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.
This story is dedicated to the 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), George Alden McAtee (2015)

Congratulations, my dear grandchildren! You’ve become the first seven Boller 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 I am 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 2 parents each, that 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 grandparents, thirty-two great, great, great 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?

For a complete overview of our family tree – visit Our family tree, starting from Martin Boller & Sandra (Unrue) Boller, is there under my account: pastorboller.

I’ve always loved history and was always snooping around my parent’s & 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 that the old round dining room table that your parents ate from when growing up in Cedar Rapids is the same table my Grandma Edie & Grandpa Holly bought back in 1910 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 I had kept over the years, sit down with it, and try to chart out and organize our family tree. Those who are experts in genealogy say the first thing to do is to write down every fact and interesting story you can remember about everyone in your family you know. That in itself is a pretty tough job. Then, I took the papers and books from my family and began to research what information was actually there. I was fortunate to have a lot of data right in front of me that did a great job in getting most of the important facts (birth dates & birth locations, dates of marriages, and dates & locations for deaths) all the way back to my great, great grandfather’s (Jacob Boller) time.

As my tree of information got bigger, I finally had to decide which family line I would focus on the most. Between my parents (Boller & Boyer) and Grandma Sandy’s parents (Unrue & Holm) I had more info on the Boller side than any other, and since our last name is Boller, I decided to concentrate my efforts there. Since then, with the help of, we’ve now discovered even more info, 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 pretty good job in writing down a lot of Boller family dates, so I was fortunate to have that pile of papers to begin my research. Yet when it came to going beyond my great, great 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 in America was one line of information that my father, George E. Boller, had written down…

George and _____ (Zook) Boller, (parents of Jacob B. Boller) but this is not verified.”

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

Fortunately, with the advent of computers and the internet, more and more family records are now recorded on-line. By 1997, I had not only found other 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 talk to other family sources on-line who had access to bits and pieces of Our Boller Story. The most exciting find was linked to Goshen, Indiana (Grandma Sandy’s part of Indiana), where a distant relative found my great, great, great grandfather’s burial site and a copy of his last will & testament!

In my home, I have several storage containers for all the papers, pictures & documents that trace Our Boller Story and more. It’s from these countless sources that I sit down to write for you a six-chapter historical account of the first six generations of Bollers living in America.

So now, without further delay, let’s open up:

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.



George F. Boller & Frederick Boller.




Jacob B. Boller & Catharine Smucker – From Ohio to Iowa: Taming the Heartland.


The Boller Farms -1853.


The Boller Children & Johnson County Schools.


Daniel J. Boller & Barbara Miller – From Farming to Furniture: Establishing a Trade in Iowa.




The Boller Furniture Company – Generation One.


Waldo E. Boller & Olive A. Hulme – Surviving the Great Depression.




The Boller Furniture Company – Generation Two.


George E. Boller & Dixie L. Boyer – Following the Flight of a Hawkeye. a)1921-1940 b)1940-1946 c)1946-1966 d)1966-1994

Martin J. Boller & Sandra E. Unrue – A Vineyard Planted in the Heartland. a)1950-1972 b)1973-1987 c)1987-present

Our Boller Story. A Conclusion. A New Beginning. Two dreams accomplished in 2016!

Our Iowa Heritage. Check out this new addition to Our Boller Family Story. Here we take you on a journey into the history of both the State of Iowa & Iowa City with the help of U.S. postage stamps, postcards, letters, coins, and other Iowa collectibles.

Passing On Our Iowa Heritage. The Boller/Iowa tradition carries on. Enjoy these pictures of the Boller family passing the torch to future generations.

We first started this website in 2010 to offer Our Boller Family a place to keep our ancestry records in one place. 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 Family home page. Be sure to check it out – six generations of Bollers from the late 1700’s to today – re-edited and updated once more in 2022. Marty Boller – “Official Boller Historian”

5 thoughts on “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 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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