- Old Augusta Hays Tapestry
- Old Chester Hays Tapestry
Source:"Dictionary Of American Family Names" by Patrick Hanks,University of Oxford Press, 2003.Pg. 145, cited at Genforum
- 1. Scottish and English: Topographic name for someone who lived by an enclosure, Middle English hay(e), heye (old english (ge)haeg, which after the Norman Conquest became confused with the related old french term haye 'hedge', of germanic origin) Alternatively, it may be a habitational name from any of the various places named with this word, including Les Hays and La Haye in Normandy. The Old French and Middle English word was used in particular to denote an enclosed forest. Compare HAYWOOD. This name was taken to Ireland (County Wexford) by the Normans.
- 2. Scottish and English: nick-name for a tall man, from Middle English hay, hey 'tall' 'high' (Old English heah).
- 3. Scottish and English: From the medieval personal name Hay, which represented in part the old English byname Heah 'tall', in part a short form of the various compound names with the first element heah 'high'.
- 4. French: Topographic name from a masculine form of the Old French haye 'hedge', or a habitational name from Le Hays, Jura, or Le Hay, Seine-Maritime.
- 5. Spanish: topographic name form haya 'beech tree' (ultimately derived from Latin "fagus")
- 6. German: occupational name from Middle High German "heie" 'guardian', 'custodian' (see Hayer)
- 7. Dutch and Frisian: variant of Haye
A number of different spellings of the surname are found in colonial records. Sometimes it is difficult to recognize that certain spellings are equivalent to "Hays", but comparison of records for what is obviously the same person, or kinsmen, show that the spelling is nonetheless a variant of "Hays".
The Bell-Hays families in Greene County, Pennsylvania and Knox County, Ohio, 1750-1987, Evans, John J. 1987