Introduction: William Bonnell is known as a gunsmith from the 1850 census of Salem Township, Muskingum County, Ohio and from the 1853 tax list of Allegheny Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. He was married to Lydia Troutman, a daughter of Jacob Troutman, Sr. who lived near Comp's Church in Southampton Township, Somerset County. The gunsmith Benjamin Troutman was her uncle, and the gunsmith Daniel Benjamin Troutman was her first cousin. By 1860 the residence of William Bonnell was in Londonderry Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. William died circa 1867 while still residing in Bedford County. Lydia died in 1895, and is buried at Comp's Church. William and Lydia's son William R. Bonnell died in 1915 and is also buried at Comp's Church.
Circa 1822: Based on the age given in the 1850 census, the gunsmith William Bonnell was born circa 1822.
1840: William Bonnell does not appear in the 1840 census of Allegheny Township, Somerset County.
1843: The July 6, 1843 will of Peter Troutman of Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania names his sons Jacob Troutman and Benjamin Troutman (the Southampton Township, Somerset County gunsmith) as two of his Executors, and states, "...my son Jacob Troutman Shall have my old plantation where I now live on..." This Jacob Troutman was the father-in-law of William Bonnell. Peter Troutman lived in the Comp's Church area of Southampton Township, Somerset County, as did his son Benjamin Troutman. Based on the "J. Troutman, Sr." residence on the following Southampton Township portion of the 1860 Walker map of Somerset County, Peter's son Jacob Troutman, Sr. did too:
The death certificate of Mary Elizabeth Emerick of Hyndman P.O. indicates that she was the widow of John L. Emerick, was the daughter of William Bonnell and Lydia Troutman, and was born on July 31, 1846 in Ohio. The Emerick's are another family that settled in the vicinity of Comp's Church.
Circa 1847/1848: An anonymous typewritten genealogy book indicates that William Riley Bonell was born on September 24, 1848 and was the son of William and Lydia (Troutman) Bonell. A website indicates that the William Bonnell who was is buried at Comps Cemetery in Southampton township, Somerset County was the son of Lydia (Troutman) Bonnell, and was born in 1847 and died in 1915. I haven't seen the tombstone yet.
1850: William Bonnell does not appear in the 1850 census of Allegheny Township, Somerset County. A "William Bundle" appears in the 1850 census of Salem Township, Muskingum County, Ohio as a 28-year-old Pennsylvania-born gunsmith. Living with him are 32-year-old Pennsylvania-born Lydia Bundle, 4-year-old Pennsylvania-born Margaret Bundle, 3-year-old Ohio-born Mary E. Bundle, and 1-year-old Ohio-born William R. Bundle. Based on the 1850 census, the estimated year of birth for the family members is shown in the table below.
The Salem Township portion of the 1892 book "Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Muskingum County, Ohio" includes the names of some of the pre-1850 settlers. Several of the names sound like they could be families from Somerset County, Pennsylvania, including Gaumer, Livingood, Shroyer, Stoner, Sturtz, and Wertz.
1853: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", William Baunell appears on the 1853 Allegheny Township Tax list in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" refers to this individual as William Braunell. The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" indicates that William Baunell was identified as a gunsmith in the 1853 tax list of Allegheny Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
1860: William Bonnell does not appear in the 1860 census of Allegheny Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania or the 1860 census of Salem Township, Muskingum County, Ohio. In a June 3, 1860 census record from Londonderry Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, "William Bundle" is enumerated as a 37-year-old Pennsylvania-born farmer with real estate valued at $1500.00 and personal property valued at $300.00. I may be wrong about the value of the personal property, because the digital copy of the manuscript census sheet I reviewed was very blurry. Also living in the same household are 41-year-old Lydia, 16-year-old Margaret, 15-year-old Ohio-born Mary E., 11-year-old William R., 9-year-old Pennsylvania-born James N., and another child, possibly Agnes, whose name and age I cannot read with certainty who may have been two, three, or five years old. A friend reports that James' middle name was Newton.
Allegheny and Southampton townships of Somerset County adjoin Londonderry Township of Bedford County, as shown by the following 1872 map.
Southampton Township, Somerset County and Londonderry Township, Bedford County are separated by the ridge of Little Allegheny Mountain, which is cut by the Wills Creek and Gladdens Run water gaps. As shown by the portion of the 1860 Walker map below, the Comps Church area where Benjamin Troutman and Jacob Troutman, Sr. lived is about midway between the Wills Creek and Gladdens Run water gaps.
1861: The following image is from the Londonderry Township portion of the 1861 Walker map of Londonderry Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. It identifies the residence of William Bonnell north of Bridgeport (Hyndman) and the Wills Creek water gap. The residence looks like it might be along Tiger Valley Road.
1862: The following item from the March 7, 1862 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper references William Bonnell of Londonderry Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania:
1862: The following excerpt is from Volume 1 of the 1864 book "Reports of the Heads of Departments, Transmitted to the Governor of Pennsylvania...":
1864: The following item from the July 22, 1864 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper references William Bonnell:
1865: A Francis Bonnell is buried at Comps Church. His tombstone has the same unique shape as that of Lydia Bonnell, and states, "Son Francis Bonnell 1865--1896". A website indicates his mother is Lydia Bonnell. If true, Lydia would have been about 47-years-old when Francis was born, which is quite old to be bearing children.
1867: A website indicates that Peter Troutman had a son Jacob who was born in 1788 and died in 1867, and that Jacob had a son named Jacob who was born in 1822 and died in 1900. All three individuals are buried in Comps Cemetery, in Southampton Township Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
1867: Jacob Troutman, Jr. served as the Administrator of the estate of William Bonnell of Londonderry Township, Bedford County. The following notice appeared in the February 8, 1867 issue of the "Bedford Inquirer" newspaper. The fact that the letters of administration were granted in Bedford County means that William Bonnell was still residing in Bedford County at the time of his death.
1868: In the 1868 estate papers of Jacob Troutman of Somerset County, one of his heirs was a daughter Lydia who was married to William Bonnell, and another was a son named Jacob.
1870: As best I can determine, Lydia Bonnell is not listed in the 1870 census of Somerset County. I don't have access to a transcript of the 1870 census of Londonderry Township, Bedford County. If Lydia is in that census, it would be interesting to see if a young Francis Bonnell is living in the same household.
1876: I couldn't find Lydia Bonnell's brother Benjamin Troutman on the Southampton Township portion of the 1876 "County Atlas of Somerset Pennsylvania. (Lydia was living with Benjamin four years later.)
1880: The 1880 census of Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania shows "Lydia Bundle" living with her 45-year-old brother Benjamin Troutman, a Pennsylvania-born Farmer. Lydia is listed as a 61-year-old sister who is keeping house. Also living in the same household are Benjamin Troutman's nephews, 15-year-old Pennsylvania-born Benjamin Bundle whose occupation is "Work on farm" and 31-year-old Ohio-born William R. Bundle who is identified as being disabled with Palsy. The age of Benjamin Bundle indicates he was born circa 1865. I wonder if he is the son buried with the name Francis in Comp's cemetery, or a twin to Francis, or merely born a year or so apart from Francis. I could not find a burial for a Benjamin Bundle or Bonnell or Bonell who was born circa 1865 anywhere in the United States.
1895: Lydia (Troutman) Bonnell is buried at Comps Church in Southampton Township, Somerset County. Her tombstone states "Mother Lydia Bonnell 1818 -- 1895".
1927: The following 1967 edition of a 1927 topographic map shows the terrain where William Bonnell's 1861 residence was located. The ridge just to the east of William Bonnell's residence on the 1861 map is visible just west of Little Wills Creek on the topographic map.
Given the family relationships, one can reasonably wonder if William Bonnell might have learned gunsmithing from his wife's uncle Benjamin Troutman or his wife's first cousin Daniel Benjamin Troutman. Daniel lived in Londonderry Township for many years, and (at least in 1856) had property at the place known locally as Palo Alto, near the mouth of the Gladdens Run water gap.
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