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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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.
EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARY OF BRO. GOTTSCHALK'S17 JOURNEY THROUGH MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA, MARCH 5-APRIL 20, 1748.18 On March 11-22,19 I traveled to Jonathan Haeger's to preach there at 10 o'clock. On the way I heard that Capt. Charlestown had expressed a desire to see me. When I came to him he was very glad, and as I had little time, and he wished to have a long conversation with me, he saddled two horses and accompanied me to Jonathan Haeger's. On the way he told me all his sentiments. Then I preached in English at Jonathan Haeger's. Capt. Charlestown was very thankful and asked me to visit him again. Towards evening Captain and Justice Prathor20 visited me, who is at the same time surveyor in that district. He signed my passport.21 He brought me the greetings of Major Monday 17 The Special Report of Gottschalk on this journey has already been published in the January number, 1904, of this Mlagazine, Vol. XI., pp. 225-234. 18The editors are again under obligation to Mr. Robert Rau for placing the original at their disposal. It covers 72 closely written, small quarto pages. The beginning and the end of the diary were omitted, and the conversations were somewhat abbreviated. 19 The dates are given by the missionary both according to the old and new style. 20 Captain Thomas Prathor was born about the year 1705 in the western part of Prince George county, Md. When Frederick was organized he became a resident of that county. He served as a captain in the French and Indian wars, 21 The original passport is preserved in the MSS. collections of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Through the kindness of the librarian, Mr. J. W. Jordan, the editors are enabled to publish it. It reads as follows: "County of Bucks, ss. [Summons.] To whom it may concern, The Bearer hereof Mathias Gottschalk of Bethlehem in the County of Bucks & Province of Pensylvania, Clerk, having signified to me his Intention of traveling thro' the said Province of Pensylvania, Maryland & Virginia on his lawfull Occasions; All Magistrates & Others, thro' whose Jurisdiction or Precincts the said Mlathias Gottschalk may have occasion to pass & repass, are hereby
town [Wilmington].* We delivered the letter which Bro. Evans of Philaderphia had given to us for his friends. They recommended to us a good inn, and asked us to take dinner with them on the next day. Early Sunday morning we went to the friend of Evans, Thomas Hedge. As no minister was there and as no church was held (all the people are English) many of the town's people came to-gether to hear the news from Pennsylvania, because most of them have come from there. But they were very frivolous and full of fun, so that I concluded to leave after dinner. Mr. Hedge conducted us to the right way and indicated a plantation which we could still reach to-day. The owner's name is Brown. He received us very willingly. During thre night and the whole of the next day so much snow fell that none in Carolina could remember the like. It compelled us to remain in doors all day. But the man took no pay from us. He is a churchman and opposed to Whitefield, because he had asserted that certain people would be lost. On December 17th, we had to travel eight miles through snow and ice. We were taken across "Cape fare" [Cape Fear] River, which is three miles wide, for fifteen shillings of Carolina money—i. e., one shilling and six pence sterling. We remained over night in the town of "Brownschweig" [Brunswick], across the river. As we could get no bread we ate potatoes. On December 18th, we traveled twenty miles through water and snow, and through a swamp fifteen miles long, the mud reaching over our shoes. As my companion was very tired, I carried his bundle and encouraged him through words. We stayed over night in an English inn. On December 19th, we passed early over "Lakwood's Folly" [River], and three hours later over the "Schalloth" [Shallotte] River.† Afterwards we traveled ten miles through * This was Wilmington, N. C. The fact that nearly all of its inhabitants came from Pennsylvania seems to have escaped the notice of most historians of that State. † Both Lakwood's Folly River and Shallotte River are in Brunswick county, N. C.