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 Meiss. 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 Meiss family.
There is only one first-name entry for Meiss in John Blair Linn's History of Centre and Clinton County (1883). In addition, there is only one reference to the Meiss spelling in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania (1898).
And, now, your ancestors' MEISS neighbors in 1890:
In BELLEFONTE Borough:
Ellen Meese--12 W. Lamb George Meese, 51, laborer--1 Half Moon St. Ellen Christina Mary J. Clara Wilbur A. 12 Harry 10 Esther Blanche Jacob Miese, 25, fireman--112 E. Curtin Blanche L. Malcolm H. 1 John Meese, 50, merchant--26 W. Logan Lettie
In BENNER Township:Harvey G. Meese, 39, teacher--Pleasant Gap Sarah A. Edward E. 12 Alice A. Della E. Catharine M. Bertha W. Sarah E. John H. Meese, 62, farmer--Bellefonte Anna B. John B. 26 George T. 12 Anna B. Elizabeth Mary E.
In CENTRE HALL Borough:Christiana Meese
In COLLEGE Township:Edward Meeser, 33, hostler--Lemont Elizabeth Bruce E. 3 mos.
In HALF-MOON Towsnhip:Elizabeth E. Meisse--Stormstown Mary E. Matilda Meisse--Loveville Emma
In HOWARD Borough:Elizabeth Meese
In PATTON Township:David Meese. 33, blacksmith--Buffalo Run Rebecca Orlando 9 Myrtle Ella Darius 3 mos. Anna M. Meese--Buffalo Run
In PHILIPSBURG Borough:Jacob Meese, 27, plasterer--Water St. William F. Meese, 30, laborer--3rd St. Annie
In POTTER Township:George R., 35, merchant--Tusseyville Anna Nancy R. Jacob, 60, farmer--Tusseyvillr Nancy William N., 31, laborer--Tusseyville Christian Fred 7 William 3 James S. 3 mos.
In SPRING Township:Catharine Meese--Axemann Edward C. Meese, 33, engineer--Bellefonte Annie S. Walter E. 8 Elliot C. 4 Florence R.