Benjamin Troutman, gunsmith

1780: Calculating from information on his Tombstone, Benjamin Troutman was born in 1780. For information on Benjamin Troutman's father Peter in the years before Benjamin was born, click here.

1781: Helen Miller Robertson's 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." indicates that the gunsmith Benjamin Franklin Troutman was born in 1781 in Berks County, and was the son of Peter and Mary Barbara Troutman.

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.

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:

Peter Troutman in warrant register

1794: The following image shows the 1839 survey of the property Peter Troutman warranted in 1794:

Peter Troutman property survey

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. It also shows the location of property of the gunsmith Adam Lepley. North is to the right. 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.

Location of the Peter Troutman property survey

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.

1800: Benjamin Troutman's father Peter Trautman appears in the 1800 federal census for Londonderry Township, 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.

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.

1807: In 1807 Benjamin Troutman and George Rizer signed an indenture that states, "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. Here the usual terms of compliances are stated for the apprentice and the master."

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 some day to see what it reveals.

The following composite image was made from an article in the February, 1960 issue of the "Laurel Messenger". It indicates where references to the military service of John Peter Troutman and Peter Troutman can be found.

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 fiddler is misidentified as Peter Troutman in the August 1965 issue of the "Laurel Messenger" and in the 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..."

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: 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 column.

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."

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.

1816: 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.

1817: The following section of the 1895 book "A Portrait and Biographical Record of Boone Clinton and Hendricks Counties, Ind. ..." provides biographical information about Benjamin Troutman and indicates that one of his sons 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.

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.

1822: The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." indicates that Benjamin Troutman had a gunsmith son named Daniel Benjamin Troutman who was born October 26, 1822.

1822: According to his tombstone in the Highland Cemetery in Ottawa, Franklin County, Kansas, Benjamin Troutman's gunsmith son Daniel Benjamin Troutman was born on October 26, 1822.

1825: The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." indicates that Benjamin Troutman had a son named William Troutman who was born in 1825 an died in 1827.

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.

1829: The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." indicates that Benjamin Troutman had a daughter named Sarah Troutman who was born April 18, 1829.

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.

1832: The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." reports that Peter Troutman received a military pension beginning in 1832.

1832: 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.

1835: The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." indicates that Benjamin Troutman had a daughter named Eleanora Troutman who was born in 1835.

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 whowas born on April 27, 1837.

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 old white tombstone at the Comp's Church cemetery states, "PETER TROUTMAN PVT. ELY'S PA REGT REV WAR MARCH 6, 1846". This tombstone is a replacement for a broken sandstone tombstone.

Peter Troutman tombstone

1846: The 1989 book "The Robertson and May Families..." indicates that Peter Troutman's will was probated on March 16, 1846.

1850: In the 1850 census of Southampton Township, Somerset County, 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 laborer Adam Troutman, 15-year-old Eleanora Troutman, and 13-year-old 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.

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. One can reasonably wonder if the "Mrs. Troutman" residence is the location of the 65 acres that Benjamin Troutman willed to his wife. More research is needed to determine the answer.

1866: Benjamin Troutman has a great many descendants. This 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.

Troutman newspaper article

1874: The following article, 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.

Troutman newspaper article

Here's what Vaughn E. Whisker wrote in an article titled "Co. Had 30 Gunmakers-Gunsmiths" in the November 1971 issue of the "Laurel Messenger":

Here's what Vaughn E. Whisker wrote in an article titled "Somerset County Gunmakers and Smiths" in the November 1982 issue of the "Laurel Messenger":

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 "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. I have not yet determined the site of the house.

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