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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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.
To Justice Robesen, . . . . . . . 18 Up along the Catabes [Catawba] Crick to Jacob Herman at the New River, . . . . . . . 45 To Jacob Goldman, . . . . . . . . 15 Back again to Herman, . . . . . . . 15 Back to Jems Revier, to Robert Luhny (?), . . . 60 Across the small and large North River to Robert Elesen [Allison], . . . . . . . . . 30 To N. Bell, . . . . . 30 To Franciscus at the Soud Schanathor, . . . . 30 To Matthias Schaub, . . . . . . . 4 To Adam Mueller and back again across the river, . . 8 To Philip Lung and Mesanothen, . . . . . 6 To Captain John Funk, . . . . . . . 20 Schmidt Stepfa, . . . . . . . . 6 Benj. Frey, . . . . . . . . . 10 To the old father Funk, . . . . . . . Jost Hayd, . . . . . . . . . 15 Frederickstown [Winchester], . . . . . 5 To Watkens Fahry [Watkin's Ferry] at the Betomeck, . 35 Jonathan Haeger, . . . . . . . . 7 Frederickstown in Maryland, . . . . . . 30 To Jacob Woeller, . . . . . . . 15 To the Susquehana, . . . . . . . 10 Lancaster, . . . . . . . . . 10 Bethlehem, . . . . . . 70 In all, 1,040 (TO BE CONTINUED)
lodged in an English house, where the people received us willingly, because they had also lived in Pennsylvania. On December 2nd, we went fifteen miles without finding a house. We then came to the large "Ronok" [Roanoke] River at Iden's Ferry, which is the boundary between Carolina and Virginia. We went twenty miles farther and stayed with English people. They said that they had not heard a sermon for several months. On December 3rd, I visited a German, who lives here among English people. His name is Zolikoffer, a Swiss.* He received us very kindly and showed us much love. He related to us much of his life; that he had been an officer in the army and had had much money. Then he had traveled to America out of curiosity. When he returned to Europe, he was taken before the King and the princes to describe to them the conditions in America. Finally he had again come back to America and had stayed here. His story prevented me from telling him something about the Saviour. On the 4th, we came, towards ten o'clock, to a large creek, called Stony Creek. It seemed to be dangerous to pass through, but we risked it and waded across safely. Afterwards we did not find a house for eleven miles. Towards evening we found one, where we lodged. On the 5th, we were taken across the " Duerr " [Tar] River. We passed many swamps. The way was difficult to find. To-wards evening we were rowed across the "Cotendne " [Contentnea] River. We had still two miles to the nearest house, but got into a Carolinian swamp, with so much water and mud in it that nobody passes through on foot, but only on horseback. Although I called loudly for help, when I heard a dog bark, * A few years prior to 1738, Colonel William Byrd, of Westover, endeavored to locate a colony of Swiss on the Roanoke river. The venture, however, proved a failure. In 1738, Colonel Byrd published a work entitled Meu-Gefundnes Eden in Virginia [New-Found Eden in Virginia]. It was printed at St. Gall, in Switzerland, and its purpose was to induce Swiss and German immigrants to settle in Virginia, especially in the Roanoke Valley. For the time being, Colonel Byrd became a German and his name appears as Wilhelm Vogel. This work is rare. A copy is to be found in John Carter Brown Library, Providence, R. I.
Brethren.* In the afternoon we continued our journey, and stayed over night with Michael Ernst. On November 6th, we continued up along the South Branch through the Gap. On the way we visited the sister of my father-in-law.† They related how they had saved themselves during the flood. The man and his wife with their six children had climbed into a tree, which had fallen down halfway. There they spent the whole night. Above the Gap we came to the Germans, where we called on George Zeh. Here we appointed a sermon for the next day. When the neighbors heard of our arrival, several came at once and implored us to baptize their children. I turned them off as well as I could. This continued for a long time. In the evening our host asked us: "Why do you teach that the Saviour accepts all men, and yet you refuse to baptize these children?" I told him because these people give their children such a poor training. On November 7th, a woman came very early to us asking for the baptism of her child. In the same way six others came whom we could not refuse. Brandmueller preached on the words: "Behold the Lamb of God." After the sermon a general request was made for baptism. Hence, I baptized two girls and a little boy. In the afternoon we went back part of the way to Mr. Joachim, where we had appointed a sermon. George Zeh took us twice through the river on horses. On November the 8th, I preached at Joachim's. After the sermon there was again an urgent request presented to us for baptism , We traveled yet several miles up along the South Branch and stayed over night with Michael Stump. * The reader will discover from this paper that the Germans in Virginia west of the Blue Ridge had not at this period erected any churches. all the sermons referred to having been preached in private houses. This was not true of the German settlements in the Piedmont region of the state, as will be shown by diaries of other missionaries to be presented later. † The name of Schnell's wife was Elizabeth Brown. See Register of Moravians, p. 82.