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 This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 226

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 226 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 226

    sides of the creek German settlers live interspersed among the English. This tract extends from twenty to thirty miles. There is an open door at this place. The people would like some one to stay among them for a while, or even for half a year, in order that old as well as young might hear the truth of the Gospel. In case one desires to visit them and intends to serve all the people, he must be able to speak English and German, if he is alone, and must take at least a month for it. The house of William Degart is too small [for meetings]. Mr. Kasselmann, I believe, would be willing to permit the use of his house. Services would have to be held at two places, one at the upper part of the creek, and one below, because these two places are pretty far apart. There is in this district not only an opportunity to preach among the Germans, but the English, it seems, are even more eager for it than the Germans. II. SOUTH BRANCH.* This is a large and long river, extending over more than 150 miles. It rises in the high Aligener [Allegheny] mountains, on whose other side the Mississippi also has its source. After having united with the North Branch (which also rises in the "Aligener" mountains, but more towards the north, from which fact it derives its name) it is called the Potomik [Potomac]. Most of the German people live along this river, but also many English settlers, because it is an extraordinarily beautiful and fertile country.† This river, the South Branch, has above another fork, called the South Fork. About forty-five miles below the South Fork the country begins to be thickly populated, and thus it continues upwards to the upper part of the South Fork. I preached along the South Branch at two places, below * The South Branch is the chief tributary of the Potomac river, and for years was claimed by Maryland as the true boundary line between that State and Virginia in this section. See report of Hon. Charles James Faulkner, special commissioner, in Kercheval's History of the Valley, second edition. IK50. pp. 142-153. which is valuable because it shows the large number of historical documents relating to the Northern Neck Grant in existence as late as 1832. † The description given by the missionary of the South Branch Valley holds good to this day.

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  • Page 2: Preface to First Edition

    Minutes of the Annual Meetings of the Brethren: 1778 - 1917

    Page 2: Preface to First Edition — Minutes of the Annual Meetings of the Brethren [Click for larger image]Page 2: Preface to First Edition

    Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1885, by JOSEPH I. COVER AND SAMUEL MURRAY, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.

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  • Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], page 477

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society
    Publications, Volume XX

    Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], Page 477 [Click for larger image]Page 477

    minded boys must pass. The "experience" is not unique but universal, the awakening of the expanding soul to the mysteries of an unseen but nevertheless a real world; the working of an irresistible spirit upon the troubled waters of a soul seeking to reconcile the natural inherent religion with the dogmatic or conventional creed of the church. This reconciliation must be solved by each youth in his own way, influenced or aided by his own peculiar environment. How the Buckeye Boy wrought out his great problem and found his permanent foothold in a natural faith is told with unaffected candor and reverential delicacy. This review of youthful times — the backward look of a half a century or more — is a rare and precious playspell in the later days of a mature and fruitful literary life POEMS ON OHIO. We believe it was Isaac Walton in his "Complete Angler" who spoke of "old fashioned poetry, but choicely good." There are of course poets and poets, and good, bad and indifferent. The little volume entitled "Poems on Ohio," collected and annotated by Professor C. L. Martzolff, and published by the Ohio State Archæological and Historical Society offers a variety ill degree of excellency in the quality of the effusions by the rhyming writers who have taken Ohio, localities therein and historical incidents and characters connected therewith, as their subjects. Some of these poems are by authors whose names are fixed in the literary firmament; others of these poems will be classed by the critics as mere rhyming productions, a few verging towards the class designated as doggerel, but all are interesting and from some point of view deserving of preservation. They number in this volume some hundred and thirty and reflect the sentiment and culture of the early pioneer days. It was well worth while for Prof. Martzolff to gather up these stray poems and put them in permanent form. The editor's annotations are of great value for they embrace brief biographical notices of the authors, whose names, many of them at least, would otherwise have been lost in the shades of oblivion. Mr. Martzolff is well qualified for his part in the publication, for he has been for years a zealous student of Ohio history and his many valuable articles in the volumes of the Ohio State Archæological and Historical Society have made for him a recognized place in the literature of the history of Ohio. This volume should be in every public library in the State and to the teachers it will be of great use on occasions commemorative of historic events and in exercises o f a patriotic nature. The volume retails for $1.00 and is sold by the Society publishing it.

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