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 This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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 378

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society
    Publications, Volume XX

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], Page 378 [Click for larger image]Page 378

    EARLY STEAM BOAT TRAVEL ON THE OHIO RIVER. BY LESLIE S. HENSHAW, CINCINNATI, OHIO. October, 1911, marks a centennial of considerable importance to the Western country, for it was in that month in 1811, that the first steamboat on Western waters, passed down the Ohio River. The boat, a "side-wheeler",1 was built at Pittsburgh, under the direction of Nicholas J. Roosevelt of New York, an agent of Fulton, the inventor, and Livingston, the financial aid, and was called the "New Orleans."2 It passed Cincinnati on the twenty-seventh of October3 and arrived at Louisville on the twenty-eighth.4 The Cincinnati newspaper, "Liberty Hall", in its issue of Wednesday, October thirtieth, 1811, adds a small note to commercial and ship news to the following effect: "On Sunday last. the steamboat lately built at Pittsburgh passed this town at 5 o'clock in the afternoon in fine stile, going at the rate of about 10 or 12 miles an hour." The water was too low to allow passage over the falls, so to prove that it could navigate against the current, the boat made several trips between Louisville and Cincinnati and, on November twenty-seventh, arrived at Cincinnati in forty-five hours from the falls.5 When the water rose, the "New Orleans" proceeded on its way towards its destination and arrived at Natchez, late in December6 and plied as a regular packet between Natchez and New Orleans for several years. Following the "New Orleans", a group of boats was built at Pittsburgh; the "Comet" under the French patent; the "Vesuvius" and the "Aetna" on the Fulton plan. In the meantime, Brownsville had entered the field as a steamboat building town, for the "Enterprise" was constructed there and later, the engine for the "Washington," under the supervision of Captain Henry M. Shreve, while the boat itself was built at Wheeling. This boat by its voyage in 1817, from Shippingport to New Orleans and back in forty-five days. convinced the skeptical public that steamboat navigation would succeed on Western

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 282

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 282 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 282

    CORRECTIONS AND ADDITIONS. Vol. XI, p. 118, note *. Omit the last sentence. Colonel Thomas Cresap settled at Old Town, Md. See Magazinie XI, 236, note. Idem, p. 125, third line from bottom. Omit Robert Lewis. The name of this Englishman is unknown. Robert Luhny (Loony) lived at the James river. See Magazine XII, 82, 152. Idem, p. 127. The notes on this page ought to have been reversed. Idem, p. 127, note *. It is not entirely certain that Jacob Baer, Sr., removed to Virginia. His name occurs in the assessment lists of Conestoga townsnip, Lancaster Co., Pa, in 1724-5. See Ellis & Evans, History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, p. 21. His two sons, John and Jacob, Jr., settled near Elkton in 1740 and married daughters of Adam Miller, as stated. Idem, p. 129, note ‡. Mr. Schmidt, originally a dentist, officiated occasionally as pastor among the Lutherans at New Hanover, Pa., from 1736 to 1743. On the arrival of Muehlenberg he went to Virginia, where he preached for a number of years. In 1747 Muehlenberg met him at Frederick, Md. See Hallesche Nachrichten, New Ed., Vol. I, pp. 335, 425. Mr. Schnell also refers to him in 1747 as being at Frederick. Idem, p. 374, note *. The main reasons why Schnell did not wish to go through the Irish settlements are no doubt correctly stated by J. A. W., (Magazinie XII, 203.) At the same time it must be admitted that not much love was lost between the Germans and the Irish. See Magazine XI, 126, XII, 68, 140. Idem, p. 379, note *. The note relative to the several locations of Orange Court House, Virginia, is somewhat in error. The first court house was located near Sommerville's Ford, about four miles west of

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 315

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 315 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 315

    kers.] Their habit seems to be peculiar to themselves, consisting of a long tunic or coat, reaching down to their heels, with a sash or girdle round the waist, and a cap or hood hanging from the shoulders. They do not shave the head or beard. " 'The men and women have separate habitations and distinct governments. For these purposes they erected two large, wooden buildings, one of which is occupied by the brethren, the other by the sisters of the society; and in each of them there is a banqueting-room, and an apartment for public worship; for the brethren and sisters do not meet together even at their devotions. " 'They used to live chiefly upon roots and other vegetables, the rules of their society not allowing them ftesh, except upon particular occasions, when they hold what they call a love-feast, at which time the brethren and sisters dine together in a large apartment and eat mutton, but no other meat. [The Dunkers do perpetuate the Apostolic lovefeast - a-gape—at which the meat used is almost invariably mutton, or veal.] In each of their little cells they have a bench fixed, to serve the purpose of a bed, and a small block of wood for a pillow. They allow of marriages, but consider celebacy as a virtue. " 'The principal tenet of the Tunkers appears to be this—that future happiness is only to be obtained by penance and outward mortifications in this life, and that, as Jesus Christ, by his meritorious sufferings, became the Redeemer of mankind in general, so each individual of the human race, by a life of abstinence and restraint, may work out his own salvation. Nay, they go so far as to admit of works of supererogation, and declare that a man may do much more than he is in justice or equity obliged to do, and that his superabundant works may, therefore, be applied to the salvation of others.' " This is, perhaps, the climax, but there is more of the same sort. We can excuse Howe in some measure, perhaps, because he only followed in his account what he regarded as a trustworthy publication, and I have found almost the identical words that Howe quotes in Edwards' Enclycopaedia of Religious Know/edge; but he is grievously in error, nevertheless. As a matter of fact, many German Dunkers did settle in Botetourt county at an early period, and their descendants—most of them still Dunkers—number thousands in Botetourt and adjoining counties to-day; but what Howe says here is not descriptive, except in the particulars I have indicated, of these people, either then or now. What he says is, I suppose, true in the main of the Ephrata Society; but it is not, and never was, true of the Dunkers. The Dunkers have been confused not only with their ascetic off-shoot, the Ephrata Society, but also with other sects better known. I quote from the Schaff-Herzog Enc/ycopaedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol.

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