William Perry Hay -- 1941 Hay Genealogy notes


In Scotland, where the Hay family had its origin and where many bearing that name still live, its history can be traced back in unbroken time to the year 980. In that year, at a battle between a band of marauding Danes and a Scotch army under King Kenned III, the Scotmen, outnumbered and fleeing from the field, were driven back into the fight and the achievement of victory by an old farmer and his two sons who belabored Danes and Scot alike with the yokes from their plows. In gratitude for this act the king bestowed upon the old man a name, a title of nobility, a coat of arms and a large tract of land.

One story is that the name thus bestowed was Hay, taken from the gasping sounds made by the breathless old man when asked his name. Another story is that it was NaGaradh -- a Celtic term meaning a hedge or fence, and that this was born by the family for several generations until, in the reign of MacBeath, one of two brothers went over into Normandy and tranlated his name into the Norman equivalent -- De La Haye, meaning a dyke or barrier. Some years later the son of this DeLaHaye went to England with William of Normandy and after the conquest went to Scotland to visit his uncle, then old and childless, but the chieftain of a clan which had adopted his name -- NaGaradh. During the visit the old man died and, there being no other heirs, young De LaHaye was proclaimed his successor. The clan became known as the Clan De LaHaye and this was later contracted into Hay.

Watever the origins of the name, the family, very soon after coming into prominence, divided into two branches, one settling near Aberdeen, known as the House of Errol, the other remaining near Edinburgh, known as the House of Tweeddale -- or sometimes as the While Hays and the Black Hays, respectively. The Hays of Tweeddale appear to have been the more prolific and from among their younger sons have come many emigrants to foreign lands. It is from this stock, I have many resons for believing, were descended the William Hay who reached America in 1811 and his father Robert who got as far as Canada in 1818 and were the first definitely known progenitors of the American family to which I belong. But the links connecting Robert and William with the main trunk of the Scottish family tree, its larger branches or even the twigs thereof, if still obtainable, are buried in Scotch records inaccessible to me.

The maternal lines in our ancestry, in most cases, have been more difficult to trace. In many cases they can be followed back only a few generations. Often the family name has been completely lost. It is doubtful if further investigation will bring many of them to light.

In the course of perhaps fifty years, by quizzing, whenever I had the opportunity, the older members of the family, by searching the records in various county courthouses, by personally visiting numerous old cemeteries in the hope of finding tombstones with informative inscriptions and by corresponding with nearly every living relative or connection whose whereabouts I have been able to discover, I have gathered together a rather voluminous mass of authenticated and verified information regarding the family. I believe it is as complete and accurate a record as can be obtained without transforming what has been a pleasing hobby into an arduous vocation.

I have boiled all this material down into what I hope will be regarded as a not too extended and yet satisfactory pedigree, interesting enough to be read and, perhaps, to be preserved for those who are to follow.

W. P. Hay
Bradenton, Fla, Nov. 1941
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Robert Hay, my earliest known ancestor bearing the name of Hay was a native of the Lowlands of Scotland. Unfortunately this is all that is known about him with certainty. There is every reason for believing that he lived in or near the town of Kelso, in the county of Roxburghshire. It may be conjectured that he was born somewhere around 1742, as his son William, my great-great-grandfather, is known to have been born in 1763. In what business he was engaged is not known. His wife, I believe, was Ann Turnbull, although on one occasion over forty years ago my grandfather, who was named Robert Lyle Hay, told me that it might have been Lyle and that he had a dim recollection of hearing of a daughter of Robert Hay who, having married perhaps a man named Turnbull, had gone to Canada to live. Families of the Turnbulls and the Lyles were living during Robert Hay's time in lowland Scotland. Some of the Lyles came to America in the same company as the one of which my great-great-grandfather and his family were members and they settled close to one another in southern Indiana. The uncertainty on my grandfather's part and the bestowal upon him of the name Lyle is readily accounted for.

In a biography of Robert Lyle Hay (Biographical Record of Henry County, Illinois) published in 1901 (p.1 and p.2), the data for which was doubtless supplied by him and in which his and his wife's ancestry is rather fully given, it is stated that Robert Hay's wife was Ann Turnbull, that she died about 1820, that William was their only child, and that shortly after the death of his wife Robert went to Canada to visit his son and died while there. At that time William Hay had been living in southern Indiana for some years and it is hard to see why his father should be in Canada unless there was a daughter whom he stopped to visit before proceeding to southern Indiana. The date of Robert Hay's death has come down to me as 1818, but, if the story in Robert Hay's biography is correct, it must have been two or three years later. I know of no way of clearing up these discrepancies nor of getting further information.

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William Hay (b. Jan. 18, 1763 near Kelso, Scotland, m. Jane Ann Taylor, d. Oct. 12, 1849 near Saluda, Ind). He came to America in 1811 or 1813 with a company of Scotch Dissenters who are said to have landed at Philadelphia, proceeded to Pittsburgh where they purchased a flat boat and floated down the Ohio river to a place near Hanover, Indiana, where they bought land and settled. In this company there were Taylors, Lyles, Davidsons and McCaslins. William Hay brought with him his wife and four children -- Thomas (b. 1801), Isabel (b. ?, m. Andrew Davidson), Elizabeth (b. 1804, m. Samuel Wells), and Ann (b. 1809, m. Andrew Getty, __ Oldfield) and is said to have left two in Scotland, Ann who had married a man named Davidson and John who was a schoolteacher. If the story about the older Ann and John is true, I suspect that they were children by a former wife for they must have been considerably older than the other four. It is probably true also that the elder Ann, if she ever exsited, had died before the family left Scotland, else the youngest child would hardly have been given the same name. Of the four children who came to America I have always had the impression that Thomas was the oldest but I have recently seen an account, the data for which was doubtless furnished by my grandfather, in which it is stated that Isabel while still in Scotland had married a man named Andrew Davidson and came to America with her husband.

Jane Ann Taylor was the daughter of Thomas Taylor and was born May 7, 1785 near Kelso, Scotland and died September 4, 1845 at Saluda, Indiana. Her grave is beside her husband's in Carmel Cemetery, near Hanover, Indiana. Two brothers, Robert and Cranston, and a sister Nellie are said to have left Scotland with her, The sister died before reaching America but the brothers were among the settlers in Indiana and the graves of Robert Taylor and children of Cranston Taylor are in Carmel Cemetery.

William Hay and his wife settled on a farm (now part of the property of the widow of Andrew Getty) about one mile west of Saluda where they built a log house and proceeded to try to make a living. The ruins of this log house were still in existence in 1932. It was later occupied by Thomas Hay and in it Robert Lyle Hay was probably born.

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Note: Scottish birth records were obtained and confirmed that Thomas was the fourth-born child after Ann, John and Isabel, as well as a marriage record for William and Jane, confirming that all the children were those of William and Jane. However, I concur with the idea that the first Ann was deceased by the time of the birth of the second Ann. Also, Jane's brother Robert and Cranston emigrated with Nellie prior to her emigration in 1811, as both Robert and Cranston are found in KY on the 1810 census. It is thought that the Thomas Taylor who was buried in Carmel was a brother, as well as Janet Swan; why these two siblings, who emigrated with Jane, were left out of the stories recounted by family members is uncertain. While Thomas had no descendants that are known, Janet was the ancestor of a large brood of Swans, who were co-founders of the Carmel Church. It is curious that Lyles and McCaslins were mentioned as emigrants in the group, but not Swans. Brother Robert did move from KY to IN, but Cranston stayed in KY and the Cranston tombstone in Carmel is of a later generation.


Thomas Hay, as stated above, was born near Kelso, Roxbourghshire, Scotland, November 26, 1801 and was brought by his parents to Saluda, Jefferson Co., Indiana in 1811 or 1812. On November 23, 1820 he married Sarah Maiden, daughter of Andrew and Mary (Passwater) Maiden, who had come to Indiana from near Raleigh, North Carolina, where Sarah had been born. Andrew Maiden's father, John Maiden, is said to have been a native of Wales who had come to America prior to the Revolutionary War and had served under General Washington. The Maidens are also said to have been related to the Polks of N.C. and Tenn from among whome came Pres. Mary ("Polly") Passwater's people had come from Rhode Island and are said to be connected in some way with the Queens of that state.

Thomas and Sarah Hay produced eleven children, all born at Saluda. They were Jackson, who died at 2 years of age; Robert Lyle, b. Sept. 30, 1821, m. Margaret Crawford Mch 12, 1845 and Mary Baker, d. Dec 7 1903; Mary died at age of 2; William, m. Samantha Shaw; John, b. June 2, 1828, m. Elizabeth Crawford, Susan Hardy and Mollie Boles, d. Oct. 12, 1915; Minerva Jane, b. Oct 2, 1830, m. Henry Giles; Francis Marion, b. Jan 22, 1833, m. Hanna Adalaid Tower, d. Feb. 25, 1911; George, B. Oct 13, 1835, m. Almira Berry, d. Oct 30, 1887; Thomas J., b. May 12, 1838, m. Columbia Berry and Nannie Reigle; Lawrence B., b. Nov 23, 1840, m. Phebe Jane Foster, d. 1914 or 1915; Margaret, b. Aug 26, 1844, m. Daniel Jabez Patterson, d. 1915.

It is probable that some, perhaps all, of these children were not born in the old William Hay house but in a house on what is known as the Cromwell Place about half a mile distant which Thomas Hay bought sometime between 1821 and 1856. In the latter year he moved to Henry Co., Illinois and bought land near the town of Annawan where he continued to reside until a few years before his death when he moved into the town. He died July 2, 1885 and his wife died four days later. They are buried in the cemetery at Annawan.

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Robert Lyle Hay was born in Saluda Township, Jefferson County Indiana Sept. 30, 1821, doubtless in the log house build by his grandfather, though the years of his later boyhood were probably spent in the home on the Cromwell Place.

On March 12, 1845 he married Margaret, daughter of David and Sarah (McNeely) Crawford residents in the same neighborhood. David Crawford was the son and, as far as I have been able to ascertain, the only child (b. Jan. 11, 1796, m. June 8, 1820, d. Oct. 10, 1861) of William Crawford, said to have been a native of Ireland, who had settled in Oldham County, Kentucky. Sarah McNeeley (b. June 3, 1797, d. Sept, 22, 1879) was the daughter of Jeremiah McNeely about whom no record has come down to me; her mother's name also is unknown.

Robert Lyle and Margaret Hay produced 14 children, the first four being born in Indiana, the others in Illinois. They were in order: Oliver Perry, b. May 22, 1846, m. Mary Emily Howsmon June 30, 1870, d. Nov. 2, 1930; Mary Elizabeth, b. Oct 23, 1847, m. Thomas Clark, 1871, d. Nov. 17, 1914; Andrew Jackson, b. 1848 died at age of 3 weeks; Julia, b. Feb. 10, 1849, m. Miles Shimel, d. Aug. 20, 1918; Sarah Jane, b. May 5, 1852, d. Oct. 15, 1860; Thomas J., b. Dec. 10, 1853, m. Marietta Steever, d. Apr. 8, 1881; Ann, b. July 7, 1855, m. George W. Reed, Nov. 19, 1871 (and later John Culp), d. Oct. 18, 1928; Francis Marion, b. Aug. 18, 1857, m. Nellie Linscott Lombard Apr. 14, 1878; Maria, b., Apr. 1, 1859, m. Levi D. Rich; Isabell, b. Apr 26, 1861, m. William H. Wilcox Jan 30, 1879, d. Apr, 4, 1931; Leroy Skelton, b. Sept. 22, 1862, m. Kate Shriver Oct. 15, 1883, d. Nov. 30, 1928; Clarence Lansing, b. Feb. 9, 1866, m. Mabel Foster, Feb. 12, 1890; George Collyer, b. July 23, 1868, m. Mary Hoy Stover May 29, 1900; Robert Cranston, b. July 15, 1871, m. Ruth Bower Sutphen May 4, 1890. Of these Francis Marion, Maria, Clarence Lansing, George Collyer and Robert Cranston survive.

In 1850 Robert Hay moved with his family to Bureau County, Illinois and bought land a short distance east of the town of Bradford where he continued to reside until about 1893. His wife died Jan. 7, 1885 and shortly thereafter he moved into Bradford. About 6 years later he took as his second wife Mary Frances Baker and not long afterwards moved to Annawan where he died Dec. 7, 1903. His second wife, who after his death married again (John English) is living in Atkinson, Ills. Robert Hay and his first wife are buried in Mound Cemetery about 4 miles west of Bradford, Ills.

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Oliver Perry Hay was born in Saluda Township, Jefferson County, Indiana May 22, 1846. He was close to five years old when he was taken with his two sisters Mary and Julia to Bureau County, Illinois. He grew up on the farm but at the age of 18 or 19 determined to get an education and began to attend Eureka College from which he graduated in 1870. On the evening of his graduating day he married Mary Emily daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Gregory) Howsmon.

Joseph Howsmon (b. June 23, 1815 near London, Ohio, d. Oct 27, 1890) was the fifth child in a family of 11 of William and Abigail (Britton) Howsmon. William Howsmon (b. Dec. 15, 1782 in Virginia, m. Abigail Britton May 26, 1803, d. Aug 19, 1863) was the eldest of 10 children of John and Martha (Frost) Howsmon who are said to have moved from Virginia to Ohio in 1813, and settled in Madison County. Abigail Britton was born in 1783 and died in 1831. No information further than this regarding John Howsmon and his wife has come down to me. Elizabeth Gregory (b. May 5, 1817, d. June 20, 1893_ was the oldest of four children of Jehiel and Sarah (Vandoler) Gregory. Jehiel (b. Nov. 20, 1782, d. about 1829) was the son of Jehiel (1753-1818) and Elizabth (Andrews) (1757-1857) Gregory who lived in New York, probably in or near Spencertown. It is said that some of the Gregorys were soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Both the Howsmons and Gregorys lived near London, Ohio until about 1845 when they moved westward and settled in McLain County Illinois.

Oliver Perry and Mary Emily Hay were the parents of four children: William Perry, b. Dec. 8, 1871, m. Annie Aletha McKnew Dec. 29, 1902; Mary (Mamie), b. Aug. 28, 1873, m. John Duffton Minnick June 20, 1900; Frances (Fannie) Steele, b. Jan 21, 1876; and Robert Howsmon, b. Nov. 16, 1882, m. Alma Elizabeth Bischoff Dec. 15, 1909. The first two years of Oliver Perry and Mary Emily Hay's married life were spent in Eureka Ills where he held the position of Professor of Science in Eureka college. They then moved to Mason City, then to Ghent, Kentucky, and then Oskaloosa Iowa, in which places he taught the sciences in colleges located there. He then spent a year at Yale University after which he secured a position in Abingdon, Ills which he held for 2 years. He then went as professor of Natural science to Butler University, Irvington, Ind where he remained about 12 years. During this period he took a course in medicine at the Indiana medical College, receiving the degree M.D. and a graduate course in paleontology at Indiana University, receiving the degree Ph.D. He then moved to Chicago and shortly was appointed associate curator of geology in the Field Museum. About 5 years later he moved to Washington, D.C. where he lived for 3 or 4 years, publishing numerous scientific papers and a book "Bibliography of the Fossil Vertebrata of North America." In 1901 he moved to New York where he held the position of assistant curator of paleontology in the American Museum of Natural History. In 1907 he became associated with the Carnegie Institution of Washington for which he wrote monographs entitled "The Fossil Turtles of North America," The Pleistocene of North America and its Vertebrated Animals (4 vols) and "Second Bibliography and Catalog of the Fossil Vertebres of North America" (in 2 Vols), besides numerous shorter articles on paleontological subjects printed by other publications. He died Nov. 2, 1930 in Washington, D.C., and is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery beside his wife who survived until Feb. 28, 1931.

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Also write up for himself -- original and p.2, and his son John Oliver Hay (original). Final page of notes on Henry Gregory, John Gregory and John Gregory II (original).

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