Our Boller Story: From the Heartland of Europe to the Heartland of America.

Our Boller Story logo features the flags of the states and countries most closely associated with our Boller heritage. We start (moving clockwise) at 1 o’clock with the German flag, followed by the German states of Hesse, and Schleswig-Holstein. In 1816, the Boller family immigrated first to Pennsylvania, then to Ohio, followed by Indiana, and finally Iowa.
Our Boller Story is dedicated to Boller Generation Eight: our Boller grandchildren. Your births were very special events for our family. Anna Grace Boller (2001), Ellie Elizabeth Boller (2003), Jack Martin McAtee (2010), Lydia Addison Moe (2010), Gavin Wesley Moe (2012), Abigail Marie McAtee (2013), and George Alden McAtee (2015).

Congratulations, my dear Boller grandchildren! You’ve become the first seven children to be born into the eighth generation of Bollers here in America! In these writings, I want to give you an overview of the family you have been born into. Hopefully, someday in your future, you will be able to add your own stories to this one and pass Our Boller Story into the hands of your children and grandchildren, just as we are doing right now for you.

Genealogy. That’s a big word. What’s it mean?

The study of your family heritage. Some people think of it as tracing your family tree – going back generation by generation, following all the names (surnames or last names) of those people who are a part of your family. For example, both your mom and dad have two parents each, which gives you four grandparents. Now, it starts to get complicated. Your four grandparents each had two parents, so you actually have eight great-grandparents, sixteen great, great (gg) grandparents, thirty-two great, great, great (ggg) grandparents, and so on. And that doesn’t even begin to cover all these people’s brothers and sisters! See how the family tree gets bigger and bigger by just going back a few generations?

That’s why, today, there are two ways to track a family heritage: #1) the paper trail of individual family members – this is the source by which Our Boller Story was written. And #2) your DNA – which traces family lineage by comparing your DNA sample with others – helping track, not individuals, but broader family bloodlines. Click here to see our personal DNA results.

For a complete overview of our family tree – visit Ancestry.com. Our family ancestry, starting from Martin Boller and Sandra Unrue, is there under my account: pastorboller.

Speaking of paper trails, I’ve always loved history and was always snooping around my parent’s and grandparent’s homes looking for historical stuff. I was the one in the family who insisted on keeping a bunch of my grandparent’s books, Bibles, dinnerware, and yes, even some furniture. I love the fact, for example, that the round dining-room table that your parents ate from, when they were growing up in Cedar Rapids, is the same table my Grandma Edie and Grandpa Hollie bought when they were first married back in 1915 in Trenton, Missouri!

At our wedding on July 12, 1975, we had all four parents with us: Jack & LaVonne Unrue (left) and Dixie & George Boller (right).

After my parents – George & Dixie Boller – passed away in the early 1990’s, I decided to gather up all the papers and books they had kept over the years, sit down with it all, and try to chart out a Boller family tree. Those who are experts in genealogy say the first thing to do is to write down every fact that you can remember about everyone in your immediate family. That in itself is a pretty tough job, but I was fortunate that my parents had kept a lot of data that helped me in the writing down of most of those facts – birth dates and locations, dates of marriages, and dates and locations of deaths.

As my tree of information got bigger, I finally had to decide which family line I would focus on. Between my parents – George Boller & Dixie Boyer – and Grandma Sandy’s parents – Jack Unrue & LaVonne Holm – I had way more info on the Boller side than any other, and since my last name is Boller, I decided to concentrate my efforts there. Since then, with the help of Ancestry.com, we’ve now discovered even more information, some that takes my Boyer side, for example, all the way back to the 1500’s!

Iowa City Press-Citizen sports writer, Al Grady, wrote up a great article about my dad, George Boller in 1976. Click here to see more.

My father, George Boller, had done a really good job in writing down a lot of family dates, so I was fortunate to have that pile of papers to begin my research. Yet, when it came to going beyond my gg grandfather, Jacob Boller’s time, my dad’s notes left a lot to be desired. All I had about the earliest of Our Boller Story was one line of information that my father had written down…

“(Jacob’s) parents were George and _____ (Zook) Boller, but this is not verified.”

georgebollernotes
A sample of my dad’s original writings with my notations added.

Fortunately, in the late 1990’s, with the advent of computers and the internet, more family records were now available to me on-line. Eventually, I not only found helpful on-line sources that confirmed a lot of what my dad had written down, but I also uncovered some wonderful new and exciting facts – particularly about Jacob Boller’s parents – that just blew me away. It was so exciting to discover long-lost family resources which gave me many of the bits and pieces of information you’ll find within Our Boller Story.

On George F. Boller’s 1837 naturalization papers, he indicates that he arrived in America in October of 1816, and that he was a native of The Kingdom of Bavaria. More details here.

One of the most exciting finds was linked to Goshen, Indiana – Grandma Sandy’s home – where a wonderful historian, Wanda Kauffman Hoffman, knew about my ggg grandfather, George F. Boller’s burial site, and helped me locate a copy of his last will and testament! Click here for more on that story. In my home, I have several storage containers for all the papers, pictures and documents that have gone into writing Our Boller Story. It’s from these countless resources that I share with you, now, this six-chapter historical account of the first six generations of Bollers living in America…

We suggest that you bookmark this Index Page and come back to it as you work your way through our six Boller stories. And, as you go throughout our website, click on the many pics you find, as most enlarge for better viewing…enjoy!
George F. Boller & Elizabeth Zook – The First Generation of Bollers in America.
– Pre-1793 – The Bollers of Bad Boll – In The Beginning.
– 1793-1816 – Introducing George F. Boller.
– George F. Boller & Frederick Boller – The Burning Questions.
– 1816-1836 – The American Adventure Begins.
– 1836-1860 – From Ohio Westward.
– 1860-1877 – A Life Well Lived.
Jacob B. Boller & Catharine Smucker – From Ohio to Iowa: Taming the Heartland.
– 1825-1853 – The Mennonite Connection.
– The Boller Farms of Johnson County, Iowa -1853.
– 1850’s – Surveying This New Land Called Iowa.
– 1853-1899 – The Kalona Connection.
– The Boller Children & Johnson County Schools.
– 1899-1907 – Passing Down The Family Farm.
Daniel J. Boller & Barbara Miller – From Farming to Furniture: Establishing a Trade in Iowa.
– 1856-1881 – The Boller-Miller Connection.
– 1881-1896 – From Farming To Furniture.
– 1896-1900 – Welcome To Wayland, Iowa.
– Boller Furniture Company – Wayland’s Finest For 45 Years.
– 1900-1955 – The Baton Is Passed.
Waldo E. Boller & Olive A. Hulme – Surviving the Great Depression.
– 1884-1910 – Meet Waldo & Frank.
– 1910-1920 – Marrying The Farmer’s Daughter.
– Olive Alice Hulme – The Hulmes Of Henry County.
– 1920-1929 – The Roaring Twenties.
– Boller Furniture Company – Wayland’s Finest For 45 Years.
– 1929-1969 – Pushing Through The Great Depression.
George E. Boller & Dixie L. Boyer – Following the Flight of a Hawkeye.
– 1921-1930 – Introducing The One And Only – George & Dixie.
– George’s Big Chicago Adventure – The 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.
– Henry County to Iowa City – The Red Ball Route.
– The Boyer Family Of Trenton Missouri.
– 1930-1942 – Blessed Despite The Depression.
– 1942-1946 – The Heart Mountain Years.
– George & Dixie – The 1945 Love Letter Connection.
– 1946-1957 – The Wayland Years.
– 1957-1966 – The Mt. Pleasant Years.
– The Daily Iowan – The Newspaper For Hawkeyes.
– George Boller: A Hawkeye Football Nut.
– The Christmas Letters – 1948-1991.
– 1966-1994 – Finishing Strong in Iowa City.
– May 11, 1921 – One Hundred Years Ago Today.
Martin J. Boller & Sandra E. Unrue – A Vineyard Planted in the Heartland.
– 1950-1966 – The Childhood Years.
Momentos From The Early Days.
– Growing Up in Mt. Pleasant – Old Threshers.
– Mapping Out My Iowa – 1951.
– Meet My Boller Brothers – William & Eric.
– Meet The Unrue Family of Indiana.
– 1966-1973 – The High School & College Years.
– Art By Mart – Music, Drama & More.
– U of I Gathering Places.
– 1973-1978 – The Wheeling, Illinois Years.
– 1978-1987 – The Evanston, Illinois Years.
– 1987-1990 – The Transition Years.
– My Calvin Hall Story.
– 1990-2020 – Serving Cedar Rapids.
– The Seventh Generation: The Four Boller Kids.
– The Christmas Letters -1981-2012.
– 2020-Today – Back Home Again.
Celebrating 200 Years – Restoring George F. Boller’s Grave Site.
Celebrating 200 Years – The 2016 Boller Road Trip.
Celebrating Boller Wedding Anniversaries – Looking Forward to July 12, 2025.
Passing On Our Rich Boller Heritage.

My original version of Our Boller Story was written in 2006, and, in 2010, we posted a revised on-line version as an easier way to keep up with the latest findings in our ancestral records. In 2020, we added Our Iowa Heritage to the site and now the popularity of that series has spread far and wide. So, welcome to the “original” Our Boller Story home page – six generations of Bollers from the late 1700’s to today – with an extensive re-editing and expanded update in 2022.
Marty Boller – Official Boller Family Historian

5 thoughts on “Our Boller Story: From the Heartland of Europe to the Heartland of America.

  1. Hello..I’m Bessie Boller Fletcher’s oldest grand daughter. My sister Myrna and I are interested in attending the gathering in October…have you made an agenda..set dates etc. We are considering flying in from Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada..we would need to be billeted if possible.. please send details to me Dianne Bekolay… email dibek45@yahoo.com. Trying to up date the offspring of Bessie but we are widespread and have to ferret out our cousins connections for birthdates etc. Dianne Bekolay 6 Pinder Cres Saskatoon Sask S7J 2k8 Canada

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