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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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.
we were heartily welcomed. We also found our Bro. Christian Rauch there, who had arrived shortly before. Our dear brethren, Merk and Ziegler, who had brought our wagon thus far, told us their experiences on the way. They said that it had taken them four days to come to "Tulpehokin", and that they had endured many things, because it had rained much and the read had been very muddy. On October 10, our dear Gottlob conducted the morning worship. Afterwards, we held a little conference about our wagon, which is too wide, extending several inches beyond the track. We unloaded the wagon and took it to a blacksmith shop. Our baggage, which was pretty wet, we dried in the sun. Mother Loesch supplied us with the necessary provisions for the journey. Bro. Christian Rauch5 bade us a hearty farewell and went back home across the "Quittopehille" [creek]. Bro. Beroth went to see his father once more, across the Susquehanna where he will join us again. Bro. Nathanael wrote a letter to Bro. Bader, who is now at York on the Catores [Codorus], to let him know of our journey to Carolina. In the evening, when our wagon had been fixed, having been made three inches nar-rower, we packed all our belongings, to leave early next morning. On October 11, we rose early and prepared for our departure. We sent several letters to Bethlehem with the brethren from "Tonigal " [Donegal, Lancaster Co.] Our dear father Loesch gave us his wagon to accompany us across the Susquehanna. Mother Loesch provided us plentifully with bread and meat. Then we took our leave of our dear friends, and thanked them heartily for all their pains and care, undergone for our sake. They both cried like children. They were especially touched because they would not see their two sons (Jacob and Herman) for some time. At noon we came to our schoolhouse in "Quittopehille" and took our dinner there. Our dear friends, Neusers and Engels welcomed us very heartily and we rejoiced with them. Bro. Peter Kucher6 fed our horses. He was very glad 6 Christian Henry Rauch was, in 1753, pastor of the Moravian congregation in Warwick township, now Lititz, Lancaster Co. 6 Peter Kucher, the most prominent member of the Moravian congre-
He was the first settler there. He was very courteous when he heard that I was a minister. I asked him for the way to Carolina. He told me of one, which runs for 150 miles through Irish settlements, the district being known as the Irish tract. I had no desire to take this way, and as no one could tell me the right way I felt somewhat depressed. I asked the Lord to show me the right way, but slept little that night.* On the 21st, immediately after arising, one of the servants came to me and told me that two miles from there a man lived, who could tell me the right way. I went to him. He was very kind and quite willing to tell me the way. His name is Stephan Schmidt,† a Catholic, but hungry to hear the word of the cross. Many spiritually hungry people, of German nationality, live there, who have no minister. I bade him farewell and went magazine. Rev. Mr. Schnell again visited him in 1749, as shown in the October number, 1903, of the Magazine. Kercheval, in his History of the Valley, makes many references to him, always spelling his name Joist Hite. His real name was Jost (Joseph) Heydt, which fact is attested by many of his deeds recorded in the county clerk's office of Frederick county, Va. He was careless as to the correct spelling of his surname, and it is stated upon the authority of one of his descendants that he spelled it in three different ways on the same day in the execution of three deeds. He was not, as has been so persistently claimed in recent years, the first white settler in the Valley of Virginia. Adam Mueller (Miller) had lived for fifteen years on the South Branch of the Shenandoah when naturalized by Governor Gooch on March 13, 1741-2, which proves, beyond question, that he located there either in 1726 or 1727, while Hite, according to Kercheval, made his settlement on the Opequon, about five miles south of Winchester, Va., in 1732. As to the settlement of Miller, see William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. IX, No. 2, p. 132; also Vol. X, No. 1, p. 84, and Vol. XI, No. 2, p. 127, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. As to Hite, see Kercheval's History of the Valley, p. 41, et seq. * The way indicated to the missionary would have led him through the present counties of Rockingham, Augusta, Rockbridge and Botetourt, then, in the fullest sense of the term, the land of the Scotch-Irish. Why an inoffensive missionary should have dreaded the prospect of a journey through their country, is a question to be answered by the historians of that race. † He is also mentioned in Schnell's diary of 1749. See Virginia Magazine, Vol. XI, p. 129.
Towards evening Abrahan Degart of "Bateson Creek" also arrived. I also found a man from New York, who is a cousin of Bro. Edmons. The Brethren have often lodged with him. He loves us and intends to visit Bethlehem. On March 16-27, I asked the Lord very urgently that, as I was to enter Virginia to-day for the first time, he should show me the right persons and places. I had hardly entered the house again when Abraham Degart offered to take me to "Batesons's Creek" [Patterson's Creek], where we arrived late, but safely, in the evening. On March 17-28, I went up to the South Branch. I had to climb a terrible mountain, and at the same time it rained very hard. I came to an Englishmiian, Daniel Onar, who showed me much love, and soon afterwards to a German, named Kasselnman, in whose house I felt a peculiar grace. The people sat around me and gave me an opportunity to speak to them. They would have liked to give me a horse to Matthaes Jochem, if it had been possible to take it across the South Branch. The weather being so bad Mr. Kasselman accompanied me three miles, he took me across the South Branch and assisted me in getting a horse from an Englishman, named Collins. Kasselman said to him: "Mr. Collins, here is a friend, who would like to hire one of your horses. Let him have one, and if he runs away with it, I will pay you for it." Whereupon the Englishman was not only immediately willing to give me one of his horses, but also asked me to preach in his house to the English people living there. I replied that I would be willing to speak as well as I could, if there were people willing to hear of the Saviour, and I appointed a sermon for the 18-29th, at four o'clock. Then I rode awav. During the night it became so dark that I could no longer see the way. I went astray several times, and finally, late at night, eight miles this side of Matthaes Jochem's, I came to a Germarn, nanmed Heiter, with whom I stayed over night. Early on the 18-29th, I went to Matthaes Jochem's. On the way I met several English people, who asked me for an English sermon, which I promised them. I appointed an English and German sermon for the 21-31st at Matthaes Jochem's. The visit of our Bro. Schnell is still a blessing to that house. At four o'clock in the afternoon I preached at Collins.' I felt very