John Border I

There were two gunsmiths named John Border in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. This web page is about the older individual, and for this reason uses the name "John Border I" in its title. As the father of the Bedford County gunsmiths William Border (born 1800), Samuel Border (born 1814), and Enos Border (born 1822), and the father-in-law of the Bedford County gunsmith John Amos (born 1800), I think we have to consider John Border I as a potential candidate to be the originator of the Bedford School of gunsmithing. If not the originator of the school, he is surely the father, grandfather, and father-in-law of some of the major gunsmiths who formed the school.

Here is an outline of the members of the Border family who were gunsmiths in Bedford County:

Much of what I know about John Border I is from Kathie Kline's October 23, 1999 web page, which convincingly reports that he was a gunsmith. Kathie reports that the farm of this John Border was about four miles away from Schellsburg, and his occupations (apparently from tax records) are farmer, rake maker, wagon maker, wheelwright, and gunsmith. She also reports that this John Border had three marriages and 19 children.

1743: "The Forgotten Ones" website of Ken E. Austin II indicates that Sebald Bader/Border, father of Johannes/John Bader/Border was born in Maxatawny Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania in 1743.

1769: Kathie reports that the marriage of Sebold (i. e., Gebald) Border/Bader and Regina Rachel Bother occurred in Maryland on June 3, 1769.

1776: Kathie reports that John Border was a son of Sebold and Regina Bader and was born in Frederick County, Maryland on June 29, 1776. I suspect she obtained this birth date from a church record, because it doesn't match the date one would get by calculating from information on the tombstone.

The individual Kathie calls Sebold is called Gebald or Gebalt in other sources. What you will find in old records is that it is sometimes very difficult to distinguish some characters, such as capital G and S, or lower case a, e, and o. Although I currently doubt that the described location is right, the 1953 edition of "American Gun Makers" identifies Gebald Border as a gunsmith in Bedford, Pennsylvania in 1769. Frank Sellers' book "American Gunsmiths" repeats this information from the 1953 book. The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" describes Gebalt Border as being a blacksmith.

1776: Kathie reports that John Border was christened with the name "Johannes Bader" on September 29, 1776 at the St. Peters Evangelical Lutheran Church in Frederick County, Maryland. "The Forgotten Ones" website of Ken E. Austin II identifies the location of Saint Peters Lutheran Church as Woodsboro, which is 10.5 miles north-northeast of the town of Frederick, Maryland.

1788: Kathie reports that Sebold (i. e., Gebald) Border died at age 45 in Frederick County, Maryland in 1788.

1794: "The Forgotten Ones" website of Ken E. Austin II indicates that Sebald Bader/Border's wife Regina Rachel died on June 10, 1794 at the age of 45.

1794: Kathie reports that Daniel Baker was appointed as the guardian of John Border on June 11, 1794.

1796: According to his memorial on findagrave.com John Border and his wife Mary had a son David who was born in 1796.

1798: According to his memorial on findagrave.com John Border and his wife Mary had a son Joseph who was born in 1798.

1799: Kathie reports that John Border was an apprentice of Taneytown, Maryland gunsmith Philip Creamer in 1799. Taneytown is 12.3 miles northeast of Woodsboro, where John Border was baptised. Philip Creamer is the subject of the 1993 book "Philip Creamer the most celebrated gunsmith in all the west".

1800: The gunsmith William Border was born June 30, 1800. According to his memorial on findagrave.com, William Border's parents were John Border and Mary Magdalene (Black) Border.

1804: According to the findagrave.com memorials of John Border and his wife Mary Magdalena (Black) Border, their son Daniel Border was born on June 9, 1804. Click here to read what Volume 3 of the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania" states about John Border I, and his son Daniel.

1805: According to the findagrave.com memorials of John Border and his wife Mary Magdalena (Black) Border, their daughter Rebecca (Border) Amos (wife of the gunsmith John Amos) was born on August 13, 1805.

1806: Kathie reports that John Border's name is on a list of subscribers at Shellsburg's Old Log Church in 1806, as one of the Lutherans. She also reports that the church records list the christening of some of John Border's children.

1807: According to his memorial on findagrave.com John Border and his wife Mary had a son John who was born in 1807.

1808: Kathie reports that John Border is listed as a wheelwright on the 1808 tax list of St. Clair Township with 100 acres, a horse, and a cow, with a valuation of $180.00.

1808: Kathie reports that that John Border purchased the 153-acre "Branch Hill" property on the waters of Dunnings Creek from William and Amy Blackburn on September 15, 1808 for 300 pounds. She reports that the property is within the bounds of present-day St. Clair Township.

1810: Kathie reports that John Border appears in the 1810 census of St. Clair township with one male and one female in the 26-45 age bracket, four males and one female under ten years of age, and one make in the 10-16 age bracket.

1811: According to his memorial on findagrave.com John Border and his wife Mary had a son Jacob,who was born in 1811,

1812: According to his memorial on findagrave.com John Border and his wife Mary had a Mary M. who was born in 1812.

1814: Kathie reports that John Border appears in the 1814 tax list of Napier Township as a wagon maker with 135 acres, two cattle, two horses, and a valuation of $244.00.

1814: Kathie reports that John Border contributed a dollar to the Schellsburg Old Log Church in 1814 toward completing the gallery (second story seating) of the church.

1814: According to the findagrave.com memorials of John Border and his wife Mary Magdalena (Black) Border, their son (the gunsmith) Samuel Border was born on June 14, 1814.

1815: According to his findagrave.com memorial, John Border's first wife was Mary Magdalena (Black) Border, who is buried at the Schellsburg Cemetery, where her tombstone states "IN MEMORY OF Magdalena Border Was born feby 8d 1776 & Departed May the 11d 1815 aged 39 yars 3 months & 6 days".

1817: Kathie reports that John Border appears in the the 1817 Napier Township tax list of with a saw mill, three cattle, three horses, horses, 3 cattle, and a valuation of $328.00.

1818: According to the memorials of John Border and Mary (Ellis) Border on findagrave.com, their son Thomas was born in 1818.

1819: Kathie reports that that John Border purchased the 95-acre "Double Ridge" property from at least one Blackburn family member for $915.00 in 1819. She reports that this property adjoined other land of John Border.

1820: Kathie reports that John Border appears in the 1820 census of Napier Township with one male and one female in the 26-45 age bracket, and various children, and appears in the 1820 tax list with a sawmill, two cattle, four horses, and a valuation of $953.00.

1821: Kathie reports that that Herbert Otto and John Border purchased property for building a school from Mary Otto, widow of William, on January 2, 1821.

1822: According to the memorials of John Border and Mary (Ellis) Border on findagrave.com, their daughter Sarah Ann (Border) Hite was born May 23, 1822 and their son (the gunsmith) Enos Border was born August 28, 1822. Obviously something is wrong, however these are the birth dates of Sarah and Enos that are carved on their tombstones. On Enos' weathered tombstone, it is difficult to tell if it really says "Aug. 28, 1822" or "Aug. 23, 1822".

1823: Kathie reports that that John Border appears in an 1823 record (apparently a tax record) with a grist mill, two head of cattle, two horses and a valuation of $455.00.

1824: According this memorial on findagrave.com, another of John Border's wives was Mary Ellis, who is buried at the Schellsburg Cemetery. Her tombstone states, "Mary wife of John Border, died Jan. 21, 1824; aged 37 ys. 3 ms. & 14 ds."

1826: Kathie reports that that John Border appears in an 1826 tax record with two head of cattle, two horses, and 300 improved acres, and a valuation of $125.00.

1827: The findagrave memorial for John Border reports that he married Sarah Salome McCollach on January 25, 1827.

1829: Kathie reports that that John Border is listed in 1829 tax records with the same amount of property that was captured in the 1826 tax list, and a $117.00 valuation.

1830: Kathie reports that John Border appears in the 1830 census of Napier Township with one male in the 50-60 age bracket, one female in the 15-20 age bracket, one male in the 10-15 age bracket, one male in the 5-10 age bracket, and one female and two males under age five.

1832: Kathie reports that that John Border appears in a record (apparently a tax record) with a $240.00 valuation.

1835: Kathie reports that that John Border appears in an 1835 record (apparently a tax record) as a farmer with 300 improved acres, nine head of cattle, one horse, and a valuation of $76.50.

1838: Kathie reports that that John Border appears in an 1838 tax record with two horses and two head of cattle and a valuation of $134.25.

1840: Kathie reports that that John Border is enumerated in the 1840 census of Napier Township, but I don't understand the age brackets she lists, and need to look it up myself.

1841: Kathie reports that that John Border appears in an 1841 record (apparently a tax record) as a farmer with two head of cattle and a valuation of $40.00.

1844: Kathie reports that that John Border appears in an 1844 record (apparently a tax record) as a maker of rakes with three head of cattle and a total valuation of $26.00.

1847: Kathie reports that that John Border appears in an 1847 tax record with one acre valued at $45.00 and one head of cattle valued at $81.00.

1848: Kathie reports that that John and Sarah Border sold the 95-acre "Double Ridge" property on the waters of Dunnings Creek to Daniel Border of Conemaugh Township, Somerset County (his son) on February 25, 1848.

1850: Kathie reports that John Border appears in the 1850 census as a 75-year-old Maryland-born individual with a valuation of $200.00. Living with him is his 50-year-old Pennsylvania-born wife Sarah, 17-year-old Caroline, 13-year-old Susannah, 9-year-old Cyrus E., and 7-year-old Catherine.

1850: Kathie reports that that John Border appears in a record (apparently a tax record) with one acre of land valued at $31.00 and one head of cattle valued at $11.00.

1853: Kathie reports that that in 1853 John Border is recorded (apparently in a tax record) with land valued at $50.00 and cattle valued at $58.00.

1856: John Border died in Bedford County, Pennsylvania on July 11, 1856 and is buried in the graveyard of the German Reformed and Lutheran Church Cemetery (40.0165000, -78.5048500) in the town of Bedford. His tombstone is difficult to read, but appears to state, "JOHN BORDER Died July 11 1856 Aged 80 ys 2 ms. 16ds." The "11" and the "2" are difficult to read, and the "2" might be a "7".

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