ATTENTION !The title of my book is "The Diary of a Virginia Gentlewoman 1943-1947."  Some years ago I was given diaries of Laura Crabill Evans (Mrs. Lem)  She lived in a house called Westover NE of the Valley Pike at Edinburg.  What makes her diaries interesting are her candid observations on many aspects of her daily life and any news which passed her way by radio.  Laura lived in Edinburg but settled with her daughter and son-in-law, Bill Marks, where ever he was stationed in the army.  Laura was intimately familiar with World War 11 events and gave her opinions as "20 Oct 1944...Tonight we heard Gen. McArthur talking from the Philippines.  The Japs were surprised as they thought the Americans were coming in from the south but they came in from the east coast.  I hope the prisoners will be found alive.  Billy Hawkins and Edna Stoneburner are prisoners there of the Japs."  Laura hops from one subject to another so prepare yourself for a lady who writes as she talks."22 Sept. 1944...Lois' 47th birthday anniversary.  I can't realize it all.  What a dear tiny baby she was-3 lbs 2 oz and all her life she has been dear, cute and good.  I heard on the news that one plane had bombed Manila and 3 airbases there destroyed and Japan declared martial law.  I colored the Nucoa." (ed's note: the first margarine was white and came with a small package of yellow food coloring)  Laura tells about her holidays, local events. people she knows, recipes, prices and the entire book is illustrated with her drawings which were in the diaries. This is not just a local set of diaries but those which reflect an era in which many of us lived or which our parents talked about.  With the interest in WW11 this book brings back memories for some and a fascinating look at an era through the eyes of an expressive woman.  Her description of herself tells you something about the women of the era.  "I often hear folks talk o some they have known as smart, clever, talented so I set me down to take stock.  I've lived a long and useful life and helped lame dogs over the stiles and taught kids to play.  I cooked and baked and fried and stewed and jellied and jammed and canned and brewed and dusted and no time wasted!  Kept a garden, hoed beans and corn, pushed a lawn mower from early morn five days a week on my hill side yard and never complained.  I can make a dress; I can trim a hat; can crochet, embroider, knit and tat.  I can draw a picture and tint it too so the beholder can tell what I have drawn.  I can play the piano and dance and sing NOT JAZZ but some good old fashioned thing like "kathleen Mauoureen" or "Home Over There" or "Annie Laurie" or "My Lady Fair."  I've time to write letters and read books and take some time to attend to my looks.  One thing I know well HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS.  They stick to me like glue.  As a new year I start number 72 and I wonder if I will live through it but I leave it up to God."  For a wonderful read about an era this is has been described as a classic.  .  It is rare to get the observations of a woman during that era as to what people really thought.  So many diaries are written for a political purpose but this is simply the way it was as she saw life in that era.                                                                                                             

 I have written another book about Shenandoah County ancestors. This 320 page genealogical book is composed of almost all original material, much of which has not been in print or on microfilm.  The chapters include Union Forge and Union Forge store records 1853-1859 (very important as there are very few Virginia forge records and Union Forge was most important to the Valley) genealogical records of forge workers, Reformed and charge church records (Zion's Church, St. Jacob's, St. Paul's, Union Forge Church, Christ Church, St. John's1855-1926), Civil War letters, Shenandoah Valley family genealogical records, Lutz farm journals 1883-1902 (rare information indeed as few records are so detailed of life on the farm in the Valley), Henkel's genealogical records of 1789-1825 (Virginia, Ohio and the Carolinas) previously unpublished pictures, hundreds of family references.  Sample names include Alexander, Allen, Baker, Barb, Barton, Bauserman, Bowers, Bowman, Campbell, Clem, Clinedinst, Coffelt, Coffman, Delinger, Dinges, Downey, Estep, Evans, Faidley, Foltz, Frye, Funkhouser, Grandstaff, Hite, Hollar, Hollingsworth, Holtzman, Hottle, Lantz, Lindamood, Lutz, Marston, Miller, Myers, Newland, Painter, Patton, Pence, Prescott, Rinker, Sheetz, Spiggle, Stoneburner, Tallhelm, Thompson, Tysinger, Wightman, Whissen, Williams, Williamson, Windle, Wisman, Wolff, Zimmerman, Zirkle. Will add names later. The original materials in the Valley will probably never be all discovered because much valuable material lays in family attics or has been sold at auction.  When I was able to buy the original Union Forge records from a Stoneburner neighbor I was elated because not only did it give a record of a Valley forge (only two were here in the Valley) but the materials gave hundreds of Valley names and names of companies and persons outside the Valley who dealt there and what they bought and sold. Some interested person may want to peruse the material and make an analysis of the production. One can also see neighbors of one's ancestors and find relationships.  I was also fortunate to find records of churches and not only are there hundreds of names connected with the churches but also information on what happened to many of them.  The listing of names is too long to print here.The original farm journal printed therein is fascinating because of the details of life on the farm in the Valley.  I have not seen other journals of life on a Valley farm.  I wanted to write a book which would be interesting to read even for the casual reader. In other words, I tried to tell a story within the original material. In the church minutes of St. Paul's for June 1886 "In Sept. they decided to get 2 latches for the doors leading to the vestibule also that Mr. McDonald be notified to keep his livestock out of the church yard" or for Union Forge that John Rosenberger sold a mule to the Forge Store and was paid by the Forge in pig iron.On many family records I put genealogies of related families which I have collected over the years. One is able to see the weaving in and out of hundreds of valley families.What is interesting was the family names I had never seen before in listing of Valley names.  Other names you may be interested in are Auginbaugh, Biller, Boone, Bartlett, Bragonier, Brock, Burner, Carver, Cash, Clark, Cooley, Crawford, Craig, Dawson, Driver, Donovan, Eckstine, Garrison, Guess, Hitner, Houdeshell, Humston, Niswander, Osburn, Rau, Soloman, Streit, Wilson. I will be glad to look in the index for any other family name in which you are interested as this is sometimes the best way to find ancestors who may have lived or worked here at this time.

The Edinburg Heritage Foundation Inc has purchased the 1848 Edinburg Mill and now is in the process of renovation.  I would be glad to send you free information about the project and a free copy of our monthly newsletter which concentrates on local genealogy and history.  mlw@shental.net

My e-mail address is mlw@shentel.net.