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 Elder. 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 Elder family. They are: Elizabeth Clark Floyd's The Descendants of James Ardery of Franklin Co., Pennsylvania: including allied families, Reed, Elder, McNutt, McGiffen, and others (Salem, Mass.: Higginson Genealogical Books, 1984); and, Alice Smythe McCabe's The Smythe Sword: The Story of William Smythe ( -1801) of Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Ireland, and Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, and Some of His Descendants (Lawrenceville, Ga., 1992).
There are 18 first-name entries for Elder 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' Elder neighbors in 1890:
Henry A., 31, farmer--Penns Furnace Annie E. James E. 5 Maria J.--Fairbrook Samuel U., 28, farmer--Rock Spring Harriet S. Mary A. Sadie B.
PHILIPSBURG Borough:Matthew A., 38, bookbinder--Spruce St. Alice L. George J. 10 Paul G. 8