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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.


The surname Eller was 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.

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.


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 and printed products wherever possible.


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


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

  • Ernest McNeill Eller (1903-1992), Rear Admiral in the United States Navy
  • Vernard Marion Eller (1927-2007), American author, Christian pacifist and minister
  • Curtis Eller, American banjo player, yodeler and songwriter
  • Walton "Glenn" Eller (b. 1982), American trap shooter and three-time U.S. Olympic athlete
  • Karl Eller, Arizona business leader and nationally recognized entrepreneur
  • Horace Owen Eller (1894-1961), American pitcher in Major League Baseball
  • 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
  • Connie Eller, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 2012
  • A. H. Eller, American politician, Member of North Carolina State Senate 27th District, 1905-06
  • Daniel Eller (b. 1931), American politician, American Independent Candidate for Mayor of Ypsilanti, Michigan, 1973; American Independent Candidate for University of Michigan Board of Regents, 1974
  • ...

  • 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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    Other References

    1. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
    2. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
    3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    4. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    5. Götze, Alfred. Familiennamen im badischen Oberland. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1918. Print.
    6. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
    7. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
    8. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
    9. 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).
    10. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
    11. ...

    The Eller Family Crest was acquired from the 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 12 January 2016 at 14:26.

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