Genealogy: Keller-Riesinger-Metzendorf

The Keller (Riesinger) Family Genealogy

The Keller (Riesinger) Family Genealogy is one of the family lines of James P. Keller and provides information about the family and ancestors of Justus Wilhelm Keller who came from Darmstadt, Germany to Indianapolis, IN in the 1880's. He was the father of Col. William H. Keller and grandfather of James P. Keller.

Wilhelm - William, after he arrived in America - initially went to Brooklyn, NY to stay with the family of his Metzendorf uncle who had arrived some 20 years earlier. He settled in Indianapolis and married Ida Davis, daughter of Henry Davis and Harrriet Adelaide McWhorter. He returned one time to Germany in 1909 with his wife and son, William, to visit relatives(see photo). William Keller worked for the Indianapolis Brewing Company and later as a bookkeeper and accountant for the Fletcher Trust Company. Some of the Kellers and Davises are still in Indianapolis.

Those of you who seek to trace the Keller name through this branch: WARNING! I have determined through Adam Keller's 1827 German marriage record that his name was not Keller. He states that he had recently discovered that his true name was Riesinger, but wanted to continue using Keller since he was then 27 years old! Therefore, there are very few "Kellers" today who are related to this family. Those of you who are searching "Riesinger", however, may wish to read on.


Justus Wilhelm KELLER----------------------------------------- b. 28 May 1867    d. 1946
Friedrich Wilhelm KELLER----------------------- b.    ca 1830 d.29 Oct 1886
    Johann Adam (RIESINGER) KELLER------------- b.20 Nov 1801 d. after 1867--See Explanation  
        Anna Elisabetha RIESINGER-------------- b.19 Aug 1779 d.18 Feb 1831
            Philipp Henrich RIESINGER---------- b.    ca 1750 d.    ca 1810 
    Elisabetha SOLDAN-------------------------- b.18 Jun 1798 d. after 1855

Maria METZENDORF------------------------------- b. 5 Mar 1834 d. 5 May 1901--go to 
    Johann Heinrich METZENDORF----------------- b.21 Jul 1807 d.25 Mar 1874
        Johannes METZENDORF-------------------- b. 6 Jun 1767 d. 9 Nov 1827
            Juerge Heinrich METZENDORF--------- b.28 Apr 1740 d.    ca 1800
                Heinrich METZENDORF------------ b.29 Aug 1711 d. 4 Aug 1772
                    Wilhelm Nicklas METZENDORF- b.    ca 1685 d.    ca 1750
                Anna Katerina SAUER------------ b.    ca 1730 d. 9 Sep 1774
            Anna Katerina DEH------------------ b.    ca 1740 d.    ca 1800
        Beate WEBER---------------------------- b. 5 Feb 1775 d.17 Jun 1814
    Sophie SCHADE------------------------------ b.22 Dec 1809 d.18 Apr 1881


The Riesinger-Keller Name Transition

 Keller is a reasonably common name in Germany and Switzerland. Therefore, I expected some difficulty in tracing my ancestors. However, the "The Metzendorf Family History" book that I came across gave me enough information on dates and locations to find, in the German church microfilms at the LDS Library, the marriage certificate of my great-grandfather and great-grandmother, Friedrich Wilhelm Keller and Maria Metzendorf. From that I was able to identify his father, Johann Adam Keller, and then locate his marriage certificate. The marriage certificate included the usual information, but also included an appended statement. Following is a translation from the German: ...............................TO BE ADDED..........................

The Metzendorf Family

I had known for many years that my grandfather's mother was a Metzendorf, and that my father had been close until the late 1930's with a cousin named Frank Metzendorf who lived in Chicago. Beyond that, I had done nothing to pursue on that side of the family. However, in about 1992, I came across a book in the LDS Library in Salt Lake City: "Familienbuch des Geshichtes Metzendorf" - "The Metzendorf Family History ". The book was a thorough genealogy of the Metzendorf family in and about Heppenheim, Hessen, Germany. To my surprise, the book included the same photograph that sits on a table in my sister's living room. We knew that the photograph was of "grandfather and grandmother Metzendorf", but had never known their names. The photograph was of Johann Heinrich Metzendorf (1807-1874) and his wife, Sophie Schade Metzendorf (1809-1881). The book was written by Wilhelm Metzendorf, the former Mayor of Heppenheim. He has since died, but I met his son, Wilhelm, on a trip through Heppenheim in 1994. 

Maria Metzendorf was the daughter of Heinrich and Sophie Metzendorf and married Wilhelm Keller. Her brother, Anton, emigrated to Brooklyn, New York in the 1860s. He was a lithographer and represented a long line of stone masons in the Metzendorf family. His was the family with whom my grandfather, Justus Wilhelm Keller initially stayed when he arrived alone in America at the age of 18. Anton's grandson was the Frank Metzendorf that was a friend of my father. Frank Metzendorf, who in 1994 was still living in Glen View, IL with his daughter, died in 1996.

For more of the genealogy of the Metzendorf family please go to the Metzendorf Family Home Page.


The following are references of interest for the Keller, Riesinger, Metzendorf and related families:

"Familienbuch des Geshichtes Metzendorf" - "The Metzendorf Family History " compiled by Wilhelm Metzendorf, Heppenheim, Germany, 1980

This book is an extensive genealogy of the Metzendorf family compiled by Wilhelm Metzendorf, a former Mayor of Heppenheim, Germany. His son, Wilhelm, and other members of the Metzendorf family still reside in the Heppenheim area.. The book is available in the LDS library in Salt Lake City

Selected Census Records  Certain census records pertaining to families in the Keller Family History can be viewed and downloaded:

Transcribed Census Records   includes the information directly from the census entries and are sorted by state and year.

Census Names   includes a list, sorted by name of the persons listed in the census records.  Names have been correlated to allow a particular person to be tracked through succeeding records.

Our own Links

Jim and Trish Keller's Homepage
Jim and Trish Keller's Genealogy Page

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  Changes last made on:
28 November 2001