Person:John Hays (20)

John Hays, The Oath Taker
b.Est 1690
  • F.  Hays (add)
  1. John Hays, The Oath TakerEst 1690 - 1750
  2. Elizabeth Hays1705 - 1750
  • HJohn Hays, The Oath TakerEst 1690 - 1750
  • WRebecca _____Est 1695 - Aft 1750
m. 1713
  1. Abigail HaysEst 1714 -
  2. Andrew HaysAbt 1716 - 1786
  3. Charles HaysAbt 1718 - Bet 1797 & 1799
  4. John HaysAbt 1720 -
  5. Jennett HaysAbt 1722 -
  6. Barbara HaysEst 1724 -
  7. James HaysEst 1726 -
  8. Joan HaysEst 1728 -
  9. Rebecca HaysEst 1730 -
  10. Robert HaysEst 1732 -
Facts and Events
Name John Hays, The Oath Taker
Gender Male
Birth[2] Est 1690
Marriage 1713 to Rebecca _____
Death[1] Dec 1750 Augusta County, Virginia

John Hays was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia


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Source:Chalkley's Chronicles
Source:Morton, 1920
Transcript:Orange County Importations listed in Scott, 1907
Transcript:Will of John Hays, Augusta, VA, 1750


Person:Patrick Hays (1)
Person:John Hays (21)
Records for John Hays in Chalkley's Chronicles
Children of John Hays and Patrick Hays who settled in Old Augusta by 1740
YDNA._Hays Hays YDNA data specific to Old Augusta
Hays Baptisms in Wilson, 1954 "Headwaters of Freedom"


John Hays is commonly believed to have been born in Ireland about 1674. He married his wife Rebeccca in Ireland, and immigrated to America prior to 1740. The couple entered through Philadelphia, probably in the company of various kinsmen. John and his family may have lived for a short time in Pennyslvania, but eventually moved south to Orange County (later Rockbridge), VA, where he, and kinsman Patrick Hays gave their oath of importation in 1740. John settled on what became known as Hays Creek on Borden's Grant, eventually taking up over 600 acres of land along Hays Creek where he operated the first mill in the area. Hays Creek is sometimes known as "Hays Mill Creek", doubtlessly because of the original mill on John Hays property. After John's death in 1750/51, the mill passed to his sons Andrew and Charles, who continued to operate it for some time. [3]

Lineage YDNA evidence shows that persons claming descent from John and Patrick have very similar YDNA signatures, and almost certainly share a relatively recent common ancestor. John and Patrick may have been brothers, though other relationships are possible (e.g., cousins). Direct evidence for their relationship is lacking. In his 1750 will John identified both a John Hays as his son, and also a John Hays, Jr as a nephew. Clearly "John Jr" is the son of John's brother, and that brother could be Patrick, but direct confirmation of that has not been found.

    • Note from Edie: In the terminology of the time period, "Nephew" meant "grandchild". Therefore nephew John Hays Jr. was actually a grandson.**

DOB Ancestry Public Member tree's show a variety of dates for John Hay's DOB. The most prevalent is 30 November 1674, but a substantial number of entries give his birth as 1709. Other dates appear as well, though less consistently. Neither the 1709 nor 1674 DOB's seem to be documented. It is likely that the 1709 date is based by walking backwards from John's oath of importation in 1740. In that oath he identifies a wife, and six children, though his will mentions other children as married adults, and who must have been adults at the time he swore to self-importation. Son John, for instance, is identified as a son in his will, though not mentioned in the oath of importation. Yet this same John acquired part of John (20)'s land in the 1752 distribution of property. This tells us that in 1752 he was an adult at that time. The will also identifies at least two grandchildren (Rebecca son of John, and James son of James), indicating that at least some of John (20)'s children were married adult. If we assume that the eldest of them was an adult at the time of John 20)'s death, that would give, at a minimum, their DOB as 1730. Since some of them had children, we can assume that they were probably born a bit earlier than that. Since son John is not mentioned in the importation oath, we can assume that his father did not pay for his importation. Its possible someone else paid for him, but it is possible that he paid his own way, and so would have been an adult in 1740. That would push his DOB back to no later than 1720, and that in turn would push the DOB of John (20) back to no later than 1700, and probably earlier It may be possible in the future to fix the DOB's of John (20)'s children more exactly based on original source documentation. That in turn would help evaluate when John (20) was in fact born. Most genealogies that give DOB's for his children place them between 1715 and 1720, but these dates have not been confirmed.
While the above is very speculative, and based on limited original source documentation, it seems likely that John (20) was in fact born well before 1709. Whether he was born as early as 1674 is another matter.
Family Johns importation oath identifies six persons for whose importation he paid.

May 22, 1740, fourteen heads of families appeared at Orange Court to prove their importation... "from Ireland to Philadelphia, and from thence to this colony, at his own charges, and this is the first time of proving his and their rights in order to obtain land, which is ordered to be certified." [among the fourteen heads of families were]:
John Hays [and his children], Rebecca [wife], Charles, Andrew, Barbara, Joan and Robert.
Patrick Hays [and his children] Francis [wife], Joan, William, Margaret, Catharine and Ruth.
'specific Source ?

On the same day, a Patrick Hays also took the importation oath. Since Patrick and John both

  • took their oath of importation on the same day,
  • entered the colonies through Philadelphia, and
  • settled within a few miles of each other on Borden's Grant and Beverley Manor,

we assume them to be kinsmen. Their exact relationship is unknown. However, we have no interaction between them in Chalkley's records, suggesting that they are more distantly connected than brothers.

Note that in the transcriptions above the relationships shown within square brackets […] have been added by the transcribers. Judging from an image of the original record for John Hays, these records only state who the persons were whose passage was paid for. They do not give the relationship to the person who paid their way. Identifying the first named women as their wives is reasonable, but not necessarily accurate. In the case of John, his 1750 will confirms that his wife was was indeed "Rebecca". That will also confirms the identity of Andrew and Charles as his sons.

Other persons are slightly more problematic:

Barbara and Joan are not mentioned in John's will. It is possible that they have predeceased him, dying sometime between 1740 and 1750. However, it seems more likely that Joan and Barbara were not daughters of John and Rebecca, but the wives of their sons Andrew and Charles. Evidence to support that is that land records for Old Augusta show that Charles' first wife s wife was in fact a "Barbara".

John also paid for the importation of Robert Hays, but Robert is not identified in John's will. We assume that Robert is a son, but he might be more distantly related. He might, for example, be the Robert (3) currently identified as a son of person:Charles Hays (4) and a grandson of John (20). Overall, it seems most likely that he was in fact a son, but predeceased John (20).

There are others mentioned in Johns will that seem to be his children, or grandchildren, but are not mentioned in the importation oath. Focusing on the possible children:

A Jennett Mills is identified his will as a married daughter. It is likely that she was married in Ireland at the time of importation and that her husband paid her passage.
A bequest is also made to Abigail Hays alias Kinsey. This is most likley the name of a daughter named Abigail, married to someone with the surname Kinsey who paid for their own importation. It is conceivable that Abigail Hays was a cousin, but that seems less likely.
    • Note from Edie: "Abigail Hays alias Kinsey" was the widow of John and Rebecca's deceased son James.***
Bequests are included in the will for a "Robert Lusk", identified in one place in the transcription as "nephew", and elsewhere simply as "Legatee". It seems likely that legatee Robert Lusk is the father of nephew Robert Lusk, presumably by an unnamed daughter of John. Perhaps she is into included in the oath of importation because her husband paid her passage.

John identifies two other sons in his will, son not included in the oath of importation: James (12) and John (21). We have records for them in Old Augusta, showing that they were adults during the 1740's. Presumably they were adults at the time of importation and paid for their own passage. [4]

    • Note from Edie: Joan/Jean/Jennett/Jennie were frequently the same name. The Joan of importation MIGHT possibly be Jennette Mills.**

Child List

Overall, the following children of John and Rebecca can be identified The following, commonly identified as his children, are probably not:
Andrew (2)
Charles (4)
John (21)
Jennett (1)
Robert (4)
James (12)
unnamed daughter married to Robert Lusk
Abigail (3) married to someone named Kinsey.
Barbara Hays, probably the wife of Charles
Joan probably the wife of Andrew


When John and Patrick swore their importation oaths in Orange County in 1740, their purpose was to support right to claim land in the state. What land was claimed under this right is not clear, but by 1746 John had taken up and secured ownership to 318 acres of land on Hays Creek where it discharges into Walkers Creek. [5]

  • Jun 18, 1746 Deed Book I, Page 125. [Zeruiah Borden, widow, of Frederick County and Benj. Borden, of Augusta, executors of Benj. Borden, late of Orange,] to John Hays. Testator in his lifetime had agreed to sell to Hays; 318 acres, 2 roods, 38 p., part of 92,100 patented to Benjamin 6th ------, 1739 on bank of Hays Creek, Moxbett [Moffatt] Creek, where Maxbett [Moffatt] and Hays Creek come together. Con., 5 shillings. Acknowledged [to Benjamin in person and for Zeruiah, 18th June, 1746.] It seems likely that John and Rebecca were living on this property from 1740, or perhaps a bit earlier, onward.
Approximate location in Borden Tract of family of John Hays as shown on the map meticulously drawn by J.R. Hildebrand, cartographer. This map is copyrighted©, used by permission of John Hildebrand, son of J.R. Hildebrand, April, 2009.
Approximate location in Borden Tract of family of John Hays as shown on the map meticulously drawn by J.R. Hildebrand, cartographer. This map is copyrighted©, used by permission of John Hildebrand, son of J.R. Hildebrand, April, 2009.
John Hays' land (Borden Tract, MW, 318 acres, 1746) as shown on the map meticulously drawn by J.R. Hildebrand, cartographer. This map is copyrighted©, used by permission of John Hildebrand, son of J.R. Hildebrand, April, 2009. Note that several tracts of land acquired by Andrew Hays and Charles Hays, sons of John Hays, are adjoining and closeby to John Hays' tract. Note also that size of the tracts shown in this diagram are not proportionate to the areas indicated.
John Hays' land (Borden Tract, MW, 318 acres, 1746) as shown on the map meticulously drawn by J.R. Hildebrand, cartographer. This map is copyrighted©, used by permission of John Hildebrand, son of J.R. Hildebrand, April, 2009. Note that several tracts of land acquired by Andrew Hays and Charles Hays, sons of John Hays, are adjoining and closeby to John Hays' tract. Note also that size of the tracts shown in this diagram are not proportionate to the areas indicated.

The deed to this parcel would later be transfer in 1752 by widow Rebecca to sons Charles, Andrew and John Hays.

  • Aug 19, 1752 Deed Book IV, Page 392. Rebecca Hays, widow and executrix of John Hays, plantationer, to Charles Hays, tract laid off and surveyed by Francis Beatty and James McCoskery, their son, planter, 318 acres. On Moffets and Hays Creek. From Zerinah Borden and Benjamin to John Hays, 18th June 1746. Son, Andrew Hays. Fork of Walker's (otherwise called Hays' Creek) and Moffet's Creek.
  • Deed Book IV, Page 396. Same to son, Andrew Hays. Same. Sold by widow [of John Hays]: 50 acres to Charles (son), 1752, for 5 p; 258 acres to John (son), 1752, for 50 p; each son given a half interest in the mill and the 10 acres around it.


John wrote his will 25 December, 1750, and died soon thereafter, with the will probated 26 Feb 1750/51. The probate date seems to have caused some confusion for genealogist. The date as written in the record seems to proceed the date the will was written. This is the result of calendar differences (new style vs old style, related to a change in the start of the New year from March to January. Representing the probate date as 26 Feb 1750/51 is intended to properly reflect the new style-old style issue. In any case, between the will date, probate date, and new-style old-style issues, there are a number of distinct DOD's that appear in genealogical records, none of which probably reflect John's exact date of death. The best that we can say is that he died between 25 December 1750 and the following 26 February, 1750/51.

From Chalkley's Chronicles

  • Page 291.—25th December, 1750. John Hays' will, plantationer—Wife, Rebecca; three sons; son, Andrew; son, Charles; son, John (land on Roanoke joining William Miller's plantation); nephew, John Hays, Jr. (Rebecca Hays, daughter to son John); daughter, Jenett Mills; nephew, (?) Rebeckey Guines; nephew, Robert Lusk; nephew, James Hays, son to son James; legatee, Robert Lusk; legatee, Abigail Hayes, alias Kinseys. Executors, wife Rebecky and sons Charles and Andrew. Teste: James Buchanan, Saml. Hayes, James Moore. Proved, 26th February, 1750, by all witnesses, and Charles and Andrew refuse to administer, and Rebecca qualifies with sureties (no bond appears).

Source:Google Books, Chalkley's Chronicles

  • Feb 27, 1750/51 Will Book I, Page 307. Rebecca Hays' bond as executor of John Hays, with sureties James Walker and James Buchanan.
  • May 25, 1751 Will Book I, Page 339. John Hays' appraisement, by Joseph Coulton, Alex. Walker, James Moore.


The following represent notes being used to improve the article for John (20). These will eventually go away, as information is incorporated, or found to be not useful.

In addition to identifying various family members John and Patrick's oath of importation makes it clear that they came to America from Ireland through Philadelphia. We do not know that they were born in Ireland. Though that seems most likely, its possible that they came to Ireland originally from Scotland or England. Nor do we know whether they simply imported through Philadelphia, moving on directly to Virgina, or perhaps imported somewhat earlier, remained in Pennsylvania for a number of years, and then relocated to Virginia.


In 1740 John is clearly a married adult with at least five children; that suggests a DOB of no later than 1710. There are two main, widely separated, Ancestry entries for his DOB: 1709, and, more commonly, 1674. The 1709 value may be a backwards extrapolation from the DOB of his eldest child (c.1718). The 1674 entry is sometimes given very precisely (30 November1674) which suggests that there is an underlying documentary record on which it is based, thought that record has not yet been identified. Both DOB's seem plausible, and are consistent with someone married with children in 1740, dying in 1750. Without a better knowledge of the basis for these DOB's there seems to be no way that one or the other can be accepted. His POB is consistently given as Ireland, which is consistent with his statement that he paid for his own importation to Virginia, implying as it does, that he imported from Great Britain. Documentation showing his POB more precisely than Great Britain is absent.

John and Rebecca settled in Borden's Grant on what came to be known as Hays Creek, where he secured a 319 acre parcel in 1746. Sons Andrew and Chalres secured additional acreage in this same area beginning about 1754.


Source: USGenWeb taken from Egles Notes and QUeries.

David Hays purchased 500 acres of land near [apparently before 1740] Donegal, Lancaster county, in what is now Rapho township…. David Hays died in May, 1770, leaving a wife Jean and five children: Mrs. Alex Scott, John, Robert, Patrick and David. His executors were sons Robert and Patrick, and son-in-law Alex. Scott. [Notes and Queries, Vol. II, p. 264.]

The above is consistent with identifying John's parents as David Hays=Jean, in that

a. It identifies two sons as John and Patrick
b. It may explain why Patrick returned to Dauphin, Lancaster County.

However, John (20) of Old Augusta is known to have died in 1750, and so would not be expected to have been mentioned in David's will. This implies that either John and Patrick are not brothers, or that this is a different family altogether.


Google Books, Chalkley's Chronicles
Page 218.—27th February, 1749. Hugh Martin's bond as administrator of Martha McCord, with sureties Charles and Andrew Hays.

Shows that Charles and Andrew were adults in 1749/50



  • Hays, John (Rebecca) --318 59-80--?--1746--Hays Cr.
  • John Hays Augusta Co., VA Deed June 12, 1746 from Benjamin Borden's estate, 318 acres on Hays creek
  • Nov 30, 1750 Will Book I, Page 281. New Kent -- Thos. Wadle, Dr., to James Renalds; Matthew Young, Dr., to James Renalds; Charles Hays, Dr., to James Renalds, 1 doubloon, 2 maydores, 1 pistole, 2 pieces of silver; Robert Armstrong, Dr., one bufelow, 3, 12. James Rannald's will (Renalds) --Wife and children; two eldest sons. Teste: Charles McAnally, Rebeckah Buchanan. Executors, John Hays and James Thompson. Proved, 30th November, 1750, by Rebeckah Buchanan, and Charles to be summoned.

From Chalkley's Augusta County Records:

  • 1750 Road ordered from John Hays' mill to providence meetinghouse. Posts of direction to be set up.



JOHN HAYS, b. probably in Scotland m. Rebecca ---? , died Augusta Co., Va Dec. 1750.

In August 1752 Rebecca disposed of her property, no further record. His will dated 25 Dec 1750, proved 26 Feb 1750/51 (Will Book 1 page 291). They were probably born in Scotland, and were probably exiled for religious reasons and fled to Ireland before emigrating to the colonies. The children may have been born either in Scotland or in Ireland. They came from Ireland and landed in Philadelphia then moved south into Virginia. On 22 May 1740, John Hays appeared in Orange Court to prove his importation, proving his rights in order to obtain land. He purchased land at the point where Maxbett's (Moffett's) Creek joined Walker's (Hays) Creek and set up a grist mill. The original was built around 1740 and was probably of the primitive type known as a tubmill, but he had a fulling mill by 1741. He was also a plantationer.

Children of John and Rebecca==(birth order uncertain)

2John Hays (m Martha Thompson. ?) Had land on the Roanoke joining William Miller's plantation.
3 dau. Rebecca. (mentioned in Gpa's will: R., dau to son John) (w/ Martha, son Robert b. ca 1752?)
3 son John? (mentioned in Gpa's will: nephew: John Hays, Jr.) ??or is John Jr. Andrew's son?
2Andrew Hays see below.
2Charles Hays listed as "Charles Hays, Dr." in will of Dr Thos. Wadle. m 1757 Barbara --?
3 son Charles. Charles Jr or Sr? m. before 1770 to Margaret --?
2James Hays not ment. in father's will. Presumed died before 1750.
3 son James. (ment. in Gpa's will: James Hays, son to son James)
2Robert Hays (died young?) (listed when proving importation, but not ment. in father's will.)
2Barbara Hays (poss. married Guinness ?) (Poss married Lusk ?)
3 (dau. Rebecca? ment. in Gpa's will: nephew, Rebecky Guines.)

""3 (son Robert? ment. in Gpa's will: nephew, Robert Lusk.)

2Joan (Jenette) Hays m. --- Mills.
2ANDREW HAYS born ca 1726, probably in Scotland or Ireland, Andrew d. March 1786 in Rockbridge Co., Va. Will dated 09 Feb 1786 and recorded 02 May 1786 Andrew was a plantationer, a miller, and Colonial and Rev War Soldier.
m1) Prudence Campbell (daughter of Gilbert and Prudence). Prudence d. bef 1762.
m2) Margaret Stephenson (dau. of John Stephenson of Augusta Co) by 1762. Margaret d. ?

Children of Andrew and Prudence

3John Hays b 02 Mar 1747 (eldest son) Augusta Co., Va. John died at the close of 1808, Rockbridge Co., Va. John's will dated 29 May 1808 and recorded 02 Jan 1809. John lived on a farm under Jump Mtn, Rockbridge Baths, Va.; Major. Rev War Soldier. He was buried standing up, on the hillside overlooking an Indian burial circle outside of Rockbridge Baths, Va.
m1) Anne Christian 16 Sep 1777.
m2) Ann/Nancy McCampbell/Miscampbell 29 Dec 1789

Children of John and Ann(not known which wife) [Too much detail to justify cleanup for the rest…]

4Andrew Hays, a distinguished lawyer of Nashville, TN.

4Michael C. Hays, of Ross Co., Ohio, was an officer in the US Army in 1812.,

4John Brown Hays of Columbia, TN m. Ophelia, a sister of President Polk.

4James Campbell Hays, of TN and TX

5Jack Hays the Texas Ranger.

3James Hays b. ca 1760 m. Margaret --?

James d. after 10 Mar 1806, probably Adair Co., Ky.

Children of James and Margaret



4Mary m. Robert Piper

4Nancy C.

3Charles Hays b. about 1752, Augusta Co., Va. see below.

3Prudence Hays m. John Brownlee 20 Feb 1783

Children of Andrew and Margaret

3Mary Hays m. Joseph Walker 04 Sep 1789

3Joseph Hays (under age in father's will). Joseph lived at Abdington, Washington Co., Va. before 1797.

3David Hays (under age in father's will) came of age in May 1797. m. Hally Montgomery (daughter of Robert) 04 Sep 1800 (source: Dodd, Jordan, "Virginia Marriages to 1800")

David lived with brother Joseph until 1804 then moved to Nashville, TN and died intestate and without property in 1806.

Children of David and Unknown? Hally Montgomery (see above)

4David Orestes King Hays

4Mary Hays

3 CHARLES HAYS, b. ca 1752, Rockbridge Co., Va. m. Mary Campbell Walker in 1779 or 1780 in Rockbridge Co., Va.

Charles died 06 Feb 1810 Columbia, Adair Co., Ky Mary died Mar, 1811 Columbia, Adair Co., Ky .

Estate inventories are in Adair Co, Ky Will Book B pages 49-56.

Children of Charles and Mary

4Andrew Hays born 20 Apr 1781 died Aug 1820, Adair Co., Ky

5James "infant orphan of Andrew," indentured 04 Dec 1826

5Jacob "infant orphan of Andrew," indentured 04 Dec 1826

4Joseph Hays born 01 Apr 1783, Rockbridge Co., Va.. d. May 1874 Lee Co., Iowa

(obit says "Moved to Tenn. about 1818 or 1819, then to Ky, and from there to Iowa in 1837. . . Six children, all of whom are settled in life.")

4John Hays born 23 Apr 1786 John died 25 Feb 1847.

4Mary (Polly) Margaret Hays born 27 May 1788 m. Benjamin Lampton as his second wife

Mary died March 1842 (Adair Co Ky or Monroe Co Mo.?)

5James Andrew Hays Lampton was 1/2 brother of Jane (L ampton) Clemens, who was the mother of Samuel Clemens, aka "Mark Twain."

4Charles Hays born 29 Oct 1790 . m1) Mary Blair Walker Oct 1816 in Columbia, Adair Co., Ky. Mary died in Macomb, IL., 31 Aug 1852. m2) Sarah E. Wilson, 15 Mar 1853. Charles died 21 Sep 1870 in Macomb.

Charles studied and practiced medicine; moved to and helped found Macomb, Illinois. He was a Presbyterian elder.

4James W. Hays born 05 Nov 1792 James died 15 Oct 1819.

4George Campbell Hays born 07 Mar 1794 m. Sarah Dillard Collins Dec. 28, 1824 near Winchester, Clark Co., Ky

George died 10 Oct 1880 in New London, Ralls Co., Mo Sarah died 10 Mar 1889 in New London, Ralls Co., Mo. .

4Sallie Hays born 03 Feb 1796 Sallie died July 1841.

I have more information on the many descendants of George Campbell Hays.


Hays in Lancaster Rich thread, but frequent reference to tertiary sources.
Image Gallery
  1. Will date. The will was probated the following January of 1750/1751
  2. John has married children in 1740. That implies they were born before 1720, which in term implies that John was born before c1700, and most likely somewhat earlier. A DOB of 1674 is commonly cited by genealogists, but the basis for this is unknown.
  3. No trace of the original mill remains today. The existing Hays Creek Mill was constructed about 1818 a short distance upstream of the Hays property, near Brownsburg, VA, and continued to operate until 1957. [See:Wikipedia:Hays Creek Mill]
  4. Another possibility for John that has been considered is that "Joan" in the importation oath was in fact a mis-transcription of "John" . Anexamination of an image of the original court record, currently (July 2014) on the Public Member Tree of "MarkHays", makes it clear that the name was indeed "Joan".
  5. About the same time Patrick secured title to a similarly sized parcel a few miles to the north on Moffatts Creek.
  6. Some have traced their lineage back to the 12th century. The basis for this is unknown, and for the moment this is regarded as speculative at best.