Category Archives: Hay family

Where Did Rev. War Soldier William Hay of Stoneham, MA Go?

William Hay served as a soldier in Capt. Sprague’s company during the American Revolution. He was born 18 September 1744 in Stoneham, Middlesex, MA to Peter Hay and Lydia Lynde. He married Phebe Brown on 25 January 1765 in nearby Medford, MA. They were the parents of four known children:

1. Phebe, born 9 December 1765, Stoneham and who died on 5 November 1789 in Medford, MA; unmarried.
2. Abigail, born November 1768, Stoneham and who died on 19 September 1854 in Glenburn, Penobscot, ME. She married Joses Bucknam on 19 September 1786 in Wakefield, MA. Joses and Nabby removed to Mason, Hillsboro, NH, where he died in 1835. Nabby was living with her daughter’s family in Maine when she died in 1854.
3. Marmaduke, born 20 August 1771, Stoneham and who died on 11 March 1851 in Melrose, MA. He married Martha Barrett on 28 April 1793 in Stoneham, but they had no known children.
4. Charity, born 31 March 1775, Stoneham and who died on 4 August 1859 in Malden, MA. She married Israel Hemmenway on 4 December 1794 in Stoneham. They had at least three known children.

Phebe Brown Hay, William’s wife died in Stoneham on 17 February 1783, near the close of the war.

However, there is no burial record for William in Stoneham or any other nearby towns, in spite of the fact that he belonged to a prominent family.

There are clues suggesting he may have moved out of Stoneham by 1786. Young ladies typically married in the town where they lived. Abigail Hay married Joses Bucknam, who resided in Reading, in the town of Wakefield, MA in 1786. She was also young when she married – two months shy of her 18th birthday – so her father would have had to give consent and she was likely living at home at the time of her marriage. Perhaps William moved to Wakefield after wife Phebe’s death.

William was definitely still living at this time as proven by two documents dated 1790. The first was the 1768 will of his grandfather, Peter Hay, probated in April 1790. William, like Peter’s other grandchildren, were each given a legacy of £6.

WmHayLegacy1790fromPeter
To my beloved Grandson, William Hay

Peter’s only surviving son, David Hay (William’s uncle) was the executor. The will stipulated that William should receive his legacy within six months. Found in the deeds of Middlesex County, MA, recorded on 30 June 1790 is a document from William Hay of Shoreham, Addison County, Vermont to David Hay for consideration of £6 received by William, left to him by his honored grandfather, Peter Hay.

This is the last document found for William Hay with a proven tie to my soldier, William Hay of Stoneham. However, there are further records that may well pertain to him.

The 1790 census show no William Hay living anywhere in Vermont, but that same census of Bow, Rockingham County, New Hampshire shows one William Hay, alone in the household.

Bow, New Hampshire is right along a major highway (and likely a main travel road even back then) that heads from Stoneham up to Shoreham.

Next found is a marriage record for William Hay, of Bow, to Betsy Currier, of Bow, on 4 December 1791. At first, I thought this was my William Hay, but I no longer believe that. This William and Betsy moved to Charlestown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts by 1800, where they appear in the census. By following the family forward, I discovered that while this William died on 15 May 1815, widow Betsy survived until 1852, also dying in Charlestown. This William Hay was apparently born in Charlestown, MA and Betsy was born in Concord, New Hampshire. Lastly, this William Hay was in the 26-44 age range in 1800, while my William was 56 years old in 1800.

My current theory is that my William Hay was missed in the 1790 census. Remember, he was in Cambridge with his uncle David recording the receipt of his legacy on 30 June 1790. The census taker could easily have passed by his home in Vermont when he wasn’t there.

The 1800 census of Pittsford, Rutland County, Vermont, which is about 25 miles southeast of Shoreham shows a William Hay.

This William Hay is over 45 and is living in Vermont, only about 25 miles from where William stated as his residence in the 1790 deed. There is also a female in the household over 45 and a male 10-16 years old.

I haven’t been able to discover anything about the adult female and young male in the household.

Two land deeds have been located in Rutland County for William Hay. The first is dated 6 September 1798 whereby William Baxter sells 110 acres of land to William Hay, both of Rutland County.

Perhaps William Hay didn’t fulfill payment or something because on 12 March 1800, he quit claimed the exact same piece of land back to William Baxter for the grand sum of $1.00. However, the deed wasn’t recorded until 13 March 1802, when it states that William Hay appeared before the clerk.

No William Hay has been found in the 1810 Vermont census and it would be reasonable to believe that he might have died. However, one more record has been found in the Vermont Historical Magazine, volume 3, pp. 943-944 regarding the War of 1812:

WmHayWarof1812VTHistMagvol3pg943

WmHayWarof1812VTHistMagvol3pg944

On 9 September 1814, a company of men assembled in Pittsford with the intent of marching to Plattsburgh, New York to help defend it. On 11 September 1814, one William Hay was released because of old age. My William would have been only one week away from his 70th birthday.

No further land or probate records have been found for William Hay in Vermont. There is no hint of where he was living at the time of the 1810 census, but if he was in Pittsford, it must have been with someone else not named Hay as head of household. No death or burial records have been found either, but I believe this is my William Hay.

I don’t know whether there is any type of record of his death to be found, but I will take another look at the Rutland County, Vermont records next month at the Family History Library.

Will of Peter Hay, 1696-1790 of Stoneham, MA

Writing about an ancestor’s will usually isn’t my first choice when thinking about ideas for blog posts. However, my 8x great grandfather, Peter Hay, left a four page handwritten will that is more detailed than any other I’ve ever seen.

Peter lived to the ripe old age, even by today’s standards, of 93 1/2 years old. Normally, I would tend to think that his age was exaggerated a bit, as often happened. In this case, his age is correct because his birth is found in the records of Charlestown, Massachusetts.

The Hay family moved to Stoneham, where Peter married Hannah Huse on 21 November 1717, a month after he turned 21 years old. They had three known children, son Peter, my ancestor, born 1718 and daughters Hannah, born 1723 and Sarah, born 4 July 1726. No further records are found for Peter’s wife Hannah and she likely died before 15 January 1734/35 when Peter married Mary Brooks in Woburn, MA. May died soon as Peter married Isabel Green on 2 May 1738 in Stoneham. Peter and Isabel had four children: John, who died young, Mary, Martha and David, who became the executor of his father’s estate.

Peter Hay was a modestly wealthy man, part of the upper middle class, leaving an estate worth about £922 and styled “gentleman” both in his will and his probate court papers.

Peter was the son of Patrick, later Peter, Hay, who also lived into his 90’s, passing away in Stoneham on 1 April 1748. Either Patrick/Peter or his son, Peter, or the two of them together as an extended family project, built the family homestead in 1727. It was quite a house and definitely considered a mansion even by modern standards:

hayhouse
Source: Stoneham Historical Society

This beautiful home was located in the original part of Stoneham, near where Central St. and William St. come together:

The house was demolished in the 1950’s when the town built a new high school and which today serves as a middle school. It was right down the street from today’s Stoneham Historical Society.

Seeing the size of this house makes the details in Peter’s will more understandable when reading about the east and west sides of the house divided to the middle chimney! I guess I just never thought of homes built in the 1700’s as being anywhere close to the size of the Hay home.

I haven’t yet made up my mind if gentleman Peter Hay was a control freak or if his children didn’t get along and he wanted to make sure the peace was kept when he was gone. His son, Peter, my ancestor died in 1764, four years before this will was written and 26 years before the will was probated. However, his widow, Hannah, continued to live there with her children for many years.

Peter never updated this will with any codicils even though wife Isabel predeceased him on 15 March 1786.

Peter Hay’s probate file is packet #10857, found in the records of Middlesex County, MA probate court.

In the name of God Amen the sixteenth day of December in the year of our Lord Seven hundred and Sixty Eight I Peter Hay of the town of Stoneham in the county of Middlesex in his majesties province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England Gentleman being weak in Body but of perfect and Sound mind and memory thank be Given unto God: Therefore calling to mind the mortality of my Body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to Die: Do make and ordain this my Last will and Testement: That is to say; Principally and first of all I Give and Recommend my Soul into the hands of God that Gave it; hopeing through the merritts Death and passions of my Savior Jesus Christ to have full and free pardon and forgiveness of all my Sins and to Inherit Everlasting life; And my body I commit to the Earth to be Decently buried at the Decretion of my Executor hereafter named nothing Doubting but at the General Resurection I Shall Receive the same again by the mighty power of God and as touching Such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased
almighty God to bestow upon me and (   ) within this Life I (    ) devise and (     ) the same in the following manner and forms that is to Say:

First: I will and order that all my just Debts funeral and probate charges shall be paid and Discharged in convenient time after my Decease by my Executor herewith Named out Of that part of my Estate that I herein Give to him.
Imp. I Give and bequeath to Isabel Hay my Dearly beloved wife all my Indoor moveables Household furniture and Goods and all my Grain, meat and other provisions that I Shall Have in my Dwelling house that I now Dwell in at the time of my Decease and the two Best of my cows that she shall Choose and two of the best of my Sheep that She Shall Choose and my (Top.d?) chair or chais to be by her freely possessed and injoyed and to be at her own Dispose for ever Except as herein excepted and and Excepting Saveing and Refer( )ing to and for my son David Hay my Negroes my wearing apparel my Gum Sword (?) Cyder barrels and other Cash and all the
money that I shall have by me or due to me at the time of my Decease (Except all the money that is or may be Due to me or her on or by her Father’s and mother’s wills and one bond or note that is signed by William Gould and Wm. Smith of Reading and the money Due thereon and also all the money that is Due to me or her on notes or bonds that (       ) to her name which I hereby order that my wife Shall have And also I give to my wife the use and Improvement of the one half of my Dwelling house that I now Dwell in that She Shall Choose throughout both as to cellers as well as to the rest of
said house and also the use and Improvement of a Garden that is now fenced out ajoining to the Southwest Corner of said house and a Liberty of useing the well near Said house as she may have occaision and a Liberty of passing and Repassing in my yards and Lanes near Said house and near the Barn that is near by said house and (as?) Liberty of Useing so much of said yard ajoining to Said house to Lay and keep wood on as She needs where it will be most convenient for her So Long as She Remains my widow And I give to my wife fifteen Bushels of good and merchantable Indian corn and
So much thereof to be Ground into meal and the Rest to be delivered in corn: and I give to her three Bushels of good and merchantable table Rie to be ground into meal and Delivered to her in meal and I Give to her one Bushel of marchantable malt and one hundred and fifty pounds weight of well fatted and marchantable pork and fifty pounds weight of marchantable Beef well fatted and fifteen pounds of marchantable flax from the Swingle(?) and two Barrels of Cyder and (   ) Barrels to put it in as may be needed and said Cyder to be Delivered to her into her celler and also Suteable cask to be found for her from time to time to put her said meat in and also Eight Bushels of pertatoes and a half a bushel of dried beens and also half a Bushel of turnips all the aforesaid articles I hereby order to be found provided paid and Delivered to my wife both in quantity and manner aforesaid by my Executor Seasonably in the year yearly and every year so long as she Remains my widow also I give to my wife eight Cords of marchantable cordwood Cut Sizeably Delivered seasonably and Laid conveniently near the Door of said house by my (end of page 1)

Executor yearly and Every year So Long as She Remains my widow and I Give to my wife the keeping of two cows to be found by her and to be kept for her by my Executor with his cows and as he keeps his own milk cow winter and Summer and he to Drive her cows to the pasture & from the pasture to the Barn and yard with His own cows at all times in the year yearly and Every year So Long as She Remains my widow And I give to my wife the keeping of two sheep to be found by her And kept for her by my Executor Conveniently and as he keeps his Sheep all the year and Every year So Long as She Remains my widow And also I Give to my wife the Liberty of useing a horse suitable for her to Ride on and to go in Said chair or chase when she hath Necessary occasion for her own use in her own Business Said horse to be provided found and kept Convenient for her by my Executor yearly and Every Year So Long as She Remains my widow and also I Give To my wife so much fruit off of my fruit trees and out of my orchards (that I Give to my Executor) both for winter and Summer as She needs for her own use in her own family yearly and Every year So Long as She Remains my widow and I give to my wife the Liberty of a Swine’s Running At the Door of Said house So Long as She Remains my widow and also I Give Her the Liberty of Setting in the front of my pew in Stoneham meeting house when She pleases So Long as She Remains my widow
Item I give to my well beloved and only Surviveing Son David Hay his heirs and assigns for Ever both Real, Personal and moveable both buildings and Lands Goods & Chattels of Every Sort name nature and kind whatsoever that I Shall or may Die Siezed and possessed of that is or may be mine Either in possession or Reversion Except So much thereof as I herein perticularly otherways Dispose of and Except as Herein Excepted to be by him freely possessed and injoyed and to be at his own Dispose for Ever: And I will and Do hereby constitute make and ordain my Said Son David Hay my only and Sole Executor of this my Last will and Testement
Item I give to my well beloved four Daughters namely Hannah willy Sarah Eames Mary Bucknam and Martha wright to be Divided among them and possessed By them in the manner and form hereafter Discribed Viz.: with a Dwelling house on one of those pieces of Land the first piece of said pieces of Land has Said Dwelling house on it and is bounded as follows Viz.: westerly on the Road that Leads from Stoneham parsonage to the house of David Geary in Stoneham northerly Easterly and northeasterly on land owned by Capt. John Goodwin Southerly on Land in the possession of Peter Hay Junr. the Second piece of Said pieces of Land Is bounded as follows Viz.: Easterly on Said Road and from Said Road (at the South East Corner of Said Second piece) Extending westerly on the Stonewall that is on the South Side of the Cowyard (that is Southerly of the barn that is near the last mentioned house) untill it comes to the first South west Corner of Said yard from thence northwesterly about three Rods to the next Corner of the Rale fence from thence Extending northerly untill it comes to the northwest Corner of the Inclosure that is northwesterly from Said last mentioned barn thence Extending yet northerly untill it comes to a stake and heap of Stones (with a straight Line) Near by and on the South side of the Stone wall at the South Side of Ens. John Geary’s Land thence Extending Easterly South Easterly and Easterly bounded northerly northeasterly and northerly on Land of the said Geary and the third piece is wood Land and Contains about five acres of Land be it more or less and is Bounded as follows Viz.: westerly and Southerly on Land under the improvement of Timothy Tayler Easterly on Land of Edward Bucknam and northerly on Land of my brother James Hay.

(In the left hand margin of this item is written: Peter Hay’s will lodged 31 March 1790 citation (    ) for 7 Apl at 10 a.m.
Item I give my well beloved Daughter Hannah Willy her heirs and assigns for ever to be by her freely possessed and Injoyed and to be at her own Dispose for ever (Except as here in (End of page 2)

herein excepted) The westerly one half of the Dwelling the She now Dwells in and the Land under the Same, accounting Said half of Said house to Extend no further Easterly than the middle of the Chimney of said house and also one half acre of Land ajoining to Said house and bounded as follows Viz.: Extending one Rod Due north of the middle of Sd. Chimney thence Extending due west to the Said Road thence Extending Southerly on Said Road untill it comes to Land of Peter Hay Junr. thence Extending Easterly on the north Side of the said Peter Hay Junr.s Land So far as that from Thence with a Straight Line to the middle of the front Door of Said house will make Just one half acre of Land by measure and the Land that her part of the Barn (near said Last mentioned house) stands on and the Land one Rod north of her said part of Said Barn that she built and the Land one Rod west of her Said part of Said Barn and the Land of one half of the Cowyard ajoining to Said Barn and also one quarter or fourth part of said three pieces of Land herein before Discribed Including in Sd quarter or fourth part Said half acre of Land ajoining to her part of Said house and Including also therein Said Rod of Land north and west of her Said part of Said Barn and under it and the Land of half Said Cowyard and that She my Said Daughter Hannah Willy Shall come into the possession of her said quarter part of said three pieces of Land at the time of my Decease and also into the possession of the half of Said house that I give to her at Said time Except as herein Excepted Said half of said house I Give to her over and above Said quarter part and I Give to her my Said Daughter hannah Willy the improvement of the East Chamber of Said house where She lives until the marriage or Death (of my Daughter in
Law Hannah Hay) that first happens hereafter.
Item I Give to my well beloved Daughter Sarah Eams her heirs and assigns for ever to be by her freely possessed And Injoyed and to be at her own Dispose for ever (Except as herein Excepted) one quarter or fourth part of said three pieces of Land herein before Discribed and one third part of the East half of the house that my said Daughter in Law Hannah Hay Dwells in accounting Said East half of Said house to Extend west to the middle of the Chimney thereof and that She my said Daughter Sarah Eams shall come into the possession of the one half of her said quarter part of Said three pieces of land at the time of my Decease and she shall come into the possession of the other half of her said quarter part of said three pieces of Land and her third part of Said East half of said house at the time of the marriage or Death of my said Daughter Hannah Hay as aforesaid and the Reason I herein Give her no more is because She hath had so much already.
Item I give to my well beloved Daughter Mary Bucknam her heirs and assigns for ever to be by her freely possessed and Injoyed and to be at her own Dispose (Except as herein Excepted) one quarter or fourth part of said three pieces of Land herein before Discribed and one third part of the East half of the house that my said Daughter in Law Hannah Hay Dwells in accounting Said East half of Said house to Extend west to the middle of the Chimney there of and that She my said Daughter Mary Bucknam shall come into the possession of  the one half of her said quarter part of Said three pieces of land at the time of my Decease and she shall come into the possession of the other half of her said quarter part of said three pieces of Land and her third part of Said East half of said house at the time of the marriage or Death of my said Daughter Hannah Hay as aforesaid and the Reason I herein Give her no more is because She hath had so much already.
Item I give to my well beloved Daughter Martha Wright her heirs and assigns for ever to be by her freely possessed and Injoyed and to be at her own Dispose (Except as herein Excepted) one quarter or fourth part of said three pieces of Land herein before Discribed and one third part of the East half of the house that my said Daughter in Law Hannah Hay Dwells in accounting Said East half of Said house to Extend west to the middle of the Chimney there of and that She my said Daughter Martha Wright shall come into the possession of the one half of her said quarter part of Said three pieces of land at the time of my Decease and she shall come into the possession of the other half of her said quarter part of said three pieces of Land and her third part of Said East half of said house at the time of the marriage or Death of my said Daughter Hannah Hay as aforesaid and the Reason I herein give her no more is because She hath had so much already.
Item I Give to my beloved Daughter in Law Hannah Hay the use and Improvement of the East Lower rooms in the House where she now Dwells accounting her Said Lower Rooms to Extend westerly to the middle of the Chimney of Said house and the celler under her Said Rooms and the west Chamber and East Garret in Said house with an Equail Liberty (with my Daughter Hannah Willy) of passing and Repassing in Said Entries and and up and Down Stairs in Said house Dureing her present widowhood and no Longer and also I Give to her My Said Daughter in Law Hannah Hay the use and Improvement of the one half of the three quarters of said three pieces of Land herein Discribed Dureing her present widowhood and (end of page 3)

no Longer And ALSO I Give to her a Liberty to take away that part of the barn near Said house which she built
Item I Give to my beloved Grandson Thomas Hay his Heirs and assigns for ever the Sum of Six Pounds of Lawfull money of Said province to be paid to him within Six months next after my decease by my Said four Daughters namely Hannah Willy Sarah Eames mary Bucknam and Martha wright in Equail proportion to Be by him freely possessed and Injoyed and to be at his own Dispose for ever Except as herein Excepted
Item I Give to my beloved Grandson William Hay his Heirs and assigns for ever the Sum of Six Pounds of Lawfull money of Said province to be paid to him within Six months next after my decease by my Said four Daughters namely Hannah Willy Sarah Eames mary Bucknam and Martha wright in Equail proportion to Be by him freely possessed and Injoyed and to be at his own Dispose for ever Except as herein Excepted
Item I give to my beloved Grandson Peter Hay his Heirs and assigns for ever the Sum of Six Pounds of Lawfull money of Said province to be paid to him within Six months next after my decease by my Said four Daughters namely Hannah Willy Sarah Eames mary Bucknam and Martha wright in Equail proportion to Be by him freely possessed and Injoyed and to be at his own Dispose for ever Except as herein Excepted
Item I give to my beloved Grandson James Hay his Heirs and assigns for ever the Sum of Six Pounds of Lawfull money of Said province to be paid to him within Six months next after his mother Hannah Hay’s marriage or death (that first happens) by my Said four Daughters namely Hannah Willy Sarah Eames mary Bucknam and Martha wright in Equail proportion to be by him freely possessed and Injoyed and to be at his own Dispose for ever Except as herein Excepted
Item I give to my beloved Grandson Daniel Hay his Heirs and assigns for ever the Sum of Six Pounds of Lawfull money of Said province to be paid to him within Six months next after his mother Hannah Hay’s marriage or death as aforesaid by my Said four Daughters namely Hannah Willy Sarah Eames mary Bucknam and Martha wright in Equail proportion to be by him freely possessed and Injoyed and to be at his own Dispose for ever Except as herein Excepted
Item I give to my beloved Grandaughter Hannah Hay her Heirs and assigns for ever Six pounds of Lawfull money of this province to be paid to her within Six months next after her mother Hannah Hay’s marriage or death as aforesaid by my Said four Daughters namely Hannah Willy Sarah Eames mary Bucknam and Martha wright in Equail proportion to be by her freely possessed and Injoyed and to be at her own Dispose for ever Except as herein Excepted
Item I give to my beloved Grandaughter Lydia Hay her Heirs and assigns for ever Six pounds of Lawfull money of this province to be paid to her within Six months next after her mother Hannah Hay’s marriage or death as aforesaid by my Said four Daughters namely Hannah Willy Sarah Eames mary Bucknam and Martha wright in Equail proportion to be by her freely possessed and Injoyed and to be at her own Dispose for ever Except as herein Excepted
Item I give to my beloved Grandaughter Sarah Hay her Heirs and assigns for ever Six pounds of Lawfull money of this province to be paid to her within Six months next after her mother Hannah Hay’s marriage or death as aforesaid by my Said four Daughters namely Hannah Willy Sarah Eames mary Bucknam and Martha wright in Equail proportion to be by her freely possessed and Injoyed and to be at her own Dispose for ever Except as herein Excepted
Item I give to my beloved Grandaughter Susannah Hay her Heirs and assigns for ever Six pounds of Lawfull money of this province to be paid to her within Six months next after her mother Hannah Hay’s marriage or death as aforesaid by my Said four Daughters namely Hannah Willy Sarah Eames mary Bucknam and Martha wright in Equail proportion to be by her freely possessed and Injoyed and to be at her own Dispose for ever Except as herein Excepted
Further I Give to my Sd Son David Hay the two feather Beds & furniture thereof that my negroes usually Lay on Further I Give to my Said Daughters Sarah Eams mary Bucknam Martha Wright Hannah Hay their Heirs and assigns for ever a Liberty of passing and Repassing over the half acre of Land I Give to my Daughter Hannah willy before Sd house to the Road

And I Do hereby utterly Disallow Revoke and Disannul all and Every former Testements wills Legacies Bequests and Executions by me in any way, before this time named willed and bequeathed ratifying and confirming this this and no other to be my Last will and Testament In witness whereof I have here to set my hand and
seal the Day and year before written.
Signed Sealed Published pronounced and Declared by the Said Peter Hay (signed) Peter Hay as his Last will and Testement in presence of us the Subscribers Viz.:
James Hay
Jonathan Green
Samuel Sprague

Finally – the end! If Isabel was the stepmother of executor David Hay, maybe I could understand the details about her food being provided, etc., but he was her own son. I am leaning towards the idea that Mr. Peter Hay was a control freak. What do you think?