Thursday, 25 April 2013 06:53

Welcome Featured

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

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This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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

Read 4264 times
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.

More in this category: Books »

1 comment

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

Recently Added

  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 238

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 238 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), page 238

    A day's journey farther is a beautiful mineral spring, which is said to be better than the one at Canigotschik [Conococheague], a warm and cold spring rising so close together that, being in the one, you can reach into the other.* There is also a remarkable cave, but not as large as the one at Canigotschik [Conococheague]. It is said to be damp, and therefore unhealthy, because its entrance and opening is small. Here they [the two travelers] were about 400 miles from Bethlehem, and two days' journey from the boundaries of North Carolina,† hence they concluded to change their course, at first southeast, farther into Virginia, and then northeast, to return home. On July 24th, they began this new course by going down a few miles along the South Branch, because there was no road over the surprisingly high mountains of the North Ridge. Some English people accompanied them, who had listened to the sermon which Bro. Joseph had preached to the English people there. They seemed to take a special liking to him on account of his sermon. and talked much with him on the way. As much as we could gather from their conversation, they were Covenanters,‡ which sect was caused by the Presbyterians. On July 25th, they left the South Branch and began to climb the remarkably high mountains called the North Ridge, which are the Kittidane [Kittatinny] or Endless Mountains.§ They extend from Bethlehem west-south-west through Maryland and Virginia to Carolina and Florida, and even farther in a straight * Now the celebrated Hot Springs in Bath county. Virginia. † The missionaries must have included the distance traveled in their detours. In a straight course they were about two hundred miles from Bethlehem. Pa. They were also at least six days' journey from the North Carolina line. ‡ It is remarkable that even so early as 1748 the Scotch-Irish were beginning the extension of their settlements to the westward of the Shenandoah Valley. § This is an error. The missionaries were in the Alleghanies, the most easterly range of which is called North Mountain. Kittatinny is the Indian name for the Blue Ridge. The Appalachian system does not extend to Florida, but ends in northern Alabama.

    Be the first to comment! Read 792 times
  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 374

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 374 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 374

    He was the first settler there. He was very courteous when he heard that I was a minister. I asked him for the way to Carolina. He told me of one, which runs for 150 miles through Irish settlements, the district being known as the Irish tract. I had no desire to take this way, and as no one could tell me the right way I felt somewhat depressed. I asked the Lord to show me the right way, but slept little that night.* On the 21st, immediately after arising, one of the servants came to me and told me that two miles from there a man lived, who could tell me the right way. I went to him. He was very kind and quite willing to tell me the way. His name is Stephan Schmidt,† a Catholic, but hungry to hear the word of the cross. Many spiritually hungry people, of German nationality, live there, who have no minister. I bade him farewell and went magazine. Rev. Mr. Schnell again visited him in 1749, as shown in the October number, 1903, of the Magazine. Kercheval, in his History of the Valley, makes many references to him, always spelling his name Joist Hite. His real name was Jost (Joseph) Heydt, which fact is attested by many of his deeds recorded in the county clerk's office of Frederick county, Va. He was careless as to the correct spelling of his surname, and it is stated upon the authority of one of his descendants that he spelled it in three different ways on the same day in the execution of three deeds. He was not, as has been so persistently claimed in recent years, the first white settler in the Valley of Virginia. Adam Mueller (Miller) had lived for fifteen years on the South Branch of the Shenandoah when naturalized by Governor Gooch on March 13, 1741-2, which proves, beyond question, that he located there either in 1726 or 1727, while Hite, according to Kercheval, made his settlement on the Opequon, about five miles south of Winchester, Va., in 1732. As to the settlement of Miller, see William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. IX, No. 2, p. 132; also Vol. X, No. 1, p. 84, and Vol. XI, No. 2, p. 127, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. As to Hite, see Kercheval's History of the Valley, p. 41, et seq. * The way indicated to the missionary would have led him through the present counties of Rockingham, Augusta, Rockbridge and Botetourt, then, in the fullest sense of the term, the land of the Scotch-Irish. Why an inoffensive missionary should have dreaded the prospect of a journey through their country, is a question to be answered by the historians of that race. † He is also mentioned in Schnell's diary of 1749. See Virginia Magazine, Vol. XI, p. 129.

    Be the first to comment! Read 912 times
  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 370

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 370 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 370

    MORAVIAN DIARIES OF TRAVELS THROUGH VIRGINIA. Edited by Rev. WILLIAM J. HINKE anid CHARLES E. KEMPER. (CONTINUED.) EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARY OF LEONHARD SCHNELL AND ROBERT HUSSEY,* OF THEIR JOURNEY TO GEORGIA, NOVEMBER 6, 1743-APRIL 10, 17444† On November 6th, new style, Bro. Hussey and I went from our dear congregation at Bethlehem to Philadelphia, where we stayed to the 11th, to be commissioned by the Brethren to our work. Bro. Hussey and I agreed, in a hearty conversation, to journey together in love and in the strength of the Lamb. We lodged eight miles from Philadelphia in an English inn. On the 12th, I spoke with a man whom we met on the road. He knew us to be Moravians. He said that he was anxious to visit Bethlehem. I gave him an English catechism and a "Fellow Traveller."‡ On the 13th, towards evening, we came to Lancaster. I * Robert Hussey, from Wiltshire, England. In 1749, teacher of the Moravian school in Oley, Pa. Died in Bethlehem, July, 1775. See Register of Moravians, p. 50. † The editors are under special obligation to the authorities in Bethlehem, especially to the courteous archivist, Mr. Robert Rau, for the loan of the original MS., which has made it possible to present this important diary in a much completer form than was originally intended. The original covers fifty-one closely-written pages. As it would have been impossible to present the full text in one issue of the Magazine, most of the conversations were abbreviated and many reflections of the pious missionaries were excluded, but no statements were omitted which in any way throw light on the condition of the Germans in the States through which the missionaries traveled. ‡ This English catechism bears the following title: "A short Catechism for some Congregations of Jesus, of the Reformed Religion in Pennsylvania, etc. First published in German by John Bechtel. Philadelphia, 1742." The "Fellow Traveler " was not an American publication. It must have been published in England.

    Be the first to comment! Read 827 times