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First Generation


1. ABRAHAM KELLAR1,2 was born about 1722.3 He died on 20 April 1787 at the age of 65 in Shenandoah County, Virginia.3

Correspondent Beth Hugenot believed that Abraham Kellar who fought with George Rogers Clark was the father of Jacob and John. Dates and other records indicate that Abraham was much more likely the brother of Jacob and John. Jacob's will written in 1781 names his brother Abraham one of the Executors, but by 1787 when Jacob's will was proved, one of the other Executors had to take over the chore [Abraham was by then deceased himself.]

There is a reasonable but remote possibility that George Kellar was either the father of or a brother of Abraham. It is even possible there was both an older George and one approximately the same age as Abraham:
23 Jul 1737 "Petition. Subscribers beg leave to acquaint your Honors of the great hardship we are like to labour under by reason of Thos. Chester's pressing forward upon us to make a waggon road through the Blue Ridge in a gap called Chester's Gap where we think it is impossible for us or any body to make a good waggon road, which is a great disincouragment to us all by reason we came a great way here and undergone great hardships and have wasted great part of our estates in coming and can scarce get bread for our children for want of land clear'd. *We have found a good gap in the said ridge a litle below Chester's that we think is as suitable from his ferry place to market as the other which gap we are all willing to make a good waggon road by reason that nature has done abundantly more formin that gap than the other. The petitioners for Chester's Ferry was unacquainted with the laws of this colony. They knew nothing of a waggon road that was to be made in that gap at the time they subscribed, only the ferry, they not mistrustine his having an advantage by their endeavouring to do him a kindness that he would make use of any stratagem striving to ruin his neighbours thereby. [Signatories include Just Heid, Robeurt Warth, Jorg Kaller." S. Orange County, Virginia Deed Books, 1735-43, Judgments 1735-36, John Frederick Dorman, 1961.

6 Jan 1748 Inv of Estate of George Kealer, Frederick Co. [?Kellar?] Appraisers were George Bowman, Isaac Hite, Robert Warth. Lewis Stephen, Adminstrator. "Frederick Findings" Vol. 9, #1, Spring 1996, p.13. The total estate was £36.13.3.

The book A History of Shenandoah, Virginia by John W. Wayland, 1927, discusses three Keller families. That of Abraham - and he did point out that the Abraham Keller who served in George Rogers Clark's Regiment was not the same as the man who was a justice and sheriff in Shenandoah Co but he did not know of any relationship. He also discusses two George Kellers.
A George Keller came from Lancaster Co PA to the north Shenandoah, circa 1762; located in Powell's Fort and died 1788. He is said to have left a son Jacob, daughter Elizabeth who married Joseph Snapp; daughter Mary who married Adam Shireman Jr., and daughters Magdalene and Barbara.
Another George Keller settled on Tom's Brook, circa 1750 and married Barbara Anna Hottell. They had a son George of August Co, daughter Anna who married Henry Fravel, son John, daughter Elizabeth, daughter Margaret who married Mathias Wilkin, daughter Mary, sons Jacob and Henry, daughter Barbara. George of Tom's Brook is said to have had a brother Joseph Keller of PA - a genealogy of whose descendants was published by Rev. Eli Keller.

Although there are some similarities in names of children of these families, Abraham Kellar's family does not have a George, nor a Barbara. And no indication of kinship.

8 Feb 1758 Abraham Keller, Lt. appears in VIRGINIA'S COLONIAL SOLDIERS, by Lloyd D. Bockstruck, p.16 [Service in the French & Indian Wars from Frederick County]

6 Aug 1760 Abraham Keller added to the list of tithables. Frederick Co VA Order Book 9, p.113.

Found in database online: In the suit of Hite vs. Fairfax, 1760, Abraham Kellar bargained to purchase from Paul Froman, a portion of a 500 acre tract which Froman had received from the Hite-McKay Co and for which Hite had not yet received a deed from the Council of VA. Kellar lived on the South River, opposite a village called Bentonville.
Note: it is true that Abraham Kellar had 150 acres from Paul Froman. The other two men, William Overall who had 150 acres, and Henry Spears, 200 acres, were both sons-in-law of Paul Froman. It seems possible Abraham's unknown first wife was also a daughter of Froman.

From a transcript of the Hite-Froman lawsuit:
"Abraham Keller laid claim to one hundred and fifty Acres lying in the said tract being a part of five hundred Acres said to have been sold by Jost Hite to Paul Froman and produced a Receipt from the said Hite to Froman for fifteen pounds & a Bond from Froman to himself to which we Refer. It was admitted by the Complainants that five hundred Acres of land lying within the said Survey had been sold to Jost Hite to Paul Froman. Daniel Stover laid claim to two hundred Acres lying in the said tract being also part ...and produced a Bond from the said Jost Hite in support of his Claim to which we refer. William Overall laid Claim to one hundred and fifty acres being the residue of the said five hundred acres ....Bond from Paul Froman to which we refer."

1760's, "It is described in the vestry book as the Chapel at Ephraim Leith's Spring, and also as the South River Chapel.....But vestry minutes leave no doubt that the South River Chapel at which William Dobson held services was none other than the Chapel at Ephraim Leith's Spring..... The parish levy of 1766 appropriated 30 pounds "for building a Chapel on the So. River." But it was not until its meeting on November 13, 1767, that the vestry ordered Isaac Hite, one of its members and a son of Joist Hite, "to let the building of a Chapel at Ephraim Leith's Spring, the walls of square logs Dove Tailed, Twenty-two by thirty feet, and to be covered with Lapped shingles." The Vestry stipulated that the building was to be completed before the first of November, 1768. On January 25 of that year a contract was signed with Abraham Keller. It contained the above stipulations and described the location of the new chapel as Ephraim Leith's Spring, "near the South River of the Shenandoa" in Frederick County. The contractor gave a security bond and this bond is recorded in the vestry book. The contract with Keller called for payment to him of 49 pounds "in current money of Virginia" for building the chapel. The parish levy of 1770 provided 20 pounds 10 shillings as the amount due Keller for the execution of his contract. This sum, added to the 30 pounds levied in 1776, made the total cost of the Chapel at Ephraim Leith's Spring 50 pounds, 10 shillings.....On November 26, 1770, the vestry ordered that a committee named by it "Do View and Receive the Chapel at Ephraim Leith's Spring if the same is Finished according to Contract". No later entry concerning this place of worship can be found in the vestry book. The vestry's committee evidently accepted it, and the next year it became a part of Beckford Parish." Source Unknown, ?? Chapter on Frederick Parish, 1744-1780 pages 31 and 32.

The above order confirms the fact that Abraham Kellar was a carpenter and builder. The list of his personal effects after he died included carpenter tools. The skill was passed on to his sons - Jacob mentioned his own carpenter tools in his will and Abraham the younger was apparently responsible for some of the building at the Falls of Ohio during the Revolution.

Oct 1761 List of Frederick county militia recorded in DB 18, 2 Sep 1756. Abraham Keller, Lt.

1768, January 25, "Know all men by these presents that we Abraham Keller and Peter Rufner of Frederick County in the Colony of Virginia are held and firmly bound unto Charles Smith and Thomas Wadlington Church wardens of the Parish of Frederick.....in the sum of ninety-eight pounds current money of Virginia.....we bound ourselves.....Whereas the above bounden Abraham Keller hath undertaken to build a chappel at Ephraims Leith's Spring.....thirty feet long in the clear and twenty-two feet wide in the clear and eleven feet high from the sill to the wall plate.....Now the condition of the above obligation is that if the said Abraham Keller shall complete the above in a workmanlike manner next ensuing the date here of then the above obligation to be void and of no effect or else to remain in full force and virtue." Copy of Original from Vestry Book of Frederick Co, #19745.

It is said that Abraham Kellar's first wife died following the birth of William in 1768. He then later married Elizabeth Painter, widow of Peter Painter.

6 Mar 1771 Abraham Kellar and nine others took oath as vestrymen of Beckford Parish, formed from Frederick Parish. Beckford Parish was formed in 1769.

17 Apr 1772 Abraham Kellar was one of the original justices of Dunmore County.

1774 Battle of Point Pleasant. Capt. Joseph Bowman's roll lists Abram Kellor, Sgt. [probably not this man but perhaps his son Abraham]

22 Jul 1777 Abraham Keller, Gent. was appointed by the county court to take the list of tithables in Capt. Netherton's district.

Dunmore County name was changed on 1 Feb 1778 to Shenandoah County. Woodstock was the county seat.

14 Dec 1778. From Lord Fairfax, Proprietor of the Northern Neck of Virginia....confirm to Col. Abraham Keller of Shannandoah Co land near the South River Surveyed by John Hough. 149 acres. Northern Neck Grants R, p.59. [I believe this is most likely the 150 acres Abraham received from Paul Froman - title not settled until the end of the Hite-Froman lawsuit. See survey adjacent to William Overall below.]
4 May 1779. John Overall received a grant for 90 acres, South River adjoining Abraham Kellar. NN Grant R, p.197.

Surveys for the above grants:
Joyner, Peggy Shomo
Abstracts of Virginia's Northern Neck Warrants & Surveys
Self Published. Portsmouth, VA 1985-1987
Vol. 3 of 4 Volumes
Counties: Dunmore, Shenandoah, Culpeper, Prince William, Fauquier, Stafford
Shenandoah Co
p.32
Abraham Keller, Senr. 23 Apr 1778 - 27 Apr 1778. 149 a adj the line called the Grant Line, his own line & William Overall
Cc: John Wydick, Joseph Keller Surv. Amos Hough
p.34
John Overall 29 Apr 1778 - 4 May 1778 90a near Fort Mt. & South R. Shan'do; adj the Grant Line & Abraham Keller
Cc: Charles Ragan, Nathaniel Overall, Surv. Amos Hough


From Shenandoah County VA. Sheriff at Woodstock. Sheriff's Bond date 25 May 1780.

27 Oct 1781 Abraham Keller furnished one beef weight, 250 £, for the use of the Continental Army. Recorded Shenandoah Co VA Court Book p. 4

31 May 1782. Abraham Keller took the oath of Justice of the Peace and Justice in the Court of Chancery.

May 1782. Abraham Keller was appointed a trustee of the town of Woodstock. This appears in Vol. XI of The Statues at Large: Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia from the First Session of the Legislature, by William Waller Herring, 1823, p.57.
An act to appoint trustees for the towns of Woodstock: Cobham, Manchester and Blandford.
I. Whereas the trustees of the town of Woodstock in the county of Shanandoah, [formerly Frederick] either by death or removal are become extinct;.....
II. Be it enacted, That Abraham Bird, Jacob Holdman, Abraham Kellar, John Tipton, Phillip Hoffman, Jacob Rinkar, George Kellar, Thomas Allen, Henry Fravell, Alexander Hite, John Snapp, and Benjamin Strickler, genetlemen, be, and are hereby appointed trustees to the town of Woodstock...

1784/85 Abraham Kellar represented Shenandoah Co in the Virginia House of Delegates.

1787, Apr 16. Last Will & Testament. Abram Keller of Shenandoah County being very sick, but of sound mind and memory....to my beloved wife Elizabeth one third part of my real & personal estate after all debts. My beloved son Joseph Kellar to be sole executor. Son William the plantation whereon I now live after a valuation being made. He is to have an equal part of the moveable estate with John, Jose [Joseph], Rachel and Elizabeth. After my wife Elizabeth's full third the remainder to be equally divided between my beloved children: John Keller, Jose Keller, William Kellar, Rachel Keller, and Elizabeth Keller. Signed: Abram Kellar
20 Apr 1787. Signed in presence of Peter Miller, George McKay, Charles Catlett.
26 Apr 1787. Probate. Joseph Keller, executor shall make a true & perfect inventory, etc. Joseph Keller, Edwin Young, Henry Fink & Jerimiah McKay bound unto Abm Bird, Abrm Hite, George Keller & John Anderson, gentl Justices of the County for the sum of 2000£. Shenandoah Co VA WB B, p.323-324
Interestingly, Abraham Kellar's will makes no mention of any children of his deceased sons Jacob, Abraham, and Isaac. All three were deceased before their father. Jacob's widow had remarried before the writing of the will. Abraham apparently had no heirs. Isaac's widow had three children to raise and she had not yet remarried. They had all gone "West".
William sold his inheritance in 1788 and joined his brothers in Kentucky.

1 Jun 1787. Estate of Abram Keller dec'd sold at publick vendue by Joseph Keller, Exr. Approved for record 29 Feb 1788.

27 Jun 1787 Account of the estate of Abraham Keller, dec'd. Included receipt to Elizabeth Keller as adms. of Peter Painters estate.
Includes legacies to heirs:
Elizabeth Keller, widow & relict, her thirds 105.15.3 1/4
Benjamin Mathias, his wifes legacy 42.6.1 [Rachel]
Jacob Spears, a wifes legacy 42.6.1 [Elizabeth]
William Keller his legacy 42.6.1
Joseph Keller his legacy agreeable to the will 42.6.1
John Keller his legacy in the hands of Joseph Keller 42.6.1

ABRAHAM KELLAR and Unknown [KELLAR] were married. Unknown [KELLAR] died about 1768 in Frederick County, Virginia.

The Hite Fairfax suit reveals that Paul Froman had divided a 500 acre tract on the South River of the Shenandoah: 200 acres to Henry Spears, 150 acres to William Overall, and 150 acres to Abraham Kellar. Spears and Overall were both married to daughters of Paul Froman. Therefore, there is a possibility that the unknown first wife of Abraham Kellar was also a Froman daughter.

ABRAHAM KELLAR and Unknown [KELLAR] had the following children:

+2

i.

JACOB KELLAR.

+3

ii.

Abraham KELLAR.

+4

iii.

Isaac KELLAR.

+5

iv.

John KELLAR.

+6

v.

Rachel KELLAR.

+7

vi.

Elizabeth KELLAR.

+8

vii.

Joseph KELLAR.

+9

viii.

Rev. William KELLAR.

ABRAHAM KELLAR and Elizabeth PAINTER were married. Elizabeth PAINTER was born (date unknown).

Elizabeth was the widow of Peter Painter.