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Peter (Hays) Hayes IV (1673 - bef. 1761)

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Return to ==> Peter (Hays) Hayes IV (1673-bef.1761)

Actually, there are two lines of Peters: (1) one is Peter Hay(s) born 1700 married Martha Sledge and lived in Surry County, Virginia, which was formed in 1652 from a portion of James City County, Colonial Virginia; (2) the other Peter (Hays) Hayes IV (1673-bef.1761) is from the Hayes line going through Isle of Wight, Colonial Virginia, which was formed in 1637. As a result, the two lines and their ancestors and descendants get mixed up.

Robert Baird, in his thought-provoking blog, states that Peter Hay (abt.1700-bef.1761) born 1700 married Martha Sledge of Surry County, Virginia sometime between 3 November 1725 when the will of Charles Sledge bequeathed 'unto my daughter Martha Sledge one three year old heifer', thus establishing that she was unmarried, and 8 January 1726/7 when his widow Mary Sledge's will bequeathed her residual estate to 'my daughter Martha Hay' and made her son-in-law Peter Hay executor." [Surry County, Virginia Deeds & Wills 7, p. 623 & 826 respectively].[1] Furthermore, he makes a good argument that Peter Hay(s) was not part of the Hayes family of Isle of Wight, but part of the "Gilbert Hay clan". [Baird has several interesting articles regarding the Hays family on his blog.]
This means that the oft cited birth date of 1673 for Peter Hay(s) (born 1700) is incorrect, AND that he was NOT the son of Peter Hayes of Blackwater and Elizabeth Flake as stated by Boddie (below):
"Peter Hayes, son of Peter Hayes of Blackwater, joined the migration of settlers pushing south into the great virgin forests of the Tidewater, after the Tuscarora War. From the earliest records it would seem that Peter who homesteaded on Urashaw Swamp, and his sons, were more interested in buying and selling land than in farming. The many grants and estate transfers in which they were involved would indicate that the Hayes men obtained a comfortable living from real estate, or what would be considered comfortable in those frontier days.
Peter Hayes of Urashaw was born on the Hayes Blackwater plantation in Isle of Wight County. Just across the river in Surry County was the plantation of Charles Sledge. Peter married Martha Sledge, daughter of Charles. Peter Hayes was the executor of Mary (Clarke) Sledge's will.
The record of a grant of 640 acres in the Urashaw Swamp region has not been found, but it is mentioned in a land transfer. In 1720, Peter Hayes and his eldest son, William were listed as having arms and able to defend the colonies against the Indians. This list constitutes a military roster for Capt. Patterson's company, and was made up of all the male residents of the upper part of Chowan Precinct, an area today found in Hertford and Northampton Counties. (Hathaway. Register, vol. i. p. 443). It is probable that Peter's other sons were under the age of 16 at that time.
Peter and Martha Hayes of Urahaw had twelve known children, five sons and seven daughters. His will dated August 3, 1760 and probated in March of 1761 in Halifax Co., N. C., names his wife Martha as executrix, and gives each of his younger children five shillings. His wife was to have the estate and to see that the children were educated and cared for. The three oldest children were not mentioned in the will; they had been established with their own families.
Issue of Peter and Martha Hayes: Sons: William, Thomas, John, Charles, Reuben Hayes. Daughters: Hannah, Rebecca, Edy (who m. a Phillips), Silve, Winnie (who m. a Hilliard), Milly, and Willie (the will speakes of Willie as a daughter).
Reuben Hayes (Hays) witnessed his father's will."[2]
Baird further suggests that the Reuben Hayes who witnessed Peter Hays will was not Peter's son, "as the act of witnessing the will would deprive him of any claim on the residual estate", nor was he the Rev. Reuben Hayes who was an educated man who could sign his name. The Reuben Hayes that witnessed Peter's will made only his mark.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Baird, Robert W. (2010-2018). "Peter Hays (c1700-1761) & Martha Sledge". Bob's Genealogy Filing Cabinet, Southern and Colonial Genealogies. Bob's Genealogy Filing Cabinet.
  2. Boddie, John Bennett (1971). Historical Southern Families, vol. xv. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co. p. 174-75.
  • William Leopard
  • VIRGINIA HISTORICAL GENEALOGIES Author: BODDIE, JAMES Repository: Call Number: Media: Book Page: B7, PAGE 623

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