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Fordney, Melchoir

Name Street Town State From To
Fordney, Melchoir   Lancaster Pennsylvania 1813 1846


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Jacob Fordney was his father. Melchoir (born 1781) and his brother also named Jacob became gunsmiths. His sister Elizabeth married Jacob Kraft (there must have been several Kraft's in Lancaster maybe father and son). Anyway, this was also a gunsmith.

He belongs to the Lancaster School

Maker of Kentucky style rifles and pistols. No much information is available for Melchoir. He figured as gunsmith in tax-list as early as 1813 until his dead in 1846, killed wiht an axe by his nightbor John Haggerty at about 9.00 on Saturday, October 17.

Haggerty asked Fordney for a gun to shoot his horse. Fordney refused but Haggerty tock one and an axe and killed the animal. Fordney and his housekeeper, Mrs. Tripple came out to request the gun. Haggerty gave the gun to Mrs. Catharina Tripple, went to Fordney and Killed him. Next he killed Mrs. Tripple. In his trial Haggerty said that he killed Fordney because he restrained him to kill the horse. Haggerty was hanged on July 23, 1847.

His work was in the traditional style and of good quality. Very often his guns are found with locks made by the Drepperds. Henry E. Leman was one of his apprentices.

example of his work

.48 caliber flintlock, 41 1/2" octagonal barrel, marked M. Fordney

.48 caliber flintlock, lock
counterside of the lock
patchbox
fixing ramrod
firing pan
eagle on left side of the butt
marking on barrel