Joshua Pennel, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: Joshua Pennel is known as a Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith from a tax record.

1813: According to his tombstone, Joshua Pennel was born in 1813.

1834: A website indicates that Joshua Pennel had a daughter named Mary C. (Pennell) Rose who was born in 1834.

1835: The Whiskers' 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" indicates that Jacob Pennel's value was recorded as $135.00 in 1835.

1836: A website indicates that Joshua Pennel had a son named Jonathan Pennell who was born in 1836.

1838-1862: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntingdon, & Somerset Counties" puts Joshua Pennel in Southampton Township, Bedford County in the 1838 to 1862 timeframe.

1840: A tombstone inscription at the Woods Church Cemetery in Colerain Township, Bedford County shared by two individuals includes the words, "A.J. Pennel 1840--1928 Co. F. 91st P.V." A website indicates that the individual represented by the tombstone was a son of Joshua Pennel who was named Andrew Jackson Pennel.

1840: In a transcript of the 1840 census of Southampton Township, Bedford County the Joshua Pennell household has one female in the 30 to 40 age group, one male in the 20 to 30 age group, one female in the 5 to 10 age group, and three males in the up to five age group.

1842: A tombstone at the Beaufort National Cemetery in Beaufort County, South Carolina is inscribed, "4324 H.C. Pennel PA" A website indicates that the individual represented by the tombstone is Henry C. Pennel, who was a son of Joshua Pennel who died on June 29, 1862.

1844: The 1953 edition of "American Gun Makers" puts Joshua Pennel in Southampton Township of Bedford County in 1844. According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Joshua Pennel is identified as a gunsmith in the 1844 tax roll of Southampton Township, Bedford County, used Bedford County-style hand-made gun locks, and produced guns of average workmanship. The Whiskers' 1983 booklet indicates that Jacob Pennel's value was recorded as $34.00 in 1844.

1845: According to a transcript of a decree prepared by Patricia Oakes-Allen, Joshua Pennell sued Susannah Pennell for divorce in 1843 and the divorce was finalized on June 10, 1845.

1845: The 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses suggest that Joshua Pennel had a son named George W. Pennel who was born in the 1844 to 1846 timeframe. The obituary of George W. Pennel in the June 8, 1934 issue of the Everett Press newspaper indicates that he was born on October 19, 1854 in Bedford County, and operated a wagon shop in Loysburg. The 5 and the 4 seem clearly to be transposed in the year of birth given in the obituary. George W. Pennel is buried in Saint John's Reformed Church Cemetery in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. His tombstone indicates that he was born in 1845 and died in 1934.

1846: A website indicates that Susan Diehl was born in Bedford County on November 30, 1805, was married to and had four children with Joshua Pennell, and died on June 24, 1846. The following excerpt is from the 1915 book Diehl Families of America. In addition to identifying the name of Joshua Pennell's first wife and their four children, this excerpt (which is a composite image) indicates that Joshua Pennell is the brother-in-law of the Bedford County gunsmith David Whetstone.

1847: The 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses suggest that Joshua Pennel had a son named John W. Pennel who was born in the 1846 to 1848 timeframe. A John W. Pennell is buried in the Sheffield Cemetery in Bureau County, Illinois, and his tombstone inscription indicates he was born in 1847 and died in 1930. A website indicates that this individual was a son of Joshua Pennell.

1847: The following item is from the October 2, 1857 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper.

Circa 1849: The 1850 and 1860 censuses suggest that Joshua Pennel had a son named Wilson Pennel who was born circa 1849-1850.

1850: In the 1850 census of Southampton Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania Joshua Pennel is enumerated as a 36-year-old Pennsylvania-born Miller with a value of $800.00. Also living in his household are 28-year-old Acinna Pennel, 6-year-old George W. Pennel, 4-year-old John Pennel, and 1-year-old Wilson Pennel. I do not know why the children who were included in the 1840 census are not included in the 1850 census, and I wonder if the reason is related to the divorce.

1850: The following composite images from the agricultural schedule of the 1850 census indicate the size and productivity of Joshua Pennel's farm:

1851: The 1870 census suggests that Joshua Pennel had daughters named Elizabeth and Mary Ann Pennel who were born circa 1852. The obituary of James Beaver Butts in the June 28, 1907 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper includes the statement, "Mr. Butts was a son of Henry and Esther Butts and in March, I860, was married to Elizabeth Carpenter; in December, 1904, he was married to Mrs. Mary Speelman, a daughter of Joshua Pennell of this county." Mary is buried at Saint Paul's Cemetery in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, where her tombstone is inscribed, "Mary Ann Pennel 1851-1940". Elizabeth's death certificate follows:

1855: The 1870 census suggests that Joshua Pennel had a daughter named Rachel Pennel who was born circa 1855. A website indicates that Joshua Pennel had a daughter named Rachael (Pennell) Samels who was born in 1855, died in 1923, and is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery in Blair County, Pennsylvania.

1858: The 1870 census suggests that Joshua Pennel had a daughter named Martha J. Pennel who was born circa 1857. Martha is buried at the Husband Cemetery in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, where her tombstone is inscribed, "Martha Jane Pennell 1858-1943". Here is Martha's death certificate, which accidently uses her husband's last name "Fluck" as her father's last name:

1860: The following excerpt is from the 1860 census of Southampton Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

1860: Joshua Pennell is named as a terre tenant in a huge Sherriff's sale notice that was published in the November 9, 1860 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper.

1861: A sheriff's sale notice in the April 12, 1861 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper mentions "All Defendant John Wright's interest in and to one tract of land containing 500 acres more or less, about 100 acres cleared and under fence, with a story and a half log house, and log stable thereon erected, also an apple orchard thereon, adjoining lands of Joshua Pennell, Philip Swartzwelder and others, situate in Monroe Township, Bedford County, and taken in execution as the property of John Wright."

Circa 1861: The 1870 census suggests that Joshua Pennel had a son named David Pennel who was born circa 1861.

1862: According to her death certificate Joshua Pennel had a daughter named Amanda E. (Pennell) Morton who was born in 1862.

1862: Henry Pennel, a son of Joshua Pennel, died on June 29, 1862, and is buried in the Beaufort National Cemetery in Beaufort County, South Carolina.

1867: A website indicates that Joshua Pennel had a daughter named Margaret who was born in 1867, married William Studebaker in 1890, and died in 1945.

1870: The following excerpt is from the 1870 census of Bedford township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

1886: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntingdon, & Somerset Counties" reports that Joshua Pennel appears as a farmer in the 1886 edition of "Farquar's Directory of Bedford County".

1896: According to their shared tombstone, Joshua Pennel's wife Asenath died in 1896.

1899: The December 8, 1899 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper indicates that Joshua Pennell died on November 26, 1899 at Loysburg. He is buried at Saint John's Reformed Church Cemetery (40.16409424, -78.37768054) at Loysburg in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. His tombstone states, "Joshua Pennel 1813--1899 Asenath Karns his wife 1824--1896. At rest."

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