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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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


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. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 377

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 377 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 377

    them and to administer the communion. But now he had gone to Germany, and thus they were entirely forsaken. They had, indeed, written to Germany several times for a minister, who would earnestly care for ihe salvation of their souls and not for money. However, none was willing to come. There are two other places in this neighborhood which would like to have a minister. On Sunday, the 24th, I preached to them in their church on Rom., 5: 1. About one hundred persons assembled, and if the weather had not been so unfavorable many more would have come. It is a very neat little church, kept in good order and clean. The people were very attentive and eager to hear. I felt God's grace, and was quite at home among them. The schoolmaster thought that I had a special gift for preaching, because he did not understand the power of the preaching of the blood of Christ. After the sermon I distributed some Reformed catechisnms* among them because they were all Reformed people. In the afternoon several men, together with the officers of the congregation, came to visit me. We spoke of various subjects. They said that they had a parsonage, together with one hundred acres of land and a garden, which a minister could occupy at once, if they had one, nor would they allow him to suffer want in other necessaries of life. They related to me that some time ago a number of people had lived in Georgia who had been very pious, and would not tolerate any one among them who cursed. The name of their minister had been Spangenberg. But they had not liked the place, and hence had removed to Pennsylvania to Zinzendorf.† I asked what the people of this February, 1743, and went to Europe to study medicine at Leyden, Holland, 1743-1745. Returned and settled at Lancaster, where he practiced medicine. Pastor of Schaefferstown, Lebanon county, and Seltenreich, Lancaster county, 1746-1762. Died March 11, 1769 at Lancaster. During his pastorate at Lancaster, 1739-1743, he visited Virginia. See History of the Reformed Church in the United States, by Rev. Dr. J. I. Good, Reading, 1899, pp. 166-170; 580-581. * The same as the Swedish and English catechisms mentioned above. † They were unconsciously telling the Moravian missionaries the story of the first Moravian settlement made in Georgia in 1735 and abandoned in 1740, which was, no doubt, well known to them. See Early History

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 230

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 230 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 230

    about fifty miles, if one follows the road. The common people call this district "At the Mountains." Within a circle of a few miles eighty families live there together, Lutherans, mostly from Wurtemberg. They have a beautiful large church and school, also a parsonage and a glebe of several hundred acres, with seven negroes, who must cultivate the minister's land. The name of the minister living there is Klug.* He is of a phlegmatical and sanguinary temperament [an odd combination!]. He has studied at Helmstadt under the Abbot Mosheim. He has accidentally [!] adopted the principles and language of Halle, but otherwise is not of their party [i. e., he was no pietist]. He was cordial, frank and confidential in my presence. He called the Hallensians [ministers from Halle, Germany] Pharisees, who laid burdens upon the people which they would not touch with their little finger. Some of the people there are not satisfied with him. They asked me to preach for them once. They object to him especially because, as they claim, he drinks too much. settled in the forks of the Conway and Robinson rivers, in the present county of Madison. In 1737 they numbered three hundred souls. They built Hebron church in 1740. It stands on a beautiful eminence in the forks of Robinson river and White Oak run, and has been continually used by the Lutheran congregation of that section since the year last mentioned. Rev. John Caspar Stoever was their first minister. His pastorate commenced in 1733. In 1734 he returned to Germany to collect money for a church, but died on the way back in the spring of 1738. For further accounts of this church and congregation see Dr. Slaughter's History of St. Mark's Parish, pp. 45-46; Bishop Meade's Old Churches and Families of Virginia, Vol. II, pp. 74-76; and Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society, Vol. II, Nos. I, 2 and 3. It may be possible to give a partial list of these German Lutherans in a future number of the Magazine. The fact that most of these colonists came from the kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany, is here stated for the first time. * Rev. Georg Samuel Klug was born in Elbing, Prussia. Ordained at Danzig on August 30, 1736. Called to Virginia while Stoever was making his collecting tour in Germany. Arrived in Philadelphia in 1738, as appears from Gottschalk's statement. With the money collected in Germany, about 3,000 pounds, a church was built in 1740. A piece of land and a number of slaves were bought to cultivate it. Klug died after a long, but not very successful, ministry, in 1761. See Hallesche Nachrichten, New Ed., Vol. I, pp. 578-580.

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  • Elder Samuel Murray Autobiography
    Photograph of Eld. Samuel Murray [Click for larger image]Samuel Murray

    April 1, 1806—March 31, 1906.

    Born in a log cabin in Huntingdon County, Pa.  Son of John Murray and wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Wellbaum.   In his childhood the wolf, panther and bear menaced the family more or less.  When six, the family traveling by wagon to Pittsburgh, and then down the Ohio in boat, made its way to a settlement about nine miles west of Dayton.  Here forty acres of timber land were bought for $60, a log cabin erected, and the father went out to work at day’s labor to make a living.  When Samuel was twelve the father died, leaving in great poverty the widowed mother with a large family of children.  The older son leaving home to do for himself, the responsibility of helping mother care for the little ones fell upon Samuel.  He remained faithful to his charge until twenty–one, when he started out for himself also.  Taking up the trade of carpentry and mill-wright he hired the first year at $5 per month, the second at $10 and the third at $15, with the privilege of going to school three months of each year.  Thus in six years he enjoyed eighteen months’ schooling.

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