Eller Genealogy


Eller Genealogy

The Eller estates in Germany were located near Dusseldorf and Elberfeld and are now marked by the village of Eller a few miles south and east of Dusseldorf. Some of the family migrated further south to the Mosel River where another village of Eller is situated.

In 1727 Elias Eller founded the Ellerian Sect in Elberfeld. After a turbulent beginning he and his followers, who called themselves Zionites and believed in the Millennium, founded the now prosperous town of Ronsdorf. He died in 1750, after which the sect rapidly disintegrated and became extinct.

The Eller immigrants to America landed in Philadelphia between 1740 and 1747. They lived for a few years in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, after which Jacob, Christian and Melchoir moved to Rowan County, North Carolina. They were educated men and devout Christians. They joined the McNiels and Vannoys with which families the direct ancestors of Virginia Eller intermarried, to establish the Baptist Church in the rugged mountain districts of western North Carolina. George Eller, Virginia's great great grandfather, became a Baptist Minister under the leadership of another great great grandfather, Rev. George McNiel, a member of a distinguished Scottish family of the same name.

Rev. McNiel founded many Baptist Churches on the Yadkin River before the Revolution and in 1786 established the Yadkin Association and became its Moderator. Together with his brothers John and Thomas McNiel he emigrated to North Carolina from Glasgow, Scotland, before 170. Tradition says that he was educated as a Presbyterian, but changed to the Baptist faith after his arrival in North Carolina and Lower Virginia where he was contemporary with the Murphey brothers and John Gano. He is accredited as the pioneer in the establishment of the Baptist Church in Western North Carolina. The church commemorated the one hundredth anniversary of his death in 1905 and erected a permanent memorial at his grave. His son James McNiel married Mary Sheppard and to this union a daughter, Fanny McNiel, was born who married Simeon Eller.

The Eller line runs from Christian to Rev. George, to John, to Simeon, to Harvey, to Virginia the subject of this sketch. The name of Rev. George Eller's wife was Christina Buhlen or Bullen. John's wife was Susannah Kerns of Holland Dutch ancestry; Simeon married Fanny McNiel; and Harvey married Mary Caroline, daughter of Jesse and grand daughter of Nathaniel Vannoy.

The direct ancestors of both James and Virginia for the most part were farmers with a good many preachers and a few country merchants sprinkled in. Even some of the preachers, and all of the merchants, were farmers as well. All of them were men and women of character, highly respected by their neighbors, and identified with the best movements in the communities where they lived. As one goes through the old records one finds them establishing churches and schools, donating money or its equivalent for deserving enterprises, acting upon important committees, and signing petitions for worthy causes. They are also found in positions of trust, on school boards, in county offices. and in various appointive posts.


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