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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
get a minister, because they are so few in number. Hence they cannot raise enough money sufficient to pay a minister's salary. I preached for them, which they accepted with thanks. They expect more visits. They asked me to visit them again. John Jung and Hoffman's brother seemed to understand me when I spoke to them of the Saviour. IX. GERMANTOWN.* It is like a village in Germany, in which the houses are far apart. It is situated along a little creek, called Lucken Runn [Licking Run]. They are from the Siegen district, and are all Reformed people. They live about ten miles from the Little Fork of the "Rippehanning." They have as their Reader the old Mr. Holzklo,† who receives annually from each family thirty pounds of tobacco as salary. A church and a school are there. I preached in this church with the approbation of all. They thought the Holy Spirit had sent me to them. They would have liked to keep me as their regular pastor, if I so desired. They asked that I * To this place the original colonists removed in the year 1721, because Governor Spotswood refused to sell them the land on which they were settled at Germanna. They were of the German Reformed faith, the great German branch of the Presbyterian family of churches. The first grant of land to these colonists was made by the proprietors of the Northern Neck of Virginia, by deed dated August 22, 1724, which conveyed 1,805 acres of land to Jacob Holtzclaw, John Fishback and John (Henry) Hoffman, who were the only members of the colony then naturalized. Midland Station, on the Southern Railroad, is believed to be on land settled by them, and Licking Run flows through the boundaries of this early settlement. Further reference will be made to them during the publication of these diaries. For full and accurate accounts of Germanna and Germantown see Genealogy of the Kemper Family, by Mr, Willis M. Kemper, Cincinnati, Ohio, and also sketch entitled "The First German Reformed Colony in Virginia, 1714-1750," Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, Pa., Vol. II, Nos. 1-3. † Jacob Holtzclaw, a prominent member of the first Germanna colony. He was the schoolmaster of the colony, and is said to have been
with the Englewood Dunkard Brethren Church. The remaining ministers were all well into their twilight years, soon there after passing. In 1949 it was decided in a congregational council meeting to secure a full time paid pastor. Work began that year by cutting trees from the church woods to use in the construction of the church parsonage. On September 1, 1950, L. John Weaver became our first pastor. With his resignation, Harley H. Helman served a year as interim pastor until 1964 when A. Butler Sizemore became the second pastor. He was followed in 1972 by Robert P. Fryman. Twenty five years ago, in 1979 the newly graduated Bethany Seminary student Robert W. Kurtz became our fourth and currant pastor. He has been assisted by Arthur A. Boston 1987-1994 and since 1996 by Alvin C. Cook as associate pastors. In 2002, Craig Brown became our first youth pastor. The wives of these ministers, Flora Weaver, Cora Helman, Norma Sizemore, Waneta Fryman, Jeannie Kurtz, Helen Boston, Phil Cook and Janey Brown have all added richly to the lives of our church family. Members of our Church Who Have Receiveda Callto the Ministry Joseph and Henry C. Longanecker were identical twin born in 1848 on the north edge of New Lebanon to deacon Benjamin Longanecker and his first wife Rebecca Welbaum. They with their wives were baptized at Georgetown in 1870, the year following their marriages, but soon moved away. Both were elected to the ministry in 1882, Joseph in the Union City IN church and Henry in the Berthold ND church. At the time of Henry’s death in 1920, they were the oldest twin ministers in the Church of the Brethren. These brothers served our Lord and Master an aggregate of eighty three years. Lester Heisey was baptized in 1898 at Potsdam and called to the ministry 17 Sep 1908 by the West Milton Church of the Brethren. From 1909-1914 he served the Charleston church near Chillicothe OH, 1914-1915 Price’s Creek church near Eaton OH, 1916-1919 Richland church near Mansfield OH, 1919-1930 Georgetown church and 1931-1932 the Pleasant Valley church near Union City OH. The Rock House Church of the Brethren in KY was made a separate congregation from its parent Wolfe Creek church 2 Sep 1932 with Lester answering the call to be its first pastor, serving until 1939. The town of Heisey KY was named in his honor. He commuted to his charge in KY while remaining a resident of Potsdam where he was ordained to the Eldership in 1942. He was an evangelist and missionary in addition to his service through the years in the free ministry. Foster L. Myers was elected to the ministry in 1938, serving our congregation through 1941 when he attended Bethany Seminary and was ordained by the First