Saturday, September 27, 2008

Later Brethren Almanacs

Yesterday we noted the Sauer Almanac which was first printed in German in 1738 and was continued by his son and grandson for some 49 years.

A century later, the enterprising H.R. Holsinger began a new line of almanacs with his Brethren's Almanac for 1871. In an announcement in his paper, The Christian Family Companion, Holsinger solicited suggestions and promised that the almanac would "contain history, statistics, doctrine, peculiarities, and incidents." An important innovation was Holsinger's attempt to compile a current list of Brethren ministers; this has remained a valuable fixture in Brethren almanacs and yearbooks.

Although the first edition was "somewhat hastily compiled," as Holsinger admitted, it met with success. He published editions for 1872-1874 before he sold his publishing interests to James Quinter. Late in 1872 H.B. Brumbaugh and his brothers distributed an 1873 edition of a Pilgrim Almanac as a free edition supplement to their weekly paper. For the 1875 edition the Brumbaugh's and Quinter combined their almanacs as the Brethren's Family Almanac.

In 1918 the almanac became the Brethren Yearbook which continues to be published today as a Church of the Brethren Directory rather than a general almanac.

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia