- Christian Ohler/Eller is one a five young men who arrived in the United States from Germany in the period 1740 to 1750. The five are often thought to be brothers, but appear -- at least to this researcher -- to be cousins. Christian seems most likely to be the son of George Michael Ohler (known as Michael) and a brother to George Michael Ohler and Heinrich (Henry) Ohler.
Whoever was the Father, Robert W. Ramsey ("Carolina Cradle," pp. 90-91) says that Christian was born in the Algau district of Bavaria (Germany) in 1724. And J.W. Hook ("George Michael Eller and Descendants of his in America," 1957) cites the 1724 birthday using a letter from an Aurel Eller of Germany as the source.
Both Ramsey and Hook say Christian Eller came to America on the ship "Restauration" in 1747. Ship records on the "Restauration" date its arrival as 09 Oct 1747 with this notation: "Foreigners imported in the ship Restauration, James Hall, Captain, from Rotterdam, last from Leith - inhabitants of the Palatinate and places adjacent."
Hook says Christian took his oath of allegiance to Pennsylvania on the date of his arrival, 09 Oct 1747.
According to the "Compendum of American Genealogy, First Famlies of America," (Vol. IV, F.A. Virkus, Chicago, 1930, pp.440-2) he settled in Lancaster County, PA in that same year, 1747. (This record notes he is the same Christian Eller who later moves to Rowan County, NC.)
The first record of Christian Eller in the area of Rowan County, North Carolina, shows him as an "Indian fighter." He is listed as a Private in the company of Captain Morgan Bryan. The book "Colonial Soldiers of the South: 1732-1774" by Murtie June Clark (1983, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, p.851) shows Christian Eller and Paul Biffle on a "muster roll of Captain Morgan Bryan's Scouts sent out on the alarm of William Pincher's being killed by the Indians, May 25, 1759." This unit is identified as being from the Rowan County area.
About two years later, he purchased land in Rowan County, NC (on 20 May 1762). Later purchases by Christian are in the same area and reference Crane Creek and Dutch Second Creek. The possible cousins noted above, Jacob Eller and Melker (who apparently later Anglicised his name to Michael) Eller, also purchased land in that area 1752 & 1764. Jacob's 31 Dec 1762 purchase of 320 acres on the Yadkin's west bank includes one Jerg Lembgen as a co-purchaser (DB 5, p.36-37).
The Christian Eller family lived on land which bordered on Crane Creek, which flows into the Yadkin River east of Salisbury. Like his cousin(?), Jacob, Christian Eller was an educated man, who seemed to be a master of the English language from his earliest appearance in North Carolina. (The Surname Guide)
There is a question of what role, if any, he might have played in the Revolutionary War. We can find no official record of service, however the "Surname Guide" says he enlisted for service in the Revolutionary War and accompanied one of the southern detachments throughout the memorable campaigns that ended triumphantly at Yorktown.
Christian's will was written in German and he mentions all the children we list below (Rowan Wills, NC 1805-1850 NC Ref 347L). The will was made 30 Apr 1804 and probated May 1804.
James W. Hook (in "James Hook and Virginia Eller," Tuttle, Morehouse and Taylor Co., New Haven, Conn., 1925, p.104) says "Tradition states that he (Christian) came with his wife and sons, John and George. His wife died soon after arrival in Rowan County, North Carolina, and he married secondly, Mary, daughter of Paul and Catherine Beefle." Mary was clearly Maria Elisabetha Biffle (Buffel). As noted above, this second wife was probably the daughter of Johannes Paul Biffel (spelled elsewhere as Buffle or Beefle) and his wife Cathrine Haan. This is probably the same Paul Biffle that Christian served with in Cpt. Bryan's Scouts.
In his will, Paul Biffel (Buffle) mentions Christian Eller as his son-in-law and he mentions Cathrine as his wife. Since she (Mary Elizabeth) is not mentioned in Christian's will, we suspect she died before his 1804 passing. And there is no firm evidence (beyond the story that the first wife died shortly after arrival in North Carolina) to confirm she is the mother of any of the children listed in the will. However, using the Hook information suggesting the first wife died about the time Christian appeared in Rowan County, we have arbitrarily picked a date as the dividing line between children from the unknown first wife and those by Mary Elizabeth.