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 BITNER. 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).
Two books in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte apparently deal in part with the Bitner family. They are: Larry Knox's 240 Miles from Centre to Holmes (Wooster, Ohio, 1988); and, Carol Courter Updegraff's The Descendants of Henry Harvey Clark (1877-1958) and Maud Cornita Bitner 1879-1951 Centre and Clinton Counties Pennsylvania (1997).
There are 15 different first-name entries for Bitner in John Blair Linn's History of Centre and Clinton County (1883). In addition, there are several mentions of the name in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania (1898).
And, now, your ancestors' Bitner neighbors in 1890:
In COLLEGE Township:
Joseph H., 32, laborer--State College Ada L. Catharine Bertha L.
In GREGG Township:Catharine--Spring Mills Joseph K., 38--Penn Hall Lizzie P. Jennie C. Jacob F. 7 Luther--Farmers Mills William B., bottler--Spring Mills Sarah William B. Jr. 7
In LIBERTY Township:Daniel, 66, retired--Blanchard Mary Ida M. Bessie Howard W., 36, laborer--Blanchard Frank S., 33 Maud C. Harry A. 9 Emma M. Clair I. 7 mos. Ira C., 35, laborer--Blanchard Susan F. Edward B. 8 Harry 6 James A., 38, farmer--Blanchard Carrie E. Clyde 13 Charles 11 Lee J. 4 John W., 65, farmer--Blanchard William R., 30 Alfred 29 Percy F. 24 Clarence B. 22 Mattie M. Mary C.--Blanchard Thomas I. 11 Daniel R. 6 Michael N., 49, blacksmith--Blanchard Elizabeth A. Doran B. 23 Corwin B. 18
In MARION Township:Charles E., 28, laborer--Walker Ida M. Clair E. 3 Lloyd 1 mo.
In POTTER Township:George K., 37, laborer--Tusseyville Mary E. Jacob E. 6 John 2 mos. John, 72, retired--Tusseyville Sarah John B., 49, farmer--Centre Hall Barbara A. Sadie C. Lydia--Centre Hill Samuel A., 45, laborer--Potters Mills Mary A. Charles S. 10 William, 33, laborer--Tusseyville Alwilda R. John H. 5 Ida