Multiple collections on Shenandoah County history are now open for research

Posted on: October 10, 2023

James Madison University Special Collections is pleased to announce that three collections documenting Shenandoah County history are now fully processed and available for research.

The Tisinger Family Collection of Shenandoah County Land Surveys comprises hundreds of plats, deeds, indentures, surveys, and re-surveys. The collection descended through the family of William Tisinger (1816-1887), Shenandoah County teacher and land surveyor, before it was acquired by Special Collections. The county is well documented in the land surveys with specific locations including Orkney Springs, New Market, Edinburg, Passage Creek, Conicville, and many more.

Plat and division of woodland belonging to Abraham Hisey, 1872 November 13, Box: 1, Folder: 53. Tisinger Family collection of Shenandoah County land surveys, SC 0354

The Rupp Family Papers, comprising four boxes of correspondence, photographs, account books, and drawings, document the Rupp family of New Market. Most notably, the collection documents the work of William F. Rupp (1834-1908), a German-born frescoer, plain and ornamental painter, and paperhanger. Rupp’s work includes frescoes in Rader’s Lutheran Church in Timberville and the Shenandoah County Courthouse courtroom in Woodstock. One sketchbook devoted to Rupp’s drawings includes a birds-eye view of Luray, Virginia that was published in the Shenandoah Valley Folklore Society’s Folk and Decorative Art of the Shenandoah Valley (1993).

William F. Rupp sketchbook, 1852 – 1860, Box: 1, Folder: 1. Rupp Family papers, SC 0342

The George M. Neese Papers include the personal papers, correspondence, and writings of George M. Neese (1839-1921) of New Market. During the Civil War, Neese served as a gunner in Chew’s Battery, Stuart’s Horse Artillery in the Army of Northern Virginia. He kept diaries about his experience during the war and published them under the title Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery (1911). The collection includes a draft manuscript of Three Years as well as correspondence related to its publication.

George M. Neese at St. Matthews Church photographs, circa 1920, Box: 3, Folder: 4. George M. Neese papers, SC 0355

Information about visiting Special Collections and making appointments for in-person research is available on our Plan A Visit page.

Contact us at or (540) 568-3612 with any questions about this collection or about visiting Special Collections.

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