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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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

  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 386

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 386 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 386

    written several names of Brethren. I afterwards learned in Georgia that Leonhard intended to go to Bethlehem. On December 22nd, we did not go very far, because it rained, but we came to the "Winiar River" [Winyah Bay], which is three miles wide. They refused to take us over, saying the wind was contrary. Hence we nad to wait. On the following day we had to wait again till ten o'clock for the tide. We passed half a mile from Georgetown, which is situated between two rivers. Then we journeyed fifteen miles before we found a house where we could lodge. But it became dark before we could reach it. We lost our way. When we called they answered us from an inn a mile away. We went to this place and stayed there over night. On December 24th, we were early taken across the " Sandy" [Santee] River, and after a mile we passed over the other arm of this river. We had nice weather and a fairly good road, hence we hastened to reach "Charlestown " [Charleston] before night. But we were unable to make it. We stayed, therefore, over night with a Scotchman, named Bruce. We had to go to this house, because the house before was full of negroes, who would not receive us. Bruce at first objected, but finally yielded and showed us much kindness. He discussed the Scriptures with us, which he knew very well. On December 25th, after having been taken across the "Copper " [Cooper] River, we came safely to Charlestown [Charleston]. We asked for Mr. Brunet, for whom we had a letter. He received us very kindly. He related to us the pitiable circumstances of the ministers and people there, and what evil reports they circulated about the count [Zinzendorf] and the Moravians, of which the libellous book of Gilbert Tennant* is the main cause. I inquired after Germans, but when I heard that only very few live in the city, I resolved to leave "Charlestown" on the following day. *This is probably the book entitled: "The Necessity of Holding Fast the Truth, represented in Three Sermons on Rev. III, 3. Preached at New York, April, 1742, with an Appendix, Relating to Errors lately vented by some Moravians in those parts. By Gilbert Tennent, M. A. Boston, 1743."

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 1 (Jul., 1904), page 74

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 1 (Jul., 1904), page 74 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 1 (Jul., 1904), page 74

    at eleven o'clock. This pleased them very much and they said they would notify the people. On April 11-March 31, the r-gular reader [John Jung] came at once to me and paid me a long visit. I was able to speak with him and Hoffman's brother much about the Saviour. My heart opened to them and they sat there as if they would take every word out of my mouth. At twelve o'clock I preached with God's grace and blessing to the little flock in their pretty and well built but little clapboard church. After the sermon they tried their utmost to give ine some money, so that I could hardly keep them back. I assured them that I would take no money for the sermon, and whatever I needed for the journey I had. They thanked me very much and asked me to visit them again, and desired especially to see our brother Hoffman among them. John Jung and [John Henry] Hoffman accompanied me across the North River of the Rippehaning [Rappahannock], and very late in the evening I came to the old Mr. Holzklo in Germantown. After I had sat for a short while with the old man he asked me if I were a preacher? I said: "Yes." He said: "Would you not stay with us till Sunday and give us a sermon?" I answered that I could not stay so long, as I had appointed three sermons for Sunday at Manakasy [Monocacy], but if it would suit then during the week I would preach for them day after to-morrow. He said: "Indeed, I shall ask the people to come day after to-morrow, that is Friday at ten o'clock," with which I was satisfied. As Holzklo is getting old he is becoming religious. He asked his children to come into the room, and by various questions gave me an opportunity to tell them something about the Saviour. On Thursday, April 11-March 31, I rested. I had several visitors during the day. Especially the old schoolmaster of the place came to me. He begins in his own way to prepare himself for his departure, because he sees that there is no other way, nor any possibility to remain in this world, but that he must die. I told him of the false and true righteousness and that only the blood of Jesus can justify and save us. I also visited his children, and told them something about the Saviour.

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 388

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 388 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 388

    she cried for her schoolteacher Schulius, who is buried in "Purisburg." Then he also began to cry and asked that a schoolteacher of the Brethren might again come to them. When we returned to "Purisburg" (for Mr. Ehrhard lives one mile outside of town) we were treated to a bottle of wine. The same evening, at nine o'clock, we left "Purisburg" and went with Lichtensteger's canoe down the Savannah River. Early the next morning, at three o'clock, we came to Savannah. As everybody was yet asleep, we walked up and down through the streets. Finally we saw a light in a little house. We knocked, and when they opened we found it was Bro. Henry Beck. After having been refreshed with some tea, bread and butter, we lay down for a few hours. On December 31st, we stayed the whole day in their house. They were overcome with joy and were eager to show their love for us. They related to me the poor spiritual condition of the people there, how they had ceased all intercourse with them. 1744, January. On the 1st, I went with Bro. Henry Beck to the White "Ploff" [Bluff], where all the Germans live together on about forty plantations. I delivered a letter to Conrad Fuehrer, who has ceased his intercourse with the Brethren for some time, especially since a letter had been sent by Rev. Mr. "Muhlberg" [Muehlenberg],* of Philadelphia, to the pastor of the Salzburgers,† *Rev. Henry Melchior Muehlenberg, the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America, arrived in Charleston, S. C., September 22, 1742. After a visit to the congregations of the Salzburgers, he returned to Charleston, where he took a little sloop for Philadelphia. After a very dangerous voyage he arrived at his destination on November 25, 1742. He was for many years pastor of the Lutheran congregations at Philadelphia, New Hanover and New Providence. He died October 7, 1787. See W. J. Mann, Life and Times of H. M. Muehlenberg, Philadelphia, I 887. † The Salzburgers were Lutheran Protestants, driven from their homes, the Duchy of Salzburg, now in Austria, by the intolerance of the Roman archbishop. More than 30,000 left their homes. While most of them settled in Prussia, a small part came to Georgia. The first company, consisting of ninety-one persons, arrived in 1734. They were led by their pastors, John Martin Boltzius and Israel Christian Gronau. They

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