Author Topic: Shreckengost Family History  (Read 6964 times)

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Shreckengost Family History
« on: August 21, 2010, 01:13:19 AM »
Courtesy of Dr. James B. Whisker

Schreckengost Family. The Schreckengost name, under several spellings, is quite common even today in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. The pioneer member of the family was Jacob "Yock" Schreckengost.  Mrs. Christine Crawford-Oppen­heimer, family genealogist, reports a Johann Jost Schrecongost, baptized at Birchelbach, Germa­ny. Several histories of Armstrong County recount the story that Yock was a hunter in his native Germany. He poached a deer in a mighty lord's lands, was caught and fled to America.  He hired out his son George as an indentured servant for nine years to a sea captain to pay for the passage to the new land. Yock moved his family first to Berks County, Penn­sylvania, and then "late in the 18th Century" to Armstrong County, near Kittan­ning.  Yock was a gunsmith by trade, although nothing is known of his work.


Schreckengost, Conrad (-1839). gunsmith. Con­rad (or Coonrod) Schreckengost was a son of Jacob "Yock" Schreckengost. Conrad died in the summer of 1839 and his estate was inventoried on 6 July 1839. The estate showed many tools of the gun­smith's trade. Most items were bought by family members according to the vendue list. A few early tax lists confirm Conrad's occupation, but we have not established a date of birth as tomb­stone or other useful records are not available for him.


Schreckengost, Henry. gunsmith and farmer. Henry Schreckengost was a gunsmith in early life.  In 1828 he moved from Cowanshannock Township to Valley Township, Armstrong County, and gave up making guns in favor of the more stable and profitable life of farming. He may have been a son of Conrad Schrec­kengost.


Schreckengost, John. gunsmith. John Schrecken­gost was probably another son of Jacob Schrecken­gost. He died in late 1820 or early 1821 for his estate was inventoried in early 1821 and public sale of his goods was held on March 8, 1821. Many tools of the gunsmith's trade were again purchased by family members. One interesting item was an unfinished rifle, purchased by Henry Schreckengost at $7.37 1/2.  The tax lists of Wayne Township, Armstrong County, this early are not available so we do not know how long he worked.  We have also not located a tomb­stone or other record to show his age at death.


Schreckengost, John II (1792-1859). gunsmith. "Gen­tleman Johnny" Schreckengost was a son of Conrad Schreckengost and quite possibly was his father's apprentice. He lived in Cowanshannock Township, Armstrong County, where he had been born on 27 September 1792. Several histories of Armstrong County record that he was a farmer, blacksmith, distiller and gunsmith, and manufactur­er of the first iron ploughs made in the county. He married Sarah (1789‑1870), daughter of Peter Turney. The vendue list of his estate, from the sale conducted on 29‑30 March 1859, showed clearly that he had been en­gaged in gunsmithing at the time of his death, for it contained many tools, parts and mountings, a rifle and a pistol. He died on 27 February 1859. He was a farmer, blacksmith and gunsmith. He was known as "Gentleman John" because he wore good clothing. He made the first plow to be manufactured in Armstrong Co.,


Schreckengost, Levi. Levi Schreckengost was a son of William, and presumably his apprentice in the gunsmithing trade. His work was all done prior to the Civil War. Levi served in Company D, 103 Pennsylvania Volunteers, and was taken prisoner on 20 April 1864, and sent to the notorious Ander­sonville prison. He was paroled from Anderson­ville on 1 March 1865. After returning home Levi gave up arduous work and turned to bee keeping.


Schreckengost, Lincoln (1865-1949). gunsmith. Lincoln Schreckengost was another son of William Schreckengost. He took over his father's business after the latter's death in 1894 and made and re­paired guns and did general mechanical and smithing work in Putneyville until his death. The Daily Leader Times of 29 June 1949 carried an obituary for Lin­coln Schreckengost, saying that he died at age 84 at the home of his son McKinley Schreckengost.


Michael T. Schreckengost (1820-1861). gunsmith. Michael T. Schreckengost was a son of John Schreck­engost. He is reputed to have made and repaired guns in Rural Valley, Armstrong County. He died of smallpox at age 41.


Schreckengost, William (1821-1894). gunsmith. William Schreckengost was the best known of the family. His guns are frequently encountered. He was an unusually good engraver. He lived in Putney­ville, Armstrong County, all his adult life. Tax lists consistently show him as a gunsmith. He was mar­ried three times: to a Miss Nulph; to Priscilla Potts, mother of gunsmith Levi Schrecken­gost; and to Mary Heller. There are sources that give his year of death as 1897, but a death certifi­cate dated 11 September 1894 is on file; and his tools, guns and gun parts were sold at public vendue on 8 October 1894. A number of guns, ranging from a heavy barrel target model to a double barrel rifle were offered at his vendue sale. There was also a William T. Schreckengost who was born on 14 May 1818 and died on 11 Oct 1908

Here is a picture of William Schreckengost, his tools and 9 of his guns:

Here is a picture of Clover Anderson and family with his gun , made by William  and puchased from Lincoln Schreckengost. The gun was passed on to Clover from his father, William , who bought the gun originally for $36.00..
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 11:33:31 PM by Dennis Glazener »
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