Sellers' 2008 book "American Gunsmiths" lists Philip Bortner as a gunsmith in Bedford County, Pennsylvania in 1814. Sellers source apparently is the 1984 book "Pennsylvania Gunmakers, A Collection" by Chandler and Whisker. Philip Bortner is not listed in Whisker's 1991 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties" or his 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania".
I do not know if Phillip Bortner worked within the current bounds of Bedford County, or if he was a gunsmith. What follows is an attempt to locate Phillip Bortner after 1814.
Eliminating the Philip Bortner of Allegheny County
The 1967 book "The Bordner and Burtner families" mentions a Philip Bortner who settled in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and states that "Before 1800 he had married there and settled on a farm on Little Bull Creek...". Based on dates, this cannot be the Philip Bortner who was living in Bedford County in 1814.
Evaluating the Philip Bortner of Fayette County
It seems reasonable to wonder if the individual living in Bedford County in 1814 is the Philip Bortner who is buried in the Little Redstone Presbyterian Cemetery (40.0612000, -79.8348000) in Jefferson Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. He is said to have been born in 1766 in York County, and is said to have died in 1855. His wife Margaret Bortner, who died July 23, 1855 or 1853 (the date on tombstone is hard to read) at the age of 82, is buried in the same cemetery. As a reminder to me, the cemetery is 2.43 miles due east of my Alma Mater, California University of Pennsylvania.
The following excerpt is from the Jefferson Township portion of the 1882 book "History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania". Although the death date is different than indicated above, I believe the excerpt is a reference to the individual who is buried at the Little Redstone Presbyterian Cemetery.
The following excerpt is from the 1899 book "Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Fayette County, Pennsylvania". It indicates that Philip Borner had a daughter named Sophia who married William Krepps.
Philip Bortner wrote his will on January 1, 1855 and it was proven on August 11, 1855. The will mentions his plantation in Jefferson Township, his wife Margaret, and his son John. It also mentions his his sons-in-law Christian and William Krepps, and appointed them as Executors.
The 1950 book "George Bortner of Codorus Township, York County" reports that Philip Bortner was born on September 8, 1766, died July 16, 1855, and was married to Margaret Humbert who was born in 1773 and died in 1855. The book names ten children and their spouses, and expressly states that no attempt was made to trace the Philip Bortner branch of the family. The book also says that apparently, this Philip Bortner moved to Washington County, Pennsylvania when he was a young adult. The border between Washington County and Jefferson Township of Fayette County is the Monongahela River.
The following excerpt is from "Nelson's Biographical Dictionary and Historical Reference Book of Fayette County".
Return to Gunsmith Index
Return to the Korns family genealogy home page