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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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

  • 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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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 277

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 277 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 277

    changed our tent and dug a little ditch around it for the water to run off, but the rain came through the tent so that we becanme thoroughly wet and were kept awake nearly the whole night. On November 10, it began to clear a little. The river rose still higher. We passed our time with drying blankets, mending clothes and darning stockings. We bought several bushels of corn and some meat from our neighbors, who liked our prolonged stay as it netted them some money. In the afternoon we had a little love feast. Bro. Nathanael led the evening worship and we lay down to rest. On November 11, several brethren went to the river early to find out whether we could cross. The river had falletn two feet. A man showed us the ford and I rode through6 first on our white horse. We risked it and drove through safely. The banks were tolerably easy to pass. We then passed through a swamp, but stuck fast in a mud hole for a considerable time. We had much trouble to get out. Mr. Hikki, who lives half a mile from here and keeps a store (which is the nearest house, at which we can buy salt), came to us and showed himself very friendly. We had a miserable road to his house. Here we bought some provisions. A few miles from this place we met a man from North Carolina, who lives not far from our land. We heard from himn that it was known everywhere that we would soon come. He had also heard that we had two ministers with us, which was very good, because they lived almost as wild men and heard nothing of God or his word. They were also pleased to hear that we had a physician with us. We ate our dinner two and a half miles beyond Mr. Hikki, near a little creek. where we found a good pasture. We had had a pretty good road thus far. Then we continued through several mud holes and across steep hills. Every half or quarter of a mile we found water, often close to a deep swamp. In the evening we pitched our tent near a little creek, having traveled to-day eight miles, which was rapid progress. We were glad to have such beautiful and warm weather. At night we cooked Virginia potatoes which tasted very well. 5 This refers to the writer of the diary, wvho was most probably the Rev. B. A. Grube.

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 2 (Oct., 1903), page 117

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 2 (Oct., 1903), page 117 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 2 (Oct., 1903), page 117

    On October 30th, we started early and came, in the forenoon, to the Potomac River, where we breakfasted with Isaac Gerison, a cousin of our Bro. Gerison.* A fried squirrel, which was placed before us for the first time in our life, tasted well. Then, we traveled, with a light heart, some twenty miles up along the Potomack, wading through the "Licken Creek" [Licking Creek] and leaving "Long Island" at our left. On our way we came to a German house, where we found the whole family clothed in Indian fashion. The woman complained that they had not heard a sermon for five years. A boy took us with a horse through the next creek, called "Knattewe" [Conotowans Creek]. In the evening we arrived, cheerfully, at the house of Carl Bock, with whom we stayed over night. An English schoolmaster was also there who was especially friendly, because Mr. Monday† had promised to assist him in getting his son to Bethlehem where he could study Latin without any expense to him. I gave him more correct information. Otherwise there was much confusion in the house during the whole night, because all kinds of young people were there, among whom whiskey circulated freely. On October 31st. we passed no house for thirty-five miles, but indescribably high mountains. We started early, having some "Jahny cicks" [Johnny cakes] in our knapsack. The mountains which we had to climb, especially the steep ascent. made me so weak that I soon gave out, but the Lamb blessed the drops which I took with a drink of cold water from the creek, so that I felt strong again. Thus we continued our journey over the high "German Mountain," through the "Fifteen Mile Creek," and came, in the afternoon, to "Leonhardt's Spring." Here we refreshed ourselves and ate our "Jahny cakes." Then we hurried on, and after passing safely through two creeks. [Evitts and Wills Creeks, near Cumberland, Md.]* Probably Captain Nicholas Garrison. See A. Reincke, Register of Ike Memhers of the Moravian Church. 1727-I754. Bethlehem, 1873. p. 55. Note. † Major Monday, a friend of the Moravians at Monocacy.

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