Peter Hayes (ca1650 – 1721) & Elizabeth Flake

Whether Peter Hayes was distantly related to the other Isle of Wight family of men named Peter Hayes is unknown.  The similarity of names certainly suggests the possibility of a relationship, but there is no evidence of one in Isle of Wight records. In fact, there is evidence that any familial relationship must have been quite a distant one because the Peter Hayes who married Elizabeth Flake was not an heir of the Peter Hayes II we covered elsewhere. Specifically, the plantation owned by Peter Hayes II at his death was escheated (forfeited to the Crown and reissued to another person) because Isle of Wight County officials could not find any children, siblings, or other persons who could inherit it. And when two grandsons later came forward to lay claim to the land, this Peter Hayes was silent. That is prima facie evidence that he was not related. See the genealogy of Peter Hayes I and II for the details.

The first record of this particular Peter Hayes was in March 1677 when “Peter Haies” and Robert Flake were among the 72 signers of a statement by Isle of Wight residents who had remained loyal to Governor Berkeley during Bacon’s Rebellion.1 He signed the statement by his mark, a capital “P”, the same mark that he used on several other occasions including his will in 1720.  (This signature mark was markedly different from the one used by Peter Hayes II to sign his will in 1678 and by Peter Hayes III in his will of 1713.)

His parents are unknown

The escheatment of the land owned by Peter Hayes II in 1681 is prima facie evidence that the Peter Hayes who married Elizabeth Flake was not the son of Peter Hayes II — indeed was not any lineal relative.  As explained elsewhere, the county authorities could find no descendants of Peter Hayes II to inherit his 350-acre plantation after he died and this Peter Hayes, who lived in the county, never stepped forward to claim it.  Instead, two grandchildren of Peter Hayes II eventually claimed the land.  See the details here.

This Peter Hayes may have been related in some way to an Edward Hayes mentioned as living on a plantation on the Blackwater in a 1681 Isle of Wight deed.2  He may also have been related to a Richard Hayes who had lived forty years earlier near the border of Isle of Wight and Nansemond counties. Since Nansemond County records are entirely lost, a relationship to Richard Hayes is certainly possible, if not provable.

Married Elizabeth Flake before 1679

Peter Hayes was married to Elizabeth Flake by 1679 when the will of Robert Flake’s stepdaughter Joyce Cripps called Elizabeth Hayes her goddaughter and bequeathed her a supply of cloth.3  At the same time Peter Hayes was living on the southern portion of a 2400-acre patent that had been issued to Robert Flake in 1666.  On 21 Jan 1679/80 a patent was issued to Thomas Parnell for land “in a forke between the second and third swamps of the main Blackwater beginning at a white oake on the west side of the second swamp being a corner tree of Mr. Robt Flake’s land now in the possession of Peter Hayes...” 4  This was the same corner tree that marked the beginning of Robert Flake’s 2400-acre patent of 1666. Eight years later when Thomas Parnell wrote his will he described his patent as bordering John Richardson (who had inherited an adjacent patent from his brother William) and Peter Hayes thus confirming the location. 5  Indeed, Robert Flake later described the parcel as 600 acres “taken out of a grand pattent”.  In the meantime, Peter Hayes had been an executor of the estate of William Richardson, who patented land adjacent to the southwestern border of Flake’s patent.

Robert Flake’s deed of gift his daughter and grandsons

On 25 Aug 1697 Robert Flake Sr. made a deed of gift wherein he: “… doth assign all my write and Title of this plat of Land to the value of six hundred akers taken out of a grand pattent to my daughter Elizabeth Hayes during her Natural Life and after her (sic) Divided between her three sonns Richard Hayes Samuell (sic) Hayes Peter (sic) to them and their heirs for Ever.6  The deed was not recorded for more than 25 years. Elizabeth Hayes finally presented the deed on 28 January 1723 a few years after her husband’s death.

This 600 acres was, from later records, the same portion of Robert Flake’s “grand patent” of 2400 acres that Peter Hayes had been living on for at least 17 years.  He continued to live on it until his death. The 1704 Quit Rents show Peter Hayes paying rent on 600 acres.  The 1714 Quit Rents, miraculously preserved for Isle of Wight, list Peter Hayes as a “proprietor” paying a rent of 144 lbs. of tobacco on 600 acres originally patented to Robert Flake. 7

Peter Hayes will

Peter Hayes’ will was written on 10 November 1720 and proved less than four months later on 27 February 1721. 8  A large faded area obscures part of the page, but it names two additional sons:  “…Unto my son Robert Hayes a mare, cow and calf… unto my ——–ons John & Peter Stevens 2 yearling heifers… unto ——–ther Hase one young horse which he called his horse… unto ——ing wife Elizabeth Hase to be whole & sole executrix”.  He signed with his same “P” mark that he had used more than forty years earlier.

Elizabeth died sometime after 1724

His widow Elizabeth was still alive as late as January 1724 when she (along with Arthur and Robert Hayes) was present for the processioning of her land.9  At some point in the next few years she died and the 600-acre parcel was partitioned among the three sons of Robert Hayes, but the record of it coincides with an unfortunate four-year gap in the county records.  Isle of Wight Deed Book “3” is lost — containing deeds recorded between 25 April 1726 and 24 March 1729/30.  (The court order books containing notes of deeds recorded for that period are also lost.) The division of the land among the three sons must have been recorded in that book.

Children included five sons

The subsequent sales of the three 200-acre parcels help to clarify the genealogy.  Records prove the existence of five sons.  There may have daughters but they are unknown, though a Stevens daughter is suggested by the will.  The three elder sons were presumed to have been listed in birth order in Robert Flake’s deed of gift.

    1. Richard Hayes (? – by 1730)  We infer that he was alive in the late 1720s when the land was divided, but there is no record of him in Isle of Wight or Surry counties.  His inherited land must have been inherited in turn by a son — and we assume, somewhat arbitrarily but also by elimination, that the son was named Thomas Hayes.  On 21 August 1737, a few days after Peter Hayes sold his inherited parcel to his brother Arthur Hayes, Arthur Hays sold to Anthony Crocker “a certain tract of land formerly bought of Thomas Hayes being part of 600 acres given to my mother Elizabeth Hayes by her father Robert Flake bounded and lying on the west side of the second swamp of the main Blackwater… the lower end of the said tract… containing 200 acres…10  The deed from Thomas Hayes to Arthur Hayes must be among the missing batch of deeds recorded in the 1726-1730 period.

      The identity of Thomas Hayes is something of a mystery, as that name does not occur at all in Isle of Wight records beyond the mentions of Thomas Hayes of Northumberland County, who is treated elsewhere.  A Richard Hayes appears once in the records of Chowan County, North Carolina in 1716 but whether he was the same person is unknown, and no record of a Thomas Hayes was found in Chowan County.  Since the recorded deeds are copies made by the clerk from the originals, it is possible that “Thomas” was a copying error by the clerk.

    2. Samuel Hayes (? – by 1730)  Like Richard Hayes, Samuel may have been alive when the 600 acres was partitioned, but there is no record of him in Isle of Wight.  His land must have been inherited by a son — and we assume, somewhat arbitrarily, that the son was Joshua Hayes. On 26 Nov 1739 Joshua Hayes sold to Edward Pittman “200 acres which land was bequeathed by Robert Flack (sic) to his daughter Elizabeth Hase it being part of that 600 acres…11  Joshua Hayes was apparently living nearby as he personally acknowledged the deed in court the same day.  When Edward Pittman later sold a portion of the tract he described it as “lying at the upper end of 600 acres of land given to Elizabeth Hase by her father Robert Flake, it lying between the second and third swamp of Black Water…12

      Follow these links to the genealogy of Joshua Hayes and his presumed brother Samuel Hayes.

    3. Peter Hayes (c1690 – 1761)  On 15 August 1737 “Peter Haze (sic) of Bartie precinct in North Carolina for and in consideration of the natural love and affection which I do bear to my brother Arthur Haze“, and also for the sum of £20, sold “200 acres of land lying in the middle of that 600 acres given by Robin (sic) Flake to his daughter Elizabeth Haze lying between the second and third swamps of the Blackwater which was laid out and divided between the three brothers by Robert Haze, John Griffin, and Peter Crocker…” 13  He signed the deed with the same stylized “PH” signature mark  that he used in numerous Bertie County records.

      For the genealogy of  this son see the separate paper: Hayes Families of Bertie County.

    4. Arthur Hayes (c1700 – 1776)    He must have been born after Robert Flake made his deed of  gift in 1697.  As mentioned above, Arthur Hayes bought one 200-acre parcel from Thomas Hayes that he later sold to Anthony Crocker in 1737 at the same time that he bought a second 200-acre parcel from Peter Hayes.  Two years later on 19 October 1739 he sold half of that tract to his brother Robert Hayes, describing it as “part of the middle of that 600 acres given by Peter Hayes to his brother Arthur Hayes… between the second and third swamps of Blackwater…which was laid out and divided between the three brothers by Robert Hayes, John Griffin, and Peter Crocker which land being equally divided I have assigned all my right of the said 100 acres to my brother Robert…14

      Arthur Hayes never married.  He suffered from some unknown disability in middle age and appears in only two records over the last thirty years of his life.  On 13 April 1748 he deeded his land, two cows, three sheep and three hogs to Sampson Flake in exchange for Flake providing him with “victuals, washing, mending, and makeing all his cloaths during his natural life.” 15. Five years later in 1753 he was exempted from paying parish levies.16  His will, dated 27 June 1767 and recorded nine years later on 3 October 1776, left most of his household goods to Sampson Pitman, the son of James Pitman, and divided the remainder of his estate between “William Flake and Faithy Flake and Mary Pittman the wife of James Pittman.” 17 Since the will  makes no reference to relationships,  I have no idea how these persons were connected to Arthur Hayes.  In 1774 several years after writing his will he sold his remaining land to a neighbor named Thomas Wombell.18  When his estate was appraised in 1776 it consisted of only one bed, one pot, one tankard, one dish, two plates and a few other items totaling less than £17 in value.19

    5. Robert Hayes (c1700 – 1771)  In 1736 Christopher Atkinson sold “my friend and neighbor” Robert Hayes 120 acres near the 600-acre Flake plot.20  He bought another 100 acres from his brother Arthur in 1739 (see above).  Like Arthur  Hayes, he seems to have suffered from some sort of disability. In 1752 the county court exempted him “by reason of his infirmities… from working on the highways for the future…“.21  Although he married, his wife was evidently a widow who bore him no children.  On 5 July 1757 he sold two 50-acre tracts, one to Charles Harris and one to William Harris, sons of “Elizabeth Hays wife of Robert Hays.”22 His will, written on 7 September 1766 and proved 7 March 1771, left his remaining 125 acres of land to Charles Davis “the son of Elizabeth Harris”, and 20 shillings each to Lucy Harris and Lowice Harris, daughters of Charles Harris. 23  The inventory of his estate listed few items: 2 cows, one heifer, 2 yearlings, one ewe and 2 lambs, 2 beds, 2 pots and hooks, one fry pan, four plates, ten spoons, one table and four chairs…24

    6. Daughter Stevens (? – ?) Peter Hayes’ will appears to leave two cows to grandsons named John & Peter Stevens.  I am unable to identify the daughter or her husband.


  1. Colonial Abstracts Vol. XXXIX, No. 84. Also mentioned in John Bennett Boddie, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Vol. 1, page 160. []
  2. Isle of Wight wills & Deeds Book 1, page 464. []
  3. Isle of Wight County Deed Book 2, page 202. []
  4. Virginia Patent Book 7, page 18. []
  5. Isle of Wight County Will & Deed Book 2, page 277. []
  6. Isle of Wight County Deed Book 2, Part 2, page 511. []
  7. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 87, No. 2 (April 1979), page 176. []
  8. Isle of Wight County Deeds and Wills, Book 2 (second volume), page 63 (image 421 of 492). []
  9. William Lindsay Hopkins, Newport Parish Vestry Book 1724-1772, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, page 85. []
  10. Isle of Wight County Deed Book 5, page 140-142. []
  11. Isle of Wight County Deed Book 5, page 414. []
  12. Isle of Wight County Deed Book 7, page 202. []
  13. Isle of Wight Deed Book 5, page 142. []
  14. Isle of Wight County Deed Book 5, page 412. []
  15. Isle of Wight County Deed Book 8, page 175. []
  16. William Lindsay Hopkins, …Newport Parish Vestry Book 1724-1772, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, page 141. []
  17. Isle of Wight County Will Book 8, page 444. []
  18. Isle of Wight County Deed Book 13, page 186. []
  19. Order Book 1772-1780, page 375. and Isle of Wight County Will Book 8, page 453. []
  20. Isle of Wight County Deed Book 4, page 524. []
  21. Isle of Wight County Court Order Book 1746-1752, page 387. []
  22. Isle of Wight County Deed Book 9, page 491 and 492. []
  23. Isle of Wight County Will Book 8, page 76. []
  24. Isle of Wight County Will Book 8, page 83. []