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 This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 377

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 377 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 377

    them and to administer the communion. But now he had gone to Germany, and thus they were entirely forsaken. They had, indeed, written to Germany several times for a minister, who would earnestly care for ihe salvation of their souls and not for money. However, none was willing to come. There are two other places in this neighborhood which would like to have a minister. On Sunday, the 24th, I preached to them in their church on Rom., 5: 1. About one hundred persons assembled, and if the weather had not been so unfavorable many more would have come. It is a very neat little church, kept in good order and clean. The people were very attentive and eager to hear. I felt God's grace, and was quite at home among them. The schoolmaster thought that I had a special gift for preaching, because he did not understand the power of the preaching of the blood of Christ. After the sermon I distributed some Reformed catechisnms* among them because they were all Reformed people. In the afternoon several men, together with the officers of the congregation, came to visit me. We spoke of various subjects. They said that they had a parsonage, together with one hundred acres of land and a garden, which a minister could occupy at once, if they had one, nor would they allow him to suffer want in other necessaries of life. They related to me that some time ago a number of people had lived in Georgia who had been very pious, and would not tolerate any one among them who cursed. The name of their minister had been Spangenberg. But they had not liked the place, and hence had removed to Pennsylvania to Zinzendorf.† I asked what the people of this February, 1743, and went to Europe to study medicine at Leyden, Holland, 1743-1745. Returned and settled at Lancaster, where he practiced medicine. Pastor of Schaefferstown, Lebanon county, and Seltenreich, Lancaster county, 1746-1762. Died March 11, 1769 at Lancaster. During his pastorate at Lancaster, 1739-1743, he visited Virginia. See History of the Reformed Church in the United States, by Rev. Dr. J. I. Good, Reading, 1899, pp. 166-170; 580-581. * The same as the Swedish and English catechisms mentioned above. † They were unconsciously telling the Moravian missionaries the story of the first Moravian settlement made in Georgia in 1735 and abandoned in 1740, which was, no doubt, well known to them. See Early History

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  • Proceedings of the Dayton…, page 6

    Proceedings of the Dayton Convention held by the Brethren Church,
    Music Hall, Dayton, Ohio on June 6th and 7th, 1883

    page 6 — Proceedings of the Dayton Convention… June, 1883 [Click for larger image] title=page 6

    ting the throne of grace, in invoking thy blessing upon us as a congregation . We are here just as dependent as we have always been. We have nothing to bring to recommend us to thy favorable consideration in any way, but we come in the all-prevailing name of Jesus, and we would carry the burden of this convention to the Lord in prayer. We would come and lay our burdens there. We know that thou dost never forsake those who put their trust in thee; and as this is an important event in our history as a Church, as this is a great day in the brotherhood and important interests are at stake, and upon the doings of this meeting we believe much depends, and we would do nothing hastily. While we have been assured that without thee we can do nothing, visit therefore every heart and inspire them with the feeling of supplication and prayer—humble every spirit and fill every heart with contrition and humility. Regard us with pity and come down and be one in our midst. The number is large that has here assembled, but we believe that thou art able to fill every heart and we hope thou wilt aid us with the spirit of prayer and a desire to glorify thy name regardless of all other considerations. May thy blessing rest upon the labors of those who are here met together. Qualify thy weak servants for the responsibilities of the hour. Go with us through the journey of life. May the world be some better by us having passed through it. Lord, take us into thy care divine, and keep every spirit in subjection to thy will. Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen. Hymn 45 in the Gospel hym ns was then sung, "Jesus, keep me near the cross." On motion, Brother J. H. Worst was chosen temporary chairman. On taking his seat the chairman said: My Christian friends, I am loth to accept this position; yet it is of very brief duration, and while I thank you for the

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 378

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 378 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 378

    district thought of him. They answered: "Not very much." Rev. Mr. Rieger had said that he was a good Evangelical minister, who did not try to draw any one away from his religion, and that he preached the word pure and undefiled to all who wanted to hear him. They also told me that a man by the name of Matthew Hoffmann lives at Bethlehem, who had written several letters to his brother, living ten miles from there.* He had brought the letters to him [the schoolmaster] to read them to him, because he feared that his brother had fallen away froin the true religion. The schoolmaster had then read the letters, but liked them very well. In the evening I visited an elder, at whose place all his neighbors again came together, when they heard that I was there. I spoke to them of the death of the Lamb. On Monday, the 25th, before we left, five women came, who showed us much kindness. We then took leave, being very grateful. The schoolmaster, "Holzkloh," accompanied us part of the way, and gave me a letter to a Reformed elder in Carolina, to whom he recommended me most heartily. Taking leave he asked us urgently to come again and stay several weeks. We had nothing but rain all day, and passed a creek, which was dangerous becatise of its rocks and holes. A man happened to come along, who took us over. Shortly before we had already passed a river, called "Repehennik" [Rappahannock], in a canoe. In the evening we came to a German innkeeper, Kuefer Stopfel,† called Dutch Cooper. After a while, when he heard that I was a minister, he told of an English minister‡ living in the county, who receives 16,000 pounds of tobacco as his of the Church of the United Brethren, by L. T. Reichel, Nazareth, 1888, pp. 62-68. * This statement shows that the second Reformed colony, settled at the Little Fork of the Rappahannock, and visited by Gottschalk in 1748 (see Virginia Magazine, Vol. XI, p. 232), was already in existence in 1743. † As the Anglicised name shows, the correct name of this innkeeper must have been Christopher Kuefer. ‡ This was Rev. John Thompson (see this magazine, Vol. XI, p. 232). The German minister was Rev. George Samuel Klug (see this magazine, Vol. XI, pp: 230 and 240, f).

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