BRETHREN-L ArchivesArchiver > BRETHREN > 2005-05 > 1116732187
From: James Shuman <>
Subject: Re: [BRE] Brethren and United Brethren
Date: Sat, 21 May 2005 22:23:07 -0500
At 2:26pm -0400 5/21/05, wrote:
>question re: United Brethren along with Church of the Brethren
>Would there be any reason that obituaries in the late 1880s to 1930s time
>frame, SW PA location, say that a person was United Brethren or buried United
>Brethren if the person definitely was Church of the Brethren? In cases of
>burial info, I have the tombstone info in a COB cemetery, so I know the UB
>reference is wrong and I put a correction in a "note" section. On
>though I am not 100% sure; I know they were COB all their lives but
>the obit says
>UB and cemeterry location is a county run cemetery.
>I thought it peculiar that so many obituaries would incorrectly use UB. Was
>there **any** possible reason for the mix-up? Did something happen in the
>COB church during this time that led to confusion between COB and UB? Or was
>the newspaper Editor just mistaken all those years?
I think for most of us, whatever we tell you would be based on
conjecture, based in turn on our experiences in other somewhat
Here is a suggestion:
I think quite a few members of each group tended to identify their
religious affiliation to others as simply "Brethren," which would
naturally lead to confusion on the part of "outsiders."
Further, if the newspaper editor/reporter was a member of the UB, or
had more direct contacts with that denomination than with the CoB, it
would be easy to simply assume that the individual being discussed
was a member of the United Brethren.
If you know they were CoB all their lives, it's not very likely that
they changed affiliation shortly before death, unless you also know
there was a major upheaval which affected them. The major upheaval in
the German Baptist Brethren occurred in the 1881-1883 period, in
which the church was split three ways... but the result was that
there were now three denominations with the same roots. I haven't
seen any reports that would indicate very many left that background
altogether at that time, although there was quite a bit of
"re-alignment" for several years.
Also, many of the obituary notices sent in by families and ministers
were brief in the extreme until quite some time after 1900. Thus, it
would not have been unusual for a newspaper editor/reporter to
re-write the notice into more complete paragraphs, etc., and perhaps
inserting --unintentionally-- some words that gave the information an
entirely different meaning to readers 75 to 120 years later (we know
that still happens occasionally somewhere between the original piece
of information and the article that is printed in the paper).
|Re: [BRE] Brethren and United Brethren by James Shuman <>|