Monday, July 11, 2016

The Search for John Minard (1865 to ??)

John Minard 
(1865 to ???)

Here is what I know currently:

John "Minard" was born about 1865 in Huron County, Michigan.  His mother would have been Sarah Riley.  His father is either Adam Minard (provided Adam died later than 1861) or is unknown.  In the 1870 census, John is listed as John Wilson, age 5 and living with his mother and all nine siblings.  In the 1880 census John is listed as John "Minard", age 15 and is living with his mother and six siblings.  By the 1900 census, John would have been about 25 years old and likely living on his own but I have not been able to find either John Minard or John Wilson listed in Huron County, nor in any later census records. Nor have I found a death record for either name.

So where did John go???

Analysis of evidence gathered so far:

The first I learn of John's existence is in the 1870 US Census,

Sarah (Riley) Minard is a widow is living in Huron City, Huron County, Michigan (New River Post Office) with nine children ... all using the surname Wilson.  According to previous research, Sarah's husband Adam died about 1861, so the father of at least the two youngest has been in question.

The youngest two children in the 1870 census are John "Wilson", age 5 and Sarah "Wilson", age 2. Living next to the family is William Wilson, age 52, farmer, born in Ontario. Further research provided evidence that Sarah Elizabeth Wilson, was born to William Wilson and Sarah Riley.  Additionally, Sarah appears to have used the maiden name Wilson (instead of Minard) throughout her life.  I have not been able to find a birth record for John yet.

In the 1880 US Census, Sarah is living in the township of Huron, Huron County, Michigan with six children, all listed under the surname Minard. Additionally, there is no William Wilson in Huron Township, so where William (the father of Sarah) has gone needs further research (As a side note, there is a Boarder living with the Dwains family in Caseville, but further research would be needed to tie this William to Sarah's father). The youngest two youngest are John "Minard", age 15 and Sarah "Minard", age 12.

Further research in the 1894 State Census of Michigan may shed additional light on the location of the youngest children.

A quick look up of death certificates on Seeking Michigan's website (for the years 1897-1920) for "John Minard" turns up no results, while a search of  "John Wilson" gives me 129 results. But when filtering it down to Huron County, I get no hits.  With a filter of birth year of 1865, I get three hits which at initial view do not show any other connections to Huron county or any of the Minard, McLean or Smith families.

If he died after 1880 and before 1900, why isn't he buried in the New River Cemetery where the family was living and other family members were being buried?

By 1900, Sarah (Riley) Minard is living with her widowed son George in Port Austin, Huron and Georges two living children Maggie and Stanton.  Sarah Elizabeth (Wilson) McLean has married and is living in Winsor, Huron, Michigan with her husband John Angus McLean and their five children.  One of the questions on the 1900 census is how many children born and how many living as of 1900. Unfortunately, this question was not marked for Sarah Minard, so we can only go off the 1870 census showing a total of nine children being born, but unsure how many where living as of 1900.  There is a John Wilson, born 1868 in Michigan, living in Washburn, Bayfield, Wisconsin apparently working as a day laborer with the railroad. His mother was born in Ireland and his father in New York (which is not where William Wilson was born, but may have been were Adam Minard was born), but nothing else seems to be a match at this time to other known facts.

By 1910, Sarah (Riley) Minard is living with her daughter Mary Jane (Minard) Smith, Mary's husband Thomas E Smith and their six children, in Elyria, Lorain, Ohio.

By 1935, according to the obituary for James Harvey Minard, James is survived by two brothers Adam (of Detroit), and Albert (of Alabaster), and two sisters Jane Smith (of Elyria, Ohio) and Sarah McCleon (of Detroit).  There is no mention of John as either living or deceased.

Questions to be answered:
  1. Where did her John "Wilson" or John "Minard" go after 1880?
  2. Did John go by the name Minard? or Wilson? or another surname?  
  3. Did he share the same father (William Wilson) as his youngest sister Sarah Elizabeth?
  4. Did John die sometime after 1880 but before 1900? And if so when and where?
  5. Why isn't John listed as a sibling in his brother James Harvey Minard's obituary?  Is he listed as a sibling (surviving or otherwise) in the obituaries of any of Sarah Riley Minard's other children?
As always, I am looking to connect with the decendants of Adam Minard and Sarah Riley Minard, so if you are related please contact me so we can share information.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love & Aloha,

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