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Catalog Number HRHS-005.1
Collection Forrer Family Papers
Object Name Papers
Scope & Content HRHS- 5.1, Forrer Family Papers, is a related collection to HRHS- 5, John J. Forrer Papers.


This collection pertains to the family of Henry Forrer (1845-1937) and Maria Showalter Forrer (1846-1926) and their descendants. Henry was the son of Jacob Forrer and Susan Whitmore, and Maria Showalter Forrer was the daughter of David and Maria Eversole Showalter. They married in 1874 and lived in Harrisonburg. The couple had four children: Catherine Eversole Forrer [Rolston] (1875-1910), Elizabeth Susan "Sue" Forrer (1880-1969), David Henry Forrer (1883-1966) and John Jacob Forrer (1886-1973).
Of their four children, Sue and John's genealogical interests figure prominently in this collection. Perhaps their interest in genealogy was in their blood; Maria Forrer's obituary credits her with a sharp memory and an extensive knowledge of several local families' genealogies. While Sue never married, John married Florence Firebaugh Forrer and had three children: John Jacob Forrer, Jr., William Henry Forrer and Margaret Elizabeth Forrer [Wren]. John became a highly regarded pioneer in the asphalt paving industry. Upon retiring in 1958, Forrer and his wife moved to Saluda, Virginia.


The collection consists of genealogical papers, notes, correspondence, newspaper clippings, postcards and photographs relating to the Forrer, Eversole and other allied families. Most of the genealogical papers and notes appear to have been either written by or retained by Sue Forrer or her brother John J. Forrer, and possibly others. Correspondence to and from Sue Forrer is in a separate folder. Newspaper clippings primarily pertain to historic family homes and auctions. Many of the clippings contain faded handwritten notations, and therefore have not been photocopied. Several postcards also contain handwritten notations, probably by Sue Forrer. A portrait of Maria Showalter Forrer, the maternal grandmother of Sue and John J., was donated by great-great-grandson David Forrer.


Folder 1: Genealogical Papers and Notes, 1901-1972
a.Typed Notes, Reports, etc.
b.Letters and Memos
c.Notes and Ephemera
Folder 2: Sue Forrer Correspondence, 1920-1963
Folder 3: Clippings, 1957-1963
Folder 4: Photographs and Postcards, 1872, and n.d. [sizes given are estimates]
To Henry Forrer from cousin Bettie Harmon. Sam Forrer's Mossy Creek home. [b/w]
Sam Forrer home at Mossy Creek...from a distance [b/w]
Old Mossy Creek Mill. [color]
Mossy Creek Dam [b/w]
8" x 11" portrait of Maria Eversole Showalter, wife of David Showalter
2" x 4" Two men in work clothes with survey equipment [one could be John J. Forrer?]
2" x 3" Two men, [John J. Forrer on left] in suits and hats; from bust.
2" x 3" Henry Forrer, seated
2" x 3" Henry Forrer, bust portrait
2 ½" x 3" Henry Forrer with "First Dogs"-"Taken at Old Stuarts Draft Spring, 4/18/72 on Greenville-Waynesboro Rd.
2" x 3" Sue Forrer, white dress, tinted cheeks
2" x 3" Sue Forrer, standing, with dark shawl
2" x 3" Hannah Forrer, dark dress with white headcovering.

Title Forrer Family Papers