Some Albright gunsmiths who lived in Bedford County, Pennsylvania

Introduction
This web page shows that two or three Albright gunsmiths lived in some part of the then-larger county of Bedford, Pennsylvania from about 1844 to about 1847. It appears that they lived in Ayr Township, which became a part of Fulton County in 1850.

The question of whether two or three Albright gunsmiths lived in Bedford County is difficult to answer because two Albright gunsmiths (a father and his son) were both named Zachariah.

Chronology
1756-1840: The following excerpt from Claribel Albright's 1941 book "Some Records of the Albright Family" indicates that the gunsmith Jacob Albright of Millheim, Pennsylvania was born in 1756 and died in 1828. The death date appears to be incorrect. A convincing case, described farther below, has been developed by Merle E. Campbell indicating that the gunsmith Jacob Albright, father of Zachariah Albright, Sr., really died in 1840.

The following excerpt from page 182 of the 1883 book "History of Centre and Clinton Counties" indicates that Jacob Albright of Penn's valley married a daughter of Martin Brungart. This helps to establish the ancestry of the Albright gunsmiths who temporarily lived in Bedford County.

1796-1889: The above excerpt from Claribel Albright's 1941 book indicates that Jacob Albright and his first wife Sarah Brungard had a son named Zachariah Albright who was also a gunsmith and was born in 1796 and died in 1889. Zachariah Albright, Sr. is buried in the West Clarno Pioneer Cemetery (42.519005540, -89.6535670) at the village of Clarno in Green County, Wisconsin. His tombstone states, "ZACHARIAH ALBRIGHT BORN SEPT. 10, 1796 DIED MAY 28, 1889".

The following excerpt from the "Town of Clarno" chapter of the 1884 book "History of Green County, Wisconsin" is the source of some of the approximate dates that are provided herein relating to various moves of Albert Albright, Sr. Some of the moves occurred when Albert Albright, Sr. was still a juvenile. I believe it is reasonable to interpret those as moves of the Zachariah Albright, Sr. family.

1800: Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle" indicates that Jacob Albright is included on an 1800 tax list from Haines Township of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

1800: Page 34 of the 1883 book "History of Centre and Clinton Counties" includes the statement, "Centre County was erected Feb. 13, 1800". The following excerpt, which describes the formation of Northumberland and Centre Counties, is from the 1891 book "History of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania":

1801: The following excerpt from page 40 of the 1883 book "History of Centre and Clinton Counties" indicates that the gunsmith Jacob Albright was an inhabitant of Haines Township of Centre County in 1801.

1802: The following page from the Haines Township portion of the 1883 book "History of Centre and Clinton Counties" indicates that the gunsmith Jacob Albright was an inhabitant of the village of Aaronsburg in 1802. The present-day Centre County towns of Millheim and Aaronsburg adjoin one another at approximately 40.89877169, -77.45994184.

1819: Whisker's 2017 book "Arms Makers of Western Pennsylvania" indicates that Zachariah Albright is listed as a Milheim gunsmith in the 1819 tax roll of Haines Township of Centre County. The book provides a quote from one of Zachariah's sons which indicates that Zachariah Albright, Sr. was a farmer who self-identified as a gunsmith and hung onto his bench and some of his tools even though muzzleloaders were becoming obsolete.

1820: The following excerpt from the manuscript 1820 census records of Haines Township, Centre County, Pennsylvania lists the household of Zachariah Albright, Sr.

1822-1886: : Zachariah Albright, Jr. (the gunsmith son of Zachariah Albright, Sr.) is buried in the New Hampton Cemetery in Chickasaw County, Iowa. The tombstone Zachariah Albright, Jr. shares with his wife includes the following text: "ZACHARIAH ALBRIGHT BORN IN MILLHEM PENN FEB. 3, 1822 DIED OCT. 1886 — CATHARINE KEPLER HIS WIFE BORN IN PINE GROVE PENN AUG. 17, 1824 DIED NOV. 1896".

1825: Based on the above excerpt from the 1884 Green County book, Albert Albright, Sr., a son of Zachariah Albright, Sr., was born on January 27, 1825.

Circa 1827: The 1884 Green County book states, "When two years old Albert went with his parents to Mifflin County and lived there nine years. He learned the trade of gunsmith, at which he worked a good many years. Subsequently he went to Centre County and lived eight years, thence to Bedford County..." Based on this excerpt, the Zachariah Albright family moved from Centre County to Mifflin County circa 1827. Zachariah Albright, Jr. would have been about five years old when the family moved to Mifflin County.

1830: I did not find a listing for Zachariah Albright, Sr. in the partially illegible manuscript 1830 census records of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania that I reviewed.

Circa 1834: The article "Adam Emory Albright (1862-1957)" by Marianne Richter, Ph.D. indicates that when Zachariah Albright (junior) was 12 years old, he was apprenticed out to a gunsmith by his father. Since Zachariah Albright, Jr. was born on February 3, 1822, his apprenticeship would have begun circa 1834.

Circa 1836: Based on the above excerpt from the 1884 Green County book, the Zachariah Albright, Sr. family moved from Mifflin County to Centre County circa 1836. Zachariah Albright, Jr. would have been about 14 years old, and Albert Albright, Jr. would have been about 11 years old.

1840: Merle E. Campbell's article "In Search of Jacob Albright, Gunsmith" in the winter 1990 issue of the Kentucky Rifle Association (KRA) "Bulletin" indicates that the Centre County will of Jacob Albright of Millheim was signed by Jacob and witnessed by John Harter and Jacob Bollinger on April 25, 1840, identifies Jacob as a gunsmith, and indicates that Jacob Albright had three children who were largely deaf and mute. The will made provisions for appointing and funding trustees or guardians for these children, who were named William, Elizabeth, and Catharine.

Campbell's article indicates that a vendue sale was held on October 17, 1840 in the town of Millheim that was attended by an individual named Zachariah Albright, who purchased several gunsmithing items including a gunsmithing guide, a gunsmithing sign, and a vice. To me, this suggests that either Zachariah Albright junior or senior was already active in gunsmithing, or was intending to be active, in 1840. Campbell's article includes an image of the manuscript sale document.

1843: The article "Adam Emory Albright (1862-1957)" by Marianne Richter, Ph.D. indicates that Zachariah Albright (junior) married Catherine Kepler on August 24, 1843 at Millheim, Pennsylvania.

Circa 1844: Based on the above excerpt from the 1884 Green County book, Albert Albright, Jr. moved from Centre County to Bedford County circa 1844. Zachariah Albright, Jr. would have been about 22 years old, and Albert Albright, Jr. would have been about 19 years old. Since Albert Albright, Sr. was still living in the household of his father Zachariah Albright, Sr. at the time of the 1850 census, it may be reasonable to assume that Albert Albright, Jr. moved to Bedford County as a member of his father's household.

Since Zachariah Albright Jr. got married in 1843, he may not have been a member of his father's household in 1844. Still, (as shown below) the listing for Zachariah Albright, Jr. follows immediately after the listing for Zachariah Albright, Sr. in the 1850 census records of Stephenson County, Illinois. Based on this, one may reasonably wonder if Zachariah Albright, Jr. and Zachariah Albright, Sr. also migrated to Bedford County, Pennsylvania together.

1845: The Whiskers' 1991 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties" indicates that Zachariah Albright, Jr. received a mortgage for a 190-acre property in Ayr Township of Bedford County from tavern keeper George Wilds on November 1, 1845. The mortgage is reportedly recorded in mortgage book number three.

1846: Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle" locates Zachariah Albright in Bedford County in 1846 but does not specify whether this is a reference to Zachariah Albright junior or senior.

Circa 1847: Based on the above excerpt from the 1884 Green County book, Albert Albright, Sr. moved from Bedford County to Stephenson County, Illinois circa 1847 when he was about 22 years old. Since Albert Albright, Sr. was still living in the household of his father Zachariah Albright, Sr. at the time of the 1850 census, one may reasonably wonder if Albert Albright, Sr. moved to Stephenson County, Illinois as a member of his father's household.

Zachariah Albright, Jr. would have been about 25 years old in 1847.

1847: The aforementioned 1991 Whisker book indicates that an individual named Zachariah Albright was taxed in Ayr Township of Bedford County in 1847. This was reported in a paragraph about Zachariah Albright, Jr.

1850: Ayr Township of Bedford County became a part of Fulton County in 1850, as shown by the following excerpt from the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania":

1850: The following excerpt is from the manuscript 1850 census records of the town of Buck Eye in Stephenson County, Illinois. This excerpt shows that Albert Albright, Sr. was still living in the household of his 54-year-old father Zachariah Albright, Sr. in 1850.

On the very next page of the Stephenson County, Illinois census records, 28-year-old Zachariah Albright, Jr. is listed as a Pennsylvania-born gunsmith.

Circa 1850: The article "Adam Emory Albright (1862-1957)" by Marianne Richter, Ph.D. indicates that when Adam Emory Albright was seven years old, his home (the home of his father Zachariah Albright, Jr.) had to be sold to discharge a mortgage on the farm related to the purchase of a threshing machine. Since Adam Emory Albright was born on August 24, 1843, the sale took place circa 1850.

1851: According to the excerpt from the 1884 Green County book that is included above, Albert Albright and Sibia Babb were married on February 27, 1851.

Circa 1852-Circa 1855: In the 1860 and 1870 census records that are included farther below, the Illinois births of several of the children of Albert Albright, Sr. suggest that the family of Albert Albright, Sr. was in Illinois in the circa 1852 to circa 1855 time period.

1854: Merle E. Campbell's aforementioned KRA article quotes from an 1854 letter to Jacob Albright's grandson Mathias Harter (son of Jacob Albright's daughter Susanna) that indicates Jacob Albright's wife (Mathiaas's maternal grandmother) was a Brungart and Jacob Albright was from the Pennsylvania county of York.

Circa 1859: Based on the above excerpt from the 1884 Green County book, Albert Albright, Sr., son of Zachariah Albright, Sr., moved from Stephenson County, Illinois to Green County, Wisconsin circa 1859 at about age 34.

1859-1924: David H. Albright, a son of Albert Albright, Sr., is buried at the Greenwood Cemetery at Monroe, Green County, Wisconsin, where his tombstone indicates he was born in 1859 and died in 1924. A 1900 census record included farther below indicates that David Albright was born in Wisconsin in March of 1859.

1860: Zachariah Albright, Sr. and his son Albert Albright, Sr. are listed as farmers in the following excerpts from pages 160 and 161 of the manuscript 1860 census records of Green County, Wisconsin:

1862: The article "Adam Emory Albright (1862-1957)" by Marianne Richter, Ph.D. indicates that the successful American painter Adam Emory Albright was a son of Zachariah Albright (junior) and Catherine (Kepler) Albright, and was born August 15, 1862 in Monroe, Wisconsin. It isn't clear if the article is referencing Monroe County or the village of Monroe. Adam Emory Albright is buried at the Chapel Hill Gardens cemetery in DuPage County, Illinois where his tombstone indicates he was born on August 15, 1862 and died on September 13, 1957.

1863-1864: George Albright, a son of Albert Albright, Sr., is buried in the West Clarno Pioneer Cemetery, where his tombstone states, "GEORGE Son of A & S ALBRIGHT BORN AUG. 23, 1863 DIED FEB. 3, 1864".

1863: Merle E. Campbell's aforementioned KRA article describes a November 26, 1863 power of attorney from Zachariah Albright of Clarno in Green County, Wisconsin to Attorney Andrew S. Kreamer of Centre County, Pennsylvania. The power of attorney describes Zachariah Albright as the guardian of his deaf and dumb sister Catherine, who was formerly from the town of Millheim in Centre County, Pennsylvania. The power of attorney appointed Mr. Kreamer to procure Catherine's funds that were due from the estate of Jacob Albright.

1867: Elizabeth Albright, wife of Zachariah Albright, Sr., died on December 26, 1867 and is buried in the West Clarno Pioneer Cemetery.

1867-1932: Albert Albright, Jr., a son of Albert Albright, Sr., is buried in the Mount Vernon Cemetery in Green County, Wisconsin, where his tombstone indicates he was born in 1867 and died in 1932.

1869: The following excerpt is from the "Town of Clarno" chapter of the 1884 book "History of Green County, Wisconsin". It indicates Zachariah Albright was a charter member of the Salem English Evangelical Lutheran Church when it was organized in 1868.

1869: The above excerpt from the 1884 Green County book indicates that Reformed church member Albert Albright donated land for a church that was built and dedicated in 1869:

1870: The following excerpt is from the Clarno section of the 1870 census records of Green County, Wisconsin:

1878-1940: Alta Ella (Albright) Riemer, daughter of Albert Albright, Sr., is buried at the Rock Grove Cemetery in Stephenson County, Illinois, where her tombstone indicates she was born in 1878 and died in 1940.

1880: In the following excerpt from the Clarno section of the 1880 census records of Green County, Wisconsin, Zachariah Albright, Sr. is listed as living in the household of his son Albert Albright, Sr.

1886: As noted above, the gunsmith Zachariah Albright, Jr. died in 1886 and is buried in the New Hampton Cemetery in Chickasaw County, Iowa.

1889: As noted above, Zachariah Albright, Sr. died on May 28, 1889.

1900: The following excerpt is from the 1900 census records of Clarno, Green County, Wisconsin.

1906: Albert Albright's wife Sibia died on December 16, 1906 and is buried at the West Clarno Pioneer Cemetery (42.519005540, -89.6535670) at the village of Clarno in Green County, Wisconsin.

1910: I did not find Albert Albright, Sr. in the 1910 census records of Clarno Township, Green County, Ohio.

1914: Albert Albright, Sr. is buried at the West Clarno Pioneer Cemetery. The tombstone he shares with his wife states, "ALBERT ALBRIGHT BORN JAN. 27, 1825 DIED MAR. 8, 1914 SIBIA HIS WIFE BORN FEB. 9, 1832 DIED DEC. 16, 1906 GONE HOME".

Zachariah Albright, Sr. work product:

  • Merle E. Campbell's aforementioned KRA article has photos of a full-stocked percussion rifle by Zachariah Albright, Sr.

    arrow See the Gunsmith Index for information about other muzzleloading gunsmiths who worked in Bedford & Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania. The index also has links to pictures of relevant long rifles.

    Return to the Korns family genealogy home page

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