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 SHANK. 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 apparently deals in part with the Shank family. It is Lois Heller's Samuel Shank 1811-1909: Fetzertown and Yarnel, Annie Fetzer 1819-1893.
There are 8 different first-name entries for Shank 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) with no one (with an identifiable Centre County connection) having a separate profile.
And, now, your ancestors' SHANK neighbors in 1890:
In BELLEFONTE Borough:
John, 62, road maker--214 S. Allegheny Rebecca Ella
In BOGGS Township:Alfred M., 27, laborer--Milesburg Mary L. Harry S. 2 Samuel 78 Anna Jacob, 50--Milesburg Mary M. Amos 16 Ada B. Henry C. 11 G. William 9 Carrie M. Susan N. John L. 5 mos.
In LIBERTY Township:Albert M., 40, farmer--Howard Nancy J. Carrie R. Ida Susan E. Wilbur R. 7 Kate E. Irvin 2 Viola A. Christian B., 39, farmer--Howard Mary A. Charles N. 8 Morris J. 5 Lydia R. John, 42, laborer--Howard William P., 37, farmer--Blanchard Lucy D. Fannie J. Foster B. 13 Alta A. George S. 8 Blanche E. Susan M.
In MILESBURG Borough:Martha J.
In SNOW SHOE Township:Daniel, 45, carpenter--Snow Shoe Mary Samuel 21 Matthias W. 17 Roland E. 14 Rose A. James A. 7 John B., 42, laborer--Snow Shoe Mary E. Edith M. Wilbert L. 7 Charles W. 5 Minnie V. Samuel I. 2 mos. Joseph O., 35, brakeman--Snow Shoe Elvira E. James H. 15 Boyd E. 13 David A. 7 Joseph L. 4