John Doddridge, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

John Doddridge was a farmer who performed improvised gun repair work. He lived in Friend's Cove in the 1768 to 1773 time frame. Bedford County was formed from a portion of Cumberland County on March 9, 1771, and Friend's Cove is in Colerain Township of Bedford County.

Much of what is known about John Doddridge is from Joseph Doddridge's personal memoir, "Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania, from 1763 to 1783, inclusive." Following are the most relevant parts of the book:

If John Doddridge performed such gunsmithing work during the Revolution, he probably performed such work when living in Bedford County a few years earlier.

Joseph Doddridge's daughter Narcissa added an appendix to the 1912 edition of his book that includes the following description of her grandfather John Doddridge:

Here is John Doddridge on an undated Colerain Township tax list. I wonder if Casper Davibough is an ancestor of the Defibaugh family of Bedford County gunsmiths. Also note Robert Calender; I wonder if that is the Indian trader?

John Doddridge is buried in the Brooke Cemetery (40.28751603, -80.60549835) in Brooke County, West Virginia. The modern military brass plaque type of tombstone for John Doddridge states "John Doddridge PA Militia VA Militia Revolutionary War Mar 30 1745 Apr 20 1791".

A historical marker titled "Doddridge's Fort" (40.24850837, -80.47207247) was erected in 1947 by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and states, "To the north were located the stockaded cabins of John Doddridge. Built about 1773, they served as a refuge for settlers of this region in Revolutionary days. Also boyhood home of Dr. Joseph Doddridge."

Here is a 1911 photo of John Doddridge's house, from the 1912 version of Joseph Doddridge's book:

The following composite image from the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania" describes the early history of Friend's Cove, which includes an old gunsmithing tradition that could relate to John Doddridge, Jacob Saylor, William Jones, or John Fraser.

The following genealogy of Mrs. John Doddridge is from the May 1966 issue of the "Laurel Messenger".

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