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The surname Hayes is the plural form of an ancient word, Hay, or Haw, which means a fence, a hedge or a boundary, also a space enclosed, as a park or field. Its derivation can be traced to many European languages wherein both the primitive and secondary meanings are precisely the same. From this simple root have sprung the names of Hay, Hayes, Haywood or Heywood, Hayland, Greenhays and many others of a similar character. The name of Hayes is to be found both in England and Scotland, but is far more common in the former than it is in the latter country. The New England colonial records of the seventeenth century contain the names of four immigrants of this name : Thomas Hayes, of Milford, Connecticut (1641), descendants of whom removed to Newark, New Jersey; Nathaniel, who was of Norwalk. Connecticut (1651) ; John, of Dover, New Hampshire, who came from Scotland in 1680; and George, of Windsor, Connecticut, who, tradition asserts, was a brother of the preceding John. The Hayes of Canandaigua, New York, who form the principal subject of this article, are descended from the Windsor settler.
(I) George Hayes, who arrived in New England about the year 1680, and probably was about twenty-five years old at the time of his immigration, first settled in Windsor, Connecticut, whence he removed in 1698 to that part of Simsbury, Connecticut, which is now (1911)Granby. In a manuscript record written or dictated by his grandson, Ezekiel Hayes, of New Haven, he is referred to as follows: “Went from Scotland to Derbyshire, England, and lived with his uncle. He was anxious to see London, whither he went. Having received some account of America, he took passage for this country.” George Hayes’ residence in Simsbury was in the locality known as Salmon Brook, and he died there. September 2, 1725. Although he was not active in public affairs his name frequently appears in the early town records of Simsbury in connection with land transactions, assessments, “minister’s rates, ” etc., and from these it may be inferred that he was pious, thrifty and in every way a worthy citizen. His first wife, whose Christian name was Sarah and whose surname is illegible on the Windsor records, died early in 1683. and the children of this union died young. At Windsor, August 29, 1683, he married (second) Abigail Dibble, only daughter of Samuel, granddaughter of Thomas, and great-granddaughter of Robert Dibble, who arrived from England in 1635, settling in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Children, born in Windsor: 1. Abigail, August 31. 1684; married Paul Tompkins. 2. Daniel, born April 26, 1686. 3. Sarah, January 22, 1687-8; married John Gosard (or Gozzard), son of Nicholas and Elizabeth Gozzard, of Windsor. 4. Mary, born January 6, 1689-90; married, August 28, 1712, William Rice. 5. Joanna, born October 2. 1692; died after 1780; married James Hillyer, of Simsbury. 6. George. horn March 9, 1695. 7. William, born June 13, 1697, in Simsbury. 8. Samuel, mentioned below. 9. Thankful, born 1700-01 ; married, October 9, 1717, Nathaniel Holcombe. 10. Benjamin, born 1702-03. 11. Dorothy, 1706; married Abraham Dibble, her first cousin.