Wesley Defibaugh, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: A circa 1985 history book reports that William Defibaugh taught gunsmithing to his son Wesley. Because of this reference, Wesley falls within the scope of this gunsmith biography project.

1843: According to 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 Defibaugh.

A list of the children of William Defibaugh from a 1936 transcript of a family Bible that is included in Volume 2 of the circa 1985 book "Bedford County Archives" identifies "Westley" as being born on November 25, 1843. A comment that seems to be incorporated after (and not part of) the transcript indicates that William taught gunsmithing to Wesley. The book, which incorporates genealogical and historical information based on the notes of Helen Greenburg, was edited by James B. Whisker. It is not clear if the gunsmith-related remark was from Greenburg's notes, or from Whisker. Wesley Defibaugh is not included as a gunsmith in the Whiskers' 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania". James B. Whisker's article "Notable Antique Guns" in the July, 2022 issue of the "Muzzle Blasts" magazine indicates that Wesley Defibaugh was not a participant in the gunsmithing trade.

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.

1850: The following excerpt from the 1850 census shows Wesley living in the household of his father William.

1860: The following excerpt from the 1860 census shows Wesley living in the household of his father William.

1870: I did not find a listing for Wesley Defibaugh in the manuscript 1870 census records of Monroe Township or Bedford Borough.

1877: This is a portion of map of the southern part of Bedford from the 1877 atlas of Bedford County. A red arrow has been added to identify the residence of Wesley Defibaugh on South Juliana Street.

1878: The following excerpt is from "Farquhar's official directory of Bedford County, Pennsylvania, 1878-79". It identifies Wesley Defibaugh as a carpenter living on South Juliana Sstreet.

1880: In the following excerpt from the 1880 census records of Edgar, Nebraska, a 21-year-old boarder with the surname Border is living in the household of the house carpenter Wesley Defibaugh. The first name of the individual seems to be Ellen. I do not believe she is the 21-year-old daughter of Enos Border of Iowa County, Iowa because there is a 21-year-old individual named Ellen Border who was listed as a servant in the Iowa County, Iowa home of Isaac Bricker (see page 20 of the Hartford Township census records).

1900: The following information is from the 1900 book "Eighth Annual Report of the Department of Banking showing the Condition of the Building and Loan Associations of Nebraska For the Years 1899-1900". It identifies Wesley Defibaugh as a Director of the Edgar Building and Loan Association in Edgar, Nebraska.

1910: The following excerpt is from the 1910 census records of Edgar, Nebraska:

1910: Wesley Defibaugh is buried in the Edgar Cemetery in Clay County, Nebraska, where the tombstone he shares with others includes (to the best I can determine) the inscription, "Wesley Defibaugh Nov. 29, 1844 Nov. 13, 1910". As best I can tell, the tombstone also carries the inscription "Rebecca H. Defibaugh Jan. 1, 1845 Feb. 19, 1910". This is said to be Wesley Defibaugh's wife Rebecca Border, daughter of Thomas and Susan Border, whose names are also inscribed on the tombstone. Thomas Border (born 1818) was the son of John Border I, who was born in 1776 and died in 1856. In addition to being the father-in-law of the gunsmith Wesley Defibaugh, Thomas Border was a brother of the Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmiths William Border (born 1800), Samuel Border (born 1814), and Enos Border (born 1822), and was the brother-in-law of the Bedford County gunsmith John Amos (born 1800).

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