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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 273

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 273 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 273

    Then we went down hill. We had to lock the wheels again, anid hang a tree to the wagon, of which all of the brethren took hold. Thus we reached our tent safely. As we had several steep hills before us, we crossed them before evening, and then pitched our tent at a little creek. We left our horses go into the woods. We were all very tired and sleepy, and for this night we left the angels watch. On November 4, we found an almost impassable way and were compelled to remove many trees. Our wagon stuck fast in a mud hole and it took two hours before we could get it out. (The pulley was of much service to us.) After a mile we found water again, after four miles we came to a little creek, where we ate our dinner. We had a good road thus far. In the afternoon we crossed "Maggedi Creek."3 Nearby dwells Benjamin Reh, an old man of some ninety years, and his wife who is about a hundred years old. They are both active and cheerful people, who gave us milk to drink and were very friendly. Close to this house is a deep mud hole, then follows a steep hill almost immediately. Here. we came upon the "Warrick Road," which runs mostly westward and is a pretty good road. Two miles farther we came to a small creek, three miles farther we pitched our tent near a large creek. We had to watch our horses closely in this place, for we had heard that there were people in this neighborhood who steal horses. We prepared dumplings this evening, which tasted very well. After the evening worship we lay down to rest. On November 5, we rose early. For several miles we had a good road, running along on the mountains. After having driven five miles we came to Mr. Robert Kohl's, a justice of the peace, from whom we bought some corn. He is a very modest man. He regretted very much that he had not known of our comning or he would have gone to meet us and shown us a better and nearer way, so that we could have avoided the high moun-tains and many hills. The way had not been cut out completely, but as we had so many hands, we could easily have done it. He would see to it that this way would soon be made. Some of the brethren stayed here and helped to husk several bushels of corn, 3 This is Magotty creek in Franklin county.

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 2 (Oct., 1904), page 143

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 2 (Oct., 1904), page 143 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 2 (Oct., 1904), page 143

    who lives half a mile from the road, on the left side. A straight way has been cut from the road to his house. The brethren secured bread and hay and brought it to the "great road"18 where the other brethren waited with the wagon. Bro. Haberland accidentally met a man on the plantation who knew him. We traveled five miles farther and came to Baumann's19 mill. We bought several bushels of oats, but had to wait several hours till it had been threshed. Several Germans came to us, of whom we inquired about the way. They gave us bad news, that beyond "Augusti" Court House the way is so bad that we would hardlv be able to proceed. We still had five miles to Justice Funk's mill, but we had to drive for some time during the night and arrived there pretty late. At first there were poor prospects for our night quarters, because it was pitch dark and little wood in the neighborhood. But we pitched our tent beyond the Mill Creek, where we found a comfortable place under a large tree. Everybody was at once busy with carrying wood and in a few minutes we were well accommodated. Several people came to us, who were amazed at us. On the way we had lost a sack of oats, which several brethren went to seek with a lantern. They found it again. We had had a good road to-day. The Blue Mountains, which were to our right, could be seen very distinctly. We had several high mountains before us. Bro. Nathanael led the evening worship and then we went to sleep. On October 20, some of our brethren brought our horses early from the pasture. Bro. Grube woke up the rest of the brethren and after eating our soup we started at five o'clock. We at once had a considerable mountain before us. We had to etc. He removed quite early to the Shenandoah Valley from Pennsylvania, and purchased land from Jost Hite, in whose neighborhood he was residing at this time. 18 This was the great highway through the Valley of Virginia, used by the Scotch-Irish and Germans in their migrations from Pennsylvania to Virginia. It is believed that this road followed closely the line of the present Valley turnpike from Winchester to Staunton. 19 This was George Bowman, who married Marie, daughter of Jost Hite. For baptismal record of their children, see January number, 1904, West Virginia Historical Magazine, p. 64. He settled on Cedar creek about eight miles south of Stephensburg, VA.

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  • Page iv: Preface to Third Edition

    Minutes of the Annual Meetings of the Brethren: 1778 - 1917

    Page iv: Preface to Third Edition — Minutes of the Annual Meetings of the Brethren [Click for larger image]Page iv: Preface to Third Edition

    The arrangement of the work, as described in the Publishers' Notice in the last edition, is preserved unchanged in this; and, excepting the combined index for the three parts, and the addition of Minutes subsequent to 1885, the book is identical with the previous edition. NOTE.-Queries that came before the Annual Meeting and were laid down or returned, are omitted from Book III. Having at last completed the work committed to us as best we could in our judgment, we now submit it to the brotherhood, trusting it may merit general favor and acceptance, and praying that under the blessing of God it may fulfill the purpose intended that it should. JOHN M. KIMMEL, WILLIAM N. KINSEY, DAVID A. ONKST

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