- We are not certain of George's birth date. 1752-54 seems to be close (1752 is offered as a guess by J.W. Hook in his book "George Michael Eller and Descendants of His in America). That would make him about 28 when his first child was born, which is relatively old by the standards of the 1700's.
George Eller is still in Salisbury, NC listed in the 1790 census (1 Male 16+, 1 male -16; 4 females). By 1793 he is in Wythe County (1993 tax list) with his brother Henry. A year later, he is shown in Grayson County (VA) with 200 acres of land (Grayson Co. 1794 land tax list). We believe he may not have actually moved but that Wythe County was used to make Grayson.
The "History of the Eller Family" by J.W.Eller, published in 1918, says George served seven years in the Revolutionary war, but we have found no such record. And Hook's suggestion that George Eller was driven out of North Carolina for Virginia because of his "refusal to renounce fealty to the English Crown..." seems to further contridict that suggestion.
F. Edwin Denniston (P.O. Box 8097, Black Butte Ranch, OR 97759) writes in the Eller Chronicles (VII(3)), Aug 1993, p.208, that the idea of seven years service in the Revolution is unsupported. He says the claim is probably based on the fact that he had service in Rowan County prior to the Revolution. That would mean he served in the military under the English Government and would mean he swore an oath to the King.
However, the Surname Guide (http://www.surnameguide.com/eller/george_eller_genealogy.htm) suggests he was connected to the Regulator Movement in North Carolina, a faction that was finally routed at Alamance in 1771. After that he joined with many others in taking the oath of Allegiance to King George. This oath he held inviolable, and when the Revolution broke out he and his wife, Christina, were put under bond to keep the peace.
Thereafter he was hauled into court regularly for several years for minor offenses, after which he moved with his family to Montgomery County, Virginia, and settled on the waters of Elk Creek, in what is now Grayson County. Here he lived until his death in 1805.
Tradition tells us that George Eller was a Baptist preacher.
When the Colonial Assembly demanded of the inhabitants that they take the oath of allegiance to the State of North Carolina, George Eller and his wife, Christina, refused (because of the oath they took to King George) and accordingly were hauled into court and tried. They both were indicted in the March Superior Court of 1778 and released on bond of ?300, divided, ?200 for him, and ?100 for her.
They were both found guilty by the court at its session the following September and fined small amounts. Thereafter he was frequently in court for small offenses, until 1784, when all record of him in Rowan County ceases. Wearying of what he thought was persecution by the courts, he moved with his family into Virginia. Here he fell in with many old friends who had fled to Virginia after Alamance, and for several years preached to them and their neighbors who were settled along the banks of New River. He had very strong convictions, and while not an educated man, could read his German Bible and preach in that language as well as in English.
His grandson (John's son), David, who was born in 1796, confirmed the ancestry of his father's family to his grand-nephew, judge William H. Eller, late of Greensboro, North Carolina. He stated that his great-grandfather, Chrissy Eller, a German Anabaptist, or Dunkard, came to Rowan County, North Carolina, from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, before 1765, and that his grandfather, George Eller, moved from Rowan County, to Franklin County, Virginia, about 1778 and died there about 1805.
J.W. Eller's 1918 book contains several other mistakes, including the assumption that George (and his brother) were the original settlers from Germany. But depending on the birth date, they might have been born before Christian moved from Pennsylvania to Rowan County, NC.
J.W. Hook, in his 1957 book, suggests George was an itinerant preacher. As we noted, Hook says George left North Carolina for Virginia because of persecution apparently because he refused to renounce fealty to the English crown.
J.W. Hook's book says George left no will but clearly had three sons and says there is the possibly of another son: Andrew Eller. J.W. Eller's book suggests only two sons, George and John. And there is a Henry Eller mentioned in the will of George's half-brother Henry (Half-brother Henry leaves some of his estate to Henry, son of George Eller). Since he leaves property to other nephews and nieces and to his brother Frederick, we speculate the George mentioned is this George and that he has a son Henry.