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!

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