Author Topic: Exhibit Gun #1  (Read 968 times)

Offline Hurricane ( of Virginia)

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Exhibit Gun #1
« on: February 25, 2018, 10:36:54 PM »
Master Gunsmith: Stoeffle Smith
















« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 06:21:55 PM by Hurricane ( of Virginia) »

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Exhibit Gun #1
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2018, 11:32:04 PM »
Has anyone dug up some solid information on this guy?  His style is fairly unique with a mix of some Northampton-ish design, a good slug if Berks and a little bit of various 'else.'

I see him variously referenced as being in Berks, York and Lancaster Co.  I think the very common 'Smith' surname certainly complicates tracking.

There was a Christopher Smith up in the Albany/Greenwich area of Berks listed on the 1790-182 era censuses, but I'm a bit doubtful that a "Christopher" would reference himself as 'Stoffel.'

The Septennial census has a Stophel Smith in Windsor twp, Berks Co., but I'm unclear of the year and I'm not really clear purpose or actual dating of the Septennial Census.  It does list him as a locksmith, though, which sure makes sense.

Also, I've seen reference to him being born in Scotland, but no specification of where that information is coming from.

Very interesting work!

Offline Bill Paton

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Re: Exhibit Gun #1
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2018, 11:59:58 PM »
 Thanks for posting this, Hurricane. Is the gun signed, and if so, how? I know of 3 swivel rifles by him, and they are very crudely signed on the side plates. Each is dated: 1806, 1812, and 1815. At least one has three “crowns” or  “pumpkins” near the signature. Do you or any other readers know where to find an article published in the last 10 years or more about those “pumpkins”. I have been looking for it and have had no luck so far. Also, if anyone knows whom I might contact to examine the two later dated S Smith swivels, I would like to study them for my ongoing Kentucky Double Rifle research.

Bill Paton
Kentucky double rifle student
wapaton.sr@gmail.com

Offline Bill Paton

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Re: Exhibit Gun #1
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2018, 12:16:47 AM »
Eric, I think Stoffel (and its variants) is short for “Cristofel” and its variants, all related to “Christopher”. I think some of his guns are signed something like “Schmidt” as well as with other spellings for his first name, making me think that almost any variation of his name could be in a census. One of his guns is dated 1794, so your Berks listing fits. With the spellings of his name, Scotland seems like a bit of a stretch.
Bill Paton
Kentucky double rifle student
wapaton.sr@gmail.com

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Exhibit Gun #1
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2018, 12:56:08 AM »
Apparently the notation in the Septennial census is for the year 1800, in Berks Co., and the spelling is "Stophel Smith."  This is for Windsor twp in Berks, notation states "locksmith," and given the style of these rifles, I suspect this is the guy.  There was another Stophel Smith in Paxton, Lancaster/Dauphin, but he appears to have been a farmer with a fairly large tract of land.

What is odd is that I can not find him in other Federal Census or tax lists, but I may not be accessing all of them.  Berks is not my area of specialization.  Maybe Dave Madary has come across some info on this guy?

If he was indeed the guy located in Windsor twp, it makes a lot of sense, given the proximity in the NE corner near Albany and Greenwich, as well as the Kutztown area and the 'Lehigh side' of Berks Co, which can explain a lot of the quirky nature of his guns with various influences.

I can not quickly find any genealogical information on this man, although there was a Casper Smith Sr. in Windsor twp at just the right time, so maybe Stophel/Christophel is his son?  Casper shows up on the census at the right time, with another male (unnamed) in the household, and a Casper Jr. was already being noted individually with his own family, so perhaps Christophel was a younger son still at home with parents?

I REALLY like this guys work.