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.

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