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I learned that my gr-gr-gr, etc etc grandfather, Casper Dull/Doll was one of many gunsmiths in Pennsylvania who made the guns that were used by the American Revolutionary War. Even to this day, it is possible to find gun collections that allow descendants like myself to "touch a piece of history" that our own ancestor created.

I therefore think it would be interesting to network with other descendants of other ARW descendants who also have this common tie to that war & who may be interested in discussing this piece of our history & perhaps we can also track some of the guns exhibited around the country that's maker is identified.

There is currently a book in print that relates to the Guns of the American Revolution that came out of Pennsylvania. This book lists the gunsmiths & is a great genealogical tool in that sense.

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I have Pennsylvania gunsmiths in my family too: Joseph and Isaac Mills of Bedford County. They were too young to make guns for the Revolution but I always wondered who taught them to make guns.
Carolyn Mills Hughes
My 6th great grandfather was William Millikan, Sr (1720 - 1793) (Ireland > Pennslyvania > North Carolina). He was a Quaker and a non-combatant during the Revolutionary War. He was, however, a gunsmith and was of pro-patriot sympathies for which he was placed on the Tory death list. His house was burned in 1782 by Col Fanning and his men. William escaped death having discovered the Tories in time to hide.

I have read that the guns he made were beautiful and well made. I should love to see one!
In the 1830's to just before the Civil War, I believe I saw many gunsmiths and stock-makers in both the Rockingham County and Guilford County, North Carolina census which asked for one's occupation. There seemed between the two counties and two crafts, perhaps thirty to forty of them? Several seemed to have Pennsylvania Germanish names.

After the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, N.C., the Patriots encamped at Speedwell Iron Works on Little Troublesome Creek near the Rockingham/Guilford Counties line. Likely the Maryland Continental Line was there with them? Family records say my Lt. Leven/Leavan Woollen, Sr., of Taylor's Island, Dorchester County, Maryland, was "three months in US. service". Other records show he patrolled from Taylor's Island (first wife Dolly Taylor?) to New Market. We have no record of him in the New Market Blues, but that would be a logical unit, especially if it was in the Maryland Continental Line and at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse? Was there any other Dorchester County unit in the Continental Line at Guilford Courthouse?

Lt. Woollen's log cabins (two connected together) were still standing about forty years ago at my last visit to Chalmer Woolen's Crossroads. This is perhaps within a mile upstream of Speedwell Iron Works remains which seemed to me be but drained dams on the creek, in the woods. One cabin was whitewashed within, with behind the chimney stairs to the sleeping loft. Chalmer said they were lived in until twenty years before my visit. Cabin furniture was in the homes of nearby kin. He said a Civil War company hd been recruited there when the blacksmith, farrier, and wheelwright shop was still there.. My Sgt. James Anderson Woollen, CSA musician, and his future father-in-law Pvt. James Landreth Malcolm, CSA musician, were in Co. C, 45th N.C. Troops, but I thought that was mustered in Greensboro? Sgt. Woollen (buried Old Salem) and his wife Mrs. Susan Caroline Malcolm Woollen (buried Charlotte, N.C.) are both in the 1890's book, "Lee Family of Virginia", by Edmund Jennings Lee.

The head of Bethabara (spelling?) near Old Salem, visited the cabin and noted which style cabin it was, but I forget which he said it was. The Woollen Wentworth deed says 1793, as did the stone chimney build by a skilled slave who built other area stone chimneys. The logs are 1 & 1/2 feet squared, solid wall of wood: no chinking. Doubt they were moved any distance. Sgt. Woollen's parents were John D. Woollen and Rebecca Heath, daughter of Jacob and Mary Smith Heath. To get to Chalmer's, at the Greensboro Southern Railroad station, follow Church Street north until it crosses into Rockingham County. About a mile beyond, it "T" intersects a road and stops a Chalmer Woolen's Crossroads. My grandmother, Mrs. Ruby Valerie Woollen Miller, was born 1885 outside Reidsville. In Old Salem, age 17, she was Wachovia Bank's first female employee; a steno-typist for co-founder, Col. Fries.

I believe the Greenboro Museum has a collection of locally made "Pennsylvania Rifles"?

My 5th great grandfather, Nathaniel Farmer, was from Surrey Co., North Carolina. He was also a gunsmith and joined Washington at Valley Forge. He was with Washington during the battle at Guilford Courthouse. He remained in North Carolina until the 1820's and then moved to Ohio. Later he moved to Carroll Co., Indiana to live with one of his daughters. I would love to be able to find some of his gunsmith work and see it just once.



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