David Whetstone, Ayr Township, Bedford County, gunsmith


Circa 1770-1778: Bower's 1979 book "GUNSMITHS OF PEN-MAR-VA 1790-1840" reports that John Whetstone, Sr. was the blacksmith son of Peter Whetstone, and indicates the estate of Peter Whetstone was finalized on December 29, 1778. From context, I suspect that the estate was settled in Washington County, Maryland, because the book indicates that the Whetstone family came to that county circa 1770. The fact that the blacksmith John Whetstone is the son of Peter Whetstone is probably based on the deed on pages 508 to 511 of Washington County, Maryland Deed Book D.

Circa 1781: Based on Bower's 1979 book, David Whetstone was indentured at age 15 in 1796, which suggests a circa 1781 birth.

1785: Bower's 1979 book reports that John Whetstone, Sr. obtained land in Washington County, Maryland in October of 1785. This seems to be based on the deed on pages 508-511 of Washington County, Maryland Deed Book D. In that deed, John Whetstone, Sr. sells the land of his deceased father Peter.

1790: I did not find a John Whetstone in the transcript of the 1790 census of Maryland. The only John Whetstone I found in the transcript of the 1790 census of Pennsylvania was in Cumberland County. I don't know if it is relevant.

1796: Bower's 1979 book reports that 16-year-old John Whetstone, Jr. and his 15-year-old brother David were indentured to the Hagerstown, Maryland gunsmith John Gonter by their father John Whetstone, Sr. on January 11, 1796. The indenture term was to age 21. A photo of the official copy of David Whetstone's indenture follows [Washington County Register of Wills (Indentures) 1794-1805, C1953-1, 01/63/03/030]:

1807-1825: Bower's 1979 book reports that an individual named David Whetstone (assumed to be John's brother by Bower) was listed in "Air" (Ayr) Township, Bedford County (from context, presumably in tax records) in the 1807 to 1824 timeframe. The Whiskers' 2017 book is more specific, stating that David Whetstone was taxed as a gunsmith in Ayr Township during the 1807 to 1824 timeframe, and was annotated as gunsmith dead on the 1825 tax list.

1810: In a transcript of the 1810 census of Air Township, the David Whetstone household has one male in the 26 to 45 age group, one female in the 16 to 26 age group, and two males and two females in the under ten age group.

1820: I did not find David Whetstone in a transcript of the 1820 census of Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

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

Work product:

  • The Whiskers' 2017 book mentions a restocked rifle that is believed to have been made by this David Whetstone that has a patch box that is typical to those of the early period of what is now Fulton County, and has "David Whetstone" engraved on a brass barrel inlay.

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