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 THOMAS. 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).
Three books in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte deal with this family: Mary B. Lontz's Centre County Ancestors, Edward Mathews' Thomas Family of Hilltown, Bucks County, Penn'a, and George Leicester Thomas' Genealogy of Thomas Family.
There are 51 different first-name entries for Thomas 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 two of them (with an identifiable Centre County connection) having a separate profile: Isaac Thomas (b. 1837, s/o William A. and Elizabeth Miller); and Z.D. Thomas (b. 1851, s/o Jacob and Rebecca Dutwiler).
And, now, your ancestors' THOMAS neighbors in 1890:
In BELLEFONTE Borough:
Goin, 40, laborer--Decatur Alley Ella Sarah R. Henry 11 Maria L. Rachel A. Arthur 6 Laura F. Lena M. Isaac Sr., 53--43 N. Thomas Martha J. Eliza R. Willia A. 16 Isaac Jr. 8 Joseph D. 7 Arthur 4 Lulu Jacob V., 72, retired--329 N. Allegheny Letitia Mary S. Robert, 19, porter--Cedar Alley
In BENNER Township:Samuel J., 31, laborer--Bellefonte Catharine J. Franklin C. 9 Blanche E. George W. 5 Carrie 3 mos.
In BOGGS Township:Abram, 72, farmer--Milesburg Mary Margaret Joseph, 48, laborer--Milesburg Marsella Harry 23 Maud C.
In BURNSIDE Township:Oliver, 5--Pine Glenn
In CENTRE HALL Borough:Aaron, 42, carpenter Margaret Calvin 15 Jophn T. 12 Mary J. Adam J., 44, carpenter Sarah M William H. 19 Mary
In COLLEGE Township:Clyde, 21--State College Low A.--Lemont Evan V.
In FERGUSON Township:Nancy--Pinegrove Mills Mary I. Nannie J. Samuel, 62, laborer--Rock Springs Margaret I. Wesley 16 John 12
In HAINES Township:Zachariah D., 38, teacher--Aaronsburg Annie
In HARRIS Township:Louis, 50, farmer--Boalsburg Priscilla J. Dicen B. 23 Claire C. 16 Orlando, 62, farmer--Boalsburg Elizabeth Clyde E. 22 Elizabeth M. Sarah J. William, 54, retired--Boalsburg Wallace T. 18 Charles W. 16 Mary
In HOWARD Borough:George, 66, foreman Elizabeth Corilla
In HOWARD Township:Thomas E., 31, farmer--Howard Clark B. Weber 7 Pearl E. William, 40, foreman--Howard Sarah Harry 12 Minnie M. Martha T. Mary
In MILES Township:Wesley P., 46, merchant--Rebersburg Joanna E. Mary L. Elizabeth Abraham 19 Hiram W. 18 Mabel
In MILESBURG BoroughWilliam B., 43, agent Sarah J. Charles W. 9 Henrietta C. Ralpg 5 mos.
In PATTON Township:Arthur C., 24, laborer--Buffalo Run Emma Verna B. David, 33, farmer--Buffalo Run Mary Dora James 12 John 11 Etta Harry 7 Lula Gustavus, 55--Buffalo Run Verna
In PHILIPSBURG Borough:Archibald B., 35, R R machinist--Laurel St. Elizabeth A. B. Nellie J. Olive Archibald B. 3 Catharine--Water St. Grant Bonnie Eliza--Front St. Carrie M. William H. 15 George A.M. 14 Roy F. 11 Charles M. 9 John, 25, clerk--6th St. Bella Mary A. Thomas 3 Thomas 20 O., 27, commission agent Olicott R., 35, miner--Pine St. Irene W. Norman V. 71 Membalia William B., 30, miner--Front St. Sarah Robert J. 9 Ann Viola Sadie
In RUSH Township:James T., 26, laborer--Philipsburg Sarah B. Ruth David 19
In SNOW SHOE Township:John, 75, retired--Snow Shoe Sarah J. Daniel E. 29 Edward W. 22 Anna J. Stewart S., 29, laborer--Snow Shoe Annetta Thomas
In SPRING Township:Morgan, 40, laborer--Bellefonte Martha Edna Robert 5 William W., 27, laborer--Pleasant Gap Matilda Mabel G.