Samuel Conrad, Berlin gunsmith

1810: Calculating from the information on his tombstone, Samuel Conrad was born in 1810.

1832: In the 1832 Brothersvalley Township tax list, Samuel Conrad is listed as being single and a gunsmith.

1832-1853: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Samuel Conrad is identified as a gunsmith in the 1832-1834 tax rolls of Brothersvalley Township, the 1837 and 1840 tax rolls of "Berlin Township " (sic), and the 1843, 1850, an 1853 tax rolls of Berlin Borough.

1837: The following image is from page 476 of the book "History of Bedford, Somerset, and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania", which was published by Waterman, Watkins & Co. in 1884. It indicates that Samuel Conrad was listed as a gunsmith in the 1837 tax list for Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

1837: The 1953 edition of Gluckman's "American Gun Makers" puts Samuel Conrad in Berlin, Pennsylvania in 1837, and indicates that although his rifles were plain, his workmanship was good.

1837: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" includes T. Conrad in its list of Somerset County gunsmiths, indicates he is the son of Samuel, puts him in Berlin, and cryptically includes the date 1837. A son of Samuel would have been a child in 1837, and I don't know what the date is supposed to mean. The authors of the 1983 booklet do not include T. Conrad in their 1991 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties".

1840: In the 1840 federal census of the Borough of Berlin, Samuel Conrad's household has one male in the 20 to 30 age group, two males in the 5 to 10 age group, 1 female in the 20 to 30 age group, and one female in the zero to five age group. Of these, there is one individual engaged in manufacturing.

1846: Click here to see Samuel Conrad's 1846 cooking stove patent.

1850: In the 1850 federal census, Samuel Conrad is enumerated as a 38-year-old Maryland-born gunsmith. Also enumerated in his household are 35-year-old Pennsylvania-born Rosanna, 17-year-old Pennsylvania-born William H., 15-year-old Pennsylvania-born Jacob J., 13-year-old Pennsylvania-born Maria L., and 9-year-old Pennsylvania-born Ann M.

1852: Click here to see Samuel Conrad's 1852 plow patent.

1853: Samuel Conrad died on August 31, 1853 is buried in the IOOF Cemetery (39.9182000, -78.9516000) in Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. His tombstone indicates that he died at the age of 42 years, 9 months, and one day. This means he was born in 1810.

1854: Samuel and Rose Anne Conrad's daughter Maria Louisa Conrad married William Heffley, son of Josiah and Sarah Heffley, on September 13, 1854.

1875: There is a badly weathered tombstone at the IOOF cemetery for "Rose Anne wife of Samuel Conrad". I can't read the date on the tombstone, but a 1930s cemetery survey records that she died on September 16, 1875 at the age of 61 years, 6 months, and 27 days. This means she was born in 1814.

Here's what Vaughn E. Whisker wrote in an article titled "Co. Had 30 Gunmakers-Gunsmiths" in the November 1971 issue of the "Laurel Messenger":

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