George Slonaker biographical information

The 1953 edition of Gluckman's "American Gun Makers" indicates that George Slonaker probably lived near New Paris in Bedford County. The book says he reportedly made superposed rifles, and definitely made a heavy percussion type rifle. Whether this is a reference to one particular rifle, or his general style, is unclear. According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", George Slonaker produced guns that were somewhat heavier than typical Bedford County rifles, and a lot of his rifles having handsome patch boxes. Several of the rifles George Slonaker built can be viewed in the archives of auction websites.

1797: Calculating based on the information on his tombstone, George Slonaker was born on February 8, 1797.

1819: According to his memorial on findagrave.com, George Alex Slonaker had a daughter named Margaret (Slonaker) Foreman who was born in 1819.

1820: The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" puts George Slonaker in Frankstown Township of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania in 1820.

1826: According to his memorial on findagrave.com, George Alex Slonaker had a son named Jacob Weaver Slonaker who was born in 1826.

1827: According to his memorial on findagrave.com, George Alex Slonaker had a daughter named Susanna (Slonaker) Cox who was born in 1827.

1827: The clipping below is from the 1880 book "1745-1880 History of Indiana County, Penn'a" (Caldwell). It states that the first house in Smicksburg, Pennsylvania was built as a gunship for George Slonaker in 1827, but he never occupied the structure.

1829: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" indicates that George Slonaker was recorded as a gunsmith in 1829 with a value of $26.00.

1829-1832: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" states that George Slonaker was in what is now Greenfield Township, Blair County from 1929 to 1832.

1830: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntingdon, & Somerset Counties" indicates that George Slonaker had a son John George Slonaker who was also a gunsmith. Calculating from information on his tombstone, John George Slonaker was born in 1830.

1831: According to his memorial on findagrave.com, George Alex Slonaker had a daughter named Nancy Mary (Slonaker) Allison who was born in 1831.

1833: Page 31 of the 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntingdon, & Somerset Counties" indicates that George Slonaker was in what is now Greenfield Township, Blair County in 1833.

1833: According to his memorial on findagrave.com, George Alex Slonaker had a daughter named Rebecca (Slonaker) Allison who was born in 1833.

1835-1843: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" puts George Slonaker in St. Clair Township from 1835 to 1843.

1836: According to his memorial on findagrave.com, George Alex Slonaker had a daughter named Leah (Slonaker) McDonald who was born in 1836.

1838: According to his memorial on findagrave.com, George Alex Slonaker had a daughter named Anna Maria (Slonaker) Stull who was born in 1838.

1840: According to his memorial on findagrave.com, George Alex Slonaker had a daughter named Sarah Harriet (Slonaker) Bailey who was born in 1840.

1844-1870: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntingdon, & Somerset Counties" puts George Slonaker in in Union Township from 1844 to 1870.

Circa 1845: According to A. Merwyn Carey's 1953 book "American Firearms Makers" George Slonaker was a gunsmith in Union Township of Bedford County circa 1845.

1849: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", George Slonaker is identified as a gunsmith in the 1849 tax list of Union Township, Bedford County.

1850: The following composite images from the 1850 census show the size and productivity of George Slonaker's farm:

1856: The following story about the lost Cox boys is from the 1884 book, "History of Bedford, Somerset, and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania".

1856: The following story of the lost children is from Volume I of the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania".

1856: The newspaper clipping below is from the May 23, 1856 issue of the "Bedford inquirer and chronicle". It tells part of the story of George Slonaker's lost grandchildren, and identifies George Slonaker as a resident of Union Township.

1861: The following image from the 1861 Walker map of Bedford County shows the "Lost Children" area.

1861: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" indicates that George Slonaker is recorded as a blacksmith in 1861 with a value of $180.00.

1873: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" indicates that George Slonaker is recorded as a gunsmith at Spruce Hollow in 1873 with a value of $328.00.

1875: George Slonaker is buried in the Mount Union Cemetery, which is near Lovely, Bedford County, Pennsylvania at Latitude 40.224854, Longitude -78.611841. His tombstone states: "George Slonaker, died Feb. 28, 1875 Age 78 years 20 d". The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" mistakenly reports that the date of death on the tombstone is January 18, 1880.

The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" indicates that Thomas Oldham learned gunsmithing from George Slonaker. The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" provides a more nuanced statement, indicating that George Slonaker and Thomas Oldham were in Greenfield township at the same time, George Slonaker was older than Thomas Oldham by approximately 10 years, and Thomas Oldham may have learned gunsmithing from George Slonaker.

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