Benjamin Keller does appear in the census, tax records, and deeds of Knox County, Ohio, so we do need to take a look at him and his origins.
The book The Descendants of Henry Keller of York Co., Pennsylvania and Fairfield Co., Ohio has come across my path before at the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana when I visited there in 2007. It was part of my first trip to Ohio.
The book: The Descendants of Henry Keller of York Co., PA is online at Heritage Quest with the use of your library card from home. You will see that it is linked to Ancestry.com.
I have been sharing my visit to the Owl Creek Cemetery in Ankenytown, which is north of Fredericktown, Ohio on my BJM Cemeteries blog: http://bjmcemeterydiscoveries.blogspot.com/
The Henry Keller (1829-1903) that is buried there in the Owl Creek Cemetery was the son of Benjamin Keller per the book I have sited above and this book “The Church of the Brethren in Northeastern Ohio,” by Edgar G. Diehm, pg. 304. There is a short biography and a picture of this Henry Keller who looks a lot like Benjamin. This is online at Internet Archive. https://archive.org/details/BrethrenInNortheasternOhio
“Henry Keller was born in Knox County, Ohio, on April 14, 1829, the son of Benjamin Keller a minister in the Rivercliff Brethren Church….”
Online family trees are all over the place with this Henry Keller family of Owl Creek and some have this Henry as Benjamin’s son and some don’t, so beware.
According to the book “Henry Keller...”, Benjamin Keller came from York Co., Pennsylvania and settled with his family, parents and siblings in Fairfield County, Ohio.
Benjamin’s father was named Henry Keller, born 13 May 1755 at the family homestead which is about six and half miles south and a little east of York, Pennsylvania. The exact location has been lost because of the move to Ohio. The wife and mother were Catherine Seitz.
Here is a list of Henry and Catherine Keller’s children. I have indicated the oldest child’s birth dates:
- John 1785 – Levi 1806, Lewis 1808, 2 daug then David 1816
- Jacob 1787 his Oldest son Abraham 1811, Diane 1813
- Benjamin 1789 see his children below
- Elizabeth 1791,
- Henry 1793 oldest son Noah born 1825.
- Joseph 1795 oldest son Reuben born 1833
- Daniel 1797 oldest son Simon born 1825
- Catherine 1800,
- Magdalena 1801,
- Mary 1803.
This Henry Keller born in 1755 was in the Revolutionary War. I had studied the Keller listings in the DAR Patriot Index comparing them to the DAR Ancestor Index online in hopes of finding a link to our Kellers a while back.
Below is the link to the DAR Ancestor Search for Henry Keller.
Benjamin Keller was born in 1789 and he married twice, first to Mary and then to Sarah. He had 8 children with each wife.
Benjamin Keller’s children are:
- Jacob 1813,
- Elizabeth 1815,
- Christian 1817,
- Catherine 1819,
- Mary 1823,
- Leah 1825,
- Benj. 1827 – 1832,
- Henry 1829 – The one in Owl Creek Cemetery
- Benjamin’s 1st wife Mary dies and he remarried to Sarah Layman.
- Caroline 1836,
- Solomon 1838,
- John L. 1841,
- George Washington 1844,
- Grace, 1847,
- Isaac, 1847,
- Margaret Jane, 1851,
- Daniel Jefferson, 1857,
This map below shows Knox County, then going south you find Licking, then Fairfield.
Benjamin Keller does not appear in the 1850 census for Knox nor Fairfield but he does appears in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census in Pleasant Twp., Fairfield Co., Ohio. So he went back to Fairfield County, Ohio.
Line 29, 1648, 1620, Benjamin Keller, 71, M, $1440, $400, born Pennsylvania, Keller, Sarah, 47, F. born Virginia. Line 1: John Keller, 18 male, farm hand born Ohio, Isaac Keller, 13, M, born Ohio, Margaret Keller 8, F, born Ohio, Daniel D. Keller age 5, M, born Ohio.
Source: 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Pleasant, Fairfield Co., Ohio, page 238, PO Lancaster, 7 Sept. 1860, Samuel Ewing.
He is also in the 1870 census:
Line 12, 149, 152, Keller, Benjamin, 81, M, W, Infirm, $2500, $600, Pennsylvania, Keller, Sarah, 55 G, W, keeps home, born Virginia, Keller, Isaac 22, M, W, farmer, born Ohio, Keller, Margaret, 18, F, W, Helps mother, born Ohio, Keller, Daniel, 14, M, W, helps on farm, born Ohio.
Source: 1870 U.S. Census, Pleasant Twp., Fairfield Co., Ohio, page 22, PO Lancaster, 11 August 1870 by Lewis C. Black.
Benjamin Keller appears in the Fairfield and Knox Co. tax records in, 1825, 1830, 1835, 1836:
1825: Keller, Benjamin, Fairfield, C, 69 from Tax List Duplicate.
1830: Keller, Benjamin Clinton Twp. Personal property, 3, 120, 3, 24, 136 and 13, 6, 1 ___14, 207, 1449
1835: Keller, Benjamin No. 15 Clinton Twp. 13, 6, 2 N_ pt 14, 201, 1449
1836: Keller, Benjamin No. 15 Clinton Twp., 13, 6, 1, N 14, 207, 1449
There are six deeds in Knox County, Ohio that have Benjamin Keller buying and selling land.
1825: Recorded Aug 27, 1826 – Jacob Winters Grantor to Benjamin Keller Grantee, they are both living in Fairfield County, $400 dollars for that tract or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Knox State of Ohio being a part of the second quarter of the sixth Township in the thirteenth Range of the United States Military tract… it does on to describe it in great detail. Witnessed by Daniel Kellar and Benjamin Winter. Signed by Jacob Winter.
1835: Recorded March 11, 1838 – Benjamin Keller and Wife Grantor and a Mortgage Deed to the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Co. Benjamin Keller and Sarah his wife in the County of Knox….that tract or parcel of land situate lying and being in the County of Knox, State aforesaid and being part of the second quarter of the sixth township in the thirteenth range of the United States Military Tract and bounded as follows…..Witnessed by J. Beach and Thos. Irvine. Signed by Benjamin Keller and Sarah Keller on the 11 day of March 1835.
1837: Recorded August 8, 1837 – Benjamin Keller & Wife, Grantor to George Shaw Grantee, both of Knox County, State of Ohio….all that tract or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Knox, State of Ohio and more particularly described….
1838: Recorded June 11, 1839: Benjamin Keller & wife, Grantor and Henry Shelhorn, Grantee, 9th of June 1838, Benjamin Keller and Sarah his wife County of Fairfield, State of Ohio and Henry She;horn of the County Knox, State of Ohio, $100 that lot or parcel of land lying and being in the Township of Clinton in the County of Knox…the second quarter of the sixth Township and thirteenth Range United States Military tract and being that of the same farm the Joseph Eaton now resides…..
1843: Recorded December 1st, 1843: Benj. Keller & wife (Sarah) Deed to John Welch. Benj. Keller and Sarah of the County of Knox and John Welch of the County of Knox, State of Ohio….sum of $5000 situate and lying and being in the County of Knox in the State of Ohio and being the second quarter sixth township and thirteenth range of the United Military tract….
1843: Recorded December 12, 1843 Jacob Garber & wife to Benjamin Keller. Jacob and Sarah Garber of the County of Richland and State of Ohio to Benjamin Keller of the County of Knox, receipt of two thousand dollars….To wit: being the south half of the west half of the Northwest quarter of Section four and the south half of the East half of the Northeast quarter of Section five of the eight Township and Twelfth Range of the unappropriated Military lands offered for sale at Chillicothe…..
Summary of this post: We know that the Benjamin Keller of Fairfield County, Ohio was the son of Henry Keller of York County, Pennsylvania via the books I have mentioned in this post. We know he first settled in Fairfield and then moved up to Knox County, Ohio for a time, then returned to Fairfield. He is buried in Fairfield County, see Find A Grave.
I have identified the Henry Keller buried in Owl Creek Cemetery in Knox County and married to Elizabeth Grubb as Benjamin’s son. I refer you to the two books I have mentioned above. Of course more research is needed to verify this link.
Looking at Benjamin’s children I do not see any connection to our John Keller nor the Henry Keller who appears in the 1830 Knox County Census. In looking at Benjamin’s siblings we also don’t see a connection either.
Unfortunately the origins of Henry Keller of York are vague according to the book about the descendants: The Descendants of Henry Keller of York Co., PA. This book was published in 1924 so this means that 91 years have passed and maybe there is more information on this family and its origins too seek out? Of course, I need to read the book about Benjamin’s father thoroughly and that is on my to do list.
In the next post I will share the will of Mary Keller whose maiden name may have been Keller. She was the first wife of Benjamin Keller. The will is very interesting.