William Paul, Cambria County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

This project includes gunsmiths who may have been incorrectly identified as working within the present bounds of Somerset and Bedford counties, to promote additional study.

Calvin Hetrick's 1947 list of Bedford County gunsmiths in the January 23, 1947 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper includes William Paul as "location unknown".

The 1953 edition of the book "American Gun Makers" lists William Paul as a Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith. Calvin Hetrick provided information for that book.

William Paul does not appear in Calvin Hetrick's illustrated booklet "The Bedford County Rifle and Its Makers".

Neither the 1983 Whisker booklet nor the 1991, 2001, or 2017 Whisker books mention William Paul as a Bedford County gunsmith.

I get the impression that Calvin Hetrick originally believed that William Paul worked in Bedford County and later changed his mind.

1840: I didn't find a listing for a William Paul household in a transcript of the 1840 census of Cambria County or Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

1845: Sellers' 2008 book "American Gunsmiths" puts William Paul in Bedford (presumably meaning Bedford County) in 1845, and identifies his source as Kaufman. The entry for William Paul in my copy of Kaufman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle" does not reference William Paul being in Bedford County in 1845.

1850: William Paul is listed as a 25-year-old gunsmith in the following excerpt from the manuscript 1850 census records of Summerhill Township, Cambria County, Pennsylvania:
William Paul in the 1850 census records of Cambria County.

1852: Kaufman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle" indicates that William Paul appears on the 1852 tax list of Summerhill Township in Cambria County, Pennsylvania.

1860: I did not find a listing for William Paul in the manuscript 1860 census records of Summerhill Township, Cambria County, Pennsylvania.

Work product

  • The top barrel flat of a flintlock rifle on page 318 of Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle" is marked "Wm. Paul". The patch box has an unusually long Q-shaped finial.

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