Saturday, May 30, 2015

Foster Connections

According to an old piece of paper found in an old bible that was in my family, my 3rd g-grandfather, Daniel Hildreth, named his first son, Charles Foster Hildreth, who was born in 1819 in Minisink, Orange, NY. This middle name of Foster might be a clue, either to the first wife of Joseph Hildreth (1753-1789) or to somebody on Daniel's maternal side, or perhaps, to somebody who became guardian to Daniel after his father died.  Whatever the connection, here is a list of people with the Foster surname in the 1790 census (pg 134) who lived nearby Samuel Hildreth and Daniel Hildreth II, starting with those listed closest to the Hildreth names just mentioned:

• Nathan Foster
• Stephen Foster (only 1 person in this household, a male over 16)
• Benj. Foster
• Chistopher Foster
• Stephen Foster

So we know there were Foster families near our Hildreth families in 1790, and even before then as I have found some deeds between Stephen Foster and Daniel Hildreth from 1757. And yes, there were also a couple marriages between the Foster and Hildreth families. Here are the ones I've discovered so far:
  • Ephraim Hildreth, a brother of my ancestor Nathan, had a daughter named Phebe (1733-1787). This Phebe Hildreth married Christopher Foster, possibly the name we see on the 1790 census. I believe Christopher remarried and had more children, but I'm not sure.
  • Joseph Hildreth, another brother of my ancestor Nathan, had a daughter named Sarah, who I believe was born around 1705. That Sarah Hildreth married Stephen Foster around 1725 and they had 8 children, one was a son named Stephen, who is possibly the person we see in the 1790 census.
So Foster is a Southampton family with definite ties to ours. My genealogy radar tells me the connection might be significant since my 3rd g-grandfather gave his first son the Foster name.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

John Hildreth of Bridgehampton

This post pertains to John Hildreth, whose vital dates are believed to be around 1729-1795. That John Hildreth descended from Isaac, son of Joseph-1, while my branch descended from Nathan, son of Joseph-1.  So why am I  writing about this John Hildreth?

Because I have been exploring the family history that was recorded in 1867 by Daniel Hildreth III (1800-1881), a subject of several posts here, starting with this one.  The opening paragraph of that account is a bit hard to understand, but it seems to be saying that the original Hildreth settler to Long Island had two sons, Joseph (our ancestor) who settled in Southampton, and John, who settled in Bridgehampton.

I think most researchers of Long Island Hildreth's might agree that the original settler was probably Thomas Hildreth. There is also much agreement that Thomas had a son named Joseph, but there does not seem to be any trace that Thomas had a son named John.  So Daniel III was just wrong.

But let's think about this.  Joseph, son of Thomas, had 9 sons, whose status became:
  • Joseph, Daniel, and Jonathan all presumably died in childhood, before 1698
  • Benjamin and John left Long Island (Benjamin, I think to NYC, and John to Orange County, NY)
  • Joseph (second child with this name) and Ephraim had only daughters
  • Isaac and Nathan (my ancestor) lived their lives on eastern Long Island
(note that this summary comes from my own research and may not be certifiably correct)

Of the two sons of Joseph who had families on Long Island:
  • Nathan Hildreth had 8 children that we know of, all of whom, it seems, lived in Southampton. Daniel III descended from this branch.
  • Isaac Hildreth had one son who we know survived to adulthood, namely John Hildreth, 1729-1795. This John was born in Bridgehampton and died in Sag Harbor. This John had several descendants with names that include Luther, Isaac, John, and later Lester, Shadrach, Matthew, all names showing up in censuses and tax lists during the lifetime of Daniel III, and Daniel III most likely would have known them to be relations from another branch.
So, as I often find in personal accounts, even when I find a statement that is wrong, there is still somewhere an element of truth in it. In this case, Daniel III knew that one branch of the family lived in Southampton, and the other in Bridgehampton (true). He knew the name John was associated with the Bridgehampton clan (also true). That John Hildreth would probably have been known to both clans because he served as an Ensign during the Revolution, and died just shortly before Daniel III was born. Daniel III knew some things about John Hildreth, who was his first cousin, twice removed. But Daniel III did not grow up nor live in Bridgehampton, and so his knowledge of that branch's history was less informed than it was for his own branch in Southampton.

As always, comments welcome.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hildreths in 1790 Southampton

I don't know why this has escaped me before now, studying the 1790 census of Southampton. Maybe because I've been so focused in a time period BEFORE a US federal census existed.  And, of course, now I am kicking myself for not searching for and considering more spelling variations of the name Hildreth. Nevertheless, I saw it all today, so today is the day.

There are a number of Hildreth's in 1790 Southampton, but here are the ones of most interest to my line of descent:

page 134:
WM 16+
WM < 16
All WF
Other Free
Samuel Hildridge

Samuel Sandford

Daniel Hildridge

Here are my observations:
  1. I feel sure that “Hildridge” in this census is really our Hildreth family. Of course I must always add the caveat that I could be wrong.
  2. I believe the Hildreths in this table were brothers, and sons of Daniel Hildreth 1715-1784:
    • Samuel Hildreth, 1762 – unk. I think he was not yet married in 1790.
    • Daniel Hildreth II, 1752-1832. I think he was just married around 1790.
  3. From what we think we know, both Joseph Hildreth Sr. and Jr. had died just before the 1790 census. Without the men, the households of each Joseph might have looked like:
    • Joseph Sr: probably just his widow. Both his daughters were just married by this time, more on that in minute.
    • Joseph Jr: a widow and as many as three male children under 16.
  4. The household of Daniel II looks about as I would expect it to if it included himself, his wife, and a newly born son (Shadrach). I have in my tree that he might have had a daughter named Pamela, so perhaps she is the extra female.
  5. The household of Samuel Hildreth, I propose, had taken in the family members of Joseph Jr. So we might imagine the household included Samuel, the widow Mary Post Hildreth, and her three sons, all under 16 (Joseph, John, and Daniel). That leaves 2 other females in Samuel's household who would be as yet unknown. 
  6. The appearance of the household of Samuel Sandford, is significant, partly and maybe importantly because it appears between the two Hildreth households. I believe this Samuel Sandford is the person who married the daughter of Joseph Sr., Phibe Hildreth (see the first of my two-part posts about her). Samuel Sandford and Phibe were also newly married around this time, and had one daughter who had just arrived in the world, which matches the household we see in this 1790 census. But where was the mother of Phibe, the widow of Joseph Sr? Perhaps she too had died before 1790, or remarried, or is one of the extra females in the household of Samuel.
But what does this arrangement of people imply, and how much weight do the implications carry?

When I first saw the Sandford household between the households of the two Hildreth brothers, I thought the placement of the Sandford household must certainly imply a close relationship to the Hildreth brothers, a relationship that was perhaps representative of the Hildreth's dead brother, Joseph. If this interpretation is true, then we're mixed up again, and the Joseph Hildreth who had only daughters was a son of Daniel 1715-1834. The implication of this interpretation would be bad news for the story of DH-III (see my previous post on this topic if you haven't been already following along).

On the other hand, it seems both possible and somewhat likely, given what we do know about our family group (i.e., Our Daniel Hildreth and his family of origin), that the family of the deceased Joseph Jr. were the ones living with Samuel Hildreth in 1790. Samuel would have been an uncle to our family, a then-single uncle, and one who had property and resources. If this interpretation is true, then the story of DH-III still stands, and the Sandford household represents not relatives of the Hildreth's brother Joseph, but those of their uncle Joseph.

As always, comments welcome.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Post Possibilities

As I have noted from my study of the account of DH-III, there well may have been two women named Mary (or Polly) Post, both married to a different Joseph Hildreth, one would have been the mother of Our Daniel Hildreth 1787-1876, and the other would have been his aunt. How can we figure out if this idea is plausible?

First, what dates do I need to consider? Each Mary Post, like our two Joseph Hildreth's, is a generation apart. So, for Joseph Hildreth 1727-1788, and Joseph Hildreth 1753-1789, I would expect a birth date for a wife to be at least in the same ball park as those of the men. This assumption does not have to be true necessarily, but I'll start here with this generality.

Now let's look at the wife of the older Joseph Hildreth. I will make note here that Howell's Early History book referred to the wife of Nathan's son Joseph (21) as Sarah, but, as I've written about elsewhere, there are sadly no sources for Howell's genealogies. Because the account of DH-III named the wife of this Joseph Hildreth as Mary Post, I'm going with that name for the moment.  Also, I am going with the assumption that Post was a maiden name and not the name of a widow. That assumption is certainly not a safe bet, but one has to start somewhere.

That said, I studied all the males with the surname Post listed in the 1776 census of Southampton. After a search of those names across various genealogy databases, it would appear the Post names found on the 1776 census are descendants of Capt. John Post 1673-1741 and Mary Halsey. Do not quote me on anything I'm about to say, but my preliminary search shows sons of Capt. John Post to be John, Joseph, and Isaac, all of whom were found in the 1776 census, and all of whom would be about the right age to be the father of a daughter who would marry Joseph Hildreth around or about 1760 (I am estimating the birth year of such a daughter around 1730, close to the birth year we have for Joseph). I will point out that all three of these Post sons might be likely to name a daughter Mary, after their mother, Mary Halsey.

Unfortunately, most genealogies, not to mention the record sources themselves, so rarely mention female children. So here's the general and unsourced picture of the Capt. John Post and Mary Halsey family group minus half its members:
  • John Post 1700-1792 + Abigail Halsey; children James, John, Abraham, and !Esther! (b. 1743, which is a little late for what I'm looking for)
  • Joseph Post 1704-1780 + Bethia Jessup and/or Mary Smith; children Henry, Jeremiah, Joseph, Stephen, Nathan, and more. Most of these names are found on the 1776 census.
  • Isaac Post 1712-1785 + maybe Mary Jessup and later Agnes. Isaac, noted as Esq. because he was a justice among several other titles he held in community service, died - apparently - from falling out of a tree. The deeds show that his widow was Agnes, who apparently sold all his land, remarried, and moved away.
Technically, any of these Post brothers could have been father of a daughter who married Joseph Hildreth Sr., although if it was Isaac, he would have been becoming father to a daughter when he was around 18. So let's just skip over Isaac for the moment. Between John and Joseph, I would lean toward Joseph because, potentially, he had a wife named Mary, which would be double the reason to name a daughter Mary.

It's hard to know where to look for a younger Mary Post who married the younger Joseph Hildreth Jr. and who could well be my 4th g-grandmother. Note that the DH-III account referred to this wife as Polly Post, and Polly is known to have been a nickname for Mary.

Again, we can't know at this point if this Mary Post was herself a widow when she married Joseph Hildreth, especially given that it was apparently a second marriage for him. But even with so many unknowns, here is a clue that might be worth considering:
  • Daniel Hildreth II bought some property in 1786 that was bounded by that of Jeremiah Post, who was a son of Joseph Post. Daniel II and Joseph Hildreth Jr. were cousins, and it seems likely that families of bounding properties knew each other. We REALLY need to look at a map of old Southampton to see where various Hildreth properties were in relation to that of others with the surname Post. I think MAPS are going to be a key consideration to this puzzle of Post connections!
So, in answer to the question, Who were Mary Post Sr. and Jr.?, all of this analysis can only be food for thought at this point. Now it's only proper to chew on these things for awhile.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

God Bless America, Now Pay Your Taxes

Here's a little more analysis I just completed (or is ongoing, to be more accurate):

Hildreth Names in 1799-1803 Tax Rolls of Southampton, New York

As exciting as it is to discover new sources, it has then taken me several days to figure out exactly WHO are the Hildreth's appearing in these tax lists???  Having an actual source has caused me to turn my family tree upside down, yet again, mostly to shake out all the unsourced information that I had attached at some past and unthinking point. I'm not opposed to "trying on" unsourced information mostly because it helps me to think about things, but also because it generates hints I wouldn't otherwise see on But then I forget and then I come back years later and wonder what was I thinking? The lesson of writing down what I was thinking is partly why I write this blog. Hopefully others will learn from my mistakes as well as my wonderings.

Hildreths in Revolutionary Associations

One of the things I love about doing genealogy is there is always something new to learn. This particular source has taught me alot:

Mather, Frederic Gregory, The Refugees of 1776 from Long Island to Connecticut. Albany, N.Y.: J.B. Lyon Co., printers, 1913

From this source, I learned that all the male Hildreth's living in Southampton, New York in 1775 signed an Association list. But in reading the material around these lists, I was in the end confused about what exactly an Association was. Now another source explains:

"In 1775 associations were formed, the members of which pledged themselves to the support of the measures of the provincial congress, and the union of the American colonies, to resist the oppression of the British government."

Onderdonk, Henry, Revolutionary Incidents of Long Island, N.Y., published 1846 and 1849. I have not actually seen this source but found the above quote referencing this source.

So, excellent explanation of Associations! However, I want to here add an additional note about this 1776 Refugees source. I am not sure if Mr. Mather (the author) saw these original Association lists and then transcribed them, or if he was given the lists already transcribed. I do know (now) that each list as it appears in this source has been alphabetized by both surname and given name. I made the mistake of thinking that the Hildreth names appearing together must certainly imply something about which family group each man belonged to. But that is most certainly not the case. For example, the appearance of the name James Hildreth following the name Isaac Hildreth does not in any way indicate that these two men belonged to the same immediate family group - it only means that "J" of James follows "I" of Isaac in the alphabet. Sheesh.

Like I said, there's always something more to learn, not just about history, but also about how to understand our sources.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hildreth's of 1698 Southampton

First, let me say what an unexpected delight it was to find a census had been taken in Southampton, Long Island in 1698, and not just of males! It seems almost too good to be true! It is also my understanding that this census records "young and old," meaning not just head of household. I have to look into this detail more closely to be sure, but if true, this source is even more valuable.

The names as listed here may or may not be listed in the order they were recorded at the time; that part is still something I need to investigate. Though I can't prove it, I suspect these names might be appearing in age order.

But all speculation aside, here are the names of males that I believe pertain to our branch of the family - those related to Joseph Hildreth and Hannah Jessup:
  • Joseph Hildrith
  • Joseph Hildrith Jr.
  • Nathan Hildrith
  • Isaak Hildrith
  • Ephraim Hildrith
  • Daniell Hildrith
  • Jonathan Hildrith
Separate from this group of names was listed Benj. Hildrith, and separate still was a group that included James Hildrith, James Hildrith Jr. and Joshua Hildrith.
I'm going to discuss each of these in order.

Joseph Hildrith - presumably 1657-1735, married Hannah Jessup, who was presumably the Hannah Hildrith listed with the white females.

Joseph Hildrith Jr. This one is a bit tough. I have in my tree, but without source, that there were two sons of Joseph Hildrith Sr. named Joseph. One was born in 1679 and died some time before 1696, and the second was born around 1696. On the other hand, I found yet another unsourced tree today that mentions only one son of Joseph Sr. named Joseph, whose vital dates were roughly 1679-1742. This Joseph Jr. apparently married somebody named Hannah and had a second wife named Deborah Scott, and had only daughters. Does anybody know anything else about this Joseph?  It should also be noted there was a 1720 Southampton deed from Joseph Hildreth to his son Joseph "given for love and affection."

Nathan Hildrith - our ancestor - 1685-1746. If his vital dates are correct, then this census was listing children, because Nathan would have been only 13 years old.  Nathan also later received land from his father (in 1713 and 1715).

Ephraim Hildrith - 1689-1771. Same comment about age; Ephraim would have been 9 years old. Ephraim received land from his father in 1717.

Daniell Hildrith - b. abt 1691, though I have no good source for that date. To my knowledge, we don't know of any other other mention of this Daniel.  That is, if he was a son of Joseph Sr. at all.

According to older genealogies (like Howell's book, The Early History of Southampton), Joseph Sr. also had sons named John "probably," and Isaac and Jonathan, all of whom I have thought might have been born after 1700. At least as regards Isaac and Jonathan, either there were other males in Southampton in 1698 with these names who were not sons of Joseph Sr., or Isaac and Jonathan were born before 1698.  That is, if these Hildreth's were sons of Joseph Sr. at all.

One more son seems to have been nearly universally associated with Joseph Sr. and that is Benjamin.  The fact that a Benjn Hildrith is listed by himself and not with the other family groups implies to me that he was possibly older, and on his own by 1698.  That is, if he was a son of Joseph Sr. at all.

James Hildreth is supposedly the brother of Joseph Sr. and I am assuming that James Jr. and Joshua were his sons or other close relation.

Since there were no deeds found from Joseph Hildreth Sr. to Daniel, Isaac, or Jonathan, one might guess that the later sons - if they were sons of Joseph Sr. - either did not survive or they moved away. That is still just conjecture, but it's interesting to note that all three of these males who have been attributed to Joseph Sr. as his sons might have been born before 1698.

There is a whole lot of speculation going on in this post, granted. But this source nevertheless seems to me quite valuable, and I'm not opposed to wondering.

Comments welcome.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Study of Hildreth Sources

I've just completed documenting my preliminary research and analysis of the family history account given by Daniel Hildreth III (see my previous post of discovering DH-III here). So far, I think there is more than reasonable cause to consider a correction to my particular branch of the Hildreth genealogy. Tell me what you think!

Here is my article:

A Study of the "Daniel Hildreth's Family Record" as Pertains to the Lineage of Joseph Hildreth 1753-1789 Southampton, Suffolk, New York

And here are the supporting addenda:

Monday, May 4, 2015


I decided today it would be a good thing to understand the BIG picture of my Brown family who lived in Gloucester county, New Jersey for several generations. When I really looked, I realized the Brown's go back in Gloucester as far as my 6th g-grandfather, John Brown I, who died there in 1736. Wow.

But today, let's just start with the siblings of my 4th g-grandfather, Jonathan Brown. Here are some connections I discovered.
  • Jonathan Brown had a sister, Sophia Brown, who was the second wife of Samuel Mickle.
  • Samuel Mickle had a brother, William Mickle who married Sarah Lord, sister of Samuel's first wife, Ann Lord.
  • William and Sarah Mickle had a son, George Mickle.
  • Jonathan Brown had a daughter, Mary Brown. She married George Mickle in 1812, who was her first cousin once removed. George Mickle was 12 years older than his wife, and not surprisingly, Mary Brown Mickle outlived her husband by nearly 16 years. Mary lived with her twin sister, Sarah Brown, who was the unmarried aunt who left a will bequeathing all to her various nieces (see my previous post).
Whew. To round it out, all three of Jonathan Brown's other surviving siblings married people of the REEVES family. It would seem everybody was related to everybody else in one way or another!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Networks of Female Kin and Brown Women

There are not many books written about single women in history, in the world or in America. I have a pretty big library of genealogical and historical titles at this point, and I find only two books in my collection that address this subject: LIBERTY, A Better Husband, Single Women in America: The Generations of 1780-1840 by Lee Virginia Chambers-Schiller, and True Sisterhood, Michigan Women and Their Kin 1820-1920 by Marilyn Ferris Motz. This latter title is my favorite, and a unique and enlightening work. It describes networks of female kin as a system of support and influence which created a net of security within and often beyond families in what were obviously turbulent and insecure times. These female networks weren't "organized" and they weren't some kind of secret society. They were, apparently, a spontaneous and natural desire on the part of women to participate in and protect their interests and survival in times when women still had few legal rights or social freedoms.

In any case, it isn't often in my own research that I can identify this idea of female networking, but I think it just popped up in the family of two Quakers, Jonathan Brown (1748-1824) and Sarah Ballinger (1757-1835). Almost by a fluke, I discovered the will of the unmarried daughter in the family, namely Sarah Brown (1794-1874). This will is like a gold mine in that it does more to explain and highlight the family relationships than any other document discovered to this point. Sarah had a twin sister (Mary Brown Mickle), and from what I can tell, Sarah Brown lived in all-female households over half her 80-year life. Living with and caring for her widowed sister and all her various nieces became a wholly purposeful and satisfying life, or so it would seem.

The will of Sarah Brown, written in 1867, names and provides for six nieces, at least half of which we did not fully know about because of the problem of women's names not appearing on census records before 1850. It's amazing. But then it took me awhile to realize that even though Sarah had brothers and nephews living at the time of her death, none of them were mentioned. Why?

Somehow I next fell across the will of Mary Sloan Brown, daughter of John Brown and Ruth Sloan, another of Sarah's nieces who had died shortly before her aunt. Again this will is rather staggering in that it names no fewer than 12 women in her family network - aunts, sister, cousins, and friends. There is even a half-sister that we haven't known about before now. Again, it's not that there were no male relations who were alive at the time of Mary's death, but not a one of them was mentioned. Why?

My theory is that we are looking at a prime example of the female kinship network. It's not that the men in the family were not loved or cared for by their female relations. It's that the women knew that the men were born into the world with certain rights that would give them the opportunity to survive and prosper. The men would be ok. But women of that time were not born with rights or guarantees for the freedom to navigate their own lives. Help for them to succeed would come from the inside, from an unseen support system that quietly found ways to provide for survival and encourage independence.

And what exactly did these Brown women leave in their wills? It certainly wasn't property, which they could not legally own. They left cash if they had any, and the rest were things like these: wearing apparel, silver spoons, a silver thimble, a knitting sheath, sugar tongs, books, pewter, a high chest of drawers, two wine glasses, and a sewing chair. A special item for both women seems to have been a looking glass. Oh yes, and if there was any cash left in the estate, instructions were left for "investment in a good freehold security" from which the interest would funnel back to the female relations.

I might be an aging feminist, but I don't pretend to imagine there was any kind of female utopia in early America. But is it possible that the slow evolution toward gender equality has its roots in ordinary women who quietly believed in and acted upon their own inherent capabilities? If that's true, I'm just saying that the remains of genealogy records can barely begin to suggest the true legacy left to us all by women who dared to believe in themselves.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Corey Connections

There seems to have been some significant connection between My Daniel Hildreth and David Corey. Here is some of the evidence:
  • 1815 - Daniel and David Corey bought property in Minisink, Orange, NY. It's not entirely clear, but it seems that David possibly lent Daniel the money because there was a mortgage involved where Daniel was supposed to have paid back the loan by April, 1820.
  • It should be noted that in the same year, 1815, Daniel married Sarah Crane and she was from Wantage, Sussex, NJ.
  • 1818-1820 - David Corey of Wantage, Sussex, NJ recorded his will in OC; wife was Susan, a witness was Daniel Hildreth, and executor was Lewis Hall, brother-in-law (m. sister Mary Cory). The will was probated in March 1820.
  • In 1825, Daniel and Sarah had a daughter who they named Susan Corey Hildreth.
  • 1838 - Daniel sold his land in OC, or it went back to the original owner?  Again there is mention of David Corey and a mortgage, but it's not yet clear how that was all dealt with after David Corey died in 1820.
Here is a summary of who I think David Corey was:
  • David's parents were Jonathan Cory and Lucy Knapp, they were from Orange, NY, but the previous generation was from Southold, Suffolk, NY.
  • David Corey, b 1787 in Goshen, Orange, NY, m Susan Owens, he died in 1820 in Wantagh, Nassau, NY (why was he there? also note place is somewhat like Wantage in NJ). His children were Jonathan Corey, b 30 Apr 1815, Orange, NY, d 23 Feb 1883, m. Elizabeth Penny; and Jesse, b 6 Sep 1818, m Catherin Nicholson, d 28 Apr 1881, Paw Paw, IL
It looks to me like David Corey was born in Orange County, so he was there long before Daniel Hildreth, although they were roughly the same age, so they were contemporaries. Still I wonder if there was not some family connection with the Corey's that took Daniel to Orange County where he was, apparently, living when he enlisted in the militia in 1814. Maybe the Corey family became a guardian after Daniel's father died? Or Daniel's mother remarried a Corey?  There's still lots to learn!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Phebe Who?, Part 2- The Sandford-Culver Mind Boggle

Moving on with my Hildreth saga, now let's segue to Sandford/Sanford families. There's a very informative Sandford genealogy which tells us, among other things, that Samuel and Bethuel Sandford lived near each other and worked together:
Samuel lived at the north end of the Village of Southampton, south of the depot. This Samuel was probably the partner of Bethuel Sandford in the leasing of grazing lands at Shinnecock on 18 April 1806.
The cousin relationship between the two, Bethuel and Samuel, goes pretty far back, I think. Here are the lineages of Bethuel and Samuel from what I can determine thus far:

Ezekial-1, Ezekial-2, Ezekial-3, Bethuel-4, b 1761
Ezekial-1, Zachary-2, Daniel-3, Samuel-4, b 1762

Now, we start entering the complicated part.  Here is Mind-Boggle #1:

It appears that two consecutive generations of men named Samuel Sandford married women whose maiden name was (or might have been) Phebe Culver.  So the genealogy apparently looks like this:

Samuel Sandford, Sr., b 1762, m. Phebe Culver, dau of James Culver and Phoebe Bishop (see previously mentioned source). This couple had 6 children, one named Samuel, born 1791 - see next.

Samuel Sandford, Jr., b 1791, m. Phebe Culver, dau of Deacon Moses Culver (again same previously mentioned source). They had three children.

Wait, there's more. Here is Mind-Boggle #2:

In tracking the Culver family, it appears that, on paper, two grandchildren of James Culver were married??!! I mean to each other!

James Culver + Phebe Bishop
   1  Moses, b 15 Oct 1762 + Mehetebel Jagger
      2  Phebe, b 3 Aug 1791 + Samuel Sandford Jr. b. 1791, son of Samuel Sandford, b 1762 & Phebe Culver, b 1765
   1  Phebe, b 2 Apr 1765 + Samuel Sandford, b 1762
      2 Samuel Jr., b 1791 + Phebe Culver, b 3 Aug 1791, dau of Moses Culver, b 1762
Boggling enough for you? Except that I don't buy it, partly from instinct and partly from studying all the clues on hand. Here's why.
  • In Records of Southampton, Long Island, New York: Abstracts of Volume 2 of Deeds in Town Clerk's Office, Volume 6 on WVR, p. 205, there is an editor's note associated with a deed that explains how Deacon Moses Culver willed his land to his daughter Phebe, wife of Samuel Sandford, who then sold that land. So I believe there was indeed a marriage between Samuel Sandford JR. and Phebe, dau of Moses Culver.
  • I lost track of how many family trees list the marriage of Samuel Sandford, son of Daniel, and Phebe Culver, dau of James, and then attribute to them all the children that were spelled out in the account of DH-III as being the children of Samuel Sandford and Phibe Hildreth. This inconsistency is significant, in my opinion.
  • Several of the family trees just mentioned are making every attempt to be well-documented, so I followed one of those sources to this: 
Colver-Culver Genealogy: Descendants of Edward Colver of Boston, Dedham, and ... by Frederic Lathrop Colver, 1910. (see pp 77-78 and p. 96)
The important thing to note here is this genealogy does not list any daughter named Phebe whose parents were James Culver and Phebe Bishop. Repeat. We have no documentation beyond user-generated family trees that either states or implies that James Culver had a daughter named Phebe. So it's 50-50, I say. There is no proof there was a Phebe Culver b in 1765, dau of James Culver, and yet it's still possible that James Culver did have a daughter, either natural or adopted, named Phebe who was not recorded in the 1910 genealogy.

Taken altogether, here's what I think. I think the woman who married Samuel Sandford Sr., son of Daniel, was Phibe (or some similar spelling) Hildreth, dau of Joseph Hildreth and Mary Post, aka Aunt Phila. Why?
  • Samuel Sr. and Bethuel are documented as having lived and worked together, which suggests to me that perhaps they were more closely connected because their wives were sisters.
  • The family history of DH-III lists the same children for Samuel Sandford and Phibe Hildreth that are elsewhere attributed today to Samuel Sandford Sr. and Phebe Culver.
  • There are, apparently, christening records for children named Jason and Nathan Sandford, two of the children's names listed in DH-III's account of Phibe Hildreth's family, whose parents were listed as Samuel Sandford and Philadelphia Hildreth. This particular point pretty much nails it, in my book.
I'm still trying to figure out how this particular mix-up got started. I suppose there's a possibility that Phibe Hildreth first married a Culver before marrying Samuel Sandford Sr. since it looks like she was between 20-25 when her first child was born (who, by the way, was named Sarah, probably for Phibe's sister Sarah who subsequently died a few months later in 1790).  So the jury is still out on this one. But all you folks who think you descend from Samuel Sandford Sr. and Phebe Culver whose children were Sarah, Samuel, Hervy, Jason, Nathan, and Eliza, might begin to consider that you descend from a Hildreth rather than a Culver!

Phebe Who?, Part 1 - The Mysteries of Aunt Phila

First, if you are just tuning into this saga about pertaining to a possible change in my Hildreth lineage, I suggest you read the previous posts leading up to this one to give you context. Second, this post and the next will address the daughters of Joseph Hildreth, son of Nathan Hildreth. If the account of DH-III is correct, this Joseph is no longer my 5th-g-grandfather, but my 5th-g-grand-uncle, so technically his offspring are not in my direct line and who cares? Well, let's just say I like a puzzle and I like to see the big picture, so here I am. What the heck.

Finally, the details of this post and any other subsequent posts having to do with SANDFORD or CULVER is going to seem complicated. So I will do my best to break it down and simplify it, but the whole thing is mind-boggling no matter how you slice it. So with those caveats and warnings, let's get on with the show.

According to the family history account of DH-III, Nathan's son, Joseph, married a Mary Post, and had two daugthers who married Sandford/Sanford cousins. It's fairly easy to find traces of the first couple, namely Bethuel Sandford and Sarah Hildreth. They had one son, Joseph Hildreth Sandford, before Sarah died, and Bethuel remarried. Joseph H. Sandford was also a shoemaker (the same occupation mentioned by DH-III for Joseph H.'s grandfather, Joseph), and his family settled in Newark, Wayne, New York.

Now, according to DH-III, the second daughter of Joseph Hildreth and Mary Post was named Phibe, and she married a cousin of Bethuel named Samuel Sandford. DH-III's account specifically names the children attributed to this couple. The problem is that in the world of all other compiled genealogies, the wife of this Samuel Sandford is universally named as Phebe Culver, not only in most family trees, but also in some deed abstracts [see following post for source information]. Nowhere was there a suggestion that Phibe Hildreth married anybody named Samuel Sandford. Until suddenly there was.

It seems that DH-III also published a Mortuary Record with his diary, which is to say a list of people in the area (presumably Southampton) who died between 1824 and 1869. It gives the name of the deceased, sometimes with some further identification like "wife of" or "daughter of" or "hung himself", the place (often left blank), the date, and the age at death. In this list was:

Aunt Phila Sandford, died May 10, 1840, age 70.

That's it. Can you see why it stopped me? Phila's age at death is exactly in the range of birth date we would expect for one Phibe Hildreth. The term "aunt" is interesting because Phibe would have been DH-III's grand-aunt once-removed (something like that), but just the term "aunt" suggests to me that he knew her and might have been close to her. And see the spelling of the given name? It's entirely possible that the OCR version of DH-III's account produced some strange spellings, but the name Phibe - which seems an unusual spelling - was consistent in his account. Was it Phibe or was it Phila? No clue. Until suddenly there was.

I almost never look at familysearch genealogies, but the one thing about familysearch is they are constantly improving in one way or another (and Thank You can never be said enough). So go ahead, try it. Go to familysearch genealogies and type Phil* Hildreth and a spouse of Sandford. What comes up are two IGI files for very specific christening dates for two children named Jason Sandford  and Nathan Sandford, children of Samuel Sandford and Philadelphia Hildreth! Are you kidding?

First, if there is any do-gooder in SLC who wants to look at film 0822626, and send me a copy of these christenings, you would be furthering the cause of Hildreth genealogy for all of us!

In the mean time, I now have reason to believe there actually was a Hildreth married to a Samuel Sandford. Searching for somebody named Philadelphia didn't get me very far, although somewhere along the way, I wondered if the name might not have been something like Philena? Ideas, any one?

More about the true identity of Aunt Phila still to come.

Addressing Sarah/Sally Jagger

Until such time when more documentation comes to light, perhaps one way I can prove my case that Daniel Hildreth (1715-1784) rather than his brother Joseph (1727-1788) was the grandfather of "My Daniel" is by disproving the predominant case. A majority of public family trees seem to agree that Joseph Hildreth, born somewhere between 1720 and 1727 and died 1788, married Sarah or Sally Jagger, born about 1720. Those same trees have many if not all the children of this couple as those who have been attributed in the DH-III account as belonging to Daniel-son-of-Nathan. This point seems to highlight a problem somewhere.

So where do all these trees come up with Sarah/Sally Jagger? There is no mention of any Jagger in the DH-III account. The only place I have found a possible explanation comes from, of course, another undocumented family tree, which lists Joseph Hildreth, 1720-1792 as having married Sally Jagger, b. abt 1724. This Joseph Hildreth was the son of John Hildreth, 1702-1729, and a brother of our Nathan. It's easy to see that Joseph Hildreth 1720-1788 and Joseph Hildreth 1720-1792 were cousins of the same generation, but they did not even live in the same area of NY. Our Joseph seems to have lived his life on Long Island, occupation shoemaker, and the other lived in Orange County, NY as master of the Cornwall-Goshen Road before moving to VA!

What I'm suggesting is that somebody got the two Joseph's mixed up, and once the mixing up started, the tangle becomes more and more difficult to untangle! Here's an interpretation that might satisfy all the various clues we can glean from the account of DH-III, as well as other family trees:

Joseph Hildreth + Hannah Jessup
   1  Nathan Hildreth + Sarah Medlas
      2  Daniel Hildreth + Hannah Unk
         3  Joseph Hildreth + Wife 1 Unk
            4 - Joseph, John, Daniel (my ancestor)
            + Wife 2, Mary Post: 
            4 - Hannah (died as a child)
      2  Joseph Hildreth + Mary Post
         3  Sarah Hildreth + Bethuel Sandford
         3  Phibe (?) Hildreth + Samuel Sandford 
              [more on this couple in a different post]
   1  John Hildreth + Phebe Unk (Squire, Fletcher, or Culver!)
      2  Joseph Hildreth + Sally Jagger, + Abigail Unk.

Here you see my proposed theory that My Daniel was a grandson of Nathan's son Daniel and not Nathan's son Joseph, which agrees with the DH-III account. You also see how Sarah/Sally Jagger could fit into the puzzle, as the wife of a Joseph Hildreth from another branch of the family.

Of course, the real answer is to find some kind of record, ideally a marriage record for Sarah/Sally Jagger. Even if the parents of the bride and groom were not named in such a record, the date, place, and witnesses would likely give us the clues we need to differentiate WHICH Joseph Hildreth was married to Sarah/Sally Jagger, if, indeed, there ever was such a marriage since we have no supporting documentation one way or another.

Meanwhile, I find the true value of undocumented family trees is identifying and assessing clues. In this case, we can explain a possible mix-up in wife attribution by seeing there were TWO Joseph Hildreth's of about the same age living at the same time who were cousins. It's at least possible that some researcher along the way got the two confused.

As if I am not confused, right?  Ha!  Nevertheless, I imagine throwing all this mish-mash into the light of day might create a better genealogy by inviting some conversation, collaboration, and a base-level of agreement about these wily but wonderful ancestors.  Comments welcome.

Sons of Nathan Hildreth: Daniel and Joseph

Let's start by shaking up the status quo, which regarding my Hildreth lineage, has previously looked like this:

Thomas-1, Joseph-2, Nathan-3, Joseph-4, Joseph-5, MY DANIEL-6

And when I say "My Daniel," I am referring to Daniel Hildreth born 1787 in Southampton, NY, who served in the War of 1812, married Sarah Crane, lived in Minisink, Orange, NY and South Creek, Bradford, PA, the last place being where he died in 1876 at the age of 89. This Daniel and this Sarah were the parents of my 2nd g-grandmother, Sarah Jane Hildreth who married Clayton Brown.

The documentation proving this line has been somewhat scant, although there are no shortage of family trees (mine included) that reference each other as proof of this line. Another widely-used source seems to be the Hildreth Family Association (HFA). I am not a member (yet), but I fell across some of their publications which are available on the Internet Archive. I'm not sure how many HFA publications there have been now in total, but the one that caught my interest was the Second Publication, published in 1922 (confusingly titled the First Publication by the Internet Archive). That particular publication appears to contain a verbatim family history account of the Long Island Hildreth's told by Daniel Hildreth III (1800-1881). Even though I have not seen this original source, and there are likely some bloopers in the online OCR rendition, after studying the account at length, I still consider this a source of some weight. It is a first-hand account of the memories of a Hildreth family member who was close in time to many of the people and events described, or at least closer in time than other genealogical sources I've seen so far. At the very least, this family history account of DH-III might offer some details and insights that we could corroborate in other ways. It's something with a little more meat.

So now to the shaking-up part. The DH-III account talks about Daniel (1715-1784) and Joseph (1727-1788), sons of Nathan (1685-1746) who lived in Seven Ponds with these details:
  • Joseph was married to Mary Post and had only two daughters. If this is true, then attributing him with a son named Joseph has been wholly incorrect.
  • Daniel had 12 children, including one named Joseph with the same general birth date I had for Joseph-5 son of Joseph-4! Daniel also had a son named Philip who apparently lived with his brother Joseph, and the two brothers both died of small pox in 1789, which is a detail that appears in other HFA sources.
Based on this information, now I am considering an adjustment to my Hildreth lineage that looks like this:

Thomas-1, Joseph-2, Nathan-3, Daniel-4, Joseph-5, MY DANIEL-6

Points to consider in making this argument plausible include:
  • The references to "Joseph 2nd" in the DH-III's account would still apply to the new paradigm because Joseph-4 apparently had no sons, so the reference would fall to Daniel's son Joseph.
  •  Also in the new paradigm, both Joseph Hildreth 1727-1788 and his nephew Joseph Hildreth 1753/1754-1789 had a spouse named Mary "Polly" Post. Although more research is called for, it is not unreasonable to postulate that more than one Post family group had a daughter named Mary who was also called Polly.
  • Other more complicated points associated with making or breaking this argument will be coming in subsequent posts - so stay tuned!
Even though the account of DH-III is a little hard to follow, when you understand his terminology, his account seems fairly straightforward.  I readily admit that my theory that "My Daniel" had a different grandfather than previously thought is based on the recorded memories - which are fallible - of a then-67-year-old man, and that his account might easily have been modified or mistranscribed or misunderstood by any number of people, well-meaning or not, between 1867 and 2015. I admit it all. And yet, given that other primary sources are apparently either non-existent or not yet known (by me or others), this source, secondary as it is, seems to hold some threads of plausibility. Why not explore them? Even if I am all wet, exploring can still offer some surprises along the way.

I welcome feedback.

Getting Started

This might be the last major line of my family tree for which I have to track my research efforts. I haven't spent alot of time in this neck of my woods, and I have to ask myself why.

Well, the surname Brown does not immediately inspire my curiosity, especially because I presume that I will be drowning in families named Brown with no way to differentiate them. That may or may not be true, but at least now I have slightly more genealogical experience to guide my research and analysis. And if I knew this particular family line was Quaker, then I had forgotten it, and that in itself adds to the interest factor now.

As for the name Hildreth, let me just admit a silly bias.  This family was English, which when compared to all the other places of origin in my family - France, Germany, and Ireland mostly - then English ancestors seem somewhat less interesting.  And besides, weren't the English "the bad guys"? Sigh. You see what I mean about needing some genealogical maturing.

With all that said, I'm happy now to explore more fully these two maternal lines in my family tree. This blog will record (or attempt to record) my more significant questions and discoveries. And I hope by "putting it out there," other researchers will join the conversation and share their own insights and discoveries.

Let's go!