Samuel Conrad, Berlin, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: Samuel Conrad (1810-1853) is known as a Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunsmith from tax and census records.

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.

Circa 1833: The 1850 census suggests that Samuel Conrad had a son named William H. Conrad who was born circa 1833.

Circa 1835: The 1850 census suggests that Samuel Conrad had a son named Jacob Conrad who was born circa 1835.

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 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".

Circa 1838: The 1850 census and a marriage registration that is included below indicate that Samuel Conrad had a daughter named Maria Louisa Conrad who was born circa 1838.

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, one 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.

Circa 1841: The 1850 census suggests that Samuel Conrad had a daughter named Ann M. Conrad who was born circa 1841.

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 Conrad, 17-year-old Pennsylvania-born William H. Conrad, 15-year-old Pennsylvania-born Jacob J. Conrad, 13-year-old Pennsylvania-born Maria L. Conrad, and 9-year-old Pennsylvania-born Ann M. Conrad.

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 (39.91823289, -78.95147125) 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: According to the September 30, 1854 marriage registration of William Helfey and Maria Lousia Conrad, Maria was the daughter of Samuel and Rose Anne Conrad, and the marriage took place at the German Reformed Church in Berlin, Pennsylvania on September 14, 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.

Work product:
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":

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

The October 21, 1950 issue of the Somerset "Daily American" newspaper mentions a Pennsylvania Week window display in Berlin that included guns dated 1840 that were made by Sam Conrad.

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