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Church of the Brethren


My great-great-granduncle at his death in 1918 was the oldest living Church of the Brethren minister in Indiana almost 93 years old! He was a circuit rider preacher from Wabash County, Indiana covering the northern part of the state. See page 133-134 of Otho Winger's 1917 book History of the Church of the Brethren In Indiana


My fifth great-grandfather was an early Bishop of the Conestoga Church of the Brethren in Lancaster, Pennsylvania from at least 1772 to 1795 after he moved to Franklin County, Virginia. By 1806 was in the Twin Creek Church in Preble County, Ohio.


My fifth and sixth great-grandfather (related through two families) was a minister in 1770 Little Swatara Church of the Brethren congregation with services held in his home in Tulpehocken Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. Google map Street Level View shows the current church.

Christian KINSIE

My third great-grandfather and father-in-law of Joseph ZEIGLER was part of the family migration in 1852 from Montgomery County, Ohio that started the Blue River German Baptist Church now Church of the Brethren in Whitley County, Indiana. Christian was the first Deacon. Christian's grandson Samuel, son of Joel, with his father-in-law Peter Nead were instrumental in starting the Great Divide of 1881 that Joseph ZEIGLER and others followed as Old Order German Baptist Brethren when they split from the Church of the Brethren as a new denomination.

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My fifth great-grandfather was ordained a minister August 12, 1780 at Little Swatara Church of the Brethren in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Google map Street Level View shows the current church.

Johannes Naas

My seventh great-grandfather was one of the first ministers of the Church of the Brethren in Germany and America. His daughter Elizabeth married Henry LANDIS. Johannes died May 12, 1741 and lies in an unmarked grave in Amwell, New Jersey.


My great-grandfather was an Elder at the Blue River German Baptist Brethren Church in Whitley County, Indiana his father Joseph helped organize in 1852. Have to believe Jonas and his father Joseph and the Zumbrun's are in this 1872 photo on the right. Blue River had a new history webpage.


My great-great-grandfather was a minister who served in Darke County, Ohio before moving in 1852 from Montgomery County, Ohio. He was the first elected minister after he helped to organize the Blue River German Baptist Brethren now Church of the Brethren in Whitley County, Indiana. Joseph and his brother Philip a Christian Church minister by 1850 lived near Merriam, Noble County, Indiana. Joseph left this church after the Old Order German Baptist split with the newly formed Church of the Brethren after the Great Divide of 1881. He apparently joined with the Old Order German Baptist Brethren in Elkhart County, Indiana before his death in 1894.

Christian Church


Great-great-granduncle, brother of my Joseph ZEIGLER was a circuit rider minister who had three wives, served in Miami County, Ohio where his first wife died, Wabash and Noble Counties, Indiana and Erie County, Pennsylvania where his second wife died. Philip and his third wife along with hundreds of descendants of Christian KINSIE and Joseph ZEIGLER are buried at Philip's Christian Chapel Church Cemetery at Merriam, Noble County, Indiana.

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My fifth great-grandfather was a deacon January 29, 1791 at Bender's Union Church in Butler Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania Lutheran "side" along with his father-in-law Caspar SCHNERR who is buried in the church cemetery. Not known if Simon was a deacon at Warstler Lutheran Church where he is buried in the church cemetery.


My sixth great-grandfather was a deacon March 17, 1790 at the same Bender's Union Church in Butler Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania Reformed "side" as his son-in-law Simon ESSIG. Caspar is buried here.


Fifth great-grandfather John ZUMBRUN is listed as an Deacon in the history of the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. The Google map Street Level View shows the church at 38 W Baltimore and Church Street. Interesting to note in this history at the 1811 dedication of the first brick church, a German speaking pastor hoped English would NEVER be spoken in his church! My how times change. My Zumbrun's became Church of the Brethren after moving to Ohio. Those in Maryland remained Lutheran.


Larry Smith

Second cousin through my Zeigler and Zumbrun families. Pastor of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church near Churubusco, Whitley County, Indiana.

Albert Kenneth TIMMONS

First cousin twice removed, was 50 years a Disciples of Christ minister in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Officiated at his aunt, my great-grandmother, Matilda TIMMONS FOLLIS' funeral in 1949 Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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United Brethren

James Dayton COBB

Husband of Rebecca Ann FOLLIS first cousin three times removed, of College Corner, Union County, Indiana and Preble County, Ohio.

Unknown Religion

Rev. Isaac FALLIS

My fourth great-grandfather lived near Bellbrook, Green County, Ohio. Some researchers list his name as Rev. Isaac FALLIS, which I think is an error and misunderstanding of the Lewis writings linked below. His obituary calls him "Father Fallis." An email I have not followed through on indicates he was converting to Mormon, although I suspect he was Methodist at his death based on his epitaph on his tombstone on his farm in the Fallis Pioneer Cemetery.

The History of James Stapleton Lewis provides many clues. In the James Stapleton Lewis records it mentions "Brother Fallis" and "Elder Fallis" in reference to William Fallis, son of my Isaac Fallis of Bellbrook, Greene County, Ohio, who married Rachel Lewis there in 1818. The Lewis line eventually became Latter Day Saints - Mormon whose practice is to convert their ancestors to their religion. Hyrum S. Lewis was a source for early LDS IGI records I found in the 1990's and his Collection of Writings indicate he was the first LDS Elder in Albion, Idaho.


A great-grand uncle in Wabash County, Indiana was raised by his uncle, my great-great-grand uncle, Church of the Brethren minister John A. EIKENBERRY. It appears Daniel was not Church of the Brethren, but was a Brethren minister in Illinois where his descendants say he lived.

Rev. James WEBB

A fourth great-grand uncle, in Blooming Grove, Franklin County, Indiana son of James and Lucy WEBB of Greene County, Ohio.

Rev. Thomas WEBB

A first cousin five times removed, son of Rev. James Webb, buried with his father in the Blooming Grove Cemetery, Franklin County, Indiana. Cemetery is a ways off the road and still has the nice old wrought iron fence, tombstones heavily covered in lichen due to high rainfall.

Genealogy research is never complete, important details might be missing, and often contains errors, so let me know if your research contradicts mine. My Indiana and Ohio family research comes from conversations with relatives, scrapbooks, library research, online records, visits to courthouses, final resting places on family farms and cemeteries. Families in other states rely mostly on the research of others. Links to other web sites often change then won't work, so if you find broken links, have additional information on any families, corrections, photos, or anything to add to the history of our families, please leave a Comment in my Guest book, join my Follis Families on Facebook page for updates and new discoveries, or send an Email. The Wayback Machine archives most old web pages so copy and paste the broken URL address to find the missing 404 pages that disappeared. Read Dick Eastman's newsletter on using Unverified Data from the internet. This web site is designed to work with JavaScript and the latest browsers. If you experience display problems you may need to update your browser.

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