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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 This site, as are many others maintained on this domain, presents to researchers and historians high-quality images of historical reference books about the Brethren.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 122

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 2 (Oct., 1903), page 122 [Click for larger image]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 2 (Oct., 1903), page 122

    On November 13th, we started early. A German woman gave us a piece of bread and cheese for the way. A man who traveled our way to-day was of much assistance to us, as we had no house for twenty miles. Moreover, the forest was very dense, and it was difficult to find the way. To-day we came to the source of the South Fork* and, although we had to cross the water more than thirty times. (the people had urgently warned us not to take this road as we had no horse), yet the Lamb helped us safely through all difficulties. In the evening we lodged in an English cabin (thus they call the English houses there). It was quite cold. But the bear skins upon which we rested and the fire before us which kept us warm, rendered us good services. We had yet a piece of bread left, and as the people had none, we divided it with them. They gave us some of their bear meat, which can be found in every house in this district. On November 14th. we went on our way with a happy feeling. We had to wade through the water frequently. We stayed with a Welshman over night, but he did not trust us very much. We engaged him to take us through the river with his horse, because it is quite large; it is called "Kauh Pastert."† On November 15th, we traveled in the company of a Welshman, George Luys; he took us twelve times through the river [Clover Creek, Highland County]. Traveling was difficult to-day, for we had to cross rather high mountains, and, moreover it rained. Night overtook us before we reached a house and had passed through the water. At last we could no longer see the way and had to stay wht!re we were. Fortunately. we found a little hut, in which no one was at home. Here we stayed. thanking God for the shelter. We made fire, and after drying our clothes we * The South Fork of the South Branch rises in the extreme southern portion of Pendleton county, West Virginia. † Cow Pasture River. The missionaries were then within the limits of the present county of Highland. and probably reached the James River in the vicinity of Clifton Forge. From there the missionaries seem to have followed the road to Fincastle, Botetourt county, to Salem, Roanoke county, to Christiansburg, Montgomery county, and finally to the neighborhood of Newbern, in Pulaski county.

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  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 4 (Apr., 1904), page 374

    The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

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    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.

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  • Proceedings of the Dayton…, Front cover (inside)

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    DAYTON BINDER TRUCK. For moving Binders on the road and through gates. A boy twelve years old can load or unload a binder in a few minutes. SECTIONAL VIEW OF "FAVORITE" THRESHER. TEN AND THIRTEEN HORSE TRACTION ENGINES. Address WOODSUM MACHINE OOMPANY, Dayton, Ohio.

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