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!