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 MAYS. 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).
No books in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte apparently deal with the Mays family.
There are several different first-name entries for Mays in John Blair Linn's History of Centre and Clinton County (1883). In addition, there are references to the name in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania (1898).
And, now, your ancestors' MAYS neighbors in 1890:
In BELLEFONTE Borough:
Bertha Mayes--31 N. Allegheny
In BOGGS Township:Jacob, 6--Milesburg John Mayes, 76, shoemaker--Roland Mary J.--Milesburg Hattie Michael, 69, laborer--Milesburg Hannah George R. 20 John 21 W. A., 35--Milesburg Della A. Hannah E. Michael 6 James E. 5 George T. 3 John R. 1 John H. 11
In CENTRE HALL Borough:Olive H. Mayes
In COLLEGE Township:Martha Mayes--Lemont
In HARRIS Towsnhip:Alice Mayes--Boalsburg Ellen M. Mayes--Boalsburg Mary A. Mayes--Boalsburg William R. Mayes, 16--Linden Hall William S. Mayes, 16--Linden Hall
In HOWARD Towsnhip:Jacob Mayes, 41, farmer--Mt. Eagle Nancy J. Joseph 2 William H. 10 Rachael E. Maria Charles T. 1
In PHILIPSBURG Borough:Catharine May--Presquile St. Rebecca--2nd St. Gertrude Harry 16
In POTTER Township:Caroline--Centre Hall Mabel N. Maggie E.
In RUSH Township:Thomas A. Mayes, 45, laborer--Philipsburg Helen Harry 16 John H. 14 Lillie
In SNOW SHOE Township:Anthony Mayes, 34--Snow Shoe John Mayes, 54, laborer--Snow Shoe Sarah E. Margaret A. Rebecca E. Gideon 11 Joseph F. 9 Carrie L. George F. 4 Lydia A. Mayes--Clarence James G. 22 William L. 18 Susan Matthias, 52--Snow Shoe Mary E. John A. 22 Robert 17