Sorting Out Some Hayes Families of Southside Virginia & Early North Carolina

In an effort to identify the ancestry of my great-great-great-great-grandfather Solomon Hayes (1792-1859) I collected a very large number of 18th century Hayes-related records in parts of Southside Virginia and several North Carolina counties.  These records both support and contradict portions of the genealogies I’ve found posted online and in print.

I generally avoid looking at family histories and gedcoms (which are notoriously inaccurate) until I’ve formed my own conclusions from the raw information.  I welcome additional information or corrections from readers — use the “contact” link above.

18th Century Hayes Records in Virginia & North Carolina

These are predominantly my own abstracts drawn from reading the original records.  And they are the records on which the genealogies outlined in the papers below are based.

Northampton County records are split into two parts both because there were two apparently unrelated groups of persons named Hayes/Hays living there, and to keep the webpage sizes below 30 printed pages.  Granville County is also split into two parts to reduce file size.

Correcting Boddie & Some Faulty Legends

Arnold Edmund Hayes contributed a Hayes/Hays genealogy for Boddie’s Historical Southern Families, Volume 15 that contains several erroneous entries and dubious conclusions:1

  • Dissecting the truth of Captain Peter Heyes of the Walrus: a conflation of several men who were all named Peter Hayes, none of whom appear to be related to the Virginia immigrant.
  • Correcting a major error:  Peter Hay the Envoy died in Barbados, never went to Virginia, and was unrelated to the Hays/Hayes families of Virginia.  Sadly, this entire legend is completely false.
  • False Legend: Exploring the facts of Capt. Jacob Hayes of the Constant
  • False Legend: Samuel & Filpah Hayes of the 1761 will was not the son of Peter Hayes.
  • Correcting an error: Peter Hayes who married Martha Sledge was not the same person as Peter Hays of Bertie County.  In fact, he does not seem to be related to that Hays/Hayes family at all, rather was a member of the Gilbert Hay family of Charles City County.

Some Hayes genealogies expanded from Historical Southern Families

Peter Hayes Family of Isle of Wight County corrected and expanded from Historical Southern Families, Vol. XV.

Peter Hayes & Elizabeth Flake Family of Isle of Wight County — who appears to have been unrelated to the earlier Peter Hayes.

Richard Hayes of Isle of Wight — an early immigrant for whom almost no records survive.

Gilbert Hay Family of Charles City County, Prince George County, and Surry County, Virginia — briefly addressed in Historical Southern Families, Vol. VI but much expanded here.

Two brothers who settled in Northampton County, North Carolina about 1744 — probable grandsons of Peter Hayes and Elizabeth Flake of Isle of Wight.

My Own Hayes Connection

My great-great-great-grandfather William Witt (1820-1871) married Elizabeth Hayes (daughter of Solomon Hayes) in 1845 in McMinn County, Tennessee.  This couple were great-great-great-grandparents on both my maternal and paternal lines.   Both the Witt and Hayes families migrated to Titus County, Texas in 1850.   The genealogy of this family is contained in these files:


  1. A. E. Hayes, “Hayes-Hays of Virginia & North Carolina”, Historical Southern Families, Vol. 15 (1971), pages 167-189 []