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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Sellers (Zellers) Family Had Its Roots In Germany

Dallas Bogan on 7 September 2004
original article by Dallas Bogan [also see links to number of Seller family members]
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

When Warren County was formed on May 1, 1803, many families had already cleared a portion of their lands and set up housekeeping. We shall portray this week one of these families, the Sellers family.

The progenitor of the Sellers (Cellers - Zellers) family in Warren County was Heinrich, born in 1704 near Weinheim, Germany.
At the age of 34, because of the adverse conditions he found in his home in the Palatine area in Germany, he and his wife, Anna Maria, and two of their children traveled to the port of Rotterdam.

They sailed from this point aboard the ship, Queen Elizabeth, on July 12, 1738, the ship arriving at Philadelphia September 16, 1738.

Within just a few years in the new country, Heinrich's name had been changed to Henry.

It is not known just where the family of Henry Sellers settled in their first years. Records show that by 1750, he had traveled the Mohawk Trail and Shenandoah River to the upper Shenandoah Valley, and to the foot of Peaked Mountain in Augusta County, Va. By this time the family had increased to four.

Henry died in 1773 in Augusta County, Va., shortly before the outset of the Revolutionary War. His three sons, Adam, John and Peter provided food and supplies to the cause of the Americans during the war.

Children of Henry and Anna Marie Sellers were Anna Barbara, John, Peter, Adam, Henry, Anna Marie, Catherine and Elizabeth.

Augusta County was divided in 1778, which found the Sellers family farms being located in the newly formed County of Rockingham. By 1800 the family owned approximately 3700 acres of land in the valley of the Shenandoah River and Peaked Mountain along Smith Creek.

Peter, son of Adam and grandson of Henry, was born in 1771 and died August 15, 1807, in Warren County. About 1796, he and his family traveled over the Allegheny mountains by wagon to Brownsville, Pa., and then by flatboat by way of the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers to Round Bottom, later known as Columbia, about five miles upstream from Losantiville (Cincinnati). The trip of about 600 miles took over a month to conquer. Here the family remained about two years.

On January 4, 1799, Peter bought land about one mile north of Lebanon and moved his family there. Jacob Sellers, Peter's cousin, also migrated west, and on January 17th the same year, he purchased a farm a few miles farther north. Jacob and Peter married sisters named Runkel and became brothers-in-law.
Peter married Elizabeth Runkel in Rockingham Co., Va., February 20, 1797. To this marriage were born William, Elizabeth, Adam, and Joseph.

William was born January 5, 1797, in Rockingham, Co., Va. and died July 1, 1844, in Warren County. He was first married to Parthenia Harrison and next to Maria M. Harrison. Parthenia parented a child, Theodore, while Maria had two children, Anna M. and William H.

Elizabeth was born in Warren County in 1799 and married in Rockingham Co., Va., in 1817 to William A. Cameron; issue, Anna and Minnie.

Adam was born July 4, 1802, in Warren County and married Mary Ann Nixon, August, 19, 1829; issue, William and Sarah. Adam secondly married Nancy Bretney and lastly, Mary A. Hormel.

Joseph B. Sellers was born April 9, 1805, in Warren County, and died March 22, 1876, in the county. Peter's father, Adam Sellers, at about 72 years of age in 1817, heard stories from his children of the great lands in the Miami country, and decidedly sold all his possessions in Virginia. He arranged to free his 16 slaves and, with his son William, brought them overland in two four-horse wagons, the trip taking about 30 days.

They stopped nightly until they reached Peter's house in Lebanon, where they spent a week of rest. The caravan then traveled north to Darke County, where Adam bought a small farm for each of his slaves and gave them their freedom.

The law stated that Adam was to give them sanctuary until they became self-sufficient. Some of the slaves became fine citizens and were well known for their good morals.

With the slave issue settled, Adam then purchased 206 acres of land between Ridgeville and Springboro. Here he spent the rest of his life, until 1822.

It seems that Adam's brother, John, father of Jacob, did not come to Ohio, but remained in Virginia.

Jacob was born March 3, 1766, in Augusta Co., Va., and married Christina Runkel. The first three children of this union were born in Rockingham Co., Va., and the last in Montgomery Co., Ohio; their names were John, George, William and Nancy.

John born in 1790, married Elizabeth Gallaher; George, born in 1792, married Anna Sellers (a cousin); William, born in 1795, married Elizabeth Aughe; and Nancy, born in 1798, married John Long.

Christina Runkel Sellers died in 1807 and Jacob next married Christena Munger. These family members, Lucinda, Margaret (Peggy), Polly, Sallie, and Jacob, Jr., were all born on the farm in Warren County.

Lucinda, born in 1809, married a Miller; Margaret (Peggy), born in 1811, married a Long, brother of the one above; Polly, born in 1813, married Abraham Miller; Sallie, born in 1813 (twin of Polly), married Samuel Sheets; and Jacob, Jr., born in 1814, married Julia Ann Egbert.

Jacob Sr. died February 11, 1853, aged 87 years. In his later years he made monthly visits to his children on horseback.
Jacob spoke with a German accent. All early immigrants lived in colonies of their own nationalities and possessed the language of their homeland. This practice continued for many generations until common schools became widespread.

The line of Sellers that has been mentioned in this article is scattered throughout the United States. Warren County can well be proud of this family line as citizens of high standing.

FOOTNOTES: [a place to add additional information that you might want to submit]


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