Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 14 August 1809

A dose of mountain dulcimer history throughout the year

Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 14 August 1809

Postby dbennett » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:27 am

Jacob Hanshew (1795-1833) married Mary "Mina" Cameron (1797-1873) and they had 12 children. Jacob was born and died in Wythe county (now Bland county), Virginia, however, the exact dates are unknown. Since I could not find the actual birth or death date for Jacob I'm using his marriage date as a place holder for him in Today In Mountain Dulcimer History.

Roddy Moore and Vaughan Webb wrote in their article "The Virginia Dulcimer" in the July/August 2013 issue of The Magazine Antiques: "...The earliest documented dulcimer maker in Virginia was gunsmith Jacob Hanshew of Wythe (now Bland) County. His 1834 estate included “1 set of dulcimore tools” (the only historical reference to such items discovered so far), along with blacksmithing and coopering tools...Not surprisingly, his surname is German, as were those of other Wythe County dulcimer owners between 1827 and the 1850s..."

Unrelated to Jacob Hanshew, yet still somewhat related to this entry, Roddy Moore and Vaughan Webb also stated that the first known reference to a dulcimer turns up in Shenandoah County, Virginia in a book of wills in 1812.

Note: For more on dulcimers in early Virginia wills read page 42-47 in Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions, 2nd ed., and pages xvi of The Story of the Dulcimer, 2nd ed., both by Ralph Lee Smith.
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