Identifying the Father of Solomon Hayes (1792-1859)

There is no direct evidence that identifies the father of Solomon Hayes.   At one time I believed that circumstantial evidence suggested John Hayes as his father, but I later discovered that John Hayes — whom I thought had died in Granville County about 1813 — migrated from Granville County to Newberry District, South Carolina where he left a will naming his children.  Eliminating John Hayes as a candidate leaves us with John Hayes’ nephew Samuel Hayes (c1768-1857) as the most likely person to be the father of Solomon Hayes.

Indeed, a more thorough examination of the evidence makes a persuasive case.  In the absence of any alternative theories, I consider the evidence sufficient to conclude that Solomon Hayes was the oldest son of Samuel Hayes.

  • Samuel Hayes headed the only 1810 Hayes census household that could have included Solomon Hayes
    According to his son’s family record Solomon Hayes was born on 4 September 1792, which would make him 17 years old when the 1810 census was taken.  The 1810 census for Granville County, North Carolina shows exactly four Hayes households that contain a male in the age 16-25 column; those of Samuel Hayes, John Hayes, Henry Hayes, and Peyton Hayes.  We can eliminate the last three, leaving only Samuel Hayes’ household as the likely home of Solomon Hayes.  John Hayes can be eliminated by his will that named his children.  Henry Hayes and his oldest son Peyton Hayes can be eliminated thanks to a Bible record listing Henry’s children and their birth dates that was included in his widow’s pension application (thus eliminating the male 16-25 in both of those households.)  That leaves only the male aged 16-25 in Samuel Hayes’ household.

    We know Solomon Hayes was in the area at the time, for he appears on a War of 1812 muster roll of the 5th Regiment, 8th Company (detached from Granville Regiment) commanded by Capt. Willis Johnston.  For reasons explained in the “records” file this roster was probably dated in the spring of 1812 when the company was formed.

  • Solomon Hayes married a close neighbor of Samuel Hayes.
    In 1814 Solomon Hayes married Milly Hester, the daughter of Francis Hester who was a close neighbor of Samuel Hayes.  In 1797 Francis Hester had purchased 120 acres from Samuel Hayes’ brother Stephen Hayes that adjoined the plantation of another brother, Simeon Hayes, and was surely just a short walk from the home of Samuel Hayes.  Frances Hester’s plot was part of the larger tract that Joseph Hayes distributed in his will to his five sons Samuel, Henry, Stephen, Simeon, and Jesse.   Frances Hester and Samuel Hayes were, in fact, listed consecutively in the 1810 census.  The only other Hayes men in that district were Samuel Hayes’ brothers John and Simeon (both of whom left records naming their children).  This close proximity neatly explains how Solomon Hayes and Milly Hester met and fell in love.
  • Tax lists also support the theory
    Solomon Hayes was first taxed as an adult in the Tabbs Creek District in 1813, the year he turned 21. The only other males in that district were Samuel Hayes and his much younger brother Simeon Hayes.  (John Hayes, who was not taxed, had moved to South Carolina that year.)  In 1814 Solomon was not separately taxed but Samuel Hayes was taxed on two white polls.  In 1815 the newly married Solomon Hayes and Samuel Hayes were separately listed in the Tabbs Creek tax list. (I should note that, unlike Virginia, North Carolina only taxed males 21 and over.)
  • Samuel Hayes and Solomon Hayes were close neighbors in 1820
    The 1820 census for the Tabbs Creek District, lists among its 59 households only two headed by men named Hayes — Samuel Hayes and Solomon Hayes.
  • There were no other plausible Hayes fathers in Granville County
    Of the four sons of Joshua Hayes, we can eliminate Joseph, John, and Henry who all left records identifying their children.  And we can eliminate Joshua Hayes Jr. because he had removed to Kentucky by 1806, when Solomon Hayes was barely into his teens.  That leaves the grandsons of Joshua Hayes, of whom only Samuel Hayes was old enough (and married) to have a son born in 1792.  The next oldest grandson, Jesse Hays, was under twenty when Solomon was born, did not marry until 1795, and had no male children of the right age in his 1800 or 1810 households beyond his known son Jesse Hayes Junior.
  • Samuel Hayes left no records identifying his children.
    Samuel Hayes died in 1857 but what probate records have survived do not identify any of his children.  Census records suggest that he had at least four sons; one born before 1794 (presumably Solomon), two born 1794-1800, and one born shortly after 1800.