Rockingham Co., VA

Michael Sellers []


As always, I'm more than happy to help and am thrilled when I can make a contribution and/or dent in the data.

I also have a copy of Frank Sellers' work and, it was he that made the initial mistake of putting John Robert Sellers as the son of John Conrad Sellers and Catherine Brown.  Frank's work was published in 1984, nearly 2 full years prior to Arrington's 1986 book.  Arrington "borrowed" much from Frank and, unfortunately, the incorrect conclusion(s) about John Robert Sellers and his lineage was one of her "borrowed" errors. 

And, as a side note, John "Conrad" Sellers *never* actually had the middle name of "Conrad".  My grandmother referred to him with the middle name of "Conrad" and had him as such in her own genealogical records and work from the 1970s.  Frank Sellers met with my grandmother in about 1981, and she shared her data with him.  Her data, listing John Sellers with the middle name of "Conrad", was then incorporated into Frank's 1984 book in error.  In then borrowing much from Frank's work, Arrington also included the error in her own book two years later.  As a child, I had always heard John's name as "John Conrad Sellers".  As an adult I asked my grandmother about it as I had never found a single piece of info or data with John having either a middle name or a middle initial.  Even his birth and baptism record from June 24, 1797, at the Peaked Mountain Church in McGaheysville, Rockingham County, Virginia, listed him simply as "John Sellers". 
Likewise, his gravestone in Hebron Presbyterian Church near Swoope in Augusta County, Virginia, lists him simply as "John Sellers".  My grandmother stated that he did not have a middle name and had no idea how she ever concluded or came up with him having the middle name of "Conrad".

In any case, I have not seen the actual marriage license and/or record for John Robert Sellers and wife Mary Catherine Hammer (married Aug. 21, 1856, in Rockingham County).  So, I cannot say with any confidence where Frank's initial error originated where he had that John Robert's parents were "John Conrad and Catherine" per the so-called license.  Normally, I would just call up Frank and ask him, however, as you know, Frank passed away January 31, 2008.   
But, I think much of the confusion for anyone with this family stemmed from the fact that John Robert's father, Joseph, died on February 1, 1834, when John Robert was but 8 months old.  Piecing together the family and the lineage did take some doing.  I have not attempted to locate a Guardianship record for John Robert, which would possibly shed even more light.  However, I believe the earlier two death record entries proves John Robert as the son of Joseph Sellers and Catherine Moyer(s) in the absence of a Guardianship record.

As always, please don't hesitate to ask if there are any questions surrounding someone.  I always enjoy helping in any way I can.



----- Original Message ----
From: marie sellers hollinger <>
To: Michael Sellers <>; Joseph Messersmith <>;
Cc: marie sellers hollinger <>
Sent: Fri, May 21, 2010 7:05:58 PM

MICHAEL, thanks for helping and understanding my questions.I will save your comments to our SELLERS pages.

YES, use all info as info to check out and We probably gain and collect new info/documents each year that maybe they didn't have or have access to. and Yes, I'm sure we all will make mistakes, But, we shared the info so others can use and CHECK OUT. AND she SHARED the original documents with us, so we can locate and check out! Much appreciated and saved us much time and money.

Frank Sellers also listed John Conrad Sellers as father.

SOMETIMES, it takes the OTHER document to prove or disprove the family lines. AND even then you need to decide if son, brother, etc. HARD and sometimes unproven. POST the document and try and decide. PERHAPS , your article below will help with this. Thanks.

The marriage license Marie Koontz Arrington mentioned = JOHN CONRAD and CATHERINE parents = do we have copy? I do NOT see it in her or Franks Book. Hopefully, he did his OWN research and was not collected , I believe.

PLEASE understand MY thoughts on this and I appreciate you sharing and helping thru the years. Wish I had more time to use on this family, but, I know YOU will continue and share. marie, iowa

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Sellers []
Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 6:00 PM
To: marie sellers hollinger; Joseph Messersmith;
Cc: marie sellers hollinger

Marie, et al.,

As much as I appreciate Arrington's work, and the fact that she was a 7th cousin to me by way of her maternal Sellers grandmother, I have to use her work and book as a guideline rather than as 100% fact.  She made way too many errors and mixed up far too many lines and generations for me to accept anything as fact without a thorough doublecheck.  I have found over 70 documented errors in her book where she attributed people to the wrong generation, the wrong line, or included people that were actually related and didn't belong to a family. 

That being said, Arrington was in complete error when she wrote that John Robert Sellers was the son of John Conrad and Catherine (I have a copy of the book).  John Conrad Sellers and wife Catherine (Brown) were
*MY* own 3 great grandparents.  I was raised on the very land and farm that John Conrad Sellers purchased on June 10, 1835, in Churchville, Augusta County, Virginia.  Thus, I have firsthand knowledge that John Robert Sellers was NOT the son of John Conrad Sellers and wife Catherine Brown.  Though John Conrad Sellers and wife Catherine did have a son named "John", his middle name was "Wiklif".  John Wiklif Sellers died on May 20, 1861, near Earlysville in Albemarle County, Virginia, and is buried on the former estate of his father-in-law, Willis Wood. 
Unfortunately, Arrington got John Robert Sellers and John Wiklif Sellers completely confused and the error made it to print.

Proof of John Robert Sellers being the son of Joseph Sellers and Catherine Moyer(s) is twofold. First, from the "Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Records, Reel 26, Rockingham County" (1880); Page 9, Item #72:

John R. Sellers, white, male, January 1, 1880; rockingham; Consumption; 46-x-x; Joseph & Catherine Sellers; Rockingham; none; married; Mary C. Sellers; wife (This info stated that John R. Sellers, age 46, died on January 1, 1880, of consumption, as reported by his wife, Mary C. Sellers, and that he was the son of Joseph & Catherine Sellers).

Further proof can be found from 13 years earlier when John Robert Sellers reported the death of his mother, Catherine (Moyer/s) Sellers:

Reel 26, Page 4, Item #24:
Katy Sellers; white; female; September 10, 1867, Shen. River, old age, 72; VA; Jno. R. Sellers, son (The data here shows that Catherine "Katy" Sellers was reported by her son, John R. Sellers, to have died on Sept. 10, 1867, at the age of 72).  Given that John Conrad Sellers' wife, Catherine Brown, died on May 17, 1842, it would make it rather impossible for John Robert Sellers to have been her son and then report her dead again some 25 years later on Sept. 10, 1867, in adjoining Rockingham County.

Marie, I know quite a few that use Arrington's data and accept it as fact without checking.  In many ways, her work was fantastic, but its also still rife with errors.  My one piece of advice would be to doublecheck the facts as stated by Arrington before making any conclusions.  She had so many errors, especially in lines of the Sellers family that she was not specifically a part of.  Many, many times she simply was given "family data" by members of the family, and she incorporated it into her book without doublechecking it herself.  And, we all know how family rumors and traditions have a way of ending up as "tall tales" when we really dig and research the truth.  Unfortunately, many of the rumors and traditions ended up in Arrington's book only to be proven as tall tales with the additional research and resources of present-day.

Michael Sellers

----- Original Message ----
From: marie sellers hollinger <>
To: Joseph Messersmith <>;; Michael Sellers <>
Cc: marie sellers hollinger <>
Sent: Fri, May 21, 2010 2:29:57 PM


Help me here if you can, I don't have much time to work on this right now, but, I use a lot of Marie Koontz Arrington's  articles and I see she states his marriage license (which does NOT show copy of same) list parents as John Conrad and Catherine.

I do a lot of referals and want to correct this if possible. Thanks for your help.
marie, iowa

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Joseph Messersmith
Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 2:42 PM


Subject:  Re: [VAROCKIN] SELLERS, Conrad, Moyer, Pirkey, Miller

Ken and Michael:

I may as well weigh in on this and add a little more information. 

Catherine Moyer, who married Joseph Sellers, was the daughter of Philip
Moyer(s) and Catherine Miller.  Catherine Miller was the daughter of Christian Miller and Catherine Conrad.  I descend from Christian and Catherine Miller through their daughter Mary Miller who married Jacob Argenbright. As Michael knows, I also descend from the Pirkey family.  I guess we're all cousins; in some cases more than one way.

Jim Messersmith
Rockville, VA

-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of Michael Sellers
Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 3:17 PM

Hi Ken,

I know this family and its ancestry very well as they were cousins to me. 
That would make you & I cousins as well.

John Robert Sellers (June 27, 1833 - Jan. 1, 1880) was the son of Joseph SELLERS and Catherine MOYER.  John Robert Sellers died of Consumption
(Tuberculosis) that had apparently plagued him since his days of service in the Civil War. In turn, he was the grandson John Pirkey SELLERS and Eve FIFE/PHIFER. He was the great grandson of John SELLERS (Johannes
Zeller) and Elizabeth PIRKEY and thus the great great grandson of Heinrich ZELLER (Henry Sellers,
Sr.) and Anna Maria FECHTER.

I also descend from Heinrich Zeller and Anna Maria Fechter.  Your John Robert Sellers descended from Heinrich's son, John Sellers, while I descended from Heinrich via his youngest son, Adam Sellers. 

John Robert Sellers' wife, Mary Catherine Hammer (June 15, 1834 - Oct. 17, 1917), was the daughter of William HAMMER and Nancy A. GRAVES. In turn, she was the granddaughter of Henry Harrison HAMMER and Mary DAVIS.

I have quite a bit of info on these Sellers cousins of mine.  Contact me with any questions you might have.

Michael Sellers



----- Original Message ----
From: Ken <>
Sent: Fri, May 21, 2010 8:47:23 AM

Hi, looking for some info on the ancestors of John Robert Sellers. Thanks, Ken
Descendants of John Robert Sellers


1 John Robert Sellers 1833 - 1880

.. +Mary C. Hammer 1834 - 1917

........ 2 Christina Catherine Sellers 1859 - 1940

........ 2 Charles Wesley Sellers 1865 - 1916

............ +Mary Etta Johnson 1870 - 1957

................... 3 Roy Edgar Sellers 1893 - 1977

............................. 4 CHARLES HENRY SELLERS 1919 -

................................. +LOUISE HUFFAMAN KAGEY 1924 -

................... 3 Sally E. Sellers 1898 - 1993

........ 2 William Van Thurston Sellers 1872 - 1935