You are entering a new realm in researching your German Baptist Brethren ancestry.  This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.  While the companion site, German Baptist Brethren Almanacs, Annuals & Yearbooks, holds many of the periodicals, this site will contain the various district histories, congregational histories, etc., etc., that have been professionally digitized by your host.

Yes, a good-sized portion of the works represented herein can be located online at "archive" web sites, but they are not truly archival in nature.  In truth the majority of them are little better than poor, second generation Xerox copies.  And, the files are often corrupted!  A better term for that digital workflow would be "informational digitization" in that those works are generally lower in quality by magnitudes than what you will discover here.  Furthermore, those images were acquired and highly compressed with the caveat that the images, before being compressed, were not tonally adjusted.  Even worse is that the images were never saved in an archival digital file format.  A picture was taken with the images immediately output to a PDF file for display on the Internet.  No care was taken to ensure that the images would stand the test of time.

In our case the images were scanned in their entirety, in other words not cropped, with the over scan (that portion of the image outside of the page itself) being carefully removed.  After several weeks of acquiring and "cleaning" the images, metadata was applied to the record set.  For those not understanding that term, metadata is information about the image, in this case, the book and bibliographical information.  Metadata can be thought of as the writing often found on the reverse of those old photographs we all have.  In the case of the digital images the metadata was input into each and every image, no matter the size of the work being digitally preserved.

After this step a duplicate set of images was created for tonal and sharpness adjustments.  The series of steps followed for each record set in creating this set of actions was carefully recorded so that the adjustments so made could be recorded into the metadata.  After designing and running a script that accomplishes much of this, in actuality only a portion of the images to be adjusted needing to be sampled, the script was run for this alternate group of images.

At this point the images to be displayed on the Internet needed to be created.  Again, a series of scripts was designed to accomplish this.  This process removing the metadata from the images to be displayed online, the metadata was re-inserted into the online set of images.  The final phase was to create a series of pages to be displayed online.

The result of these processes is now available to you.  In the main most of the content available on this site is available to subscribers only.  There is material available to non-subscribers, but it is limited.

The menu system utilized to access the books can be difficult to understand.  It could have been simpler in design, if only the various books themselves had fallen into one larger overriding category.  Such, however, is not the case.  This site will eventually house books covering those states for which there have been district histories and other more generalized books.

In the case of the various district histories there are many states that are split into three, or more, districts.  Pennsylvania has four districts: Eastern, Middle, Southern and Western.  And, each district may have more than one published history; such as the 1920 and 1955 histories for the Southern District of Ohio.  Thus there will be under the District menu link (when it is created) a link for Ohio > Southern District > 1920 as well as a 1955 menu item.  The menus will be logical in nature so that should be fairly easy to follow.

Such may not be the case for other Brethren historical works.  For instance, as of this writing there are two books online, The Minutes of the Annual Meetings of the Brethren — 1778 - 1917 and Some Who Led — Or — Fathers in the Church of the Brethren Who Have Passed Over.  One book is a biographical work while the other is non-biographical in nature.  Thus under the General menu link there will be a sub-menu item for each, Biographical and Non-biographical.

The only other envisioned menu item is one entitled "Congregational," or named something alike it, for the various and numerous congregations for which there are published histories.

Monday, 30 December 2013 07:15

Discussion #1

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Today’s blog, the first in a series that will hopefully be an on-going explanation of what I am presently working on, is about the various Brethren Miller families who were early settlers of Montgomery county, Ohio.  The opening section below is some comments about the Miller families of note, followed by what I am working on at this time.  In essence there are three Miller families that interest me, and I am not even remotely related to any of them, so, to that end, here goes.

Thursday, 02 January 2014 07:30

Discussion #2

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This blog entry shall deal with finalizing, almost, the lands of Elder Daniel Miller (1755-1822).  Elder Daniel owned land that today lies along the Upper Bear Creek Road of Miami township, Montgomery county, Ohio.  When he owned it, and prior to that, the land was owned by Elder Jacob Miller (ca. 1838-1815).  Normally to plat land it is fairly easy to transcribe a single deed and overlay that onto high-quality scans of the Montgomery County, Ohio Atlas of 1875.  In this instance it is difficult as that particular section, in 1875 versus the early 18th Century, had been cut up into differing tracts.  In other words, it was not easily done because of intervening deeds.  To rectify this it fell upon me to pull all the deeds, at least those that were recorded for this section, which led to some discoveries.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014 12:59

Discussion #3

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If you arrived at this page via a Rootsweb mailing list posting then the material below is the same as in the posting to the mailing list.  In that case, click on the button.  However, if you discovered this blog entry, then please read the content below.

This particular blog entry is about an item not normally covered by the mailing lists I am involved in.  My interests lying primarily with the German Baptist Brethren and Montgomery county, Ohio, and this book being about Ohio history, it may or may not be of interest to others.

Click HereOhio HistoryClick Here
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 05:16

Discussion #4

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This blog entry shall be another foray into the mysteries of land records, or perhaps more correctly, what can be found if you dig deeply enough into them.  Additionally, it will include a somewhat fictionalized account of what may have occurred if your ancestor was contemplating moving to the newly opened Northwest Territory.

Unfortunately with the advent of the Internet, recliner-chair research is more the norm than the rule.  And it keeps getting worse as time goes on.  While any researcher worth his salt knows that researching deeds is one of the areas that should be explored not many are willing to travel down the road less traveled.  Being lazy or unwilling to have it performed by a knowledgeable person prevails.  Generally a researcher will got to the county of their interest and pull any and all deeds that pertain to their ancestor, and if they are smart they will spend time while there to research the deeds of other parties they are interested in.  I do not recall how many times the trip to a court house has been made only to discover many months later that I should have pulled another record I saw.  A lamentable fact, but true.

Monday, 28 July 2014 09:06

Discussion #5 — A Dunkard's Honor

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A DUNKARD'S HONOR.


A War Incident Which Testifies to the Honesty of the Sect.

General E. P. Alexander in the Century.

Near Hagerstown I had an experience with an old dunkard which gave me a high and lasting respect for the people of that faith. My scouts had had a horse transaction with this old gentleman, and he came to see me about it. He made no complaint, but said it was his only horse, and as the scouts had told him we had some hoof-sore horses we should have to leave behind, he came to ask if I would trade him one of those for his horse, as without one his crop would be lost.

This blog entry stems from, and is in part courtesy of Dennis D. Roth, a co-worker in German Baptist Brethren research and documentation of Washington state.  During one of his online research trips he located the newspaper article in the left-hand column below and posted it to the Rootsweb's Brethren Mailing List on July 28, 2014.  Seeing the value in this wonderful find, I decided to make the spelling corrections, locate a proper source, and, make comments as an adjunct to it.  Enjoy!!!

Monday, 28 July 2014 09:06

Discussion #6 — Digital Projects

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This blog entry shall delve into the various archival pursuits I have been involved with since my last blog entry, Discussion #5 — A Dunkard's Honor, in July of this year.  It has been well received and has been read in excess of 200 times to date.  One would think that a kind note to this author for the effort would have have been in order.  Unfortunately, the more people have expectations that their research is online, the worse the social graces become when they read that same item of interest.  This also applies to several e-mails recently sent regarding the Hendricks and Mack families as well as my latest creation, the Kansas district history by Prof. Craik of McPherson College.  What a treacherous road to travel down for society, ignoring the niceties.

Thursday, 16 October 2014 06:11

Discussion #7 — Digital Projects #2

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Our Communion in Kentucky.

. . . I will give the particulars of our progress at present.  Brethren G. V. Siber, W. Cassell, T. Crider, and John Smith came from Ohio on the 23rd of November, and on the 25th of the same month organized a church, calling it the Blue Spring Church of Kentucky. . .

It as been a busy week around here with some 70 hours since last Friday having been spent updating ministers and congregation while at the same time adding three newly found ministers, two congregations and discovering an oddity of one of the congregations that was heavily involved in the Old Older and Conservative split of 1881.

Looking for one item of interest I found something entirely different, leading me down the researching-in-depth path from which there is no return.  I loathe when this occurs, realizing it will lead me down other paths—eventually at times forgetting that which I was originally searching for.

Recently Added

  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 280

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 280 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 280

    with Bro. Haberland and Herman Loesch across the river in the canoe, swimming their horses across. They intended to go to Mr. Altem to-day, who knows our land very well, in order to go with him to our land to-morrow, to select a place where we could rest temporarily till we could find the right place to settle. Bru. Grube stayed with the rest of the brethren on this side of the river, because the water was still too high. In the evening a German boy canme to us, who lives on the "Etkin" [Yadkin]. He had bought eleven quarts of salt at the Smith River for which hie paid half a dollar [½ Thaler]. On November 16, we rose early to cross the river. As the banks were very steep we had to tie a tree to the wagon, which we detached as soon as the wagon reached the water. The stream was very rapid and carried the front horses down a short distance. The water almost ran into our wagon, but we reached the other shore safely. However, we were tunable to drive up. We had to unload half of our baggage, fasten ropes to the tongue of the wagon, so that we could also help in pulling, because our horses were very stiff, and finally we brought our ark safely to the dry shore. Half a mile farther we drove through a wide swamp, aud then up a long hill. We ate our dinner at a creek, close to a plantation. At four o'clock we came to Mr. Altem, ten miles from our last camping place, but it was almost the worst part of our whole journey. Our dear Gottlob, Nathanael, Loesch, etc., joined us again. They had inspected our land somewhat, and six miles from the boundary line found a little house on our land, which a German had built last year, but had abandoned again. We pitched our tent near Mr. Altem's house. Bro. Gottlob, Nathanael and the other brethren, who had been along on our land to-day, ate at Mr. Altem's. Then we lay down to rest, for we were very tired and exhausted. On November 17, we rose early. We had had a cold night. It looked like snow. Several brethren preceded us with picks and axes to cut out a road and to level the banks of the creeks, A mile this side of Altem's we crossed the Down Fork Creek, and then we came to the new road, which runs through our land to the "Etkin" [Yadkin] River. On the right side of the creek is a plantation. The people presented us with two bags full of pumpkinis and said that we could have a whole wagon

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  • Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], page 466

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society
    Publications, Volume XX

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], Page 466 [Click for larger image]Page 466

    EDITORIALANA. VOL. XX. No. 4. OCTOBER, 1911. GENERAL BRINKERHOFF. Elsewhere in this Quarterly we give notice of the death of General Brinkerhoff with an extended account of his busy and useful life and many of its prominent achievement's. But no written record of the life of such a man can adequately present what he really was to the world in which he lived. The in estimable outflow of a beautiful and true character, ever loyal to the highest ideals of life, cannot be recorded, cannot be duly valued, cannot in the fullest extent be appreciated. Back of all he did, broad and lasting as it may have been, is the man. Therein lay his power, his sway, over fellowmen. Sweet and gentle in disposition, ever courteous and urbane in manner, tenacious of his own convictions, when once formed, but tolerant of the views and beliefs of others, his life was a benign atmosphere, soothing and strengthening to all with whom he came in contact. He loved men, he loved children, he loved nature in all her varied forms, and buoyed by a hopeful and optimistic temperament, he rose above the petty annoyances of everyday experience and above the greater trials and disappointments in effort and ambition. He was ever a thoughtful and sincere student. All realms of knowledge attracted his receptive and capacious mind. He studied men and knew human nature. He read books and absorbed their contents. The problem of life was ever fresh and deeply interesting to him. The greater Query of the future was his constant meditation. He was unhampered by the dogmas of narrow sectarians, but he was steadfast in the belief of a divine and supreme intelligence and the adjustment in a better and unseen world of all that seemed wrong or awry in this. He had a deep sense of responsibility. Every duty that came to him was earnestly and painstakingly discharged. He sympathized with the distressed and the unfortunate. . It was ever his chosen task to help others by word or deed. Selfishness found no lodging in his makeup. Such men live the highest life in this world of flesh and blood and accomplish things for themselves and others, and the memory of such men is a lasting impetus to those who survive them. Through a period of nearly twenty years the present writer knew, admired and respected Roeliff Brinkerhoff. Many a delightful hour have we spent in his presence, an auditor to his rare and interesting reminiscences, a recipient of his helpful cheer and a beneficiary of the

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 231

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 231 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 231

    An awakened shoemaker lives there, named Philip, who ought to be visited. Besides him, there is also a man, named Casper, an unmarried man and a weaver. He lives with one named Jaeger.* This man is also concerned about his salvation. The Rev. Mr. Klug sends his greetings to Bro. Joseph [Spangenberg], because he learned to know and love him on his arrival in Philadelphia, about ten years ago. VII. THE GREAT FORK OF THE RIPPEHANNING [RAPPAHANNOCK.†] It is situated about twenty-six miles from the Upper Germans towards the "Potomik." Three German families live there. * This was probably Nicholas Yager, a native of Wickersbach in Hesse (?) Germany, who was naturalized by Governor Spotswood July 13, 1722. He was then a resident of Spotsylvania county, Virginia. His son Adam was naturalized in 1730 by Governor Gooch. It is stated that he was born in Fulkenston, near Dusseldorf, in the duchy of Neuberg. See the Garr Genealogy, by John C. Garr, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1894. The descendants of Nicholas Yager are still to be found in Madison and adjoining counties of Virginia. † This was Germanna, founded in 1714, by Governor Spotswood. The first colonists consisted of twelve German Reformed families, who arrived in Virginia in the month of April, 1714. They came upon the solicitation of Baron de Graffenried to establish and operate for Governor Spotswood the iron works which they built about ten miles northwest of Fredericksburg. Their names were John Kemper, Jacob Holtzclaw, John and Herman Fishback, John Henry Hoffman, Herman Otterbach, Tillman Weaver, John Joseph Merdten, Peter Hitt, Joseph Counts, ——— Wayman, ——— Handbach. The names of these colonists are preserved in a letter written in 1814 by the Rev. James Kemper (1753-1834), of Cincinnati, Ohio, a Presbyterian clergyman of note in his day. His statements are fully corroborated by the deed and will books of Prince William, Fauquier and Culpeper counties, Virginia. The colonists came from Muesen and Siegen, situated in the principality of Nassau-Siegen, which is now a part of the Prussian province of Westphalia. Muesen has been an important iron centre since the year 1300. John Kemper, one of the original colonists at Germanna, and ancestor of the family of that name in Virginia, with many descendants in the West, was born at Muesen, July 8, 1692. He died in Virginia between the years 1754-'59. He was married in 1715 or 1716 to Ellsbeth (Alce) Otterbach, born in Siegen, Germany, May, 1689,

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