Introduction: Benjamin Troutman is known as a Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunsmith from public records and surviving specimens of his work. He was the son of Revolutionary War Veteran Peter Troutman, who was one of the earliest settlers in what is now Southampton Township, Somerset County. Benjamin Troutman began a one-year apprenticeship with Maryland gunsmith George Rizer in 1807. Benjamin Troutman was the father of the gunsmith Daniel Benjamin Troutman and grandfather of the Kansas gunsmith Noah Troutman.
1754: According to Steve Troutman's 1988 book "The Trautman/Troutman Family History", Benjamin Troutman's father Peter Troutman was born on or about December 18, 1754.
1767-1768: According to Steve Troutman's 1988 book, Benjamin Troutman's grandfather Wilhelm Troutman is listed in the 1767 and 1768 tax records as a carpenter.
1780: Calculating from information on his Tombstone, Benjamin Troutman was born in 1780. According to Steve Troutman's 1988 book, Benjamin Troutman was born on August 7, 1780.
1780: According to Steve Troutman's 1988 book, Benjamin Troutman's father Peter Troutman is enumerated as a weaver with one cow in the 1780 tax list of Greenwich Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania.
1780: Steve Troutman's 1988 book incorrectly reports that Peter Troutman performed military service at Fort Bedford in 1780. The 1780 date is a mistake. The service actually occurred in 1760, so it cannot be the record of Benjamin Troutman's father Peter Troutman. Click here to see the Fort Bedford reference in the "Pennsylvania Archives".
1781: The following information is from pages 279 and 280 of the Pennsylvania Archives, Fifth Series, Volume 5. It shows a Peter Troutman and a Will Troutman serving in Captain Jacob Leydig's Company of Berks County Militia in Colonel Samuel Ely's Battalion. Peter Troutman is the father of the gunsmith Benjamin Franklin Troutman. As noted in his father Wilhelm's will, Peter Troutman had a brother named William Troutman. (A Justice of the Peace named Samuel Ely recorded Wilhelm Troutman's will.)
1789: The following item from the Pennsylvania Archives, Sixth Series, Volume III shows Benjamin Troutman's father Peter Troutman living in Londonderry Township, Bedford County on January 23, 1789.
1790: Diane Kelly Weintraub was able to prove that Peter Troutman's father was Wilhelm Troutman of Berks County, Pennsylvania. Her proof is a 1790 indenture that "Peter Trautman of Londonderry Township in the County of Bedfort and State of Pennsylvania" was a party to. The indenture references "...the last will and Testament of my father Wilhelm Trautman late of the Township of Greenwhich County of Berks, deceased..." In my opinion, this information conclusively refutes the family tree proposed by Gunderson, and conclusively refutes Helen Robertson's Family Group Sheet No. 33031. A Wilhelm Troutman appears on a 1757 Berks County tax list, and is believed to be the Wilhelm Trautmann who arrived in Philadelphia on the ship Neptune on October 4, 1752.
1790: The January 18, 1790 will of Wilhelm Troutman was proved on February 20, 1790. The children mentioned in the will are Peter Troutman, John Troutman, Catherina (Troutman) Klosz, William Troutman, and Phillip Troutman. John and William Troutman were appointed as Executors of the estate, but William declined.
1790: I couldn't find any individual named Peter Troutman, under any surname spelling variation, in the book "Heads of Families First Census of the United States: 1790 State of Pennsylvania" (46 MB).
1793: Benjamin Troutman's father Peter Troutman appears on the 1793 list of the taxable inhabitants of Londonderry Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.
1794: Peter Troutman's property in the northeast corner of what is now Southampton Township, Somerset County was warranted in 1794 but wasn't surveyed until 1839. It was located due east from Comp's church. The property wasn't patented until 1869, long after Benjamin Troutman's death, and the patentee was Jonathan Leydig. The following image shows the warrant register, which identifies the warrantee, the warrant date, the patentee, and the patent date:
1794: The following image shows the 1839 survey of the property Peter Troutman warranted in 1794:
1794: The following image is a from the W.P.A. warrant survey map of Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA. It shows the location of the Peter Troutman property in the far northeastern corner of Southampton Township that was warranted in 1794 and surveyed in 1839. Most of the boundary of Peter Troutman's property survives today as a current property boundary, however the eastern edge of the property is actually in Bedford County.
1800: "...that part of Bedford County in Londonderry township, lying westward of a line to begin on the top of the Little Allegheny mountain, where the Maryland line crosses the same, thence running along said mountain a northerly direction to where the mountain breaks, thence a straight line to the breast works..." was annexed to Somerset County by an act that passed on March 1, 1800. The 1800 Londonderry Township taxable list shows that Peter Troutman was then living in Londonderry Township, Bedford County.
1800: Peter Troutman also appears on the Rockland Township assessment list. Rockland Township seems to have been a name that Somerset County officials toyed with using for what would soon be or include Southampton Township.
1800: Benjamin Troutman's father Peter Trautman appears in the 1800 census records for Londonderry Township of Somerset County with one free white male (FWM) aged 0-10, one FWM aged 10 to 16, one FWM aged 16-26, one FWM aged 45 & up, three free white females (FWF) aged 0-10, two FWF aged 16 to 26, and one FWF aged 26 to 45. The only other Trautman head of household in the township is William. What follows is a composite image; the header is from a different page of the census.
1801: The 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania" states, "Southampton township was formed in 1801. It then included the present townships of Allegheny, Greenville, Northampton and Larimer." The following excerpt is from Volume II of the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania":
1805: The following is from the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania". It lists Benjamin Troutman as a single freemen in Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1805.
1805: The following item is from the 1805 book "Journal of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania".
1807: In 1807 Benjamin Troutman and George Rizer signed an indenture that includes the statement, "I Benjamin Troutman, have put myself voluntarily as an apprentice to the gunsmithing business to George Rizer of the Town of Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland, from November 27, 1807 to the end of one full year. " I have been unable to locate the Benjamin Troutman apprenticeship agreement with George Rizer.
1808: The following estate abstract is from an article titled "1808--Estates Recorded in County" that was published in the August 1976 issue of the "Laurel Messenger". I would like to see the estate paperwork some day to see what it reveals.
1808: Sellers' 2008 book "American Gunsmiths" has an entry for Benjamin Franklin Troutman, that among other things, puts him in Frederick County, Maryland in 1808. Sellers credits Kauffman and Hartzler as the sources for his entry on Benjamin Troutman. The source for this particular information may be Hartzler, because it is not in Kauffman's Benjamin Troutman entry in the copy of his 1960 book "The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle" that I have.
1808: The following information about the 1808 fair, written by "Henry J. Long, an aged man who lived in Berlin about 1870", is included in Volume II of the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania". The account, which references Benjamin Troutman, was originally published originally published circa 1870 and was republished in an article titled "Reminiscences by Henry J. Young, twenty-four years ago..." in the August 10, 1894 issue of the "Somerset Standard" newspaper. The fiddler is misidentified as Peter Troutman in the August 1965 issue of the "Laurel Messenger" and in Helen Miller Robertson's 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..."
Here is the relevant excerpt from the above-referenced 1894 newspaper article. Ludwig Baer is one of my ancestors:
1810: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Benjamin Troutman is identified as a gunsmith in the 1810 tax roll of Southampton Township, Somerset County.
1810: Click here to see a manuscript page from the 1810 federal census of Somerset County, Pennsylvania that indicates there were then only three gunsmiths in the county. Since Benjamin Troutman identified himself as a gunsmith in the 1810 tax roll of Southampton Township he probably is one of the individuals who identified himself as a gunsmith when the 1810 census was taken.
1810: Peter, William, and Benjamin Troutman appear in the 1810 federal census for Southampton Township, Somerset County. Benjamin is the only individual in his household and appears in the 26 to 44 age group. What follows is a composite image; the header is from a different page of the census.
1810: The following image (courtesy of Diane Kelly Weintraub) is from the 1918 book "History of the Alleghany Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Pennsylvania". It indicates that Benjamin Troutman donated the land for Comp's church, and also indicates that he was married by 1810:
1810: The 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset, and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania..." states, "Comp's Reformed and Lutheran church is an old organization. In the first church-book nothing but baptisms are recorded. The date of the first baptism is 1810. The Comp, Troutman and Leidig families were the principal early members of this congregation."
1810: The 1940 book "Pastors and People of Somerset Classis" reports that the congregation of Comp's Church dates to about 1806, and reports on a church record that indicates that Benjamin Trautman and his wife were sponsors for the 1810 baptism of John Emerick's daughter Drusilla, who was born on November 1, 1809.
1811: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Benjamin Troutman is identified as a gunsmith in the 1811 tax roll of Southampton Township, Somerset County.
1812: According to Steve Troutman's 1988 book "The Trautman/Troutman Family History", Benjamin Troutman and Catherine Wolgerman were married circa 1812.
1814: Reportedly, the February 6, 1863 estate settlement of Benjamin Troutman indicates that he had a daughter named Elizabeth who was the wife of a Smouse. An 1873 newspaper article included below indicates that Benjamin and Catherine Troutman had a daughter named Betsey who was then living somewhere in the west. The obituary of Elizabeth (Troutman) Smouse was published in the April 30, 1874 issue of the "Hiawatha Dispatch". It incudes the statement, "Mrs. Elizabeth Smouse, wife of Samuel Smouse, died at Hiawatha, Brown County, Kansas on the morning of April 24, 1874. She was the daughter of Benjamin and Catherine Troutman, and was born in Martinsburg, Virginia, March 23, 1814. She leaves a large circle of relatives and friends to morn her departure. Her aged mother, in Somerset Co, Pa, preceded her only a few weeks ago to the Better Land." Elizabeth is buried in the Hiawatha Cemetery in Hiawatha, Kansas. In a straight line, Martinsburg, West Virginia is about 47 miles southeast of Bedford.
1814 or 1815: The 1940 book "Pastors and People of Somerset Classis" reports that the first church building of the Comp's Church congregation was built in 1814 or 1815 on property that had been donated by Trautman. It does not say which Trautman.
1815: An 1873 newspaper article included below indicates that Benjamin and Catherine Troutman had a son named George who was then living in Londonderry Township. I believe this is the George Troutman who is buried in the Trinity United Church of Christ Cemetery in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, whose tombstone inscription states, "George Troutman died July 3, 1893 aged 78 yrs. 4 Mo". Based on this inscription, George Troutman was born in 1815. Click here for a listing in the 1850 census that may be for Benjamin Troutman's son George Troutman, and gives George's occupation as "Smith".
1816: An 1873 newspaper article included below indicates that Benjamin and Catherine Troutman had a son named Joseph who was then living at Fair Hope, in Somerset County. Reportedly, the February 6, 1863 estate settlement of Benjamin Troutman indicates that he had a son named Joseph. A secondary source indicates he was born in 1816 and died in 1898. This may be the Joseph Troutman whose tombstone at Comps Church Cemetery indicates that he died on April 28, 1892 at the age of 82 years, 2 months, and what appears like it may be two days.
1816: Page 561 of Somerset County, Pennsylvania Deed Book 28 records the August 5, 1816 indenture from George Leidig to Benjamin Troutman for a 140-acre tract of land called Angers on the headwaters of Gladdens Run. The purchase price was $1,400.00.
Margaret Gagliardi's transcript of the indenture states that the property ... is part of a larger tract called Angers containing two hundred and Seventy nine acres granted to and by the Supreme Executive counsel of the of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania by Patent under the State Seal and the hand of William Moore Esquire President Judge of Said Counsel bearing date the thirtieth day of September Anno Domini one thousand seven and eighty two and enrolled in the rolls office for said State in Patent Book No. 4 Page 318 Patented unto the Reverend William Smith D.D. of Philadelphia..."
The following composite image is from the Bedford County warrant register, and identifies properties the Rev. William Smith warranted in 1782. It is difficult to know which survey pertains to the property that Benjamin Troutman's property was formed from because the 279-acre tract (Survey Book A37 Page 262) is identified as being in Patent Book 4 Page 316 and the property identified as being in Patent Book 4 Page 318 is listed as 290-3/4-acres (Survey Book A37 Page 263). Furthermore, a 293-3/4-acre tract (Survey Book A37 Page 271) adjoining the Peter Troutman tract was performed for Angus Gillis. That makes me wonder whether the "Angers" property name is somehow a misreading of the name "Angus" written in cursive.
1817: An 1873 newspaper article included below indicates that Benjamin and Catherine Troutman had a son named John who was then living in Indiana. Reportedly, the February 6, 1863 estate settlement of Benjamin Troutman indicates that he had a son named John. John Troutman is buried in the Jamestown IOOF Cemetery in Boone County, Indiana. The following biographical material is from the 1895 book "A Portrait and Biographical Record of Boone Clinton and Hendricks Counties, Ind. ..." It provides information about Benjamin Troutman and indicates that his son J. W. Troutman was born in 1817:
"J. W. TROUTMAN, of Jackson township, Boone county, Ind., was born in Somerset county, Pa., August 6, 1817, and is the son of Benjamin and Katy Troutman. His paternal ancestors came originally from Germany, in which country his great-great-grandfather, William Troutman, was born. The latter came from his native country many years ago and settled in Berks county, Pa., where his death afterward occurred. Peter Troutman, son of the above William and the grandfather of J. W., was born in the province of Baden, Germany, and came with his father to the new world before the war of independence, in which struggle he took an active part in the army of Gen. Washington. He married and reared the following children: Benjamin, Jacob, John, Elizabeth, Rachel, and Phoenie. Peter Troutman was by occupation a carpenter and afterward became a successful farmer; he died in the above county and state at the age of ninety-six years. Benjamin Troutman, son of Peter and father of the subject of this biography, was born in Berks county, Pa., and there married Sarah Wolgamott, a native of Martinsburg, Va., daughter of Solomon Wolgamott, which union resulted in the birth of the following children: Rachel, Elizabeth, George, Joseph, John, Mary, Tenie, Isaac, Nancy, Daniel, Emanuel, Adam, Sarah and Harriet. Benjamin Troutman was a mechanic and worked for a number of years at the gunsmiths' trade. He was popular in the community where he lived, subscribed liberally to church and other moral and religious purposes, took an active part in politics as an old-line whig, and departed this life in his native county and state at the age of eighty years; his wife lived to be seventy-eight years old. J. W. Troutman, while quite young, learned to work on the farm and later turned his naturally fine mechanical skill to good account as a carpenter and blacksmith. He married, in Bedford county, Pa., December 31, 1837, Elizabeth Miller, daughter of John and Catharine (Wilhelm) Miller, a union which was terminated by the death of Mrs. Troutman on the seventh of December, 1893. Mrs. Troutman was a lady of deep religious convictions, an earnest church worker, and her whole life was fraught with good deeds and charitable acts, and she died lamented by all who knew her. In 1861, October 15, Mr. Troutman responded to the country's call for volunteers and enlisted in company F, Fortieth Indiana infantry, with which he served until July of the following year. He was with his command in the bloody battle of Shiloh and other engagements, and saw much active service during the brief period of his enlistment. He was promoted corporal of his company and at one time was made color-bearer, a position of much honor, and still more danger, as it made him a conspicuous mark for the enemy's bullets. He contracted a chronic ailment in the army, and while at Indianapolis accidently stepped off a platform, so injuring his ankle as to render its amputation necessary. At the termination of his period of military service Mr. Troutman returned to Boone county, and has since that time been one of the prominent citizens of Jackson township. He is a member of Antietam post, No. 167, G. A. R., and is prominently identified with the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Hazlerigg lodge, No. 200, of which he is a charter member. Socially, he occupies a conspicuous place in the estimation of his fellow-citizens, and in every relation of life has proved himself an intelligent and honorable gentleman."
1817: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Benjamin Troutman is identified as a gunsmith in the 1817 tax roll of Southampton Township, Somerset County. This appears to be a reference to the 1817 triennial assessment of Southampton Township, which lists Ben Troutman as a gunsmith.
1818: Reportedly, the February 6, 1863 estate settlement of Benjamin Troutman indicates that he had a daughter named Mary who was the wife of Solomon John Leidig. The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." indicates that Benjamin Troutman had a daughter named Mary Troutman whose tombstone indicates she was born in 1811. The book indicates she was actually born in 1816. Several more recent secondary sources indicate she was born in 1818. Mary's eroded tombstone at the Trinity United Church of Christ Cemetery in Bedford County, Pennsylvania references Solomon Leydig, indicates that she died on March 7, 1886, and appears to indicate she was 67 years and an illegible number of months and days old at the time of death.
1820: The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." indicates that Benjamin Troutman had a son named George W. Troutman who was born July 20, 1820. Reportedly, the February 6, 1863 estate settlement of Benjamin Troutman indicates that he had a son named George.
1820: The following excerpt from the Southampton Township portion of the 1820 manuscript census records of Somerset County, Pennsylvania lists Benjamin Troutman:
1822: Reportedly, the February 6, 1863 estate settlement of Benjamin Troutman indicates that he had a son named Daniel B. An 1873 newspaper article included below indicates that Benjamin and Catherine Troutman had a son named Daniel who was then living in Kansas. According to his tombstone in the Highland Cemetery in Ottawa, Franklin County, Daniel Benjamin Troutman was born on October 26, 1822. Daniel was also a gunsmith.
1825: The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." indicates that Benjamin Troutman had a son named William Troutman who was born in 1825 and died in 1827. William is buried at Comp's cemetery.
18__: Reportedly, the February 6, 1863 estate settlement of Benjamin Troutman indicates that he had a daughter named Christina who was the wife of a Close.
1826: The following item from the 1949 book "The Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr. of Somerset County Pennsylvania" indicates that Benjamin Troutman was one of the twelve men who helped to resolve the estate of my ancestor Michael Korn, Sr. by evaluating the Michael Korns, Sr. farm on August 21, 1826.
1826: An 1873 newspaper article included below indicates that Benjamin and Catherine Troutman had a daughter named Nancy who was then living in Maryland. Reportedly, the February 6, 1863 estate settlement of Benjamin Troutman indicates that he had a daughter named Nancy Ann who was the wife of Elisha Workman. A secondary source indicates she was born in 1826 and died in 1882.
1829: An 1873 newspaper article included below indicates that Benjamin and Catherine Troutman had a daughter named Sarah who was then living in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Reportedly, the February 6, 1863 estate settlement of Benjamin Troutman indicates that he had a daughter named Sarah who was the wife of a Shierer. The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." indicates that Benjamin Troutman had a daughter named Sarah Troutman who was born April 18, 1829. Her death certificate indicates that her parents were Benjamin and Catherine Troutman, and she was born on April 17, 1829 and died on April 4, 1910. Sarah is buried in the Lybarger Cemetery in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.
1830: The following item is from an article titled "1830 Estates in Somerset County" in the May 1982 issue of the Laurel Messenger. It shows Benjamin Troutman serving as a Bondsman in the estate of Christian Sturtz. This is a reference to the Christian Sturtz who is buried where my Grandmother Gladys Korns' vegetable garden was located when I was a child.
1830: The following excerpt is from the Southampton Township portion of the 1830 manuscript census documents of Somerset County, Pennsylvania:
Circa 1830-1832: An 1873 newspaper article included below indicates that Benjamin and Catherine Troutman had a son named Adam who was then living in Pittsburgh. Reportedly, the February 6, 1863 estate settlement of Benjamin Troutman indicates that he had a son named Adam. The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." indicates that Benjamin Troutman had a son named Adam Augustus Troutman who was born in 1832 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. I suspect this is the Adam Troutman who is buried in the Jackson Presbyterian Cemetery in Wayne County, Ohio, where his tombstone inscription states, "Adam Troutman 1830-1890 Lieu. 54 Penn. Vol. Inf." Adam Troutman was a First Lieutenant in Company G of the 54th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, which was recruited in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
1832: Southampton Township resident Peter Troutman submitted a pension declaration at the Somerset County Court of Common Pleas on October 16, 1832. The declaration describes his military service as follows: "That he entered the service of the United States in the summer of 1776, having been drafted in Maxatawny township, Berks County, State of Pennsylvania & was commanded by the following officers, Captain Paul Grosscup, Lieutenant Jacob Levan, Ensign Philip Gehr, Major Martin Carigher, & Colonel Baltzer Gehr, that he marched through Eastern Pennsylvania, crossed the Delaware & through New Jersey to Ambay. That he remained in Ambay two months & received his discharge & returned home to Berks Co., Pennsylvania -- that during the fall of the same year he again entered the service as a substitute for Henry Grim under the following officers for two months, viz Captain Philip Martz, Lieutenant Jacob Zimmerman, Major Carigher, & Colonel Gehr -- that he marched to Philadelphia from there to Newtown & was there at the battle in which General Mercer was killed and saw him buried at Philadelphia. That he was orderly sergeant of the company -- and that after he served a campaign of two months he again received a discharge & returned home-That in the fall of the year 1777 he was again drafted for the term of two months in a company commanded by Captain Peter Spangler that he marched through Easton to Brunswich in New Jersey where served out his time & having obtained his discharge he again returned home --That he served a fourth compaign of two months in the fall of 1778 having been drafted in Captain Jacob Leidich's company in the regiment commanded by Colonel Samuel Elly -- that he marched to Newtown where he served out his two months & got a discharge, when he again returned home to Berks county Pennsylvania".
1832: The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." reports that Peter Troutman received a military pension beginning in 1832.
1835: The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." indicates that Benjamin Troutman had a daughter named Eleanora Troutman who was born in 1835. Reportedly, the February 6, 1863 estate settlement of Benjamin Troutman indicates that he had a daughter named Eleanora who was the wife of a Reiber. According to John R. Reiber's 1991 book "The Reiber Genealogy", Benjamin and Catherine Troutman's daughter Elnora was born in Southampton Township on April 30, 1835 and married Jonathan Reiber (a distant cousin of mine) during the 1850s.
1836: Peter Trautman's wife Mary is buried at Comps, where her sandstone tombstone states, "In memory of Mary B Const. of Peter Troutman. Died Novr 14th AD 1836. Aged 79 y, 8 m & 14 d.
1836-1838: The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." reports that Peter Troutman's wife Mary Barbara died in 1836 and he married a woman named Catherine in 1838.
1837: The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." indicates that Benjamin Troutman had a daughter named Harriet Troutman who was born on April 27, 1837. Harriet (Troutman) Hansel died in 1913 and is buried in the Frostburg Memorial Park, Allegany County, Maryland. The 1962 book "Workman Family History" indicates that Harriet Troutman, a daughter of Benjamin Troutman and Katherine Wolgermon, was born in Somerset County on April 27, 1837 and married John Hansel, and had ten children, all born near Frostburg, Maryland.
1837: A transcript of the circa 1934 WPA survey of Comp's Cemetery indicates that William Troutman, son of B. & Catherine Troutman, died on April 4, 1837 at the age of 12 years and 24 days.
1838: According to Steve Troutman's 1988 book, Peter Troutman's second wife was named Catherine Cassel and they were married on January 11, 1838.
1838: Adam Shirer's January 11, 1838 survey (Survey Book C-208 Page 136) identifies the adjacent Southampton Township property of Benjamin Troutman that was formerly owned by John & Christian Meese. The following excerpt from the WPA survey map of Southampton Township uses a green star to identify the survey of Adam Shirer (C-208 Page 136). Orienting from the Adam Shirer survey, a red star is used to identify the property of Benjamin Troutman. A purple star is used to identify property of Adam Lepley, who would be either the gunsmith Adam Lepley II or his father. An orange star is used to identify the property of Christian Sturtz, who would be either the father or grandfather of the gunsmith Jacob Sturtz. The Christian Sturtz property (C-201 Page 246, C-201 Page 247) was surveyed in 1802. The Adam Lepley property was part of the adjacent Joseph Rhoads property (C-168 page 206) that was surveyed in 1786. Regardless of which Adam Lepley (I or II) and which Christian Sturtz (Sr. or Jr.) owned these properties, the proximity of the properties to each other helps to demonstrate that the Troutman, Lepley, and Sturtz families knew one another. These Troutman, Lepley, and Sturtz properties are located in intermediate relation to Comps Crossroads and Gladdens Run.
The following excerpt from the WPA survey map has been rotated so north is at the top. Here are gps coordinates that correspond roughly to the three red dots:
1839: An August 17, 1839 deed for 17 acres and 56 perches from Benjamin Troutman and his wife Catherine to John Ledik is recorded on page 312 of Somerset County, Pennsylvania Deed Book 22. The deed was recorded on May 1, 1848.
1840: The following excerpt is from the 1840 census of Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania:
1841: A grandson of Benjamin Troutman was born in 1841. The obituary of Benjamin Troutman's grandson Daniel Troutman in the June 12, 1930 issue of the "Meyersdale Republican" provides a little information about Benjamin Troutman and Benjamin's father Peter. Here is the relevant excerpt: "Daniel Troutman, born December 18, 1841, in Southampton Township, this county, died April 19, 1930, at Kennell's Mills in said township, aged 88 years, 4 months and 1 day. ... Mr. Troutman was a son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Cossel) Troutman; a grandson of Benjamin Troutman, whose father, Peter Troutman, was a soldier in the American Revolutionary War. His great uncle, William Troutman, served in the War of 1812 from Southampton Township. Peter Troutman was an early settler in that section of Somerset County, formerly Londonderry Township, Bedford County, and his progeny is widely scattered at this date. ... Daniel Troutman ... was a member of the Reformed Church, and Rev. H. Landis preached his funeral sermon in the Comp's church house in Southampton Township. His remains rest in Comp's Cemetery, an ancient burial ground adjoining the church. Here his great-grandfather, Peter Troutman, is interred also."
1846: Benjamin Troutman's father Peter died in 1846. Peter Troutman's white tombstone at the Comp's Church cemetery states, "PETER TROUTMAN PVT. ELY'S PA REGT REV WAR MARCH 6, 1846". This white tombstone is a replacement for a broken sandstone tombstone. The broken tombstone states, "Peter Trautman Died March 6th 1846 Aged 91 Years 2 Mos & 18 days".
1846: The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." indicates that Peter Troutman's will was probated on March 16, 1846.
1846: The following notice is from the March 31, 1846 issue of the "Somerset Herald and Farmers' and Mechanics' Register" newspaper. The same notice ran in the April 28, 1846 issue.
1847: Click here to see a notice from the February 2, 1847 issue of the "Somerset Herald and Farmers' and Mechanics' Register" newspaper that may reference matters relating to the estate of Benjamin Troutman's father Peter.
1850: In the 1850 census of Southampton Township, Somerset County (Page 214, August 21 1850), Benjamin Troutman is enumerated as a 69-year-old farmer, born in Pennsylvania, with property valued at $1,500. Enumerated with him are his 55-year-old wife Catherine Troutman born in Maryland, 18-year old Pennsylvania-born laborer Adam Troutman, 15-year-old Pennsylvania-born Eleanora Troutman, and 13-year-old Pennsylvania-born Harriet Troutman.
1856: The following transcript of the March 1, 1856 will of Benjamin Troutman was prepared by transcriber extraordinare Margaret Gagliardi. She reports that the will is filed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania Will File No. 8, 1856 and was recorded in Volume 5, Page 94 on April 4, 1856.
In the name of God Amen.
I BENJAMIN TROUTMAN of Southampton Township, Somerset County and state of Pennsylvania being sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and understanding thanks be to God Calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my Last Will and testament that is to Say principally and first of all I give and recommend my Soul into the hand of the almighty God that give it and my body recommend to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian burial at the discretion of my Executor herein after named nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the Same again by the almighty by power of God and as touching Such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased god to _ me in this life give _ and depose of the Same in the following manner and form first I will that my old home place being one hundred and fourty eight acres the Same shall be praised together with the personally property and Shall be sold and Divided among my Children Equal Share.
I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife CATHARINE Sixty five acres of land and one cow one heifer and the House and two _ _ kitchen furniture all what we have now and after her death the Same Shall be Sold and divided among my Children in Equal Shares.
And I do hereby utterly disallow revoke disannul and every other former testament will legacy, bequest and _ by me in any wise before named will and bequeathed ratifying and confirming this and not other to be my Last Will and testament and I make and ordain SAMUEL COMP and JOSEPH EMERICK executors of this my Last Will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the fourteenth day of March one thousand eight hundred and fifty six. BENJAMIN (X) TROUTMAN (his mark)
Signed and sealed published pronounced as his Last Will and testament in presence of us who in his presence of each other have hereunto Subscribed our names. ALEXANDER (x) EMERICK (his mark), HENRY MARTZ
Somerset County SS. This fourth day of April AD 1856 Before me JACOB NEFF Register for the probate of wills and granting letters of Administration in and for Said county HENRY MARTZ and ALEXANDER EMERICK the Subscribing witnesses hereto the foregoing will who being duly qualified according to Law depose and Say that they were present and saw and heard BENJAMIN TROUTMAN the within named testator signed Seal publish and pronounce and declare the foregoing instrument of writing and for his last will and Testament and that he was at the time of So doing of sound mind memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge & belief. ALEXANDER (x) EMERICK (his mark), HENRY MARTZ
Sworn and affirmed before me this 4th day of April 1856. JACOB NEFF, Regr"
1856: Benjamin Troutman died on March 18, 1856 at age 75. The following photo of Benjamin Troutman's tombstone was taken in 2019. His tombstone states: "Benjamin Troutman died March 18, 1856 aged 75 ys. 7 mos. 11 ds." He is buried at Comps Church, in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA. The approximate location of the tombstone is latitude 39.801066, longitude -78.784764. A newspaper article titled "Comps Church is Area Landmark" in the June 27, 1968 issue of the "Meyersdale Republican" newspaper includes the statement, "Belief is that the congregation originated about 1805 and that the first church building was erected about 1814-15 on ground which was probably that of Benjamin Troutman. ... The original building was replaced by another church about 1880..."
1856: William S. Bowers' book "Gunsmiths of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia" indicates that Joseph Emerick and Samuel Comp were the executors of the estate of Benjamin Troutman, and filed the estate inventory on April 4, 1856. The estate value was estimated at $2,407.83, and included about 148 acres of property estimated to be worth $2,268.84. Also included in the estate were planes, augers, gunsmithing tools, blacksmithing tools, hand saws, grindstones, and a drawing knife. Benjamin Troutman's son Daniel B. Troutman purchased the gunsmithing tools at the estate auction.
The following image is from the 2005 book "A look at Southampton Township Pennsylvania the way it used to be!" and is reproduced here with the permission of Mona Huffman. In the book, the photo is captioned as the "Benjamin Troutman House". The book reports that this farm used to be known as the "Troutman Place" but more recently was known as the "Sensensick Place". The book reports that the house was destroyed by fire in 2000. Click here to see the location of the Troutman/Sensensick place.
1857: Page 58 of Somerset County, Pennsylvania Deed Book 41 records the July 24, 1857 indenture from Benjamin Troutman's executors to Daniel Kohler for Benjamin Troutman's 148-acre home place. The indenture was recorded January 18, 1869. The purchase price was $2,100.00. The residence of Daniel Kohler may be illustrated as "D. Kohlers Farm" on the 1860 map included below.
1860: The following image is from the 1860 Walker map of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The "Luth. Ch." is Comps Church, where Benjamin Troutman is buried. The approximate location (39.7942327, -78.7882028) of the "Mrs. Troutman" residence is easy to determine based on the turns in Comps Road.
The "Mrs. Troutman" residence identified on the map may be the location of the 65 acres that Benjamin Troutman willed to his wife. The J. Leidig and T. Bower properties that are identified near the Mrs. Troutman residence on the map may be the properties of John Leydig and Thomas Bowers that are referenced in a notice included farther below that was published in the June 10, 1874 issue of the "Somerset Herald" concerning the sale of a 65-acre Troutman property after the death of Mrs. Benjamin Troutman.
The following excerpt from a 1929 topographic map shows the terrain in the vicinity of Comp's Crossroads. A red star shows the location of the property Peter Troutman warranted in 1794. A red circle identifies the location of the Troutman/Sensensick place. A green circle shows where the gunsmith Benjamin Troutman is buried, on property he donated for Comp's Church. The gunsmith Jacob Sturtz's grandfather Christian Sturtz, Sr. is also buried there. A red dot shows approximately where Mrs. Troutman was living along Comps Road and Powder Run in 1860 (see map above).
Surveys C-63 Page 111 and C-77 Page 187 indicate that the creek now known as Powder Run was originally known as Powder Mill Run. As described above, Benjamin Troutman, Adam Lepley I or II, and Christian Sturtz Jr. or Sr. had farms near one another in this area of Southampton Township. The gunsmith Jacob Sturtz manufactured and sold gunpowder in Ohio. The name "Powder Mill Run" indicates that gunpowder was being made locally. I wonder if someone at that enterprise was Jacob Sturtz's gunpowder manufacturing mentor. There was a source of saltpeter about 15 miles away in a straight line, at Sweet Root Gap in Bedford County.
1863: According to Steve Troutman's 1988 book, the settlement for the estate of Benjamin Troutman identifies twelve children and has a February 6, 1863 date.
1866: Benjamin Troutman has a great many descendants. The following newspaper clipping is from the December 14, 1866 "Bedford Inquirer", and mentions 150 descendants.
1873: The following article, from the January 9, 1873 issue of the "Marshall County Republican" (Indiana) is about the family of the gunsmith Benjamin Troutman. The article was also printed in the December 27, 1872 issue of the "Cambria Freeman" and other newspapers around the country.
1874: According to Steve Troutman's 1988 book, Benjamin Troutman's wife Catherine died in March of 1874 and is buried at Comps. Her tombstone is illegible. A website gives the date of death as February 25, 1874.
1874: The following notice is from the April 29, 1874 issue of the "Somerset Herald" newspaper:
1874: The following notice, from the June 10, 1874 issue of the "Somerset Herald", is about the estate of the gunsmith Benjamin Troutman. My interpretation is that the 65-acre property Benjamin left to his wife is being sold after her death. The properties of John Leydig and Thomas Bowers that are referenced in the notice may be the J. Leidig and T. Bower properties that are identified near the Mrs. Troutman residence on the excerpt from the 1860 Walker map of Somerset County that is included above. The notice states that "The land is ... convenient to churches and school house, &c." The Southampton Township map in the 1876 Beers Atlas of Somerset County illustrates a school next to Comp's Church.
1875: The following notice was belatedly published in the November 24, 1875 issue of the "Somerset Herald" newspaper:
1876: The place identified as "Mrs. Troutman" on the excerpt from the 1860 map included above is identified as "J. Emerick" on the Southampton Township map in the 1876 Beers Atlas of Somerset County.
Ben Troutman work product:
For an index to biographical material on other early gunsmiths from Somerset and Bedford counties, Pennsylvania, click here.
Go to the home page