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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 This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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. 2 (Oct., 1903), page 128

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    was very dry arid the word of Christ's sufferings found no hearing. On December 6th, we came to Mesanoton [Massanutton]. We stayed with Philip Lung, who had his own religion.* I intended to preach but he would not let us have his house, assuring us that none would come, since Rev. Mr. Klug [the Lutheran minister in the present county of Madison] had warned the people to be on their guard against us. We had soon an opportunity of seeing how bitter the people are towards us. Hence we concluded to leave, which we did, wishing God's blessing upon the district.† An unmarried man, H. Reder, took us through the river. He told us that eight weeks before he had visited Bethlehem. We crossed the Ritsch lRidge] and stayed over night with an Englishman. Towards evening we had to cross the North River.‡ Leonhard [Schnell] had thus far carried Bro. Brandmueller perhaps ten times across the river. On December 7th, we had to walk twenty miles hefore breakfast, because we found no house and had not been able to secure any bread in our lodging place. In the afternoon we came to George Dae/inger, where I preached two years ago. I asked him whether I could again preach in his house. He answered: "Not for fifty pounds." It had been taken very ill of him that he had allowed it two years ago. The people, and especially the Rev. Mr. Klug, had warned him not to permit himself to be led astray. Moreover, he said, "You are done for at this place, since the people have received the information con * Philip Long, the ancestor of that family in Page county, a member of which was the wife of General Sterling Price, of Missouri. † The Massanutton district was the first white settlement in the Valley of Virginia, numbering nine families and fifty-one persons in 1729. Adam Miller first located there, but in a few years removed to his permanent home near Elkton on the Shenandoah, as previously stated. See Volume I, Palmer's Calendar 0./ Virginia Slate Papers, pp. 219-220. ‡ The missionaries had now crossed the Massanutton range of mountains and were within the limits of the present county of Shenandoah.

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  • A History of the Potsdam Congregation of the Church of the Brethren

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 2 (Oct., 1903), page 118

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    we came to Colonel Crissop,* at night, pretty well tired out. He received us very courteously. He asked at once whether the Brethren had received his letter which he had sent to them through his son. He referred to several tracts of land which the Brethren might buy. Several other people were with him, a gentleman from Maryland and a servant from Virginia, to whom he gave all kind of good information about Bethlehem, and also about the conversion of the Indians. On November 1st, Colonel Crissop told us yet many things about the good sections of land that could be had. He also showed us on a map where the Six Nations live. We traveled from Mr. Crissop over the North Branch, and in the afternoon came to Urban Kraemer. As he was not at home, we crossed the South Branch and came to the place of a Hollander, Peter Peterson, where we stayed over night. On November 2nd, as on the "Elders' Festival" [an important Moravian festival] we intended to remain quietly at one place for the whole day, but as we found no good place to lodge, we traveled the whole day up along the South Branch, thinking meanwhile of our dear Bethlehem. Leaving the mountains on our right-hand, we passed the place where the Mohawk and Catawba Indians fought a battle.† * Colonel Thomas Cresap, who came to Maryland from England in 1686, then aged fifteen years, and died at the age of 106. He was active in the French and Indian wars, and was the father of Captain Michael Cresap, the alleged slayer of the Indian Logan and his family. This long accepted story is vigorously controverted by M. Louise Stevenson in the April number, 1903, of the West Virginia Historical Magazine, pp. 144-162. Cresap Town in Alleghany county, Maryland, represents no doubt the place of his settlement and is named after him. † Kercheval, in his History of the Valley, mentions two Indian battles as having been fought in this locality. One engagement occurred, according to this authority, at Slim Bottom, about one and one-half miles from the mouth of the South Branch of the Potomac; the other, at Hanging Rocks on the same stream where the river passes through the mountains. Both of these places are within the limits of the present county of Hampshire. The latter seems to be referred to in this diary. For the road passes from Cresap Town southeast over the Patterson Creek (which is mentioned in other diaries) to Springfield and from there it crosses the South Branch of the Potomack at Hanging Rocks.

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