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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 This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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 272

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 272 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 3 (Jan., 1905), page 272

    whom we met whether we could cross the mountain to-day. He said: Yes, and told us that some one was living on the mountain with whom we could have an opportunity to stay over night. We believed it and drove to the mountain, but had to pass a large creek1 on the way. Then we tried whether we could ascend the mountain, but it was inmpossible because the foot of the mountain was too steep. We concluded therefore to unload and carry our baggage [on horseback] up on the mountain. Bro. Lischer and Pfeil stayed with the wagon, the rest went up the mountain. Wheni we had covered half of the way it began to rain. It was also difficult for our horses, but we hoped to find the house on top of the mountain, of which the man had spoken. It took us a long time to ascend and when we finally reached the top no house nor water could be found. We were therefore compelled also to descend the mountain, although it was very dark and rained fast. Finally after many vain wishes we reached a little creek in the valley. It had taken us two and a half hours to cross this mountain.2 We then camped, as well as we could, but experienced much difficulty in starting a fire, for it rained very fast and everything was wet. We raised our tent and lay down upon the wet blankets. Here we rested for a while. To-wards morning it cleared and became very cold. On November 3, we went very early back across the mountain to get the rest of the baggage and the wagon. Bro. Gottlob, Nathanael and Kalberland meanwhile stayed with the tent. The brethren who had remained with the wagon also had had a cold night, and we were glad to see them again. We put our baggage once more on our horses and then carried most of our things to the top of the mountain. Here we made a fire and Bro. Haberland staved there. The rest of the brethren went back again to bring up the wagon, which was pretty empty. But we had to push very hard to get the wagon up. After an hour and a half we reached the top safely. After we had loaded the wagon again we drove up hill for a short distance. 1 This large creek is probably Back creek, which is due south of the Roanoke River. 2 This mountain, which gave the Moravian travelers so much trouble, was no doubt the Blue Ridge, which they crossed at Magotty Gap.

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 2 (Oct., 1904), page 150

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 2 (Oct., 1904), page 150 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 2 (Oct., 1904), page 150

    house. A mile farther we came to a little creek. The Blue Mountains were within two miles. We ate our dinner at a beautiful spring, six miles from our last camp. Br. Herman again returned to us and brought several bushels of corn. In the afternoon we had a stony and bad road, and had to hold the wagon back continually with ropes, lest it be overturned, as the road was very steep. Four times we crossed a bad, stony creek, the banks being high everywhere, so that it was difficult to ascend. The South and the Blue Mountains are here within two miles of each other.31 We rode on the right hand side along the Blue Mountain. Towards evening we saw the James River. We had to descend over a steep mountain, before we reached it. We attached a pretty large tree to the wagon, locked both wheels, while the brethren held fast to the tree. But the wagon went down so fast that most of the brethren turned somersault, however, without injury to anybody. We pitched our camp close to the river and rested very well after the fatigues of the day, for in spite of the bad road we had covered sixteen miles. A man came to us and asked us whether we had driven down the steep mountain. He was much surprised, but said that it would not have been necessary, as a good road led along the Blue Mountain, on the right hand, into a little valley. On October 29, we rose at 5 o'clock. We siad a pretty cold night. It was the first frost since we are on our journey. We drove half a mile along the river, when we found two roads. The one to the right continues a mile farther to Lunis Ferry, but the one to the left crosses the river. Several brethren first rode through the river to discover the ford, for there are many rocks and stones in the river. It is fortunate for us that the rivers and creeks are not high at present, otherwise it would be impossible to proceed, for the smallest creeks swell from rain to such an extent, that the horses have to swim through. From "Buffler's Creek" to this place there is water every two or three miles. We all passed safely through the James River,32 for which we were very thankful to our Father in heaven. We 31 The Blue Ridge and North Mountains are evidently meant. 32 The general direction traveled by the missionaries would indicate that they crossed the James river in the vicinity of Buchanan, Va.

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  • Page 3: Publisher's Notice

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

    Publisher's Notice — Minutes of the Annual Meetings of the Brethren [Click for larger image]Publisher's Notice

    PUBLISHERS' NOTICE. The publishers, in presenting "THE MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETINGS, SUPPLEMENTAL, AND THE APPENDIX," need. no apology. The former edition of similar title became exhausted, and the diverse divisions of the Brotherhood limited the control of the copyright, by which it became a duty of the OLD GERMAN BAPTIST CHUROH, (as a part, holding the peculiarities of the ancient order of the church,) to purchase it entirely, and be provided, under the providence of God, to republish the former work, and with it combine the subsequent minutes, and up to where they saw proper to withdraw from the deviations of faith and practice. This they lay claim of connection to the year 1881. Since their organization in Yearly Meeting of 1882, they more than heretofore saw the need of the consistency of reconsidering the answers to these queries, affecting the peace and harmony of the church, and such having been, in a measure, done, and the church accepting it in peace, this work will now contain the former and latter Minutes suitably arranged to the faith and use of the church. The first guardians always kept in mind the non-resistant, non-swearing, and non-conforming principles of the doctrine of the ever-blessed Savior, whose practices have ever been uniform in all things by the Word of the living God. This work, as a matter of church history, has cost, in its preparation (the past and present) no small labor of care and painstaking, money, etc. But of those Yearly Meetings and those whose churches carried the burdens, and especially the faithful representatives that had them in charge, some thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars-hard-earned money. Could it be questioned, for evil? Certainly not. None the less to instruct the weak, fortify the good, and guard against a feigned religion under many disguises -sedueing spirits - confirming the faith of the entire brotherhood that be of one mind and heart. We believe a careful perusal of these pages will confirm the foregoing remarks. We notice the arrangement of the work as follows: We have not essentially deviated from the former one,-such would have undisciplined our brethren,-but give it a natural division of three parts. The forrner edition we term Book First - Indexed. The MIinutes of A. D. 1877 to A. D. 1881, Book Second - Indexed. The Minutes of A. D. 1882 to A. D. 1885, Book Third - Indexed. The Reconsidered Minutes and other papers, etc., Appendix-Not Indexed. Index to pages; but some italicised. matter in reports of committees, by phrases, explanatory. NOTE.-The reader will find reference forward, not backward. Parts Second and Third are called Supplemental Minutes; and this ("Supp. M." ) means the same as Subsequent Minutes, so called., and not Book First. We hope the book will give good satisfaction to as many as have been instrumental in having it republished. We send it forth in the desire that it may build up Zion as she was of old, and that the glory thereof may be to God in the highest. JOSEPH I. COVER. SAMUEL MURRAY.

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