Author Topic: Joe Long 100620-1  (Read 10869 times)

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Joe Long 100620-1
« on: June 27, 2010, 03:33:03 PM »
The Long Family Genealogy by Mark Laudenslager

George P. Long     
Born: January 28, 1821 Pennsylvania
Died: April 10, 1915 New Berlin, Union County, Pennsylvania
Buried: Union Cemetery, New Berlin, Pennsylvania
     
George P. Long was a gunsmith in Union / Snyder County from about 1843 to 1900.
George P. Long was listed as a gunsmith in the Union County tax records in Centre Township in 1844, 1845, and in Adamsburg Township (now Beaver Springs) as a gunsmith in 1845, 1846 and 1848.  The author was unable to determine how or if George P. Long was related to Joseph Long, prominent gunsmith from Beaver Springs in Snyder County.  Dalas Ewing reported a large, heavy barreled match rifle signed “G. P. Long”. 

1850 Federal Census, Pennsylvania, Union County, West Beaver Township, p. 135.
George Long, age ?? , occupation “Farmer”, b. PA
Note: Living near gunsmith Isaac Unangst.

1860 Federal Census, PA, Snyder Co., West Beaver Twp., Beaver Springs P.O., p. 14.
George Long, age ??, occupation “Farmer”, b. PA

1870 Federal Census, Pennsylvania, Union County, Union Township, Winfield P.O.
George Long, age 50, occupation “Farmer”, b. PA; Sophia, age 51; Robert, age 18; August, age 15; Alvilda, age 11

1880 Federal Census, Pennsylvania, Union Co., New Berlin Borough, Dist. 164, p. 574.
George Long, age 59, occupation “Gunsmith”, b. PA; Sophia, age 60; Sarah, age 21.

1900 Federal Census, Pennsylvania, Union Co., New Berlin Borough, Dist. 197, p. 276.
George P. Long, age 79, occupation “Gunsmith”, b. ??. 
 

James Long
Born:   1825
Died:   1887

James Long has been identified by Ron Gabel as a gunsmith that worked in Snyder County, Pennsylvania during the percussion period ca. 1860.  The author has been unable to find any further information regarding this gunsmith.
Find a reference or delete.


James H. Long
Born:   1846
Died:   July 29, 1927 West Beaver Township, Snyder County, Pennsylvania
Buried: New Cemetery, Beaver Springs, Snyder County, Pennsylvania

James H. Long was the son of gunsmith Joseph Long.  James Long is listed as a gunsmith in at least a couple reference books.  The author has found no records that indicate that James H. Long ever worked more than part-time at the gunsmith trade.  Dalas Ewing reported that “older residents of the Beaver Springs area recalled James Long being a merchant and a part-time gunsmith.  He made a few late percussion rifles.”
Any census records?

Jesse Long
Born:   Unknown
Died:   Unknown

Jesse Long is listed as a gunsmith in the 1855 tax records for Beavertown in Beaver Township (later Adams Township), Snyder County.

Gluckman identifies a “J. Long” as a gunsmith working in Yeagertown, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania ca. 1865-1886.


Joseph “Joe” Long
Born:   September 18, 1799 New Berlin, Union County, Pennsylvania
Died:   May 8, 1872 Beaver Springs, Beaver Township, Snyder County, Pennsylvania
Buried: Old Cemetery, Beaver Springs, Beaver Township, Snyder County, Pennsylvania

Joseph Long was one of the most prolific longrifle makers from Snyder County, Pennsylvania.  His existing rifles are excellent examples of the “Snyder County” school of gun making.  He worked in White Deer Township and later in nearby Beaver Springs in Beaver Township.  Joseph Long’s father was also named Joseph Long.  The gunsmith’s father was a Revolutionary War veteran and a shoemaker by trade.  It is unknown where Joseph Long learned the gunsmith trade.  T. J. Cooper, well known Snyder County Kentucky Rifle collector and dealer, believed that Joe Long learned the trade from someone in the Milton, Pennsylvania area.  Joseph Long is listed in the Union County tax records as a gunsmith in Adamsburgh (now Beaver Springs) from 1829 to 1838.  He is listed in the tax records from 1839 to 1871 as a gunsmith in Beaver Township (now Spring Township).  When he initially came to Adamsburgh he was a tenant on land owned by Jonas Richard. 

Joseph Long was also quite active in local public affairs.  Over the years he held several offices of public trust indicating that he was a highly respected citizen in the community.  He was the Corner for Union County in 1837.  He was a tax assessor for Beaver Township in 1843.  In 1857 records indicate that he was the Justice of the Peace for Beaver Township.         

Sometime in the early 1820’s Joesph Long married Elizabeth Benner, a native of New Berlin, Pennyslvania.  They had at least nine children; five sons and four daughters.  Their sons Josiah, William, and James were also known to have worked as gunsmiths, at least part-time.

Many of Joseph Long’s rifles are equipped with a distinctive “football” shaped sideplate.  His patchbox designs typically incorporated a variation of the “Q” shaped finial.  Often he decorated his rifles with nicely done incised carving.  In addition to longrifles, Joe Long also made swivel-breech rifles and pistols.  He signed his rifles in several different ways.  T. J. Cooper believed that he signed guns that he particularly liked with his full signature in script lettering “Joseph Long”.  Others were signed “J. L.”, or “J. Long”, or “Jos. Long”.  He was also known to have made his own percussion locks.  He signed locks that he made with his initials.  Joseph Long did not do much engraving on his rifles.  At least one pistol made by Joseph Long is known to exist.  After the Civil War the need for muzzleloading rifles declined.  Joseph Long’s work consisted mostly of repairing firearms.  He also did shoe repair work.  For detailed photos of Joe Long’s rifles and additional information about him see Edith Cooper’s (T. J. Cooper’s wife) book, “The Kentucky Rifle and Me”.  Much of the information here was taken from this reference document.  A nice example of a Joseph Long rifle is on display at the Muncy Historical Society Museum. 

1850 Federal Census, Pennsylvania, Union County, Beaver Township
Joe Long, age 48, occupation “Gunsmith”, b. PA; Elizabeth, age 41; Josiah, age 22; Mary A., age 20; Sarah M., age 19; Henry G., age 15; William H., age 14; Samuel E., age 12; Lucy G., age 7; James H., age 5; Harriet G., age 3.

1860 Federal Census, PA, Snyder Co., Beaver Twp., Beaver Springs P.O., p. 59
Joseph Long, age 60, occupation “Gunsmith”, b. PA; Elizabeth, age 52; William, age 24, occupation “Gunsmith”; Samuel, age 21, occupation “Blacksmith”; Lucy, age 17; James, age 14; Jane, age 12; John Kline, age 7.

1870 Federal Census, PA, Snyder Co., Beaver Twp., Beaver Springs P.O., p. 44
Joseph Long, age 70, occupation “Gun-smith”, b. PA; Elizabeth, age 60; Howard Kline, age 17, occupation “Domestic Servant”; Mary Wagner, age 15, occupation “Domestic Servant”

   
Josiah B. Long
Born:   June 8, 1828 Adamsburg (now Beaver Springs), Beaver Twp., Union Co., PA   
Died:   August 30, 1855 Beaver Township, Snyder County, Pennsylvania
Buried: Beavertown Cemetery, Beaver Township, Snyder County, Pennsylvania

Josiah B. Long was the oldest of gunsmith Joseph Long’s five sons.  He died at the young age of twenty seven of causes that are unknown to the author.  He listed his occupation as “Gunsmith” on the Federal Census for 1850 when he was residing in the home of his father.  Josiah Long married Sarah A. Aigler on July 15, 1851.  Sarah was born in March of 1829 in Beaver Township.  They had two children; Lydia, born 1852 and Millard, born August 1854.  In 1855, Josiah gave his occupation as “Miner” in the tax records for Franklin Township in Snyder County.  Franklin Township is just east of Beaver Township.  Mining was a very dangerous occupation in the mid 19th century. The author has seen one rifle signed “J. B. L.” is inscribed script on the top barrel flat of a very nice rifle.  This rifle looked a lot like signed rifles made by gunsmith Joseph Long.   

1850 Federal Census, Pennsylvania, Union County, Beaver Township
Joe Long, age 48, occupation “Gunsmith”, b. PA; Elizabeth, age 41; Josiah, age 22, occupation “?”; Mary A., age 20; Sarah M., age 19; Henry G., age 15; William H., age 14; Samuel E., age 12; Lucy G., age 7; James H., age 5; Harriet G., age 3.


William Harrison Long
Born:   October 19, 1836 Beaver Springs, Beaver Twp., Snyder County, Pennsylvania
Died:   Between 1900 -1910 probably Adamsburg, Centre County, Pennsylvania 

William H. Long was a son of gunsmith Joseph Long from Beaver Springs, PA.  William worked as a gunsmith in his father’s shop in Beaver Springs for many years ca. 1859-1867.  He is listed as such in the Beaver Township (now Spring Township) tax records as a gunsmith in 1859, 1860, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, and 1865.  He married Sarah J. McAulay in Miflin County, PA on November 28, 1866.  He then relocated to Milroy in Armagh Township, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania.  William Long is listed in the tax records for Decatur Township in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania in 1869, 1871, 1874, 1878, and 1880.  By 1898, William was working as a farmer and part-time gunsmith in Jacksonville, Centre County, Pennsylvania.  William Long was found listed as a “Gunsmith and General Farmer” residing in Jacksonville in Centre County, ca. 1898.
Ref. “CPI” Beers, 1898, p. 134.  Dillon listed William Long as a gunsmith residing in Milroy, Mifflin County, PA.  Ref, “The Kentucky Rifle” by Dillon.  Dalas Ewing and James Rothrock stated that they had never seen a signed rifle that could be attributed to William Long. 

1850 Federal Census, Pennsylvania, Union County, Beaver Township
Joe Long, age 48, occupation “Gunsmith”, b. PA; Elizabeth, age 41; Josiah, age 22; Mary A., age 20; Sarah M., age 19; Henry G., age 15; William H., age 14; Samuel E., age 12; Lucy G., age 7; James H., age 5; Harriet G., age 3.

1860 Federal Census, PA, Snyder Co., Beaver Twp., Beaver Springs P.O., p. 59
Joseph Long, age 60, occupation “Gunsmith”, b. PA; Elizabeth, age 52; William, age 24, occupation “Gunsmith”; Samuel, age 21, occupation “Blacksmith”; Lucy, age 17; James, age 14; Jane, age 12; John Kline, age 7.

1870 Federal Census, Pennsylvania, Mifflin County, Decatur Township, Lewistown P.O.
William H. Long, age 33, occupation “Gun Smith”, b. PA; Sarah J., age 23, occupation “Keeping House”, b. PA; Emma E., age 2; Mary, age 7 months.

1880 Federal Census, Pennsylvania, Mifflin Co., Armagh Twp, Milroy P.O., Dist. 168
William Long, age 44, occupation “Gun Smith”, b. PA; Sarah, age 33; Mary, age 10; Maggie, age 8.

1900 Federal Census, Pennsylvania, Centre County, Howard Borough, District
Walter Cooke, b. September 1885; Emma E., b. February 1872; Mary M., b. November 1896; William H. Long, b. October 1836, “Widow”
Note: Living with his daughter, Emma, her husband, Walter Cooke.
A Joe Long longrifle


Overall length of the rifle is 53"
Barrel length is 38 1/8"
Weight is 8 pounds

Joseph Long:



















Comments:
   
The question is often asked "Did Joe Long make flintlock rifles?" It appears that this is one. Interesting that Edith Cooper in her 1977 work which extensively presents 13 of Joe Long's rifles does not show a flintlock.The earliest recorded tax record of him as a gunsmith is 1826, clearly the beginning of the percussion era.
   
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This rifle has classic Joe Long features in original flintlock.  Long was born in 1799 just south of New Berlin, Union County (in the area, which is today, Snyder County, Pennsylvania).  After apprenticing in Milton, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, a contemporary of Samuel Morrison, who also used the football shaped side plate, he eventually settled in Beaver Springs, Union (now Snyder) County, Pennsylvania. 

Although the conventional wisdom is that he apprenticed alongside Morrison, I would not rule out an apprenticeship in New Berlin, despite the fact that he is believed to have worked in business with Morrison for a short time.  Considering the age in which he likely apprenticed, he started late in the flintlock period and is most known for his percussion rifles.  He was an interesting maker that held several political posts, including Justice of the Peace, which was the forerunner to today's Magisterial District Judge (in Pennsylvania, often called the District Justice, which now conducts preliminary criminal hearings and small claims civil trials).
   
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A rarity! An honest to goodness Joe Long flintlock rifle in attic/closet condition. This is a really fine rifle, and it has all the charm of Long's best. This was likely one of his early guns, and through some good fortune, was not altered to percussion.

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The rifle pictured appears to be all original and correct for the Snyder/Union county Upper Susquehanna school of gunsmithing.  I have seen finer Joe Long rifles, but usually in percussion.  Most of Joe Long's rifles were marked "J.L." on the top barrel flat, but I did own one in original flint years ago that was signed in script Jos. Long on the top flat.  He did, most surely, make some flint rifles, but not many have survived.  Joe Long often used fish inlays along the fore stock.  There are other Snyder County makers who made very similar styled rifles to the rifle pictured, but were not marked J.L. on the barrel.  This rifle is a definite positive addition to the museum.

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I doubt this to be an original flintlock. At the late flintlock period that this gun would have been made a bridle-less pan would have been unusual. Add to that the pristine new looking screws attaching the pan, the hammer, and the frizzen, a new looking top bolt for the hammer jaws, and what looks like a nice shinny black frizzen spring, plus the burned away wood above it, tells me that there's a good possibility that this gun was a percussion at some point in its life.

Just my opinion and I can certainly be wrong, but if I was buying the gun as an original flint, I’d certainly be taking an extra close look at that lock.

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I have  always liked Joe Long rifles and this rifle has everything you would expect to see on a Long . I would agree about the lock. I have never seen an originally flintlock by Long . That doesn't mean he never made one . The photos are not good enough to make a judgment on how this rifle started its life .  So without considering the lock its a nice Long and worthy of a spot in the museum .   

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A fine example of Joe Long's work, in great condition with original finish. This is an above average example for the museum, with good inlay work. I have to agree with comments about the lock being reconverted, and that always brings up the question about a possibly lock swap. But a great rifle to serve as an example of Long's work, in reasonably untouched condition and well decorated.
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Another "Joe Long" thread in the ALR:

https://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=6791.0
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 04:28:38 PM by Dennis Glazener »
In Memory of Lt. Catherine Hauptman Miller 6/1/21 - 10/1/00 & Capt. Raymond A. Miller 12/26/13 - 5/15/03...  They served proudly.