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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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.
INTRODUCTION How relentless is time! The events of moment in our generation are memories in the next, and forgotten in the third. We retain but a fragment of the notable achive– ments of our fathers. The workers have been so busy do– ing things that no time was left to record the things they did. Here and there, by accident more frequently than by design, signs and hints remain. These the patient student and the sympathetic friend may gather and weave into a fair– ly accurate record. This is the work of the historian. It is service of the greatest value. The Christian Church has not carefully considered the meaning of its own history. Many a deed and many a life have faded from the light of the present. This is greatly to be regreetted. We need all the teestimony of God’s grace and goodness that we can possibly gather. The faithful fol– lower of the Great Father should ever seek to know and to emulate the deeds and lives of the worthies who have gone on and whose example is rich in convincing power to those who now and hereafter follow us. The Church of the Brethren has lost much of the fine rec– ord its great leaders have set goldenly in the progress of Christian thought for two centuries. Perhaps the exodus from Europe, the change from the German to the Enlglish language, and the scattered life here in the colonies have combined to explain, in part at least, this loss. A few years ago it was impossible to ascertain the simple facts fo the origin of the church, its early struggles, its great leaders, its commanding place among the German–Americans of our colonial and early national life. This in part has been remedied. We now know somewhat in detail this splendid record of glorious service to God’s cause. We shall never know it in full. In the grave of neg–
They are endeavoring to secure a true Lutheran minister, but thus far they have not been able to get one. About thirty miles further, several other German families live together, among them George Daehlinger, at whose house Bro. Schnell lodged and preached.* Some of the people are hostile, others welI-meaning, but all timid and suspicious, and for this reason are not willing to listen to the brethren. They have written to Pennsylvania for a true Lutheran minister, but have not been able to secure one. IV. CEDAR CREEK. This is a branch of the "Chanador" river, on which also many German people live, among others Jost Haydt, a justice, and Benjamin Frey, the brother of William Frey† [of Falkner Swamp, Pa.] The proclamation of the Governor‡ has made the people timid and suspicious towards us, there as well as at the "Chanador," so that they do not want to hear us. * Rev. Mr. SchneII preached here on July 26, 1747, as will be shown later. He preached again at his house on December 7, 1749, but spells his name "Daelinger," as was shown in the last number of this MAGAZINE, Vol. XI, p. 128. † See A. Reincke, Register of Moravians, pp. 67, 84. ‡ The Proclamation of the Governor is as follows: Proclamation by the Honble Sir William Gooch, His Majesty's Lieutenant Governor and Commander·in·Chief of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia: Whereas it is represented to me that several Itinerant Preachers have lately crept into this Colony, and that the suffering those corrupters of our Faith and true Religion to propagate their shocking doctrines may be of mischievous consequences— I have, therefore, thought fit by and with the advice of His Majesty 's Council to issue this Proclamation, strictly requiring all Magistrates and Officers to discourage and prohibit as far as legally they can all Itinerant Preachers, whether New Lights, Moravians, or Methodists, from teaching, preaching or holding any meetings in this Colony—And that all such persons be ·enjoined to be aiding and assisting to that purpose. Given under my hand and seal at Williamsburg this third day of April, 1747, and in the twentieth year of His Majesty's Reign. God save the King. See Moravian of January 6. 1886.
Mr. Bolzius. In it many lies were told about our Brethren and many wicked things were falsely reported about them. This letter, covering two sheets, was read by Bolzius to the people one afternoon, instead of a sermon, after having administered the holy communion in the forenoon. This has stirred up the people against us. On the 2nd, I visited Mr. Ade, a shoemaker, and later Michael Schweizer, to whom I delivered a letter from Bro. Hagen. In the evening Bro. Brownfield, together with Henry Beck* and John Bay, had their usual meeting, to which they also invited Bro. Hussey and myself. On the 3rd and 4th, I visited a number of people. On the 5th, being Christmas (i. e., December 25th, old style), I preached a German sermon in Savannah, in the house of the Brethren. A number of people came together, when they heard that a strange minister was there. In the afternoon but very few came. After the services a man spoke to me, who at one time intended to stab Bro. Hagen. His name is Bellico. But he is now converted and he requested me in his name to ask Bro. Hagen's forgiveness. On the 6th, as on Monday after Christmas, I preached to the Germans at the "White Ploff." I also visited an awakened man and friend, Berger. He asked me to visit him frequently, which I did. As a result he was deposed from his office as elder of the Reformed congregation, because, as the people said, he had fallen away from his religion. On the 7th, I returned again to Savannah, where I visited several Germans, among others Mr. Astherr. On the 12th, I preached in Savannah in the forenoon, and in settled at Ebenezer, twenty-four miles from Savannah. Other colonists followed soon afterwards. See P. A. Strobel, The Salzburgers and their Descendants. Baltim re, 1855. * Brownfield and Beck were among the first adherents of the Moravians in Savannah. Brownfield had come to Georgia from England in February, 1737, with General Oglethorpe. Beck had arrived in 1738, and was for a time a member of the "Whitefield Economy." Both left Georgia in 1745 and settled in Bethlehem. Both were later ordained deacons and died at Bethlehem. See Register of Moravians, pp. 73 f. and 77.