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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
OBERLIN'S PART IN THE SLAVERY CONFLICT. WILBUR GREELEY BURROUGHS, A. M., OBERLIN, OHIO. Little did the Rev. John J. Shipherd, pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Elyria, Ohio, realize that in the founding of Oberlin he was to change the destiny of a nation. He originated the plan in 1832. In November of the same year with his associate Philo P. Stewart, formerly a missionary to the Cherokees in Mississippi and at this time living with Shipherd at Elyria, he selected the site for Oberlin. (II); (26). At this time the question of slavery was not a practical issue before the people of the North. The anti-slavery element was not incorporated into the original constitution of Oberlin. Indeed, the "Oberlin Covenant," a document expressing the design of the school and the settlement, has no allusion whatever to slavery. There was a deep seated feeling against it4a but the American Colonization Society was supposed to present the only practicable means of operating to rid the land of the evil. The early inhabitants little dreamed that the discussion of slavery would be the first topic to disturb the quiet of their wilderness. It was due in great measure to the geographical location of Oberlin that she was able to play such an important part in the events which were to follow. Ohio was an influential State in the Union. She formed the connecting link between the East and the West. On the South she bordered on Slave Territory,—the States of Kentucky and Virginia. Ohio's sympathies were largely with the South; in fact her counties bordering on the Ohio River and for fifty miles northward were principally peopled from the Slave States. The interior counties of the State were occupied mainly by a population which took slight interest in public questions. It was therefore to the Western Reserve, covering twelve counties in the northeast part of the State, that the destiny of Ohio was committed. Here the Republican party was all powerful. Of influential factors on the Reserve, "no single, definite,
Another phase of the church work in these states, is the prcatice of the ordinances by different individuals and how they are viewed by others. Some ordinances that were properly observed were viewed with interest and many were much benefitted and some of the spectators later were partIcipants. One young man who took his Testament and followed the ordinance of feet-washing, remarked, "It is there, that way." Later he was among the participants. One man said to me one day. When I used to live in Indiana I would attend your "Barbecues." (Referring to those communion occasions where we had two or three days meeting and furnished meals to all who came). Another place in the observance of the salutation, we were very closely watched and I learned of another body of religious enthusiasts who tried to observe that ordinance without regard to sex. That sort of observance caused troubles between husband and wife and in a few instances homes were broken up. They were called the "Kissing Bugs." Our observance of the ordinance was with some difficulty in that community. The ordinance of baptism is variously viewed and practiced. In a certain community where we had preached baptism as hard as we could, one friend who was not yet initiated into church fellowship, decided that the three dips were all right but he wanted it backward and his minister did it for him. These people who act as tho they could live above sin are closely watched and sometimes found to be like other well-meaning mortals. Sometimes they have been severely tested and didn't stand the test.
house on John, 18:37. After the sermon Abr. Bossert made a great feast to all the persons present, at which many blessed discourses were held. They were all very happy, and expressed the wish to hear me preach every Sunday. They also related to me that three days ago two men from Philadelphia had been with them. They had told them that there was again a new religion in Pennsylvania, in which the people were given a certain potion to drink, after which they would adhere to them. Not long ago a ship-load of people from Switzerland had arrived, who had been rich and respectable people, but as soon as they had taken this potion, they had gone over with all their possessions to the new religion.* After all this the people returned to their homes, thanking me very much and giving me six pounds, Carolina money, for the journey. On the day before, the elder, who had been much moved by the sermon, had given me three pounds out of the church treasury, and twenty shillings out of his own pocket. On December 10th, early, Abr. Bossert gave us as many victuals as we could carry. We were well satisfied with them, as few houses are met with on the way. He accompanied us several miles. Then we came to Michael Miller, who had kindly invited us yesterday. He is a very proud man. He at once prepared a fine meal and asked for his friends in Pennsylvania. We learned that he is a brother-in-law of our Frantz Bluhm. After one hour we continued our journey. In the afternoon we crossed the "Neu" [New] River, and in the evening we lodged with William Stephen, who had been in Georgia recently, and gave us a thorough description of the way. We heard here wolves and many wild animals at night. On December 11th, we came so near to the ocean that we could hear the roaring of the waves. In thirty-five miles we had only two houses. Bro. Hussey was rather weak to-day, because he was sick. He had pain in his foot and limped. We stayed in an English inn, kept by George Bishop. On December 12th, we traveled thirty miles, but found only one house. In the evening we came to the city of Williams- * This is a sample of the foolish stories circulated at that time about the Moravians.