Richard Hayes of Isle of Wight County

We know nothing certain of the family of Richard Hayes, but he is an obvious candidate to have been an ancestor of the otherwise mysterious Peter Hayes who married Elizabeth Flake.  Due to the loss of early Isle of Wight records there are only three mentions of him.

Richard Hayes arrived in Isle of Wight County about the same time as Peter Hayes the immigrant.  Nothing is known of his family, thus it is possible that it included the later Hayes men who were not descended from Peer Hayes the immigrant.

Richard Hayes first appears as one of 14 headrights claimed in 1637 by Robert Bennett for a patent in eastern Isle of Wight County.1

By 1642 he had acquired a plantation on Currituck Creek that was mentioned in the legislative act of March 1642/3 setting the boundaries of Isle of Wight County: “[It] shall begin at Lawne’s creek and from thence to extend downe along the maine river unto the plantation of Rich: Hayes formerly belonging unto John Howard including the said plantation and family from thence to extend from the main river into the woods southerly unto the plantation of William Nowell and Mr. Robert Pitt including likewise the said plantation and familys and from thence southerly as aforesaid…   And the upper county of New Norff: to begin at the aforesaid plantation of Rich: Hayes and from thence into the woods southerly as aforesaid, and by the mayne river, from thence to extend downe by the mayne river into the creeke near unto the plantation of the said ffrancis Bullock being the first creek to the westward of Crayne Poynt…” 2

The same month his plantation was mentioned in the act establishing the two parishes of the county:  “The lower parish to extend from the Pagan-poynt upon the river side to the plantation of Rich. Hayes, from the Pagan-poynt uppon the bay including all the southerly side to the plantation of [Joseph] Cobbs, and that all the inhabitants alreadie resideinge or that hereafter shall reside on that side to belong to the said lower parish…” 3

There were no further mentions of him found in any record.  His plantation bordered Nansemond County (which was called Upper Norfolk until 1645), whose records are esentially nonexistent for the period.

A speculative genealogy is found in a book written in 18874  The genealogy is based largely on the similarity of given names among various Hayes men, which (if we followed the same line of temptation) might suggest to us that there is some significance to Richard Hayes appearing first among the names of the sons of Peter Hayes and Elizabeth Flake.


  1. Virginia Patent Book 1 (Part I), page 188. []
  2. William Waller Hening, The Statutes At Large, Vol. 1, page 247. []
  3. William Waller Hening, The Statutes At Large, Vol. 1, page 279. []
  4. George Brown Goode, “The Hayes Family”, Virginia Cousins: A Study of the Ancestry and Posterity of John Goode of Whitby..,, (J. W. Randolph & English, 1887), pages 83-84. []