Jacob Snider I, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" provides compelling information that an early individual named Jacob Snyder was identified as a gunsmith in Providence Township in 1796, and also indicates that an individual named Jacob Snyder had some sort of firearm-related involvement with Colonel John Piper on January 26, 1776.

Because there was a subsequent gunsmith in Bedford County named Jacob Snyder who was born in 1821 and died in 1875, I refer to this 1796 gunsmith as Jacob Snyder I and the later individual as Jacob Snyder II in the titles of their respective biography pages.

The 1983 booklet contains other Jacob Snyder-related information, and in my opinion not all of the information pertains to the 1796 gunsmith. I have also found additional references to Bedford County individuals named Jacob Snyder, and have included some of them on this web page. In my opinion, since Snyder is a common name, one should treat all such information with caution.

The available information shows conclusively that there was more than one individual named Jacob Snyder in early Bedford County. I am not sure that all of the information can be perfectly untangled at this late date to determine exactly which information relates to the 1796 gunsmith, but I think the information below proves that the 1796 gunsmith Jacob Snider was the individual who lived on Clear Creek in Providence Township.

1773: Turkeyfoot Township of Bedford County was formed from part of Brothersvalley Township in the year 1773.

1776: The 1983 booklet indicates that there was an individual named Jacob Snyder in Turkeyfoot Township in 1776. No Jacob Snyder appears in the transcript of the 1776 tax list of Turkeyfoot Township that is published in Cassady's 1932 book "The Somerset County Outline" that I could find. I suspect that the authors of the 1983 booklet may have mistakenly referenced a 1796 record as a 1776 record, because there is a Jacob Snyder on the 1796 tax list of Turkeyfoot Township.

1776: The 1983 booklet indicates that an individual named Jacob Snyder had some sort of firearm-related involvement with Colonel John Piper on January 26, 1776. I wonder if the source of this tidbit might be the Pennsylvania Archives, but I have not been able to find the source. It is not clear from the booklet that firearm-related involvement was gunsmith related. Even if the involvement was gunsmithing, I have no way of knowing it involved the individual who was a gunsmith in Providence township 20 years later, in 1796.

1776: There was a Jacob Snyder in Brothersvalley Township in 1776. The following excerpt is from page 133 of the "Pennsylvania Archives", Third Series, Volume XXII, in the Brothersvalley Township transcript of taxables:

Circa 1778-1783: The 1983 booklet indicates that pages 303 and 305 of Volume 23 of the Pennsylvania Archives, third series identify an individual named Jacob Snyder as a frontier Ranger. Relevant excerpts from those pages follow.

1778: The 1983 booklet indicates that pages page 650 of Volume 23 of the Pennsylvania Archives, third series identifies an individual named Jacob Snyder as a Private in the Cumberland County Militia in 1778. Page 650 is from a section of the book titled "Cumberland County Militia--1778", and follows below.

1779: The 1983 booklet indicates that pages page 661 of Volume 23 of the Pennsylvania Archives, third series identifies an individual named Jacob Snyder as a Private in the Cumberland County Militia in 1779. Page 661 is from a section of the book titled "Cumberland County Militia--1779" and follows below.

1779: The following excerpt is from page 171 the "Pennsylvania Archives", Third Series, Volume XXII, from the 1779 Brothersvalley Township Return of Property.

1783: The following excerpt is from page 256 the "Pennsylvania Archives", Third Series, Volume XXII, in a section about the Brothersvalley Township supply tax.

1784: The following excerpt is from page 315 the "Pennsylvania Archives", Third Series, Volume XXII, in a section about the Brothersvalley Township Return of Lands.

THE TWO MEN NAMED JACOB SNIDER IN PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP
1785: A tombstone in the Ritchey Cemetery (40.05589992, -78.3962688) in Snake Spring Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania states, "Jacob Snider and wife Catherine Postetter see other side for history". The other side of the tombstone states, "Jacob, son of Jacob Snider, born in Berkley Co. Va. came to Hagerstown, Md. and married Catherine, daughter of Abraham Postetter, April 12 in 1783. Came to Croyles Valley now Snake Spring in 1785. Possible death date 1854. And located on the farm containing the big spring and joining the cemetery where he built the brick house in 1811. He became the first deacon in the first organized Church of the Brethren called Yellow Creek in Providence Country, Cumberland Co. now comprising the counties of Bedford, Fulton, Blair, and parts of Huntingdon and Somerset and in company with Samuel Ulery the first elected minister of this church visited the membership on extended tours lasting more than three weeks at a time traveling a-foot staff in-hand. He was the first teacher of reading and writing in Snake Spring Valley." In my opinion, information provided farther below proves that this Jacob Snider is not the 1796 gunsmith. The following excerpt from the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties" refers to the same individual described above who is buried in the Ritchey Cemetery in Snake Spring Township.

The following excerpt from the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania" indicates that Snake Spring township was organized from parts of Colerain and West Providence townships in 1857.

1788: Using tax lists, Thomas Stephen Neel's 2007 publication "Jacob and Margaret Snider" (hereafter, "Neel") does an excellent job of showing that there were two individuals named Jacob Snyder in early Providence Township, Bedford County. As I understand it, his ancestor was the Jacob Snider who (as described above) is buried in Richey Cemetery in Snake Spring Township. His publication, which includes the statement "feel free to share" helps to determine which Jacob Snider of Providence Township was the 1796 gunsmith: the Jacob Snider on Clear Creek. For orientation purposes, the mouth of Clear Creek is east of Everett, at approximately 40.006785998, -78.35151471.

Neel reports that the 1788 Providence Township tax list includes (his ancestor) Jacob Snider with property valued at $58.00 that included 50 acres of land, three cows, and three horses. Neel reports that this is (his ancestor) Jacob Snider's earliest appearance on a Providence Township Tax list.

1790: The following two composite images are from the transcript of the 1790 census of Pennsylvania that is provided in the 1908 book "Heads of Families First Census of the United States: 1790 State of Pennsylvania". The images show that in 1790 there were at least two individuals named Jacob Snider in Bedford County. Neel reports that his ancestor is the Jacob Snider household on page 236 of the census that has one male over the age of 16, three males under the age of 16, and one female, and reports that his ancestor Jacob Snider's neighbors in 1790 were John Gibson and Hughey Forgeson.

1791: For 1791, Neel reports a confusing situation created by multiple Providence Township tax lists. Neel reports that in a 1791 Providence Township tax list, his ancestor Jacob Snider had John Snider and Hugh Ferguson as neighbors, and had property with a value of $65.00 consisting of 50 acres of land, three cows, and three horses. Neel reports that another Jacob Snider had Henry and Vallentine Hollar as neighbors, and had property with a value of $48.00 consisting of 5 acres of land, one cow, and two horses. Neel reports that on one of the 1791 tax lists this other individual named Jacob Snider is identified as "Snider Jacob Clearcreek".

1792: Neel reports that his ancestor Jacob Snider appears on the 1792 Providence Township tax list with 50 acres of property, two cows, and three horses, and reports that another Jacob Snider appears with 50-acres of property, one cow, and two horses.

1795: The original bounds of Somerset County were formed from part of Bedford County on April 17, 1795.

1796: As shown by transcripts in the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties", a Jacob Snider appears on the 1796 list of the taxables of Turkeyfoot Township, and a Jacob Snyder appears on the 1796 list of the taxables of Quemahoning Township. These tax records are irrelevant to the the task of identifying the 1796 gunsmith, because the 1796 gunsmith lived in Providence Township, Bedford County.

1796: Neel reports that (his ancestor) Jacob Snider appears on the 1796 Providence Township tax list neighbors Frederick Kaiz and Simon Stucky, and with property valued at $364.00 consisting of 100 acres of land (20 improved), a house and barn, three cows, and two horses.

1796: The 1983 booklet indicates that an individual named Jacob Snyder had a November 19, 1796 warrant for a 92-acre tract of land on Clear Creek, in Providence Township. A copy of the survey (Book A-34 Page 245) follows. From the survey, which mentions Clear Creek, one can surmise that this tract was the property of "Snider Jacob Clearcreek" who is identified in a 1791 tax list that is referenced above. I was unable to match the outline of the tract to any current (2021) parcel.

1796: The 1983 booklet indicates identifies an individual named Jacob Snyder as a gunsmith with a stable on 75 acres in Providence Township in 1796, with a value of $370.00. This is compelling information, because it appears to be from a tax record. The question becomes, which Jacob Snyder of Providence Township was he? In my opinion, since Neel's ancestor is listed with a different property value and acreage in the 1796 tax list, the gunsmith must be "Snider Jacob Clearcreek"

1797: Neel reports that (his ancestor) Jacob Snider of Providence Township had Joseph Snider and Simon Stuckey as neighbors in 1797 and paid a tax of $1.20. Neel reports that the other Jacob Snider is identified in the 1797 Providence Township Tax list as Jacob Snider C. Creek and paid a tax of $0.54.

1798: Neel reports that (His ancestor) Jacob Snyder's Providence Township neighbors in 1798 were Joseph Snider and Simon Stuckey, and Jacob paid a tax of $0.50.

1798: Neel reports that there are two individuals named Jacob Snider on the 1798 direct tax list of Providence Township, and provides a detailed description of his ancestor's property, which included 118 acres of land, a 24' by 20' shingled house, a 21' by 20' kitchen, a 48' x 25' barn, and another building that may have been a spring house.

1799: Neel reports that the 1799 Providence Township tax list is alphabetical. He reports that his ancestor Jacob Snider is listed with 18 (sic) acres of land, four cows, and two horses, and the other Jacob Snider is listed with 75 acres of land and two horses. This acreage of the other Jacob Snider matches the reported acreage of the gunsmith Jacob Snider in 1796.

1800: In a transcript of the 1800 federal census of Bedford County, I only found one Jacob Snyder household, and it was in the Providence & Colerain township portion of the transcript. That household is listed with one male and one female over age 45, one male and two females in the 16 to 26 age group, and one male and one female in the 10 to 16 age group.

1800: Neel reports that the 1800 Providence Township tax list is alphabetical. He reports that his ancestor Jacob Snider was taxed $0.97, and the other Jacob Snider was taxed $0.30.

1802: Neel reports that his ancestor was the only Jacob Snider on the 1802 tax list of Providence Township, and paid a tax of $3.37.

1804: Neel reports that his ancestor Jacob Snider appears in the 1804 tax list of Providence Township with 118 acres of property, four cows, and two horses, and the other Jacob Snider is referenced as "C.C." and is listed with 95-acres of property, two cows, and two horses.

1805: On the 1805 tax list of Providence Township, Neel reports that his ancestor Jacob Snider paid a tax of $2.00, and the Jacob Snider on Clear Creek paid a tax of $0.50.

1806: On the 1806 tax list of Providence Township, Neel reports that his ancestor Jacob Snider paid a tax of $3.00, and Jacob Snider on Clear Creek paid a tax of $0.50.

1808: Neel reports that his ancestor Jacob Snider and the Clear Creek Jacob Snider are included on the 1808 tax list of Providence Township His ancestor is recorded with 90- and 118-acre tracts of land, three cows and three horses. The Jacob Snider of Clear Creek is recorded with 95 acres of land.

1810: In a 1998 transcript of the 1810 census of Providence Township, a Jacob Snider household has one male and one female in the age 45 & over category, one male the age 16 to 26 category, two females in the age 10 to 16 category, and two females in the under age 10 category. In a 1998 transcript of the 1810 census of Bethel Township, a Jacob Snider household has one male in the age 45 & over category, one female in the age 26 to 44 category, and three males in the under age 10 category.

1811: Neel reports that his ancestor Jacob Snider and the Clear Creek Jacob Snider are included on the 1811 tax list of Providence Township, and his ancestor is recorded with 90- and 118-acre tracts of land, five cows, and three horses.

1813: The 1983 booklet indicates that an individual named Jacob Snyder served as Petit Juror No. 68 in the August, 1813 term of court in Bedford County. I can't think of any way to determine whether this is a reference to the gunsmith Jacob Snider.

1814: Neel reports that his ancestor Jacob Snider is listed on the 1814 tax roll of Providence Township with 90 and 118 acre tracts of land, four cows, and two horses, and the Jacob Snider of Clear Creek is listed with 95 acres of land.

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