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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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


A War Incident Which Testifies to the Honesty o 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!!!

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 1 (Jul., 1904), page 70

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 1 (Jul., 1904), page 70 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 1 (Jul., 1904), page 70

    rudely, called me a Zinzendorfian, threatened me with imprisonment, and referred to the travels and sermons of the Brethren in a very sarcastic manner. He said if I should get to the upper Germans they would soon take me by the neck, for he did not know what business I had among those people. In the first place we had been forbidden to travel around through the country, and then again they had such an excellent minister, that if the people were not converted by his sermons, they would certainly not be converted by my teaching. But soon afterwards he related of the excellent Lutheran minister that he got so drunk in his house that on his way home he lost his saddle, coat and everything else from the back of the horse.31 I was silent to all this, but prayed for the poor man that the Lord might open his eyes. On April 6-March 26, I started early. Matthias Selzer saddled two horses and took me not only across the South Branch of the "Chanador," but even five miles farther, so that I could not go astray. The regular road to the uipper Germans "is fifty miles, but across the mountain it is twenty miles nearer, hence I went straight across the mountain. It took me more than two hours to reach the top. The people there call this nmountain the "blue reach" [ridge]. When I was at the foot of the moun tain and also half way up it rained, but when I reached the top it snowed very fast. The path which leads across is covered with stones and trees, so that I had to stop frequently to think 31This was Rev. Mr. Klug, Lutheran minister of Hebron Church, in the present county of Madison, then Orange. The reader should bear in mind the customs and manners of the time, and pass a lenient judgment upon Mr. Klug. Bishop Meade, in his Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia, cites many similar cases among the clergy of the Established Church, some of which are noted in Fiske's Old Virginia and Her Neighbors, Vol. II, pp. 262-263. 32 At the end of this diary see Orders of the County Court of Orange, naturalizing certain German Protestants, who were evidently members of Hebron Church, in the present county of Madison. The early deed and will books of Orange and Culpeper show the German family names of Utz, Hernsberger, Crisler, Crigler, Clore and others, who belonged to the same congregation. These people came with the second and third colonlies, which located at Germanna in 1717 and later.

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 1 (Jul., 1904), page 56

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 1 (Jul., 1904), page 56 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 1 (Jul., 1904), page 56

    sick people. We continued our journey for some distance over a poor road. Handrup became very weak owing to the heat. July 8th. Since we learned that we would not find a house to-day for thirty miles, but only mountains and bad roads, we took a man with us who conducted us over the mountains. It was a way the like of which I have not seen in America. In the evening we came to an Englishman6 with whom we stayed over night. July 9th. We crossed the North Branch this morning, and again saw no house for twelve miles. Then we met a German, at whose house we rested for a while. July 10th. Our host showed us the way over two high mountains. We came upon a large rattle snake, but it remained quiet till we had passed. In the afternoon we came to Bettessen's Creek [Patterson's Creek], where a large number of German settlers live. We tried to get something to eat, but found little bread. We comforted ourselves with the thought that our Saviour, in his hunger, ate the grain in the field. When we entered a certain house we found a woman who scolded much about the Herrnhuters7 [Moravians]. She said she would take care that she would not be led astray by them. When she heard that I was a minister, she asked whether I baptized children? She had a child which was not yet baptized. She brought me several books to show me her Christianity. We soon left, but asked that it be announced that I would preach on the following Sunday. We came to W. D. [William Degart], whom I asked whether I could preach in his stable, for the 6 Probably Thomas Cresap, with whom the missionaries usually stayed. See Schnell's Journal of 1749, Virginia Magazine, Vol. XI, p. 118. 7 In his Special Report, Schnell describes Patterson Creek as follows: "I visited a place called 'Betesscns Creek' [Patterson's Creek], where many German's live, interspersed among Low Dutch [Hollanders] and English New Lights. The High Germans are a poor people, internally as well as externally. I preached twice for them. They expressed a desire that I should come again. Several New Lights asked me to come to them. They were very friendly to me." 8 So called from one of their chief settlements at Herrnhut in Saxony. Here the Renewed Church of the Brethren was organized on June 17, 1722. Reichel, Early History, p. 3.

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  • Discussion #3

    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
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