Josiah Reese on the 1880 census in Davidson

Updated: Feb 5, 2019

Sometime between 1870 and 1880, Josiah Reese moved from Franklin to Davidson, Sullivan County, which until 1847 had been considered the north-eastern part of Lycoming County.


The map above illustrates the rugged and mountainous terrain. Much of the land in Davidson is now State Game Lands, specifically the entire shaded region marked “Davidson” on the above map, a paradise for nature lovers and sportsmen.

In order to reach their destination deep in the Appalachian Mountains, early settlers relied on the waterways much like we rely on roads today. The map below shows the waterways in bold lines. With this perspective, it is easier to visualize how they navigated around the territory in those days. Today this land is part of Pennsylvania State Game Lands Number 13.

In 1880, the census (shown below) was taken on the 14th of June in Davidson, Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. There were a total of 11 people in Josiah Reese’s home. He was a farmer. Some discrepancies are found. For example, Josiah’s age was given as 49 but he was 48, Effie’s age was given as 45 but she was 39. The nine others are all listed as sons and daughters. Wesley was 18, James “McClellan” was 16, and Peter “Milton” was 22. These three sons were all included on the 1870 census (shown previously here). In 1880, four new children appeared in the household since the previous census, as follows: Harvey was 9, Clinton was 8, Maynard was 7, and Mary was 2 years old. It is curious that David, who was 14 in 1880, and Sarah was 13, were not reported in Josiah’s household in 1870. Their whereabouts in 1870 has yet to be determined. (A marriage record is on file at Sullivan County, for the marriage of David E. Reese and Estella E. Shires. The marriage license was issued 23 Aug 1888 and certificate filed 3 Oct 1888. David was a carpenter, age 23, and Estella was 18. His parents’ names were given as: “Josiah & Effie Reese” and her parents were given as “Daniel & Anna Shires”. They both lived in North Mountain, Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. A search for David Reese age 4 on the 1870 census, produced only two results, a David Reese, living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a Mr. and Mrs. James and Jane Lewis. The Lewis’ and David were born in Wales. Another David Reese lived in Mauch Chunk, Carbon County, PA with his parents, Thomas & Bridget Reese, also all born in Wales. Additional research needed).

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