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Johann Jacob Eller Jr. (1754)

Johann Jacob (Jacob) "Jake" [uncertain] Eller Jr.
Born in Philadelphia County, Province of Pennsylvaniamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 7 May 1776 in Rowan, North Carolinamap
Descendants descendants
Died [date unknown] in Tennessee, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 6 Jan 2014
This page has been accessed 823 times.



U.S. Southern Colonies Project logo
Jacob Eller Jr. was a North Carolina colonist.


Name: Johann Jacob /Eller/[1]


Date: 20 Mar 1754
Place: , Montgomery, Pennsylvania, USA[2]

Johann Jacob Eller was born 20 Mar 1754 in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania son of Johann Eller and Maria Goettge, his parents' first child.[3] Soon after, his parents moved to Rowan County, North Carolina where he spent his youth.

At that time Rowan County was very large, and settlements were few. No organized church was then in existence, though believers met regularly, without benefit of an ordained minister. A group of Lutheran believers met at a meeting house on Dutch Second Creek in 1772 and selected two delegates to go to Germany and attempt to secure a Lutheran pastor and a school teacher for their group, which they did. The Consistory of Hanover selected two men; Adolphus Nussman, as pastor, and Johann Gottfried Arends as schuldiener (teacher). Their diaries record their arrival, via Charleston, and their ride on horseback from Charleston to the Rowan site in 1773. Adolphus Nussman was thus the first permanent Lutheran pastor in North Carolina. We can and must assume that Arends began his school at a log structure on the Zion Dutch Second Creek area on the site that is now Organ. We note that a group of Lutherans had met there in a structure in 1772 when they elected the delegates. [4]

Jacob married Mary Magdalena or Marlena Büffel 07 May 1776,[5] They were married by Pastor Gottfried Ahrende (Arends), Organ Lutheran Church.[6]

Jacob Jr. and his family left Rowan County, NC, soon after his marriage, for Sullivan County (now in Tennessee) on the western frontier of North Carolina in the Holston River Valley. Janine Eller Porter (in the EFC, Vol.2#1, p.4) says Jacob and his father-in-law Adam Biffle entered land grants on 29 Jul 1779 on the South Side of the Holston River in present Sullivan County, TN. Ms. Porter says that there were unfriendly Indians in the area. She also says that Jacob Eller became close friends with John Sevier, who later became the first Governor of Tennessee.[7]

Certificate No. 1493 was issued by Washington County, North Carolina, who on 29 Jul 1779, ordered the surveyor of Sullivan County to lay off land for John Eller on Holston River beginning at John (possibly Sevier's) line, however the writing is hard to read.. The certificate was issued to John Matlock, assigned to John Layman, who in turn assigned it to Adam Biffle. Biffle then assigned it to his son-in-law, Jacob Eller. The certificate was annotated for 100 acres 25 Oct 1787.[8]

On 26 Nov 1789, Jacob Eller was granted, for 50 shilling for each 100 acres, a tract of 100 acres on the south side of Holston River in Sullivan County, North Carolina (later to become Tennessee). Boundaries mentioned are a red oak at the top of a ridge, with Frederick Kiellon's line, William McCormack's corner, mentions a stake at the foot of a ridge, and along said ridge to the beginning.[9]

Before the 1790 census, Adam Biffle and his sons left Tennessee and returned to Buncombe County, NC. By 1800, Jacob and his family joined them. Jacob put his land in the name of his 13 year old son. In the early 1800's, Jacob and Mary separated, apparently several times. In the December 1806 separation, obtained by Mary from the NC General Assembly, she stated that Jacob deserted her, but returned two times to take whatever she had saved for her family.[7] Mary was granted a divorce 20 Nov 1806 by the House of Commons, State of North Carolina. Jacob may not have taken the news very well. After the divorce and an acquittal in a criminal case in Superior Court in Buncombe County in 1807, Jacob Eller, Jr. disappeared from North Carolina.

Where did Jacob go? Ms. Porter offers one speculation, that he was the Jacob Eller who married Elizabeth Winterbower on 18 Nov 1809 in Jefferson County, Tennessee.[7] Jacob's Grandson, Jacob Eller of Macon Co., TN writes in the Goodspeed Histories of Tennessee, "My Mother's father was with General Jackson in the Indian War and participated in the famous fight at Horse Shoe Bend, where he was killed." In "Our Eller Roots," by W.G & N.T. Eller (1994, Eller Chronicles VIII-4, Nov), it is reported that Jake Eller lived to be 108 years old.[10][6]

Research Notes

I checked the book First Church, Davidson County : a history of Pilgrim Evangelical and Reformed Church (United Church of Christ), Lexington, North Carolina, 1757 to 1957; by Snider, Frank W; Publication date 1957; Publisher [Lexington, N.C.] : Pilgrim Evangelical and Reformed Church; but found no reference to Eller, Büffel, Ahrende, or spelling variations. Perhaps this is the wrong book, but no title or page number was indicated, so I am unable to either confirm or deny this reference. I was also unable to determine what means Ruth Goodman used for her reference; perhaps she just means she found the item and added it.

I removed the 1797 death date for Jacob Eller Jr. as the records show he was alive, and visited Buncombe County, North Carolina after that date. Jacob would have been age 60 (27 Mar 1814) at the Horse Shoe Bend fight. Obviously he could not have been killed in 1814, and also lived to be 108 years old. I couldn't tell which of Goodspeed's Tennessee histories was meant, with no complete title or page number. Hope someone can help with this. I have some more sources to check.[11]


  1. Note: Ancestry Record genepool #5106540 Note: Data: Text: Birth date: 1754 Birth place: United States, PA APID: 1,4725::5106540
  2. Birth year: 1754; Birth city: United States; Birth state: PA. Note: Ancestry Record genepool #5106540 Note: Data: Text: Birth date: 1754 Birth place: United States, PA APID: 1,4725::5106540
  3. Eller, J. Gerald; Edward K. Eller; Janine Eller Porter; Eller Family Association; John Jacob Eller and His Descendants; page 1
  4. Sifford, Harry T., President, Historic Organ Church Foundation, Inc., Organ Lutheran Church, Rowan County, North Carolina, founded 1745 : a brief history Rowan County, North Carolina; November 1993 Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2013
  5. North Carolina, Marriage Index, 1741-2004
  6. 6.0 6.1 Pilgrim Evangelical and Reformed Church, Davidson County, North Carolina
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Eller Family Chronicles," Vol.2 #1, p.4
  8. Tennessee, Early Land Registers, 1778-1927 for Jacob Eller Series 02: Entries 1779 - 1792 Frame 405 of 638, Tennessee State Library and Archives
  9. North Carolina and Tennessee, Early Land Records, 1753-1931 North Carolina (Revolutionary War) Land Grants Roll 23: Book 15, page 110, Warrant 543, frame 56 of 165
  10. Ruth Goodman, 112 Brookwood, Rockingham, NC 28379
  11. Kerns, Margaret Ann (Kepner), 729 NW 1101 Road, Urich, Missouri 64788-8121, research, analysis and conclusions
  • Source: S-2124578898 Repository: #R-2146137668 Title: Public Member Trees Author: Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006.Original data - Family trees submitted by Ancestry members.Original data: Family trees submitted by Ancestry members. Note: This information comes from 1 or more individual Ancestry Family Tree files. This source citation points you to a current version of those files. Note: The owners of these tree files may have removed or changed information since this source citation was created. Page: Ancestry Family Trees Data: Text:
  • Repository: R-2146137668 Name: Address: Note:
  • Source: S-2126415860 Repository: #R-2146137668 Title: Family Data Collection - Individual Records Author: Edmund West, comp. Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2000. Note: APID: 1,4725::0

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Jacob by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Jacob:

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Comments: 4

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Eller-949 and Eller-237 appear to represent the same person because: Clear Duplicate
posted by [Living Daly]
Eller-579 and Eller-237 appear to represent the same person because: clear duplicates
posted by Mark Burch
Eller-579 and Eller-237 are not ready to be merged because: not enough duplicate people. need desendants for Avaline Eller.
posted by Roger (Eller) Limbach
Eller-579 and Eller-237 appear to represent the same person because: These two profiles are for the same person. My 3-great grandfather, Jacob Eller married a woman I had as Mary Magdalena Biffle, but others have as Mary Marlena Biffle. Please merge them, or allow me access and I will do the merge.


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Categories: North Carolina Colonists