- Johnston County was formed in 1746 but essentially all records prior to 1759 were lost in a courthouse fire.
- Parts of Johnston County were spun off into Orange County in 1752, Dobbs County in 1758 (which subsequently became Wayne, Lenoir, and Green) , and Wake County in 1770. In addition, its boundaries were altered several times.
All persons are “of Johnston County” unless otherwise noted
22 July 1761
Land Grant: Earl of Granville to Emanuel Hais (Hays), planter, for 10 shillings, tract of vacant land on the south side of Neuse River and Marks Creek joining Michael Curtice. Halifax, proved 2 March 1763. [Johnston County Deed Book “Transcript 1”, page 42.]
There is a Marks Creek near Clayton, NC that runs south into the Neuse River, but it is not south of the Neuse.
20 May 1770
Deed: Francis Harrell to John Hayes (Hais), for £100 proclamation money, 300 acres on the south side of Neuse River, beginning at a white oak between the river and the Burnt Marsh so along the Burnt Marsh to the Beaverdam gut to a sweet gum thence running NE to a red oak now Benjamin Williams his line then a west course to an overcut oak then running a course to a white oak on the river then the course of the river to the first station. Signed: Francis Harrell. Witness Jno. Barwick, Henry Everett. [Johnston County Deed Book “Transcript 1”, page 304.]
Charles Hayes would sell this land 27 years later.
This person is the son of John Hayes who died in Bertie County in 1774. The settlement of his account lists among his children John Hays, Rebecca Stevens, and Phebe Jernigan, all of whom are now in Johnston County.
17 Feb 1772
Deed: William Thompson to Selah Hayes, for £20 proclamation money, 100 acres “north side of Mill Creek the outside of Neuse Marshes” beginning at a maple in a meadow and running S40W 127p, then N50W 127p the N40E 127p, then straight to the beginning, being a patent dated 22 December 1768. Signed: William Thompson. Witness: Nathan Williams, Benjamin Williamson. [Johnston County Deed Book H1, page 130.]
This may refer to the Mill Creek southwest of the Neuse River that empties into the Neuse less than three miles from the mouth of Moccasin Swamp. If so, that suggests some connection between Selah Hayes and Jesse Hayes. The grant to William Thompson was issued 22 December 1768 with the description above.
I did not find a sale of this land.
22 July 1774
Land Grant: Entered 6 April 1770 Issued 22 July 1774. John Hayes, 200 acres on the south side of Neuse River and north side of Mill Creek joining the marshes beginning at a small red oak and a persimmon tree on an island on the outside marsh by Nathan Williams’ line… a pine of Mill Creek thence down the creek as it meanders about 160 poles to a pine on Nathan Williams’ line… [ Grant #432, NC Grant Book 22, page 401.]
What is the relationship between Selah Hayes and John Hayes? Does this adjoin the land bought by Selah Hayes in 1772?
25 Feb 1778
Bond: John Stephens bond for £200 for his appointment as tax gatherer for Captain Thomas Lee’s Company. Security: John Hays. Witness: Wm. Warde. [Johnston County Deed Book “Transcript 1”, page 162.]
2 Dec 1779
Deed: Ratcliff Boon to Jesse Hayes (Hayse) of Dobbs County, for £5,000, three tracts on north side of Neuse River; one tract of 200 acres beginning at a red oak on the side of beaver pond… a patent to Joseph Boon of 1759; also one other tract of 100 acres beginning at a cypress on the Clay Beaver Dam Slew on the west side… a patent to Ratcliff Boon of 1769; another tract of 300 acres beginning at a pine on the run of Mocason Swamp just above the bridge where the road crosses said swamp… a patent to Ratcliff Boon of 1768. Signed: Ratcliff (x) Boon. Witness: John Rayford, Arthur Powell. Proved February Ct. 1780. [Johnston County Grant Book 1, page 22.]
There are two Moccasin Swamps or Creeks that were at the time located in Johnston County. This Moccasin Swamp rises in eastern Johnston County and western Wayne County, and flows southward forming the Johnston-Wayne county line into the Neuse River. A plat of the division of the land of Joseph Boon in 1828 shows a large holding between Raccoon Swamp to the west and Moccasin Swamp to the east right at the point where both creeks run into the Neuse River. This plat clarifies which Moccasin Swamp the Boons (and Hayes) lived on.
The bridge was likely near where the Old Smithfield Road crosses Moccasin Swamp about 5 miles north of the Neuse.
The Grantee-Grantor indices have a virtually identical entry for an instrument recorded in Book “H C K” page 22. I believe it is the same deed.
16 Oct 1780
Deed: Jesse Watkins to Jesse Hayes, for £30, 50 acres north side of Neuse River & west side of Mocason Swamp beginning at a pine Blackman’s corner tree… Cypress swamp on the prong of the Clay Beaver Dam…. Bryan’s line… part of a tract Jesse Watkins bought of Thomas Boon. Signed: Jesse Watkins. Witness: Arthur Howell, James Lynch. Proved November Ct. 1780. [Johnston County Deed Book L1, page 171.]
Jesse Watkins had bought this land the very same day from Thomas Boon. It is just over the county line from Wayne County (Moccason Creek being the county line).
29 Dec 1781
Last Will & Testament: John Hays
…to my son Charles Hays my plantation whereon I now live, one mare, saddle and bridle, one bed and furniture
…to my daughter Nancy one tract of land lying on Mill Creek to be equally divided between said Nancy and my daughter Susanna, also one gray mare bridle and saddle goes by the name of Nansy, one feather bed and furniture, one beaver hat and one small trunk
…to my daughter Susanna one gray mare bridle and saddle called Ball, the bridle and saddle to be bought by the executors, also one small trunk and one feather bed and furniture.
Likewise each of my daughters is to have £50 in hard money either gold or silver… if they marry before my son Charles comes of age and if they do not marry they must have their shares when Charles is of age… (a negro Toby to be sold th erest to remain on plantation)… son Charles to have seven years schooling and my daughters to have education sufficient at the discretion of my executors. Appoints Andrew Bass and Edmund Stevens, with Nathan Williams, Barnaby Stevens, and William Stevens executors. Signed: John (x) Hays. Witness: Jasper Jernigan, Phebe (x) Jernigan, Pherebe (x) Stevens. [Johnston County Will Book Volume 1, page 796.]
Phebe Jernigan was his sister. Was his wife a Stevens or a Jernigan?
5 July 1782
Account Current of estate of John Hays dec’d by Andrew Bass, executor, shows an estate sale on this date. [Johnston County Record of Estates 1781-1791, page 71.]
17 Sept 1782
Deed: Joseph Boon Junr. to Jesse Hayes (Hayse), for two barrels of good merchanable (sic) brandy, 30 acres part of a grant on the north side of the Neuse River and east side of the Slue beginning at a red oak on the Clay Beaverdam… to the Slue & down the Slue run to a cypress corner of Warren… down his old line… Signed: Joseph Boon. Witness: Jesse Watkins, John (x) Wiggs. [Johnston County Deed Book “Transcript 2”, page 132.]
This must be somewhere in the general vicinity of Moccasin Swamp.
21 Oct 1782
Land Grant: John Hayes, 92 acres both sides Mill Creek “beginning at a red oak and persimmon his beginning of another tract on an island in the outside Marsh”(??) runs thence his line S30W 160p to a pine thence his line S30E 72p to a pine in the creek thence his line again down the meanders of the creek 200p… Col. Williams corner thence his line… Entered 1 April 1780. [Grant #848, NC Grant Book 46, page 288 and recorded in Johnston County Deed Book M1, page 428.]
This is evidently post mortem. It adjoins his grant of 1774 and is apparently teh land given to his daughters in his will.
2 July 1784
Deed: Elijah Warren to Jesse Hays, for £88, 88 acres north side of Neuse River on the Beaverdam Slough joining and between his own and Ratliff Boon’s lines beginning at a red oak his own corner… a cypress by a pond… pine on Boon’s line… to a cypress his own corner… Signed: Elijah Warren. Witness: Jesse Watkins, John (x) Wiggs. Proved May Ct. 1785. [Johnston County Deed Book O1, page 290.]
This evidently adjoins the tract of 30 acres that he bought two years earlier.
23 Aug 1785
Deed: Jesse Watkins to Jesse Hayes (Hayse), for £59, 117 acres on the north side Neuse River and west side of Mocason Swamp beginning at a white oak in the run of the swamp… Needham Whitley’s corner of the land patented by Robert Raiford… black gum on the run of Mocason Swamp up the windings of the said swamp… being part of a patent to Francis Cogdell of 1775. Signed: Jesse Watkins. Witness: Abram (x) Samelson, John Hays, Lucreacy (x) Hayse. Proved by John Hays February Ct. 1787. [Johnston County Deed Book “Transcript 2”, page 246.]
30 Aug. 1785
Deed: Lewis Gurley to Edwards Gurley, for £50, two tracts. One of 150 acres between Neuse River and Little River and between Mocoson swamp and Beaverdam swamp being part of a patent granted to Gray Hambleton dated 28 April1780; also a tract adjoining the above on Mocoson swamp being part of land granted to Henry Oliver dated 11 December 1770. Witness: Jesse Hayse, Phillip Pearce. [Johnston County Deed Book O1, page 341.]
21 Mar 1786
Deed: Ann Gurley to Jesse Hayes, for £21 specie, 115 acres on the south side Mocason swamp beginning at a water oak on the run of said swamp Ratliff Boons former upper corner… Boon’s corner… Boon’s lines… …across the said creek along a row of marked trees to a pine Bulls corner… a water oak Bulls other corner at the run of said swamp: down courses of said swamp to the beginning it being part of a grant to Ann Gurley dated 9 July 1778. Signed: Ann (x) Gurley. Witness: John Hays, James Linken, Arthur Gurley. Proved by John Hays February Court 1787. [Johnston County Deed Book “Transcript 2”, page 245.]
John Hays may be his son (the grandson named in Samuel Hays’ will) apparently aged about 20 according to later records. He appears in the 1790 census but not the state census of early 1787.
Account Current: estate of John Hays dec’d recorded February Court 1787 by Andrew Bass, executor. The header is dated 20 February 1782 and expenses included five years boarding of the the three orphans. It shows four estate sales between 5 July 1782 and 20 January 1787 (only one of which is recorded) totalling £344 and other income, principally £350 “due from John Fleetwood, Ben Exum, and Burwell Morning”. Smaller amounts were due from Elizabeth Stevens, John Fleetwood, and from James Holliman & John Davis. Separate sales were made to Joseph Boon and William Jernigan. Among the payments by the estate was £10 “money pd. Hardy Hays on acct”. [Johnston County record of Estates 1781-1791, page 71-72.] On the preceding page is the account of the fourth sale, of five horses out of the estate, dated 20 January 1787. The horses were sold to William Blackman, William Stevens, and William Rhodes. [Ibid., page 70.]
Hardy Hays was his brother. Both were sons of John Hays of Bertie County.
16 March 1787
State Census, dated 16 March 1787 for Johnston County:
Jesse Hayse: 1 2 6 3 2
(One male aged 21-60, 2 males under 21 or over 60, six females, five slaves)
20 May 1788
Account Current: estate of John Hays dec’d by Andrew Bass, executor. Shows boarding & clothing for Charles, Nancy, Susanna Hays charged £45 for 15 months each. [Johnston County Record of Estates 1781-1791, page 104.]
7 Oct 1789
Deed: William Hayes Esq. of Wake County to William Bridgers Esq., for £115 NC money, two lots in the town of Smithfield, #37 and #38, excepting one spot four feet by six feet wherein Alexander Gray Esq. is buried. Signed: Wm. Hayes. Witness: Jos. Irwin. Proved May Ct. 1790. [Johnston County Deed Book “Transcript 3”, page 265.]
Federal Census, page 547:
…Needham Whitley, Oliver Rains, Philip Pierce, Jesse Watkins
John Hays: 1 2 2 0 7
William Davis, Benjamin Sims, Isum Gurley, Charles Willing, John Tatum, William Capps
Jesse Hays: 2 2 6 0 1
Division of Slaves: Jesse Oates guardian of Charles, Nancy, and Susanna Hays orphans of John Hays, dec’d. A valuation and division of ten slaves among the three orphans. An account current by the guardian was recorded a the same court. [Johnston County Record of Estates 1791-1795, pages 154, 162.]
29 Oct 1793
Deed: Thomas Pollock of Craven County to Jesse Hayes, for £61:17s:7¼d, 117 acres on the north side Neuse River beginning at a white oak on the run of Mocason Swamp… also 200 acres north side of Beaver pond… also 200 acres beginning at a cypress on the Clay beaverdam slough… Jesse Hayes line… Signed: Thomas Pollock. Witness: John Killingsworth, Jesse Watkins. Proved February Ct. 1794. [Johnston County Deed Book “Transcript 1”, page 218.]
29 Oct 1793
Deed: Thomas Pollock of Craven County to Jesse Hayes, [amount blank], 115 acres beginning at a water oak on the run of Mocason Swamp Ratliff Boon’s upper corner… Boon’s line… down the various courses of the Swamp… Signed: Thomas Pollock. Witness: Joseph Boon, Henry Stevens. Proved February Ct. 1794. [Johnston County Deed Book “Transcript 1”, page 221.]
2 Nov 1793
Will: Rebeckah Stevens… to my beloved brother Samuel Hays one large dish & one large bason… to my beloved sister Phebe Jernigan one large dish, one large bason, two gourds one blue and one chintz, one scarlett cloke, one blue skirt, one chintz apron, one pair cloth shoes and one pair plated shoe buckels, one black silk hat… residue of estate tto be sold and equally divided between my brother Samuel Hays and my sister Phebe Jernigan… appoint John Atkins[on] and Jesse Hay my executors. Signed: Rebeckah (x) Stevens. Witness: I. Warren, Sarah Jernigan, Hester (x) Ballard. Proved by Isaiah Warren Nov. Ct. 1793. [Johnston County Wills, Inventories & Settlements 1791-1795, page 205.]
Rebecca Stevens was the widow of Ephraim Stevens, who died intestate in 1785. The estate records of John Hays of Bertie County listed among his children Rebecca Stevens, Phebe Jernigan, Samuel Hays, and John Hays. John Hays of Johnston County is dead by now. It isn’t clear where Samuel Hays might be located, but Ephaim Stevens’ estate paid him 10 shillings. Subsequent records of the estate show that only John Atkinson — husband of Phereby Stevens — was executor and give no clue as to the location of Samuel Hays. In fact, no payment to Samuel Hayes is listed at all.
Could Jesse Hays be her cousin? That is, could his father Samuel Hayes be a brother of John Hayes of Bertie? There was only one Jesse Hays in Johnston County and he was connected to John Atkinson (see below). Note that Jesse Hays did not serve as executor and was not a buyer at the estate sale. John Atkinson served in the Revolution and a pension application indicates that he was born in 1760.
6 Nov 1793
Deed: Joseph Boon Jr. to Jesse Hayes (Hayse), for £20, 30 acres beginning at a hickory on the north side of the Slough which appears to be an old corner, with the course of Joseph Boon Sr. and said Hayse’s fence as it now stands to the run of the Slough, down the run of said Slough to Joseph Boon Jr’s line, Ratliff Boon’s corner. Signed: Joseph Boon. Witness: B. Stevens, Daniel Potts. Proved February Ct. 1795. [Johnston County Deed Book U1, page 124.]
3 Oct 1795
Deed: Nicholas Tomson to Jesse Hayes (Hayse), for £200 NC money, 300 acres a certain plantation tract south side of the great branch beginning at a maple Jacob Gurley’s old corner thence along his line S10W 65p to a pine Henry Bull’s corner… red oak in Pilkinton’s corner thence along his line… being part of a patent to Jacob Gurley 25 October 1782; also an adjoining tract of 150 acres granted to Richard Pilkinton 17 August 1773 beginning at a pine on Mocason Swamp at the upper end of the Briery Marsh thence near about a west course to a red oak Henry Bull’s corner… to a gum in Mocason Swamp then down the swamp to the beginning. Signed: Nicholas Tomson. Witness: Joseph Boon, Jacob Stevens. Proved November Ct. 1796. [Johnston County Deed Book V1, page 321.]
15 Oct 1795
Deed: Jesse Hayes (Hayse) to Needham Whitley, for £110, 117 acres north side of Neuse River and west side of Mocason Swamp… Needham Whitley’s line… along the Swamp… part of a tract granted to Francis Cogdell 1775. Signed: Jesse Hayes. Witness: James Holt, B. Stevens. Proved February Ct. 1796. [Johnston County Deed Book V1, page 205.]
23 Dec 1796
Deed: Jesse Hayes (Hayse) to John Atkinson, for £603:10s, six parcels of land on north side Neuse River & east side of the Cypress Slough where Ratcliff Boon formerly lived; 200 acres beginning at a red oak on the side of beaver pond… a patent to Joseph Boon of 1759; 100 acres beginning at a cypress at the Clay Beaverdam Slough… a patent to Ratcliff Boon 1769; 30 acres adjacent part of a patent to Joseph Boon; 88 acres beginning at the slough below where Ratcliff Boon formerly lived… Warren’s line… Boon’s line… Beaverdam Slough… a patent to Richard Warren 1769; 50 acres north side fo Neuse River and west side of Mokerson Swamp… the Rackoon Swamp… Needham Whitley’s line… Clay Beaverdam… part of a tract that Jesse Watkins formerly lived upon, bought of Thomas Boon, part of a patent by Francis Cogdell; 100 acres south side Mokerson Swamp… Ratcliff Boon’s former lines… Bull’s line… part of a tract granted to Ann Gurley 9 July 1778. Signed: Jesse Hayes. Witness: Benjamin (x) Woodard, Nicholas Tomson, John (x) Prance?. Proved August Ct. 1797. [Johnston County Deed Book W1, page 213.]
He is preparing to leave Johnston County. In 21 days he will style himself as a resident of Wake County.
13 Jan 1797
Deed: Jesse Hayes of Wake County to Benjamin Bridgers, for £150 NC money, two tracts on the south side of the great branch; 300 acres beginning at a maple Jacob Gurley’s old corner thence along his line… Bull’s line… Pilkinton’s line… part of a patent to Jacob Gurley 25 October 1782; also an adjoining parcel of 150 acres granted to Richard Pilkinton 17 August 1773 beginning at a pine on Mocason Swamp at the upper end of the Briery Marsh… Signed: Jesse Hayes. Witness: Needham Whitley, Nicholas Tomson. Proved November Ct. 1797. [Johnston County Deed Book W1, page 358.]
These are the two parcels he bought just two years earlier from Nicholas Tomson. Notice that he lost £50 on the transaction.
He was “of Johnston County” on 23 December and “of Wake County” just 21 days later.
16 Oct 1797
Deed: John Blackman & wife Nancy, Bennet Blackman & wife Susanna, and Charles Hays of Davidson County, Tennessee, to Isaac Williams, for £45 specie, 92 acres both sides Mill Creek beginning at a red oak and persimmon… [the 1782 land grant to John Hayes] Signed: John Blackman, Nancy Blackman, Bennet Blackman, Susanna Blackman, Charles Hays. Witness: Joab Blackman, Josiah Blackman. Recorded February Ct. 1818 (!!) [Johnston County Deed Book H2, page 134.]
6 Nov 1797
Deed: Charles Hays of State of Tennessee to Hardy Royal of Sampson County, for £1,000,
300 acres south side of the Neuse. beginning at a white oak on the river, S29W 28p to an overcut oak; S27E 284p to a stake in Burnt Marsh in Beaverdam Gut; thence the Beaverdam Gut the various courses 170p to a sweet gum; N57E 47p to a red oak; N45W 97p to an overcut oak; N5E 124p corner on the river; meanders of the river to the beginning… being a patent to Frances Harrell 2 May 1770. Signed: Charles Hays. Witness: Samuel Lee Junr., Joseph Ingram. Proved November Ct. 1797. [Johnston County Deed Book W1, page 340.]
This is clearly the same tract bought by John Hays in 1770, although the description is from a new survey. There was no 1770 patent to Francis Harrell; that may refer to the date of the sale by Harrell to John Hays (which was May 20 not May 2.) Note: The grantee’s name was misread as “Bryan” in a published abstract.
14 Feb 1809
Deed: Jesse Hayes of Wake County to John Killingsworth, for £200, 300 acres on north side Neuse River and west side Mocason Swamp… old line of land patent by Joseph Boon… water oak on the run of Mocason Swamp thence down the various course of the Swamp… Signed: Jesse Hayes. Witness: Hamilton Phillips, John Masey, John Killingsworth. Proved November Ct 1810. [Johnston County Deed Book G2, page 78.]
Unfortunately, both the 1800 and 1810 censuses for Wake County are lost.
17 Mar 1815
Will of Mary Pearce:… granddaughter Apsily Hayse…
27 Jan 1817
Power of Attorney: John Blackman of Hickman County, Tennessee, and Charles Hays of Davidson County, Tennessee in right of my wife Anne Hayes formerly Anny Blackman, appoint Bennet Blackman of Davidson County to receive what may be due to them from the estate of Edmund Blackman dec’d late of Johnston County. Signed: Charles Hays, John Blackman. Recorded May Ct. 1817 [Johnston County Deed Book I2, page 96.]