Samuel Hayes (c1715 – 1796)

Samuel Hayes first appears on 10 January 1743/4 buying a 50-acre tract on the Meherrin River and bordering the “old country line” — the border between North Carolina and what was then Isle of Wight County and later Southampton County, Virginia — in the extreme northeast corner of present-day Northampton County, North Carolina.1 Less than three years later he bought an adjacent 233 acre parcel from Benjamin Williams of Isle of Wight County.2  On the same day Joshua Hayes, perhaps his brother, bought an adjoining 210 acre tract from Benjamin Williams.3  Samuel Hayes sold 50 of his 283 acres on 5 August 1746 to his mother-in-law Margaret Braddy of Isle of Wight, who owed the adjacent land on the other side of the border, and on 31 January 1753 he sold the remaining 233 acres to Benjamin Williamson of Southampton County.4

Identifying his wife as Elizabeth Braddy

The Margaret Braddy who bought the 50-acre plot from Samuel Hayes in 1746 already owned the adjoining plantation on the Virginia side of the border.  A few years later on 29 July 1750 she wrote her will naming five children: Arthur Crafford, Henry Crafford, Mary Crafford, Martha Philips, and Elizabeth Hayes.  She left her Northampton land adjacent to Samuel Hayes to her son Henry Crafford and a  lifetime interest in her Virginia plantation to Martha Crafford with reversion to Henry Crafford. Henry Crafford would be a neighboring landowner to Samuel Hayes for the next several years and would witness several of his deeds.

Margaret Braddy, whose maiden name is unknown, had been the second wife of Robert Crafford of Surry County, Virginia who died in 1714 leaving a will identifying a dozen children only a few of whom were Margaret’s, including four of the five named in her will.5  She had remarried to Elias Braddy of Isle of Wight County by 1719 when they sold 200 acres of land devised to her by Robert Crafford’s will.6  Her second husband died in 1737 leaving a will naming three children:  Elizabeth, Mary, and Elias Jr.7  To his “loving daughter Elizabeth Braddy” he left 100 acres “that is in Carolina beginning at the [Meherrin] River at the old Country line” and “the other one hundred acres that is in Carolina” he gave to his son Elias Braddy Jr.  Elias was also given the plantation and land remaining from a 1727 patent that adjoined the state line and the two Carolina tracts.8

Elias Braddy Jr. died not long thereafter in 1741 leaving all his land in Virginia and North Carolina, as well as his moveable estate, to “my loving mother Margrett Braddy.”9  The daughter Mary Braddy evidently died young as well, leaving Elizabeth Hayes as the only remaining child of Elias Braddy Sr. by 1750.  The result of the land transactions is that Elizabeth Braddy and her mother owned land adjoining the property that Samuel Hayes bought in 1744.

→For more information on these Braddy records, see this page.

Unfortunately this information doesn’t help us determine the origin of Samuel Hayes, since we don’t know whether he married Elizabeth Braddy before or after they became neighbors on the Virginia-North Carolina border.  As best we can determine, Elizabeth was born 1720 or later,  which means that Samuel Hayes could have arrived in the area as a single man and married the daughter of his neighbor.  If Samuel Hayes ever lived on the Virginia side of the border there is no mention on it in Isle of Wight or Southampton County records.

A brief comment on A. E. Hayes’s version of the Hayes genealogy

In Historical Southern Families, Volume 15 is a paper written by Arnold Edmund Hayes entitled “Hayes-Hays Families of Virginia & North Carolina”.  In it a Samuel Hayes is briefly mentioned as the son of Peter Hayes and Elizabeth Flake who was mentioned in a 1691 (sic) deed of gift by Robert Flake. He is described in just three sentences: “He settled on a creek in the valley of the Meherrin River. As the colony grew, the area was first called Chowan, then Bertie, and finally Northampton Co. Samuel’s descendants were later found in other adjacent counties.”  Zero evidence was provided for this statement.

This clearly mixes up two different men named Samuel Hayes.  There is a single mention of a Samuel Hayes in a 1724 Chowan road order, but no evidence that he was the same person.  Indeed, he is not likely to have been the Samuel Hayes of Northampton who lived until 1796.   There is no record of a Samuel Hayes owning land in Chowan or Bertie.  That is, the Northampton records suggest that he arrived there after the area became Northampton County.  Not to mention that, even if he were a baby in 1697, we would have to accept that he lived to be well over 100 and somehow avoided marriage, children, or land ownership until he was in his fifties.  Indeed, his presence in the Northampton militia records clearly tell us that he was born after 1700.

Returning to Samuel Hayes’ deeds in Northampton County…

While selling his lands on the Virginia border, he had purchased 100 acres about a dozen miles to the southwest on the north side of Corduroy Swamp.10  Then on 20 June 1754 he bought 200 acres on the south side of Corduroy Swamp11.  In 1761 he received a Granville grant of 700 acres a mile or two south of Corduroy Swamp on Wild Cat Swamp and bordering the road to Murfreesboro, roughly the present Route 158.12 The following year he had another grant of 392 acres on Corduroy Swamp that bordered the same road.13  Over a two-day period in early 1763 he sold most of his 700-acre grant in three transactions to three adjacent landowners.14 It was about this time that his probable brother Joshua Hayes removed westward to Granville County.

Three years later on 10 November 1766 he and his wife Elizabeth sold 118 acres of his second grant to William Webb of Isle of Wight.15 This was the first mention of a wife, apparently because a new clerk of court began to record dower releases in the deed books.  But ten years later she was not mentioned when Samuel Hayes sold 30 acres of the same grant to Robert Parks.16  Throughout these transactions he used the same signature mark, resembling a large cursive “S”.

Militia rosters

Samuel Hayes appears on two militia rosters that give us a rough idea of his age.  He and Joshua Hayes both appear on a roster of Captain James Faison’s company, undated but sometime in the mid to late 1750s.17  It seems likely that the roster dates from the French and Indian War, when Governor Dobbs began improving and organizing the county militias.

He also appears on an undated roster of horse troops commanded by Henry Dawson. An archivist wrote “ca1760” on the paper but, since Joshua Hayes was missing from that roster, we suspect it was compiled after Joshua left the county in the 1762-1765 time frame.  (Henry Dawson died in 1770, giving us a worst case date.)  North Carolina’s militia was comprised of men aged 16 to 60, thus it seems Samuel Hayes was not only under 60 but lacked sons who had reached the age of 16.

Later Life

Samuel Hayes remained on the Corduroy Creek/ Wildcat Swamp lands as his children began to appear in the records.  Two sons, John and Samuel Jr., reached adulthood by the mid-1770s and began to appear on tax lists and in other records.  A third son, Jesse Hayes, had left the area for Dobbs County about the same time.  Sadly, by 1786 both his sons John and Samuel were dead, leaving infant grandchildren.

In 1790 Samuel Hayes disposed of the bulk of his remaining land, selling almost 800 acres that he had owned for several decades in three transactions, still using his distinctive signature mark.18

His 1793 Will

He wrote his will on 20 August 1793, which was proved in December 1796.  He split his plantation into two parts for his grandsons Jesse Hayes and Absalom Hayes, with Jesse’s land lent to Samuel’s widow Mary during her widowhood.  £50 was left to his grandson Ransom Hayes and five shillings to his son Jesse Hayes.  The bulk of his estate was to be sold and the proceeds divided into six parts for his wife Mary, the heirs of his deceased son Samuel, the heirs of his deceased son John, and his three daughters Margaret Howell, Elizabeth Pittman, and Parthena Hart. 19  When the estate was settled in 1801 only five shares had been paid out, there evidently being no living heirs of his son Samuel Hayes Jr.

His widow Mary was Mary Faison, the widow of William Winborne.  She was not the mother of his children.  Her petition for dower land in 1797 clarified that she was the widow of William Winborne and had married Samuel Hayes after Winborne’s death.  Her own will, dated 8 March 1797 left her estate to “my beloved brother Elias Faison”.20


There may have been more children than these listed.  Two sons and three daughters were mentioned in his will, and a third son was mentioned in a deed of gift.

  1. John Hayes (ca 1750 – 1785) He appeared first in the records, buying land on Corduroy Swamp adjacent to Samuel Hays on 29 March 1779 and was listed on that year’s tax list adjacent to Samuel Hays Senior and Junior.21 He was dead by 4 September 1785 when his widow Sarah Hayes was appointed administratrix and recorded an inventory of his estate.22  The widow appears in the 1786 state census heading a household with two young males and two females, including herself.  She later remarried to Harwood Faison (sometimes called Herod Faison) and had more children by him.  She was the daughter of Flood Smith, whose will of 13 March 1789 gave a slave and goods to “my daughter Sarah Faison”, and substantial bequests to his grandchildren Absalom Hays, Jesse Hays and Patsy Smith Hays.23
    1. Jesse Hayes (ca1780 – ?) He sold his inherited land to Heron Faison in 1804 and disappeared from Northampton records.24  I did not trace him further.  He may have been the same Jesse Hays who appears in several Halifax County records beginning with his marriage to Mary Brooks in 1817.
    2. Absalom Hayes (ca1780 – 24 Feb 1817)  Absalom remained in Northampton County.  He was knifed and killed in a fight with a neighbor named Frederick Long who was acquitted of the murder.  He left a widow named Martha, who remarried to John Barkley, and five children named  Jesse Hayes (ca1808 – 1833), William Hayes (c1809 – ?), Absalom Hayes (c1810 – 1843), Henry A. Hayes (c1813 – ?), and Sally Hayes (?-1818).
    3. Patsy Smith Hayes (? – ?) No further record.  If she survived to adulthood she probably married before Northampton’s marriage records began in 1811.
  2. Samuel Hayes (ca1755 – ca1786)  His father styled himself “Senior” in a 1776 deed, suggesting that his son Samuel was of age by then. 25  He appeared as Samuel Hays “Junior” on the 1779 tax list adjacent to his father and brother John Hayes but evidently died before the 1786 state census when Elizabeth Hayes, evidently his widow, was counted with two males under 21 and listed adjacent to his father Samuel Hayes.  One of the males may have been the grandson Ransom Hayes mentioned in Samuel Hayes Sr.’s 1793 will.  However, none of Samuel’s children survived long enough to be paid as legatees of their grandfather’s estate.  While the 1793 will of Samuel Hayes Sr. left a share of his estate to “my son Samuel Hayes heirs” no money was paid to heirs of Samuel when the estate was settled in 1801.

    Note that there was another Samuel Hayes in Northampton who left a will in 1761 appointing his father John Hayes as his executor. Other records establish that he was not a part of this particular family.

  3. Jesse Hayes (ca1750? – 1822) He does not appear in Northampton records, apparently having left the area as a young man, but he was left five shillings in his father’s 1793 will.  On 6 December 1786 Samuel Hayes made a gift of two slaves to “my grandson John Hays of Johnston County” with Jesse Hays a witness, thus identifying Jesse’s location.26  Jesse Hayes had first settled in Dobbs County where there is record of a deed to him about 177427 and a land grant was issued to him on 2 March 1775.28  He voted in an election in Dobbs County in 1779 but was missing from its tax list in 1780, the year when he purchased land in adjacent Johnston County from his brother-in-law Jesse Watkins.29  The will of Isbel (sic) Jernigan, widow of Thomas Jernigan, written and proved in Wayne County in 1783 named Jesse “Hase” as the husband of her daughter Isbel and Jesse Watkins as husband of her daughter Patience.30 31  By 7 January 1797 he was styling himself as “of Wake County” when he sold land in Johnston County and where he appeared in the 1800 census heading a household of eight. (The 1810 and 1820 censuses are missing for Wake County.)  He was still in Wake County in 1818 when made a deed of gift of his land to two sons Henry L. Hayes and Thomas H. Hayes each of whom in turn gifted land to Jesse.32.  Jesse Hayes and the two sons moved to Lincoln County, Tennessee shortly thereafter.  He made his will in Lincoln County on 28 January 1822, proved at the April court, leaving legacies to his wife “Isabella”, sons John, Thomas, and Henry, and daughters Lucretia Killingsworth, Betsy Thompson, Mary Moore, Isabella Holloway, and Sarah Bledsoe.33  A few months later his widow “Isbel” and Henry Hayes appointed Thomas Hayes to sell the land in Wake County.34
    1. John Hayes (27 March 1767 – 4 August 1840) He may have been the son of an earlier wife, as his birth date places his birthplace earlier than his father could have met Isbel Jernigan.35 A Methodist minister, his birth and death dates are from a biographical statement in a 1909 history.36 He remained in North Carolina.
    2. Henry J. Hayes (3 June 1786 – 17 September 1845) He married Mary Barham by bond dated 7 August 1813 a few months after his brother married Sally Barham. An itinerant minister, his birth and death dates are from the above source, which identifies him as  younger brother of Rev. John Hayes.37 The same source reports that he was ordained  in 1810 and “spent five years as an itinerant in North Carolina, but finally moved to Tennessee.”
    3. Thomas H. Hayes (ca 1785 – 1845) He married Sally Barham by bond dated 4 January 1813. He and his brother Henry appear to have lived near one another for most of their lives.  In the 1840 census of Carroll County, Tennessee, for instance, they were separated by just a single name.38  Anf they died just days apart.
    4. Elizabeth Hayes (c1770 – aft1854) She was living in Morgan County, Alabama in 1843 when she applied for widow’s pension on her husband Nicholas Thompson’s Revolutionary service, stating that she married him on 22 January 1792.39
    5. Sarah Hayes (22 Jan 1782 – 20 Aug 1861)  She married Anthony Bledsoe in 1804 in Wake County and apparently moved to Tennessee with her parents and brothers.  She was living in Lincoln County, Tennessee in 1854 when she testified in support of her sister’s pension application that her sister Elizabeth married in Wake County “at the house of my father Jesse Hayes.”40 There is a find-a-grave entry for her in Bedford County.
    6. Lucretia Hayes (3 Jan 1769 – 13 Oct 1846)  She married John T. Killingsworth in Johnston County in 1788.  They moved to Madison County, Alabama, evidently with her sister Betsey, where her husband is said to have died in 1820.  Lucretia is buried in Maury County, Tennessee according to find-a-grave.
    7. Mary Hayes (? – ?) No further information.
    8. Isabella Hayes (? – ?)  She married William Hollowell in Wake County by bond dated 8 April 1801
  4. Margaret Hayes (? – ?) She was Margaret “Howell” in her father’s will and in the estate papers.  Whoever her husband was, she was evidently widowed by the 1801 settlement of Samuel Hayes’ estate which showed that she had been paid a one-fifth share of the estate.
  5. Elizabeth Hayes.  (? – ?) She was Elizabeth Pittman in her father’s will.  Her husband was Arthur Pittman. who collected his wife’s legacy from her father’s estate.
  6. Parthena Hayes  (? – ?) She was the wife of Warren Hart, who collected his wife’s legacy from her father’s estate.  Warren Hart left a will in Northampton County dated 6 February 1812 and proved the following month naming his wife “Partheny”, two sons named Benjamin Hart and John Hart, and five daughters named Patsy Hart, Jenny Hart, Rebecca Hart, Partheny Hart, and Tempy Hart.41




  1. Northampton County Deed Book 1, page 104. []
  2. Northampton County Deed Book 1, page 264. []
  3. Northampton County Deed Book 1, page 264. []
  4. Northampton County Deed Book 1, page 265, and Book 2, page 98. []
  5. Surry County Deeds & Wills Book 1709-1714, page 220. []
  6. Surry County Deed Book 7, page 233. []
  7. Isle of Wight County Will Book 4, page 173. []
  8. Virginia Patent Book 13, page 134. []
  9. Isle of Wight County Will Book 4, page 380. []
  10. Northampton County Deed Book 2, page 81. []
  11. Northampton County Deed Book 2, page 175-6. []
  12. Grants Book 14, page 290.  Numbered as #145. []
  13. Grants Book 14, page 286 Numbered as #103. []
  14. Northampton County Deed Book 3, pages 216-217. []
  15. Northampton County Deed Book 4, page 77-8. []
  16. Northampton County Deed Book 6, page 248. []
  17. North Carolina Archives. []
  18. Northampton County Deed Book 8, page 317, 318, and 329. []
  19. Northampton County Will Book 2, page 129. []
  20. Northampton Will Book 2, page 198. []
  21. Northampton County Deed Book 6, page 354. []
  22. Northampton County Loose Estate Files, Folder marked “John Hays, 1785” and Northampton County, Record of Estates and Inventories 1781-1795, page 96. []
  23. Northampton County Will Book 2, pages 172-174. []
  24. Northampton County Deed Book 12, page 305. []
  25. Northampton County Deed Book 6, page 248-9 []
  26. Northampton County Deed Book 7, page 408. []
  27. Johnston County Grantee/Grantor records show a deed to Jesse Hays by Arthur Coar registered in the now-lost Deed Book 10 sometime between April 1773 and May 1775. []
  28. North Carolina Grant Book 25, page 18.  The same grant was reissued in 1778 and recorded in Grant Book 27, page 62. []
  29. Johnston County Deed Book L-1, page 171. []
  30. Wayne County Loose Probate Records, folder “Jernigan, Isbel 1783”. []
  31. See the files of Wayne and Johnston County records. []
  32. Wake County Deed Book 2, pages 168, 172, and 173. []
  33. Lincoln County, Tennessee Will Book 1810-1824, page 290. []
  34. Wake County Deed Book 5, page 472.  The sale itself is at Book 5, page 522. []
  35. Jesse Hayes surely could not have met Isbel Jernigan until his arrival in Johnston County, which appears to have ocurred about 1780. []
  36. Peter Jefferson Kernodle, Lives of Christian Ministers (Central Publishing Co., 1909), page 64. []
  37. Kernodle, page 78. []
  38. 1840 Census of Carroll County, Tennessee. []
  39. See Pension File R10530. []
  40. Included in Pension File R10530. []
  41. Northampton County Will Book 3, page 61. []