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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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.
was very dry arid the word of Christ's sufferings found no hearing. On December 6th, we came to Mesanoton [Massanutton]. We stayed with Philip Lung, who had his own religion.* I intended to preach but he would not let us have his house, assuring us that none would come, since Rev. Mr. Klug [the Lutheran minister in the present county of Madison] had warned the people to be on their guard against us. We had soon an opportunity of seeing how bitter the people are towards us. Hence we concluded to leave, which we did, wishing God's blessing upon the district.† An unmarried man, H. Reder, took us through the river. He told us that eight weeks before he had visited Bethlehem. We crossed the Ritsch lRidge] and stayed over night with an Englishman. Towards evening we had to cross the North River.‡ Leonhard [Schnell] had thus far carried Bro. Brandmueller perhaps ten times across the river. On December 7th, we had to walk twenty miles hefore breakfast, because we found no house and had not been able to secure any bread in our lodging place. In the afternoon we came to George Dae/inger, where I preached two years ago. I asked him whether I could again preach in his house. He answered: "Not for fifty pounds." It had been taken very ill of him that he had allowed it two years ago. The people, and especially the Rev. Mr. Klug, had warned him not to permit himself to be led astray. Moreover, he said, "You are done for at this place, since the people have received the information con * Philip Long, the ancestor of that family in Page county, a member of which was the wife of General Sterling Price, of Missouri. † The Massanutton district was the first white settlement in the Valley of Virginia, numbering nine families and fifty-one persons in 1729. Adam Miller first located there, but in a few years removed to his permanent home near Elkton on the Shenandoah, as previously stated. See Volume I, Palmer's Calendar 0./ Virginia Slate Papers, pp. 219-220. ‡ The missionaries had now crossed the Massanutton range of mountains and were within the limits of the present county of Shenandoah.
The others are all Irish and English. Among them Mr. Thompson* lives. They have several churches. VIII. THE LITTLE FORK OF THE RIPPEHANNING [RAPPAHANNOCK.] It is situated about twenty-two miles from the Great Fork towards the "Potomik."† Twelve families of the Siegen district, being of the Reformed religion, live there close together. They are very fine, neighborly and friendly people, who love each other in their manner, and live together very peacefully. The brother of our Matthew Hoffman,‡ John Henry Hoffman, also lives there, and I lodged with him. They built a small, neat and suitable church, and engaged one of their number, John Jung, to be the "Reader" in the church, who conducts services for them every Sunday. They cannot daughter of Hermanus Otterbach and EIIsbeth Heimbach, his wife. The latter were married at Siegen on August 11, 1685. John Kemper, the immigrant, was the son of John George Kemper, an Elder of the German Reformed Church at Muesen, born January 4, 1663, died October 3, 1731, and Agnes Kleb, his wife, and grandson of Johann Kemper, born about 1635, and died December 6, 1670, and Anna Low, his wife. The names and dates of births, marriages and deaths, relating to John Kemper, were secured from the records of the German Reformed churches of Muesen and Siegen, by Mr. Willis M. Kemper, of Cincinnati, Ohio, whose researches in reference to Germanna have been exhaustive. * This is Rev. John Thompson, from 1740-1772 pastor of the Episcopal parish of St. Mark. On November 9, 1742, he married the widow of Governor Spotswood. See Bishop Meade's Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia, Vol. II, p. 79. During his ministry the parish had three chapels—one at Germanna, the second in the Little Fork, and the third at the South West Mountain.† This was a branch of the Germantown settlement, which will be discussed in a succeeding note. By stating that these people came (rom the Siegen district (meaning Nassau-Siegen, Germany), the missionary removes all doubts as to the origin of the Germanna colonists, and disposes of many erroneous conjectures concerning them. John Henry Hoffman, here mentioned, was one of the original settlers of Germantown. ‡ See Reincke, Register of Moravians, p. 84.
personally he had no objection, but explicit orders had been received from "Charlestown," according to which none should have permission to preach, except he had been ordained or licensed by the Bishop of London. He advised me, therefore, to preach in the manner of our Bro. Boehler* and others in my house. Besides, he said, he did not know whether I were a Capuchin [monk] or a teacher of languages, running about through the country. And, in case I were a follower of Zinzendorf, I might have as heretical doctrines as my Bro. Hagen.† Finally, he did not know our doctrines, for although he had read some of our books, there had not been in them a real exposition of our teaching, and he would ask Bro. Boehler to send biun such books, which would be thankfully received. He wished me much success and blessing in my work for the conversion of many souls. As for himself, he had not been able to accomplish much with his sermons among the Germans, because their hearts were very hard. Yet he would continue to preach as there was nobody else. On the following day I visited the Germans in the country, but found few hearts with a desire for the Saviour. Abraham Bininger's‡ brother told me that he had long intended to move * Rev. Peter Boehler was, after Spangenberg. the most prominent leader of the Moravians in America. Born December 31, 1712, in Frankfort-on-the-Main. Ordained December I6, 1737, by Zinzendorf. Sent to Georgia, where he arrived on September 29, 1738. When the settlement in Georgia was abandoned, he returned with Whitefield to Pennsylvania in 1740. Ordained Bishop in 1748. For many years one of the superintendents of the American congregations, carrying on his work with great diligence and success. Died April 27, 1775, in London. His efficient labors are worthily commemorated by J. R. Lockwood, Memorials of the Life of Peter Boehler, Bishop of the Church of the United Brethren, London, i868. † John Hagen, from Brandenburg, was sent in 1740 to labor among the Cherokees in Georgia. Came to Bethlehem in February, 1742. Labored later among the Delawares, the Susquehanna Indians and the Mohicans of New York. Died at Shamokin, September 16, 1747. Note of Mr. J. W. Jordan in Moravian of April 4, 1878. ‡ Abraham Buhninger, born in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland. Emigrated to Purysburg, S. C. Settled finally at Bethlehem in 1745. Register of Moravians, p. 78.