Michelle McClaren James Home Page:Information about George Keller
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George Keller (b. Abt. 1710, d. 1790)George Keller519 was born Abt. 1710 in Bern, Switzerland519, and died 1790 in Shenandoah Count, Virginia519.He married ?? ??.
Notes for George Keller:
DEATH: PLAC Shenandoah County, Virginia
This is the story of the Tyler County, WVKeller/Kellar family which came from
the Shenandoah Valley in old Virginia.
Good researchers are working on earlier generations: Mrs. Alma Tool Steider of
Eureka, IL, a retired librarian, a Magma Carta Dame,Mayflower Descendant,
etc.; and her cousin, Mrs. Elsie Clark Cress.
Certainly "tradition" is important for earliest years. Mary Elizabeth (Garvin)
Keller wrote her granddaughter what she had been told of early Kellers by her
father-in-law, Jacob Keller, born c1777/78. She was no doubt an old lady when
she wrote and would have forgotten or become confused about some points (perhap
mixing men of same name but different generations?)but her writing is still a
valuable source.By:Flo Montgomery
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mrs. Montgomery is now deceased. She collected much information
on Tyler County, WV families.
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In the early 1700's to Philadelphia, PA, came Kellars from Switzerland and from
across the Rhine in Baden Germany:Adam, Christof, Heinrich and Jacob. They
seem to have joined other Germans going west or south to the Shenandoah.
Mary E. Garvin Keller's granddaughter provided a copy of a letter written by he
(Mary Keller), recording the story of the family as told by Jacob Keller,
Martin's son. She said the first Keller in the family came from Switzerland to
Philadelphia in 1680 and worked on a farm there for seven years to pay for his
passage to this country. He married and went to Page County, VA, in the
Shenandoah Valley. He died there, leaving three sons, two of whom went south to
Georgia and North Carolina early in the 1700's.Martin was the brother left in
VA.He had seven sons. five born in Page County.Later, in 1774, they moved t
what is now Marshall County, WVA where they received land patents.
In 1777, they were driven from their homes into PA and stayed there for seven
years before returning to their home. (1777 was known as the year of the "blood
sevens" in the Ohio Valley.)Mary Keller mentions in her letter that Thomas wa
killed by the Indians, tells where all the brothers finally settled and that
they all had served their turn as Indian Scouts, and about Jacob Keller being i
the War of 1812.
The first Germans in the Shenandoah Valley were the Adam Miller Colony in 1727.
Then came the Hites, Stevens and Van Meters. About 1730, Jost Hite and party
went to the Shenandoah, then Augusta County, Va. In 1738/43, Frederick County
was cut from Augusta and in 1772, Shenandoah County was formed (until 1778 was
called Dunmore County.)
NOTE: An immigrant of 1680 would likely be too old to have been the father of
the Keller men who came to Shenandoah.Martin who went to the Ohio Valley, who
was born about 1735. Martin Kellar came about 1774 to the Ohio Valley, where he
is found during the Revolution. Remaining in Dunmore (Shenandoah) County, were
Abraham and George Kellar (not believed to be related to the Keller family of
the lineage of this family tree)of his generation and some younger men who
NOTE: "Revolutionary Records", Brumbaugh - tells of a Captain Abraham Kellar
(again, not believed to be related to this family) of the Illinois Regiment.
Abraham was given a Land Warrant for 4,000 acres in 1785 for having served thre
years. The next year he was fatally wounded at "Shipping Post" by the Indians.
The Will of Abraham Kellar of Shenandoah County, VA, dated 16 April 1787, names
wife, Elizabeth; sons, Joseph, William and John; daughters, Rachel, and
Elizabeth. Son Joseph named Executor. Witnesses: Peter Miller, George McKay and
Charles Catlett. Bond: Joseph Keller, Edwin Young, Mary Funk and Jeremiah McKay
Probated: 26 April 1787.(These people are not believed to be related to our
1775 Census - Dunmore County, Va (Shenandoah) Keller, Abraham: 3 males 16+, 2
males 0-16, 3 females and 2 slaves Keller, George 2 males 16+ 3 males 0-16. 4
There are two Shenandoah County, Va Wills for George Keller. The first is dated
13 July 1779 and probated 28 Mar 1783. Names wife, Barbara. Children: George,
William, Henry, John, Elizabeth, Mary, Jacob and Barbara. Sons George and Jacob
are Executors. Witnesses: George Huddle and Augustine Wendle. Bond: George
Keller, Henry Travel (son-in-law), and David Keaner.
The second Will is dated 28 December 1787 and probated 31 Jan 1788.
George Keller resided Beckford Parish, Shenandoah Co, VA.(Not believed to be
related to our family.)Names wife, Barbara. Children: Jacob, Elizabeth Snapp
Mary Sherman, Madalena and Barbara. Witnesses: Alexander Hite, Philip Wendle an
George Coop. Bond: Joseph Snapp, Adam Sherman, Jr., Adam Sherman, Sr., Samuel
Bowman and George Fekley. Executors: Joseph Snapp and Adam Sherman, Jr.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Our George Keller, born about 1710 in Bern, Switzerland, married the daughter o
the plantation owner where he served his seven years as an indentured servant,
in order to repay his boat passage.There is no known record of the name of hi
When the Kellars came to the Valley, it was unbroken wilderness, but this fille
up rapidly.Sons of the settlers cast their eyes still westward for new lands
and homes. The Ohio Land Company was formed in 1748 and others followed---The
Traders, Vandalia Company and others.They spread the word of favorable
opportunities across the mountains.France and England noted the westward
expansion, made their claims and war was inevitable.Braddock's defeat in 1755
delayed real settlement, but Colonials in Braddock's army had seen the country
and talked of it's promise when they returned home. Land was cheap.History
gives the impression that a man could acquire land by raising a crop or by
blazing trees but conveyances and sales were needed then as now.Settlers
brought deeds describing their lands. If they found another family "squatting"
on the land, rather than litigation, they would make a trade, for land was so
Martin Kellar went, so the tradition goes, in 1774 to the Ohio Valley. Since he
had a wife and children, he may have made several trips to prepare a home for
them. He is not on the 1775 Census of Dunmore County, Va.
According to Mrs. Steider (mentioned earlier), Martin's land grant was
originally a tomahawk claim he made in 1774.If he came with Captain Bonnet,
this would check out about right.Martin Keller "Virginia Land Grant, 1785
-Assignee of John Wetzel (father of Lewis Wetzel. Indian fighter.) These land
grants were not given when the people settled here but when their properties
were surveyed from 1785.
Coming in 1774 made the Kellers one of the earliest families in the area. The
Indians were at peace with the white man from 1763 until the Revolution. There
were some hardships, chiefly those of living in rural conditions --- far from
schools, doctors and markets.
About the settlement of Wheeling, WV: The Zanes explored here in 1769 and
returned a year or so later to settle. In 1772 there were about fifteen people
in Wheeling and many more in 1775. Other families were there about the same
time, but not in Wheeling. The Wetzels Bonnetts, Mercers, Shepherds and Kellers
settled out Big Wheeling Creek into Marshall County. The McCollochs,
Swearingens, Biggs, Mitchells, Van Meters, Ridgleys, Pumphreys, Boones, Hedges
and Coxes, to name a few, settled on Short Creek and north into Brooke County,
WV. From "History & Indian Wars of Western VA", DeHass.
Back in Old Virginia, Martin Keller married Margaret (Mary) Rich.Tradition
says that five of their seven sons were born in Page County.Names of the seve
sons of Martin are proven, but there are conflicting birth dates given. Page
County was formed in 1531 from Shenandoah and Rockingham Counties. Those passin
down the family history used the later names, suggesting that there had been
visiting back and forth to the old home and kinfolk there.This would not have
have been unusual for well-to-do settlers.
Mrs. Steider says the immigrant ancestor died in Shenandoah County.She quote
a cousin of hers:a Mrs. Elsie Clark Cress on this. Mrs. Cress also told her
that Martin's sons (some of them), were born as follows: Adam, born 28 April
1757; George, born 6 March 1759; John, born 1750; and Thomas, born 1770.
Martin Keller did indeed have sons with those names, but Census data show they
were younger.Records as exact as that usually come from a Bible or grave
marker Further search is ongoing.There was a rather large group of Kellers i
Lancaster, Pa, including another Martin with wife Margaret. Some of them moved
West. Those in Washington County, PA and in Brooke CO. (W) VA have not been
identified as in either family. That the Tyler Co, WV Kellars/Kellers go back t
Martin is established.
In 1774 when Martin arrived, this land was in West Augusta, VA.In 1776 Ohio
County, VA. was one of three counties formed from this district.Ohio County
included all land drained by streams flowing west into the Ohio River.This i
included part of now southwestern PA.It was for VA. to protect; forts and
blockhouses were built for those near.
In 1777,the Kellers and many other families left their homes here and fled to
Redstone Fort (Brownsville PA.) for a time The story Mrs. Steider told that cam
down to her is that Martin Keller and family went to a brother of his wife, Mar
Rich, in PA and stayed about seven years. The Rich family lived east of the
Monongahela River in what would become Fayette County, Pa.In 1777 it was
considered VA. It was around 1784 when the Kellers returned to their Ohio Valle
home in now Marshall County. WV.Martin's 5 sons were marrying and going to
homes of their own.
The 1810 Ohio County, VA. Census lists the following Kellers: Martin, Martin,
John, David and Adam. The first four were on adjoining land with Adam four door
away. (James Ewing, J. Greer and Samuel Stricker were between them.) Martin
Keller's Will from Ohio County, (W) VA, lists as devisees his wife, Margaret
(Rich) Keller and the following children: Jacob and David, who inherited land;
George, John. Adam and Martin who inherited money; and daughters, Catherine and
Elizabeth, who inherited "horse creatures." Executors were: Jacob Keller and
James Ewing. Witnesses were: John Hover, Jesse Bonham and John Rodiffer.
Children of Martin Keller (not in order of birth)
1. JohnAlthough Mrs. Steider says "born 1750", the John living next to
Martin shows as born 1765-1784. She says hemarried Elizabeth - - and died i
1815. Others say he went to Indiana and from there to Illinois.John had the
largest family of children in 1810, so may have been the oldest child.
2.Martin, Jr. Born 1765-1784. He married and after 1810 took his family
3. George:Not listed as head of a household in 1810. NOTE: Census for
his father Martin in 1810 shows the old man and his wife with what seems a
younger man born 1765-1784, with a wife, 1784-1794, and a baby son. Could this
be George? George, like his brother Martin, went to Ohio.
5. Thomas:Died in 1791. Killed by Indians in Ohio under General St.
7. David:Census shows he was a younger son born 1784-1794.In 1820
David sold his share of the land to Jacob and moved to Bartholomew County, IN.
Jacob remained here.David died in 1844 in Bartholomew County. The County
Clerk there said settlement did not name his children.He married Juliana
Conkle from Marshall County, WV. No record of this marriage.From Juliana's
father's Will, her name was listed as "Juliana, wife of David Keller."
8. JacobThis is the gentleman whose stories of his family have
been preserved. Jacob, with his brother David, inherited his father's land. Whe
David moved to IN,Jacob in 1820, purchased his share. He lived in now
Marshall County. WV.This is the line of Mrs. Steider.
Her Keller Ancestry is as follows:
a.Alma Tool Steider
b.Lutie Keller, born 29 March 1879 IL, and Pearl D. Tool born 18 March 1875.
c.Jacob Martin Keller, born 31 Jan 1837, OH or VA and Mary Elizabeth Tanton,
born 1845 in IL.
d.Martin Luther Keller, born 9 May 1809 near Wheeling, VA and Mary Elizabeth
Garvin(These two left Wheeling & lived in Guernsey Co, OH) e.Jacob Marti
Keller:born c1775-78 at Fort Redstone, PA (if he was born there, it was
during the year of the "bloody sevens", 1777-78, and Catherine Ewing, born 1780
daughter of James and Elizabeth Wilson Ewing. (James Ewing from Ireland to
Maryland, where he married Elizabeth, then to Wheeling Creek, VA.) f.Martin
Keller and Mary or Margaret Rich. (Martin's Will names here as Margaret.) They
came to Wheeling from the Shenandoah Valley with Capt. John N. Bonnett.
9. Adam:Tyler County, VA. He would have been born in 1771 as he was aged
83 when he died in 1853. (He was probably born in now Marshall County, WV, then
still West Augusta District). He married Permelia Lovett -- about 1795. She was
called "Milla" and was born 1780 in MD.By 1810 they had seven children. Adam
inherited money in his father's Will of 1812.
In 1810, Ohio County , VA. census records record most of Martin's sons,
including Adam, in their own households. Adam owned 144 acres in Marshall Count
(then Ohio County), from 1813 to 1836.In 1813. Adam Keller bought 144 acres
on Wheeling Creek from Lawrence and Barbara Stricker, al. Part of the Stricker
Land Grant. In 1836, Adam and Permelia Keller sold this property to John Bukey.
This is the last mention found of Adam Keller in Ohio and Marshall Counties. In
1834, Adam Keller, Sr., Thomas Keller and Adam Keller, Jr., were witnesses on
the Will of George Carroll.
It seems safe to assume when Adam Keller sold his Marshall County home in 1836,
he was planning a move to Tyler County, for in 1840, he is listed on that
census. His son Martin was living beside him. His oldest son, Adam, Jr.must
have been married and have chosen to remain in Marshall County.His son David
married later in 1840.The census shows two more sons and a daughter were born
from 1810-1820.These sons also married in Tyler County.The 1850 Tyler
County, (W) VA census shows Adams age 79 and Milla, age 73, had with them three
young men, surely grandsons.Tyler County death records show Adam Keller died
in 1853 at the age of 83, leaving a widow, Permelia
Children of Adam Keller of Tyler County. WV:
a. Adam. Jr.Since he did not come to Tyler County with the others, he
likely lived in Marshall County. It
seems he had a wife Sarah and a son Henry M. Keller, born 1818 who married
Elizabeth Veneman from New Jersey.
NOTE: This is not the Henry Keller born 1818 who is buried in Lone Tree
Cemetery, Tyler County, WV.
c.MartinBorn 1800. The 1840 census showed him with six boys; his
wife had died. He married 2nd in 1842 to Sarah Ann Morris (Tyler Co, WV Marr.
Ok. 1.)The 1850 Tyler County Census #909 shows this:
Martin Keller50 born VA
Sarah Ann 25
Rice and Martin were by the first wife.
d.ThomasBorn 1803. He married about 1836 Mary ----- fromPA. In
1840 Census they had two baby boys, one of whom must have died young.
1850 Census #853
Thomas Keller47 bornVA
Mary 32(Mary was reported to be mulata - part colored)
1860 Census #331
Thomas Keller57 born VA
e. DaughterBorn c 1805.
f. DaughterBorn c 1807/08
g.Davidorn 1810. Married 1840 Mary Ann Haddox.
1850 Census #852 David Keller 39 born VA
1860 Census #334 David Keller 48 born VA
Martin W. 5
Martha E. 3
NOTE: Martin Keller of David and Mary Ann died 1868, aged 13 years. Tyler
County, WV Death Records.
h. William:Born 1815. Died by 1860. He married 2 July 1840 to Rachel
born 1822. Children were: Laura, born 1843; Esther, born 1845; Zachary Taylor,
born 1849; Theodorek born 1851, married Elizabeth Richardson & had daughter
named Iva Belle, born 1875; Joseph D. born 1855, d. 1855; and Sarah E. born
1855, d. 1855.
William Keller was a carpenter. In 1860 William was deceased and Rachel. a
widow, aged 37 is listed in#525 with her children! Laura, 17; Esther, 15,
Taylor, 11, and Theodore, 9, in the household of James Stealey.
i. Daughter Born c 1817.
j. John Born 1819-20. He married 1848 to Sarah Gorrell. She was born 1828,
daughter of John Gorrell and Elizabeth Archer. The young couple lived for a
while with her parents and show up there in the 1850 census; he aged31, she
22, and a baby daughter Elizabeth, aged 1 year.
John Keller44 born VA
Angeline11 (called Elizabeth in 1850)
The next generation of Kellers were slow to leave home.By 1860 only one had
James, born 1828 (assumed son of Martin, who after his father's remarriage, wen
to live with his Uncle William and to learn his trade, carpentering).James
married 1853 to Harriet S. Higgins, aged 22 years. (Tyler Co, WV Marriages) The
did not remain in Tyler County.
A Michael Keller, born 1839 (aged 21, born VA) was living in 1860 in the
household (#150) of Henry R. Williamson, aged 26, born VA, and his wife Harriet
aged 23, born in New York.
A Henry H. Keller is on the 1860 Tyler County, WV census, #715.He was born 2
September 1818.Later records show that Henry came from Pleasants County, WV.
Pleasants County was formed in 1851 from Tyler, Ritchie and Wood counties.
Henry must have lived in the part taken either from Wood or Ritchie. Wood was
formed in 1798 and Ritchie in 1843 , so both had census taken for 1850;Henry
should show in one of them.Henry H. (or N.) Keller appears on the 1860 census
aged 44, with wife Sarah, aged 44, and children: John, 18, Rebecca C., 16,
Rachel P., born 1846/7, Bennet D., born 1848, James E., born 1850, Hannah, born
1851, Helen C. , born 1853 and Sarah A., born 1856. Rachel P. Keller married at
Centerville, Tyler County in 1866 to Thomas D. Anderson, born 1839, a widower,
son of Robert and Mary Anderson. This marriage recorded in Tyler Marriage Book
II. It lists Rachel as being "born in Pleasants County in 1846/47." The Lone
Tree Cemetery in Tyler County has two Keller graves. Henry N. Kellar born 28
September 1818 and died 22 September 1882; also, Sarah Keller, born 11 November
1816 and died 9 February 1886.Those researching the Keller family have not
NOTE: There seems no place for him in the family of Adam, unless he was a son o
that oldest son who remained in Marshall County. However, a different Henry
Keller, born 1818 and living in Marshall County, seems ~ a likelier son if ther
was a Henry in that family.
This writer has made no search in Wood County WV, but a quick look at the WPA
Abstracts for Wood County finds a Keller family living there:
Francis Keller, Will 10, 1821 Devisees: Sons, Isaac and Elias Daughters Patsy,
Barbary, Hannah, Elizabeth, Sally Rigs, Nancy Pugh and Rebecca Pugh
The aforementioned Iva Belle Keller, born 3 June 1875 of Theodorick of William
of Adam, married Okey Broadwater born 5 April 1869. They had a daughter named
Children of George Keller and ?? ?? are:
- +Martin Keller, b. Abt. 1735, Shenandoah Valle, Page County, Virginia519, d. 1816, Ohio County, Virginia519.