Person:William Hays (39)

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William Hays
m. est. 1745
  1. Rebecca Haysbef 1746 - abt 1810
  2. John Haysabt 1750 - 1814
  3. William Hays1751 - 1831
  4. Samuel Haysabt 1754 -
  5. Nathaniel Haysabt 1756 -
  6. Henry Haysabt 1757 - 1820
  7. Col. Robert Hays1758 - BEF 1819
  • HWilliam Hays1751 - 1831
  • WElizabeth1751 - abt 1846
m. abt 1778
  1. Charles Haysabt 1779 - 1847
  2. Barbara Haysabt 1780 - 1852
  3. James Hays1781 - 1851
  4. Jacob Hays1785 - 1858
  5. Mary "Polly" Haysabt 1790 - 1853
  6. Martha "Matty" Haysabt 1797 - abt 1828
Facts and Events
Name William Hays
Gender Male
Birth[1][2] 1751 to 1753 Augusta, Virginia, United States
Marriage abt 1778 Virginia, United Statesto Elizabeth
Death[3] February 1831 Rich Valley, Wythe, Virginia
Burial? February 1831 Hays Cemetery, Rich Valley, Smyth, Virginia, United States


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Source:Chalkley's Chronicles

HAYSes of Rich Valley - A Family Sketch

The Hayses of Rich Valley

Especially Prepared For Smyth County Families & History

by Clinton Fox Hays - 1974

Chancery records of Staunton Superior Court reveal that William Hays appeared as a witness at a court held in the Cove home of James Buchanan in the year 1809. Testifying in a suit brought by Andrew Lamie against Thomas Tate, William Hays stated that in 1769 or 1770, "Samuel Lamie and James Anderson built a house on the land whereon Andrew Lamie now lives" and that he did "know that he (Andrew Lamie)took possession of said land and creatures after his brother, Samuel Lamie, was taken or killed by the Indians." (This illustrates the constant threat from hostile Indians with which these first Rich Valley settlers were faced).

William Hays (not to be confused with William Hay of Reed Creek, as some genealogists seem so determined to do) was born about 1750 - 1755. Records have yet to yield the exact date he was settled in Rich Valley though it is apparent that it was before 1770. William Hays began acquiring land in his own name during the early seventies when Rich Valley then lay in Fincastle County. Permission to acquire land in this area had just been granted by the Crown. He and John Hays, Jr., had adjacent parcels surveyed on the North Fork of the Holston, one called "Buffalo Bottoms" and the other the "Buffaloe Cow Bottom Survey." Some of these lands acquired by patent and grants are still owned by the Hayses, William's direct descendants.

Militia service records of this period seemingly have been grossly neglected. Apparently John Hays was the first Militia Captain in this section of Rich Valley which in 1782 lay in Montgomery County. During this early period this part of the Holston, along with Wolf and Walkers Creek, was a part of Inglishes Company and in 1781 Montgomery County records tell us "John Hays (was promoted) Captain on the head of the North Fork of Holston, a part of Captain Inglishes Company." In 1782 William Hays was promoted to Lt. in Captain Hays' Company, becoming its Captain when in 1786 John, Jr. and Rebecca departed the Valley.

In Wythe County William was Captain in the County Militia and by 1797 was Major of the 100th Regiment. In his will, probated 1831 in Wythe County, Major William Hays named as benefactors his wife Elizabeth, his sons (1) Charles, (2) James and (3) Jacob, and daughter (4) Martha (Mattie) McCarty, to whose four children he left three slaves "along with their increase." The rest of the slaves, along with the estate, he bequeathed to his wife, Elizabeth , and children. Elizabeth died in 1846 leaving a will. His other children were (5) Elizabeth, (6) Nancy, (7) Mary and (8) Barbara.

(1) Charles married Nancy Gilmore in 1796, left Rich Valley in 1832 migrating to Missouri where he died in 1847. Their children were: Barbara; James Gilmore who married Elizabeth Gillespie,daughter of William and Barbara Hays Gillespie; Isabella who married Henry Umbarger; Elizabeth who married Absalom McDaniel or McDonald; Isaac who married Susan Anderson; William; Lee; Charles M.; Nancy who married Perry Young; Eleanor who married Robert Tharp, and Minerva who married A. G. Newman. Most of his children migrated to Missouri with him.
(2) James married Susanna Hayter in 1809. Their Children were: Elizabeth who married James R. Umbarger in 1840; Calvin M. who married Jane Shannon Hudson in 1840; Mariah who married John Buchanan and Mary who married Tom Hiley and migrated west.
(3) Jacob married Rebecca (daughter of Enoch McCarty of Washington County) and migrated to Missouri in 1836. Their children were Rebecca, Samuel McC., Benjamin, Eleanor E., Jacob and perhaps others.
(4) Martha (Matty) married Enoch McCarty, son of Enoch McCarty of Washington County, and they had four children: William, Campbell, Elizabeth and Jonathon. Upon the death of Martha Enoch then married Nancy Gillespie and migrated to Missouri. Nancy Gillespie was the daughter of Martha's sister, Barbara.
(5) Elizabeth married John I. Hayter in 1808.
(6) Nancy married James Cowen in 1806.
(7) Mary (Polly) married James, son of Enoch McCarty of Washington County, September 26, 1811. Their children were: Enoch J., William H., and Eleanor.
(8) Barbara, in 1800, married William Gillespie who died 1805 in Russell County. Their children were: Robert who married Sophia Barnes and migrated to Missouri ; Elizabeth who married James Gilmore Hays, son of Charles and Nancy Gilmore Hays ; Nancy who married Enoch McCarty, son of Enoch McCarty of Washington County, and migrated to Missouri. Barbara next married Robert Ware who died before 1836.

Calvin M., son of James and grandson of William, on September 14 1840, married Jane Shannon Hudson, daughter of George and Hannah Shannon Hudson of Wythe County. Jane Shannon Hudson was granddaughter of Captain Thomas Shannon and descendant of Henry Hudson for whom the Hudson River was named. The marriage of George W. Hays, their son, to Laura Nickiti Huffard is noted elsewhere in this book. By family tradition, Laura Nickiti was descended from the Indian princess Nickeiti, whose father Chief Opechancanough was the uncle of the Indian Princess Pocahontas.

Additional children born to George and Laura Huffard Hays subsequent to Hardesty's original publication may be found in the "Genealogy of Matthias Hoffer and His Descendants", republished by Paul P. Huffard in June 1945. The second son of George and Laura Hays, Robert James, was born 1885 and in 1920 married Mary Kegley, daughter of Rev. Henry Kegley, a great-great-grandson of George Kegley. Children of Robert J. and Mary K. Hays are: Jimmy who married Rachel Young; George who married Laura Buchanan; Clinton Fox; Calvin who married Janet Howard; Mary Ann who married Leslie T. Buchanan. Clinton Fox, third son of Robert James and Mary Hays, and author of this brief sketch , married Barbara Brake, daughter of Rev. D. F. Brake of Pennsylvania. Gretchen and Couliette are their children.


William Hays, born between 1751 and 1753, is believed to be the son of John Hays who was given land on the Roanoke River in the will of his father, the original emigrant John Hays, in 1750/51. Direct evidence for this relationship is needed.

Property Location

William himself settled further south on the North Fork of the Holston River in what was then Fincastle County, securing a deed from the Loyal Land Company in 1778. The property had been surveyed for him in 1775, suggesting that he was present in the area before that date. The 1830 census shows him living in Wythe County. This is consistent with property on the North Fork of the Holston. The property description indicates that this land was on Lick Creek. It is likely that this is the Lick Creek which discharges to the North Fork of the Holston between Nebo and Chatham in modern Smyth County. In 1830 this area was part of Wythe County.

William Hays' property is described as being on both sides of the North Fork of the Holston River, and his property line crossing Lick Creek.  From this it seems likely that his land was in the area near where Lick Creek enters the North Fork of the Holston, probably including the bottom lands in the prominent bend in the NFH in this area. Note the presence of the Hays Cemetery to the just south of where Lick Creek enters the NFH

US Census Data

1810 United States Census, Wythe Co., Virginia

1820 United States Census, Wythe Co., Virginia

Note: has incorrectly indexed the town of Evansham and included it, in error, as part of Scott Co., Virginia. On March 6, 1839, following the great town fire, the name was changed to Wytheville. At no time in Virginia's history has Wytheville been part of Scott County.

1830 United States Census, Wythe Co., Virginia -- The second image is the slave schedule.

Last Will and Testament - Wythe Co., Virginia

William died in 1831. His will identifies his wife as "Elizabeth" whose maiden name is unknown. The will also identifies children:James, Charles, Jacob and Matty. The 1830 census record does not identify an appropriately aged "Elizabeth" in the household, though it does identify a 2 year old

Transcription: In the name of God, I, William Hays of Wythe County and State of Virginia being of sound mind and disposing memory, being equally as sensible of my approaching dissolution as I am ignorant of the hour when it may take place, I do now therefore take this occasion of making this my last will and testament in manner and form following (to wit)

  • First, I will and desire that all my just debts be paid which is few and none of magnitude --
  • Item, I will and bequeath to my beloved wife Elizabeth Hays all my Lands not deeded away to my sons during her natural life that is the Tract of Land whereon we now live, together with all my negroes or slaves now in my possession and on my Farm, with the exception of three (namely) --Milley and her two children (to wit) Harry & Arman which said negroes I will and bequeath with their increase unto my beloved daughter Matty McCarty's four children and I further will and bequeath to Enoch McCarty, her husband, one dollar starling.
  • Item, I also give and bequeath to my said wife all my other personal property (to wit) my household and kitchen furniture with all my stock of every description whatsoever. I also will and desire that my said wife Elizabeth shall be empowered and I do hereby impower her to make such disposals of her slaves and other personal property as she may think most conducive or best for her own conscience among my children generally.
  • Item, I will and bequeath to my son James Hays at the death of my wife the Tract of Land whereon we now live upon conditions that he executes a deed to my son Charles for the Tract of Land lying in the bend of the river and separated by said river from James Hays' other lands, lastly I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint my three sons, Charley, James and Jacob, Executors of this my last will and testament with the express direction and injunctions that they shall not be compelled to give security for the faithful discharge of their duties given under my hand and seal this 21st of September 1830.

William Hays <seal>

Acknowledged in the presence of

Jezreel Harman
James Umbarger
Wn (Wilburn) Fugate



Records for William Hays in Chalkley's Chronicles


note that there are two similarly aged William Hays' in Southwest Virginia at the time of the Revolution: Person:William Hays (6) Person:William Hays (39).
Currently (June 2014) they are shown with dIfferent wives and children, so not same person.
Its possible that they are in fact the same person, but with errors in their designated families. It may be difficult to determine which local records apply to which. More information and work needed to cleanly separate them.

There is no issue of duplication as these are not the same men. The William Hays who married Daniel Boone's daughter, Susannah, moved from the Clinch River area and eventually died in St. Charles, Missouri. Additionally, there are at least four (4) different men with the name of William Hay(s) that lived in and around the Holston River in this part of Virginia, which, if I find some time after entering my own information and research for my 4th GGF, I can create of list of the other William Hayses to ease future research.
The best way to distinguish this William Hays from the others is the fact that he NEVER moved once settled on his plantation. William's body is buried in the HAYS Cemetery that still exists on the HAYS farm in the Rich Valley near Marion, Virginia. I hope this will be abundantly clear by the time I finish entering the facts. Thanks, --motohays 01:47, 18 July 2014 (UTC) Mark A. Hays}}

Image Gallery
  1. Census Place: Wythe, Virginia, in Fifth Census of the United States 1830: Virginia Population Schedules, NARA Series: M19 Roll Number: 200, 1830, Primary quality.

    The 1830 U.S. Census data for Wythe County, VA puts William Hays' age between 70 and 79 years making his birth year between 1751 and 1760. One can further narrow the birth year by considering a land survey that was completed on his behalf by 28 February 1775. William must have been a legal adult of twenty-one years of age before this date. As such, William Hays must have been born before 1754.

  2. William Hays Land Survey for 224 Acres, in Land Survey in Fincastle County, Virginia - Loyal Company Grant, 28 February 1775, Primary quality.

    Surveyed for William Hays 224 Acres of Land in Fincastle County lying on both sides of the North Fork of Holston River agreeable to an Order of Council the 16th of December 1773 and being part of the Loyal Company Grant...

  3. William Hays' Last Will and Testament, in Will Book III - Wythe County, Virginia, WB 3: Page 433, 14 February 1831, Primary quality.