German Baptist - Church of the Brethren Families
May 2, 2013 - the Church of the Brethren Newsline announces the completion of the Brethren Digital Archive! Celebrating completion of the Brethren Digital Archive -in the Brethren Digital Archive, available online in a full-text format without charge at archive.org/details/brethrendigitalarchives . It contains 29 periodicals published from 1852-2000 by the spiritual heirs of those baptized in the Eder River.
- First Brethren Families Project sponsored by the Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists (FOBG) information was posted in the Quarterly Journal "Brethren Roots." Three groups: First Brethren Family Roots, for those tracing their family line back to the original eight baptized - my sixth-great-grandparents Elizabeth Naas and Heinrich Hirt Landis families should quailfy for this as they were at the First Baptism in America Christmas day near Phildaelphia in 1723; First Century Brethren Roots, for those who can identify an ancestor with ties to a Brethren community before 1809 - should be all my other Brethren families listed below; and Second Century Brethren Roots, for those with Brethren ancestry prior to 1909. Details are given in the quarterly journal with application and rules published in the Fall 2012 edition and information how to receive a copy of the periodical was repeated by Thomas Liby online May 5, 2013 at BRETHREN-L Archives on Rootsweb.com.
- Membership application at the official Church of the Brethren.net can be completed online, printed, and mailed.
- There is a pdf and an html form at another site at Rootsweb
Popularly known as Dunker's, "did not have an official name until 1836 when a query was sent to Annual Meeting asking what name should appear on a deed for a meeting house at which time the name Fraternity of German Baptists was chosen and used until 1871 when again Annual Meeting changed the name to German Baptist Brethren, who again changed the name in 1908 to Church of the Brethren." From GESH.
Most of my maternal and many of my paternal ancestors are Swiss-German Church of the Brethren. In the 1700's the Brethren meet in homes and barns, not building their first churches until the 1830's and 1840's. Similar to the Mennonites and Amish who were fellow Anabaptists, they did not baptize infants nor children. They dressed in distinctive conservative attire believing in unquestioning obedience to the teachings of Christ and the New testament, including non-conformity to worldly values, non-swearing, non-resistance, and non-participation in warfare. The motto still guiding the Lower Miami Church is in 1 John 3:18 "Let us not love in word and speech, but in deed and truth."
The Brethren arose as Schwarzenau Brethren in 1708 Germany. Their 300th Anniversary Celebration was in August 2008 in Schwarzenau, Germany. After the Thirty Year War in 1648 each German principality had been able to choose which of three religions - Catholic, Lutheran, or Reformed - would be recognized as their established religion. Known as Radical Pietism the brethren dissenters arose from the spirit wanting to establish the "true" Christian faith. Alexander MACK steered the flock closer to the Mennonites doctrinal principles to adher to the teachings of the New Testament in regard to baptism, the Lord's Supper and feet washing, along with resistance to violence or force. Their Pietism exists because of the Reformation.
The Brethren List discussion group welcome message states: "The term "Brethren" as used here alludes to all persons and places that now, or in the past, have any type of connection to the church groups that descend from the movement started by the Alexander Mack group during 1708 at Schwarzenau, Germany. Among others, names associated with this group include Tunker; Dunkard; German Baptist; Church of the Brethren; Dunkard Brethren; Grace Brethren; and Old German Baptist Brethren.
There have been a number of divisions within the church. Known as one of the "Peace" churches they are opposed to government oaths, allegiance, military duty and depending on which division may oppose modern living much as Amish Mennonite's. Besides local county libraries and the Allen County Public Library I have found a lot of family obituaries in Brethren publications at Manchester College North Manchester, Wabash County, Indiana. Some ancestor families like Landis, Groff/Graff and church histories can be found in Mennonite archives such as Goshen College in Goshen, Elkhart County, Indiana online at their collective Mennonite Archives. The church started around 1708 in Germany where the members were persecuted and even killed such as my Hans LANDIS for preaching against or not following the state religion. Families emigrated to the United States sometimes by way of England, the Netherlands, or other countries. There are several deacons or ministers in some branches of my families from the founding of the church in 1708 to the present time.
Some of my family lines are still Brethren members today, all of these families were at one time
|ALBAUGH||CARVER-GARBER||CRAMER married COB|
|EIKENBERRY many ministers and some descendants were teachers at Manchester College which formerly had an Eikenberry Hall.|
|FOLLIS two generations married COB. Cousin John FOLLIS was a COB minister in California.|
|HECKMAN Peter was an unordained minister in 1770 Little Swatara congregation with services held in his home in Tulpehocken Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. Dwayne Wrightsman lists some of the farms along the Little Swatara River.|
|HINSEY||HIRT married COB||KINGERY||KINSEY had minister||LANDIS|
|NAAS early minister||PROUGH married COB, Daniel Prough was a minister in the west - Kansas?||REAM married COB||ROYER||SWANK|
|ULLERY||ZEIGLER had deacon and minister||ZUMBRUN sibling lines still active in Blue River COB Whitley County, IN|
Genealogy research is never complete, more documents are coming online all the time so what wasn't found today, might appear another day. If you find research that adds to, or contradicts mine, please leave a Comment in my Guest book, join my Follis Families on Facebook page, or send me an Email.