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 This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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 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. 2 (Oct., 1904), page 135

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 2 (Oct., 1904), page 135 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 2 (Oct., 1904), page 135

    ning we came to the Misselim [Moselem, Berks Co.] mill and staved there over night. The people were rather friendly and more ready to serve us than at other times, when they were unwilling to keep the brethren over night. On the way we took along several articles of our baggage, which had to be taken from our wagon, because it was stalled and could not be moved. On October 9, we rose very early and continued our journey. Bro. Grube and Kalberland preceded us. A man met them who asked whether any one of us knew how to let blood, a poor servant being sick at Uly Hui's, who had heard of us and urgently requested us to come to him. We went to him, and Bro. Kalberland bled him, for which he was very thankful. At noon we came to Bro. Jacob Mueller's.3 He was not at home. His boy took us over the "Tulpehokke" [creek] in a canoe. It almost capsized, but our angels held it fast. We soon came to the Heidelberg school house and found our friends, the Muellers, well. They were glad to see and to entertain us once more. There were also several brethren present, who worked at the new meeting house. They were glad to greet us again. To-wards evening we came to our dear friends, Loesch,4 by whom (3). Dr. Hans Martin Kalberlahn, born in Norway, age 31 years, the physician. (4). Hans Peterson, born in Danish Holstein, age 28 years, a tailor. (5). Christopher Merkly, born in Germany, age 39 years, a baker. (6). Herman Loesch, born in Pennsylvania, age 27 years, a farmer. (7). Erich Ingebretsen, born in Norway, age 31 years, a carpenter. (8). Henrich Feldhausen, born in Holstein, age 38 years, a carpenter. (9). Johannes Lisher, a farmer. (10). Jacob Lung, born in Germany, age 40 years, a gardener. (11). Friederich Jacob Pfeil, born in Germany, age 42 years, a shoe-maker and tanner. (12). Jacob Beroth, born in Germany, age 28 years, a farmer. With these twelve, came the brethren Gottlob Koenigsderfer, also a minister, Nathanael Seidel ordained bishop in 1758, and Joseph Haberland. After a brief visit these three returned to Pennsylvania. 3 Jacob Mueller was a inember of the Moravian congregation in North Heidelberg Township, Berks Co., Pa. He lived one mile north of the Heidelberg schoolhouse, close to the Tulpehocken creek. Taken from Alphabetical Register of Moravians, a MS. in the Bethlehem archives. 4 George Loesch was a member of the Moravian ongregation at the Quittopahilla. He lived at Tulpehocken, eight miles northwest of the Hebron church. See Alphabetical Register in Bethlehem archives.

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 271

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 271 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 271

    MORAVIAN DIARIES OF TRAVELS THROUGH VIRGINIA. Edited by Rev. WILLIAM J. HINKE and CHARLES E. KEMPER. (CONTINUED) DIARY OF THE JOURNEY OF THE FIRST COLONY OF SINGLE BRETHREN TO NORTH CAROLINA, OCTOBER 8-NOVEMBER 17, 1753. On November 2, we rose early after having slept but little, because the smoke annoyed us the whole night. At daybreak we crossed the "Runnoke," which was very shallow. It was not quite as large as the "Lecha" [Lehigh], but it has many smooth stones and during floods it overflows its banks for about half a mile. We had much trouble to get our sick horse across. A quarter of a mile farther we came to "Evens Mill," where the road turned to the left and became very narrow. After a mile we had to climb a steep mountain. We almost stuck fast in a ditch and were in danger of breaking the tongue of our wagon. One mile farther we had a pretty high mountain and had to unload half of our wagon, and then hardly succeeded in drawing the wagon up. The descent was equally steep. We put the brakes on both wheels, then attached a tree to the wagon, of which all of the brethren took hold, and thus we came safely over this mountain. Then we had a good road for a mile and a half. We took dinner at a little creek. It looked like rain, and as we had a high mountain before us, we asked a man

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  • The History… of the Potsdam Congregation, Page 8

    The History of the Potsdam Congregation
    of the Church of the Brethren

    Page 8— The History… of the Potsdam Congregation [Click for larger image] title=Page 8

    years, the school was held on Sunday afternoons. In the early 1940’s Evelyn [Spitler] Honeyman assisted by Ruby [Minnich] Ingle created the Junior Sunday School. Deacons Those known prior to the 1923 organization: Benjamin & Magdalena [Welbaum] Longanecker Adam & Hester [Haines] Pfeiffer, 1888 Granville W. & Malinda [Hershey] Minnich, 1894 Joseph & Mary [Ditmer] Ruble, 1901 John & Mary [Ganger] Heckman, 1914 Perry & Satia [Flowers] Hoke A. J. & Arra [Norris] Johnston Boyd & Mina [Thompson] Miller And after: Foster Myers, 1925 Noah & Georgia [Carson] Shanck, 1925 Arthur & Treva [Hoke] Brumbaugh, 1927 Harry & Blanche [Oda] Delk, 1927 Calvin & Edna [Shanck] Minnich, 1927 Elmer & Lola [Ditmer] Heck, 1939 Harris & Esther [Rinehart] Shanck, 1939 Harold & Mary [Flory] Spitler, 1943 Emerson & Thelma [Huff] Ditmer, 1946 Dale & Maxine [Brehm] Fasnacht, 1946 Robert L. & Dorothy [Myers] Honeyman, 1946 Franklin & Pauline [Ganger] Baker, 1950 Lester & Esther [Baker] Hall, 1950 Harry & Naomi [Robbins] Hutcheson, 1950 Alva & Naomi [Heisey] Petry, 1950 Robert & Janet [Myers] Delk, 1957 Gerald & Velma [Byers] Heck, 1957 Bernie & Alice [Ditmer] Cassell, 1969 John & Betty [Rowan] Hutcheson, 1969 Donovan & Jean [Myers] Besecker, 1983 Don & Arlene [Brumbaugh] Evans, 1983 Duane & Joyce [Myers] Weikert, 1983 Dewayne & Donna [Hollinger] Heck, 1991 Gene & Judy [Anthony] Miller, 1991 Gary & Brenda [Cassell] Shiverdecker, 1991 Ray & Sharon [Bright] Fellows, 1995 Robert & Kathy [Werts] Stringer, 1995 Marvin & Mary [Freeman] Weikert, 1995

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