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 McCLAIN. 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 in part with the McClain family.
There are 6 different first-name entries for McClain 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' McClain neighbors in 1890:
In BELLEFONTE Borough:
James A., 40, merchant--154 E. Curtin Mary B. Thomas 17 Mary Nancy C. James A. Jr. 8 Joseph 8 Nora--130 N. Allegheny Ella Bernard 35
In PATTON Township:John McClane, 22, laborer--Benore
In RUSH Township:Robert, 31--Philipsburg Margaret Mary
In TAYLOR Township:Franklin, 39, laborer--Benore Jane E.--Port Matilda Edward 2