Guest blog entry by Jeannette Koczwara
Taking to my computer I began a search for one J. M’Phail who had been a saddler during the 1800’s in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. Surprisingly the easiest place to search for records was on such sites as FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com. There I found the 1850 census record of James McPhail (an alternative to M’Phail) who lived in the Borough of Strasburg in Lancaster County and was employed as a saddler. He lived with his wife Elizabeth and together they had four sons, three of whom were also saddlers. When exactly this saddle was made and who it was for is still uncertain but should James McPhail indeed be its maker then an important piece of the puzzle has already been placed.