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 Reed. 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).
Six books in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte apparently deal with the Reed family. They are: Schuyler Brossman's Notes on the Ancestors and Descendants of (John) Peter Rieth-Rid-Reed, 1760-1833, and His Wife Anna Maria Braun of Tulpehocken Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania (1974), Elizabeth Floyd's The Descendants of James Ardery of Franklin County, Pennsylvania: including Allied Families Reed, Elder, McNutt, McGiffen and Others (1984), Maribel Hildebrand's Climbing the Brown and Reed Family Tree and Related Branches (1986), John Owens' Owen, Long, Wantz, Krouse and Related Families (1990), David A. Reed's Genealogy of William Reed and Catherine Carson through Son David (19--), and Kenneth Reed's The Houston-Based Reeds: Descended from William and Catherine (Carson) Reed (1994).
There are several different first-name entries for Reed in John Blair Linn's History of Centre and Clinton County (1883). In addition, there are many references to the name in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania (1898).
And, now, your ancestors' REED neighbors in 1890:
In BELLEFONTE Borough:
Henry, 90, retired--8 S. Race Elizabeth George H. 24 Melford 19 Julia--Academy residence Louisa--295 E. Howard
In BENNER Township:John, 40, merchant--Pleasant Gap Sophia E. Grace M. Jessie B.
In COLLEGE Township:Margaret E.--Lemont
In FERGUSON Towsnhip:David, 54, mason--Pinegrove Mills Maria John E. 25 David 16 James I., 23, mason--Pinegrove Mills Emma J. Laura I. William E., 28--Pinegrove Mills
In HAINES Towsnhip:Jacob, 59, farmer--Coburn Lydia
In HARRIS Towsnhip:Sarah S.--Boalsburg
In HUSTON Towsnhip:John Reid, 70, retired--Julian Sarah M.
In PATTON Township:Robert H., 42, farmer--Benore Mary C. William G. C., 12 Irvin G. 10 Catharine R. Anna M. William, 80, farmer--Benore Mary A.
In RUSH Township:Paul, 23, merchant--Sandy Ridge
In SNOW SHOE Township:William, 26, miner--Snow Shoe
In SPRING Township:John H., 45, laborer--Bellefonte Mary M. Nancy J. Eliza A. Elizabeth M. Blanche Benjamin H. 2 William J., 36, laborer--Bellefonte James 11 Daisy Elizabeth Boyd 3 John 4 mos William R., 42, laborer--Axemann Nancy C. Emma H. Susan Elmer 10 William 7