Old Augusta Hays Tapestry

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Person:John Hays (20)
Person:Patrick Hays (1)
Hays Tapestry
Old Chester Hays Tapestry

Overview

'Hays Creek Lineage. There are numerous records for persons with the Hays surname in the Old Augusta area, beginning about 1740 through 1800. These records identify Person:John Hays (16) and Person:Patrick Hays (1) as the earliest of Hays' to enter the area. John and Patrick gave their oath of self importation in Orange County Va in 1740. According to their oath the two had come from Ireland, entering the colonies at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and were now claiming their rights to land in Virginia by virtue of their self importation. When they actually arrived in Pennsylvania, and how long they remained there is unknown. John settled on what became known as Hays Creek (now known as Hays Mill Creek) on Borden's Grant in Rockbridge County. He died there in 1750. Patrick settled in the southern portion of Beverley Manor, not far from where John settled.YDNA testing has shown that descendants of both John and Patrick share a very similar haplotype, indicating that they share a common ancestor. Which is to say that John and Patrick were kinsmen. Whether they were brothers, or something slightly further removed from each other, is unknown. In any case, both left descendants in the area, and many (probably most) of the Hays in the area during the mid 1700's are for their children and grandchildren. This line may be referred to as the Hays Creek lineage.

There other Hays in the area that are generally believed to be of the Hays Creek lineage, but (probably) not descended from John (20) or Patrick (1). This includes Hugh Hays, who married to Mary Greenlee can be shown to be Patrick's brother. Also included are David (2) and James (10), whose relationship to John (20) and Patrick (1) are unclear.

Derry Connection. There is clear evidence in the records of Old Augusta that Patrick (1) was related to a line of Hays living in what eventually became Derry and Londonderry Townships in Dauphin County Pennsylvania. A Patrick, Hugh, and David Hays took out land warrants in 1737. All three settled adjacent to each other, near the modern town of Hershey, and a few miles from the Derry Presbyterian Meeting House. We do not know the exact relationship between these three persons, but Hugh Hays is identified in Augusta records as the brother of Patrick (1). About 1760 Patrick (1) left Augusta and resettled in Derry, where he eventually came to inherit land from Hugh (died 1779). We have to presume that Patrick (1) is closely related to all three of the Derry Hays lineages. Since we know that Patrick (1) came to this country from Ireland, it seems likely that the Hays of Derry also came from Island about the same time. Their date of arrival could be no later than 1737, when the Hays of Derry secured Pennsylvania Land Warrants. So we presume that Patrick (1) [and his presumed kinsmen, John (20)], came to America at about the same time. Local records show that Patrick of Derry's wife was named Jean, while the wife of Patrick (1), the oath taker from Old Augusta, was named "Francis". We have records for both couples showing that they were living at the same time, and so we can rule out the possibility that Patrick (1) might be the same person as Patrick of Derry. Patrick of Derry was buried with his wife Jean in the cemetery of the Derry Meeting House. His gravestone gives his vita as 1705-1790, or roughly a contemporary of Patrick (1).

Other Lines. While the records of the Hays of Old Augusta seem to be dominated by those pertaining to John, Patrick and their immediate kinsmen, there is evidence that not all of the Hays in the area at this time were in fact kinsmen. There is, for example, a 1789 reference to the marriage of Catherine Hays to Edwrd Mooney:
1789--December 23, Edward Mooney and Catherine Hays, late from Ireland; surety, James Curtis.
Chalkley's Chronicles 2:290

A straight forward reading of this tells us that Catherine had recently come to America from Ireland. Its possible that she was related to members of the Hays family in the area since the 1740's, but it seems more likely that this was an independent importation, and Catherine bears no relationship to the Hays Creek Lineage. [1]

Footnotes

  1. This perhaps begs the question of how Catherine came to be in Old Augusta. Was she traveling alone? or did she come with other unnamed family members. The records in Chalkley's seem silent on the matter.