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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the German Eller family come from? What is the German Eller family crest and coat of arms? When did the Eller family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Eller family history?

Eller is a local name from the German region of Westphalia. Local names came to Germany with other types of hereditary surnames after the 12th century. They were derived from the name of the place where the original bearer of the name lived. Sometimes local names bear the prefix "von", meaning "of" or "from". It was an indication of land-ownership, and was sometimes taken as a mark of aristocracy. The family originally lived by an alder tree. Ancient records reveal the name Eller is derived from the Old German word elre or alre, which means alder. There are also numerous places named Eller in the northern German states, such as the Rhine and Moselle areas, which adopted the name of an old stream called the Ellera. Thus, the name Eller is both a topographic surname, a type of local surname that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree, and a habitation name, a type of local name that was originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.


Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Eller include Eller, Ellers, Eler, Aller, Aler, Ellern, Ellere, Elera, Ellera, Ellerer and many more.

First found in Westphalia, where the family emerged in mediaeval times as one of the notable families of the region. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development of the nation.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Eller research. Another 122 words(9 lines of text) covering the years 1354, 1424, and 1680 are included under the topic Early Eller History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 35 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Eller Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


After 1650, thousands of German settlers came to North America to escape the religious persecution and poverty that wracked Europe and to make the most of the opportunity to own their own land in a new country. They settled across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California, and in Canada in Ontario and on the fertile plains of the prairie provinces. Among them:

Eller Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Sam Eller, who landed in Virginia in 1663
  • Enoch Eller, who landed in Maryland in 1668

Eller Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Johan Henrig Eller, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Mary Eller, who settled in Carolina in 1724
  • Mary Eller, who arrived in Carolina in 1724
  • Johan Georg Eller, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1740
  • Johan Georg Eller, who came to Philadelphia in 1740

Eller Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Martin Eller, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Johann Eller, who landed in New York in 1841
  • Johannes Eller, who arrived in New York in 1841
  • Peter Eller, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850
  • Joh Georg Eller, who landed in America in 1857

Eller Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Catherine Eller, aged 16, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Elgin"
  • Catherine Eller arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Elgin" in 1849


  • Kenneth Lowell Eller (b. 1914), American chemical company executive and has been with DuPont since 1937
  • James Edgar Eller (b. 1931), American lumber company executive, general manager of the Cortrim Hardwood Parts Co. in Tennessee since 1961
  • Carl Eller (b. 1942), American retired NFL football player who played from 1964 through 1979, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004
  • Horace Owen Eller (1894-1961), American pitcher in Major League Baseball
  • Karl Eller, Arizona business leader and nationally recognized entrepreneur
  • Walton "Glenn" Eller (b. 1982), American trap shooter and three-time U.S. Olympic athlete
  • Curtis Eller, American banjo player, yodeler and songwriter
  • Vernard Marion Eller (1927-2007), American author, Christian pacifist and minister
  • Ernest McNeill Eller (1903-1992), Rear Admiral in the United States Navy
  • Hans Eller (1912-1943), German gold medalist Olympic rower at the 1932 Summer Olympics



  • Boone, Eller, Sledge, Vaughn and Related Families by Jesse H. Boone.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Gloria virtutis umbra
Motto Translation: Glory is the shadow of virtue.


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  1. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  2. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  3. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
  10. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  11. ...

The Eller Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Eller Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 March 2015 at 17:56.

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