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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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

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A. Wayne Webb

A long time historian of the German Baptist Brethren church, and its more modern derivative bodies, Mr. Webb has moved on to become a recognized authority in digitally archiving manuscripts, both published works as well as singular documents.  He served as the Editor of Brethren Roots, 2002 to 2008, as published by The Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists.  To that end he has created and maintains a series of Internet web sites devoted to his passion, German Baptist Brethren history.

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 391

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    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 391 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 391

    personally he had no objection, but explicit orders had been received from "Charlestown," according to which none should have permission to preach, except he had been ordained or licensed by the Bishop of London. He advised me, therefore, to preach in the manner of our Bro. Boehler* and others in my house. Besides, he said, he did not know whether I were a Capuchin [monk] or a teacher of languages, running about through the country. And, in case I were a follower of Zinzendorf, I might have as heretical doctrines as my Bro. Hagen.† Finally, he did not know our doctrines, for although he had read some of our books, there had not been in them a real exposition of our teaching, and he would ask Bro. Boehler to send biun such books, which would be thankfully received. He wished me much success and blessing in my work for the conversion of many souls. As for himself, he had not been able to accomplish much with his sermons among the Germans, because their hearts were very hard. Yet he would continue to preach as there was nobody else. On the following day I visited the Germans in the country, but found few hearts with a desire for the Saviour. Abraham Bininger's‡ brother told me that he had long intended to move * Rev. Peter Boehler was, after Spangenberg. the most prominent leader of the Moravians in America. Born December 31, 1712, in Frankfort-on-the-Main. Ordained December I6, 1737, by Zinzendorf. Sent to Georgia, where he arrived on September 29, 1738. When the settlement in Georgia was abandoned, he returned with Whitefield to Pennsylvania in 1740. Ordained Bishop in 1748. For many years one of the superintendents of the American congregations, carrying on his work with great diligence and success. Died April 27, 1775, in London. His efficient labors are worthily commemorated by J. R. Lockwood, Memorials of the Life of Peter Boehler, Bishop of the Church of the United Brethren, London, i868. † John Hagen, from Brandenburg, was sent in 1740 to labor among the Cherokees in Georgia. Came to Bethlehem in February, 1742. Labored later among the Delawares, the Susquehanna Indians and the Mohicans of New York. Died at Shamokin, September 16, 1747. Note of Mr. J. W. Jordan in Moravian of April 4, 1878. ‡ Abraham Buhninger, born in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland. Emigrated to Purysburg, S. C. Settled finally at Bethlehem in 1745. Register of Moravians, p. 78.

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  • Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], page 32

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    THE PLACE OF THE OHIO VALLEY IN AMERICAN HISTORY. FREDERICK JACKSON TURNER. Professor of History, University of Wisconsin. [Mr. Turner, until the fall of 1910, was professor of American History in the University of Wisconsin. He is now professor of Western American History at Harvard University and the past yea r (1910) was president of the American Historical Association. He delivered the address herewith published at the meeting of the Ohio Valley Historical Association, held at Frankfort, Kentucky, October 16 1909). — Editor.] In a notable essay Professor Josiah Royce, of Harvard University, has asserted the salutary influence of a highly organized provincial life in order to counteract certain evils arising from the tremendous development of nationalism in our own day. Among these evils he enumerates: First, The frequent changes of dwelling place, whereby the community is in danger of losing the well knit organization of a common life; second, the tendency to reduce variety in national civilization to assimilate all to a common type and thus discourage individuality, and produce a "remorseless mechanism-vast, irrational;" third, the evils arising from the fact that waves of emotion, the passion of the mob, tend in our day to sweep across the nation. Against these national surges of feeling Professor Royce would erect dikes in the form of provincialism, the resistance of separate sections each with its own traditions, beliefs and aspirations. "Our national unities have grown so vast, our forces of social consolidation so paramount, the resulting problems, conflicts, evils, have become so intensified, he says, that we must seek in the province renewed strength, usefulness and beauty of American life. Whatever may be thought of this philosopher's appeal for a revival of sectionalism, on a higher level, in order to check the tendencies to a deadening uniformity of national consolidation (and to me this appeal, under the limitations which he gives it,

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 381

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    lodged in an English house, where the people received us willingly, because they had also lived in Pennsylvania. On December 2nd, we went fifteen miles without finding a house. We then came to the large "Ronok" [Roanoke] River at Iden's Ferry, which is the boundary between Carolina and Virginia. We went twenty miles farther and stayed with English people. They said that they had not heard a sermon for several months. On December 3rd, I visited a German, who lives here among English people. His name is Zolikoffer, a Swiss.* He received us very kindly and showed us much love. He related to us much of his life; that he had been an officer in the army and had had much money. Then he had traveled to America out of curiosity. When he returned to Europe, he was taken before the King and the princes to describe to them the conditions in America. Finally he had again come back to America and had stayed here. His story prevented me from telling him something about the Saviour. On the 4th, we came, towards ten o'clock, to a large creek, called Stony Creek. It seemed to be dangerous to pass through, but we risked it and waded across safely. Afterwards we did not find a house for eleven miles. Towards evening we found one, where we lodged. On the 5th, we were taken across the " Duerr " [Tar] River. We passed many swamps. The way was difficult to find. To-wards evening we were rowed across the "Cotendne " [Contentnea] River. We had still two miles to the nearest house, but got into a Carolinian swamp, with so much water and mud in it that nobody passes through on foot, but only on horseback. Although I called loudly for help, when I heard a dog bark, * A few years prior to 1738, Colonel William Byrd, of Westover, endeavored to locate a colony of Swiss on the Roanoke river. The venture, however, proved a failure. In 1738, Colonel Byrd published a work entitled Meu-Gefundnes Eden in Virginia [New-Found Eden in Virginia]. It was printed at St. Gall, in Switzerland, and its purpose was to induce Swiss and German immigrants to settle in Virginia, especially in the Roanoke Valley. For the time being, Colonel Byrd became a German and his name appears as Wilhelm Vogel. This work is rare. A copy is to be found in John Carter Brown Library, Providence, R. I.

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