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 This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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 o 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 272

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 272 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 272

    whom we met whether we could cross the mountain to-day. He said: Yes, and told us that some one was living on the mountain with whom we could have an opportunity to stay over night. We believed it and drove to the mountain, but had to pass a large creek1 on the way. Then we tried whether we could ascend the mountain, but it was inmpossible because the foot of the mountain was too steep. We concluded therefore to unload and carry our baggage [on horseback] up on the mountain. Bro. Lischer and Pfeil stayed with the wagon, the rest went up the mountain. Wheni we had covered half of the way it began to rain. It was also difficult for our horses, but we hoped to find the house on top of the mountain, of which the man had spoken. It took us a long time to ascend and when we finally reached the top no house nor water could be found. We were therefore compelled also to descend the mountain, although it was very dark and rained fast. Finally after many vain wishes we reached a little creek in the valley. It had taken us two and a half hours to cross this mountain.2 We then camped, as well as we could, but experienced much difficulty in starting a fire, for it rained very fast and everything was wet. We raised our tent and lay down upon the wet blankets. Here we rested for a while. To-wards morning it cleared and became very cold. On November 3, we went very early back across the mountain to get the rest of the baggage and the wagon. Bro. Gottlob, Nathanael and Kalberland meanwhile stayed with the tent. The brethren who had remained with the wagon also had had a cold night, and we were glad to see them again. We put our baggage once more on our horses and then carried most of our things to the top of the mountain. Here we made a fire and Bro. Haberland staved there. The rest of the brethren went back again to bring up the wagon, which was pretty empty. But we had to push very hard to get the wagon up. After an hour and a half we reached the top safely. After we had loaded the wagon again we drove up hill for a short distance. 1 This large creek is probably Back creek, which is due south of the Roanoke River. 2 This mountain, which gave the Moravian travelers so much trouble, was no doubt the Blue Ridge, which they crossed at Magotty Gap.

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  • Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], page 248

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society
    Publications, Volume XX

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], Page 248 [Click for larger image]Page 248

    A VISIT. TO FORT ANCIENT. FELIX J. KOCH, CINCINNATI. [For some two weeks in the Summer of 1910, a portion of the Ohio National Guard encamped at Fort Ancient, and during their evolutions enacted a sham siege of the Fort. This interesting incident led to many comments in the newspapers concerning the modern military movements in the fortress that doubtless witnessed scenes of barbarian warfare centuries ago. In an article brought out by the incident above mentioned Mr. Felix J. Koch, the distinguished magazine and newspaper writer, speaks as follows concerning Fort Ancient. — E. O. R.] A little matter of two thousand years, more or less, is of no concern when history takes it into her head to repeat herself; and so, while it was at perhaps the time that the Egyptians were setting up the Pyramids, that here in the Western Hemisphere, the Mound-builders were waging bloody warfare at Ft. Ancient, where they had their largest fortress; today the Ohio National Guard have selected the same place as seat of their encampment and maneuvers. So history is repeating herself at Ft. Ancient; though the manner of the war of today and of that other day is a trifle different. A little jaunt to Ft. Ancient is one of the most delightful outings in the world, — notably in the autumn or the early springtime. The quickest way is by rail to Ft. Ancient Station, from Cincinnati; or else, if one have an eye to scenery, via Morrow, and then drive over-land. Enroute, you look up data about the fortress, — or you may procure a little guide on the grounds. Modern Ft. Ancient is just a sleepy river hamlet, a town of a tavern, before which gather village-wise acres, to concern themselves rather with the corn-crop and the pumpkin harvest and the sums made from summer campers on the Miami, than with the discussion of matters aboriginal. Still, there is a surfeit of literature on Ft. Ancient. Away back in 1809, the reports go, — mention was made of the Fort.

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 1 (Jul., 1904), page 79

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 1 (Jul., 1904), page 79 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 1 (Jul., 1904), page 79

    leaving Maryland for Virginia, it can be done at "Kanigotschik," because seven miles from Jonathan Haeger's, the justice of the county and surveyor, Prathor, lives, who not only signed my passport but also entrusted to me his horse for seventy miles to Colonel Chrassop's. Whether I should regard such willingness of a man to whom I was an entire stranger and who saw me for the first time, as a proof of mere providence or of a secret inclination to the Brethren, I do not know. From Jonathan Haeger to Colonel Chrassop, where the North Branch of the Patowmak is crossed to enter Virginia, is a distance of some seventy miles, mostly over mountains. In the first thirty miles to "Charly Poak,"37 one meets a house now and then, but for the last forty miles, from Charly Poak's to Colonel Chrassop's, no house nor water can be found. Now if Bro. Joseph would start from Charly Poak's early at three o'clock and for the first few miles take a guide along until he had found the only right path, he could then easily reach Colonel Chrassop's that day and would not have to remain over night on the way. The road is a single narrow path, frequently hardly recognizable, partly because traveling is not very frequent there, and partly because the path is blocked with trees and overgrown with grass and weeds. A person has to be very careful lest he take a cow path. The angels will certainly do their part. The most convenient way would be for Mr. Monday to go along to Colonel Chrassop's. Captain Ogle might also give Bro. Reuz the little gray horse which he has presented to Bro. Lighton, and which he does not need at all. Thus the journey across the fearfully extended mountains might be made much easier and the night lodging in the valley or on mountains, which are both very unhealthy places, could be avoided. Colonel Chrassop, who is our host and with whom we can freely stay, can also sign the passport once more and assist in crossing the North Branch of the Patowmak. 37 Charles Polk, who is supposed to have resided in the vicinity of Williamsport, in Maryland. See Norris, History of the Lower Shenandoah Valley, p. 68.

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