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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
MORAVIAN DIARIES OF TRAVELS THROUGH VIRGINIA. Edited by Rev. WILLIAM J. HINKE and CHARLES E. KEMPER. (CONTINUED) DIARY OF THE JOURNEY OF THE FIRST COLONY OF SINGLE BRETHREN TO NORTIH CAROLINA, OCTOBER 8-NOVEMBER 17, 1753.1 After having been commissioned by the congregation in the evening, and having been blessed by our dear brethren, and finally having partaken of the cup of thanksgiving, we prepared, on October 8, 1753, for our departure. Our dear Christian Seidel conducted the morning worship. The brethren who departed from Bethlehem were: Grube, Jacob Loesch, Petersen, Lunge, Herman Loesch, Feldhausen, Erich Ingepretzen, Merkli, Pfeil, Beroth, Lischer, Kalberland and Joseph Haberland, the last intending to accompany us to the Susquehanna. Our dear Gottlob Hoffmann, Eberhard and several others accompanied us for several miles. Having taken an affectionate farewell of them, we went our way happy and rejoicing in the grace of our dear Saviour. Our dear Gottlob [Koenigsderfer] and Nathanael [Seidel] followed us a few hours later.3 In the eve- 1 The editors are under special obligation to the Rev. J. H. Clewell, Ph.D., the courteous archivist of the Moravian congregation at Salem, N. C., who most kindly placed the original diary at their disposal. The original German MS covers 48 closely written, small quarto pages. The translation is but a slight abridgment of the original, only unimportant sentences being omitted. The conclusion of the diary, extending from November 18-21, 1753, was also omitted. 2 The following is the list of Moravian brethren who located in Wachovia and founded the village of Bethabara, together with brief notes on each person. It is taken from the History of Wachovia in North Carolina, by John Henry Clewell, pp. 13 and 14. (1). Rev. Bernhard Adam Grube, born in Germany, age 37 years, the first minister. (2). Jacob Loesch, born in New York, age 31 years, the warden.
On October 23, we started at daybreak. We had bought a small barrel of milk to use for dinner, but it broke and we lost all. Two miles farther we bought some meat and then traveled six miles farther to the North River [of the Shenandoah],25 where we ate our dinner. This creek is half as large as the "Lecha" [Lehigh] but it is impassible at high water, nor is a canoe in the neighborhood. We enjoyed our meat and dumplings. This afternoon our course went straight south. After three miles' travel we came to a creek, after two miles to a little run, and after a mile to a spring. We traveled three miles farther and passed the night at a little creek near a plantation. Bro. Nathanael led the evening worship. On October 24, our soup was ready as early as half past two o'clock. At three we started again. A mile from our camp we found good water, likewise one mile farther on. We still had two miles to the Middle Branch 26 [of the Shenandoah], a pretty large creek. Its banks make it difficult to cross. It cost us much labor. Most of the brethren crawled over the creek on a tree, except Bro. Kalberland who fell into the water, but without suffering any injury. It was pretty dark when we crossed the creek. A mile farther was another little creek, from which it was a mile to Robert Bohk's, who has a beautiful plantation and good water. There we bought some hay and chaff. The people were very modest. Three miles farther we came to "Augusti Court House,"27 a little town of some twenty houses, surrounded by mountains on all sides. This whole district is 25 Following the line of the "Great Road," the missionaries crossed the North river near Mount Crawford, Rockingham county, Va., and rested for the night in the vicinity of what is now Mt. Sidney, Augusta county, Va. 26 This was Middle river, the waters of which, after uniting with the North and South rivers, constitute the South Branch of the Shenandoah at Port Republic, Va. The missionaries evidently crossed this stream at the place now known as Bowling's Mill, then the residence of John Anderson, one of the earliest settlers of Augusta county, who resided about two and a half miles southwest of the old Augusta or Stone church, which was dedicated for worship January 22, 1750. 27 The present city of Staunton, Va., still encompassed by many hills.
over night, pitching our tent near a little creek. The man, upon whose land we were, visited us and showed himself very friendly. He stayed for supper. He related that he had known Bro. Roseen and Nyberg very well, who had preached several times at his house. He was by birth a Swede. Bro. Gottlob conducted the evening worship. Then we lay down before our nice fire and Bro. Gottlob took to his hammock, which he had tied to two posts. On October 17, we continued our journey at five o'clock in the morning. We had two miles to reach the "Patomik," at which we arrived at daybreak. Bro. Jacob Loesch first rode through the river to discover the ford, which makes a considerable curve from one bank to the other. We all crossed safely, but the exit from the river was very difficult and it took much work to ascend the bank. This river is about again as broad as the "Lecha" [Lehigh] at Bethlehem, but in times of high water it overflows the high banks and runs swiftly southeast. Half a mile from the river is a plantation. four miles farther a tavertn, the way becoming very stony. Four miles still farther we found good water and a tavern. Four miles this side of the tavern we took our dinner at a little creek, near a mill, which is to the left. After three miles we found a good spring, and when we had traveled four miles farther we pitched our tent near a little creek. We cooked "Sapan,"15 which tasted well. Our dear Nathanael conducted the evening worship. On October 18, we rose early at 3 o'clock. After the morning worship Bro. Gottlob, Haberland and J. Loesch preceded us to Frederickstown [Winchester] to order several tnings. We followed soon afterwards with the wagon. We had but one mile to Robert Korniken's mill and eleven miles farther to Frederickstown, but no water for seven miles. We breakfasted at a little creek. Two miles farther we again had water. At noon we passed Frederickstown, which consists of about sixty houses, which are rather poorly built. A mile beyond Frederickstown we stopped at a mill and bought some bread and corn. Bro. Gottlob and Haberland again joined us. We continued and 15 An Indian dish. According to Neckemoelder's Indian Vocabulary (MS. in Pennsylvania Historical Society), it is mush.