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 Do not quote me on anything I'm about to say, but my preliminary search shows sons of Capt.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.
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!