Search billions of records on

Second Generation

3. Abraham KELLAR1,3,5,9,10,11,12 served in the military in 1774 at Capt. Joseph Bowman's Company in Dunmore's War; Battle of Point Pleasant. He served in the military in 1778–1781 at NW Territories with George Rogers Clark in Revolutionary War. He died on 12 December 1781 in Near the Cumberland Gap, Tennessee.3
VIRGINIA'S COLONIAL SOLDIERS; Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck, 1988, Genealogy Publishing Co., 3rd Printing 1998.
p.138 Dunmore's War 1774
Men on PayRoll at Romney & Winchester
Capt. Joseph Bowman's roll: Abram Kellor, George Warth, Isaac Bowman, Nathaniel Cartmill, Martin Hardin

1774 Battle of Point Pleasant. Capt. Joseph Bowman's roll lists Abram Kellor, Sgt. [although some have listed this Abraham as the elder man, I believe it is much more likely Abraham the younger]

According to papers of Beth Hugenot, Abraham Kellar was Capt VA State Regt. Killed by Indians 1786. Beth thought that Abraham was the father of Jacob, Jacob's will makes plain his brother was Abraham, whose dates would fit this man. Abraham Kellar was one of George Rogers Clark's right-hand men in the Northwest Territory battles of the Revolution and the years following and he was killed by Indians. He was killed in Dec of 1781 probably while still in the service.

I found a paper recopied from the records of George Rogers Clark into the Pension File of one Thomas Brassie. It was a list of his officers in the Illinois Regiment, including their date of commissions. Abraham Kellar was commissioned a Captain, on 19 Mar 1780. Their is a note by his rank, "Killed Dec. 12 '81" and at the bottom of the page:
"Casualties: Capt. Keller. Killed 12th December 1781.

In 1778, Capt Joseph Bowman commanded a company of forty-nine men from the Shenandoah Valley, including 22 of German descent, that were part of the force enlisted by George Rogers Clark for the campaign in the Northwest Territory. Notice that Kellar is still serving under Joseph Bowman, as in 1774.
24 Jan 1778. Probably a list of the payroll of Capt [later Major] Joseph Bowman's company found in his papers includes:
2nd Lt. Abraham Kellar. Enlisted 24 Jan 1778. Discharged 8 Aug. 1100 miles to go home.
Isaac Kellar, sergt. Enlisted 25 Jan 1778. Discharged Aug. 1100 miles to go home.
and their brother-in-law:
Jacob Speers, sergt. Enlisted 5 Jul 1778. Discharged Aug. 1150 miles to go home.

The 2nd enlistment for Joseph Bowman's company was on 8 Aug of 1778 while they were in Kaskaskia. Abm. Kellar, Lt., Enlisted 8 Aug 1778, Discharged 14 Dec 1778. Days served 128.
When that enlistment was up: Enlisted 14 Dec 1778, Discharged 8 May 1779, Days served 145. Abrm. Kellar, now a Capt. His company continued at the Illinois under command of Col. George Rogers Clark.
Abram. Kellar, Rank, Capt. Commencing 9 May 1779. In Service 30 months. Pay per month $50. Total in Specie $1,500. Pay Abstract of Capt Abraham Kellar's Company of the Illinois Regt.

An online abstract of the George Rogers Clark Papers beginning <>
as well as the book The Calendar & Quartermaster Books of General George Rogers Clark's. Fort Jefferson, KY, 1780-1781, Compiled by Kenneth C. Carstens, @2000 contain many entries relating to Abraham Kellar.
By March of 1779, he was referred to as Capt. Kellar - prior to that time he was listed as Lt. Kellar. He had been with George Rogers Clark at the taking of Vincennes and was promoted to Capt when Joseph Bowman was promoted to Major. While they were occupying the fort a keg of power exploded, badly burning Bowman among others. A journal kept by Maj. Joseph Bowman describes Capt Kellar as being in charge of one of the six boats of prisoners that left Vincennes for Kaskaskia on 20 Mar 1779. In August of that year he was sent on recruiting duty but his Company was retained as part of the garrison at Vincennes. Supplies issued to Capt Kellar [ammunition, etc.] indicate that he was often assigned travel between the various forts in the Illinois country although most of his men remained at their assigned fort. His Company was at Ft. Jefferson on the Mississippi River, near the mouth of the Ohio, probably arriving with the initial party of soldiers & settlers in April of 1780.
p.27 12 Apr 1780 Abraham Keller & William Shannon sign they rec'd of Col. George Rogers Clark, four land warrants containing 560 acres each, for recruiting four soldiers during the war to serve in Col. Clark's regiment.
p.28 25 Apr 1780 Thomas Walker & Daniel Smith are within 12 miles of the Falls when they are informed by Capt Kellar that Col. Clark had left for the Iron Banks [what will be Ft. Jefferson] on 14 Apr 1780. Capt Kellar offers to take them with him as he was just leaving to go there. Agreed to go. Walker & Smith were sent by President Jefferson to survey the area that was to be Ft. Jefferson & Clarksville.
Prodigious amounts of tafia [cheap rum] were consumed by the men and officers stationed at Ft. Jefferson - perhaps from boredom, the cold, illness, even hunger when the supples were low. Kellar's Company was involved with the evacuation of Ft. Jefferson on 8 June 1781 when the Fort was abandoned due the inability to obtain supply. Several of the soldiers of the Company had died or deserted during their stay at Ft. Jefferson. The webpage of the Re-enactors of the Illinois Regiment states that Capt Kellar resigned his commission when the Illinois Regiment was reduced in December of 1781.

A book in the Auditor's Office, Richmond, states:
Keller, Abraham. 2974 acres. Has received certificates in full of pay up to the last of Dec 1781.
Also: Abraham Keller, Capt. appears on a pay roll of Officers of the Illinois Regt, VA State Troops, from 9 May 1799 to 9 Nov 1781.

26 Feb 1780. Certificate issued for 1000 acres to Abraham Keller by John Bowman. This day claimed a preemption of 400 acres of land in district of KY on acc't of mark'g & improving the same in the year 1776, lying on a branch of Higstons Fork of Licking Creek known by the the name of Bowman's Creek to include an improvement made by Burr Harrison. Satisfactory prrof being made the court is of the opinion that Keller has a right to a preemption of 400 acres & a Cerficate issued accordingly.

1780. Kentucky. Jefferson Entries. The following entries were made for Abraham Keller. These tracts were granted by Virginia on 20 Jun 1788.
29 Apr 1780 1000 acres on Bowmans Crk Book A, p.38
22 May 1780 400 acres on Elkhorn. Book A, p.82

Virginia Revolutionary Pension Applications:
28 Jan 1782. Rank of officers in the Illinois Regt and dates of their respective commissions: Abraham Keller, Capt, killed, 12 Dec 1781.
This date may be the date of his resignation. Certainly he was deceased by March of 1782, see later.

The following note is peculiar in that it appears to be after the death of Abraham and doesn't reflect his rank. There were no known nephews named Abraham that were old enough to have served in 1782. The location of Jefferson Co was where his brother Isaac was also living about this time - brothers John & William had not relocated to Kentucky yet. Either a year has been recorded in error, or a name - or perhaps the date reflects the issuance of back pay. There is no indication there was another Abraham Keller/Kellar. A map showing Bullitt's Lick also has Floyd's Fork in the vicinity and Isaac Kellar had a land grant for 1500 acres both sides of a run that emptied into Floyd's Fork.
10 Jul 1782. A company of the Lincoln Co milita rendezvoused at Harrodsburg & defended Bullitt's Lick in Jefferson Co. Abraham Kellar, Redezvous'd July 10, discharged Aug 2nd. Payroll of a party of Lincoln Militia under Lt. James Brown on service at Bullet Lick by order of Col. Benj. Logan.

There are conflicting reports on the death of Abraham in the Draper Manuscripts. Both Abraham and his brother Isaac were killed by Indians and it's quite likely some of the men later relating the stories were confused. Abraham died 1781; his brother Isaac in 1786. Abraham married Mary Hunter and they likely had a daughter who didn't survive. Mary herself remarried and Abraham's estate was inherited by his nephew Abraham Kellar, son of the deceased oldest brother Jacob. [The laws of primogeniture were not abolished in Virginia until 1783, so was the same in KY at this time - the distribution of Abraham's estate was obviously settled under these laws]
Clark Grant #156 was granted Capt. Abr. Kellar, dec'd, and issued to A. C. Kellar, heir of Abraham.
29 Sep 1798 Abraham & Peggy [Margaret Anderson] Kellar of Bourbon Co KY sold this grant to Nathan Robertson. This Abraham Kellar of Bourbon Co is the nephew, only son of his older brother Jacob Kellar, dec'd.

5 Mar 1782 Jefferson Co KY Minute Book A, p.23. Administration of Abraham Keller's estate granted to Isaac Keller. Bond 600 #'s. Securities, James Sullivan, Daniel Sullivan. Granted April Court 1782

2 Apr 1782 Inventory and appraisal of estate of Abraham Keller, dec'd.
1 Sword, 1 Rifle gun & bullet mould, 1 Regimental coat & waistcoat [additional men's clothing], man's hatt, blanket, 22 coat buttons, 1 silver knee buckle, lead, old trunk, brass kettle, iron pot & hooks, 3 pewter basons, plate & 3 spoons, etc.
Signed by Moses Kuykendall, Joseph Archer.
Wit: Aquilla Whitaker, Abaham [X] Whitaker,
7 May 1782. Admitted to Record

12 Jul 1784
Kentucky Land Office Military Warrant #3321
To the Principal Surveyor of the Land set apart for the Officers and Soldiers of the Commonwealth of Virginia. This shall be your Warrant to survey and lay off in one or more surveys to: Mary Kellar representative of Abraham Kellar dec'd, his Heirs or Assigns, the Quantity of four thousand acres of Land unto the said Abraham Kellar in consideration of his Services for three years as a Capt in the Virginia state line. Certificate from the Governor and Council which is received into the Land Office, Given under my Hand and Seal of the said Office this 12th Day of July in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and 84.
The old Kentucky land entries show that Mary made as many as 17 entries, many of which were withdrawn. Nine tracts were actually surveyed in the years 1791 and 1792 for a total of 4175 acres.

6 Jan 1786 Mary Kellar, widow of Abraham Kellar, dec'd, appoints friend & kinsman John Donne of Jefferson Co KY, her lawful attorney to receive of Isaac Kellar, adm. of estate of her late husband Abraham Kellar, all lands that belong to her in right and also lands of the State of Virginia due her or her late husband.
Wit: Benj Reeder, Francis Hughes
Recorded March Court 1786
Bonds & Powers of Attorney, Book, Jefferson Co, KY, p.367

3 May 1788 Mary Kellar, widow of Capt Abram Kellar who died in the Service of his country was lawfully married. No heir alive. Pension approved 4 Dec 1788. VA Revolutionary War State Pensions.

In 1790, Mary Kellar married William Linn, Jefferson Co KY.

Found on copy of KY land records re Robert Jones
Military Entry. Bk 1, p.224, 2 Aug 1791
Mary Keller enters 570 acres of land part of a Military Warrant #3321 lying on the waters of Crokus Alias Marrowbone Creek beginning at the Southwardly corner of William Thomson's Entry No 290
Note in margin: 510 Surveyed, the remaining 60 in other ?names,etc.
Military Entries, Bk. 1, p.243; 11 Dec 1791.
Mary Kellar representative to Abraham Kellar deceased withdraws her 1300 Acres Entry on Cumberland River, and reenters 1300 acres of land on part of a Military Warrant #3321 on the south side of Cumberland River in the first large Bottom below the mough of a large Creek, supposed to be Beaver Creek, beginning in said Bottom opposite the Mouth of Bear Creek, thence running down the river to the lower end of the bottom, thence off at angles binding on the Hills for Quantity.
Probably in today's Cumberland County.

Virginia Grants in Kentucky, 1782-1792 show that Abraham Keller received a grant of 400 acres, 25 Feb 1784, on the Elkhorn in Fayette Co KY. Also 1000 acres, on 18 Aug 1783 on Bowman's Creek. [These may have been surveys.] A survey for Maj Gen Charles Lee, 18 Aug 1783, done by I. [Isaac] Hite, Fayette Co on Bowman's Creek, a branch of Hinkston's fork of the Licking, showed that Lee's tract adjoined that of Abraham Kellar and Daniel Morgan, and crossed Bowman's Creek.

VA Land Grants on line at Library of Virginia shows the following:
20 Jun 1788 Keller, Abraham. Fayette Co [KY] 400 acres on the north side of Elkhorn Creek about three miles from the mouth. Grants 16, p.12
20 Jun 1788 Keller, Abraham. Fayette Co [KY] 500 acres north side of Elkhorn Creek on a small branch thereof and about one mile from the mouth. Grants 17, p.271
20 Jun 1788 Keller, Abraham. Fayette Co [KY] 1000 acres on Bowman's Creek, a south branch of Hinkstons Fork of the Licking to include a cabin built by Burr Harrison. Grants 17, p.269
19 May 1785 Nourse, James. Fayette Co [KY] 1000 acres on Bowman's Creek, a south branch of Hingstons Fork of Licking Creek adjoining the preemption of the heirs of Abraham Keller.
10 Nov 1785 Virginia Land Grant. Warrant #1363, issued 18 Oct 1779 granted to John Kellar, assignee of Abraham Keller. 400 acres surveyed 28 Feb 1784 in Fayette Co [KY] on the South side of Elkhorn Creek about two & a half miles from the mouth. Grants U, p.425.
It was often many years before grants were perfected and actual title received. Obviously these were not until some time after Abraham's death. Hinkstons Creek of the Licking River is much of the Western border of today's Bourbon Co, although some of it is in Montgomery Co. The mouth of the Elkhorn on the Kentucky River is at Frankfort Co in Franklin Co.

The Kentucky Land Grant office also revealed the following about the Virginia grant for 1000 acres on Bowman's Creek. Abraham had a certificate of pre-emption for 1000 acres in Kentucky, possibly when he was still living back East. Dated 1 Apr 1780; he paid 400#'s. He had visited the site in the district of Kentucky in the year 1776; it was on the south brank of Hinkstons fork of Licking Creek also known by the name of Bowman's Creek. Treasury Warrant #590 was issued. John Kellar testified on 12 Nov 1787, that Abraham Kellar, son of Jacob Kellar dec'd, was heir at law to Jacob and Abraham Kellar, deceased. . Survey in Fayette Co was made 18 Aug 1783; it included a cabin built by Burr Harrison. Grant was made to Abraham Kellar, heir at law, on 20 Jun 1788.

Mary Kellar did receive the Military Warrant for 4000 acres as representative of Abraham Kellar, dec'd. The surveys, grants, etc. have been posted online at the Kentucky Land Office site. The Warrant #3321 was dated 12 Jul 1784, but it was 1794 before the actual disposition of the land. Over the next two years, Mary Linn, formerly Mary Kellar ordered surveys and assigned the 4000 acres. William Croghan received grants for a total of 1900 acres. William Roberts for 970 acres. Patrick Simpson for 1130 - his land was surveyed 5 Aug 1794, but he received his grants 25 Jul 1798; apparently had already assigned the land back to the Linns before he received them.

15 May 1797 Patrick Simpson of Knox Co, Territory of the United States NorthWest of the Ohio appoints Gen. Washington Johnston his attorney to assign all Simpson's rights to two tracts of land in Kentucky to Mary Kellar, representative of Abraham Kellar, dec'd and assigned to him by said Mary who is now Mary Linn & her husband William Linn. One plat of 730 acres, east branch of Marrowbone Creek, called Crocus Creek by the superintendant, a branch of the Cumberland River. One other tract of 400 acres on the Cumberland. Surveys in hands of Wm Croghan of Jefferson Co, surveyor.
Wit: Robt Baird, Robert Johnson Ack. by Patrick Simpson
6 Mar 1799 Jefferson Co Memorandum; Recorded Mar 1799
Bonds & Powers of Attorney, Book 1, p.273, Jefferson Co KY

Keller, Abraham: Pension File R15580
M805, Roll 488
The affidavit of Abraham Keller taken in Jefferson County KY on the 12 day of May 1846. Deponent states that he is now in the 65th year of his age and is now living in vicinity of his birth and states that he is one of the sons of Isaac Keller who was killed by Indians on 8th of April 1786 in company with Col. Christian - that Captain Abraham Keller of the Illinois Regt was this Deponent's uncle, the brother of Depts father. That deponents mother long survived her husband and deponent states that he was not old enough to know anything of his uncle Abraham but was in the 5th year of age & recollects the morning his father left home to go against the Indians when he fell. Captain Abraham Keller as this deponent has always understood - was wounded by the Indians and so soon after his partial recovery as he could ride he came to the house of Deponents father or was at the present residence of Deponent where he remained. And in the winter & spring of 1784 [Note: this is very wrong - Kellar died in December of 1781] deponents father collected a lot of furs & peltries & furnished a horse and loaded him with beaver & other skins & Capt Keller set out to Richmond VA with the furs & was killed by the Indians at the Cumberland Cap in the Spring [the exact time not recollected] of 1784 as Deponent is informed about two years before the fall of deponents father. [His father Isaac died 8 Apr 1786 - over four years later.] Captain Abraham Keller left a widow he thinks, Mary - that she Mrs. Keller had a daughter that was born after the death of Capt Keller that the child of Capt Keller & Mary died soon after its birth, that Mary Keller the widow intermarried with Wm Lynn who lived many years at Shippingport and then removed to Missouri as Deponent is informed where said Lynn & his wife had a large family of children. That Capt A. Keller left Jacob Keller his eldest brother whose son Abraham died in Bourbon Co KY a few years ago [Abraham, son of Jacob died in 1826]. Deponent states that he is uncertain from information whether Jacob Keller the elder brother of Capt Abraham Keller died before Capt Keller or not [Jacob was very sick and weak when he made out his will in June of 1781] but Certain it is that Jacob Keller left an only son Abraham who died leaving a family in Bourbon County KY a few years since. Deponent states that he has got the information as to the time of Captain Abraham Kellers death by conversations that he has had with his mother and other persons who knew the fact and he has never had a different impression touching the fact, and he is now of opinion that Capt Keller fell as before stated in the Spring of 1784 at the Cumberland Cap. further Deponent saith not.
Sworn to and subscribed: Abraham Kellar

Pension Office
March 26, 1845
I certify that I have examined the claim of the administration of the late Abraham Keller, who was a Captain of Infantry in the State Troops of Virginia during the Revolutionary War and who left the service when the Regiment to which he belonged was disbanded in December 1781; and I find that the claim is embraced by the Act of July 5, 1832, entitled [under] An act to provide for liquidating and paying certain claims of the State of Virginia and that he was killed by the Indians in April 1786. [This was the date Isaac died, not Abraham] I therefore certify that the administrator William H. Todd, of Arkansas, is entitled to half-pay under said act at the rate of Two Hundred and Forty Dollars per annum from the 31st of Dec 1781 to the 1 of Apr 1786.
Approved: Commissioner of Pensions.

My Note: Obviously mistakes were made and papers are missing from the Pension file. The Jefferson Co KY probate records would seem to indicate that Abraham was deceased by 1 Apr 1782. I have been unable to determine exactly who William H. Todd might have been - I think the lawyer. It's interesting that Abraham Kellar's deposition is dated after the approval of the pension. It's also interesting that the pay was for a period of time that Abraham Kellar was already deceased. The only Shippingport I've been able to identify was in Pennsylvania, Beaver Co which was formed out of Washington & Allegeny Counties in 1800. However, there may have been a Shipping Port, renamed or now extinct, below the Falls of the Ohio where Abraham Kellar is said to have been injured just prior to his death.

Although some of the above pension file appears to be missing even after the entire file appeared on, a letter from the Commissioner to John W. Keller of New York, 6 Feb 1909, states that the application for half pay was made by the soldier's nephew Abraham Keller, in Jefferson Co, KY on 12 May 1846 when he was 64 years old. A letter from Wm. H. Todd to the Commissioner of Pensions, 5 Nov 1845, states he has discovered that Capt Abraham Keller was killed by the Indians prior to the time the evidence showed and the claim was for more money than was actually due his representatives. He will refund the money overpaid when the precise time of his death can be established. Since the above deposition was dated in 1846, it is apparently in response to this letter. However, based on the settlement of Abraham's estate, they still didn't have the date of death correct.

Abraham KELLAR and Mary HUNTER were married about 1780 in Jefferson County, Kentucky.3 Mary HUNTER, daughter of Joseph HUNTER and Mary HOLMES, was born (date unknown).

Online database with no proof furnished states that Mary was the daughter of Joseph Hunter, Jr. Most of the databases about the Hunters don't included Mary at all.

Another researcher sent me the following - John Donne was her brother-in-law, married to Mary's sister Martha.
"Calendar of Bond and Power of Attorney Book of Jefferson County, Kentucky 1783-1798, Page 47 is an entry for Abraham Kellar's wife and it is very revealing.
"Mary Kellar, widow of Abraham Kellar, dec'd, appoints her friend and kinsman John Donne of Jefferson County her lawful attorney and in her name to receive Isaac Kellar,
administrator of the estate of her late husband, Abraham Kellar, all lands , etc. that belong to her in right of widowhood, or otherwise, and also lands of the State of Virginia due to her or her late husband, Jan.6, 1786"

"Calendar of Bond and Power of Attorney Book of Jefferson County, Kentucky 1783-1798, Page 47 is an entry for Abraham Kellar's wife and it is very revealing.
"Mary Kellar, widow of Abraham Kellar, dec'd, appoints her friend and kinsman John Donne of Jefferson County her lawful attorney and in her name to receive Isaac Kellar,
administrator of the estate of her late husband, Abraham Kellar, all lands , etc. that belong to her in right of widowhood, or otherwise, and also lands of the State of Virginia due to her or her late husband, Jan.6, 1786"