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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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

  • Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], page 457

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society
    Publications, Volume XX

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], Page 457 [Click for larger image]Page 457

    BRADY'S LEAP. BY E. O. RANDALL. In what is known as "Tract 29," issued in 1875 by the West ern Reserve Historical Society, the "tradition"—as the Tract calls it—of Brady's leap is related. That a famous leap by Brady was made, at the place generally designated as the site, there is little or no doubt. The time and attending circumstances of the achievement are much in dispute, and wrote Mr. L. V. Bierce, in 1 856, "the numerous traditions respecting Brady's Leap across the Cuyahoga River, and many other hair breadth escapes and adventures of that old frontiersman grow more and more vague and conflicting with the lapse of time." "Tract 29" consists mainly of a letter written at Akron, in 1856, to one Seth Day, by Frederick Wadsworth, in which letter Wadsworth states that in 1802 he was residing in Pittsburg and there met "a man by the name of John Sumerall," who had long lived in Pittsburg and who had been an "intimate friend of Brady," from whom he (Sumerall) learned the particulars of his (Brady's) life and adventures. According to Sumerall's account Samuel Brady "a powerful strong man, kind hearted, but an uncompromising and deadly enemy to the Indians," lived in his youth in Pennsylvania. During an Indian raid the people of Brady's settlement were killed and Brady escaping "swore eternal enmity to .the whole Indian race. " Sumerall relates to Wadsworth many of the encounters Brady had with the red men and among escapades the one involving the famous leap. Sumerall gave Wadsworth the date of this feat but the latter failed to remember it. This lapse of memory by Wadsworth is unfortunate as that is the main point in dispute by different relators of the incident. Wadsworth recites the story at some length as he had it from Sumerall who had it from Brady. Briefly the account is that Brady—at the time in question, date not given-left Pitts-

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  • Claar Congregation of Blair County, Pennsylvania

    The only congregation near to Queen, Pennsylvania, the Claar congregation has for many years been two meeting-houses, the Upper and the Lower.  The Upper Claar house congregation dates from the early 1850's while the newer Lower Claar meeting-house dates from 1890.  The congregation dates from the late 1700's though the official date of organization was on September 25, 1886 when it was set aside from the Yellow Creek congregation of Morrison's Cove, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

    The files as represent herein are from a re-typeset edition published in 2005 that contains, in addition to the original material, a section containing biographies from A History of the Church of the Brethren in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the inclusion of an extensive index.  Of the original five books printed, only two remain available for purchase.  And one shall remain forever unsold in the author's possession.

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 373

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 373 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 373

    lodged in an English tavern. Here the people complained very much, because they had no better preacher than the one ministering to them at present. On account of his disorderly life he he has no influence among the people. At this place I handed to the landlady the Swedish catechisms,* which Bro. Bryzeliust† of Philadelphia, gave me for his countrymen, who live three miles from here. On the 19th, we went to Roger Turner, who married the sister of Bro. Evans, and lives ten miles from here. They were very glad to see us. They urged me to give them a sermon, but my deficiency in the English language prevented me from doing it. We stayed with them a day and a night. When we departed they asked us very urgently to come again. I was here requested to baptize the child of an Englishman, nine months old, but I refused. On the 20th we continued our journey. Roger Turner accompanied us part of the way and showed us the right road. They gave us some Indian corn bread and cheese for the journey, although they were poor. At sunset we came to a German innkeeper, Jost Hayd,† a rich man, well known in this region. it seems to follow that he still occupied, in 1743, his first place of settlement on the Opequon, where the road passes the creek at Bartonsville. In 1748, he had removed to the Cedar Creek. See this magazine, Vol. XI, p. 228. * This Swedish catechism was a translation of the English catechism, mentioned before. It was translated into Swedish by Olaf Malander. See John Bechtel; His Contributions to Literature and His Descendants. By John W. Jordan. Philadeiphia, 1895. It is commonly thought that this catechism was actually composed by John Bechtel. But this view is erroneous. In the Bethlehem Diary we find the following entry, under date July 1, 1742: 'Bro Andrew Eschenbach and Gottlieb Buettner read from the Catechisnm for the Reformed congregations, which was written by Bro. Ludwig [Zinzendorf] and edited by Bro. John Bechtel." This statement settles definitely the authorship of the book. In fact, the title does not claim more than that Bechtel was the editor. ‡ "Paul Daniel Pryzelius" was ordained by the Moravians in 1743. He labored among the Swedes in West Jersey. See Register of the Moravians, p. 50. ‡ Just Hite, who was mentioned by Rev. Mr. Gottschalk in his Re-port and Observations, published in the January number, 1904, of this

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