First Families of Orangeburgh District, South Carolina


1. Benedict Koller, Sr. was born about 1713 in Canton Bern, Switzerland[8,9]. His death date is unknown[1]. He is buried along with is wife and son, John Ulrich, in the Pioneer Graveyard[2] which is on the site of the original town of Orangeburgh. He married Magdalene Springin, daughter of Johannes Spring, on 1 Jan 1740 in the Orangeburgh Church. They were married by the Reverend John Ulrick Giessendanner. Both were baptized by him on 14 Dec 1746. Magdalene died 1 Feb 1760, two days after giving birth to son John Ulrick[3].

Benedict arrived in Charlestown, South Carolina along with his brother Hans Koller and Han's family on 13 Jul 1735 on board the Bilander Oliver. Hans and his family continued on to Philadelphia on the Oliver[1]. They arrived in Philadelphia on 25/26 Aug 1735[8,9].

Benedict remained behind and traveled north, up the Edisto, along with 200 other German, Swiss and Dutch immigrants, to settle the town of Orangeburgh. He platted fifty acres about seven miles north of Orangeburgh where he settled and lot # 399, half an acre, within the township on 29 Apr 1738[10]. The grant for this land was issued on18 Oct 1757[5,6, 7].

Children of Benedict Koller and Magdalene Springin are:

Margaret Koller(in), b. 14 Nov 1739[3] in Orangeburgh District, bapt. 1 Jan 1740[3], conf. on Whitsunday Sunday 1755[3], married Ulrich Sterchi, b. 22 Feb 1733 in Switzerland, on or about 1758 in Orangeburgh District[1].

b. Anna Koller, b. abt 1742, conf. on Easter Sunday 1758. Anna is mentioned as a baptism sponsor in the baptisms of Johannes Herlan, 1 Jun 1759, and Anna Sturkey, 21 Oct 1759[3].

c. Benedict Koller, Jr. (Culler) b. 12 Dec 1746 in Orangeburgh District. [3] d. 1800[1], married Elizabeth Utsey. He was called Benjamin and is thought to be the ancestor of most of the Cullers living in the Orangeburg area today. He is probably the one who changed the surname to Culler[1]. Benjamin was listed as a member of Captain Rumph's Company from the Orangeburgh District who fought the Tories in the Revolutionary War[1].

d. Elizabeth Koller(in) b. 3 Apr 1756 in Orangeburgh District[3]. No further information is known about Elizabeth.

e. John Ulrick Koller, b. 30 Jan 1760 in Orangeburgh , South Carolina, bapt. 2 Feb 1760 at the home of B. Koller, d. 5 Feb 1760 in Orangeburgh., and was buried in the Pioneer Graveyard on 6 Feb 1760[2,3].


1. Julian Wesley Culler, Jr., Descendants of Benedict Koller, February, 2002.

2. Orangeburg Historical Society, Cemeteries in the Village of Orangeburg, South Carolina, 1998.

3a. A. S. Salley, History of Orangeburg County, South Carolina, Reprint 1994.

3b. Joop Giesendanner, "The Book of Record, Orangeburgh, SC".

4. Daniel Marchant Culler, Orangeburg District 1768-1868 History and Records, 1995.

5. Margaret G. Waters, Colonial Landowners of Orangeburgh Township, SC 1733-1749.

6. Theresa M. Hicks, Saxe Gotha Neighbors, 2000.

7. SC Dept of Archives and History, Series # S213016, Vol. 002F, p. 00200, Item 00

8. Albert Bernhardt Faust, Lists of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the Americas Vol. 1.

9. Emily Culler, Family of Jacob Culler, Orangeburgh District, SC 1735-1970.

10. SC Dept of Archives and History, Series # S213184, Vol. 0004, p. 00154, Item 00.

Other references to this surname are found in the OGSGS Newsletters: Vol. 2 #3 pp. 27,28,29; Vol. 2 # 4 pp. 39,40,41; Vol. 6 # 2 p. 41; Vol. 6 # 4 pp. 76,78.

Information provided by Pamela K. Johnson on 6 Jun 2004 and 31 May 2006. Update by Jim Rickenbacker on 2 Oct 2008.