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 This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 239

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    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 239 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 239

    line. For an hour and a half they climbed the very steep ascent, but when they reached the top they surveyed in every direction an exceedingly wide region, and it seemed to them as if the whole earth were at their feet.* On account of its remarkable height, they called the mountain "Fuersten Spitz" [Prince Peak]. In passing over the top and in their descent they spent four full hours. As it was evening and they missed the road, they happened to strike an "elk trail," which took them between two mountains.† Here they passed the night, hungry and thirsty, encamped at their fire. They were frequently visited by the elks, which are numerous in those mountains. On the following morning, July 26th, they came to a marked path. It brought them to a salt lick, which is frequented by the elks and where they are usually shot by the hunters. A kind spirit led them to the right way, by which they continued their journey, till they came in the evening to a German plantation. Here Adam Roeder‡ lives, whose mother, eighty-six years of age, lives at Makuntsche [Macungie, now Emmaus, Lehigh county, Pa.], and belongs to that congregation. * The region seen by the missionaries from the top of "Fuersten Spitz" is now comprised in the counties of Augusta, Rockingham and Shenandoah. † This was probably Brock's Gap, one of the most important passes through the North Mountain. ‡ Adam Rader. The missionaries were now in the vicinity of Timberville, Rockingham county, Va. About one mile west of this place stands Rader's Church, which is known to be one of the oldest places of worship in Rockingham, although the date of the organization of the congregation cannot be given definitely. The first reference to the Reformed congregation worshipping in Rader's Church is found in the diary of Rev. Charles Lange, pastor at Frederick, Md, who visited the congregation on April 17, 1768. See Fathers of the Reformed Church, Vol. II, p. 154. From the beginning until 1879 it was used jointly by the German Reformed and Lutheran denominations. In that year a new church was built by the Lutherans for their sole use, the German Reformed congregation shortly afterwards erecting a church at Timberville.

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  • Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], page 476

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    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], Page 476 [Click for larger image]Page 476

    has done a unique and stupendous service in the field of western historic lore. These volumes will soon be beyond the reach of the purchaser as but one thousand copies were printed — "from type and the type destroyed" — say the publishers. Scarcity will therefore soon add to the value of the work. A BUCKEYE BOYHOOD. A very delightful and entertaining little volume of two hundred pages, recently published by The Robert Clarke Company, Cincinnati, is “A Buckeye Boyhood," by William Henry Venable. The mention of the author's name is assurance of the literary excellence of the story and the charming nature of the narrative, Mr. Venable early won high place among the Ohio men of letters by his “Beginnings of Literary Culture in the Ohio Valley," now a classic in Ohioana. His numerous other books of poetry, history, fiction and essay bespeak the range of his intellectual wealth and the versatility of his talent, thought and study. A dozen or more volumes on various themes, all gems in their way, attest the popular place Mr. Venable has attained among the readers not only of Ohio but the country at large. This last volume is a "veiled autobiography" — a renaissance of the life and times of the author's boyhood; much of the recital being his own personal experience. The story is given in a simple, lucid style of "everyday" English — rendering the pages fascinating alike to young and old. In the rush and whirl of our present day life the literature that seems most in demand is that either of the purely in forming kind — the knowledge more or less heavy or technical that men and women seek for practical purposes or the highly imaginative or sensational class that stimulates the emotions and is read, much as narcotics and intoxicants are taken, to deaden for the moment the oppressions and cares of an overwrought nervous existence. The Buckeye Boyhood is a reversion — evidently delightful to the author and hence also to the reader — to the simple rural life of a generation or two ago; the struggle on the farm, for a plain living, with its attendant enjoyment of the freedom and beauties of nature; the toil arduous but simple, and unhampered by the exactions and high pressure of the "get there" ambitions and superfluous luxuries. The fields and woods and streams and hills and dales were the boy's arena — the country school with its elemental studies, the glimpses of the village and city life and the wider range of vision they opened for the lad; his books and reading and his amusements; all these are set forth by the pen of Mr. Venable as with the brush of a master upon the canvas of memory by an artist not an impressionist but a realist. The chapter on "religious experience" is especially readable as it typifies the crucial trial through which nearly all thoughtful and serious

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  • History – Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico & Louisiana, Front cover (inside)

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    Front cover (inside) — History: Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico & Louisiana [Click for larger image] title=Front cover (inside)

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