Children of the Shenandoah

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
    -- Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 5

Reference Citations

BLY -- A History of The Bly Family - A Record of the Descendants of Philip Bly, Eighteenth Century German Pioneer in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. By Daniel W. Bly. Published in 1992 by Gateway Press, Inc. Baltimore, MD       

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DLBorden -- Tombstone Inscriptions, Toms Brook and Vicinity, Shenandoah County, Virginia Compiled by Duane Lyle Borden of Denver, Colorado and published in 1981 by Yates Publishing Company, Ozark, Missouri. This book of over 300 pages covers seventeen cemeteries in the region, some large such as Toms Brook Cemetery and the Valley Pike Brethren Cemetery, and some small family plots with but a few individuals laid to rest therein.

There are a great many errors of fact in this book but certainly most of them are attributable to the extreme difficulty in deciphering old tombstone inscriptions. Look-alike symbols are certainly responsible for most. When weathered, stained or lichen covered, it is often not possible to differentiate between worn engravings of characters such as 3-8, E-F-L, C-G-O-Q, etc, Mr. Borden deserves much credit for the work he did in personally rendering the information on these grave markers as well as he has considering the difficulties he was laboring under. I, myself, have often given up in frustration trying to read engravings in old cemeteries. And, of course, the stones themselves may be inscribed with inaccurate data. My own maternal grandmother was born in late December 1879 but her monument gives only the year and that as 1880. Someone used her age and "computed" her birth year incorrectly.

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DNR -- Daily News Record newspaper published in Harrisonburg. Reprint in TFP of 19 Aug 2010 p6 quotes (without attribution) from an article in a 19 Dec 1919 paper:

The Daily News Record and Daily Independent of Harrisonburg have consolidated and after Dec. 31 will be published as one daily issue under the head of Daily New Record. Subscription price $4 per year.

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GCH -- History of the Descendants of Jacob Gochenour. By Robert Lee Evans of Arlington, VA. Published 1977 by Carr Publ. Co., Inc. in Boyce, VA 22620.    

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HHH -- Haller-Hollar-Holler Genealogy. Compiled by Amelia Cleland Gilreath of Nokesville, VA. Published Sept. 1981.    

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HH2 -- The Huber=Hoover Family History. By Harry M Hoover of Lancaster, PA. Mennonite Publishing House in Scottdale, PA 1928    

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HKF -- History of the Descendants of John Hottel. By Rev. W D Huddle and published posthumously by his widow. Published in 1930 by Shenandoah Publishing House, Inc., Strasburg, VA. This was a massive undertaking for one man and took him many years of hard work. Unfortunately it is known to have numerous errors in it. It seems more than likely that in the process of posthumous publication, the proof sheets did not receive the attention they so desperately needed. In fact, some time ago an ERRATA was published for it giving several hundred corrections. Hundreds and perhaps thousands of other errors have gone unnoticed or at least unreported.

These errors occur as bad names, mix-up of dates between individuals. Reporting marriage date as death date. Wrong Dates. These can involve dropping a digit so that 13 becomes 3, for example. Transposing digits. Even the internal ID numbers are printed wrong on many occasions. I personally have found HKF to be valuable in pointing me in the right general direction. But, as a rule, if information from another source conflicts with HKF, unless confronted with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I go with the other source. A deliberate omission by its compiler was the decision to not give the parents of spouses, thus rendering cross ties between families much more difficult.

It is only fair to point out that this book is in the process of major revision with the inclusion of another sixty years of history. All known errors will be corrected at that time, but unless they have been reported, the new editions (the book has grown to where it will be published in multiple volumes) will, not knowing otherwise, simply perpetuate the unreported errors. It is the understanding of this writer that the parents-of-spouses omission policy is also to be reversed. To be published by and available from the Hottel-Keller Memorial, Inc.    

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KFF -- A Genealogy and History of the Kauffman - Coffman Families of North America 1584 to 1937. Compiled by Charles Fahs Kauffman. Published in 1940 by the Author.       

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NVD - Northern Virginia Daily newspaper published six days a week by the Shenandoah Publishing House in Strasburg, Va. When the printed source was used, the reference "NVD" is used. When the material was taken from the World Wide Web, then the abbreviation "NVD www" is used. For approximately two years, republished the obituaries of NVD on a daily basis. In early 2000, for reasons not known to this author, NVD requested that this service be no longer provided. While a disheartening loss to the on-line community, it is doubtful this action increased the paper's circulation by forcing purchase just to read the obituaries. In 2003 NVD began publishing the obituaries on its own website, a week's worth at a time for the preceeding Friday-Thursday week. Several years later obituary postings to the NVD website were begun on a daily basis.

This paper is notorious, particularly twenty or more years ago, for reporting deaths by day of the week only and not providing the date. This often leads to confusion because one never knows for sure when that day is press day whether the death occurred hours ago prior to press time or the prior week, especially so in the case of a report of someone out of town (retired to Florida, for example). One example of this is John Ritenour. John Ritenour.    

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ShenHer - The Shenandoah Herald a weekly newpaper published in Woodstock on Thursdays. Established 24 Dec 1817 (first issue) by Messrs. Bogan and Williams as the Woodstock Herald. Shortly thereafter the name was changed to The Shenandoah Herald. Successive owners tried other names calling it Sentinel of The Valley, Tenth Legion, etc. At the beginning of the War its editor, Capt. John Gatewood, put aside pen and joined the CSA Army. After the War, Captains Gatewood and Trout continued the paper as The Shenandoah Herald. In April of 1957 it was merged with the The Valley Gazette of the Elkton-Shenandoah area which had been published on Fridays. The combined paper is now called The Shenandoah Valley-Herald.     q.v. Mary Catherine Grabill

With this issue, the Herald enters its 70th volume. It ranks among the oldest papers of the state. As to its merit we will leave our many readers to pass upon it, satisfied with the generous support it has so long and uniformly received at their hands.
-- Feb. 14, 1890 as quoted in The Shen Valley-Herald
12 Feb 2016 pA4

This newspaper from 1836 to 1922 is available on-line courtesy of the Libray of Congress.    

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ShenVal - The Shenandoah Valley a newspaper published by the Henkel family (until 1925 when Elon Henkel, grandson of the founder, sold the press) at New Market until 1975 when it merged with another old paper to become The Shenandoah Valley Herald published in Woodstock.

Aside: The Henkel Press on Congress Street in New Market began when Ambrose Henkel, the 16-year-old son of a local preacher, decided to walk to Hagerstown, MD, to learn the printing trade. In 1806 he bought a printing press in Reading, PA and brought it back to New Market to begin his business. Because the surrounding area was so heavily settled by German immigrants and their descendants, most of the printing he did before 1830 was in German. Henkel's first newspaper, Der Volksberichter, was printed between 1807 and 1809.

The story goes that Ambrose Henkel, one of the founders of the Henkel printing office and now the Henkel Press, Inc., went to Hagerstown, Md. to serve as [an] apprenticeship under Mr. Gruber, the publisher of Gruber's Almanack. Mr. Gruber went away, left the almanac to be printed, but did not fill in the "weather conjecture." He told the force just to switch the prognostications for the same months the year before around and let it go at that. Young Henkel came to July 4, "snow," he set up, thinking that it would be a capital joke. When Old Man Gruber came back, the type pages for the months were already printed and had been "thrown in." So the almanac came out predicting snow for July 4. It did get very cold and there were some snow flurries high up in the mountains west of Hagerstown. The Gruber's Almanac was from then on the authority of weather and all kinds of things. It was the only one that predicted snow for July 4.
-- June 1, 1961 as quoted in The Shen Val-Herald 3 Jun 2011 pA4
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STR -- Forerunners - Genealogy of the Strickler Families by Harry M. Strickler, Harrisonburg. Printed by The Ruebush-Kieffer Co., Dayton, Va. 1925. This work is particularly difficult for this reader to follow. In part because it frequently inserts families randomly, seemingly unrelated to the paragraphs around it. But also because the individuals for whom families are shown are not sequentially presented and their ID numbers are not in the order in which the families are shown. Finally, the index is woefullly lacking; it lists surnames only, followed by a list of page numbers on which that surname may be mentioned. This means wading through many pages scanning for the individual for whom you are searching; frequently finding the name on the next page, probably because the index was created from proof sheets and some insertions were made before publication, throwing the page numbers off. There is an axiom ignored here which states that half of the value of any book lies in its index. See sample page.

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SVH -- The Shenandoah Valley-Herald newspaper. Result of 1975 merger of The Shenandoah Herald and The Valley Herald. Until the end of 2008 this was a standard-format paper, each issue composed of several sections; pages at that time measuring about 12 1/2 wide and 23 inches tall. Beginning 2009 it was changed to magazine format with pages measuring only about 12 x 11. (As an aside, back in 1980 it measured approx. 15 inches wide and 23 tall. I don't know offhand when they shrank the width.) At least by 2009 its self-proclaimed moniker was slightly altered in use. The front page and mast head still call it The Shenandoah Valley Herald, But the inside pages say simply The Herald. Why the Page-Shenandoah Newspaper Corp. chooses to do this is a mystery to me. By-the-by, they also dropped the hyphen in Valley-Herald.) COS will continue attributions to "SVH" even if the page cited says only "The Herald." If from online version: SVH www. See ShenHer above.    

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SYK -- Someone You Knew, A Necrology. Obituaries from the Northern Virginia Daily, Strasburg VA. Compiled 1988 by Judy Coffman Stickley. A most useful and usually accurate compendium. However, it suffers from the local newspaper's practice of reporting that "John Doe died Tuesday," rather than "John Doe died Tuesday the 18th." (q.v. NVD, above) At times this can lead to a date that is one week off when the reader attempts to compute the date of death based on the date of the paper and day of week. Even worse is reporting that someone died "yesterday." That might, and probably does most times, mean yesterday. But what if the writer missed the deadline and the obituary is delayed a day in printing. In this case "yesterday" really means "the day before yesterday." At times there is reason to believe that the publishing of the obituary was delayed a week or more after the death.

Although, like most books used by genealogists, SYK suffers from more errors than we would like to see in reference works (to be discussed below); it has been extremely useful as a gauge to measure population penetration by Children. That is, since SYK is a complete, or nearly complete, list of obituaries in the NVD from 1903 to 1981, representing the entire population of its area of coverage and not some particular family, which area coincides with the greatest emphasis of Children, it is reasonable to judge how much of the overall population is included in Children by the proportion of SYK entries recognizable in Children of the Shenandoah. See sample page.

In that regard, entries of some family names in SYK are almost 100% represented in Children. "Stoneburner" is such a case (I wonder why?) Others only half or less; and a few, none at all. Using this percentage method of measurement, overall I'm well pleased with the GEAN database and am certain you will be too.

There are also the inevitable typing errors that creep into everything ever printed. This reviewer suspects from examination of the printed opus that at some point an oral rendering was made. That is, someone probably read the obituary aloud while another took notes on index cards, or the like. This postulation is based on the types of errors observed, usually rhyming. Please note this disclaimer -- I did not compare the SYK text to the original obituaries, I simply observe that the number of errors about to be explained exceed those expected in the newspaper version. For example, on p.247 the father of Virginia Hockman is given as Henry Hugh when, in fact, it was Henry Q. (Quinton). Also, initials are often wrong and are of rhyming value; 'D' for 'E' or 'G' for example. Likewise, similar sounding names are substituted on occasion. And, of course, there is the ever popular transposition of characters and numerals.

On those ocassions when this text is cited in the remarks in the GEAN system, it is referenced as "SYK page#:" followed by a direct quotation. As always, every attempt has been made to quote precisely. Any perceived misspellings, wrong dates or names, punctuation, spaces, etc. have been preserved, usually without comment. Instead, the quotation is left to stand on its own merit. It is up to the reader to decide in case of conflict what is correct. Those few editorial notes added are enclosed in square brackets [ ].

All in all, this is an excellent reference work whose single-spaced, multi-names-per-line index alone runs some 295 pages. If you are working in the Northern Shenandoah area, you need this book in your library.

It is my understanding that a revised edition is to be published which will include a greater time span and also include more detailed entries as gleened from each obituary.    

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TES -- The Edinburg Sentinel weekly newspaper published in Edinburg, VA. from 1893 to 1920. In late 1918 it was purchaed by E.E. Keister, who merged it with his semi-weekly Woodstock Times (another paper which he had established in 1919) in 1920. Ultimately merged again with other papers becoming the The Northern Virginia Daily in Sept. 1932.

The Edinburg Sentinel and the Woodstock Times have been recently consolidated, and henceforth the Edinburg Sentinel will no longer be published. Mr. E.E. Keister, owner and manager of the Shenandoah Publishing House, Strasburg, has however begun the publication of a third paper, The Front Royal Record.... Labor has doubled, and newsprint is now six times as high as it was before the war. In the good old days, sheet newsprint was sold at $54.00 per ton. During the war it went as high as $160, and now quotations run from $300 to $320 per ton.
--Aug. 20, 1920 as quoted in The Free Press 18 Nov 2010 p.6

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TFP -- The Free Press newspaper of Edinburg, VA.    

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TVB -- The Valley Banner newspaper. If from online version: TVB www Published Thursdays in Elkton VA.    

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TWS -- The Winchester Star newspaper. If from online version: TWS www    

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UFG -- Union Forge Shenandoah County Virginia. By Dr. Mary Ann Williamson. Printed in 1997 by Commercial Press, Inc. of Stephens City, Virginia. 317 pp. 8½x11 inches. Records of the Forge, Store & Churches Plus Genealogical Records.    

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VANn -- Shenandoah County, VIRGINIA A Study of the 1860 Census with Supplemental Data by Marvin J. Vann publ. Heritage Books, Inc. 100 Railroad Ave. #104, Westminster, MD 21157 1-800-876-6103. Unlike many "census" books which simply transcribe the census records into readable, searchable text, this outstanding series of books reviews the 1860 census household by household providing much additional and very valuable information such as: detailed biographical information covering nearly every individual in each household. Information on most people includes birth and death dates, marriage dates, military activity, location of burial, education/occupation, children, additional spouses [that word really should be "spice" a la mouse/mice], reference to related families, census dwelling and family numbers, as well as anecdotal information about the lives of the individuals recorded. See sample page.

The gold standard by which other census commentaries should be judged, there is absolutely no doubt that this series belongs in your library if you are working in Shenandoah County. The volumes are available both in softcover, CD (pdf) and hardcover formats. The first ten volumes list each dwelling and individual in the census with explication. The eleventh and final volume contains a comprehensive index listing every name in the census referencing each to volume number, dwelling and line number within dwelling. It also contains military units and deaths for Shenandoah sons in the CSA Army, an extensive list of surname synonyms, and additional census stastics and analysis.

Publication of these books has been strung out due to the enormous effort and time expended in the related research. The household presentation in these volumes follows the census takers as they enumerated the 2307 dwellings. Below are the areas of coverage and dwelling numbers reported by volume. [The CD sometimes referred to as CD Volume 7 (and NOT so named by its author) really contains .pdf images of Volumes 1 - 4 incl. --ed.] The author may have several volumes available for sale and may be contacted at Marvin Vann or you may order (paperback or clothbound) online from the publisher directly (preferred). Use search terms "Vann" and "1860" on publisher's website.

VAN1 -- Volume One, 1993 ISBN 1-55613-852-0. Covering areas in and around Edinburg, Woodstock, Edinburg District and Powells Fort. 425 pp. viz.

  • Edinburg -- dwellings 1-86
  • Woodstock -- dwellings 87-246
  • Edinburg District -- dwellings 247-372
  • Powells Fort -- dwellings 373-385
VAN2 -- Volume Two, 1994 ISBN 0-7884-0025-8. Covering areas in and around Powells Fort, Edinburg District and Mt. Jackson. 417 pp. viz.
  • Powells Fort -- dwellings 386-551
  • Edinburg District -- dwellings 552-569
  • Mt. Jackson -- dwellings 570-662
VAN3 -- Volume Three, 1996 ISBN 0-7884-0394-X. Covering areas in and around Mt. Jackson District, New Market District, New Market. 422 pp. viz.
  • Mt. Jackson District -- dwellings 663-691
  • New Market District -- dwellings 692-724
  • New Market -- dwellings 725-836
  • New Market District -- dwellings 837-911
  • Mt. Jackson District -- dwellings 912-934

VAN4 -- Volume Four, 1998 ISBN 0-7884-0969-7. Covering areas in and around Mt. Jackson District, Forestville, Forestville District, Moore's Mill, Moore's Store, Moore's Store District, Mt. Clifton District, Orkney Springs District, Mt. Clifton, and Lantz Mill District. 424 pp. viz.

  • Mt. Jackson District -- dwellings 935-956
  • Forestville -- dwellings 957-1003
  • Forestville District -- dwellings 1004-1024
  • Moores Store -- dwellings 1025-1055
  • Moores Store District -- dwellings 1056-1084
  • Mt. Clifton -- dwellings 1085-1091
  • Mt. Jackson District -- dwellings 1092-1108
  • Orkney Springs District -- dwellings 1109-1148
  • Mt. Clifton District -- dwellings 1149-1170
  • Lantz Mill District -- dwellings 1171-1193

VAN5 -- Volume Five, 2009 ISBN 978-0-7884-5002-0. Covering areas in and around Lantz Mill District, Columbia District, Liberty Furnace District, Orkney Springs District and Mt. Clifton District. 421 pp. viz.

  • Lantz Mill District -- dwellings 1194-1218
  • Columbia Furnace District -- dwellings 1219-1287
  • Liberty Furnace District -- dwellings 1288-1364
  • Orkney Springs District -- dwellings 1365-1378
  • Mt. Clifton District -- dwellings 1379-1385

VAN6 -- Volume Six, 2010 ISBN 978-0-7884-5187-4. Covering areas in and around Mt. Clifton District, Mt. Clifton, Mt. Jackson District, Hamburg District, Cabin Hill, Cabin Hill District and Lantz Mill District. 456 pp. viz.

  • Mt. Clifton District -- dwellings 1386-1393
  • Mt. Clifton -- dwellings 1394-1401
  • Mt. Clifton District -- dwellings 1402-1420
  • Mt. Jackson District -- dwellings 1421-1433
  • Hamburg District -- dwellings 1434-1501
  • Cabin Hill -- dwellings 1502-1517
  • Mt. Clifton -- dwellings 1518-1532
  • Cabin Hill District -- dwellings 1533-1580

VAN7 -- Volume Seven, 2011 ISBN 978-0-7884-5312-0. Covering areas in and around Lantz Mill, Strasburg, Columbia Furnace, and Woodstock. 442 pp. viz.

  • Lantz Mills District -- dwellings 1581-1600
  • Strasburg District -- dwellings 1601-1626
  • Strasburg -- dwellings 1627-1722
  • Strasburg District -- dwellings 1723-1730
  • Lantz Mill District -- dwellings 1731-1737
  • Lantz Mill -- dwellings 1738-1750
  • Columbia Furnace District -- dwellings 1751-1771
  • Woodstock District -- dwellings 1772-1785

VAN8 -- Volume Eight, 2012 ISBN 978-0-7884-5374-8. Covering areas in and around Woodstock. 436 pp. viz.

  • Woodstock District -- dwellings 1786-1949

VAN9 -- Volume Nine, 2013 ISBN 978-0-7884-5459-2. Covering areas in and around Toms Brook, Woodstock and Strasburg. 423 pp. viz.

  • Toms Brook District -- dwellings 1950-2002
  • Woodstock District -- dwellings 2003 - 2009
  • Toms Brook District -- dwellings 2010-2069
  • Strasburg District -- dwellings 2070-2116

VAN10 -- Volume Ten, 2014 ISBN 978-0-7884-5589-6. Covering areas in and around Strasburg, Crossroads and Mt. Olive. 448 pp.

  • Strasburg District -- dwellings 2117-2199
  • Crossroads District -- dwellings 2200-2259
  • Mt. Olive District -- dwellings 2260-2265
  • Mount Olive -- dwellings 2266-2307

VAN11 -- Volume Eleven, 2015 ISBN 978-0-7884-5669-5. Comprehensive All-name Index. 506 pp.

  • 1860 County Statistics
  • Comprehensive Index of Entire Shenandoah 1860 Census
  • Synonyms for approx 1700 Surnames
  • Shenandoah CSA Army Deaths
  • Other Interesting 1860-1864 Matters
  • Eratta for Vols. 1-10
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WIS -- The History of the Nicholas Wisman Family. By Joyce Bushong Eastman. Self-Published 2014 by the authoress. 1132 pp. 8½x11 inches. This genealogy contains photos of many hundreds of tombstones as well as texts of wills, deeds and obituaries.    

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Paul D Stoneburner
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Burke, VA 22015


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