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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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 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 below and posted it to Rootsweb's Brethren Mailing List on July 24, 1887. 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!!!
fore going I asked him whether I should stay with him to-day, or with one of his parishioners, as I did not intend to travel to-day. He invited me to stay with him. He preached on the sufferings of Christ before the civil authorities, in just the same manner as the Hallensians. In the afternoon we had a very pleasant conversation till eleven o'clock at night. We also touched upon the Hallensians, and as he had become very cordial he confided to me his opinions about them very naively. He said: "Do you know what I think about them? I regard them as Pharisees, who impose unbearable burdens upon the people, which they are not willing to touch with a single finger." However, the honest man has adopted not only the absurd principles of the Hallensians, but he also uses their forms of speech, partly because of his acquaintance with them, but mostly because during the ten or eleven years of his ministry his own stock has been exhausted and he now uses their writings for his sermons. Thus he has unconsciously adopted the principles and language of the Hallensians. Probably he himself does not know how it happened. He studied in Helmstadt under the abbott Mosheim. He was born at Danzig. He is a sanguineo-phlegmaticus, without exceptional talents, but he is open to conviction. On April 8-March 28, I took leave of Rev. Mr. Klug. He accompanied me a whole half mile, and assured me again that my visit had been verv welcome and of special encouragement to him. He asked me to give Bro. Joseph his cordial regards, intimating that he would like to visit Bethlehem. Soon afterwards I happened to meet an awakened man, a shoemaker, a very dear man who is heartily concerned for his salvation. He soon becamie so intimate that he told me the whole story of his married life. I intimated to him that, as I some years ago in Germany. They obtained about 3,000 pounds, one-third of which was given to them for their traveling expenses and efforts. Wth the rest they built a wooden church, bought a piece of land and a number of negroes. From land and slaves the minister makes his living, so that he is not a burden to his congregation. He related that several of the Zinzendorfians had passed through hiis parish, but were unable to secure a foothold." See Hallesche Nachrichten, new edition, Vol. 1, p. 493, f.
mon has to be annouinced a few days beforehand from Catores [Codorus]. This can easily be done, because Br. Owen goes along. He can precede Bro. Joseph a few days. In Little Canawage, where Mr. Peizel resides, and to whom, accordinig to the resolution [of the Synod] §4, a visit has been promised; Mrs. Regnier has urgently requested Mr. Peizel that if the Brethren should come to him to let her know it, because she would like to speak with one of the Brethren. In Manakasy [Monocacy, Md.], are two places where we can preach. The usual place is at Mr. Weller's. Across the "Manakasy" a few German families live, about ten, who would perhaps like to hear a sermon. A man called Ellrod, whom I visited there, will be able to give more information. Captain Ogle and Jacob Weller are both very dear hosts of the Brethren. It would perhaps be a blessing to Mr. Weller's house if Bro. Joseph would lodge there occasionally. In Kanigetschik [Conococheague, Md.], which is situated 28 miles from Capt. Ogle's, across the Little Blue Mountains, to-wards the north west, Jonathan Haeger is our dear host. The house of his brother, who lives nearby, is our English and German pulpit. If Bro. Joseph could so arrange it as to be there on Thursday, the sermon could very well be appointed for the following Sunday. The last time I was there I preached two German sermons, one in the forenoon and the other in the afternoon, with an open and full heart, to a large crowd. One of the elders promised me that, if I should come back, I might preach in their church. Immediately beyond the blue mountains, before coming to Jonathan Haeger's, perhaps eight or ten miles before, a German man lives by the name of Gottfried Mang, the son-in-law of the old Mr. Geffer(s)on (?), at Lancaster. Not far from there lives the son-in-law of the dear, old father Lischer. If Bro. Joseph leaves Capt. Ogle's house early Wednesday morning and rests during tile hottest part of the day, be can be at Gottfried Mang's house in good time and stay there over night. This will be very acceptable to those people, because they asked me to rend the Brethren to them. On the following Thursday, he [Bro. Joseph] can be in good time in "Kanigotschik" at Jonathan Haeger's. If Bro. Joseph desires to have his passport signed, before
24,000 pages of papers. If mistakes occur in the write ups, I am willing to take my share of the blame, though it was not intentional on my part nor on the correspondent's part. We have tried to get some pictures of the earliest workers and have not succeeded in every case. We would like to have put more pictures in but the added cost forbids it. Costs come very high and many of them makes the cost run up to more than our people are willing to pay. If I missed asking any of our old time workers for a picture, I beg your pardon, I didn't aim to. If I asked and didn't get it I hope the rest of you will not blame me for not doing my duty. As you will see, in connection with our Quotations, we have quoted and also appropriated largely from the History of Texas by Mrs. Pennypacker and from Roberts' History of Oklahoma. Mrs. Pennypacker and Benj. H. Sanborne and Company freely granted us the privilege. The pages will be noted where it is possible and in consulting those histories you will find much more valuable informatoin if you are interested in those states. Thanks to all those who have assisted us and made it possible for us to get these data together. We pray that its pages will inspire others to more earnest efforts in the Lord's work in home field as well as to push out into the needy frontier. It will be difficult but so are men made strong. Oct. 21, 1922. J. H. Morris.