Brethren History and Genealogy

All wishing to discuss and share information regarding history and genealogy of the Brethren church group originating in 1708 at Schwarzenau, Germany are welcome. Questions and answers regarding past customs and practices among the numerous Brethren groups are welcome.

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; Old Brethren; Old German Baptist Brethren; and Old German Baptist Brethren, New Conference.

This list does NOT include information and discussion of the United Brethren or Brethren in Christ groups; nor the group frequently called Plymouth Brethren.

Background of the List


This list replaces the Brethren List at Rootsweb, which is non-functional after March 2, 2020. It is not the first time that we have had to go looking for a new home. The Brethren List was begun by Joe Bosserman about 1995 or 1996, utilizing a service called Maiser out of Indiana University, run by Larry Stephens. On the night of May 9-10, 1997, the Maiser servers were hit by a massive spam attack and had to be shut down. The earliest message in the Rootsweb-sponsored Brethren Archives is dated May 14, 1997. Unfortunately, none of the Maiser messages were recovered. The archives for the Brethren List at Rootsweb can be found at Rootsweb Brethren Archives.

Schwarzenau Brethren

In more recent times, the various groups which claim origin from the 1708 baptism at Schwarzenau, Germany have come to be referred to collectively as the Schwarzenau Brethren. For a more complete discussion of the various groups, see the Wikipedia entry at Schwarzenau Brethren, or select a specific group from the list above and search for it at Wikipedia.



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