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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 This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 314

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    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 314 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 314

    happy hereafter, but first must pass through punishment according to their Sins." Dr. Walker here has fallen into a mass of confusion that had doubtless bewildered other men before him, and that certainly has blinded hundreds to the truth since his day; and it is to make another effort, in behalf of justice and historical truth, to clear up this confusion, that I beg space for these lines. The facts in brief are these: The Ephrata Society, who were an offshoot of the Dnnker sect, were Sabbatarians and ascetics; yet they retained a few of the principles and practices of the parent body. Often, therefore, they were called Dunkers; often, on the other hand, through a similar lack of discrimination, the Dunkers were confused with the Slbbatarians, and, in consequence, charged with their ascetic practices and heretical doctrines. These misconceptions have clung to the subject with the characteristic persistency of error, from generation to generation, and even in our own day are by no means entirely dispelled. In the realm of fiction they have found a congenial atmosphere; and even in sober history they have taken deep root. Howe, the historian, whose book, Virginia: Its History and Antiquities, is eagerly sought after and highly prized by students and librarians of to-day, wrote a hundred years after Dr. Walker; yet he follows the same wrong path. Indeed, he gets far further into the maze of error, and he is probably still leading multitudes after him. In his sketch of Botetourt county (page 203), he says: "At the small village of Amsterdam, 5 miles s. of Fincastle, there is a large brick church, lately built by the Dunkards The Dunkers at Amsterdam are descendants of Germans who emigrated to Pennsylvania. The following, regarding the tenets and practices of this sect, is from a published account: " 'The Tunkers are a denomination of Seventh-Day Baptists, which took its rise in the year 1724. [The Tunker sect originated in Germany in 1708. Beissel, who afterwards founded the monastic sect, was baptized by a Tunker bishop, near Philadelphia, in 1724.] It was founded by a German, who, weary of the world, retired to an agreeable solitude within sixty miles of Philadelphia, for the more free exercise of religious contemplation. Curiosity attracted followers, and his simple and engaging manners made them proselytes. They soon settled a little colony, called Ephrata, in allusion to the Hebrews, who used to sing psalms on the border of the river Euphrates. This denomination seem to have obtained their name from their baptizing their new converts by plunging. [The terms Tunker and Dunker did arise from the mode of baptizing by immersion, or dipping, frem Ger. tunken, to dip.] * * They use trine immersion, with laying on the hands and prayer, even when the person baptized is in the water. [This is true of the Dun

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 241

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    famous Mosheim,* whom Bro. Gottschalk also visited, and who received him with much love. His predecessor was the father of the well-known Stoever.† He was not at home, but had gone to Williamsburg to take his tobacco, which is part of his salary, to the market. The people there asked Bro. Joseph to preach for them, but he refused because the minister was not at home, and without his knowledge and consent he would not preach. Very modest and nice people live there; with four of them they became more fully acquainted. One of them said he would visit us, together with Rev. Mr. Klug, at Bethlehem. On July 30th, they came, towards evening, to the Licken Run [Licking Run], or Germantown, where they lodged with an old friend by the name of Holzklau. The little village is settled with Reformed miners from Nassau-Siegen.‡ They live very quietly together and are nice people. *John Lorenz Mosheim was a famous historian and theologian (1693-1755), professor in Kiel, Helmstadt and Goettingen. He is best known through his extensive church history. † On September 11 , 1728, there arrived in Philadelphia Johann Caspar Stoever, Sr., Missionaire, and Johann Caspar Stoever, S. S. Theo. Stud. The latter remained in Pennsylvania and was instrumental in founding many Lutheran churches. The former went to Madison county, Virginia, in 1733. The relation of these two men has long been a problem to Lutheran historians. Neither the editors of the "Hallesche Nachrichten" nor the last prominent Lutheran historian (Rev. T. E. Schmauk, in Lutheran Church in Pennsylvania, 1902, in Vol. XI, of Proceedings of the Pennsylvania German Society, p. 245) were able to shed any light on this subject. The statement of this diary settles this vexed quest ion definitely by informing us that the Virginia missionary was the father of the younger Stoever who labored in Pennsylvania. ‡ This statement dispels all doubts and conjectures as to the nativity of the first German settlers at Germanna. Bishop Meade, in his Old Churches and Families of Virginia, Vol. II, pp. 74-76. and Dr. Slaughter, in his History of St. Mark's Parish, pp. 42-45, give interesting accounts of these people, but their statements are to some extent inaccurate. Dr. Slaughter, especially, was in error when hazarding the conjecture that they were a remnant of the German settlement at Newbern, North Carolina, which escaped to Virginia after the Indian massacre at that place in 1711, and, unfortunately, later writers have adopted his theory as a fact. As shown by these diaries and as stated in a previous note, Germantown, Fauquier, was settled by colonists from Nassau-Siegen, Westphalia, Germany. The house built by Tillman

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 2 (Oct., 1903), page 131

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    was promised to him, and thus we left Virginia, commending it to the Lamb. In the evening we came to Jonathan Haeger, [near Hagerstown, Md.], where we stayed over night.* PROCEEDINGS OF THE VIRGINIA COMMITTEE OF CORRESPONDENCE, 1759-'67. From the Originals in the Virginia State Archives. (CONTINUED.) [PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE, APRIL 30, 1762.] April 30th, 1762. At a Committee held at the Capitol, April 30, 1762. Present: The hon'ble Wm. Nelson & Peter Randolph, Esqrs, Jno. Robinson, Peyton Randolph, B. Waller, G. Wythe, & R. C. Nicholas, Esqrs. Mr. Nelson laid before the Board a Lr he had some time ago wrote to Mr. Montague in Behalf of Col. Churchill representing him as an Object of Charity & desiring him to assist the Representation of some of the principal. Ordered that a Com. be appointed to prepare a Lr to the Agent to furnish him with Instructns for supporting the Act of the last Sessn of Assembly for raising a new Regiment & orders a new Emission of Paper Money for their Support; Also the Act of a former Sessn for appointt a Com. to burn the Treasury Notes paid into the Treasury & of all other public Acts in which it may be necessary for him to give his Assistance for their Support * The missionaries, during this journey, passed through territory now comprising the counties of Hampshire, Hardy and Pendleton, in West Virginia, and Highland, Bath, Alleghany, Roanoke, Montgomery, Botetourt, Rockbridge, Augusta, Rockingham, Page, Shenandoah and Frederick in Virginia.

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