PETER SELLERS1739 or before/

SEE = PETER SELLERS  1750/60-1831 (from 1830 census = 1740/50)
 don't have much on PETER SELLERS,etc - born ca 1739, son of
HenrichSELLERS/ZELLERS immigrant to US in 1738

patented 90 acres in 1755 next to Heinrich SELLERS land
(he would have been 16 or older?)
1791 purchased land west of Peaked Mountain along SMITH CREEK

Wife= Not Proved
Kids ( baptised Peaked Mountain Church - but, we have no? church records before 1769? ,so?

SO PETER SELLERS1739 would be a brother to ADAM 1742/1821 Warren Co,OH

I haven't tried extracting records from overseas - some have good church records
and think thats what we need to do to Connect Some Families. It takes me SoLong to learn something NEW-
But,  quess it wouldn't 'hurt' anymore than some of the other things I've tried to Learn!
I will post your new web page # on your Robert's Page - Thanks-
Best Wishes, marie, iowa

"Robert C. Sollars" wrote:

> Marie,
>    It is good to see you still hard at it going strong in family pursuit!
>    Capt. Peter Sellars/Sellers of the Shenandoah Valley was of Rockingham
> Co., VA as early as 1757, and likely close kin of Christian Sellars.
What > do you have on old Pete?  The Rockingham Sellars/Sellers people have
always > been of interest to me as they were next door to my Sollers/Sollars
people > in Shenandoah and Frederick Co's VA.

I believe the father of my Ignatius Sollars (c1769VA-1833IN), and
> brother, William Sollars (1760VA-1833OH) was a "William Sollars" of the
> Sheanadoah Valley of VA ... My kingdom for any news of this WILLIAM
> SOLLARS!!!  And there had to be other siblings of Ignatius and Elizabeth.
> Family folklore of the Sollars descendants who remained in Virginia (now
> Mineral and Grand Co's WV) has it that one brother was killed by
> like much folklore, the horrible act is sharply remembered, but the given
> name, date, place, and time have long been forgotten... I keep hoping
> something will turn up in records, but nothing does.  It is possible that
> the siblings of Ignatius and William were girls, and many girls of these
> early times are lost perhaps forever as they married and took new last
> names.
> You asked who of my line was from Parke Co., and Fountain Co., IN --- Any
> SOLLARS, SPAIN, SPRAY, for any year!
> I purchased ""  and a 1st cousin once removed, Anthony L.
> (computer whiz) designed it for me around my material.  I now have the
> Sollars/Sollers lines from here, England and other places in the world on
> it.   Did you check my NEW Web Page:  < >
> My Best Regards,
> Bob Sollars

JULY 2005


Hi Hal & Pat,

Appreciate the forwarding of the ongoing dialogue concerning the Sellers-Armentrout mystery and the continuing questions concerning David Sellers and his lineage.

Pat, I don't know if we have conversed before, so I'll take a moment to brief you on where I'm connected. My 5 Great Grandfather, Adam Sellers, was a younger brother to the Peter Sellers in question as both boys were sons of Heinrich Zeller. Their families grew up with and beside one another in Rockingham County, Virginia. My line from Adam remained in Rockingham Co. until Adam's grandson, John Sellers, bought several 100 acres in neighboring Augusta County. John Sellers was my 3 Great Grandfather, and the land he bought in 1835 is where I was born and raised. So, I'm rather lucky in having quite a bit of firsthand knowledge passed down the line in quite a few areas. Hal and I have been sharing notes and info and exploring the questions surrounding Peter Sellers and Catherine Armentrout along with allied families along the way.

Hal, the last time you and I corresponded with some regularity was up until this past January. Since then I've continued to do some additional hunting for items about Peter Sellers and the family in Rockingham County, VA, and I believe I have found a couple of nuggets of info that are of value. The information I have found may leave questions to be asked as some of it is admittedly circumstantial. However, there are enough specifics to convince me that Peter Sellers, son of Heinrich Zeller, was born in Germany rather than America and that Peter Sellers, son of Heinrich, died in Rockingham County, Virginia, in 1809 and therefore could not and was not in Washington County, TN, at any time.
I'll outline what I have found and, as always, opinions and discussion is always welcome :-)

1) Its my strong belief that placing Peter Sellers as the 3rd child of Heinrich Zeller and Anna Maria Fechter with a birth year of 1738 or 1739 in America is in error. Instead, I believe he was likely born in either 1733 or 1734 in Germany prior to the trip across the Atlantic and was the oldest son and 2nd child overall. To wit:

Dated June 13, 1755, in Augusta County, Virginia, Peter Sellers purchased "90 acres on the north side of the Shanando (Shenandoah) River" for 10 Shillings. (Land Office Patents No. 32, years 1752-1756, Vol. 1 & 2, p.591 on Reel 30). The area in which he purchased the 90 acres was within Augusta County borders until Rockingham County was carved from Augusta in 1778. The location of the land "on the north side of the Shanando" puts it in the area roughly southeast of McGaheysville and north of Port Republic, VA, heading towards Elkton, VA, where the Zeller-Sellers were known to have first settled in Virginia. Peter Sellers was to pay "Free Rent" of 1 Shilling per year while cultivating and improving at least "3 acres per 50 in said tract of land", otherwise the patent became void and Peter would lose the 90 acres.

The land transaction is important not only in clearly establishing Peter Sellers as being in present-day Rockingham County that early but also in establishing his birth year as being prior to 1739. If born in 1739, as reasoned earlier in the works of Frank Sellers and Mary Arrington, Peter would've been only 16 years old in 1755. The key here is that he would not have been of legal age to receive the 90 acres land patent in 1755 if only 16. Peter possibly could've purchased land by 18, but its doubtful that he alone would've made such a purchase or have been able to for the amount of 10 Shillings at such a young age. The Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia certainly wasn't going to grant 90 acres of land to a 16 year old in 1755! Therefore, Peter was probably at least the legal age of 21 when he purchased the 90 acres on June 13, 1755, which makes his birth year likely to have been 1733 or 1734 and therefore in Germany prior to the migration to America.

The ship "Queen Elizabeth" carrying Heinrich and Anna Maria to America landed in Philadelphia on September 16, 1738. Even if we allow for Peter to have been born right after their arrival, he still would not have reached the age of 17 by June 13, 1755. And, I really don't buy the idea that Anna Maria possibly gave birth to Peter during the trip. Heinrich applied for migration in February 1738. Knowing the trip was a long and arduous one lasting for many months and given that Heinrich actually planned for it with his application to migrate, I don't think he would've done so knowing that Anna Maria was with child that early in 1738. But, even if she did have Peter during the trip he still would've been only 17 by 1755 and still unable to purchase land from the Commonwealth of Virginia at that age.

As such, I think this puts additional strains on the likelihood of Peter having lived past 100 years of age given the date of July 7, 1835, when David's father is thought to have possibly died in TN. To me, it puts additional doubts about Peter Sellers, son of Heinrich Zeller, being the "Peter Sellers, father of David Sellars" in Washington County, TN, on the 1830 Census.

2) What drives it home for me that Peter Sellers, son of Heinrich Zeller, was not only not David's father but also that he never went to Washington Co., TN, at all from Rockingham County, VA, is the following:

From the "Abstract of Executor, Administrator, and Guardian Bonds of Rockingham County Virginia 1778 - 1864:"

Executor Bond
16 Aug 1809 - Peter Sellars - decedent
Thomas Brill, John Maggort - executors
Jacob Nicholas, Henry Hammer - bondsmen
Bond 2,000 pounds

There's really no doubt in my mind that the Executor Bond was issued in Rockingham County, VA, due to the death of Peter Sellers, Sr., son of Heinrich Zeller. The Executor Bond means there was a will, however, Rockingham County Clerk's Office has no record of it still being in existence. That doesn't mean its not still around. They just done have a record of it in their paper indexes, and we all know how mishandled those can be sometimes.

With it being an Executor Bond and with that meaning there was a will, it was not uncommon to find subsequent court orders for land surveys for property owned by the decedent at the time of his death that is to pass on to the heirs. If land was being left to heirs per the will, the land surveys were ordered so that the land could be legally and properly transferred.

As such, on June 20, 1810, Peter Sellers, Jr. was granted "by the said Commonwealth of Virginia a certain tract or parcel of land containing fifty acres by survey bearing date the twelfth of September, one thousand eight hundred and nine lying in the County of Rockingham on the west side of the south fork of Shenandoah River". It was bounded on one side by property that Peter, Jr. already owned. According to the "1787 Tax List for Rockingham County, VA", which was recorded April 3, 1787, Peter Sellers, Sr. and Peter Sellers, Jr., were living next door to one another. I believe that the 50 acres surveyed for Peter Sellers, Jr., in September 1809 was land being left to him by his father, Peter Sellers, Sr. I believe the Executor Bond was the catalyst for the need to have it surveyed so that it could properly pass on to Peter, Jr. The key here is that Peter, Sr. and Peter, Jr. were living next to one another. The 50 acres being surveyed were bounded on one side to property Peter, Jr. already owned, which, I believe, makes it 50 acres that was once owned by Peter, Sr. I think we can put two-and-two together and see that the August 16, 1809 Executor Bond lead to the September 1809 survey of 50 acres that eventually went to Peter, Jr. and added on to his property as of June 20, 1810.

A look at the 1810 Census shows Peter Sellers, Jr. living next door to his uncle, Adam Sellers (my 5 Great Grandfather). Throughout their lives Adam Sellers and his brother, Peter Sellers, Sr., owned land that was bounded by the other or adjoined one corner or another. Land records throughout the latter half of the 1700s shows this while the 1787 Tax List shows Adam living on one side of Peter, Sr. while Peter, Jr. is on the other. After the Executor Bond of August 1809 showing the death of a Peter Sellers, we then find on the 1810 Rockingham County Census Peter, Jr. living next door to Adam Sellers and Peter, Sr. is nowhere to be found. There's no doubt in my mind that the 16 August 1809 Executor Bond in Rockingham County, VA, was for the death of Peter Sellers, Sr., son of Heinrich Zeller and brother of Adam Sellers above.

Is it possible that Peter Sellers, Sr. left for Washington County, TN, prior to 1810 and that is why he doesn't appear on the 1810 Census for Rockingham County, VA? Sure it is. However, I believe the August 1809 Executor Bond for "Peter Sellers" and the September 1809 land survey preclude this as being fact.

Up until the finding all of the above, along with smaller, less "break-through" data that I won't bore you with here, I was admittedly on the fence as to whether it was possible that Peter Sellers, Sr., married again late in life and had more children whether it was with Catherine Armentrout or someone else by another name. However, I have to admit that I no longer believe in the possibility of Peter Sellers, Sr. of Rockingham County, VA, having remarried and eventually ending up in Washington County, TN. Whether he was born in 1733, 1734, or 1738 is somewhat debatable. However, the 16 August 1809 Executor Bond showing the death of a "Peter Sellers" in Rockingham County, VA, and the subsequent evidence that supports that it was Peter Sellers, Sr., son of Heinrich Zeller, it pretty hard to ignore.

Deep down I doubt the will of "Peter Sellers" still exists given that many such records are now known as the "Burned Records"; records burned and destroyed by Union forces during the Civil War. However, until I or someone else goes to the Rockingham County Court House and digs around for it I still hold out the possibility of its existence. If by some miracle the will of "Peter Sellers" from 16 August 1809 is ever found only then, I suspect, will a lot of these questions ever be completely answered one way or the other.

Michael Sellers
Mike and Amber Sellers []


Hi Mike, I haven't been working on the Sellars line since I last contacted you in January of this year. I forwarded Pat Stevens correspondance cause I thought it would interest you to know of the tombstone inscriptions by Bennet regarding the revolutionary war status of Peter Sellars.

I follow your reasoning in this last e-mail you sent. This has been a tough nut to crack and the answers will come about eventually if everyone just keeps at it. The last will of Peter, as you say, may exist and could clear up this mess. The grandchildren of John M. Sellars, the grandson of David Sellars, are probably still living in Carter county {they were there as of 1936} and they may well still have a bible record to share with us.

I think you are on the right track...... and for other reasons as well. This confirmation of revolutionary war soldier status for Peter Sellars, in the Bennett tombstone inscriptions, as well as the scribble notes on the photo that state that Peter had three brothers also serving as soldiers in the revolutionary war leave me to think that Heinrich Zeller may not be the best possible candidate for Peter's father. I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the notes on the photo as yet.

Our Bible records clearly point out that David was born in Rockingham county, Virginia on July 17th, 1798 and Heinrich's family has long been associated with that coutny. I think there could very well be a family connection yet to be found with the family of Heinrich Zeller of Rockingham county, Virginia but who knows.......maybe they are not even remotely related. The spelling from Zeller to Sellers in your own family, our family of David's spells it Sellars, Margaret Steven's family spells it Sellers while the Barnes family spells it Sellars only adds to the confusion.

I think your findings should lead future researchers into looking somewhere else besides Heinrich Zeller for the parents of David Sellars. Understandably researchers won't be comfortable with my reliance on that scrap of paper with the first names of Peter and Catherine and their dates of death....given to me by David's great granddaughter, Mable Mae Shirley {Waldrip, Taylor} back in the l970's. Nonetheless that's what the scrap says so I have no reason to doubt that David's father's name was Peter and his mother's name was Catherine. Regarding Catherine's maiden name, I did a follow-up with your comments about the Armentrout family by getting an inter-library loan on the Armentrout family history and once again I think you are right......not a shred of evidence to suggest that John or Christopher had a daughter Catherine Armentrout married to a Peter Sellars. The 1870 David Sellars census record mentions Catherine's possible foreign birth and the l880 David Sellars census record suggests that Catherine was born in New Jersey but either of those scenarios do not fit into the Armentrout genealogy at all. I still don't know how or when the Armentrout theory ever developed.......I do know that I didn't start it though I was guilty of perpetuating it, but no longer.

I wish you luck in finding Heinrich's son, Peter's, last will and I will re-double my efforts to locate the Sellars clan in Tennessee. I hope Pat Stevens will take up my invitation to look in the direction of relatives still residing in Carter county, Tennessee. Someone from the Sellars family living in Carter county, Tennessee has the answers we are looking for.....I feel certain of that.


Hal Rogers


aug 2005

Is anyone tracing the Dutch family of Van Schuyler that became the Sellars family after they arrived in New York.
Sellars descendants said to have been from Emmen, Drenth and Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam, Holland.
Peter Van Schuyler {Americanized to Sellars}was born in New York before 1758 and was married to Catherine Armentrout, native of New Jersey, at about the time of the Revolutionary War. The family settled in Rockingham County, Virginia after the war and removed to Greene County, Tennessee in l811. Peter Sellars son David was married on February 12th, l824 in Washington County, Tennessee to Margaret Barnes Mears. David would marry three times in Tennessee and have a total of fourteen children. Would like to have more information about the Netherlands branch of the family.
Hal Rogers



Well......I'll answer your questions as best that I can.

1) a. Yes they did. Philip P. Schuyler B:1628 Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
M: 12 Dec 1650 Rensselaerswyck, New York, D: 11 Mar 1684 Albany, New York
Margareta Van Slichtenhorst B: 1628 Nykerck, Gelderland, Holland D: 22 Jan 1711 Rensselaerswyck, New York {daughter of : Brant Arentse Van Slichtenhorst}
Philip was a Captain in the Militia. By the time that he left the Militia he was a Colonel.
His Grandson Philip is the one that is known as Maj. Gen. Schuyler (I believe). Gen. Schuyler's
daughter married Alexander Hamilton. and one of his other daugher's is the God-daughter of
George & Martha Washington.
1) b. Yes I do....Philip P. Schuyler is my 9th Great Grandfather. ( I think that's the right number.)

2) This is what the LDS web page has on the Sellers family. Note that Peter doesn't show up in this
search for some reason.
Ancestral File

1. J. H. SELLERS - Ancestral File
Gender: M Birth/Christening: < 1896 <New Amsterdam, Drente, , Netherlands>

Matches: Ancestral File - 1


Census - 1880 US Census

2. Moses SELLER - 1880 United States Census / New York
Self Gender: Male Birth: <1846> HOLLAND

3. Rosa SELLERS - 1880 United States Census / Ohio
Wife Gender: Female Birth: <1854> HOLLAND

Matches: Census/1880 US Census - 2


International Genealogical Index - Continental Europe

4. Walter Stanley Sellars - International Genealogical Index / CE
Gender: Male Birth: 13 JAN 1921 St John'S, , , Netherlands

5. SELLARS - International Genealogical Index / CE
Gender: Male Birth: About 1846 Of Arago,Richardson, , , Netherlands

6. Walter Stanley Sellars - International Genealogical Index / CE
Gender: Male Death: 1980 St John'S, , , Netherlands

Matches: International Genealogical Index/Continental Europe - 3


Pedigree Resource File

7. Anna Margaretha Seller - Pedigree Resource File
Gender: F Marriage: 10 Nov 1789 Utrecht, Nederland

Matches: Pedigree Resource File - 1

International Genealogical Index - North America

11. David Sellers - International Genealogical Index / NA
Gender: Male Birth: 28 OCT 1783 , Northampton, Virginia

Number #11 is the only one that shows a Peter Sellers.

Record submitted by a member of the LDS Church. The record often shows the name of the individual and his or her relationship to a descendant, shown as the heir, family representative, or relative. The original records are not indexed, and you may have to look at the film frame-by-frame to find the information you want. A family group record for this couple may be in the Family Group Record Collection; Archive Section. (See the Family History Library Catalog for the film number.) These records are alphabetical by name of the father or husband.

Source Information:
Film Number: 537233
Page Number: 45
Reference number: 650589

But I'm sure you have already seen this information.

Ancestral File

1. Peter SELLERS - Ancestral File
Gender: M Birth/Christening: < 1812 , Rockingham, Va

#1 Shows that Peter's Parents were John & Catharine (Nee: Miller) - Sellers

Pedigree Resource File
#32 Goes back a little further in time to a Conrad Sellers Sr. B: abt 1764 in Rockingham Co., Va.
Pedigree Resource File

32. PETER SELLERS - Pedigree Resource File
Gender: M Birth/Christening: abt 1812 ,ROCKINGHAM CO,VA?

3) LDS web page has 49 matches for Peter. It really helps if the Spouses name is known.
This I have found to be quite helpful when trying to find the right individual.

4) #32 above shows different information on location of death.

5) #12 is the only positive name match that the LDS web page has.

Pedigree Resource File

12. Heinrich Sellers - Pedigree Resource File
Gender: M Birth/Christening: 17 Aug 1704 Weihison, Germany

As for the Valley Forge information that information you might want to contact:
or about to see if they have the muster lists. But to find the information on the net I feel would take a great deal of research. But it's someplace to start.

There are all kinds of variables that can be boggles the mind in trying to find the
right individual that your looking for. It just takes time and patience to figure out who is the right

Hope this information helps.

Charles S. Lewis []
august 2005


Hi Charlie,

Thank you for the information.......I have sent this information to and she will post this to the Sellers family website known as for the membership that is currently working on the Sellers/Sellars genealogy.

For several decades the Sellers/Sellars family researchers have been trying to determine the ancestral roots of Peter and his son David Sellars born July 17, 1798 Rockingham County, Virginia.

Recently one researcher did locate the Tennessee burial spot for Peter Sellars and in the l930's while the cemetary was still intact the headstones were inscripted by Chaarles M. Bennett. Up until that record was found I was on my own telling everybody that I knew Peter was a Revolutionary war soldier. Fortunately the transcriptions from the cemetary confirmed that Peter was indeed a revolutionary war soldier. No records of the government show Peter serving in the war.

An aunt of mine dug through her papers and found a slip of paper stating that Peter Sellars died July 7, 1835 in Washington County, Tn. and his wife Catherine died November 23, l839 in Carter County, Tn.

I am familiar with your family of Schuylers and for quite some time was trying to find a connection between them and our own Sellars family. For one thing, the general in your family was quite close to the family of George Washington. This general was also involved with the Valley Forge campaign. Our family continously used the name of David George Washington Sellars from the time of that campaign at Valley Forge. When I discovered that one family member had tied our David Sellars to that of the Van Schuylers I thought I'd found something amazing if true. I and several others were never able to make anything out of it. I believe you are correct........this was hopeful thinking on the part of some family members who did little more than guess. The name change appeared rather bluntly in their genealogy charts with no explanation at all of how the Schuylers were connected. Not a shred of evidence. It was when I dug into the Schuylers and their New York connections and then the Valley Forge general of Schuyler that I really started to wonder where these family members came up with the notion. They will not respond to my said the information came from an old dead relative and they couldn't help me. So go figure.

An obituary in Modesto would help....but I'm not expecting to find that. The recorders office doesn't show David Sellars as a landowner in San Jose but I know the parcel number {actually the property description by township and meridian numbers} of the 140 acre ranch.

The probate office shows nothing for David Sellars and I couldn't find a will either. David's family has been fairly well reconstructed and we know the names of some of his siblings so there could be some obituaries out there yet to be found in other states.
I'm thinking that the Sellars family pioneered in the religious organization known as the Watauga Association in Tennessee and it might become necessary to hire a professional to do some work for me there. This organization has its own genealogy association.

Thanks again Charlie,

Hal Rogers