Josiah Moss, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: Josiah Moss has been included in at least one list of Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmiths because he was living in Bedford County when he was apprenticed to the gunsmith George Rizer of nearby Cumberland, Maryland.

1800: In a transcript of the 1800 census of Georges Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania the Elija (sic) Moss household is listed with one male in the 16 to 26 age group, one male in the up to ten age group, one female in the 16 to 26 age group, and one female in the up to ten age group.

1801-1803: An entry in the 2017 book "Arms Makers of Western Pennsylvania" indicates that Experience Moss was the widow of the Elijah Moss, who had been a gunsmith in Georges Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania in the 1801 to 1803 timeframe. This entry is described as being based on page 226 of Hartzler's book "Arms makers of Maryland".

1813: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" indicates that Josiah Moss of Bedford County was apprenticed to George Rizer by Bedford County Widow Experience Moss in 1813. George Rizer was a gunsmith in Allegany County, Maryland. The aforementioned 2017 book indicates that Josiah was 15 years old when he was bound to George Rizer. I have been unable to locate the Josiah Moss apprenticeship with George Rizer at the Maryland State Archives.

In his 1977 book "Arms Makers of Maryland", Hartzler gives the date of 15-year-old Josiah Moss's apprenticeship to George Rizer as September 18, 1813, and reports that Josiah's Bedford County mother authorized the apprenticeship.

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