Elusive Ancestor: Oscar Ward

If you look at my fan chart, you'll find it complete for many generations. In my 3rd great-grandparent bracket, there are names but no stories. Today I'm focusing on Oscar Ward for a challenge that I've been meaning to do since the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post of April 2013. Better late than never, right?

Oscar Ward of New York and Michigan
Oscar Ward's partial family tree available at FamilySearch.org

I know that Oscar Ward was probably born in New York in 1836. I believe him to be the son of:

Chester Ward (b. about 1820 in New York)

Mariah (b about 1820 in New York or New Jersey)

Oscar's family moved to Genesee, Michigan prior to the 1850 US Census.

I believe that Oscar was their only child for a long time. The 1870 and 1880 US Census record suggest that Oscar has a brother named William Ward who was born in 1866 after Oscar married. 

Oscar married Jeanette between 1860 and 1870 as the family appeared in the 1870 US Census with two children:
1. Emeline Ward (b 1866 Bay City, Bassar, Michigan, United States)
2. George H Ward (b. 1869 in Michigan, United States)

I can not determine what happens to the family after the 1870 US Census, with the exception of Emeline, as she's my 2nd great-grandmother. The details for Oscar, his parents, wife, and son George just stop.

The Genea-Musing challenge asked what we should do to research this problem further. The truth is... I'm not sure. I'm stuck trying to figure out where these folks are in 1880, alive, dead, or misrecorded. I'm hoping that something will trigger a break in the wall so I can at least at some more details to these New York natives and Michigan residents. With a name like Oscar Ward and a father named Chester, both born in New York, the trouble is only just beginning.

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