How you can help the Bedford & Somerset County gunsmith project

This project is intended to be a collaborative effort with gun collectors, historians, genealogists, etc. who may have documentation or photos to share. You may be aware of missing pieces that I have not thought of, and may never think of. I hope you will assist this project by forwarding any information you think may be helpful. What follows is just a list of the items I can think of.

I've put a lot of long hours into this web project, and I know there will be errors, big and small. Please report any errors you find so I can correct them.

NOTE: I cannot use photographs taken from other publications, including other websites; please do not send them.

  • Firearms: I need photographs of guns made by Bedford and Somerset County gunsmiths, even if made after they moved away from the county.
  • Gravestones: I need photographs of gravestones of Bedford and Somerset County gunsmiths and their spouses. I provide cemetery GPS coordinates for many of the cemeteries.
  • Portraits: I need photographs of Bedford and Somerset County gunsmiths and their spouses.
  • Tools: Some of the tools used by Bedford and Somerset County gunsmiths survive in far-flung museums and private collections. I would like to have photographs of such tools.
  • Other products: Some of the Bedford and Somerset County gunsmiths made other products, such as watches, clocks, etc. Photos of such items would be interesting to the collecting public.

    Here are examples of the kind of documents people may find interesting:

  • Wills, estate documents, and other court records
  • Business records
  • Deeds
  • Surveys
  • Wills
  • Letters


  • Box 1, Folder 8 of the Mary Engels Collection, Lyon College Special Collections, Regional Studies Center, Mabee-Simpson Library at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas has Greene County, Pennsylvania deeds of the property of Peter Engels, and documents related to the estate of Peter Engels.

    District of Columbia:

  • I need photographs of the patent model of Aaron C. Vaughn's revolver, which is located Smithsonian National Museum of American History (Accession No. 49064).
  • I would like to have the Civil War pension and service records for the John Furney individual or individuals who served in the 144th Illinois Infantry and the 46th Ohio Infantry. Those records should be available (for a price) from the National Archives.


  • Annapolis: The letter Colonel Thomas Sprigg wrote to Governor Thomas S. Lee on September 11, 1794, warning of the danger to the magazine at Frederick Town. The letter is supposed to be at the Hall of Records, but I haven't found it there yet.
  • Annapolis: I would like a copy of the 1813 papers where Experience Moss apprenticed Josiah Moss to George Rizer. This indenture is not in the Allegany County "Orphans Court Proceedings 1791-1820".


  • Coshocton County: I need a digital copy of the estate records of Joseph Mills, who died on September 8, 1876.


  • Somerset County: I need a photograph of Benjamin Troutman's 1807 indenture to George Rizer. I think it must be at the Somerset Historical Center, perhaps on microfilm.
  • Bedford County: I need a copy of 1808 estate no. 4, for Elizabeth Troutman.
  • Altoona: A photo of the double gun by Valentine Feltus Clouse that is at the Blair Mansion History Museum.

    Here is my e-mail address:
    How to contact the author about the Bedford & Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunsmithing web project.
    Lannie Dietle, September 8, 2021.

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