Hayes Records in Bertie County, NC 1727 – 1800

All persons were identified as “of Bertie County” unless otherwise noted below.

1 Dec 1727
Patent:  John Haye 440 acres on the south side of Morattock River in Bertie precinct, joining Elk Marsh Wit: R Everard.   Patent:  John Haye 250 acres on the South side of Morattock River in Bertie precinct, joining the Elk Marsh Swamp Wit: R Everard.  [Hofmann, Margaret M. Province of North Carolina, 1663–1729, Abstracts of Land Patents (M.M. Hofmann, 1983), page 230.]

The “Morattock” River was later known as the Roanoke River.  Whether this was the John “Hay” of Southampton County or a John “Hays” is not completely clear.  The location of Elk Marsh is uncertain, but the land must have been considerably west of the Hays families in Bertie and Northampton.

__ Feb 1727/8
Deed:  John Coltson [Colson] to Jno. Hayes, Planter, for £20, “beginning at a gum upon the creek that makes the fork of the Roquist” and thence to a red oak corner tree of the head line, running [East] along that line to a read oak in a branch… along the branch to the main swamp so the windings of the swamp to the first station… being part of a patent to Luke Measle and conveyed by him to George Clark dec’d and conveyed by Clark’s executors to Jno. Coltson.  Signed: Jno. Colson   Witness: Wm. Little, Robt. Forster.  Proved February Ct. 1727/8  [Bertie County Deed Book B, page 356]

The acreage was not explicitly identified, but it was 100 acres according to the later deed by Colson’s executors.  The Roquist Swamp rises in western Bertie County and flows southeasterly into the Cashy River a few miles below the village of WIndsor.

27 April 1728 
Deed:  James Williamson to William Battle of Nansemond County, Virginia, for £120, 300 acres beginning at the end of the line dividing James Wmson [Williamson] and Jonathan Taylor next to Rocquist Swamp…part of a patent to the sd. James Williamson of 5 April 1720.  Signed: James Wmson (sic).  Witness: Jno. (x) Hays, Jno. Battle, Wm. Walstone.  Proved May Ct. 1728.  Phillip Walstone appeared with power of attorney from Constance Williamson relinquishing dower. [Bertie County Deed Book B, page 416]

27 April 1728 
Power of Attorney: Constance Williamson to Phillip Walston to appear in court and acknowledge my right of dower in 300 acres sold by my husband to William Battle… Signed: Constance (x) Williamson.  Witness: Jno. (x) Hays, Willm. Walston, John Battle.  Proved May Ct. 1728. [Bertie County Deed Book B, page 417]

Both documents were signed by John Hays with a distinctive Latinate “J” mark — like a capital “I” with a horizontal line through it — that he also used in later instruments. Note that the John Hays who first appears in Granville County records in the 1760s used the same mark.

13 Aug 1728
Deed: William Bracewell & Margaret his wife, son and heir of William Bracewell dec’d, to Thomas Daughtry of the upper parish of Nansemond County, Virginia, for £8 previously paid to my father for a certain parcel of land, for which William Bracewell dec’d executed his bond dated 10 February 1718, we now transfer 200 acres on Yohohoh Swamp at the mouth of a branch called Patterson’s Branch…  Witness: Jno. Dickenson, Peter (x) Hase, James Holland. [Bertie County Deed Book C, page 5]

Peter Hays signed with his distinctive combination “PH” mark, but this time a PH in mirror image.

8 May 1733
Bertie Court Records:  Deed of sale from Hardy Council to Peter Hays ackd.  Deed of Sale from Silvanus Stokes to Peter Hays proved by Edwd. Wiggons.  [Weynette Parks Haun, Bertie County North Carolina County Court Minutes, Volume 1.]

These must have been bills of sale, as no such real estate deeds were recorded.

29 Aug 1733
Deed:  James Blunt & wife Katharine to “our well beloved friend Thomas Watson”, for £12, 200 acres “lying and adjoyning Cashy Swamp”.. part of an unspecified patent.  Signed: James (x) Blunt, Katharine (x) Blunt.   Witness: Peter (x) Hease, John (x) Watson. Proved May Ct. 1734.  [Bertie County Deed Book D, page 69]

Peter Hays signed with his combination “PH” mark, this time not in mirror image.

— Oct 1733
Deed:  Nicholas Sessums to Peter Hays, for £20, 420 acres lying on the side of Cashey Swamp… beginning at a pine on the southernmost branch of Cashy on Thomas Mann’s line then as Owen O’Daniel’s corner, then along his line to his corner on the main swamp then up the swamp to the first station.  Signed: Nicholas (x) Sessums.  Witness: Thomas (x) Mann, John (x) Watson.  Proved August Ct. 1736.  [Bertie County Deed Book E, page 3]

— Oct 1734
Deed: Peter Hays to John Watson, for £20, 200 acres lying on the side of Casieh (sic) Swamp… beginning at a pine on the southernmost branch of Casey (sic) on Thos. Mann’s line… from Mann’s line running to the Great Branch then running down the Great Branch E(ast) to the swamp then running up the sd. swamp to the first station.  Signed: Peter (x) Hays.  Witness: Thomas (x) Hays, Thos. (x) Watson.  Proved August Ct. 1736.  [Bertie County Deed Book D, page 323]

The distinctive marks of both Peter (combined “PH”) and Thomas (“T”) were copied into the book by the clerk.

14 Dec 1734
Deed: John Hayes to Hugh Highman [Hyghman] for £70, 100 acres [same description as the land bought from Coltson in 1728] Signed: John (x) Hayes. Witness: Jas. Legett, Joseph Messer. Proved May Ct. 1735. [Bertie County Deed Book D, page 159]

He used a distinctive mark like a Latin “J” — roughly like a block “I” with a horizontal line through it. This the land he bought in 1728.

16 Dec 1741
Deed: Susannah Collson, John Collson, Thomas Blount & Thomas Whitmell the executrix and executors of John Collson Senr. dec’d, for £500 less £32 quit rents deducted, 500 acres, a plantation on the south side of Rocquiss (sic) Swamp being a tract patented by Luke Meazle & conveyed to Timothy Truelove and by Truelove to George Clark Glover dec’d and by Jonathan Taylor legatee and James Williamson administrator to the aforesd George Clark conveyed to John Collson Senr. dec’d of 600 acres out of which Collson sold 100 acres to John Hays which 100 acres is excepted in this sale.  (Susannah signed as Susannah Bentleys.  The four signatures were made partly on 16 December 1741 and  partly on 19 June 1742.)  [Bertie County Deed Book F, page 368]

9 Aug 1743
John Hays appd. on an accusation of John Really of a pretended Robbery and the Court on hearing the evidences & mature deliberation discharged the sd Jno Hays paying fine & ordd that Jno. Hays return to John Railly two pewter dishes & a bason.
Jno Hays as principal in £10 Proclon. & Jno. Manon & Thos Reasons as Securities in £5 Pron. each acknowledged themselves bound in Condn. the sd Jno. Hays be of the good behavior till next Court & appear there.  [Weynette Parks Haun,  Bertie County, NC County Court Minutes, Vol. 2.]

8 Nov 1743
John Hays appd. on his recoge. is discharged paying fee. [Ibid.]

16 Feb 1750/1
Deed: Peter Hayes “in consideration of the love good will and affection which I have and do bear towards my loving son John Hayes of the County and Province aforesaid”, 150 acres on the south side of Cashy Swamp “beginning at a red oak on the side of a marsh running thence …  (part of the 1733 purchase).  Signed: Peter (x) Hayes.  Witness: Charles Horne.  Proved August Ct. 1751.  [Bertie County Deed Book G, page 376]

The clerk reproduced Peter Hays’ distinctive combined “PH” mark.

5 June 1753
Deed: Thomas (x) Hays and John Harrell witness to deed by Richard Harrell to Samuel Andrews for 100 acres adjacent to John Harrell, Black Pond, and “the Marsh”… [Bertie County Deed Book G, page 548.]

Thomas Hays used a distinctive “TH” signature mark.

8 Dec 1755
Deed: Peter Hays to Thomas Hays, for £10, 100 acres, on the south side of Cashy Swamp beginning at a swamp running thence up it the said swamp to the Great Branch then up the branch to Thomas Hays (sic) line thence along his line to the branch… “said deed bearing date 1755” on the side of a marsh running thence …  [part of the 1733 purchase].  Signed: Peter (x) Hays, Bether (x) Hays.  Witness: George (x) Vann, John (x) Bryan.  Proved April Ct. 1756. “Bether(?) Hays the wife of Peter Hays” relinquished dower.   [Bertie County Deed Book H, page 299]

Peter’s “PH” mark was reproduced by the clerk who copied the deed.  This deed is confusing and was probably copied inaccurately by the clerk, as a line or two seems to have been omitted — note specifically the reference to the “said deed” as well as confusing metes and bounds.

Thomas Hays is perhaps his son.  He is apparently not the same Thomas Hays who was living in adjacent Northampton County.

1757
Bertie Tax List: List of John Harrel:
John Hayse – 2 polls

The lists are incomplete for this year. The other Hays men and many of their immediate neighbors are missing. Thomas Pugh’s district (see 1759 list) survives, but no Hays are listed. There is no list of William Hollowell’s district, on which list were several Hays men in 1759.  Note that polls at this time were defined as white men aged 16 and over.

24 March 1758
Deed: George Scellers (sic) and Faith his wife of Society Parish in Bertie County, to John Hays of the Parish and County aforesaid, for £17, 200 acres granted to Barnaby Ryan by patent dated 13 December 1755 and assigned to Samuel Jobe…  Signed: George Scellers, Faith (x) Seller (sic).  Witness: James Seay, Hardy Hays.  Proved by Hardy Hays at April Ct. 1759.  [Bertie County Deed Book I, page 222]

The original 1755 grant to Barnaby Bryan for 200 acres mentioned adjacent lands of James Brown, Edward Hawkins, and “Hill”. See NC Patent Book 11, page 26.

26 March 1758
Coroner’s Inquest:  Thomas Seay drowned on 24 February 1758 in Mary Harrell’s millpond. Inquest held in Bertie County on 26 March 1758, Joseph Hardy, coroner. Jury: Needham Bryan, George House, George Jernigan, Solomond Crery, Abraham Wimberly, Arthur Brown, Thomas Penington, Jesse Harrell, John Skiner, Wodward Toole, James Abington, John Harrell, Samuell Harrell, Jesse Jernigan, Joseph Minton, John Goff, John Hays, Aaron Elliss, William Turner, William Junkeson. [North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Vol 1, No. 1, page 15]

16 Oct 1759
Bertie Tax List – List of William Hollowell (consecutive names):
Thomas Hays
Peter Hays
John Hays

List of Thomas Pugh:
John Hays – 3 polls

Tax lists during this period were generally not uniform from one militia district to the next, so the absence of poll data in Hollowell’s district is not necessarily significant.  Note that North Carolina taxpayers were generally aged 21 and over, but taxable polls included white men aged 16 and over for lists prior to 1784.

The John Hay on Pugh’s list may be the one who has been in Bertie since the 1720s.  He disappears about this time and a John Hays who used the same signature mark appears in Granville County.

24 July 1761
Last Will & Testament of Peter Hays dec’d was exhibited by Bathya Hays Exx proved by the oaths of John Hays & Thomas Hays.  [Weynette Parks Haun,  Bertie County, NC County Court Minutes, Vol. 2.]   The record forwarded to the Secretary of State reported John Hays as co-executor and spelled her name as Bathyor Hays. [North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 13, No. 4, page 224.]

Bertie wills prior to late 1761 are lost, including this one.

It is unusual for a legatee to also be a witness, so John Hays and Thomas Hays may not have been legatees.  (A witness relinquished his rights to a share of the residual estate.)

13 Oct 1761
Petition of Bathia Hays Exx. of the last Will and Testament of Peter Hays dec’d praying leave to sell some part of the estate. . . to pay debts and charges [Weynette Parks Haun,  Bertie County, NC County Court Minutes, Vol. 2.]

Coincidentally, there was a different Peter Hays in nearby Halifax County who left a will dated 3 August 1760 and proved at March Court 1761.  He left five shillings each to his children (named in this order) Charles Hays, Hannah, Rebecca Emry, Edy Phillips, Selve Hays, Winny Hilliard, Milly Hays, Willie Hays, and Ruben Hays.  Wife Martha Hays was named executrix.  The will was witnessed by a Reuben Hays who was probably not the same person as the son, for obvious reasons. [See Halifax County Will Book 1, page 24]

25 Jan 1762
Will:  John Gough… to eldest son Charles Gough 200 acres and the plantation whereon my cousin William Gough lives (to be laid out and possessed when Charles arrives at age), to youngest son Lewis Gough the plantation whereon I now live and 200 acres to be measured out when he comes of age, remainder of estate to be sold “and the money equally divided among my children”. Nominate “my two friends Hardy Hays & William Gough” to be executors.  Signed: John (x) Gough.  Witness: James Pirvis, Hardy Hays, William Gough.  Proved April Ct. 1762. [Bertie County Will Book 1761-1784, Vol. A, page 20]

15 May 1762
Marriage Bond: Edward Bird to Elizabeth Hays. Bondsman Jesse Hardison. [North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 2 (1901), page 314.]

1763
Bastardy Bond:  Mother – Bethia Hays.  Bondsman – James Hedgpeth.  [Betty J. and Edwin A. Camin, North Carolina Bastardy Bonds (The Kopy Shop Printers, 1990), page 8]

Bastardy bonds were required by the local court to assure that the child did not become dependent on the local parish or county for its support.  The bondsman pledged to provide funds to raise the child. Generally, If the woman identified the father he was served with a warrant and required to post the bond.  If the woman refused to name the father, the bond was typically posted by herself or her close relatives, or occasionally by friends willing to assume financial responsibility for raising the child.

James Hedgepeth is therefore probably the father of the child, Bethia Hays is apparently either the widow or daughter of Peter Hays.  Note that if she was Peter’s wife she must have been young enough to still be having children.

4 Jan 1764
Deed:  John Harrell to Hardy Hays, for £66:13s:4d, 100 acres “the plantation whereon Samuel Harrell now liveth” beginning at a white oak standing in Henry Hill’s line then along the said Hill’s line to a pine Elizabeth Thomases corner the along the said Elizabeth Thomas’s line to a red oak a corner tree… Signed: John (x ) Harrell. Witness: Wm. Andrews, [?] Harrell, Nichollas Skinner.  Proved May Ct. 1764.  [Bertie County Deed Book K, page 391]

28 Feb 1764
Deed:  John Hays and Feby Hays his spouse to James Harrell Sr., for £10, beginning at a pine on John Harrell’s line thence along his line to the swamp… William Holland’s line… William Carter’s line… Richard Harrell’s line…  Signed: John Hays, Fibby Hays [no signatures or marks reproduced in the record].  Witness: Wm. [unclear name], Arthur Harrell, Willis Harrell.  Proved February Ct. 1764.  [Bertie County Deed Book K, page 356]

5 Oct 1765
Will: Adam Raby. …lend to wife Judah Raby all my estate during her widowhood or life, then to son Adam Raby the plantation I bought of John Frances Sprivey and all land joining to it on the same side of the marsh, and to Luke Raby the plantation on which I now live and the land joining to it on the same side of the marsh; the watercourse of the marsh being the dividing line between my two sons. If my wife marries, the perishable estate to be equally divided among all my children.  Wife Judah and son Adam to be executors.  Signed Adam (x) Raby.  Witness:  Wm. Andrews, Hardy Hays, William Hollowell.  Date proven not given but obviously was after 1771 (see below).

4 July 1767
Will of Edward Hawkins:  Entire estate to “Ellenor Hawkins my dearly beloved wife whome I likewise constitute and appoint my whole an dsole executor…”  Signed: Edward (x) Hawkins.   Witness: Peter (x) Hase, Esbell? (x) Hase, Robert Titus. [Bertie County Will Book 1761-1784, Vol. B, page 73]

The second name was a woman (“her mark”) but her name is not at all clear.  The original will exists in Bertie loose recoreds (in addition to the copy made for the will book) and the handwriting is borderline unreadable in places.

1769
Tax List, Bertie County:
Thomas Hays – 2 white persons
Richard Hays – 1 white person
John Hays – 3 white persons
Hardy Hays – 1 white person

This tax list counted “white persons”, which in 1769 meant males aged 16 and over, mulattoes, negro men, negro boys, and negro women arranged in five columns.  None of the Hays were slave owners.

1 Dec 1770
Deed: Thomas Hays for “the love good will and affection which I have and do bear towards my son Richard Hayes, 100 acres “on which he now lives” on the south side of Cashy Swamp beginning at a large sweet gum a corner tree, up Cashy Swamp to the mouth of a branch called Winnegum(?)…  Signed: Thomas (x) Hays.  Witness: George (x) Bryant, James (x) Hodgbeth, James Pirvis.  Proved March Ct. 1771. [Bertie County Deed Book L, page 229]

31 Jan 1771
Deed: John Hays, planter, “and Phebe his wife” to William Gough, for £53:6s:8d, 200 acres… granted to Barnaby Bryant by patent 13 Dec 1755… beginning at Henry Hill’s corner in the mouth of a branch called Winnegums(?)  Branch running thence westward… Signed: John (x) Hays, Phebe (x) Hays.  Witness: Hardy Hays, Arthur (x) Hays, James Purvis.  Proved March Ct. 1771.  [Bertie County Deed Book L, page 237]

Note that this John Hays’ mark was merely an “x” and not the distinctive mark used by the earlier John Hays.  The original grant to Barnaby Bryan (sic) was for 200 acres but did not mention the branch.  Rather it mentioned adjacent lands of James Brown, Edward Hawkins, and Hill. See NC Patent Book 11, page 26.

23 Sept 1771
Deed:  Adam Raby and Judith Raby to Hardy Hays, for £16, 50 acres beginning at a red oak standing in a certain branch… Joseph Summerling’s line… said Hardy Hays corner… Henry Hill’s line…  Signed: Adam Raby, Judith Raby.  Witness: William Gough, James (Hecksmith?)  [Bertie County Deed Book L, page 279]

13 Aug 1773
Will: John Barnes Senr. To “wife Catherine the third part of my plantation and her choice of the houses, all my cattle, two sows and pigs one ewe and lamb” and a list of household goods.  To “eldest son John Barnes my new coat jacket and britches and my farming tools, one crosscut saw”.  To “Henry my youngest son all my land and plantation except the third part to his mother for her life and 100 acres laid out at the head of the Mill Branch for Isaac Jenkins” and list of household goods.  To “my daughter Lucy Haze one feather bed and furniture.”  To grandson Isaac Jenkins 100 acres joining the Mill Branch, list of livestock.  Rest of estate to be divided “between my children John, Sarah, Lucy, Solomon, Tilpha, Hannah, Henry.”  Appoint sons John Barnes and Henry Barnes executors.  Signed: John (x) Barnes.  Witness: James Coble, Herbert Pritchard.  Proved May Ct. 1778.  [Bertie County Will Book B, page 120.]

Is this Lucy Haze the same person as Lucretia, wife of Thomas Hays of Northampton County? It doesn’t seem likely — this Lucy Hays must be a later generation.  (Why would Lucretia Hays living in a different county want or need a feather bed?)  John Barnes Jr. died testate in 1783.

25 Sept 1773
Deed: Thomas Hays for “the love good will and affection which I have and do bear towards my son Peter Hayes (after my death and the death of my wife Sarah Hays) do give grant make over and transfer to him… the plantation whereon I now live” containing 100 acres.  Signed: Thomas (x) Hays.  Witness: William Gough, Isaac Tomlinson, James Pirvise.  Proved May Cr. 1774.  [Bertie County Deed Book M, page 23]

The clerk reproduced his mark as a combined “TH” similar to the PH mark used by Peter Hayes.

The acreage appears to be the same 100 acres purchased by Thomas Hays from Peter Hays back in 1755, which was part of the 420 acres acquired by Peter Hays in 1733.  If this is the same Peter Hays who bought the land forty years earlier, then Thomas Hays must have been truly ancient.

25 Feb 1774
Estate Sale:  Estate of John Hays, deceased, by Hardy Hays administrator.  Buyers included John Hays Junr., Phebe Hays Senr., Phebe Hays, Mary Hays, Richard Hays, Samuel Hays, and several others, presumably neighbors — Absalom Rawls, Charles Everett Jr., Benjamin Harrell, Cader Powell, Henry Lee, James Moore, James Hedgpeth, Nathan Cullens, John Dodrill, and others [Bertie County Loose Estate Papers, file marked “John Hays”]

The file also contains a scrap suggesting that a supplemental inventory was filed in May 1774 and an estate settlement that names five children (see below).

1774
Tax List, Bertie County (may not be complete):
Peter Hays – 1 white poll
Hardy Hays – 2 white polls
Ezekiel Hays – 1 white poll

29 Sept 1777
Marriage Bond:  Marmaduke Hedgpeth to Hannah Hays.  Bondsman James Hays.  [North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 2 (1901), page 316.]

7 Feb 1778
Estate Settlement:  Commission ordered at the November 1777 court with examining the account of Hardy Hays, administrator of John Hays, deceased, finds a balance in the estate to be distributed as follows:  Phebe Hays, wife of deceased, £22:7s:10d.   £18:7s:4d each to Hardy Hays, son of deceased, John Hays, son of deceased, Rebeckah Stephens daughter of deceased, Phebe Jarnigan daughter of deceased, Mary Hayse (sic) daughter of deceased, and Samuel Hays son of deceased.  Signed: Noah Hinton, James Purvis, William Gough.  [Bertie County Loose Estate Papers, file marked “John Hays”]

16 Oct 1778
Marriage Bond: Samuel Hays to Mary Martin. Bondsman Hardy Hays.  [Bertie County Marriage Bond Abstracts 1741-1868, (Genealogical Society of Utah, 1930), page 29]

8 Nov 1778
Will of Richard Hays: wife Eady (Eddy?) Hays “my plantation whereon I now live during her widowhood and after that to my two daughters Pene Hays & Levine Hays to be equally divided between them.”  Wife and Benjamin Mires to be executors.  Signed: Richard Hays.  Witness: John Edwards, (Eundice? Euridice?) (x) Mires.  Proved by oath of John Edwards at November Ct. 1786 [Bertie County Will Book 1784-1797, Vol. D, page 68]

The wife’s name appears only once in the document, it is not clear if it is Eady or Eddy.

10 March 1779 (28 July 1786)
Grant Entry:  Hardy Hays, 80 acres beginning at Jesse Jernigan’s corner on the side of Cashy Swamp…  his own boundary…  his and James Hayes corner then up the said swamp being James Hayes boundary… ,Joshua Harrell’s boundary… Cador Powell’s corner…  Grant issued 28 July 1786.   [North Carolina State Grant Book 60, page 425.]

12 Nov 1779
Will of Thomas Martin: …to wife Elizabeth Martin all estate during her widowhood… son James Martin £5 “in case I should die before he gets his schooling”, to grandson Nicholas Bagget £5 “to school him”.  After the death or marriage of wife, all estate to be sold an divided equally between Sally Bagget, Nicholas Martin, Mary Hays, Elizabeth Martin, Catherine Martin, James Martin and my granddaughter Ann Martin daughter of Ann Martin.  Signed: Thos. (x) Martin.  Witness: Cader Powell, Thomas Howell, John Douglas.  Proved by Cader Powell at February Ct. 1780.  [Bertie County Will Book 1761-1784, Vol. B, page 148]

Samuel Hayes had married Mary Martin the previous year.

1781
Bertie Tax List:
Hardy Hayse
do for Bersheba Hill

Is Bersheba HIll a sister? 

March 1784
Will of Hardy Hayes: …unto my loving wife Sarah Hayes one horse named Crafford and a mare named Flower, ten cows and calves, twenty-two year-old hogs, two sows and pigs, two feather beds and furniture, all my pewter and £20.   I lend unto my wife Sarah Hayes my plantation on Cashi (sic) Swamp during her life and the plantation whereon I now live for the term of seven years to commence from the present date.  Also lend her one negro boy named Simon for twelve years from the present date.  To son Joshua Hays the plantation whereon I now live and a horse named Liberty; likewise a negro boy Simon at the expiration of twelve years.  To my daughter Pennelopy Hayes my plantation on Cashy Swamp.  To my daughter Elizabeth Hayes a negro boy named Demce(?).  To my five daughters named Penelopy Hayes, Salley Hayes, Tempy Hayes, Judah Hayes, and Susannah Hayes  two negro women named Agnes and Tempy to be equally divided between them seven years from the present date.  Rest of estate to be divided between all my children.  My friends Absalom Carney and John Doddrill and William Horn to be executors.  Signed: Hardy Hays.  Witness: Benjamin Mires, Wm. Andrews, William Edwards, Solomon (x) Page, Jurusea (x) Raby.  Proved August Ct. 1784.  [Bertie County Will Book 1761-1784, Vol. C, page 86]

His wife Sarah was apparently not the mother of all the children.  Leaving her something for only seven or twelve years is unusual. She is generally thought to have been the “Sarah Haise” mentioned as a daughter in the 1781 Gates County will of William Freeman.

Note that Solomon Page married a Sarah Hayes, perhaps the widow or the daughter, two years later.

13 Aug 1784
John Dodrill qualified as executor of Hardy Hays [Court Order, Bertie County Loose Estate Records]

ca1784
Inventory, Hardy Hays estate:  Included 4 negroes, two horses, one mare and colt, 33 cattle, 53 hogs, 9 sheep, numerous bonds and notes totaling several hundred pounds.  submitted by John Dodrill, executor. [Bertie County Inventories 1775-1790, page 348.]

22 Sept 1784
Estate Sale:  Hardy Hays estate.  Lists sales of livestock only amounting to £63:3s:4d. Buyers included Joshua Hays (a hog, ewe and lamb), James Hays (13 geese), John Acree (13 geese). [Bertie County Inventories 1775-1790, page 365.]

22 Sept 1784
Estate Distribution:  Commission appointed by August 1784 court to distribute perishable estate of Hardy Hayes laid off to the widow Sarah Hayes a horse named Crafford, mare named Flower, 3 cows and calves, one cow and one yearling, 2 heifers, 3 steers (“the said cattle was the widow’s choice instead of the ten cows and calves left for her in the sd. will”), 20 hogs, 2 sows and pigs.  Signed: William Horn, William Andrews, Cader Powell.  [Bertie County Inventories 1775-1790, page 413.]

15 Nov 1785
Estate Accounting:  Commission examined account of John Dodrill, executor of Hardy Hays.  (No further information in file).  [Bertie County Inventories 1775-1790, page 453.]

16 May 1786
Marriage Bond: Solomon Page to Sarah Hayes.

23 May 1786
Marriage Bond: John Franton to Penelope Hays.  Bondsman: Jacob (x) Bird

This was the daughter of Richard Hays.

10 June 1786
Marriage Bond: Mathew Jennison and Millie Hedgebeth. Bondsman Peter Hays.

4 Nov 1786
Marriage Bond: Henry Hays and Susannah Wood. Bondsman William Wood. Bondsman Josiah Moore.

ca1787
Inventory: Undated, estate of Richard Hays by James Marsh administrator.  One mare, 8 head of cattle, 5 sheep, 9 hogs, 3 feather beds, 1 weaving loom, 2 spinning wheels…etc.   [Bertie County Inventories 1775-1790, page 272.]

ca1787
Estate Sale: Undated, of Richard Hays by James Marsh administrator.  Totaling £82:9s.  Buyers included Peter Hays, Samuel Hays, James Hays, Benjamin Mires, others. [Bertie County Inventories 1775-1790, page 304.]

The will named his wife and Benjamin Mires as executors, but the inventory and sale show James Marsh as administrator (presumably with the will annexed).  The widow has evidently remarried to James Marsh.

1787
State Census:  The 1784-1787 State census, which was taken in 1787 for Bertie County, is incomplete in that it is missing large swaths of Bertie County.  Neither the Hays nor their immediate neighbors appear in the surviving census pages.

20 Feb 1788
Apprenticeship:  Elizabeth Toole bound to James Hayse until age of [eighteen?]. (No trade given)  Signer: William Gry.  Witness: None.  Bertie County. [North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 13, No. 3, page 163.]

Oct 1791
Bastardy Bond: Mother – Elizabeth Robertson. Bondsmen: Joshua Hays, Benj’n Mires, John Avent.  [Betty J. and Edwin A. Camin, North Carolina Bastardy Bonds (The Kopy Shop Printers, 1990), page 10]

Bastardy bonds were required by the local court to assure that the child did not become dependent on the local parish or county for its support.  The bondsman pledged to provide funds to raise the child. Generally, If the woman identified the father he was served with a warrant and required to post the bond.  If the woman refused to name the father, the bond was typically posted by herself or her close relatives, or occasionally by friends willing to assume financial responsibility for raising the child.

9 May 1792
Marriage Bond: Joshua Hays and Anne Hays.  Bondsman Josiah Moore.

1794
Bastardy Bond;  Name Change of Silvia, Sarah, Samson & Hiddy from Wilford to Hayse.  Bondsman: Joshua Hayse.  [Betty J. and Edwin A. Camin, North Carolina Bastardy Bonds (The Kopy Shop Printers, 1990), page 10]

Clearly Joshua Hays was not married to Nicy Willeford at the time these children were born. 

May 1798
Bastardy Bond;  Mother Nicy Willeford.  Bondsman Joshua Hayse, Edward Acre.    [Betty J. and Edwin A. Camin, North Carolina Bastardy Bonds (The Kopy Shop Printers, 1990), page 10]Nice Willeford

This may be the son Solomon, as the other four children named in his will were the subject of the name change in 1794.  Joshua Hays and Nicy WIllford were evidently not married, although she was referred to as “Nicy Hays” in his will and in the records of his estate.

Perhaps one or the other had been abandoned by a spouse or had separated.  The States had not yet given their courts the authority to issue divorces.  In the absence of any judicial process to obtain a divorce, a man or woman who was married but separated was often forced into illegal relationships. (Divorces at this time required an act of the state legislature.)  The children of such a relationship were legally illegitimate.

1798
Bertie Tax List:
Samuel Hays – 1 poll, 206 acres
John Hays – 1 poll, 500 acres

3 May 1800
Will of Joshua Hayes:   “I lend to my beloved wife Nice Hayse the houses and all th cleared land wheron I now live and as much wood land as will support the said plantation with timber and firewood during the time of her natural life… likewise give to my wife Nice two feather beds and furniture”… two sows and pigs, two ewes and lambs, one cow and calf.  “…to my son Solloman (sic) Hayse 109 acres of land to be laid off for him at the west end of my land joining Luke Rabys land… to my son Samson Hayse all the remainder of my land lying on the west side of the Main Rode… all the remainder of my land lying on the east side of the Main Rode I leave to be sold” and the proceeds “to be equally divided amongst my three daughters named Silvah Hayse, Sarah Hayse, and Ciddah Hayse… I have a clame (sic) of land lying in Cashy Swamp which I expect will be sold under my father’s will… my part of the money from thence arising to be equally divided among all my children…. I likewise give and bequeath to Patsy Robertson the sum of ten pounds… appoint my friend Lewis Thompson my whole and sole executor.” Signed: Joshua Hayse.  Witness: Joseph Horne, Temperance (x) Hayse, Judith (x) Hayse.  Proved by oath of Judith Hayse August Ct. 1800.  [Bertie Will Book E, page 110]

25 Aug 1800
Estate Sale: Joshua Hayes by Lewis Thompson, executor.  Sale totaled £486:12s;10d. Notable buyers included Nicy Hays, Judith Hays, James Jordan, Lewis Jordan, William Acre, Edward Acre, Dempsey Peal, William Higgs, WIlliam Johnston, James Norfleet.  [Bertie County Accounts of Settlements of Estates 1801-1803, page 95]

1800
Act of Legislature:  Starkey & Margaret Hayes names changed from Hayes to Norfleet.  Parents: James & Elizabeth Norfleet. [North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Vol 2, No. 1, page 20]

James Norfleet and Elizbeth Hayes were evidently not married when the two children were born, thus a legislative act was required to change their surnames to their father’s.

1815 Tax List:
Samuel Hays – 206 acres @ $4, 100 acres @ $½, 1 slave
Benton Hays – 8 acres @$5, 1 free, 1 slave
Ruthy Hays – 44 acres @$5, 1 slave
Solomon Hays by Luke Raiby – 89½ acres @ $5
Arthur Hays – 1 free
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