdam or Amsterdam eventually coming into Philadelphia, into Maryland, into North Carolina..."
      E. Rose did a little further research about the Eller line of the LDS Church Presdency Henry B. Eyring and concludes that we are not on the same path with our George Michael Eller:
      "... it looks like President Eyring comes to Georg Eller of Kaltenbrunn in quite a different way from us--his great grandfather was the immigrant (from Coburg), and so his connections to the Ellers in Kaltenbrunn are mere German genealogy -- not the complicated matching our generation has to go through across the ocean. I've no doubt President Eyring's ancestors are Georg Eller and Margaretha Huels, but does our Georg Michael Eller come into that family? I don't know."

      2. The Eller Chronicles published by the Eller Family Association, 817-297-1280, is an organization devoted to the study of the Eller Family and should be consulted from time to time on research developments. The Association is very active with paid German researchers and many contributors. They research all five immigrant lines of George Michael, Henry, John Jacob, Melchior, and Christian. What I have here in the following notes are general information on the latter three. My database follows the first two immigrants especially George Michael Eller my direct ancestor. Consult their book FHL Book 929.273, film 6005243, "John Jacob Eller and His Descendants with Other Pre-1800 Eller Immigrants to America," by the Eller Family Association, 1998, 817-297-1280, for a map of early Rowan County showing the plats of the three presumed brothers - John Jacob, Melchior, and Christian - on the Yadkin River and Crane Creek near Salisbury, NC.

      3. So far I only list two sons, George Michael and Henry. There may be some relationship between these two with John Jacob, Melchoir, and Christian Eller of Rowan County, North Carolina. Rowan County was the original furthest west North Carolina county in colonial days and later was divided up into more than 20 other counties and the State of Tennessee. The following article is from the online "Eller Chronicles;" the author, J. Gerald Eller, is well respected in the Eller Family Association. Copied from website http://freepages.family.rootsweb.com/~adelr/feb94/feb94p5.htm. He notes: "Were John Jacob, Christian, John Melker, George Michael and Henry Eller close relatives, even brothers? Present evidence supports only a limited answer. That John Jacob and John Melker were brothers is considered proven; a preponderance of evidence supports the same relationship existed with Henry and George Michael Eller. Christian was a probable brother or close relative of Jacob and Melchior. If all five were not brothers, they appear, as J.W. Hook inferred, to have been close relatives who probably came from the same place in Germany. The search for that place is a current Eller Family Association sponsored research project."
      The Eller Chronicles' primary focus is on John Jacob Eller, but they do offer insights on other early Ellers as well. Also in the same article: "Immigrant Jacob Eller, Sr., of ROWAN County, NORTH CAROLINA (ca. 1705 -1782)." Aspects of the genealogy and family history of immigrant Jacob Eller, Sr. and the interrelationships established through marriages between the early Henkels, Biffles, Ketcheys and Ellers are the subjects of this report. A limited review of the genealogy and family history of the Henkel family is provided for the benefit of those Ellers who may not know of this fascinating family. Reviews of the Biffle and Göttge families will appear in a book on Descendants of Jacob Eller, Sr. which is expected to be published in time for Eller Family Conference in 1995. Proof is also provided that Adam and had a daughter Mary who married Jacob Eller, Jr. Published records of the Biffles and Henkels fail to list Mary Biffle Eller.
      The German names of Henckel, Biffle, and Göttge appear in their English form as Henkel, Biffle and Ketchey, except for direct quotes. Variant spellings of the German surname Eller exist- but this name is spelled correctly in most early records in North Carolina, except for an occasional Ellar or Ellor. Fig. I shows the lines of descent of these four immigrant German families and the interconnections produced by early marriages. The progenitors of each family settled first in Philadelphia (now Montgomery) County, Pennsylvania between 1717 and 1751; they were: Rev. Anthony Jacob Henkel (arrived 1717), John Paul Biffle (arrived 1738), Jacob Eller (arrived 1748?) and John Ketchey) (arrived 1751). In the St. Paul's Lutheran (Red Hill) Churchbook of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania is the record of the marriage of Jacob Eller, to "Maria Eva Goettge" (Mary Eva Ketchey) on 11 Dec. 1753. The record identifies his father, "Casper Eller," his father-in-law "Johannes Goettge" (John Ketchey) from "Zweybrucken," and his place of birth ("the German Palatinate.") Apparently Jacob Eller lived in the New Hanover Township of Philadelphia (now Montgomery) County, PA, with the other three families. This Jacob Eller is believed to be the John Jacob Eyler who arrived in Philadelphia aboard the Edinburg from Rotterdam on 5 Sep 1748. Although Jacob Eller was born in the Palatinate, he may have lived elsewhere at the time of his emigration. Strassburger and Hinke, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Vol. 1, list several other Ellers some of whom were probably his close relatives. "Melchior Eller" appeared in the Evangelical Church record of New Hanover, Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania, April 17th, 1756, "in his 20th year" son of "the late Casper Eller. Melchior, too young to be listed on ship passenger records, probably arrived before his sixteenth birth date, perhaps in 1748 at age 12 with his older brother Jacob. The first name of both Jacob and Melchior was John. German custom, if followed in this family, meant that the full name of their father was Johann Casper (Kaspar) Eller. (Note: it was not unusual for male children in the same family to share the same first name - this was also true for female Children.)
      Casper Eller, as inferred from the above, died apparently between 1753 and 1756. His name has not been found among American records. He probably died in Germany, not necessarily in the Palatinate. Names identical to his are found in German records but none fit the proper time period. It is possible, but believed improbable, that Casper Eller was a German emigrant whose name went unrecorded or whose record was lost in America. To find records in Germany for an individual without a clue to his village and family of origin is not an easy task. Any extant German records may be in some obscure village church book. Three of the families came from known villages in the German Palatinate: the Henkels from Nekargemund, the Biffles from Contwig and the Ketcheys from Ruschberg, but, as indicated, the village and family of origin for Jacob Eller remain unknown. Members of all four families migrated south to Rowan County, NC, between 1750 and ca. 1760. One progenitor, John Paul Biffle, and John Justus Henkel, a son of a second progenitor, were among the earliest Germans to reach Rowan County, NC, arriving there before 1751. John Ketchey came after 1756 accompanied probably by sons-in-law Jacob and Melker Eller. In records in Rowan County, NC, the name "Melchior" is usually spelled "Melker." Family tradition and records in Rowan County, North Carolina provide additional evidence that John Jacob and John Melker Eller were brothers. Land records and maps show that they lived in the Crane Creek community, near Salisbury, Rowan County, NC, where they acquired land along with Christian Eller, but all three may have arrived in Rowan County several years before the date of their first land records: Jacob (1761), Christian (1762) and Melker (1754). Jacob was said to be the eldest of the three and Melker the youngest. Apparently J. W. Hook was told in Rowan County that Jacob and Christian were known to be well-educated; this a probable inference based on their records of service on juries and as executors of wills, etc. Germans in this period were not named usually to juries or to serve as executors of wills without the ability to read and write English. Christian Eller was identified in Paul Biffle's will (1777) as his executor and son-in-law - he also served as executor of Jacob Eller, Sr.'s will (1782). According to Hook, Christian Eller's wife died soon after reaching Rowan County, and records there show his second wife was Mary Elizabeth Biffle, daughter of John Paul Biffle. Although tradition in Rowan County says that Christian, Jacob, and Melker Eller were brothers, Jacob in naming Christian as executor of his will (1782) referred to him as "my good friend," causing questions to be raised about their exact relationship. If not a brother, he likely was a close relative.
      After deciding to move south, the Ellers, no doubt, followed the usual practice of other Germans and "left Pennsylvania in the fall as soon as their crops were gathered. Therefore, they arrived in the South just before cold weather, well supplied with the means of passing through the winter without undue hardship." The common mode of transportation was by wagon and their probable route was the Great Wagon Road that ran from Pennsylvania through the Shenandoah Valley to the Yadkin River Valley of North Carolina. The Great Wagon Road and the Trading Path from tidewater Virginia, two much traveled routes, met at the Trading Ford a short distance upstream from the homes of the Ellers and a few miles downstream from the home of Squire Boone and his son, Dan'l. Among the earliest Eller records reported in Rowan County, NC, are: Christian, (1759), Michael (1759), Jacob (1761), and Melker (1764). These early Ellers must have witnessed the hordes of settlers and traders who passed through Salisbury or paused at the Trading Ford on the Yadkin River to rest, trade, and replenished their supplies before moving on southward to South Carolina and westward toward the Blue Ridge Mountains. Some of the hundreds of travelers who passed the Trading Ford were seeking land and new homes while many were traders on their way to the Indian territories. As farmers, all three Ellers probably bartered their produce for other items at the Trading Ford. The Ellers were probably among the flood of Pennsylvania Germans who left Pennsylvania during the 1754-1760 period to settle in Rowan County, NC. Because the most fertile land had been taken by the Scotch-Irish, the Germans settled on the less fertile strip between Salisbury, NC, and the Yadkin River. Jacob Eller's farm was on the west bank of the Yadkin at the mouth of Crane Creek. The farms of Melker and Christian were further upstream on Crane Creek. Bernheim says, "These German settlers were all industrious, economical, and thrifty farmers, not afraid or ashamed of hard labor, and they were soon blessed with an abundance of everything which the fertile soil and temperate climate could furnish them ... as they were agriculturists, they generally avoided settling ... in town." Few church records are known for the early Ellers in Rowan County, NC. They were apparently members of the early church where Lutherans and Reformed worshipped and which grew into present-day Union Lutheran Church on Bringle Ferry Road. Graves for the first and second generation of Ellers in Rowan County are unmarked. Most Ellers were probably buried at the Union Lutheran Church Cemetery where a number of unmarked graves are known to exist. A persistent suspicion that some Ellers in Rowan County were German Baptist Brethern (Dunkards) arose apparently from the incident when John Melker Eller and his son, John Melker, Jr., were hailed into court for refusal to bear arms. Because John Melker, Sr., was confirmed in the Lutheran Church (1756), and since no Dunkard church existed in Rowan County, he was not likely a Dunkard. However, the pacifist philosophy of the Dunkards and other pacifist sects, so common in Pennsylvania, may have been embraced by young Melker Eller, even though he joined the Lutheran Church."

      4. Website <http://freepages.family.rootsweb.com/~adelr/may88/may88p1.htm>: "The Jacob Eller Family of Roanoke County, Virginia. A Research Report (Part I): Compiled by David B. Eller and Presented at the Eller Family Reunion, Salem, Virginia, June 22, 1986; Copyright (c) 1986. Published here with permission of the author:
      "It seems clear that the name Eller is of German origin and means literally "one who lives near an alder tree" (German: Erle), or it may have some connection with the noun Ell-e which means a yard, as in a unit of measurement. The E-1-1-e-r spelling has remained remarkably standard, although variations including E-1-e-r, A-1-1-e-r, and E-1-1-o-r- have been found in records referring to a Jacob Eller descendant. There are literally scores of persons (and a few place names) with E-1-1-e-r spelling in West Germany today. Eller immigrants continued to come to the United States well into the nineteenth century so that there are numerous Eller families in various sections of the country..."

      5. FHL Book 929.273EL54h "George Michael Eller and Descendants of His in America," compiled by James W. Hook, 1957, also on FHL film 896571, item 2, is a major work on the Eller, Graybill, Stoker, and other related families. James Hook published several books, but this his last was the culmination of a lifetime of pioneering research into the Eller family. Many books and even the Eller Family Association established about 1987 and who publishes the Eller Chronicles have followed in his wake. His work was indeed the first on the Eller family and is still the reference point from which many others build upon. He was born in the 1880's and probably had some contact with family tradition not now available to us now. The following are selected quotes and general information from the "Foreward" and first chapter "Ellers in America":
      P. I: "Settlers who came to America in the 17th and 18th centuries and settled in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia and migrated thence into the Carolinas and Georgia are not as easy to follow as those who settled in New England. Town and church records were not so generally kept and land records linked as they were to proprietary rights and practices delayed and often precluded the recording of small acreage leases and deeds Thus a descendant of an old southern family whose forebears were not substantial plantation owners has a job on his hands to write a genealogy of his family… Western North Carolina, where these families lived, did not feel the impetus of permanent settlement until about the second quarter of the 18th century. At that time thrifty settlers from New Jersey, palatine Germans from Pennsylvania and Maryland and the Scotch-Irish of Ulster came streaming in to take up land in all parts of the state, particularly in the huge district in the north west that came to be known as Rowan County… Most of the land in north west North Carolina at that early date was held by large land holding syndicates in London. One of these syndicates was headed by Henry McCulloh who with Arthur Dood and others received warrants in 1737 for 1,200,000 acres located along the Yadkin, Eno and Catawba rivers. This is the section where Ellers… Koons, Dicks, and Stokers… settled. Many of these early deeds in Rowan County show Henry McCulloh as grantor…
      Pp. 1-5: "The Eller families in America came, apparently, from the Palatinate of Germany in the first half of the 18th century. The Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd Series, Vol. 17, records the arrival of thirteen families each spelling the name Eller who took the Oath of Allegiance to the state and province of Pennsylvania between 30 Sep 1740 and 3 Nov 1772. The age of only one of these immigrants, namely that of George Eller, who arrived 7 Oct 1743 was recorded. He was 20 years old, Conrat Iller with children named Maria, Caterina, Elizabeth and Margaret came on the ship 'Allen' and took their Oaths of Allegiance 15 Sep 1729. Other families with such names as Oehler, Eyler, Uhler, Aller, Eheller, Euler, Ahler, Ohler, and Uller came at various times between 1737 and 1768 but since all of these names are found in present day families it is not likely that the Ellers of America were descended from any of them.
      Of the thirteen Eller families who took the Oath of Allegiance only four with the same or nearly the same given names were found in later records. Michael Eller came on the ship 'Phoenix' form Rotterdam and took his oath 30 Sep 1743. Later a Michael Eller, on 12 Apr 1753, was granted 25 acres of land in Lancaster Co., Penna. and in the year 1759 a Michael Eller was on the tax list of Rowan Co., North Carolina. A George Eller, aged 20, took the Oath of Allegiance 7 Oct 1743. He came on the same ship ebear of the Eller family herein chronicled… A Henry Eller came on the ship 'Neptune' from Rotterdam and took the Oath of Allegiance 25 Oct 1746. On 6 Jun 1767 a Henry Eller bought land called Hammond Strife in Frederick Co., MD… Apparently he was a brother of George Michael Eller. A Henry Ellars (Ellers) sold land in Kent Co., MD in 1745 and 1748. His wife was Margaret, sometimes written Margrethe, who apparently died soon after the 1748 deed was executed. A Christian Eller came on the ship 'Restauration' from Rotterdam and took the Oath of Allegiance 9 Oct 1747. On 28 Jan 1762 Christian Eller bought land on Crane Creek in Rowan Co., North Carolina. (Deed Book 5, p. 347/8, Rowan Co., NC.) The will of Paul Beefle of Rowan Co., dated 15 Dec 1762, mentions Christian Eller as one of his sons-in-law.
      Other Ellers in the early North Carolina records were Jacob Eller who bought land on the 'Athin (Yadkin) or Pedee River or branches thereon in Rowan Co., NC,' 31 Dec 1761 (Deed Book 5, pp. 36-37, Rowan Co., NC), and Melker Eller who bought land on Crane Creek in Rowan CO., NC, 10 Apr 1764. (Deed Book 5, p. 463, Rowan Co., NC). Only Christian and Jacob Eller of the early settlers in Rowan Co. left wills and Jacob failed to name all of his children so that it has been impossible to identify and classify their descendants with certainty. Jacob Eller's will was dated 12 Apr 1782 and proved 7 May of the same year. (Will Book B., p. 145, Rowan Co.) It mentioned 'my last wife Barbary' and my 'two youngest children she bore unto me.' It also mentioned 'my eldest son Jacob and my daughter Elizabeth' also 'my daughter Eve; who was to be left in the care of 'Widow Evry (Eary) as she has had the care of it since the death of its mother.' Also mentioned were 'all my other children'; also the executors who were to be 'my well beloved friends Christian Eller and John Gitchy.' Melcher Eller and Matthia Scudder were witnessed. On 9 Feb 1785 Frederick Eller, aged 18 and Elizabeth Eller, aged 12 years, both orphan children of Jacob Eller, deceased, were bound to Abram Eary until they reached the ages of 21 and 18 respectively. (Minute Book 1773-1786 of Rowan Co. Court, p. 465.) Other children apparently included a son, John, another son, John Melcher, and a son, Christian. (Deed Book 18, p. 344, also p. 308 Rowan Co.) It was not uncommon for German parents to use multiple given names where in one of those names applied to more than one child. That the Jacob Eller of this will was the same as the Jacob Eller who bought land in Rowan Co., 31 Dec. 1761 is proved by Deed, Book, 12, p. 280, dated 5 Jun 1782, by which Christian Eller, acting as executor of Jacob's will, sold this same land to Adam Frees.
      The will of John Gitchey of Rowan Co. dated 3 Sep 1772 mentions daughters Eve and Elizabeth Eller, obviously meaning daughters who had married Ellers, sons probably of Jacob.
      The will of Christian Eller was dated 30 Apr 1804 and proved in the May session, 1804, of the Probate Court of Rowan Co., NC. (Will Book C, p. 277, Rowan Co.) It made no mention of a wife who doubtless was deceased, but mentioned children named John, who was designated executor, George, Henry, Frederick, Susanna Eller, Mary Wattinger and Barbara Hess. Andrew Draner and Jas. Fisher were witnesses. Later records (Will Book H, p. 45) show that Susanna Eller, mentioned in the will, was the wife of one John Eller whom she married 9 Oct 1782. George Eller quite certainly was the George Eller who married Christena and, sometime before 1790, settled in Grayson County, VA. Henry Eller probably was the Henry Eller who died in Wyeth Co., VA in 1838/39. Frederick Eller probably was the Frederick Eller who married Margaret Long in Grayson Co., VA in 1795. John Eller, son of Christian, died between 10 Apr 1820 when his will was written and the May 1820 session of the Probate Court of Rowan Co., when it was proved. It gave his property to his housekeeper during her lifetime and after her death to John Eller, son of his sister Susanna. It mentioned his wife Margaret who apparently had deserted him and left the residue of his estate to John Eller, son of John Melcher Eller and to Miles Alexander Kepler. (Will Book H, p. 45, Rowan Co., NC) He died, it appears, without issue.
      There is a tradition stemming from a statement made by David Eller, (John, Peter, George Michael) to his grand nephew, the Reverend William H. Eller to the effect that his (David's) grandfather was George Eller and his great grandfather probably, Chrissy (Christian) Eller. This tradition, now disproved, was recorded [in previous books of this author]… Certain deeds found in the Ashe County Courthouse at Jefferson, NC (Deed Book F, pp. 83 and 414) and Deed Book M, p. 163) prove conclusively that it was Peter Eller, not George Eller who was the grandfather of David Eller. The will of Christian Eller above referred to does not mention a son Peter. It does mention a son George who, as stated above, was probably the George Eller who married Christena and was living in Rowan Co. in 1778-1784, (Rowan Co. Superior Court, March 1778, March 1779, March 1783, Sept 1783 and March 1784.), and in Grayson Co., Virginia after about 1784. (Deed Book 1, p. 455, Grayson Co., Va.) George Eller of Grayson Co., VA apparently was a brother of Frederick Eller of Grayson Co. who married Margaret Long in 1795, (Grayson Co., VA marriages), and raised a large family. If this was true then George also was a brother of Henry Eller who became wealthy for his time and died without issue in Wyeth County, VA in 1838 or 1839. (Will Book 5, p. 194, Wyeth Co. Virginia.) A known son of George and Christena Eller was George Eller Jr. who removed to Ky. and John Eller who settled in Monroe Co.., Ind. Another son, doubtless, was Christian Eller shown as Chirstian Etter (sic), aged between 50 and 60 in the 1840 census of Lawrence Co. Ind. and as Christian Eller (sic), aged 70 in the 1860 census of the same county, born in VA. These two Indiana counties adjoin each other. Peter Eller, grandfather of David Eller, as will be shown later, was, without question, a son of George Michael Eller whose will was probated in Frederick County, Maryland, 28 Aug 1778. It doubtless was the latter who introduced the name George into the Wilkes and Ashe Counties tradition.
      Melker (Melcher) Eller of Rowan Co., NC, left no will but on 8 Nov 1782 Melcher Eller, Sr. and Melcher Jr. are shown defending their estates against confiscation by the State of NC. Apparently they were thought to have been Tories when probably they were German Baptists Brethren (Dunkards) who, because of their religious faith, refused to bear arms. They were adjudged not guilty. (Minute Book 1773-1886 of Rowan Co. Court, p. 330.) The census of 1790 of Rowan Co., NC lists the family of Melcher Eller, doubtless Melcher Eller Jr. with four males under 16 and two females which included the female head of the family. It also lists the family of John Eller, son of Melcher with two females including the female head of the family. A Henry Eller, the inventory of whose estate was filed Feb. 1806 may have been a son of Melcher or Jacob.
      Of the 11 Eller families shown in the Fed. Census of Rowan Co., NC in 1790, 8 of them can be identified as sons either of Jacob, Christian or Melcher. The other three were named Leonard, John and George. That Leonard was a son of George Michael Eller who died and left a will in Frederick Co., MD that was probated 25 Aug 1778 is substantially proved. That John and George were Leonard Eller's brothers appears reasonably certain to this writer. Another brother of Leonard was Peter Eller, who lived first in that part of Rowan Co. that, in 1777, became Wilkes and 1799 Ashe Co., NC. The evidence is strong that Jacob Eller who settled in Botetort Co., VA about 1790 was still another brother. [This last statement has since been put in dispute - see Jacob's notes in this database.] Peter Eller is listed in the 1790 census (original list) of Wilkes Co., NC and is the only person of the Eller name outside of Rowan Co., NC who is shown in the 1790 census of North Carolina…"

      6. FHL Book 929.273, film 6005243, "John Jacob Eller and His Descendants with Other Pre-1800 Eller Immigrants to America," by the Eller Family Association, 1998, 817-297-1280, Chapter 1, concerning migration patterns in Colonial North Carolina and early pre-1800 immigrants:
      "When the Ellers... arrived in Pennsylvania, they found all the productive land occupied, or available only at high prices. In the favored easterly sections, the cost of farms was almost prohibitive. Under these conditions the newly arrived German immigrants began to move southward, some stopping in Maryland, and some in the Shenandoah Valley. When word came of cheap and abundant land in North Carolina, particularly in Rowan County, that became the choice destination for a growing stream of German migrants who traveled south on the Great Wagon Road... [The Ellers presumed path from their homeland was] German Palatinate - Rhine River - Rotterdam - England - Philadelphia - Montgomery County, Pennsylvania - Great Wagon Road - Crane Creek on the Yadkin River in Rowan County, North Carolina... Their arrival there began about 1745, the number increased markedly prior to 1760, and except for a decline during the French and Indian War, continued until the Revolutionary War. A large number of Scotch-Irish settlers had settled in Rowan County, and taken up the most fertile land prior to the arrival of the Germans. This left the land of less fertile soil to the east and southeast of Salisbury for the Germans."
      "In colonial times two major travel routes entered North Carolina from the north. The Great Wagon Road began in Philadelphia, passed through the Shenandoah Valley, and entered the northern border of North Carolina. After crossing the Yadkin River at the 'Shallow Ford' west of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the road continued south to Rowan County and beyond. This was the route taken by most of the Pennsylvania Germans who came to North Carolina."
      "Another route known as the Trading Path began in tide-water Virginia at Petersburg and joined the Great Wagon Road at the Trading Ford on the Yadkin River only a few miles east of the present town of Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina… Until after the French and Indian War, which ended in 1761, the Indians, principally the Catawba and Cherokee tribes, were not far to the west of Salisbury."
      "From the Trading Ford, the road continued southward into Cabarrus and Mecklenburg Counties and on into South Carolina. Situated strategically at the confluence of major travel and trading routes, Salisbury, founded in 1755, remained for decades the most western frontier town in North Carolina. Rowan County extended westward beyond the Appalachian Mountains to include the present state of Tennessee. This gave the distinction to Rowan County of being the largest ever in the United States. The trans-mountain region was destined to become the state of Tennessee in 1796, but first it was a part of the Cherokee Indian Nation, as was most of the mountain area of present western North Carolina… [It was] reported that settlers were coming from the north in hundreds of wagons, and in 1755 it was reported that 5,000 had crossed the James river in Virginia bound for Rowan County..."
      "[During the French and Indian War of 1759-1760 which disrupted life in Rowan County, immigrant] Christian Eller [was] listed in a militia company in 1759 that was called up after an Indian attack near Salisbury. (Clark-1983, p. 851. Christian Eller listed on 'muster roll of Captain Morgan Bryan's Scouts.")…Three young Eller men from Rowan County fought in the Revolutionary War (John Melchior Eller, son of immigrant John Jacob Eller; John and Joseph Eller, other probable sons of immigrant John Jacob Eller.)…"
      "North Carolina is unique among coastal states in that settlement did not spread from the coast, but from the north and south… Also, from South Carolina came new settlers who settled in the western part of the state [of North Carolina]… In the last 16 years of the Colonial Era… south bound traffic along the Great Wagon Road was numbered in the tens of thousands. It was the most heavily traveled road in all America… A significant number [of settlers] moved to the head waters of the Yadkin River, then crossed the Appalachians on the Boon Trail, to settle… in an area that was destined to become the northeastern corner of the state of Tennessee… Some descendants of immigrant Eller families of Rowan County were drawn toward the western frontier. Peter Eller, eldest son of George Michael Eller, moved to the headwaters of the Yadkin in time to acquire choice land in Wilkes (now Ashe) County, North Carolina. George Eller, eldest son of Christian Eller, moved to the southeastern corner of Virginia; and John Jacob Eller, Jr., eldest son of John Jacob Eller, crossed the mountains, perhaps as early as 1779, into the Holston Valley in the future state of Tennessee…"
      "The Germans… usually left Pennsylvania just after fall harvest and mad the journey down the Valley of Virginia in time to arrive in the fall, build their homes, and plant crops in the spring…"
      "The early Eller families in Rowan County were Lutherans and records suggest they worshiped at the Peint (Pine) Church, the predecessor of today's Union Lutheran Church on Bringle Ferry Road near Salisbury…"
      "The first known Eller record in Rowan County was a 1758 court record for a Jas Eller. This was followed in 1759 by a record for Christian Eller, already mentioned, and a Michael Eller. Then came the first records for Jacob Eller, and John Melchior Eller, another record for Christian Eller (1762), and another record for (John) Melker (Melchoir) Eller (1764)…"
      "These Eller families may have arrived some years before their names appeared in public records. Some researchers think the Michael Eller of the 1759 was George Michael Eller, but this is not certain because the name Melchior was sometime recorded as Michael, and there was a Melchior Eller in Rowan County who probably arrived there before 1759. The presence of George Michael Eller in North Carolina has never been proven beyond some doubt, but several of his children lived there as adults and one, Leonard, was said the have been born there.
      "Land records and plat map at the Public Library in Salisbury show that Jacob, Melker (Melchoir) and Christian Eller settled near one another on sizable farms on Crane Creek, a few miles south of the Trading Ford on the Yadkin River. This stream arises southwest of Salisbury, and enters the Yadkin River some seven miles to the southeast of the town. Jacob Eller lived at the mouth of Crane Creek, only a few miles down stream on the Yadkin River from the home of his famous contemporary, Daniel Boone…"
      "As mentioned, the land settled by the Eller families… was not highly fertile… [which] may have been the major reason why second generation Ellers left Rowan County in the last quarter of the 18th Century…"
      The book explains it is difficult to sort out all the Eller families in North Carolina since the same given names were recycled among successive generations. Another problem was the use of the same first name, i.e. John, whereas the middle name would change but not always be recorded with some public records of Rowan County usually listing only one given name, sometimes the first, often the second, but rarely both. The Eller Family Association has not been successful to date in placing all of the Ellers of Rowan Co. into a broad and linked genealogy.
      J. Gerald Eller, one of the principals and founders of the modern Eller Family Association, presents in the book a chronological listing of all known pre-1800 Eller immigrants to America beginning in 1663 in Virginia including 26 total. Included in the list with his comments are:
      No. 9: "Geo. Eler also listed as Hanes Jerg Oheler 1743, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), '…imported in St. Andrew… from Rotterdam… last from Cowes.' (S&H, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Vol. 1), p. 348. Hook, 1957, p. 6, says with reference to George Michael Eller, 'he may have been the George Eller, aged 20, who came on the ship St. Andrew with Hans George Oehler, aged 43, both of whom took their oaths 7 Oct 1743.' No descendants are known. Note: This is not George Michael Eller."
      No. 10: "Michael (+) Eller (1743, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), "…imported in the ship Phoenix…from Rotterdam…last from Cowes, (S&H, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Vol. 1), P. 356). (Note: Other evidence says this was George Michael Eller of Frederick Co., MD for whom many records exist - see Chap. 4.
      No. 12: "Henry (H) Eller (1746, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), '…imported in the Neptune… from Rotterdam …last from England…' (S&H, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, vol. 1), p. 362. Note: This is thought to be Henry Eller of Frederick Co., MD for whom many records exist. He signed his name with an H rather than an X."
      No. 13: "Christian (x) Eller (1747, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), "…imported in the Restauration …from Rotterdam …last from Lieth…inhabitants of the Palatinate and places adjacent." (S&H, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, vol. 1), p. 365). Note: this is thought to be Christian Eller of Rowan County, North Carolina, for whom many records exist."
      No. 14: Jacob Eller (1753, Red Hill, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania), Lutheran Church Marriage Record: St. Paul's Lutheran (Red Hill) Churchbook, Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania. Burgert, Annette K. 'Eighteenth Century Emigrants, Vol. II, The Western Palatinate,' (The Pennsylvania German Society, Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, 1985), p. 142. Note: This was John Jacob Eller of Rowan County, North Carolina."
      No. 15: "Michael Eller (1753, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania), Deed: 25 Acres, April 12, 1753. Egle, William Henry (Ed.), Wm. Stanley Ray, 'Provincial Papers: Warrantees of Land in the Several Counties of the State of Pennsylvania, 1730-1898, Vol. II, 1898,; p. 402. Note: This possibly was George Michael Eller who later removed to Frederick County, Maryland."
      No. 16: "Henry Eler (Eller) (1754. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania), Church Record: "Henry Eler and wife baptized 14 April 1754 by Elder Michael Franz, Conestoga Dunker Congregation, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Cocalico District" by Martin Baumbaugh, 'A History of the Brethern, (Church of the Brethern Press, Elgin, Illinois, 1899), p. 312. Note: This Henry Eller removed to Frederick County, Maryland, and was perhaps the same Henry Eller as listed above #12 above."
      No. 17: "Melchior Eller (1756, The New Hanover Lutheran Church, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania), 'Pennsylvania German Church Records of Births, Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, etc., From the Pennsylvania German Society Proceedings and Addressed Vol. II., Baltimore,' (Geneal. Publ. Co., Inc, 1983), p. 299. (Note: This is the confirmation record for 'Melchior Eller, son of the late Casper Eller, in his 20th year,' and the immigrant Melchior (Melcher) Eller, of Rowan County, North Carolina.)"
      Chapter 2, concerning kinships among the early Eller families:
      "Christian Eller purchased land in 1764 near that of John Jacob and John Melchior Eller in Rowan County, North Carolina, but the degree of kinship to the latter two remains unsettled. As an executor of Jacob's will, he was called 'my well beloved friend'. This phrase has led some to doubt that Christian was a brother to John Jacob and John Melchior Eller. However, this phrase was applied to his brother-in-law, John Gitchey (Ketchey) (Jr.)."
      The book states that James Hook in his early 1925 book (but not in his last 1957 book) tried to connect the American Eller line to the nobility line of Elner-Eller families of the two Eller towns, one in the Dusseldorf area and the other in the Moselle River area. The book convincingly disputes this connection with expert quotes from German authorities on the Elner/Eller family.
      "The association of the name of Eller with the alder tree is the version most widely quoted, although it is listed as the second choice in the 'Dictionary of Surnames,' Oxford University Press, 1988, 'Eller: 1. German: habitation name from places in the Rhine and Moselle areas, so called form an old stream name Elera, Alira, possibly of Celtic origin. 2. Low German: topographic name for someone who lived by an alder tree; from Modern Low German Elre, Alre, Alder; Old High German, Elira; Modern German Erle from Erila, (alder)…"
      "…[We] learn from German authorities that the surname of Eller originated independently at different times and places, and that many German Eller families are totally unrelated. These reports have altered greatly our initial assumption that all past and present Eller families of Germany were related and originated from one ancestral family and place - this, we have learned, is totally incorrect…"
      The book notes that in German the Palatinate area is known as the Pfalz. Also that Hook could never make the connection in Germany to his dying day even though he had worked extensively in trying to connect to the Dusseldorf noble line of Ellers. One German authority noted that nobility did not immigrate to America. The authors of this book indicate past efforts to connect our immigrants to their European ancestral places and families have been unsuccessful but the association has hired recent professional research to continue the effort."