Peter Troxel, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: Peter Troxel is known as Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith from a 1798 deed for Washington County, Maryland property on Ditch Run. Census records show Peter Troxel living in Washington County in 1800 and 1810, and a tax list shows him living on his 1798 property in 1803. Other deeds indicate that Peter Troxel was living in Washington County in 1805, 1811, and 1814 and had a wife named Margaret. The 1805 deed refers to Peter Troxel as a Washington County, Maryland gunsmith.

It appears that Peter Troxel was a son of Christian Troxel of Bethel Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Peter Troxel moved his family from Washington County, Maryland to Stark County, Ohio circa 1814, and died in Stark County in 1848.

The residence of Peter Troxel within Bedford County is unknown. As a result of the research presented below, however, one can reasonably suspect that Peter Troxel lived in Bethel Township with his father before moving just across the state line into Maryland as a young man. Bethel Township is no longer a part of present-day Bedford County.

1772-1835: An April 23, 2003 post by Jay Troxell indicates that Mary Margaret ______, wife of Peter Troxell, was born in Pennsylvania on September 24, 1772 and died in Stark County, Ohio on April 3, 1835. I suspect her maiden name was Beard/Baird.

1773-1848: An April 23, 2003 post by Jay Troxell indicates that Peter Troxell was born in Pennsylvania on March 9, 1773 and died in Stark County, Ohio on December 3, 1848. In an April 1, 2003 post, Jay Troxell indicates that Peter Troxell appears to be a son of Christian and Catherine (Doerr) Troxell, and indicates that Christian was the son of the immigrant Peter Troxell and his Bucks County-born wife Anna Juliana Catherina Frauhuger. (In the April 23, 2003 post, Jay Troxell also reports that he believes that the Peter Troxel who emigrated to Kentucky was a son of Christian Troxell's brother David Troxell.)

1784: The following excerpt from Volume 1 of the "Pennsylvania Archives", Third Series is potentially relevant to the study of the gunsmith Peter Troxel because it shows that Christian Traxel had property on Plumb Run in Bedford County and knew an individual named Nicholas Leetch. As shown farther below, Christian Troxel acquired Pennsylvania property on Ditch Run adjoining property of Nicholas Leach in 1790, and the gunsmith Peter Troxel purchased Maryland property on Ditch Run in 1798 and purchased nearby Maryland property from Nicholas Leach in 1805. Well before I saw Jay Troxell's posts, these things made me wonder if Peter Troxel was somehow related to Christian Traxel. Plumb Run is in what is now Thompson Township of Fulton County. One of the sources of Plum Run is about 1,054 feet from one of the sources of Ditch Run. Plum Run flows into Tonoloway Creek at 39.73333054, -78.1511913.

1785: Christian Troxall appears on the 1785 tax list of Bethel Township, Bedford County.

1789: The following excerpt from Volume 3 of the "Pennsylvania Archives", Sixth Series shows Christian Troxel, Jr. as being subject to militia duty in Bethel Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

1790: I did not find a Peter Troxel, under any spelling variation I could think of, in a transcript of the 1790 census of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. If Peter was born in 1773, then it makes sense that he would not appear as the head of a household in the 1790 census. A Christy Crocksell is listed in the 1790 census of Bedford County. I believe this is a reference to the Christian Traxel mentioned above.

1790: In a transcript of the 1790 census of Maryland, the only Peter Troxel I could find, under any spelling variation I could think of, was a Peter Troxall in Fredrick County. In my opinion, that Peter Troxall is an individual who lived in the environs of Emmitsburg, Maryland. For information on the Emmitsburg-area Troxel family, see the 1906 book "History of Emmitsburg, Maryland", the 2014 book "Troxell Families in Southwest United States", and Volume I of the "History of Western Maryland". It appears to me that certain authors have mistakenly attributed some of records for that Peter Troxel to the gunsmith Peter Troxel.

1790: As shown farther below, the gunsmith Peter Troxel purchased Maryland property on Ditch Run (a tributary of the Potomac River) adjoining the Mason-Dixon Line in 1798. Based on a March 1, 1790 warrant, Christian Troxel acquired property (Survey A84-108) in Bethel Township of Bedford County that was located on Ditch Run and adjoined Nicholas Leach's A13-297 survey. The A84-108 survey incorrectly spells the waterway as "Dick Run", and incorrectly says the property is on the waters of Licking Creek. For proof that A84-108 is actually on Ditch Run, see Nicholas Leach's adjoining survey A13-297.

1791: The Bucks Rainge tract (Washington County Patented Certificate 171) was surveyed for Normond (sic) Bruce on May 27, 1788, patented to Nicholas Leach on November 12, 1791, and consisted of property beginning "...about one hundred perches to the west of the road that Leads directly from Wm. Rose's on Potomac River to Pennsylvania and about three Miles from the aforesaid Wm Rose's..." Peter Troxel eventually purchased a piece of property from Nicholas Leach that adjoins and nearly surrounds the Bucks Rainge tract, as shown farther below.

1793: Peter Troxel is known as as a Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith based on a reference in the March 27, 1798 deed transfer of Michael Baird's 73-acre Washington County, Maryland tract on Ditch Run named Michael's Fancy (Patented Certificate 585). The 1798 deed is included farther below. The 1793 survey of Michael's Fancy follows:

1795: The Michael's Fancy tract is also mentioned in the November 7, 1795 survey for the 706-acre Clenallen survey (Washington County Patented Certificate 207). The Clenallen survey adjoins the Michael's Fancy survey, and has a Michael's Fancy-shaped recess. I added red dots to the following excerpt from the Cenallen survey to show the corners of the Michael's Fancy survey. I have also identified the 50-acre White Oak and Pine Survey, which is mentioned in an 1805 deed to Peter Troxel that is included below.

William Bauman's 2011 booklet "Yates Family History" identifies the approximate location of the Clenallen survey relative to Hancock and Ditch Run. Based on that research and the shape of the shared border between the Clenallen and Michael's Fancy surveys, I was able to identify the approximate location of the Michael's Fancy survey. The 1793 shape of the Michael's Fancy tract was unchanged in 1859, as shown by the following excerpt from the 1859 Washington County, Maryland map. Since rural residences were nearly always located near a productive spring, and (to me at least) the locations of farmsteads seem to have remained relatively static over time, the illustrated Shives residence was probably located near the site of the Peter Troxel residence.

The following excerpt from an 1899 topographic map has been included to show the terrain and waterways in the vicinity of Peter Troxel's Maryland properties. The red arrow identifies the approximate location of the Michael's Fancy tract on Ditch Run. The house appears to be located approximately at 39.721299469, -78.12624395, which (based on hillshade LIDAR) appears to be near a spring.

Circa 1796: An April 23, 2003 post by Jay Troxell indicates that Peter Troxell married Mary Margaret _______ circa 1796 in Pennsylvania.

1797: An April 23, 2003 post by Jay Troxell indicates that Peter and Mary Margaret Troxell had a daughter named Elizabeth who was born in Pennsylvania on Octdober 1, 1797.

1798: In the following March 27, 1798 deed, Michael Baird conveyed the Washington County, Maryland property named Michael's Fancy to the Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith Peter Troxel (Land Records Liber 11, page 110 to 112). To me, it is interesting that the "Baird" spelling has been corrected from "Beard" because I suspect the maiden name of Peter Troxel's wife was Beard. If "Baird" is a German name, then I suspect that originally it would have been pronounced "Beard" based on the principle of pronouncing the second vowel in a pair. If that is true, then it would be easy to imagine some family members Anglicizing "Baird" to "Beard".

1799: An April 23, 2003 post by Jay Troxell indicates that Peter and Mary Margaret Troxell had a son named Jacob who was born in Maryland on June 13, 1799 and married Julia Ann Hanna.

1800: Individuals named Christian and Peter Troxell appear in the 1800 census of Pulaski County, Kentucky. That Peter Troxell cannot be the Washington County, Maryland gunsmith because contemporaneous records prove that the the gunsmith lived in Washington County, Maryland in the 1800 to 1814 timeframe. In an April 23, 2003 post, Jay Troxell reports that he believes that the Peter Troxell who emigrated to Kentucky was a son of the Bedford County Christian Troxell's brother David Troxell.

1800: An April 23, 2003 post by Jay Troxell indicates that that Peter and Mary Margaret Troxell had a daughter named Mary who was born in Maryland on December 19, 1800 and died in 1862.

1800: I did not find an individual named Peter Troxel (under any spelling) in the 1800 census of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. I found a Peter Troxill family in a transcript of the 1800 census of Washington County, Maryland. The household is listed with one male in the 26 to 45 age group, two males and one female in the 16 to 26 age group, and one male and one female in the up to 10 age group. This census does not give us a precise record of the age of Peter Troxel, but it does suggest that he was born in the circa 1755 to 1774 timeframe and suggest that his wife was born in the circa 1774 to 1784 timeframe.

I did not find any individual named Peter under any spelling of the surname Troxel in Williams' 1906 book "A History of Washington County, Maryland" or in the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset, and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania".

1803: In the following excerpt from the 1803 Fort Frederick Hundred list, Peter Troxel is enumerated with 74 acres of land, two horses, three head of cattle, and two pieces of household furniture.

1805-1866: An April 23, 2003 post by Jay Troxell indicates that that Peter and Mary Margaret Troxell had a son named David who was born in Maryland on February 7, 1805 and died in 1866.

1805: The following deed (Book R Page 211) proves that the gunsmith Peter Troxel was living in Washington County, Maryland in 1805 and was still known as a gunsmith. The deed transfers the Addition to Buck Range tract from Nicholas Leach and his wife Elizabeth of Bedford County, Pennsylvania to Peter Troxel of Washington County, Maryland. The Addition to Buck Range tract adjoins the White Oak and Pine tract, and the northern boundary of The Addition to Buck Range tract is formed by the Mason-Dixon line for 52 perches. It also adjoins and nearly surrounds the Bucks Rainge tract.

The following excerpt from the Addition to Buck Range survey (Washington County Patented Certificate 10) shows the location of the Addition to Buck Range tract relative to the Mason-Dixon Line and the aforementioned Bucks Rainge tract, Michael's Fancy tract, Clenallen tract, and White Oak and Pine tract.

1809-1885: An April 23, 2003 post by Jay Troxell indicates that that Peter and Mary Margaret Troxell had a son named Peter who was born in Maryland in 1809, married Barbara Triem, and died in 1885.

Circa 1810: An April 23, 2003 post by Jay Troxell indicates that that Peter and Mary Margaret Troxell had a daughter named Anna who was born in Maryland circa 1810.

1810: A Peter Troxel family is enumerated in the Fort Frederick Hundred District of Washington County, Maryland in a transcript of the 1810 federal census. The household has one male and one female in the 26 to 45 age group, one male in the 16 to 26 age group, one male in the 10 to 16 age group, and three males and four females in the up to ten age group. This census does not give us a precise record of the age of Peter Troxel and his wife, but it does suggest they were born in the circa 1765 to 1784 timeframe. When this information is combined with the information from the 1800 census, it suggests that Peter Troxel was born in the 1765 to 1774 timeframe and suggests his wife was born in the circa 1774 to 1784 timeframe.

1811: In the following 1811 deed, Peter Troxel of Washington County and his wife Margaret sold a portion of the Addition to Buck Range tract to Jonathan Myers.

Circa 1812: The following excerpt is from an article titled "History of the Early Settlement of Plain Township, Stark County" in the May 10, 1877 issue of the Ohio "Stark County Democrat" newspaper. It reports that George Beard and Peter Troxel came to Stark County, Ohio before the War of 1812 (which began June 18, 1812). As shown farther below, individuals named George Beard and Peter Troxel were heirs of Philip Beard of Washington County, Maryland. I wonder if the statement in the newspaper article is based on land procurement records.

Circa 1812: An April 23, 2003 post by Jay Troxell indicates that that Peter and Mary Margaret Troxell had a daughter named Margaret who was born in Stark County, Ohio circa 1812.

1813-1871: An April 23, 2003 post by Jay Troxell indicates that that Peter and Mary Margaret Troxell had a daughter named Catherine who was born in Washington County, Maryland on September 26, 1813, married Jonas Hosler, and died in Chatfield Township, Crawford County, Indiana on June 15, 1871. Indiana is incorrect; Catherine actually died in Chatfield Township, Crawford County, Ohio, which about 88 miles west of Stark County, Ohio on modern roads. The following Crawford County, Ohio death record shows that Catherine Hosler was born in Washington County, Maryland circa 1814 (i.e., 1871-57) and her parents were Peter and Margaret Troxler.

The following excerpt is from the 1902 book "A Centennial Biographical History of Crawford County Ohio". It establishes that Jonas Hosler met his wife Catherine Troxel in Stark County, Ohio while working on the farm of his future father-in-law (i.e. Peter Troxel), and eventually moved to Chatfield Township, Crawford County, Ohio.

1814: The following excerpt is from an article titled "History of the Early Settlement of Plain Township, Stark County" in the May 17, 1877 issue of the Ohio "Stark County Democrat" newspaper. Because the article references two individuals with the surname Beard (George and Christian) and I think the maiden name of Peter Troxel's wife was Beard, I suspect the article relates to the gunsmith Peter Troxel. As shown farther below, George Beard and Margaret Troxel were heirs of Philip Beard.

On modern roads, it is 227 miles and (by my estimate) a 57-hour horseback ride between Canton, Stark County, Ohio and Hancock, Washington County, Maryland.

1814: In the following July 21, 1814 deed, Peter Troxel of Washington County and his wife Margaret sold the Michael's Fancy tract and part of the Addition to Buck Range tract to David Troxel. In my opinion, this deed proves that the estate of a Peter Troxel that appears in the 1805 to 1808 proceedings of the Orphan's Court of Frederick County, Maryland and involves a widow named Magdalena is not the estate of the gunsmith Peter Troxel. In my opinion, this corrects the information concerning that estate that is included in the 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania".

1820: I did not find Peter Troxel in transcripts of the 1820 census of Washington County, Maryland, Frederick County, Maryland, or Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

1829: A notice in the December 10, 1829 issue of the Hagerstown "Torch Light and Public Advertiser" newspaper is titled "Jacob Snively, administrator of George Schnebly, deceased, vs. Michael Beard, Peter Beard, Jacob Beard, George Beard, Philip Beard, David Beard, John Beard, Samuel Beard, David Troxel, Elizabeth Troxel, Peter Troxel, Margaret Troxel, Daniel Beard, Andrew Beard, Jacob Hull, John Hull and Catherine Hull, heirs and representatives of Philip Beard, deceased. In Washington county Court, as a Court of Equity-Novem. Term 1829".

The notice states, "The object of this bill in this case is to obtain a decree for the sale of the real estate of said Philip Beard, deceased, for the payment of his debts.

The bill states that said deceased was in his lifetime indebted to a certain Eve Schoebly, to secure the payment of which he executed to her his single bill-that said Eve assigned and transferred said single bill to a certain George Schnebly for a valuable consideration-that after the death of the said Philip an action was brought on said bill and judgement recovered against Michael Beard, administrator of said deceased, in Washington county Court for the use of said George Schnebly, and that after the recovery of said judgement, the said George departed this life intestate-and that letters of administration on his personal estate were granted to the complainant by the Orphans' Court of said county-That the personal estate of Philip Beard, deceased, has been fully administered-and that the judgement aforesaid remains wholly unsatisfied-That the said Philip Beard died seized of a tract of land situate in said county, called Buck's Range-and left the above named defendants his heirs at law-and that a portion of said heirs, to wit, Peter, Jacob, George, John and David Beard and Peter Troxell & Margaret his wife, and Jacob Hull and John Hull, are non-residents of the State of Maryland.

Whereupon it is ordered and adjudged by Washington county Court, as a Court of Equity, this 21st day of November, 129, that the complainant cause notice of the substance and object of this bill to be given to the absent defendants, and to that end a copy of this order be inserted in some newspaper printed in Hagers-town, once in each of three successive weeks before the 15th day of December next, warning them to be and appear at this court either in person or by Solicitor, on the first Monday in July next, to shew cause if any they have why a decree shall not pass against them as prayed-otherwise the bill will be taken as pro confesso against them. True Copy."

1830: I did not find Peter Troxel in transcripts of the 1830 census of Washington County, Maryland, or Frederick County, Maryland.

1835: Peter Troxel's wife Maria Margaret (Beard) Troxel died March 26, 1835 and is buried at the Henry Warstler Cemetery (40.85970079, -81.33350757) in Plain Township, Stark County, Ohio. A web page about her indicates she was born in Maryland on September 24, 1772 and was the wife of the Peter Troxel who is buried in the same cemetery. From the photographs I have seen, it appears that they share a tombstone. Another web page about her indicates she was the daughter of Philip and Mary Beard, was born on September 24, 1772 in Pennsylvania, and married Peter Troxel in Hagerstown in 1797. As of September 5, 2021 the Henry Warstler Cemetery has at least 46 burials of individuals having the surname "Beard" and at least one individual with the surname "Baird".

1848: Peter Troxel died in 1848 and is buried at the Henry Warstler Cemetery in Plain Township, Stark County, Ohio. A web page about him indicates that his parents were Christian & Juliana Catharine (Doerr) Trachsel, he was born on March 27, 1773 in Washington County, Maryland and was married to Maria Margaret Beard.

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