This column is part of a feature series which focuses on a different Centre County family each week. Five new columns will be released each month unless some technical difficulty enters the picture.
This column's focus is on BECK. An effort has been made to identify all persons carrying that name in the 1890 U.S. Census, using the Centre County business directory which was formed from a preliminary review of that census before the larger set of 1890 U.S. Census records was destroyed by fire. (Sadly, the postal directory does not typically provide the ages of females, but it's the best record we've got).
Three books in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte apparently deal with the Beck family. They are: William Beck's History of Daniel and Katherine Beck (Pioneer Settlers of Warriors Mark Valley) and Their Descendants, Norman Douty's The Douty-Smith and Beck-Price Families: Correlated with Those of Crites, Hecker, Poorman, Ream and Wolfart and Marjorie Zetty's The Working Family: Workinger, Werkinger, Werking: Allied Families: Wieland, Oberlin, Zwecker, Anspach, Beck, Setcliff.
There are 39 different first-name entries for Beck in John Blair Linn's History of Centre and Clinton County (1883). In addition, there are many references to the name in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania (1898).
And, now, your ancestors' BECK neighbors in 1890:
In BELLEFONTE Borough:
Robert A., 40, barber--3 E. High Annie
In HALF-MOON Township:Daniel, 21, farmer--Loveville Isaac, 54, farmer--Loveville Barbara Elmer 28 Isaiah, 47, farmer--Loveville Emeline Harry E. 23 Irene S. John C. 16 Eva A. Malin B. 12 Clyde O. 10 Jacob, 50, farmer--Loveville Jennie
In HARRIS Township:Mary J.--Boalsburg Emma Minerva R. William, 42, farmer--Boalsburg Mary J. Emma Minnie
In MARION Township:Catharine J.--Walker James W., 45, farmer--Walker Mary R. Rosie E. John W. 17 Carrie E. William B., 37, farmer--Walker Sarah A. Mabel B. William H. 4 Harry A. 3
In MILES Township:Benjamin, 50, wagonmaker--Wolfs Store Catharine John 15 Warren V. 12 Herbie H. 8 Chestie L. Charles L., 29, carpenter--Rebersburg Mary C. Maud M. Carrie M. Henry, 21--Rebersburg
In MILESBURG Borough:William H., 41, gardener Jane S. Georgiana William E. 8 James H. 5 Charles 3 Harry H. 10 mos.
In PHILIPSBURG Borough:Amanda--Front St. Annie D. Lore Nancy D. Effie R. Mary E. Thomas D. 18 Edith I.--2nd St. Leslie T. 1 Frank I., 36, machinist Ella A. John H. 28, laborer Carrie Joshua, 55, carpenter--Spruce St. Harry J. 19
In POTTER Township:William, 10--Tusseyville Mary A.
In RUSH Township:John, 41, laborer--Philipsburg Maggie Jeremiah 12 Harry 10 Mabel
In SPRING Township:Jane M.--Bellefonte Rebie
In TAYLOR Township:Sarah J.--Port Matilda
In WALKER Township:Benjamin F., 48, farmer--Nittany Henrietta C. Lillie J. Emma J. Lewis H. Charles, 40, retired--Nittany Margaret A. Hannah C. Belmont E. 4 John H., 41, farmer--Nittany Amanda Arthur B. 20 Mary E. Grace I. Helen J. Martin L., 10--Nittany Agnes A. F. William H., 32, farmer--Nittany Annie E.