Daniel Adams, Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: Daniel Adams is known as a Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunsmith from the 1837 tax roll of Somerset Township. He is thought to be the apprentice who, at about 19 years of age, ran away from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania gunsmith William Blain in 1832. I assume he is the Daniel Adams who appears in Somerset Township censuses beginning in 1840 and lived near Samuels Church and Lavansville. The basis for this assumption is his age in the various Somerset Township censuses, compared to his age when he ran away from William Blain in nearby Westmoreland County.

1814: According to his tombstone, the Daniel Adams who lived near Samuels Church in Somerset Township, Somerset county, Pennsylvania was born on July 6, 1814.

1832: The following reward notice, which was provided by Daniel Adams' descendant Eric Ludy, is from the August 24, 1832 issue of "the Farmer's Repository", a Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania newspaper. It includes the statement, "Ran away from the subscriber, in Donegal Township, on the 15th of this month, an indented boy to the Gun Smith business named DANIEL ADAMS, about nineteen years of age..." The Daniel Adams who was born on July 6, 1814 would have been 18 years old in August of 1832. Westmoreland County is west of and adjoins the northern part of Somerset County.

An 1832 advertisement by the gunsmith William Blain for the return of indentured apprentice Daniel Adams.

Circa 1832: In 1832 and/or 1833, Westmoreland County gunsmith William Blaine published an advertisement offering "a $0.06 reward for the return of Daniel Adams a runaway apprentice, along with expensive shotguns $0.50, rifle guns $1.50, wolf traps $1.50, sword and scabbard $0.50." Reportedly, this advertisement appeared in the February 24, 1832 issue of the "Farmer's Repository", but it is also reported as appearing in 1833.

1837: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Daniel Adams is identified as a gunsmith in the 1837 tax roll of Somerset Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Until Jefferson Township was formed in 1847, Somerset Township of Somerset County adjoined Westmoreland County.

1837: The 1850 census suggests that Daniel and Catherine Adams had a daughter named Charlotte who was born circa 1837. An obituary that is included farther below indicates that Daniel Adams had a daughter named Charlotte Rosan (Adams) Shaulis who died on June 12, 1896 at the age of 59 years, three months, and two days. This means she was born in 1837.

1838: The 1953 edition of the book "American Gun Makers" puts William Blaine in Ligonier Township of Westmoreland County in 1838.

1839: The 1850 census suggests that Daniel and Catherine Adams had a son named Eli who was born circa 1839. Eli P. Adams is buried at the Christ Casebeer Lutheran Church Cemetery in Somerset County, which is 8.3 miles northeast of Lavansville on modern roads. His tombstone indicates he was born on January 25, 1839 and died on June 23, 1919. A web page identifies him as a son of Daniel and Catherine (Seibert) Adams.

1840: The Daniel Adams family is enumerated in the 1840 census of Somerset Township. In the household are one male and one female in the up to five age group, and one male and one female in the 20 to 30 age group. Right or wrong, I assume (based on his age in subsequent censuses) that this is the same Daniel Adams who appeared on the tax roll of the Somerset Township as a gunsmith three years earlier. This is the only Daniel Adams who appears in the 1840 census of Somerset County.

1841: The February 1984 "Laurel Messenger" indicates that Daniel and Catharine (Sibert) Adams had a child named Lavina Adams who was born January 19, 1841 and died February 9, 1846 in Somerset County. She is buried at the Samuels Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery, where her tombstone indicates she died on February 9, 1846 at the age of five years and 22 days.

1842: The 1850 census suggests that Daniel and Catherine Adams had a son named Amos who was born circa 1842. An Amos A. Adams is buried in the Elmwood Cemetery in Black Hawk County, Iowa. His tombstone indicates he was born on November 3, 1842 and died on July 31, 1810. A website indicates that he is a son of Daniel and Catherine (Seibert) Adams.

Circa 1843-1847: An Auston Adams is buried in the Samuels Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. As best I can read it, his badly eroded tombstone inscription states, Auston Adams Died Oct. 14, 184_ Aged 8 Months & 18 days." The 1930s era W.P.A. cemetery survey also reports that the tombstone gives an October 14, 1843 date of death, which is less than a year after the November 3, 1842 birth of Amos. That is a short birth interval, but still within the realm of possibility. A website reports that Auston was a son of Daniel and Catherine Adams and died on October 14, 1847.

1845: Mary Ann Adams is buried in the Samuels Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in Somerset County., where her tombstone indicates she died on April 18, 1846 at the age of one year, and an illegible (to me) number of months and days. A website indicates she is a daughter of Daniel and Catherine (Seibert) Adams, and was born on March 9, 1845. The date of death is somewhat difficult to read on the tombstone, but the 1930s era W.P.A. survey gives it as April 18, 1846.

1846: The following item is from the February 17, 1846 issue of the "Somerset Herald" newspaper:

1846: The following excerpt is from the 1918 book "History of the Alleghany Evangelical Lutheran Synod". It describes Daniel and Catherine Adams as charter members of the Lavansville Congregation, which was formed in 1846, and describes some of the church history the couple would have experienced.

Circa 1848-1849: The 1850 and 1870 censuses suggest that Daniel and Catherine Adams had a daughter named Adaline who was born circa 1848-1849. The February 1984 "Laurel Messenger" indicates that Daniel and Catharine (Sibert) Adams had a child named Adelaide Adams who married Allen Will Snyder, but does not provide a birth date.

1850: Daniel Adams is enumerated in the 1850 census of Somerset Township as a 38-year-old Pennsylvania-born farmer with a value of $3,000.00. Also living in his household are 32-year-old Catherine Adams, 13-year-old Charlotte Adams, 11-year-old Eli Adams, 8-year-old Amos Adams, and 2-year-old Adaline Adams. An individual who was 38 years old in 1850 would have been born circa 1812. The only other Daniel Adams in the 1850 census of Somerset County was 11 years old.

1852: The 1870 and 1880 censuses suggest that Daniel and Catherine Adams had a son named Wesley who was born circa 1849-1853. The following death certificate indicates that Daniel Adams was born in Somerset County, and indicates his son Wesley was born on November 23, 1852. Wesley Adams is buried in the Grandview Cemetery in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, where his tombstone states, Wesley A. Adams Nov. 23, 1852 May 19, 1918"..

1855: The 1870 and 1880 censuses suggest that Daniel and Catherine Adams had a son named Albert who was born circa 1855. An Albert Adams is buried at the Samuels Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, where his part of a shared tombstone states, "Albert Adams 1855-1911". A website indicates this individual is a son of Daniel and Catherine (Seibert) Adams.

1857: The 1870 and 1880 censuses suggest that Daniel and Catherine Adams had a son named Sampson who was born circa 1857-1858. A Sampson Adams is buried in the Ferncliff Cemetery in Clark County, Ohio. A website indicates that individual was a son of Daniel and Catherine (Seibert) Adams, was born on May 7, 1857, and died on November 11, 1929.

1860: The Whiskers' 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" puts Daniel Adams in Wayne Township of Crawford County in 1860. The Whiskers' 1991 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Somerset, and Fulton Counties" and 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania" do not make this assertion.

Although not dispositive, I did not find Daniel Adams in the 1885 book "History of Crawford County, Pennsylvania". Crawford County is in far northwestern Pennsylvania.

1860: The following image is from the Somerset Township portion of the 1860 Walker map of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. It shows the residence of "D. Adams" near Lavansville.

1860: The 1870 and 1880 censuses suggest that Daniel and Catherine Adams had a daughter named Emma who was born circa 1860. Emma (Adams) Workman is buried at the Samuels Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery (40.00568137, -79.14362562) near Lavansville, Somerset County. Her tombstone indicates she is a daughter of D & C Adams and died on August 3, 1894 at the age of 34 years, one month, and 25 days. Her stated age at death means she was born in 1860.

1862: The following excerpt from Volume 4 of Bates' "History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5" shows that Eli P. Adams (son of Daniel Adams) was mustered in to the 133rd Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers on August 14, 1862 and mustered out on May 26, 1863.

1870: Daniel Adams is enumerated in the 1870 census of Somerset Township as a 57-year-old Pennsylvania-born farmer with real estate valued at $6,000.00 and personal property valued at $1,670.00. Catherine Adams is enumerated as a 53-year-old Maryland-born individual who is keeping house. Also living in the household are 21-year-old Adaline Adams, 17-year-old Wesley Adams, 15-year-old Albert Adams, 13-year-old Sampson Adams, and 10-year-old Emma Adams, all Pennsylvania-born. An individual who was 57 years old in 1870 would have been born circa 1813. The only other Daniel Adams in the 1870 census of Somerset County was only 30 years old, which is too young to have been a gunsmith in 1837.

1876: The following excerpt from the Somerset Township portion of the 1876 "County Atlas of Somerset, Pennsylvania" shows the residence of "D. Adams" near Samuels Church. As revealed below, Daniel Adams lived near Samuels Church and was a member of the congregation. The residence of Daniel Adams was located approximately at 39.997079, -79.140545.

1880: Daniel Adams is listed as a 65-year-old Pennsylvania-born farmer in the 1880 census of Somerset Township, and his wife Catherine Adams is listed as a 63-year-old Maryland-born individual who was keeping house. Also living in their household ae their 31-year old son Wesley A. Adams who was a minister, 25-year-old son Albert M. Adams who was working on the farm, 22-year-old Samson S. Adams who was a theological student, and 20-year-old daughter Emma Adams. All of the children were listed as Pennsylvania-born. The only other Daniel Adams in the 1880 census of Somerset County was 47-years-old, which is too young to have been a gunsmith in 1837.

1887: The following item is from the December 21, 1887 issue of the "Somerset Herald":

1894: The following obituary is from the August 10, 1894 issue of the "Somerset Standard" newspaper.

1896: The following item is from the June 17, 1896 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It documents the death of one of Daniel Adams' children:

1899: Daniel Adams' wife Catherine is buried at the Samuels Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery (40.00568137, -79.14362562) in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Her tombstone states, Catherine wife of Daniel Adams died Jan. 30, 1899 Aged 82 ys. 2ms. 14ds." The cemetery is about 0.8-miles from the site of his residence. The following obituary appeared in the February 9, 1899 issue of the "Somerset Herald". Descendant Eric Ludy reports that Daniel Adam's wife Catherine was the daughter of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 veteran David Seibert of Allegany County, Maryland.

The preceding article appears to be the basis for the following statement in the November, 1964 issue of the "Laurel Messenger".

1900: The following excerpt from the 1900 census indicates Daniel Adams was living with his 45-year-old son Albert Adams:

1900: Daniel Adams is buried at the Samuels Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery (40.00568137, -79.14362562), Lavansville, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. His tombstone states, "Daniel Adams July 6, 1814 Dec. 23, 1900"

The following item from the February 1984 "Laurel Messenger" provides the ancestry of the wife of Daniel Adams.

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