Lawrence Defibaugh, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: Lawrence Defibaugh is identifiable as a Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith from tax records.

1841: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" by Whisker & Yantz indicates that the gunsmith James Lawrence Defibaugh was a son of William Defibaugh. A list of the children of William Defibaugh from a 1936 transcript of a family Bible in Volume 2 of the "Bedford County Archives" identifies Lawrence as being born on December 5, 1841. A note after the transcript indicates that William taught gunsmithing to Lawrence. According to Mary Lou Cook's August 3, 2013 Defibaugh genealogy file, William and Elizabeth (Smouse) Defibaugh had a son Lawrence who was born on December 5, 1841 In Pennsylvania and died December 25, 1914. According to page 42 of the 1963 book "Some Nycum Descendants" Sophia (Nycum) Smouse's daughter Elizabeth Smouse married William Defibaugh, and had the following children: David, Lawrence, Wesley, Milton, William, Sophia, Mary, Belle, Kate, Eliza, and Clara.

The following graphic shows how I currently understand the relationships among the Defibaugh gunsmiths. Red text is used to identify individuals who were known or have been said to be gunsmiths.

1845: There was another man named Lawrence Defibaugh. He was the son of George Defibaugh and was born in Bedford County in May of 1845. To me, this other Lawrence Defibaugh seems a little too young to be the Civil War veteran who became active in Bedford County politics. I have also observed that family genealogists believe the gunsmith Lawrence Defibaugh served in the 138th Regiment P.V.I. In the 1850 census of Colerain Township, this other Lawrence Defibaugh appears in the household of his father George as a five-year-old. In the 1860 census of Ebbensville PO, Southampton Township, this other Lawrence Defibaugh appears in the household of his father George as a fifteen-year-old. He was in Illinois by 1878 and in Kansas by 1885.

1850: In the 1850 census of West Providence Township, Bedford County, 35-year-old gunsmith William Defibaugh and 34-year-old Elizabeth Defibaugh are enumerated with 10-year-old David, 8-year-old Laurence, 7-year-old Wesley, 5-year-old Mary, 3-year-old Sophia A, and 1-year-old Milton. William's property was valued at $500.00. If accurate, this means that this Lawrence was born circa 1842.

1860: In the 1860 federal census 56-year-old George Defibaugh and 43-year-old Eve Defibaugh were enumerated with 17-year-old Jacob, 15-year-old Lawrence, 13-year-old Mary, 11-year-old Susuan, 9-year-old George, 7-year-old David, 4-year-old Elizabeth, and 2-year-old Isabella.

1860: In the 1860 federal census, Lawrence Defibaugh is again enumerated in the Bedford County household of his parents William and Elizabeth Defibaugh.

1862-1865: Lawrence Defibaugh served in Company E of the 138th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry, and was a Chief Musician. The following excerpt about the regiment is from the July 11, 1890 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper. It identifies him as a musician in Company E who served on the Regimental Staff.

The following excerpt from Volume 4 of Bates' "History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-15" provides the history of the 138th Regiment P.V.I., indicates that Lawrence Defibaugh mustered into service on August 29, 1862, served as Musician in Company E, was promoted to Principal Musician on February 3, 1864, and mustered out with the regiment on June 23, 1865:

1865: The following item is from the September 29, 1865 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper. It shows that the Civil War Veteran Lawrence Defibaugh was active in the Democratic Party of Bedford County, and was a musician.

1866: The following item is from the June 1, 1866 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper:

1866: The following item from the June 1, 1866 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper documents Lawrence Defibaugh, David Defibaugh, and Daniel Border doing work for the Bedford Borough. Daniel Border wound the town clock, and all three did repair work on hydrants.

1867: The 2001 Whisker & Yantz book indicates that Lawrence Defibaugh shows up as a smith in the tax roll of Everett in 1867.

According to Mary Lou Cook's August 3, 2013 Defibaugh genealogy file, William Defibaugh's son Lawrence married Emma V. Cromwell in Bedford County on November 12, 1867. The following marriage announcement is from the November 15, 1867 issue of the "Bedford Inquirer":

1868: The following item in the April 3, 1868 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" announces the election of Lawrence Defibaugh in the borough of Bedford.

1868: The following advertisement is from the May 1, 1868 issue of the Bedford Gazette. It announces that Lawrence Defibaugh has moved his gunshop.

1868: The following advertisement is from the May 28, 1868 issue of the "Bedford Gazette". The same advertisement also ran in the March 26, 1869 issue.

1868: The following excerpt is from an article about decorating veterans graves in the June 5, 1868 issue of the "Bedford Inquirer" newspaper.

1869: The following announcement in the March 19, 1869 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" indicates that Lawrence Defibaugh is running for office.

1869: The following item is from the May 28, 1869 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper. It identifies Lawrence Defibaugh as the High Constable of Bedford Borough.

1869: The following item is from the October 28,, 1869 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper announces the election of Lawrence Defibaugh as the High Constable of Bedford Borough.

1869: Based on the 1870 census, it appears that Lawrence Defibaugh had a daughter named Edith who was born circa 1869. According to Mary Lou Cook's August 3, 2013 Defibaugh working file, Lawrence and Emma Defibaugh had a daughter named Edith who was born in Bedford County in 1869.

1870: In the 1870 federal census, a 28-year-old gunsmith Lawrence Defibaugh is enumerated in Bedford County with his 23-year-old wife Emma and 7-month-old daughter Edith.

1870: The following item is from the January 21, 1870 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper. It identifies Lawrence Defibaugh as the High Constable of Bedford Borough.

1870: The 2001 Whisker & Yantz book indicates that Lawrence Defibaugh shows up as a gunsmith in the 1870 tax roll of the borough of Bedford, with property valued at $1,000.00, and also did work in Monroe Township.

1870: The following Exhibit is from the 1871 book "The Miscellaneous Documents" and indicates that a man named Lawrence Deffibaugh voted in the borough of Bedford on October 11, 1870. I think this is the gunsmith Lawrence Defibaugh, based on the transcript of the February 10, 1871 deposition that is included farther below.

1871: The 1953 edition of the book "American Gun Makers" puts Lawrence Defibaugh in Bedford in 1871. According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", L. Defibaugh is identified as a gunsmith on the tax roll of Bedford Borough in the year 1871.

1871: The following January 17, 1871 deposition is from the 1871 book "The Miscellaneous Documents" and indicates that Lawrence Deffibaugh was serving as the Constable in Bedford Borough during the previous election.

The following three January 19, 1871 depositions from the 1871 book "The Miscellaneous Documents" mention Lawrence Defibaugh.

1871: The following February 10, 1871 deposition is from the 1871 book "The Miscellaneous Documents" and indicates that Lawrence Deffibaugh was then living in the borough of Bedford and serving as Constable.

1873: Based on the 1880 census, Lawrence Defibaugh appears to have a child named Cary who was born circa 1874. According to Mary Lou Cook's August 3, 2013 Defibaugh genealogy file, Lawrence and Emma Defibaugh had a daughter named Carrie who was born in Pennsylvania in 1873 and married John M. Leyda. Carrie is buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Douglas County, Nebraska where her tombstone inscription states, "Carrie I. Leyda 1873--1961".

Circa 1876: Based on the 1880 census, Lawrence Defibaugh appears to have a son named Benjamin who was born circa 1876. According to Mary Lou Cook's August 3, 2013 Defibaugh genealogy file, Lawrence and Emma Defibaugh had a son named Benjamin who was born on April 20, 1876 in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

1880: In the 1880 federal census of Nebraska City, Otoe County, Nebraska a 39-year-old gunsmith L. Diffebaugh is enumerated with 32-year-old wife Emma, 8-year-old Edith, 6-year-old Carry, 4-year-old Benjamin, and 17-year-old Emma Dorsey.

1885: In the 1885 Nebraska state census, Lawrence Defibaugh appears in the third ward of Nebraska City, Otoe County, Nebraska as a gunsmith. I do not know why his family members are not listed.

1908: According to a United States Veterans Administration pension payment card, Lawrence Defibaugh died on December 7, 1908.

1919: The following notice is from the June 23, 1919 issue of the "Plattsmouth Semi-Weekly Journal":

1920: According to Mary Lou Cook's August 3, 2013 Defibaugh genealogy file, in the 1920 census Emma V. Defibaugh was enumerated as a 72-year-old widow at Weeping Water, Cass County, Nebraska.

1934: Lawrence Defibaugh's wife Emma V. Defibaugh died on July 18, 1934 and is buried at the Oakwood Cemetery (40.87194849, -96.13865041) in Weeping Water, Cass County, Nebraska.

Misc.:
Sellers' 2008 book "American Gunsmiths" indicates that James Lawrence Defibaugh used the initials "L.D."

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