Jacob Fisher, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith?

Introduction:
The Whiskers' 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" provides information on a gunsmith named Jacob Fisher, with dates going back to 1810. In their 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" the Whiskers seems (in my opinion) to divide the information from the booklet into descriptions of two different individuals named Jacob Fisher, with the earlier individual having lived in what is now Fulton County and having been more of a blacksmith than he was a gunsmith.

I suspect that the description of the earlier Jacob Fisher in the 2017 book includes information about two different individuals who lived in what is now Fulton County, Pennsylvania.

I also suspect that the description of the later Jacob Fisher in the 2017 book confuses a Bedford County blacksmith named Jacob Fisher with a gunsmith named Jacob Fishel as the result of an apparent error in an 1850 Hopewell Township census record where Jacob Fishel (to me at least) appears to have been mistakenly enumerated as "Jacob Fisher".

The described earlier gunsmith Jacob Fisher:
1810: The Whiskers' 1983 booklet and 2017 book put Jacob Fisher in Bethel Township of Bedford County, Pennsylvania in 1810. The only listing for a Jacob Fisher household I could find in a transcript of the entire 1810 census of Bedford County was indeed in Bethel Township, which is now part of Fulton County. That household had one male and one female over age 45, one male and one female in the 26 to 45 age group, two males and two females in the 10 to 16 age group, and four females in the up to age 10 group. It is unclear whether the head of the household, Jacob Fisher, was in the 26 to 45 age group or the over 45 age group.

1820: I found four Jacob Fisher households in a transcript of the 1820 census records of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Two Jacob Fisher households were in Napier Township, one was in Woodberry Township, and one was in Bethel Township.

1826-1836: The Whiskers' 1983 booklet and their 2017 book put Jacob Fisher in Belfast Township of Bedford County, Pennsylvania from 1826 to 1836. The old Belfast Township of Bedford County is now part of Fulton County.

1840: The only Jacob Fisher household I could find in a transcript of the 1840 census of Bedford County was in Bethel Township. That Jacob Fisher household had one female in the 70 to 80 age group, one female in the 30 to 40 age group, one male in the 20 to 30 age group, one male and one female in the 10 to 15 age group, one male and one female in the 5 to 10 age group, and one male in the up to 5 age group. If the ages listed are accurate, the head of the household named Jacob Fisher in the 1840 census cannot be the same individual named Jacob Fisher who was the head of a household in 1810.

1849: There is a Jacob Fisher who reportedly was born in 1773 and died on July 7, 1849 who is buried in the Bethel Community Church Cemetery in Bethel Township of Fulton County, Pennsylvania. A website about this Jacob Fisher references Bedford County will book no. 4, page 7.

1850: I did not find Bethel Township in the 1850 manuscript census records of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Page 592 of the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania" indicates that Fulton County was formed in 1850.

1840-1851: The Whiskers' 2017 book puts Jacob Fisher in Bethel Township from 1840 until his death in 1851, and reports that the estate appraisal of $2,885.27 occurred on February 18, 1851.

Regardless of whether the Bethel Township Jacob Fisher of 1810 is different than the Bethel Township Jacob Fisher of 1840, the subject is beyond the scope of this gunsmith biography project because there is no evidence that he or they ever lived within the present bounds of Bedford County.

The described later Jacob Fisher:
1841-1858: Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle" indicates that Jacob Fisher is included in the 1846-1858 tax rolls of Hopewell Township. The Whiskers' 2017 book describes the later Jacob Fisher as really being more of a blacksmith than a gunsmith and also says he was a farmer. Drawing from information in the 1983 booklet, the 2017 book puts this Jacob Fisher in St. Clair Township from 1841 to 1856, and in Hopewell Township from 1856 to 1858.

1850: Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle" indicates that Jacob Fisher is included in the 1850 federal census of Hopewell Township. A "Jacob Fisher" is indeed listed as a gunsmith in the 1850 population census of Hopewell Township. Based on the names of the apparent wife (Christina) and the youngest child (John), however, I believe it is really a listing for the gunsmith Jacob Fishel and the census taker simply misheard the name. (Compare to the listing for Jacob Fishel in the 1860 census of Hopewell Township.)
The gunsmith Jacob Fisher in the 1850 census of Hopewell Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

1850: I looked through the manuscript records for the agricultural schedule of the 1850 federal census of Hopewell Township and St. Clair Township twice and did not find a listing for Jacob Fisher. It does not appear that he was a farmer.

1860: There is a Jacob Fisher — a 40-year-old blacksmith with a wife named Sarah and several children — in the 1860 census of St Clair Township.

1861: The following excerpt from the St. Clair Township portion of the 1861 Walker map of Bedford County shows a Jacob Fisher living at the site of what is now known as Fishertown. I did not find a Jacob Fisher on the Hopewell Township portion of the 1861 map, but I did see an individual with a similar name; the gunsmith Jacob Fishel.

1861: The following business directory list is also from the 1861 Walker map of Bedford County. I don't know if it pertains to the right Jacob Fisher. Schellsburg is in Napier township, south of St. Clair Township. Considering this list and the St. Clair Township image posted above, the 1861 Walker map indicates there were at least two men named Jacob Fisher in Bedford County; one in Napier Township and one in St. Clair Township.

1863: The following item is from the March 6, 1963 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper, and references a blacksmith named Jacob Fisher. This may be related to a lawsuit against Jacob Fisher that occurred in September of 1862.

1868: The 2001 Whisker & Yantz book infers that Jacob Fisher was deceased by 1868, because a "Widow Fisher" appears on the tax roll.

I don't know if it is the right Jacob Fisher, but the next two items are what the East St. Clair Township portion of the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania has to say about the Jacob Fisher that Fishertown of East St. Clair Township is named for:

The following information on Fishertown is from the East St. Clair Township portion of 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania".

1876: I did not find a Jacob Fisher living at or near Fishertown in the 1877 atlas of Bedford County. Instead, the Jacob Fisher residence that was identified on the 1861 Walker map is identified as the residence of the blacksmith "A. Blackburn" in the 1877 atlas:

gunsmith project collaborative notice

Return to Gunsmith Index

Return to the Korns family genealogy home page