John George Slonaker, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: John George Slonaker is known as a Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith from an 1870 tax or census record.

1830: Calculating from the information on his tombstone, John George Slonaker was born on March 11, 1830. The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania indicates that John George Slonaker's father was the Bedford County gunsmith George Slonaker.

1850: The following excerpt from the 1850 census shows 20-year-old John George Slonaker living in the household of his father George Slonaker:

1852: A website indicates that Louisa Allison Slonaker's parents were John A. & Elizabeth D. (Cox) Allison, her marriage to John George Slonaker took place on April 18, 1852, and her and John George were the parents of eleven children.

1853: A Josiah P. Slonaker is buried at the Mount Union Cemetery in Bedford County. His tombstone inscription indicates he died on November 1, 1859 at the age of six. A website indicates that he was a son of John George and Louisa Slonaker and was born in 1853.

1855: The 1850 and 1870 censuses suggest that John George and Louisa Slonaker had a son named John who was born circa 1855. A John A. Slonaker is buried in the Pleasantville Cemetery whose tombstone inscription includes an 1855 birth date and a 1933 death date. A website indicates he is a son of John George and Louisa Slonaker.

1856: A Nancy J. Slonaker is buried at the Mount Union Cemetery in Bedford County. Her badly eroded tombstone inscription indicates she died on November 6, 1850 at the age of three years and ten days. A website indicates that she was a daughter of John George and Louisa Slonaker.

1859: An Isaac Slonaker is buried at the Mount Union Cemetery, where his tombstone inscription states "Isaac Slonaker died Nov. 2, 1859 Aged 7 Mos. & 20 ds." A website indicates that he was a son of John George and Louisa Slonaker.

1859: A website about Louisa Allison Slonaker indicates that three of the children of John George and Louisa (Allison) Slonaker died in 1859 from Scarlet Fever during the first week of November (Josiah, Nancy and Isaac).

1860: The following excerpt from the 1860 census of Union Township includes the households of George Slonaker and his son John George Slonaker, suggesting they lived near one-another.

1861: The 1870 census suggests that John George and Louisa Slonaker had a daughter named Louisa who was born circa 1861. A Louisa Beisel is buried at the Stone Church Cemetery in Bedford County, where (as best I can read it) her tombstone inscription states "Louisa wife of Jacob F. Beisel Died June 7, 1906. Aged 45 Yrs 5 Mos. & 28 Ds." A website indicates she was the daughter of John George and Louisa Slonaker. Based on the tombstone inscription, she was born in 1861.

1861: The Whiskers' 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" indicates that John George Slonaker was recorded as a blacksmith in Union Township in 1861. may identify the residence of John George Slonaker in Union Township. Given how close John George Slonaker and his father George Slonaker were in the 1860 census, I suspect that "J & G Slonaker" on the following excerpt from the 1861 Walker map of Bedford County is intended to identify the location where they both lived.

1863: The 1870 census suggests that John George and Louisa Slonaker had a daughter named Mary who was born circa 1863. John H. and Mary E. Nunamaker share a tombstone at the Pleasantville Cemetery in Bedford County, where her tombstone inscription indicates an 1863 birth date and a 1933 death date. The death certificate of Mrs. John Nunemaker (sic) indicates she was born March 21, 1863 and was the daughter of John G. Slonaker and Louise Allison, and was buried at Pleasantville on November 10, 1933.

1865: The following excerpt from Volume III of Bates' "History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865" indicates that John G. Slonaker was drafted into Company H of the 99th P.V.I. on February 25, 1865 and was discharged by General Order on May 30, 1865:

The following excerpt from Volume III of Bates' "History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865" describes the actions of the 99th P.V.I. during the time John G. Slonaker was a member of Company H:

1865: The 1870 census suggests that John George and Louisa Slonaker had a daughter named Rebecca who was born circa 1865. The following death certificate of Rebecca Ellen (Slonaker) Davis indicates that she was a daughter of George Slonaker, and was born on May 8, 1865 and died in 1936.

1867: The 1870 census suggests that John George and Louisa Slonaker had a daughter named Emma who was born circa 1867.

1869: The 1870 census suggests that John George and Louisa Slonaker had a daughter named Melissa who was born circa 1869. An Annie M. Wolfe is buried in the Fishertown Cemetery in Bedford County. Her tombstone inscription gives an 1869 birth date and a 1934 death date. A website indicates that she was a daughter of John George and Louisa Slonaker who was named Melissa Ann Slonaker.

1870: The Whiskers' 1983 booklet indicates that John George Slonaker is recorded as a gunsmith in St. Clair Township in 1870 with a value of $428.00.

1870: The following excerpt is from the 1870 census of St. Clair Township:

1873: The 1944 obituary of Ross Slonaker in the Bedford Gazette indicates he was a son of George and Louisa Slonaker, was born on September 11, 1873, died on February 23, 1944, and was survived by a brother named Hezekiah Slonaker who lived on Route 1 of Alum Bank.

1876: The following death certificate of Hezekiah Slonaker indicates that he was a son of George Slonaker and Louise Allison, was born in 1876, died in 1963, and is buried in the Dunmire Cemetery.

1878: The following reference to John G. Slonaker in Alum Bank, West St. Clair Township, Bedford County is from the 1878-1879 edition of "Farquhar's Official Directory of Bedford County, Pennsylvania". Alum Bank is the same place as Pleasantville.

1879: The Whiskers' 1983 booklet indicates that John George Slonaker was recorded in West St. Clair Township in 1879 on land that was described as being rough and hilly.

1889: John George Slonaker died on March 16, 1889 at the age of 59 years and five days, and is buried at the Mount Union Cemetery (40.22474953, -78.61176107) near Lovely in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The name on his tombstone is "John G. Slonaker". The 2001 Whisker & Yantz book indicates that the April 5, 1889 estate inventory of John George Slonaker included blacksmithing tools.

1890: Louisa, widow of John G. Slonaker, is included in the June 1890 Veterans Schedule of West St. Clair Township. The record indicates that John G. Slonaker enlisted in Company H of the 99th Pennsylvania Infantry on February 25, 1865 and was discharged on May 31, 1865. Louisa's post office address was listed as Alum Bank, and the disability John G. Slonaker suffered from was listed as chronic diarrhea.

1920: John George Slonaker's wife Louisa died August 31, 1920 is also buried at the Mount Union Cemetery. The inscription on her tombstone states "Louisa wife of J. G. Slonaker died Aug. 31, 1920 aged 86 Yrs. 8 Mos. 17 Ds."

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