origin of Rev. Thomas CELLAR (1741-1816) MD > PA > OH
There are several researchers and publications (including Baskin's "History of Delaware County, Ohio") that have asserted a German origin for Rev. Thomas CELLAR (1741-1816), progenitor of the many CELLARs in Liberty Township, Delaware County, Ohio, and beyond.Presumably they have made such a claim because there was such a huge concentration of Germans in central Ohio during the mid-19th century, but I do not believe he is German, for the following reasons...
1)To begin with, CELLAR/CELLARS is a Scottish/English surname, not a German surname.In America, CELLARS could conceivably be a phonetic mis-spelling of the German surname, SELLARS -- some go so far as to say it was ZELLERS or even KELLER -- but one needs evidence to support such an assertion.In the case of Rev. Thomas CELLAR, the evidence argues against, not for, such a transformation in spelling.
2)Rev. Thomas CELLAR was a Presbyterian minister, and Presbyterianism is typically the religion of Scots, not Germans, who were largely Lutheran or Catholic.
3)As a minister, Rev. Thomas was surely literate, so -- unlike the vast majority of German immigrants in the 18th and 19th centuries -- he knew how to spell his name.I have yet to find any *primary* record that shows his surname as anything other than CELLAR or CELLARS.
4)In the 1790 census of Franklin Co., PA, Thomas is shown as owning a slave.Slave ownership was almost non-existent among Pennsylvania Germans, but was typical of the "Brits" (English/Scottish/Irish/Scots-Irish) in the south, and Thomas came to Pennsylvania from the south -- through, if not from, Maryland.
5)Rev. Thomas did not marry German wives.Both of his wives (viz., FLANIGAN and McCOY) were "Brits", and their children also married "Brits" (viz., GILLIS, CARPENTER, McKINNIE, FLEMING, HOLBROOK, WILSON, GABRIEL) -- not a German among them until the third generation in Ohio.
6)The given names running in Rev. Thomas's descendents are typically "Brit" names.While some of these names (e.g., John, George, Mary, Joseph) are also common in German families, there are no typically German given names running in Rev. Thomas's family (e.g., Frederick, Jacob, Magdalena, Anna Maria, Barbara, Gertrude).
I think the above evidence supports that Rev. Thomas CELLAR was of Scots/English origin, and surely the evidence is strong enough that anyone asserting he was of German origin needs to come up with some substantial proof for such a claim.On the other hand...
If I'm wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me.I have no bias as to the origin of these CELLARs, I just want to know the truth, whatever it is.