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 WILSON. 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).
Four books in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte deal at some length with this family. They are David Gill's Maude Wilson and Wyatt Gill: Their Ancestry and Family, Sara Hinckley'sThe Family of Samuel & Jean Love Wilson, Glynn McCalman's The Wilsons around McAlevy's Fort, and Larry Wilson's Genealogy of the Family of Wilson of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Missouri.
There are 90 different first-name entries for Wilson in John Blair Linn's History of Centre and Clinton County (1883). In addition, there are many references to the Wilson name in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania (1898) with the following persons (with an identifiable Centre County connection) having a separate profile: JAMES W. Wilson (b. 1845, s/o Thomas and Christina Hoover); and,W.N. Wilson (b. 1837, s/o John and Sarah.)
And, now, your ancestors' WILSON neighbors in 1890:
In BELLEFONTE Borough:
Alice--14 West High Emma P.--37 Phoenix Hattie John H. 16 Lloyd 3 Edna Wilbur 1 mo John, 30, laborer--134 North Ridge Nora William 8 Mary William M. 20 Margaret H., 18--West High Nettie--North Allegheny Porter, 15--North Water
In BENNER Township:Viola--Bellefonte Della
In CENTRE HALL Borough:Martha P.
In FERGUSON Township:Annie--Pinegrove Mills George H. 38 Kate M. Walter E. 8 Mary H. Shedrick, 13--Pinegrove Mills
In HALF-MOON Township:Esther E.--Loveville Mattie James 18 Catharine Priscilla A. John, 59, farmer--Loveville Mary A. Newton I. 21 John R. 14 Hannah L. William L., 72, retired--Stormstown Eliza J. Harriet E. Benner N. 32 Mary B. Alice E.
In HUSTON Township:Elizabeth--Julian Charles 27 John 25
In MARION Township:Robert K., 42, postmaster--Walker Elizabeth A. Bertha E. Edith F. Robert N.
In MILESBURG Borough:John S., 58, laborer Susan R. Robert B. 20 Effa M. Sarah
In PENN Township:Andrew M., 26, laborer--Coburn Ellen Jacob E. 3 Lotta Samuel W., 32, laborer--Coburn Sarah R. Nannie Eva B. Jessie H. 9 mos.
In PHILIPSBURG Borough:Samuel, 32, laborer Christian William, 36, laborer--11th Street Tabitha H. William W. 13 Effie E. Samuel L. 1
In POTTER Township:Ida B.--Tusseyville Thomas J., 69, laborer--Centre Hall Mary S. Leonard R. 9
In SPRING Township:Lucy--Bellefonte Mary J.--Bellefonte Mary J.--Bellefonte Thomas, 67, teamster--Bellefonte Mary James 21 Thomas 19 Rebecca William, 52, laborer--Bellefonte Mary A. John E. 19 Catharine J. Harriet H. Boyd A. 9 William C., 17--Bellefonte
In UNION Township:Mary A.--Fleming Sarah J.
In UNIONVILLE Borough:George W., 66--laborer Sarah
In WALKER Township:Curtis, 38, clerk--Walker George W., 53, laborer--Zion Jacob E., 21, laborer--Zion John, 66, laborer--Zion Sarah Oliver P., 53, huckster--Hublersburg Willamina Martha D.