Jacob J. Beals, a Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: Jacob J. Bealls is known as a Hyndman, Londonderry Township, Bedford County gunsmith from an 1880 census record. I don't know if the information I collected below pertains to the correct individual because I don't know the age of the gunsmith Jacob J. Bealls in the 1880 census, or the name of his spouse.

1831: According to the 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania", Jacob J. Bealls was born in 1832. I suspect that date may be calculated from a census record, in which case it could be off by a year. There is a burial in the Hyndman Cemetery for a Jacob J. Beals whose tombstone states he was born in September of 1831.

1850: The following excerpt from the 1850 census of Londonderry Township, Bedford County shows a 17-year-old shoemaker Jacob Beale, who would have been born circa 1833, living in the household of John Beale.

Circa 1855: The 1860 and 1870 censuses of Londonderry Township, Bedford County suggest that Jacob J. Beals had a daughter named Laura V. Beals who was born circa 1855.

Circa 1855-1859: The 1860 and 1870 censuses of Londonderry Township, Bedford County suggest that Jacob J. Beals had a son named George W. Beals who was born circa 1855-1859.

1860: The following excerpt from the 1860 census of Londonderry Township, Bedford County shows the household of a 30-year-old Jacob Beals who would have been born circa 1830. I suspect this is the same individual listed in the 1850 census excerpt above, based on the occupation of shoemaker. It isn't unusual for a name to change slightly from one generation to the next.

1861: The following excerpt from the Londonderry Township portion of the 1861 Walker map of Bedford County shows a J.J. Beal residence near a shoe & cabinet shop in Palo Alto.

Circa 1862: The 1870 census of Londonderry Township, Bedford County suggests that Jacob J. Beals had a daughter named Ann C. Beals who was born circa 1862.

1863: The 1870 census of Londonderry Township, Bedford County suggests that Jacob J. Beals had a son named Thomas J. Beals who was born circa 1864. Thomas J. Beals is buried at the Bridgeport Cemetery in Brownsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania where his tombstone indicates he was born in 1863 and died in 1926.

Circa 1867: The 1870 census of Londonderry Township, Bedford County suggests that Jacob J. Beals had a son named John H. Beals who was born circa 1867. I suspect this may be the J. Harry Beals who is buried at the Union Dale Cemetery in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania whose tombstone indicates he was born in 1866 and died in 1943.

Circa 1869: The 1870 census of Londonderry Township, Bedford County suggests that Jacob J. Beals had a son named Jacob J. or I. Beals who was born circa 1869. I suspect this may be the Jacob I. Beals who is buried at the Addison Cemetery in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, where his tombstone indicates he was born in 1869 and died in 1937.

1870: The following excerpt from the 1870 census of Londonderry Township, Bedford County shows the household of a 38-year-old Jacob Beals who would have been born circa 1832. Based on the names of his wife and children, this the same Jacob Beals listed in the 1860 census excerpt above.

1875: The following excerpt is from the May 12, 1875 issue of the "Bedford County Press and Everett Press" newspaper:

1877: The following image from the "New Bridgeport" (Hyndman) portion of the 1877 "Atlas of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" shows one empty lot and two lots with buildings that have the name "J.J. Beals":

1877: The following composite image from the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania" explains when New Bridgeport became Hyndman:

1880: According to the 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania", Jacob J. Bealls appears as a Pennsylvania-born gunsmith in the 1880 federal census of Hyndman. The following excerpt from a 1967 edition of a 1927 topographic map shows the terrain in the vicinity of Hyndman:

1885: Catherine E. Beals is buried in the Hyndman cemetery. Her tombstone (which she shares with Jacob) states "Catherine Wife of J.J. Beals, Died April 5, 1885 Aged 54 yrs, 9 mo's 29 ds."

1891: A real estate transaction is recorded as follows in the April 24, 1891 issue of the Everett Press newspaper, "J. W. Madore to Jacob J. Beals two lots in Hyndman; consideration $350..."

1893: A Jacob J. Beals who is buried at the Hyndman Cemetery (39.82032517, -78.72752426) in Hyndman, Londonderry Township, Bedford County. A secondary source indicates he was born on September 21, 1831 and died March 7, 1893.

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