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 Brooks. 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).
There are no books in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte that apparently deal in part with the Brooks family.
There are 8 first-name entries for Brooks 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), with one person having a full-length biographical profile: Jasper N. Brooks (b. 1843, s/o Richardson and Jane E. (Ralston) Brooks).
And, now, your ancestors' Brooks neighbors in 1890:
Chandler W., 74, farmer--Milesburg Lavinia Martha M. William J. 30 William J. Jr. 15 John C. 14
SPRING Township:James R., 46, laborer--Pleasant Gap Sallie A. Elwood 15 James C. 12 Eva K. John 4 mos. Jasper N. 45, carpenter--Pleasant Gap Sarah C. Anna M. Paul 4 Lemuel L., 2--Pleasant Gap Richard, 17--Bellefonte Richard, 71, farmer--Pleasant Gap Jane Lydia J. Samuel, 44, laborer--Bellefonte Mary A. John 19 Lida A. Annie Andrew 6 William S., 35, farmer--Pleasant Gap Mary A. Cora E. Joseph W. 10 Lula S. Harry L. 6 Stella B.