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 This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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 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. XI, No. 2 (Oct., 1903), page 130

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 2 (Oct., 1903), page 130 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 2 (Oct., 1903), page 130

    mueller had fallen into the Cedar Creek and had become wet, he had an opportunity at Frey's to dry himself. On Sunday, December 10th, we hastened early to the old Mr. Funk, where we had appointed a sermon. When we arrived we found a good number of people, to whom I preached of the Saviour. After the sermon one of the sons told us that yesterday a man had come to them, having traveled fourteen miles, to ask them not to permit us to preach. But the son said that the request came too late, as the sermon had already been appointed. He was therefore compelled to return without gaining his end. The people in the house where we preached were very kind to us. We took leave of old Mr. Funk and his four sons, one of whom is a captain, and traveled a few miles, staying over night with a Mennonite. But as he was under the influence of whiskey, we could not speak of anything sensible to him. On December 11th, we visited the old Jost Hayd.* However, we did not stay long with him, but continued our journey to Fredericktown, in "Obeken."† where we called on a German shoemaker. Then we traveled ten miles further to an Englishman with whom we stayed over night, On December 12th, we started two hours before day break, because we could not rest well during the night. In the afternoon we came to the "Patomack," where the ferryman [at Watkins' Ferry] took us over. He asked us to send him one of our books from which he could learn our teaching. This * Joist Hite, the pioneer settler of the lower Valley, and the most enterprising of all the German settlers in that section. He was one of the first justices of Orange county, in 1734, which then embraced the present county of Frederick within its limits. For a full account of him and his family, see the April number, 1903, of the West Virginia Historical Magazine.† Fredericktown is the old town of Winchester; see journal of Rev. Michael Schlatter, in Life of Rev. Michael Schlatter, by Dr. H. Harbaugh, Philadelphia, 1857, p. 173; note 2. "Opequon" is now the name of a little town near Winchester. It seems to have been at that time the name of the whole district in which Winchester is situated.

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 371

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 371 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 371

    called on Jacob Mueller, who married the sister of Bro. Suessholz. But I found that I was not as welcome as formerly. Hence I left and went to William Ziegler, who moved to this place from Philadelphia. He received us kindly and showed us much love. On the 14th, we crossed the Susquehanna River. John Ride took us over. When it became dark we could find no house. But we heard a dog bark. We followed the sound, but soon found ourselves in a swamp. We extricated ourselves with much difficulty. The people whom we met were Germans. They gave us a lodging at our request. On the 15th, we came to the little town, New York [York, in York Co., Pa.], where all the inhabitants are High Germans. The name of the innkeeper, with whom we took breakfast, is George Schwab. In answer to a number of questions, he said: "You are certainly Zinzendorfians." I answered: "I do not understand your meaning. I am a Lutheran minister, but no Zinzendorfian." He said: "You are going about everywhere through the country to preach, will you not give us a sermon, for we have long wished to hear one of you?" As I did not refuse, they immediately went about through the little town, from house to house, and announced a serrnon. I preached to them soon afterwards on the text: "The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost." They asked me to come again to them. Only every four weeks a Lutheran minister* comes to them and preaches for them. A shoemaker, who is single, asked me whether he should go on a privateer ship. The Catholic minister had advised him to do so. I made use of the opportunity to speak to his heart. Towards evening we came to the district which is called after the river "Canawage " [Conewago, Adams Co., Pa.]. We lodged in an inn. The name of * The first trace of a Lutheran congregation at York appears in the year 1733. Its first pastor was John Caspar Stoever. In 1743 the congregation was served by David Candler. See Hallesche Nachrichten, new ed., Vol. I., pp. 563-565. The Reformed congregation goes back to the year 1744. In that year a call was extended to the Rev. Jacob Lischy, who settled in York in September, 1745. See Fathers of the Reformed Church, Vol. I, p. 354.

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  • The History… of the Potsdam Congregation, Page 4

    The History of the Potsdam Congregation
    of the Church of the Brethren

    Page 4— The History… of the Potsdam Congregation [Click for larger image] title=Page 4

    Isaac Ditmer 1862-1937 Lovina [Cunning] Ditmer 1859-1937 Irene [Bridenbaugh] Ditmer 1888-1961 John Henry Ditmer 1851-1930 Susanna [Steffey] Ditmer 1853-1930 Michael Ditmer 1856-1927 Rollin Ditmer 1883-1960 Jennie [Christian]Eikenberry 1887-1974 Josiah Eikenberry 1886-1967 Mina [Waitman] Eikenberry 1884-1959 Dale Fourman 1908-1965 Fanny [Christian] Fourman 1888-1976 Galen Fourman 1910-1982 Phares Fourman 1887-1967 Gladys [Hoke] Furlong 1903-1885 Anna Galbreath Ethel [Miller] Ganger 1886-1966 John Henry Ganger 1869-1955 Leonard Ganger 1908-1982 Zora [Delk] McCowenGanger 1884-1936 Lilly [Black] Green 1880-1963 Alice [Nease] Hall 1888-1975 Amos Hall 1864-1958 Elizabeth [Ditmer] Hall 1867-1927 Esther [Baker] Hall 1908-2002 Oscar Hall 1896-1983 Perry Hall 1864-1957 Samuel Hall 1883-1959 Estella [Miller] Hall 1900-1969 Susie [Clement] Hall 1868-1948 John Heckman 1864-1940 Lulu [Miller] Heckman 1910-2000 Mary [Ganger] Heckman 1877-1953 Emma [Miller] Heisey 1882-1944 Lester Heisey 1881-1950 Forest Henderson 1912-2004 Harold Henderson 1910-1975 Homer Henderson 1904-1993 Velma [Schenk] Hepner 1908-1994 Arthur Hess 1855-1929 Caroline [Cornor] Hess 1855-1925 Charles Hissong 1872-1954 Sadie [Hall] Hissong 1885-1973 Lovina [Miller] Hoffman 1908-1971 David E. Hoke 1870-1939 David C. Hoke 1909-1984 Edna Hoke 1899-1947 Lina [Dohner] Hoke 1872-1954 Dorothy [Myers] Honeyman 1905-1990 Lola [Longanecker] Henderson Honeyman 1883-1967 Ruth [Miller] Hypes 1914-1993 Charles Isenbarger 1866-1941 Dora [Falknor] Isenbarger 1868-1955 Andrew Jackson Johnston 1872-1943 Audrey [Bowman] Johnston 1896-1968 Arrabell [Norris] Johnston 1879-1960 Edward Johnston 1893-1984 Elgar Johnston 1906-1959 Ella [Kress] Johnston 1867-1953 John H. Johnston 1868-1937 Treva Johnston 1903-1995 Mary [Hoke] Kauffman 1904-1973 Emma [Wolfe] WestermanKress 1881-1962 William Kress 1870-1949 Alice [Besecker] Kunkleman 1909-1997 Nancy [Timmons] CarsonLambert 1852-1929 Levi Litten 1864-1927 Rosetta [Netzley] Litten 1865-1932 Davis Longanecker 1857-1946 Lydia [Isenbarger]Longanecker 1857-1931 Anna [Puterbaugh]McGillvary 1901-1984 Treva Marshall c1901- Curtis Miller 1903-2001 David Miller 1906-1992 Elizabeth [Gordon] Miller 1858-1943 Harley Miller 1880-1958 Isaac Miller 1868-1931 John Miller 1844-1925 Martha [Stager] Miller 1880-1962 Sarah [Falknor] Miller 1844-1929 Calvin Minnich 1880-1947

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