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KELLER and HOYLE Families of Western North Carolina

And the allied families of Boganski, Helfrich, Smith, Crawley, Parsons, Stamey, Crowder, Boyles, Whisnant, Carpenter, Rudisill, Willis, Watkins, Farrar

and others, some of whom are descendants of Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor.

Darrell's new book is finally available at! Click the book cover to go to Amazon and take a look!

The Keller Family: Six Generations of the Descendants of Anthony Keller

Surname Index Genealogy Links


As one can imagine, this project was an enormous undertaking. Tracing both the Keller and Hoyle families from Germany, through each subsequent generation, required great patience and fortitude to keep trudging through the, literally, millions of records. After a few misleads and errors in charting the branches of our family tree (as any amateur genealogist is susceptible of doing), the project finally began to grow on its own. There were many proverbial “brick walls” that required months (and in a couple cases, years) to finally overcome, but the end product is something in which I am incredibly proud to present.

This information is gathered using many resources, such as Plantagenet Ancestry by Douglas Richardson, Pedigrees of Some of the Emperor Charlemagne's Descendants, Volumes 1, 2 and 3, Elizabeth Hoyle Rucker's The Genealogy of Peter Heyl, The Heritage of Caldwell County, North Carolina, Volume 1, 1983 by E. Carl Anderson, Jr.,'s One World Tree and other online databases, the family trees available at, Ancestral Family Files at (a component of the Latter Day Saints and the Family History Library), as well as family oral history and contributed family GEDCOM files.

There are too many people to possible thank, but I will try to name a few. First of all, I would like to thank my wife, Lynn, for her willing patience and endurance as I spent nearly every available moment putting this together. I would also like to thank Judy K. and Sharon Keller for their inputs and training tips as I began my “baby steps” into the world of genealogy.

Elizabeth P. Keller has been one of the most important family historians of our line of Kellers. Her efforts preserved a great deal of the records that would have otherwise been lost to the sands of time. Because of the Civil War, more precisely because of General William Tecumseh Sherman’s March of Destruction through the South, many of the records kept in the County Courthouses were burned and forever lost to posterity. Her contribution to the Heritage of Caldwell County mapped the path from W. Granville Keller to Martin Keller, a path I would have had enormous difficulty in otherwise finding.

Norma Green provided very much needed help in finding the lost branches of the tree. Where I thought a few branches were broken, she pointed out that they were just hidden and, alas, she pointed me in the right direction and there they were. I still hope to see the flute/fife she possesses that George N. Keller carried to battle in the Petersburg Campaign of 1864.

R. Michael Murphy did the groundwork in uncovering many of the early North Carolina land grants and court records. He also put a great deal of effort in piecing together the early Keller pioneers into Wilkes, Burke and Lincoln Counties. His contributions cannot be adequately thanked enough!

Lastly, Christopher Boyle's provided much needed information about the Hoyle family and its connection to the Boyle's family. Thank You!

Perhaps one of the most well-done medieval genealogy sites is maintained by Robert Stewart of Evans, Georgia. His site may be found by clicking here.

Invariably, there will be errors and omissions in a project of this size. I apologize in advance for any of them. Please contact me with any additions or corrections.

The Keller/Hoyle/Willis/Watkins/Farrar link to Charlemagne has, at long last, been verified and validated by the fine folks at ProGenealogists, located at If you are interested in the documentation, please let me know. Enjoy!

ProGenealogist Page 1ProGenealogist Page 2



Origins of the Surname

According to the Dictionary of American Family Names (located online at,the German source of the Keller surname originates from Middle High German kellaerecellarman’, ‘cellar master’ (Latin cellarius, denoting the keeper of the cella ‘store chamber’, ‘pantry’). Hence an occupational name for the overseer of the stores, accounts, or household in general in, for example, a monastery or castle. Kellers were important as trusted stewards in a great household, and in some cases were promoted to ministerial rank. The surname is widespread throughout central Europe.

From the Historical Website

Spelling variations of this family name include: Keller, Keler, Kelle, Kellaere, Kellere, Kellner, Kaeller, Kaellner, Kelner, Celler, Cellner, Celer, Celner, Kellern, Cellern and many more. First found in Swabia, where the family contributed greatly to the development of an emerging nation and would later play a large role in the political conflicts of the area. Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Jacob Kelner, who came to Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1683. Johannes and Eva Maria Keler arrived together in Philadelphia in 1737. Bernard Keller settled in Carolina or Pennsylvania in 1743.

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