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 This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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 387

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 387 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 387

    On December 26th, in the afternoon, we left. We crossed the "Eschel" [Ashley] River six miles from "Charlestown," passing over a large bridge. We then lodged with an Englishman, who knew Bro. Spangenberg and the brethren in Georgia, having been especially impressed by their singing. On December 27th, we traveled thirty-five miles, crossing on the way the "Panpan [Ponpon]," "Eschelboo" [Ashepoo] and "Comby" [Combahee] rivers. The tavern in which we lodged was very noisy, because three servants, who had run away from Georgia, were captured there. On the 28th, at noon, we came to the "Cussahetschy " [Coosawhatschie] River.* We were very tired on account of the great heat, When we heard that we would not find a house for twelve miles, but only water, we stayed there and rested. On Sunday, the 29th, we passed for the first twelve miles continuously through water, one foot deep, but we reached " Purisburg" [Purysburg].† We visited Melchior Lichtensteger and handed to him the letter of Abr. Bininger. He received us willingly. We stayed with him over night. On December 30th, we visited, early in the morning, Mr. Ehrhard. He was very glad when I told him that I belonged to the Brethren. He regretted very much that the Brethren had left "Purisburg."‡ He accompanied me into the town, and when I took leave his little daughter, ten years old, cried very much. When the father asked her why she cried, she said * This must be the Broad River in Beaufort county, S. C., at which the town Coosawhatschie is now situated. † Purysburg was laid out in 1732 by John Peter Pury, from Switzerland. It was situated on the left bank of Savannah river, twenty miles from the city Savannah. Most of the original settlers were Swiss. Their first pastor was Joseph Bugnion, who, during his stay in England, received Episcopal ordination. See The Reformed Church in Pennsylvania, by Rev. Dr. Dubbs, p. 30. ‡ The stay of the Moravians in Purysburg had not been of long duration. Rev. Peter Boehler and George Schulius removed from Savannah to Purysburg in February, 1739. But Schulius succumbed to the climate and died of fever, August 4, 1739. Towards fall, Peter Boehier left Purysburg and returned to Savannah. See Early History of the Moravians, p. 76, f.

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  • Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], Back cover

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society
    Publications, Volume XX

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

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  • The History… of the Potsdam Congregation, Page 5

    The History of the Potsdam Congregation
    of the Church of the Brethren

    Page 5— The History… of the Potsdam Congregation [Click for larger image] title=Page 5

    Carrie [Hoke] Minnich 1897-1967 Cletus Minnich 1900-1985 Harold Minnich 1896-1957 Lelah [Ganger] LandisMinnich 1908-1998 Chester Myers 1903-1979 Foster Myers 1903-1989 Grace [Westfall] MyersMyers 1879-1954 Lester Myers 1900-1970 Lewis Myers 1879-1968 Miriam [Eikenberry] Myers 1906-1990 Ocey [Westfall] Myers 1883-1954 Osa Myers 1906-1953 Robert E. Myers 1909-1984 Webster Myers 1877-1927 Christina [Koons] Nease 1879-1966 Charles Norris 1911-1994 Cora Norris 1897-1979 John Norris c1910- Rosella [Dohner] Norris 1858-1932 Lucille [Henderson] O’Neill 1907 Amanda [Swank] Oswalt 1870-1926 Mina [Dickey] Overholser 1905- 1971 Forest Puterbaugh 1903-1978 Harold Puterbaugh 1899-1995 Marie [Besecker] Puterbaugh 1900-1971 Ralph Puterbaugh 1897-1900 Vesta [Folkerth] Puterbaugh 1903-1998 Betty [Sease] Ritchison 1881-1972 Oliver Ritchison 1872/3-1964 Bessie [Miller] Royer 1904-2003 Lucille [Shank] Sanger John Schenk 1872-1952 Martha [Arnett] Schenk 1872-1949 Treva Schenk 1901-1952 Bessie [Holbert] Sease 1879-1924 David H. Sease 1877-1960 George Sease 1852-1935 Orin Shaffer 1892-1987 Velma [Hall] Shaffer 1899-1984 Elmer Shank 1885-1974 Lucille [Ganger] ForsteShank 1913-1991 Minerva [Jordan] CunninghamShank 1892-1983 Georgia [Carson] Shanck 1886-1938 Harris Shanck 1911-2004 Jennie [Klepinger] Shanck 1890-1959 Jesse Shanck 1888-1968 Lucy Shanck 1894-1975 Noah Shanck 1886-1935 Sally [Isenbarger] Shanck 1853-1939 Velma [Heisey] Shearer 1905-1960 Lova [Heisey] Shuttleworth 1912-1991 Mary [Hall] Smith 1906-2002 Harvey Sotzing 1893-1973 Ruth [Harshbarger] Sotzing 1894-1960 Cora [Johnston] Spitler 1880-1935 Nora [Ditmer] Spitler 1902-1987 Cora [Bare] Strawser 1881-1948 Lola [Miller] Ward 1910-1936 Mary [Duncan]Weisenbarger 1864-1935 Ruth [Heisey] Wissinger 1910-1990 It has been said that there were 170 charter members. If correct, six of the names were not recorded in the church registry. Two are known at this time to be living, Lucille [Henderson] O’Neill and Franklin Baker, residents of the Brethren’s Home in Greenville. “Georgetown.—We held our first love feast Oct. 11, which was very spiritual and largely attended. Eld. Newton Binkley officiated. Oct. 17 Bro. D.R. Murray of Ft. McKinley, Ohio, began a series of meetings which closed Nov. 7. Seventeen were received into the church by baptism; one baptized previously. The attendance was very good all through the meetings and on Sunday evening

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