Conrad Atley, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: Conrad Atley is known as a Bedford County gunsmith in the 1796 to 1804 timeframe from tax records, and from gun component purchases on a 1796 to 1797 store account. He is also listed as having a grist mill in Bedford Township in 1796. Records suggest that he served in the Tenth Battalion of Lancaster County Militia during the Revolutionary War, and came to Bedford County from Dauphin County, which had been part of Lancaster County before March 4, 1785.

1781: An individual with the name "Conrad Atley" served in Captain Jonathan McClure's Lancaster County Company during the Revolutionary War. The following 1781 roster is from the 1890 book "Pennsylvania Archives", Second Series, Volume XIII.

1781: The following excerpt from Volume 1 of the 1914 book "Genealogical and Personal History of Beaver County, Pennsylvania" indicates that the roster above was made the day Jonathan McClure assumed command of his Lancaster County company.

1785: The following excerpt from Volume 1 of the 1914 book "Genealogical and Personal History of Beaver County, Pennsylvania" indicates that Dauphin County was created out of part of Lancaster County on March 4, 1785. This means it might not have been necessary for Conrad Atley to move to get from Lancaster County to Dauphin County.

1787: Conrad Atley may have come to Bedford County from Dauphin County. The following composite image is from Volume 2 of the 1907 book "History of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania":

1790: Conrad Atley is enumerated in a transcript of the 1790 federal census of Dauphin County. The following composite image is from the Dauphin County section of the 1908 book "Heads of Families of the First Census of the United States: 1790." This is the only individual named Conrad Atley or Adely in the transcript of the 1790 census of Pennsylvania.

1796: The following excerpt from the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania" indicates that Conrad Atley appeared on the 1796 tax roll of Bedford Township as the owner of a grist mill:

1796-1804: The Whiskers' 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" puts Conrad Atley in the borough of Bedford from 1796 to 1804. The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" by Whisker & Yantz indicates that Conrad Atley appears on the tax rolls of Bedford borough as a gunsmith sometime between the years 1796 and 1804.

1796-1797: The following image is from the store ledger of Martin Rieley. It documents Conrad Atley purchasing two rifle locks, a rifle barrel, and 4-3/4 pounds of iron in the 1796-1797 timeframe. This seems like reasonable evidence of gunsmithing activity. The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" indicates that Conrad Atley purchased a silver lock at the Rieley store.

1797: The Whiskers' 1983 booklet puts Conrad Atley in the borough of Bedford in 1797 with a house, a horse, and a cow and a valuation of $180.00.

1800: The 1953 edition of the book "American Gun Makers" puts Conrad Atley in Bedford Township in 1800. Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle" indicates that Conrad Atley appears on the Bedford Township tax roll as a gunsmith in 1800.

1800: In a transcript of the 1800 federal census of Bedford County, the "Conrad Adley" household has two members: one white male and one white female in the 26 to 44 age group.

1810-1840: I could not find Conrad Atley in transcripts of the 1810 to 1840 federal censuses of Bedford County.

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