Archiver > BRETHREN > 2012-02 > 1329953215

From: "Dwayne Wrightsman" <>
Subject: [BRE] Inevitable Slowdown of Messages
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2012 18:26:55 -0500

It is true that the number of messages per month has been decreasing. I
think it is due to two factors. First, our archives are getting
increasingly full of Brethren family history communications compiled over
the past fifteen years. One does not have to ask as many questions as more
and more questions have already been answered in our archives.

Second, and even more important in the long run, is that, increasingly, many
Brethren are not as Brethren in terms of continuous roots within a Brethren
family. I, for one, grew up in a relatively large Brethren church with a
membership of a relatively small number of families, all of German extract,
who could trace their roots back to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. Members in
my church were mostly blood-related cousins. These Brethren families
migrated together from Pennsylvania to Virginia and North Carolina, and from
there to Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and points west where they
remained for many decades. In the early and middle 20th century, families
were made up of grandparents, parents, and grandchildren, all living in the
same community, all with roots and relations common to their neighbors and
fellow church goers. As the grandparents died, new grandchildren were born,
but the families continued living together in their home communities.

After WWII, members of my generation began to follow their professional
leanings, which often involved moving away from their childhood environs.
Families are now more fractured in terms of where they live, how often they
move, who they associate with, and how they define their religious faith and
values. For the children of my generation, the Facebook community is
sometimes more important than where they currently live or were formerly
from. Electronic texting to the global world has begun to replace
old-fashion face-to-face communications with members of one's own family.
Church membership seems to be based more on what is available and convenient
than on attachment to historical tradition.

As a former economist by profession, I observe that the supply of Brethren
family history information is peaking out, and that the demand for Brethren
family history information is shrinking, and that is why the trend-line
number of messages per month is down.

Dwayne Wrightsman

-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:]
On Behalf Of Ginni Morgan
Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2012 12:04 PM
Subject: Re: [BRE] (no subject)

Ummm, maybe we're all just busy with other projects? This has never been my
most active list, although I will say that we've been very, very quiet
recently. Surprising, that. ;>)

Ginni Morgan

-----Original Message-----
>From: winter dellenbach <>
>Sent: Feb 19, 2012 7:34 AM
>Subject: Re: [BRE] (no subject)
>I got this from you, Marge. I am on the list. Can it be that there are
>just not much participation right now? It used to be a snowstorm of
>emails sometimes, but now it is very little. Is there another
>explanation - someone?

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