Sawyer Hayes (c1725 – c1773)


Sawyer Hayes (c1725? – by1774)

His relationship to Thomas Hayes (insert link) was never explicit in the records, but he was likely a son.  In 1743 Thomas Hayes bought a 225-acre tract in southern Northampton County “where the said Thomas Hayes now lives”. 1  When he sold it six years later in 1749 Thomas Hays described the tract as “where Sawyer Hayes lives.” 2  From this we’d assume that Sawyer Hayes was an adult by 1748, thus born perhaps 1720s.

His next appearance in the records was thirteen years later when he witnessed a sale of land on Bear Swamp to Thomas Hayes. 3  The next year, 1762, Sawyer Hayes cast his votes in the election of Northampton County’s representatives for the House of Commons.4  On 21 November 1762 he bought property for the first time, 150 acres on the north side of Bear Swamp.5  He sold that land on 22 June 1769 to Thomas Tadlock.6

On 6 May 1774 his widow Sarah Hayes bought that same tract back from Thomas Tadlock.7  Just ten months later on 2 March 1775 she sold the land and disappeared from Northampton records.8  There were no probate records for Sawyer Hayes found among Northampton County records.

The widow moves to Granville County

On 6 January 1777 Sarah Hayes bought 100 acres on Long Creek in Granville (now Vance) County from Joseph Johnston.9  Then in February 1781 she bought an adjacent 46-acre parcel from her brother Henry Fuller.10

Sarah was the daughter of Ezekiel Fuller

Sarah Hayes was heading a large family of relatively small children when her husband died, and evidently moved to Granville to be closer to her siblings.  Her father Ezekiel Fuller had owned land on Urahaw Swamp in Northampton County near Thomas Hayes but moved to Granville County with several sons about 1753 when he bought land in Granville11 and sold land in Northampton County as a resident of Granville County.12  Ezekiel Fuller’s will in Granville County was dated 18 March 1758 and proved at the February court 1763.13 It named his children, perhaps in order of birth, as Henry, Samuel, “my beloved daughter Sarah the wife of Sawyer Hayes”, Mary wife of David Vincent, Elizabeth, Ezekiel, Benjamin, Unity, Lydia, Honor and Mourning.

I note that four of Sarah Hayes’ sons were named Henry, Samuel, Benjamin and Ezekiel, presumably to honor her father and her four brothers.  Her initial purchase in Granville was adjacent to Henry Fuller and the deed was witnessed by Samuel Fuller, his wife Fereby, and his son-in-law Samuel Huckabee.  Sarah Hayes’ second purchase from Henry Fuller was witnessed by Samuel Fuller and Littleton Fuller.

Note also that Sarah Hays’ son Samuel was identified in an 1811 deposition as a cousin of Peter Hayes, who was the son of Solomon Hayes and grandson of Thomas Hayes of Northampton County.14  I further note that her children all appear to have been born before 1774, when we know Sawyer Hayes was deceased.15

Sarah Hayes still alive in 1804

Sarah Hayes was taxed on her land in Granville with no polls (men over 21) from 1780 onward. Beginning in 1782 two men named Henry Hayes and Benjamin Hayes, presumably her sons, appeared in the same tax district.  The state census, taken in 1786 for Granville County, enumerated Sarah Hayes with no males over 21, two males under 21, and four females.  The two males were apparently Josiah and Ezekiel, who began appearing in other records a few years later.  A fifth son, Samuel, was apparently the second male over 21 enumerated in Benjamin Hayes’ household in the 1786 census.  Unfortunately the 1790 census for Granville is lost and the 1800 census is inconclusive; there were three heads of household in 1800 named Sarah Hayes and her entry may have included the family of her daughter Mary and perhaps others.

On 4 February 1804 Sarah Hayes sold her 146 acres to her daughter Mary Brown, and appeared in no further records.  She left no will or other probate record in Granville County.


Sara Fuller Hayes’s father had been in Granville County since at least 1753, suggesting that Sawyer Hayes married Sarah Fuller before that year. Since we know that Sawyer Hayes was dead by 1774, the children must have been born between those dates.   The following eight children are inferred.   Need a  ton of work on these…

  1. Thomas Hays (c1755? – ?) was perhaps the eldest son.  He purchased land in adjacent Franklin County in 1781 with Samuel Fuller a witness.16  A few months later he married Judith Valentine in Granville County by bond dated 5 September 1781 with Benjamin Fuller his security.  He bought land in Granville (later Vance) County in 1785 but does not appear to have lived there, as he was taxed in Granville only in 1789.  He was “of Franklin County” when he sold that land in 1802.17  Need to finish this
  2. Mary Hayes (? – ?)  She appears alternately as Mary and Molly.  As Molly Hays she married John Brown by bond dated 6 September 1793 with her brother Ezekiel Hays the security. She was widowed by 1804 when her mother deeded her the 146 acres on which she had long lived.
  3. Miriam Hays. Probably another daughter, she married Willis Mangum by bond dated 28 December 1788 with Benjamin Hays security.
  4. Benjamin Hayes (c1760 – c1815?)  He first appears on the same tax list as Sarah Hayes in 1786 and in the 1786 state census with a household of two males over 21 and four females. His wife was Nancy Roberts, daughter of William Roberts whose 1799 will left a legacy to her18. They must have married before 1780, for they were surely the parents of William Roberts Hays, who bought land adjacent to the Fullers in 1800.19  The 1800 census enumerated Benjamin Hays with a household of three males and seven females. In  1803 Benjamin and Nancy Hays sold their interest in the estate of William Roberts20.  He appears on tax lists through 1806 but was not enumerated in 1807 or thereafter, having moved to Madison County, Kentucky.  In 1811 he testified from Madison County in a dispute between “his brother Samuel Hayes” of Granville County and Peter Hays of Madison County.  He had been enumerated in the 1810 census of Madison County, he and his wife both aged over 45, with a male 16-26, and three younger females in the household.  The 1820 census enumerated a household headed by Nancy Hays, possibly his widow.  Three children of Daniel Bentley married Hays in Madison County, probably all children of Benjamin Hays: Benjamin Hays, Elizabeth Hays, and Robert Hays.
  5. Samuel Hayes  He may have been the other adult male in Benjamin Hay’s 1786 census household.  He married Penny Spears by bond dated 2 February 1790 and appeared on the 1790 tax list in the same district as the rest of this family.  There were two men named Samuel Hays in Granville County, but examination of the records differentiates them; the other Samuel Hays was the one named as a son in the will of Joseph Hays.
  6. Henry Hayes  Seems to have left the county about 1788, as he appears in no records after the 1787 tax list. Could he have been the Henry Hayes in Wilkes County?
  7. Ezekiel Hays  More
  8. Josiah Hays He married Mary Lawrence by bond dated 6 March 1792 with Ezekiel Hays his security. More


  1. Northampton County Deed Book 1, page 89. []
  2. Northampton County Deed Book 1, page 406. []
  3. Northampton County Deed Book 3, page 121. []
  4. North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 12, No. 3, page 171. []
  5. Northampton County Deed Book 3, page 244. []
  6. Northampton County Deed Book 4, page 295. []
  7. Northampton County Deed Book 5, page 309. []
  8. Northampton County Deed Book 6, page 39. []
  9. Granville County Deed Book L, page 51. []
  10. Granville County Deed Book O, page 117. []
  11. Granville County Deed Book 2, page 169 []
  12. Northampton County Deed Book 2, page 125 in which Ezekiel Fuller of Granville County sells land on Urahaw to Luke Rawls.  He sold additional land in in the same vicinity in 1758 as a Granville resident. []
  13. Granville County Loose Wills, FHC film #007639880, image 603-4. []
  14. See the depositions of 1811 in the Granville County records file. []
  15. We know he was deceased because only a feme sole – a single woman or widow — could legally purchase land, as Sarah did in 1774. []
  16. Granville County Deed Book O, page 141, dated 1 June 1781. []
  17. Granville County Deed Book R, page 11. []
  18. Granville County Will Book 4, page 305 and []
  19. Granville County Deed Book Q, page 507. []
  20. Granville County Deed Book R, page 313. []