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 This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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 History… of the Potsdam Congregation, Page 8

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

    Page 8— The History… of the Potsdam Congregation [Click for larger image] title=Page 8

    years, the school was held on Sunday afternoons. In the early 1940’s Evelyn [Spitler] Honeyman assisted by Ruby [Minnich] Ingle created the Junior Sunday School. Deacons Those known prior to the 1923 organization: Benjamin & Magdalena [Welbaum] Longanecker Adam & Hester [Haines] Pfeiffer, 1888 Granville W. & Malinda [Hershey] Minnich, 1894 Joseph & Mary [Ditmer] Ruble, 1901 John & Mary [Ganger] Heckman, 1914 Perry & Satia [Flowers] Hoke A. J. & Arra [Norris] Johnston Boyd & Mina [Thompson] Miller And after: Foster Myers, 1925 Noah & Georgia [Carson] Shanck, 1925 Arthur & Treva [Hoke] Brumbaugh, 1927 Harry & Blanche [Oda] Delk, 1927 Calvin & Edna [Shanck] Minnich, 1927 Elmer & Lola [Ditmer] Heck, 1939 Harris & Esther [Rinehart] Shanck, 1939 Harold & Mary [Flory] Spitler, 1943 Emerson & Thelma [Huff] Ditmer, 1946 Dale & Maxine [Brehm] Fasnacht, 1946 Robert L. & Dorothy [Myers] Honeyman, 1946 Franklin & Pauline [Ganger] Baker, 1950 Lester & Esther [Baker] Hall, 1950 Harry & Naomi [Robbins] Hutcheson, 1950 Alva & Naomi [Heisey] Petry, 1950 Robert & Janet [Myers] Delk, 1957 Gerald & Velma [Byers] Heck, 1957 Bernie & Alice [Ditmer] Cassell, 1969 John & Betty [Rowan] Hutcheson, 1969 Donovan & Jean [Myers] Besecker, 1983 Don & Arlene [Brumbaugh] Evans, 1983 Duane & Joyce [Myers] Weikert, 1983 Dewayne & Donna [Hollinger] Heck, 1991 Gene & Judy [Anthony] Miller, 1991 Gary & Brenda [Cassell] Shiverdecker, 1991 Ray & Sharon [Bright] Fellows, 1995 Robert & Kathy [Werts] Stringer, 1995 Marvin & Mary [Freeman] Weikert, 1995

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  • Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], page 136

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society
    Publications, Volume XX

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], Page 136 [Click for larger image]Page 136

    THE BUNCH OF GRA PES TAVERN. In "Old Boston Taverns" — a rare little pamphlet published in Boston in 1886 and written by Samuel Adams Drake — is an entertaining little chapter on the "Bunch of Grapes Tavern," the inn that figured so historically in the early stages of the organization of the Ohio Company of Associates. The tavern stood in King Street, now State Street, at the upper corner of Kilby Street. It was not far from the site of the Boston Massacre and in the engraving of that bloody scene by Paul Revere the balcony over the entrance to the tavern is shown on the extreme left, while the town hall is in the background. Mr. Drake states that "three gilded clusters of grapes temptingly dangled over the door before the eye of the passer-by." These bunches of grapes were of course large wooden imitations of the real clusters. He also adds that "apart from its palate-tickling suggestions, the pleasant aroma of antiquity surrounds this symbol, so dear to all devotees of Bacchus from immemorial time." Shakespeare in "Measure for Measure" has his clown say, " 'Twas in the Bunch of Grapes, 'Where indeed you have a delight to sit, have you not?" And Froth answers, "I have so, because it is an open room and good for winter." The Boston tavern thus named dates back to 1712, from which time until the Revolution it was a public inn and as such feelingly referred to by various travelers as the best "punch-house" to be found in all Boston. When the line came to be drawn between conditional loyalty and loyalty at any rate the Bunch of Grapes Tavern became the resort and headquarters of the high Whigs in which patriotism only passed current and the Royalists found cold reception. It was in this tavern, states Drake, "on Monday, July 30, 1733, that the first grand lodge of Masons in America was organized by Henry Price, a Boston tailor, who had received authority from Lord Montague, Grand Master of England, for the purpose." Upon the evacuation of Boston by the Royal troops and the entrance of the Colonists, General Washington was handsomely entertained at this tavern and later after reading the Declaration of Independence from the balcony of the town hall, the populace proceeded to pull down from the public buildings the Royal arms which had distinguished them and gathered them in a heap in front of the Bunch of Grapes Tavern, made a bonfire thereof. The register of the Bunch of Grapes Tavern, if it had kept one, would show an illustrious list of guests, such as General Stark, Lafayette, and many of the Revolutionary leaders and heroes, but probably what most distinguishes it is the fact that there were held in this tavern the initial meetings of the officers and directors of the Ohio Company, their first gathering being held there March 1, 1786. In the summer just passed (1910) the Editor during a visit to Boston endeavored to find the location of the Bunch of Grapes Tavern. The site was easily discovered, but alas the surroundings were completely changed, and where the original tavern once stood is now a skyscraper business block, in the basement of which. under the very corner where stood the old tavern, is a little restaurant, perhaps twenty feet square, with a lunch-counter at the end, over which was arched the imitation of a large grapevine, from which hung many clusters of ingeniously similated grapes.

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 239

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 239 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 239

    line. For an hour and a half they climbed the very steep ascent, but when they reached the top they surveyed in every direction an exceedingly wide region, and it seemed to them as if the whole earth were at their feet.* On account of its remarkable height, they called the mountain "Fuersten Spitz" [Prince Peak]. In passing over the top and in their descent they spent four full hours. As it was evening and they missed the road, they happened to strike an "elk trail," which took them between two mountains.† Here they passed the night, hungry and thirsty, encamped at their fire. They were frequently visited by the elks, which are numerous in those mountains. On the following morning, July 26th, they came to a marked path. It brought them to a salt lick, which is frequented by the elks and where they are usually shot by the hunters. A kind spirit led them to the right way, by which they continued their journey, till they came in the evening to a German plantation. Here Adam Roeder‡ lives, whose mother, eighty-six years of age, lives at Makuntsche [Macungie, now Emmaus, Lehigh county, Pa.], and belongs to that congregation. * The region seen by the missionaries from the top of "Fuersten Spitz" is now comprised in the counties of Augusta, Rockingham and Shenandoah. † This was probably Brock's Gap, one of the most important passes through the North Mountain. ‡ Adam Rader. The missionaries were now in the vicinity of Timberville, Rockingham county, Va. About one mile west of this place stands Rader's Church, which is known to be one of the oldest places of worship in Rockingham, although the date of the organization of the congregation cannot be given definitely. The first reference to the Reformed congregation worshipping in Rader's Church is found in the diary of Rev. Charles Lange, pastor at Frederick, Md, who visited the congregation on April 17, 1768. See Fathers of the Reformed Church, Vol. II, p. 154. From the beginning until 1879 it was used jointly by the German Reformed and Lutheran denominations. In that year a new church was built by the Lutherans for their sole use, the German Reformed congregation shortly afterwards erecting a church at Timberville.

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