Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Is there a genealogist in your family who is researching lineages in the Old Dominion State? Are you wondering what to give that person for Christmas? Perhaps the perfect present may be a copy of Jerrilynn Eby’s new book, LAND OF HERRINGS AND PERSIMMONS: PEOPLE AND PLACES OF UPPER STAFFORD COUNTY, VIRGINIA.

     Created in 1664 from Westmoreland County, Stafford County has played an important role in the history of Virginia. However, because it is a “burned” county, tracing ancestors in the area cannot be done through the use of county records alone. By culling information from surviving county documents, diaries, letters, personal recollections of long-time residents, and oral history of the generous people who delight in Stafford’s history, Eby presents a fascinating and unique work about the Virginia county.

     From Stafford’s earliest years, Potomac Run has formed the dividing line between the county’s upper and lower districts. For tax and administrative purposes, land south of the run became known as District 1 and land north of the run as District 2. For the sake of organization, Eby arranges the material in the same manner except for land known or believed to have been owned by Quakers. Although the Quakers owned land on both sides of Potomac Run, much of it was on the south side. For simplification, their properties are grouped together.

     LAND OF HERRINGS AND PERSIMMONS is composed of a variety of articles, which gleaned their facts from an assortment sources, both primary and secondary. Topics range from towns, companies, and industries, to churches, the telegraph system in the county, and the expansion of the U. S. Marine Corps Base in Quantico. The majority of subjects, however, pertain to family lands. The author tracks the history of a particular property by attempting to follow over several generations the house and the parcel of land on which it stood. When possible, she furnishes biographical details about the owners/occupants of certain tracts. Numerous annotated footnotes provide additional details about specific families.

     Eby’s goal was to record the people and places that made Stafford County one of a kind before they are overwhelmed by modern developments that are quickly changing the landscape in many ways. As a result, her publication is no ordinary genealogical book. Not only does it contain a wealth of family data, but it also enhances the county’s story by breathing life into its inhabitants through the resources consulted. LAND OF HERRINGS AND PERSIMMONS: PEOPLE AND PLACES OF UPPER STAFFORD COUNTY, VIRGINIA is a must-have for genealogical library collections.

     The 818-page book has attractive soft covers of an unusual color, an interesting introduction, maps, photographs, illustrations, bibliographies at the end of all the articles, annotated footnotes, and a full name and place index. Eby’s monumental work is a good bargain for the cost of $57.00.

     To the price of the book, buyers should add the cost for shipping charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $7.00 for one book and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume may be purchased by check, money order, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express from Heritage Books, Inc., 5810 Ruatan Street, Berwyn Heights, Maryland 20740. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-876-6103; fax 410-558-6574; e-mail ; website ).

Kinsearching Home Page