Monday, April 27, 2015

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.

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