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 Parsons. 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).
One book in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte that apparently deals in part with the Parsons family. It is: James G. Parsons' The Name and Family of Parsons: A Genealogical and Historical Sketch (McKeesport, Pa., 1956).
There are 26 different first-name entries for Parsons in John Blair Linn's History of Centre and Clinton County (1883). In addition, there are several references to the name in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania (1898).
And, now, your ancestors' PARSONS neighbors in 1890:
In BELLEFONTE Borough:
Ellen-48 Willowbank George 16 Jennie--101 N. Allegheny James G. 9 Joseph, 36, shoemaker--54 Willowbank Josephine Edward G. 14 Amos M. 12 Henry S. 9 Mary W. John W. 1 Fannie Mary C.--26 W. Bishop Thomas, 60, laborer--21 W. Logan Martha Robert 30 Lillian Lizzie
In HUSTON Township:John, 64, postmaster--Julian Jane C. Jonathan D., 73, shoemaker--Julian Myrtle--Julian Hannah Samuel 24 William R., 37, farmer--Julian Bannia
In PATTON Township:Howard S., 15--Benore Burchard 13 Martha D. Mary K. Walter C. Jonathan S., 37, fireman--Benore Kate S.
In UNION Township:James, 67, laborer--Fleming Eliza Edward A. 35 Jesse, 79, retired--Fleming Shedrack, 39, farmer--Fleming Sarah Elery T. Howard 12 Gilbert 6 Jessie J. Emma V.