Ancestor Bio – Ezra Sanford (1792-1855)

52 Ancestors – Week 198
Brown-Sanford Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Ezra Sanford was an American pioneer. Born in Vermont, after he received an inheritance from his father’s death, he headed west to settle in western New York. After a few years there, he headed west again and was one of the early settlers in Saline Township, Washtenaw County, Michigan.

Roberts-Brown 2017 – Ancestor #100

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Richard Earl Brown (1903-1990)
  • 1st Great-grandfather: Arthur Durwood Brown(1869-1928)
  • 2nd Great-grandmother: Marion Sanford (1846- c. 1895)
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: William M Sanford(1824-1915)
  • 4th Great-grandfather: Ezra Sanford (1792-1855)
  • 5th Great-grandfather: Ezra Clugston Sanford (1763-1813)
  • 6TH Great-grandfather: Amos Gilbert Sanford

Ezra Sanford (1792-1855)


Ezra Sanford was born on 19 August 1792 in Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont, the second child of Ezra and Mercy (Gay) Sanford. His older sister, Electa, was born in 1790 and his two younger sisters, Sally and Lucy were born in 1796 and 1799 respectively.

There is evidence of Ezra in the 1800 Census as the apparent male under 10 in the household of Ezra Sanford in Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont. Ezra’s father died in 1813 and Ezra received more than $1,100 in the settlement of the estate.

At the age of 27, in 1819, Ezra married Almira Chamberlin and located to Bergen, Genesee County New York. Marriage.

Ezra and Almira had nine children:

Child Born Married Death
Ezra Sanford 1820 (18??) Cornelia Merrill circa. 1900
William M Sanford 1823 (1845) Mary Electa Parsons 1915
Henry Sanford 1824 Unknown?[1]
Amos Sanford 1827 1849
Ann Maria Sanford 1829 (bef. 1880) Amzy George Crane 1898
John W Sanford 1831 1853
Orlo Sanford 1835 1862[2]
George Poindexter Sanford 1835[3] 1900
Charles A Sanford 1838 Unknown[4]


Sometime during the 1820s, Ezra and family located in Clarendon, Orleans County, New York, where they appear in the 1830 Census with Ezra as the head of a household consisting of five males, and two females.

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at

The family emigrated from New York to Michigan in 1836. They stopped in Calhoun County for a short while then moved down to Noble County, Indiana. The next spring Ezra returned to Washtenaw County, Michigan and purchased 200 acres. He went back to New York and returned with his family to Washtenaw County.

The 1840 Census finds Ezra in Saline Township, Washtenaw County, Michigan, as the head of a household consisting of 8 Males and 2 Females.

In 1845, Ezra’s wife, Almira, died and Ezra moved back to Noble County, Indiana. He lived there for two years, met and married a woman named Sarah (LNU) about 1847.  Ezra returned to Michigan, settling in Tecumseh, Lenawee County about 18 miles from Saline.

The 1850 Census finds just Ezra and Sarah living in Lenawee County, just the two of them in the household.

Sarah died 12 December 1854 and was buried in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan.


Photo of Sanford Marker - Benton Cemetery
Sanford Marker – Benton Cemetery (Photo by  Michael Christiaens via Find a Grave)

Ezra Sanford died on 1 August 1855 in Tecumseh. He was buried with both his wives at Benton Cemetery, Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan. It would be good to visit Benton Cemetery and learn exactly where Ezra, Almira, and Sarah are buried. In particular, learn if Ezra is nearer one or the other.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Try finding Ezra Sanford in the 1810 Census using FAN principles.
  • Research Orlo Sanford’s military experience.
  • Determine if Orlo and George were twins by determining their exact birthdates
  • Research Charles A. Sanford’s life, particularly his death.
  • Research Henry Sanford’s life. Did he die in 1834? If so, who was in the Ezra Sanford in 1840.


1800 Census (FS), Family Search, Ezra Sanford – Pownal, Bennington, Vermont.

1820 Census (FS), Family Search, 1820 – Ezra Sanford – Bergen, Genesee, New York.

1830 Census (FS), Family Search, Ezra Sanford – Clarendon, Orleans, New York.

1840 Census (FS), Family Search, 1840 Census – Ezra Sanford – Saline Township, Washtenaw, Michigan.

1850 Census (FS) (NARA), Family Search, 1850 Census – Ezra Sanford – Franklin, Lenawee, Michigan.

“Brown Genealogy” compiled by Dawn Melcher, (14 Dec 2015), Personal Files, Section: SANFORD, EZRA (2) AND ALMIRA CHAMBERLAIN.

Find a Grave, Find a Grave, Ezra Sanford (1792-1855) – Memorial# 54498603.

Michigan Death Certificates, William Sanford – Charlotte, Eaton, Michigan.

Michigan, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, Ancestry.Com, Ezra Sanford – 1845 State Census Index, Page 008.

“History of Washtenaw County Michigan” by Pioneer Society of Washtenaw County (Mich.), William Sanford – Pages 1408 and 1409.

Vermont, Wills and Probate Records, 1749-1999, Ancestry.Com, Probate – Ezra Sanford (1753-1813) – Page 17 (00404).

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at


[1] Some researchers indicate that Henry died in 1834. I have been unable to find the source for that information. Additionally, there is evidence that Henry was included in the 1840 Census as one of the males 15-20 in the Ezra Sanford household.

[2] “The History of Washtenaw County” indicates that Orlo served in the Union army during Civil War and he was wounded at the second battle of Bull Run. Supposedly, he laid on the battlefield for four days; he was taken to a hospital at Washington, where he died, 34 days after the battle, from his wounds. I’d like to research his military experience further.

[3] It is not clear if Orio and George were twins or if the birth years are incorrect. Further research is required regarding their lives.

[4] Again, additional research is needed into the life of Charles A. Sanford.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: