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Author Topic: Hans George Angstadt  (Read 3706 times)
zimmerstutzen
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« on: January 15, 2010, 07:25:49 PM »

Are there any known examples of Hans's work.  He opened his gun shop on the Lobachsville Pike in Rockland Township, Berks County in 1747.  According to Genealogy research I did, he was trained in Saxony and lived in Gumbrechtshoffen, Alsace Lorraine where he married.  He came to Philadelphia.  And I understand was the father of Johannes Angstadt and grandfather of Jacob Angstadt.  (I am a descendent)

I do plan to see the exhibit in Reading.  But they advertise examples of all four Angstadts.  By my count there were really either five or six.    Jacob, Adam, Peter, Peter,  John (Johannes) and the patriarch Hans.   The guns listed in the book were from later generations than Hans. 
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Eric Kettenburg
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2010, 09:23:17 PM »

To my knowledge - and I have had a particular interest in the work of Joseph and Peter Angstadt - I do not believe there are any known surviving signed rifles of George Angstadt, nor any attributed pieces.  The period during which he would have been working is sufficiently early enough that it is unlikely any attribution could be made based upon regional style, and lacking signed work, any type of attribution would at best be entirely speculative (and a bit silly!).  That being said, I personally would love to find a signed piece!
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Eric Kettenburg
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 02:19:50 PM »

Resurrected!

Zimmerstutzen:  since you mention geneaology research, do you have any documented information which proves that immigrant Hans George and his son Adam (father of documented gunsmiths Peter and Joseph) were actually gunsmiths or gunmakers?  What I mean by using the term documented is some *primary source* i.e. a will, probate list, tax record, property record etc. which indicates these two individuals were gunsmiths?  This would be a very important find.

Thanks!

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nord
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2012, 02:36:57 PM »

So... Which A. Angstadt???

















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Eric Kettenburg
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 02:54:18 PM »

No, I'm not talking about the whole Abraham/Adam thing.  Hans George arrived in 1733 and is frequently referenced as a gunsmith; his sons Adam, Peter and Johannes (variously) are also referenced as such, although I am not aware of any signed rifles by either Peter or Johannes, and the "A. Angstadt" or "AA" signed rifles are a hot topic - in that sense, I tend to lean toward many of them being Abraham as was put forth by John Angstadt (iirc) a number of years back.  In retrospect, I realize that there was only one Adam working as a gunsmith (again, iirc) and I remembered that there are one or two surviving period advertisements late in his life, so he was definitely a gunsmith and father of Peter and Joseph.  So, the real question here, which I feel is a VERY important question in light of recent information discovered in reference to Johannes Moll, is:  is there ANYTHING surviving to document Hans George as a gunsmith?

BTW, this one here I would personally view as Abraham Angstadt given the decorative style and Abraham's location.  jmho.
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zimmerstutzen
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 03:23:46 PM »

My Angstadt stuff has been filed away.   I was working on another branch of the family recently, but did uncover references to probates for some, as well as some tax lists.    Unfortunately my much older cousin knew more about this than I and his memory has been fading for the last couple of years.   In the Berks County archives, I found that two the the Angstadt brothers married sisters.   

The original information about Hans George came from the history of Rockland Township, Berks County.  I found the information about the marriage in Gumbrechthoffen, Alsace, from another source.      The information that he was trained in Saxony came from yet another person's research and I have been trying to verify that.   Some old occupational records from the early 1700's have survived in Germany, but because Alsace has gone through so many changes, the information I have found has been taken by others from Alsatian church records.       

The early Pennsylvania tax lists, frequently do not mention the occupation.       

Jacob Angstadt's daughter Mary Ann, married Dewalt Bieber and that is my line.   
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smshea
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 05:15:43 PM »

It the consensus that the rifle pictured here is the same A Angstat that built the rifle Rich pictured in the other thread? The signatures are very similar except the rifle pictured here is signed A Angstadt (or A Angstaitt depending on who's looking at it) while the rifle from Dixons as well as the Schimmel in the library are A Angstat.
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Eric Kettenburg
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 05:29:58 PM »

I think that's a very tough call.  I would like to see a picture of the signatures side by side to begin with, or at least both pictures in one place to compare.
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zimmerstutzen
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2012, 09:34:10 PM »

According to the passenger lists, on Sept 28, 1733, the ship, Richard and Elizabeth, landed in Philadelphia.  The captain turned in lists of passengers (male) that included:

Georg Anstet  married age 37, George boy age 6 and Johannes boy age 1.
notations said he was from Zutendorf and Gumbrechthoffen Alsace and headed to Bieber Creek which starts near Dryville, Rockland Township, Berks County
  he was accompanied by his wife Eva Catharina (Shafer) and a 4 yr old daughter Eva Catherine

There was also, according to Church records in Gumbrechtshoffen a child named Jacob born in 1724, whether he died in infancy or eventually came over separately is unknown.

He does not appear on the 1734 tax lists.  

Hans George Angstadt and Eva Catharine had four more children  Peter born 1737, Adam 1740, Esther and Barbara.

The 1767 tax lists for Berks County, Ruscumbmanor township,  list an Adam Angstatt as owning 102 acres, 1 horse, 2 cattle and 3 sheep for which he paid a tax of 5 pounds.   There is a notation next to his name "g. m."       (Gun Maker?)

through out the tax lists there are sometimes listed the occupation as farmer, or weaver.  sometimes it just says "s.m.", "g. m." or "f. m."  

for 1767 in Rockland township, there is John Angstadt with 212 acres, and taxed at 4 pounds,  but no occupation listed.  Peter Angstadt is listed as paying the single man tax.  (yes single men paid a special tax)  

There is a listing for George Angstadt,( also no occupation listed, having no land or animals, but he was still charged a tax of 6 pounds, which is really steep for someone that had no land.  

John, Abraham and Jacob Angstadt are all listed in Rockland Township in the 1790 census.

The Register of Wills office indicated that letters of Administration were issued for John Angstadt on 8-14-1806, for another John Angstadt on 7-24-1824 and for Jacob Angstadt on Jan 14, 1814.  

Peter Angstadt's will was probated on 12-12-1815.      I'll have to find the abstract.  
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Eric Kettenburg
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2012, 09:45:28 PM »

I have a copy of Peter's will and probate list.  He died with the debts totaling more than the value of the estate and everything attached, iirc.  Not a lot of "stuff" either, and not much land.  His poor wife probably had to sell everything.  If I can dig out the copy, I can forward it to you.  He was able to sign his own name but it looks kind of shaky.

"g.m." on the tax lists means he (Adam) had a grist mill.
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smshea
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2012, 10:34:48 PM »

Here are three signatures. The first is the one pictured here. The second is the one Rich posted in the other thread from Dixons and the third is the schimmel in the library. The one from Dixons and the schimmel are virtually identical except where someone tried to touch up the G on the schimmel.
Your thoughts?


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rich pierce
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2012, 12:39:45 AM »

Though not a student of the Angstadt family of gunmakers, those signatures are sure to close to normally speculate they were done by different hands.  Could a son have used the same signature?  Adam b 1740 d 1812- could he have really made both rifles?  The early one makes sense for a guy born in 1740.  The later one- does it look like a guy in his 60's made it?  That is of course a ridiculous, and unanswerable question.
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Eric Kettenburg
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2012, 05:57:43 AM »

The second two sure look the same, although it looks to me like a good bit more than just the "g" was "touched up."  The first is similar but sufficiently different that one could interpret it as being by a different hand, or the same guy at a later or earlier time.  I wouldn't personally require that all signatures need be always exactly consistent.

I don't think any of them are pre-1800 (or if Dixon's earlier gun is, it sure isn't by much) and the one illustrated here is really pushing the 1812 envelope.
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zimmerstutzen
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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2012, 07:28:16 AM »

Last names are spelled differently

Angstadt. Vs Angstat.

Also the first t is not crossed like the other two

in addition the initial A is quite different.  the top picture shows a straight bar across the "A" while the other two have fancy circles.      The right side  down stroke portion of the A is curved whereas the others are straight.   Also, the fancy sweeping curve leading into the "A" on the top has a double line at the lower side.  The latter two do not. 

Is this due to a change in personal style over years, a different person, or perhaps an attempt at a forgery. (take an old rifle and add a name, why else the different spelling.)

 
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Eric Kettenburg
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2012, 08:49:55 AM »

My biggest problem with viewing any of these as Adam Angstadt of Rockland/Kutztown, is that NONE of these signed A Angstadt rifles (either pictured here or elsewhere) look even remotely like the work of Peter and Joseph, his sons, and in fact, not only do they look entirely different but they all look later.

Going back through records recently.  All three (Father Adam, sons Peter and Joseph) are variously taxed as smiths or blacksmiths in Berks Co., post War.  Now, Peter and Joseph have left us a good number of ca. mid/late 1780s through early 19th century rifles to look at, and if none of them were signed, we'd probably be attributing every last one of them to one individual; they're quite homogenous in other words.  Furthermore, they are both "folky" as well as conservative in stocking, and VERY UNIQUE which is an important point.  Knowing that these two were brothers, in roughly the same location, and that their father was also a smith of some kind, I don;t think it's much of a stretch at all to speculate that their father taught them.

So:  if these A. Angstadt rifles or A.A. rifles are Adam, or some of them are, why don;t they look ANYTHING AT ALL like the work of his two sons?  They look like they have an awful lot in common with upper susquehanna work, certainly much more so than Rockland/Kutztown, and they look later - much more comfortably fitting with what many including myself would view as 19th century.  Coincidentally (really?), there's this Abraham Angstadt who iirc (I admittedly have not paid much attention to his geneaology nor these particular Angstadt rifles) was working somewhere much closer to the 'up the river' region, Schuylkill Co. I believe.

The only other way I see this working is that all three immediate relatives - Adam, Peter and Joseph - were primarily blacksmiths or general smiths.  Perhaps Adam never made guns - will have to go back and look through my paperwork to see if he was ever specifically noted as a gunsmith.  Anyway, perhaps either Peter or Joseph began making rifles, and taught the other.  This too would explain a continuity of style and at the same time leave Adam out of it, again reinforcing the notion that all the AA rifles are a later Abraham in a different location.
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