1811 - The Hay family emigrates from Scotland to America


Passenger lists generally were not maintained prior to 1820 for arrival passengers in the U.S. (with the exception of the port of Philadelphia which has records as of 1800), and no outgoing lists were maintained in Scotland/Britain prior to 1890. Thus, information on both William and Jane Ann Taylor Hay's 1811 emigration and his father Robert Hay's 1818 emigration is not available (information to Canada {for Robert} is even later). Indeed, family stories had mentioned both an 1811 and an 1813 date so that even the exact year was unknown. Plus, while the original story handed down to W.P.Hay by his grandfather Robert Lyle Hay mentioned the port of arrival being Philadelphia (and there are lists 1800-1820 from Philadelphia), another source from Robert Lyle Hay's brother Francis Marion Hay mentioned that the port of landing was New York, and then the family traveled to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and finally settled in Saluda:

From the 1910 History of Henry County, IL by Henry Kiner, p.623 - "Francis Marion Hay. ... He was born in Saluda township, Indiana January 22, 1833, a son of Thomas and Sarah (Maiden) Hay. The former was born on a farm in the vicinity of Edinburgh, Scotland, October 26, 1800, and was a lad of eleven when his parents joined a company of about a hundred who emigrated to America. They landed at New York whence they went to Philadelphia, thence to Pittsburg [sic], where they secured a flat boat and floated down the river to Hanover, Indiana. There they disembarked and William Hay, the grandfather of F. M. Hay, secured a tract of land from the government, which remained his home during the rest of his life. He died at the advanced age of eighty-six years. ..." .

The 1885 Bureau County history states that they were "in company with a number of Scotch Seceders, mostly of the Hay and Taylor families."

In the early 20th century, genealogist William Perry Hay spoke to several Hay relatives about the emigration, with conflicting stories. The year was variously stated as 1811, 1812 or 1813. Some stories say that William came first and Jane and the children later. Most say they landed in Philadelphia and some say New York. From records that remain, it is the most likely that they did all emigrate together in 1811 and they landed in NY, made their way to Philadelphia, then Pittsburgh (over land) and then obtained a flat bottom boat and went down the Ohio River to Indiana.

It is almost 100% certain they did not land in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia lists were examined, and none contained any Hays, Swans, Davidsons or Taylors. Our ancestors were supposedly a large group of about 100 according the Francis Marion Hay's biography -- surely a hard group to miss. I personally examined all the lists in 1811-1813, and there were no such large groups at all, even unnamed persons (these lists were usually of the cargo transported, not with the intention of detailing individual passengers.) In fact, none of the ships in this time frame originated in Scotland. As Dobson stated, "it is believed that although there were a number of vessels which could be described as 'emigrant ships,' the majority of emigrants during our period went on cargo ships." Plus, it is noteworthy that the New York mention above also mentions Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Therefore I am certain the port of entry was New York.

The year is almost 100% certain to be 1811. The year has been told as 1811, 1812 or 1813, and some say that William came first and Jane and the children later. From records that remain, it is the most likely that they did all emigrate together in 1811. 1812 is not a likely possibility given the war conditions at the time (The War of 1812 between Britain and America, often referred to as the "Second Revolution" -- emigration was sharply curtailed). It is certain that both Jane Taylor Hay and Jannet Taylor Swan emigrated prior to 1813, as both sisters were listed as founding "First Communicants" of the Carmel Church in Saluda in 1812. The fact that both the men and the women are listed as first communicants in 1812, seems to be definitive that they all arrived in Indiana at the same time. Thus, it seems certain that all the entire families emigrated together and in 1811. (And note that it is certain that they emigrated in 1810 or later as they are not on the 1810 census; 1810 was never mentioned in any biographies as a possibility.)

Additionally, while there has been no biography found for which William was the author, there is a listing for which Thomas himself would have provided the information: in an 1877 book titled "The History of Henry County, Illinois, Its Tax-Payers and Voters" where Thomas Hay's complete entry reads "Farmer; Sec. 13; P. O. Annawan; born Roxburghshire, Scotland, Nov. 26, 1800; came to this country 1811; to Henry Co. 1856; Dem; Univ; owns 240 acres of land, value $6,000; wife was [sic] Sarah Maden, of N. C. born June 2, 1800; married Nov. 23, 1820; has had eleven children." (Sarah is still alive; Sarah and Thomas both die in 1885, so this information would have been directly from Thomas and Sarah themselves; "Univ" is assumed to mean they were members of a Universalist Church.) It is an important distiction that this information would have been from Thomas directly, who was 11 on the crossing, and not from the recollections of his children or grandchildren.

It is uncertain which was the port of embarkation. I am guessing that with the animosity between England and America (prior to and during the War of 1812), and the fact that many of the biographies talk about Edinburgh (like the one above), the family emigrated from Scotland and not from England. While the family is known to have lived on the Scotland-England border in the Roxburghshire area, I believe all traveled north to leave from a Scottish port rather than south to leave from a British port. Also, none of the accounts mention England, while the more northern city of Edinburgh is specifically mentioned.

Sample 1830 ad on left; 1998 book faceplate on right
So given these assumptions, I searched for information on ships from Scotland to America. The definitive information on these emigrations is by David Dobson "Ships from Scotland to America 1628-1828" which is based on mostly contemporary newspapers in America and Scotland (the "most fruitful source"), as well as government records and published sources in both America and Scotland, as available. The newspapers do not list individual passengers, but usually are instead advertisements by shipmasters and merchants. There are also sometimes announcements in Scottish papers that ships sailed "with passengers" and sometimes American and Canadian sources have been able to correlate. While Dobson recognized the list was not exhaustive, it is believed to incorporate the great majority of emigrant ships.

It should be noted that descendants of emigrant Andrew Davidson, who married Isabelle Hay (3/6/1792 Linton, Scotland-9/25/1826 Saluda,IN), the daughter of emigrants Jane Ann Taylor and William Hay, list an 1801 emgration date from Linton to America. [Andrew's parents have been listed as William; a second source has a 4/8/1879 Aberdeen Scotland birthdate and parents as John and Barbara Buchan Davidson; a third source mentioned Linton St. Macher Church records with Andrew born 6/4/1789 the son of Andrew Davidson and Elizabeth Frame -- it is thought this third source is correct, and matches Bella's birthplace of Linton and the census data where Andrew is 62 in 1850 and 71 in 1860]. Given a birthdate of 1789 for Andrew and 1792 for Bella, it is clear that not only would they not be old enough to be married, but Andrew is probably too young to travel without family in 1801 at age 12 (and no family was in Indiana with Andrew). There also are no Indiana records found for him prior to 1813 when he applied for citizenship at age 32. He was said to have "had strong feelings about persecutions and burning of the 'dissenters' at Castle Hill (near Edinburgh)." (see notes). The 1801 date seems very improbable; it is believed that Andrew and Bella married in Scotland and emigrated with the Hays, Swans and Taylors in 1811.

In 1811 there were only four ships listed in David Dobson's book "Scotland to America" in our time frame (1628-1828). As he states in the book, "While most early voyages between Scotland and North America were trading voyages, the majority of American-bound cargo ships carried a small complement of passengers, usually under 20 from what I see, and a number of these passengers are named in newspaper accounts and in records of the Exchequer now housed in the National Archives of Scotland." This volume of research is based largely on these two sources, especially the Exchequer records, which identify vessels, masters, and cargoes on which duty was charged. Such records are virtually complete from the year 1742, and though designed to raise income for the government through customs duties, they do sometimes refer to passengers.

Note that there are no ships listed as going to Philadelphia. It is obvious that the Hindustan is the only possible choice; none of the other entries in the time period go to the right port.

Hindustan entry in David Dobson's second book
In a second volume of the same time frame by David Dobson on ships from Scotland (see full page at right):

"Hindustan of Charleston, Benjamin Cozens, fr. GK with 84 passengers to NY 16 Aug 1811 [E504.15.93]." [E=Scottish Exchequer record]

This is an Exchequer record (governmental tax record) rather than the newspaper record above. Even though the dates do not agree (12 vs 16), it is obviously the same ship and had a revised sailing date. Perhaps since the Hay group was large (the biography above states "of about a hundred", which is surprisingly close to the 84 mentioned in this account), it may have taken a couple extra days for the provisions and to make accommodations suitable on board for such a large group, especially for such an extended amount of time -- the voyage on this sail-only ship might have taken two months. The travelers are known to include 22 immediate family members: 2 Davidsons, 5 Hays, 2 Taylors, 13 Swans -- it is unknown who the remainder of the 62 passengers were, but many are assumed to be other family and/or friends, and perhaps some few number strangers. It should be noted that this was a huge organizational undertaking, as the Hays lived in Linton, the Taylors in Jedburgh and the Swans in Ancrum -- all in Roxburghshire, but a considerable distance apart (especially without telephones!). It is possible that the Edinburgh citation in the biography above results from all the families meeting and temporarily residing near Edinburgh circa 1810 to plan for the journey.

The port of Greenock surprised me, as I had assumed they would leave from the larger port city of Edinburgh. However, by the early 19th century Greenock had become the major port for emigrants from all over Scotland, due to its facilities and its trade with the Americas, importing sugar from the Caribbean. Greenock is 70 miles due west of Edinburgh, just west of Glasgow.

It should be stated that with such a large party, it is a possibility that our ancestors contracted with a private captain, just for passage. However, it is considered unlikely that such a sailing would have occurred without the knowledge of the Exchequer office.

Besides Dobson who specifically focused on Scottish emigrants, there were several other genealogists who compiled books of all immigrants, 1538 and later. The vast Filby and Meyer Passenger Lists book take up about six feet of shelf space, and have been updated in annual volumes since 1981. A major disadvantage to these volumes is that a master index had not been made as of 2002, so researching meant examination of all 15 volumes. Another excellent reference on ship records for 17th century immigrants is Carl Boyer's four volume set called "Ship Passenger Lists" which covers immigration from 1538-1825. Michael H. Tepper's two-volume set called "New World Immigrants" is also very helpful Finally, for more obscure cases of immigration, such as from the Dutch East Indies or Dutch West Indies to America, P. William Filby's "Passenger and Immigration Lists Bibliography, 1538-1900" is useful. I did not examine all 15 volumes of Filby, but did look for specific entries when the date was known, and found nothing fruitful -- this would be useful to check when it is indexed in the future. I did look at both of Tepper's volumes and found: no Gregory/Griggorie, no Hay (none at all!!), no Passwater, no Vandolah, no Britton, no Howsmon/Housman, no Crawford, no McNeeley, and only two entries of interest: Wm Frost, Windham Norfolk, son of Edward Frost in 1683 (vol 1), and Henry Maddin in 1643 (vol 1). There were many Taylors, but no Taylor that looked like it would be a match.

The East Indiaman Hindustan - WRONG ONE; NOT OURS - 1793 painting (#2 cropped to display just the Hindustan)
I was excited to find three pictures of paintings of The East Indiaman Hindustan circa 1790-93, thinking this might be the boat, but alas, it is not; this boat was scrapped in 1804. "Our" boat may or may not have looked something like this one; I have no idea as I can find no information on the boat, and very little on the captain, Benjamin Cozens. These three paintings are in the National Maritime Museum in London, and were commissioned to commemorate the ‘Hindustan’s’ first voyage for the East India Company to China. I have included them here because they seem to display the common ship of the time -- they look similar to the drawing above on the cover of Dobson's book.
The East Indiaman 'Hindustan' had a varied career in both Company and naval service. The original 1,248-ton vessel was built for Robert Williams Esq. at Messrs Barnard and Company in 1789. The ‘Hindustan’s’ first voyage for the East India Company was to China at the start of 1790, returning just over a year later in January 1791 under Captain William Mackintosh. Her second voyage, to Peking and Canton, was much more significant. On 1 October 1792, she departed Torbay as part of Lord Macartney's (unsuccessful) trading embassy to the Chinese Emperor, Chien-lung, and did not return to British waters until September 1794. With the commencement of hostilities in 1795, the 'Hindustan' was sold to the government, to become the 4th-rate ship HMS 'Hindostan'. Altogether the ‘Hindostan’ was in service between 1789-1802 and made six major voyages during this time. After various operations in the Atlantic and Mediterranean it was burnt by accident on 2 April 1804 in Rosas bay, San Sebastian.
Painting 1 by Luny: A scene bathed in golden light showing the East Indiaman ‘Hindustan’ and another vessel, at anchor off the coast of China. The 'Hindustan' is probably drying its sails. A ship’s boat is pulling away from the ship and there are several Chinese junks in the water.
Painting 2 by Luny: A scene showing the ‘Hindustan’ in full sail off the coast of China. A Chinese craft is sailing past on the left of the painting with a figure visible in the stern managing both the sails and the tiller. The junk is covered with a small awning. Another British ship can be seen in the far distance on the left.
Painting 3 by Luny: A highly detailed painting showing the ‘Hindustan’ at anchor, possibly off the rocky coast of the Canary Islands, with its sails lowered. A small local craft can be seen in the foreground and there is a ship in full sail in the distance on the left. The picture is signed and dated 1790.

Master Benjamin Cozens (captain). I found three references to Benjamin Cozens which I think belong to the 1811 captain of the American sailing ship Hindustan, and one for which I am sure is not:
1. 1794 -- Benjamin Cozens, Master of the Brig Betsey, Jan. 29, 1794
2. 1822 -- J. B. Cozens, Master of the brig William McGillivray; arrived October 17, 1822 to Quebec; departed September 6 sailing from Jamaica; consigned by Sweeny & Company, with rum and sugar.
3. 1827 -- November 21, [1827] -- The James, belonging to Mr. Cozens, arrived at Cubits yesterday, from Portugal. The Master says, that a few days ago, in the longitude of (I believe) 30 degrees, he fell in with a brig, water-logged, having a living woman lashed in the main-top, four living seamen in the rigging, and, (oh! dreadful to relate !) a dead man spread in the shrouds, on whom the unfortunate and unhappy survivors were subsisting ! The master said that he made every exertion to save them, but alas ! without avail and that a very heavy gale (which lasted 48 hours) caused him to leave them to the mercy of the foaming ocean, into the bowels of which, he has no doubt, they were consigned soon after its commencement. The master read " Indi- " on some part of her. He came close to her several times and requested the poor fellows to throw themselves over-board, that he might be enabled to pick them up, but he could hear them say they were too weak ; and when they saw the impossiblity of his saving them, their lamentations were dreadful.— Newfoundland Gazette
4. 1852 -- this would appear to not be the Captain of the Hindustan, because it is almost 60 years after the first mention above, and it would appear to be for a British man, so it is not even certain if this is a close relative (like a son). A Corporal Benjamin Cozens is listed as one of the men of the 43rd Regiment (the Royal Green Jackets), who perished on February 26, 1852 on the British Troopship Birkenhead. She was wrecked at Danger Point near Gansbaai on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. There were not enough serviceable lifeboats for all the passengers, and the soldiers famously stood firm, thereby allowing the women and children to board the boats safely. Only 193 of the 643 people onboard survived, and the soldiers' chivalry gave rise to the "women and children first" protocol when abandoning ship, while the "Birkenhead drill" of Rudyard Kipling's poem came to describe courage in face of hopeless circumstances.
--Genealogy: it is thought this is likely to be a match: Born in Haddonfield, New Jersey, USA on 2 Sep 1759 to Samuel Cozens and Hannah Cheeseman. He passed away on 4 Dec 1835 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.