William Jones, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

1775: An advertisement in the December 25, 1775 issue of the Pennsylvania Packet states"Kent County, on Delaware, July 10, 1775, FIVE DOLLARS REWARD, Ran Away from the Subscriber, living on the road leading from Dover to Queen's Town, and near the place called Horsehead, on Sunday night, the second instant, a servant man named WILLIAM JONES, by trade a gun-lock maker, and very ingenious at any kind of whitesmith's business, and even at blacksmith's work; aged upwards of thirty years, of middle stature, he went off very well cloathed with sundry sorts of cloathes, and is supposed to have taken plenty of money with him. It is believed he is gone in company with another servant man who is also eloped from a neighbor, name unknown. Whoever secures said servant in any public goal so that his mistress may have him again, or brings him to her, shall have the above reward and reasonable charges paid by SARAH JONES, Widow."

A man named William Jones was documented performing gunsmith work in Bedford County in 1780 (see below). More than one William Jones appears in early Bedford County records. The individual(s) who appear in the Turkeyfoot and Milford township lists seem(s) less likely to be the gunsmith, compared to the individual who appears in the Colerain Township lists.

1775: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" references a January, 1775 warrant to a William Jones for 200 acres of property. This seems unlikely to be the servant/locksmith who ran away from Sarah Jones on July 10, 1775. The January 9, 1775 warrant is mentioned in Volume 25 of the Pennsylvania Archives, third series:

1776: The following is from page 20 of the "Pennsylvania Archives", Third Series, Volume XXII. It shows that a man named William Jones was enumerated on the Turkeyfoot Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania tax list in 1776. This may not be the gunsmith William Jones.

Circa 1778-1783: The following composite image is from Volume 4 of the "Pennsylvania Archives, fifth series and identifies William Jones as a Ranger in Bedford County:

1780: The following is from page 25 of the "Pennsylvania Archives", Third Series, Volume VII. It documents 1780 payments to William Jones for "repairing arms". This is from a chapter titled "State of the Accounts of the Lieutenants and Sub-Lieutenants of Bedford County 1777-1783".

1781: Volume 1 of the 1907 book "History of Cambria County" reports on "Captain John Boyd's Ranging Company, 1781", indicating that the company was "Recruited in Bedford County", and indicating that an individual named William Jones was a Private in the company. The same thing is reported in chapter 10 of either the 1884 or 1906 Bedford County history book.

1783: The following two images are from pages 212 and 239 of the "Pennsylvania Archives", Third Series, Volume XXII, and represent 1783 Bedford County, Pennsylvania tax lists. The first image (212) is for Colerain Township, and the second image (page 239) is for Milford Township. The William Jones in Colerain Township seems more likely to be the gunsmith.

1784: The following two images are from pages 280 and 286 of the "Pennsylvania Archives", Third Series, Volume XXII, and represent 1784 Bedford County, Pennsylvania tax lists. The first image (280) is for Colerain Township, and the second image (page 286) is for Milford Township. The William Jones in Colerain Township seems more likely to be the gunsmith.

1785: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" references a "smith" named William Jones in Bedford in 1785.

1786-1808: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" mentions a William Jones who lived in "Bedford Towne" from 1786 to 1808.

1787: Volume 25 of the Pennsylvania Archives, third series mentions a September 10, 1787 warrant for 50 acres to William Jones & others. Perhaps the survey for this warrant could be identified to see if the property is in what is now Somerset or Bedford counties.

1789: The following excerpt is from Volume III of the "Pennsylvania Archives", Sixth Series.

1790: The following composite image is from the Bedford County section of the 1908 book "Heads of Families of the First Census of the United States: 1790". It documents two men named William Jones living in Bedford County.

1794: Volume 25 of the Pennsylvania Archives, third series mentions an April 10, 1794 warrant to William Jones for 400 acres of property. Perhaps the survey for this warrant could be identified to see if the property is in what is now Somerset or Bedford counties.

1811: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" references a William Jones in Colerain Township in 1811.

1816: According to the 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania", estate 12 of 1816 is for a William Jones. The estate appraisal does not list gunsmithing tools, but does list two lots of old iron, a drawing knife, hammers, a handsaw, and some vices.

The following composite image from the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania" describes the early history of Friend's Cove, which includes an old gunsmithing tradition that could relate to John Doddridge, Jacob Saylor, William Jones, or John Fraser.

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