My dilemma and my current Most Wanted!!

I have been searching for my husband’s great-great-great-grandfather, Henry T. Stanard, but have not been successful.  Although my husband’s great-great-great-grandfather is on my Most Wanted list, this post is about his son, Elbert M. Stanard.

I have been communicating with a distant cousin of my husband’s, Charles Grote, and several months ago, he send me a copy of Henry T. Stanard’s probate file.  Recently I was going over the documents he sent me to make sure that I have all of the information that is available within the documents.  I found a list of Henry’s heirs and found that besides the son and two daughter’s I already knew of, there was another son that I have never heard of or seen.  He is Elbert M. Stanard.  Now, besides the probate file that was mailed to me, Charles also send me a few copies of deeds one of which was from Elbert M. Stanard and his wife Ella selling the property to James Hutton, Administrator of Henry T. Stanard’s estate, for $25 as a “heir at law.”

I believe I found Elbert in the 1860 census but am not sure if  his name and sex were incorrectly put as Elizabeth and female (His mother is also named Elisabeth).   We next find him in the 1870 census in Michigan in the household of Edward Williams.  This census shows Edward Williams wife as Elizabeth Williams and she is listed at the appropriate age from the 1860 census with Henry T. and “Elizabeth/Elbert”.   Elbert was also listed with Elizabeth and Edward Williams but he was listed as a day laborer.  Remember that Elbert was listed as an heir previously in the Petition for Administration?   That probate records/deeds shows Elbert and his wife Ella living in Cook County, Illinois in 1886.  In the 1900 census shows Elbert as still living in Illinois as a widow and working as a lawer.  In 1910, we find Elbert in the census in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, working as a editor at a publishing company and lastly we find Elbert in the 1920 census which still shows that he was living in Michigan and working as a Lawyer with a general practice again.  We can’t find him after the 1920 census so I believed that he died sometime after 1920.

In short, here is what we know:

1860 Census Romulus Wayne Michigan  
Henry T 40 – M – W Carpenter 400 – 200 NY
Elizabeth 32 – F – W     NY
Elizabeth 2 – F – W (This could be Elbert?)   MI
1870 Census Romulus Wayne Michigan  
Edward Williams 73 – M – W   3600 – 1000 NY
Elizabeth 43 – F – W Keeping house   NY
Elbert 12 – M – W Day Laborer   MI
1880 Not Found        
1886 – Probate File   Cook Illinois  
Elbert and Wife, Ella Married       
1900 Census Chicago Cook Illinois  
Stanard, E W (M?) 41 – M – Widowed Lawyer    
1910 Census Detroit Wayne Michigan  
Stanard, Elbert M. 50 – M – Wd Editor Publishing    
1920 Census Detroit Wayne Michigan  
Stanrd, Edward (Elbert?) 58 – M – Wd Lawyer Gen Practice    

I have searched on for some clues as to where Elbert and Ella got married, where Ella might have died, more information on how Elbert lived.  After discussing it with my distant cousin-in-law, Charles, we believe that he may have atteded law school sometime  between 1876 – 1900.  We knew that his step-father, Edward Williams, had lots of money and could afford to send Elbert to law school.

I could not find any more information on Elbert.  Where should I search next?  I’m thinking of searching for the law schools in Michigan and Illinois to write to them asking if they have him as a graduate?  Any other suggestions?


4 thoughts on “My dilemma and my current Most Wanted!!”

  1. Maybe the Wayne County or Detroit Libraries have an obituary database from newspapers around the time he may have died. Does Cook County have marriage records from that far back? I’ve had a lot of luck with local libraries lately so that’s my first reaction to reading your post.

    I just started a genealogy blog of my own with a most wanted/unsolved mysteries section. I like the way you listed the census information, makes it easy to read.


    1. Hi Katie! Thanks for the suggestions. I didn’t think about checking out the libraries there. I will add that to my to do list on this line. Thanks.

      Can you post a link to your blog? I would love to read it! Thanks again!!


  2. Very interesting, indeed.

    It’s likely that he didn’t go to law school at all, since back during that time (1) there were only a few law schools and (2) one didn’t need to attend law school. Apprenticeships were the way to become a lawyer. The 3-year law school requirement didn’t apply until around 1905 or 1906. Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and William & Mary, and maybe a couple others, were probably the only “law schools” in existence at that time.

    I think that state census records might be your best bet to fill in some blanks at this point. City directories may also help, especially if he was apprenticing as a lawyer or working as an editor.

    Good luck with your search!


    1. Thanks for the suggestions Jenny. I am also contacting genealogy experts who have a legal background. I will definately utilize your suggestions!

      Thanks again!


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