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 This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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 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. XII, No. 2 (Oct., 1904), page 151

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 2 (Oct., 1904), page 151 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 2 (Oct., 1904), page 151

    drove two miles farther over a good road, passed a creek and came to a house where we stopped most of the day. The people baked some bread for us and we bought a pig which we butchered at once. Mr. Illisen also came to us, from whom Bro. Herman bought the last corn. He asked the brethren to shoe his horse, which they did. He also said that he intended to travel to Philadelphia within a short time and that if we had anything to deliver he would gladly take it along. Bro. Gottlob and Nathanael wrote several letters to our dear brethren at Bethlehem, which they addressed to Sam. Powel in Philadelphia. This evening we went on four miles farther, but had a pretty good road. We took several loaves of bread along which had been baked for us at Lunis' Mill.35 We crossed a pretty large creek and pitched our tent two miles this side of the mill at a little creek, but we had to change its position soon, because the wind blew the smoke into the tent. We put our horses in the woods. Bro. Petersen and Merkli, who had stayed back to bake bread, came to us again late at night. They had been compelled at Lunis Mill to wade through the creek, which is pretty deep. On October 30, we had bad weather. It rained and snowed, but we kept pretty dry under our tent. Our horses had run off and some of our brethren had to search for them nearly the whole day before they found them. We were very glad when we had them again, because we had heard that many horses had been stolen in this neighborhood and the same might have happened to ours. As the brethren had become thoroughly wet and cold, we drank tea and were very happy together. We changed our tent again because of the smoke. We tried for the first time to bake our bread in the ashes. On October 31, we rose very early to start again on our journey. We soon had to climb a high mountain, which was very hard on the horses, for the ground was frozen hard and covered with snow. After a mile we came to a little creek, and after another mile to a pretty large creek, near which was a plantation. 35 This was evidently the mill of Robert Luhny, who is mentioned in the itinerary of Rev. Mr. Schnell as being on the James river. The reading which was considered doubtful (see Virginia Magazine, Vol. XII, p. 82) is corroborated by this passage. The ferry is given as "Looneys Ferry," on Fry and Jefferson's map of Virginia.

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 237

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 237 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 237

    same day, crossing the North Branch to reach the South Branch, which two branches form the "Potomack." Towards evening they came to a German, Urbanus Kraemer, who lives on the South Branch. There they remained over night. Major Monday, who had accompanied them thus far, left them, with tears in his eyes, on Monday, July 18th, and returned to Manakesy [Monocacy]. Although he was a man of 66 years of age, he had accompanied them for more than one hundred miles. They continued their journey, passing up along the South Branch, and came to a district where Hollanders have settled, who emigrated from Sopus* [New York]. On Tuesday, July 19th, they came to a German, Matthaeus Joachim, with whom the brethren Gottschalk and Schnell had also stayed. As English settlers live there, interspersed among the Germans, they remained with this man two days. On Wednesday, July 20th, Bro. Joseph preached in his [Joachim's] house, and baptized two children with evident blessing. On July 21st, he preached to a considerable number of people in English, and Bro. Matth. Reuz in German. On July 22d, Bro. Joseph preached again in the house of a German settler. On July 23rd, they continued their journey along the South Branch, almost to the place where it rises and where the most extreme settlements of the Germans are.† They lodged with a German, Christian Evi, where Bro. Joseph preached in German, and also in English, because many English settlers live there. These were the first sermons which "a mundo condito" [from the creation of the world], had been preached there.‡ * Esopus, New York. The Hollanders mentioned were the Van Meters and others, who settled in wIhat is now Hardy county, W. Va., about the year 1744. See West Virginia Historical Mal(azine, Vol. Ill, No. I, p. 50. † The missionaries were now in the extreme southern part of Pendleton county, West Virginia, and near the northern border line of Highland county, Virginia. Seybert's Fort, the scene of a bloody Indian massacre in 1758, was in this neighborhood. See Waddell's Annals of Augusta County, 1912, p. 159. ‡ It is interesting to note that the diary fixes the date of the first religious service held in this section of Virginia.

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  • Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], page 350

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society
    Publications, Volume XX

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], Page 350 [Click for larger image]Page 350

    TO CINCINNATI. BY EDWARD A. M'LAUGHLIN (1798-?). [This poem appeared as one of a collection printed in Cincinnati in 1841. The general title of the book was "Lovers of the Deep." To any one who is acquainted with the culture of Cincinnati the prophetic vision of the poet can be keenly appreciated.] City of gardens, verdant parks, sweet bowers; Blooming upon thy bosom, bright and fair, Wet with the dews of spring and summer's showers, And fanned by every breath of wandering air; Rustling the foliage of thy green groves, where The blue-bird's matin wakes the smiling morn, And sparkling humming-birds of plumage rare, With tuneful pinions on the zephyrs borne, Disport the flowers among, and glitter and adorn: Fair is thy seat, in soft recumbent rest Beneath the grove-clad hills; whence morning wings The gentle breezes of the fragrant west, That kiss the surface of a thousand spring: Nature, her many-colored mantle flings Around thee, and adorns thee as a bride; While polished Art his gorgeous tribute brings, And dome and spire ascending far and wide Their pointed shadows dip in thy Ohio's tide. So fair in infancy—O what shall be Thy blooming prime expanding like the rose In fragrant beauty; when a century Hath passed upon thy birth and time bestows The largess of a world that freely throws Her various tribute from remotest shores, To enrich the western Rome: Here shall repose Science and art; and from times subtile ores—Nature's unfolded page-knowledge enrich her stores. Talent and Genius to thy feet shall bring Their brilliant offerings of immortal birth: Display the secrets of Pieria's spring, Castalia's fount of melody and mirth: Beauty and grace and chivalry and worth,

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