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Bedford County, Pennsylvania

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  • William Holliday, Sr. (1759 - 1821)
    A Patriot of the American Revolution for PENNSYLVANIA with the rank of SUB-LIEUTENANT. DAR Ancestor #: A056586 Holliday, Jr BIRTH 1759 DEATH 1819 (aged 59–60) Pennsylvania, USA BURIAL Holliday Burial ...
  • Johan George Harter (Härter) (1760 - 1824)
    GEDCOM Source ===@R-2138129648@ Family Data Collection - Deaths Edmund West, comp. Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001. 1,5771::0 === GEDCOM Source === Death date: ...
  • Col. Robert Patterson (1753 - 1827)
    DAR# A086460 Robert Patterson received the commission of colonel from Virginia Governor Patrick Henry in 1787. Robert Patterson served as a delegate to the Virginia legislature in 1790; after the sta...
  • Christian Brake, Jr. (c.1780 - c.1816)
  • Glenn Charles Speck (1915 - 1984)
    Glenn C. Speck, 68, of Saxton died Aug. 12,1984 at his home. A son of Charles and Hazel (McClain) Speck, he was born Sept 11 1915 at Saxton R. D. He was married to the former Benice E. Foor on Dec 5, 1...

Please add profiles for people who were born, lived or died in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

Official Website


In 1750 Robert MacRay, a Scots-Irish immigrant, opened the first trading post in Raystown (which is now Bedford) on the land that is now Bedford County. The early settlers had a difficult time dealing with raids from Native Americans. In 1754 fierce fighting erupted as Native Americans became allied with the British or French in the North American front, known as the French and Indian War, of the Seven Years' War between those nations in Europe.

In 1759, after the capture of Fort Duquesne in Allegheny County, on the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, English colonists built a road between the fort (which was renamed as Fort Pitt) to the newly built Fort Bedford in Raystown. The English defeated the French in the war and took over their territories in North America east of the Mississippi River. Treaties with the Indians opened more land for future peaceful settlement.

This road followed and improved on ancient Indian trails. In later years it was widened and paved as "Forbes Road"; it is now Route 30. When the Pennsylvania Turnpike was built, this interstate toll road became the main highway through Bedford County.

Bedford County was created on 9 March 1771 from part of Cumberland County and named in honor of Fort Bedford. The 1767 Mason–Dixon line had stabilized the southern border with Maryland. In the aftermath of the American Revolution, the population increased largely due to emigration. Within a lifetime Old Bedford County was greatly reduced from its original boundaries. Huntingdon County was created on 20 September 1787, mainly from the north part of Bedford County, plus an addition of territory on the east (Big Valley, Tuscarora Valley) from Cumberland County. Somerset County was created from part of Bedford County on 17 April 1795. Centre County was created on 13 February 1800 from parts of Huntingdon, Lycoming, Mifflin, and Northumberland counties. Cambria County was created on 26 March 1804 from parts of Bedford, Huntingdon, and Somerset Counties. Blair County was created on February 26, 1846 from parts of Huntingdon and Bedford Counties. Finally Fulton County was created on 19 April 1850 from part of Bedford County, setting the county at its current boundaries.

The land was developed into lush farms with woodlands. It was developed as a trading center on the way to 'Pittsburgh and farther west of Pennsylvania. In 1794 President George Washington came to the county in response to the Whiskey Rebellion.

In the late 19th century, the Bedford Springs Hotel became an important site for wealthy vacationers. It was built near natural springs that had been important to the Native Americans for hundreds of years. During the administration of President James Buchanan, he moved much of his administration to the hotel, which became the informal summer White House. The U.S. Supreme Court met at the hotel once. It was the only time that the high court met outside of the capital.

During the late 19th century, the county had a population boom, with the number of people doubling between 1870 and 1890. Railroads constructed through the town connected the county with the mining industry.

Adjacent Counties

Boroughs, Townships & Communities

Bedford (County Seat) | Bloomfield | Broad Top | Coaldale | Colerain | Cumberland Valley | Defiance | Earlston | East Providence | East St. Clair | Everett | Harrison | Hopewell | Hyndman | Juniata | Kimmel | King | Liberty | Lincoln | Londonderry | Mann | Manns Choice | Monroe | Napier | New Paris | Pavia | Pleasantville | Rainsburg | St. Clairsville | Saxton | Schellsburg | Snake Spring | South Woodbury | Southampton | Stonerstown | West Providence | West St. Clair | Woodbury



National Register of Historic Places

PA Gen Web

Genealogy Trails

Bedford County Historical Society

PA Roots

USGW Archives