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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: French, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Hay family come from? What is the Scottish Hay family crest and coat of arms? When did the Hay family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Hay family history?

In Scottish history, few names go farther back than Hay, whose ancestors lived among the clans of the Pictish tribe. The ancestors of the Hay family lived in ancient chronicles where the tradition relating this distinguished Pictish family of Hay begins during an attack by the Danes in the reign of Kenneth III of Scotland in 980. The defeated Scottish army retired through a narrow pass near Lochnarty in Perthshire which was later defended by a local farmer and his two sons. Upbraiding the retiring Scottish army, the farmer rallied the retreating Scottish and eventually defeated the Danes. The King rewarded the family with many grants of land including the Carse of Gowrie on the River Tay, traditionally marked by the limit of a falcon's flight, six miles in length. There is a monument still extant called the Falcon's Stone marking the falcon's place of rest.

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Although Medieval Scotland lacked a basic set of spelling rules, which meant that scribes recorded names according to their sounds it was not uncommon for the names of a father and son to be recorded differently. As a result, there are many spelling variations of Scottish single names. Hay has been written Hay, Haye, Haya, Mac Garaidh (Gaelic) and others.

First found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, but looking further back we find Hay family of Normandy was of considerable rank and importance in the year 823 AD. Significantly, the family held a Coat of Arms from ancient times that consisted of three red shields on a silver background. They also held many baronies, including the Castle and Barony of La Hai-du-puits in Coutances from whence the Sire-de-la-haie came. He accompanied Duke William of Normandy in his conquest of England and was granted vast estates in Sussex, Essex and Suffolk, as recorded in the Domesday Book. He died in 1098, his daughter marrying her cousin Robert de la Haie, Count of Mortain. William de Haya, who first settled in Scotland was probably Robert's son, and he witnessed charters by King Malcolm IV in 1160 AD.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hay research. Another 501 words(36 lines of text) covering the years 1255, 1258, 1333, 1309, 1403, 1342, 1406, 1450, 1508, 1572, 1634, 1599, 1660, 1625, 1697, 1645, 1713, 1668, 1706, 1704 and are included under the topic Early Hay History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 265 words(19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Hay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of Scots left their home country to travel to Ireland or Australia, or to cross the Atlantic for the North American colonies. The difficult crossing was an enormous hurdle, but those who survived found freedom and opportunity in ample measure. Some Scots even fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence. This century, their ancestors have become aware of the illustrious history of the Scots in North America and at home through Clan societies and other organizations. Passenger and immigration lists show many early and influential immigrants bearing the name Hay:

Hay Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Daniel Hay who settled in Maine in 1606
  • Arthur Hay, who arrived in Maryland in 1641
  • Elizabeth Hay settled in Virginia in 1654
  • Arthur Hay settled in Virginia in 1663
  • Thomas Hay, who landed in Maryland in 1664


Hay Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Isaac Hay, who landed in Virginia in 1700
  • Eliz Hay, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • Judah Hay, who landed in New York, NY in 1740
  • Rebecca Hay, who landed in Augusta County, Va in 1740
  • Robert Hay, who arrived in Augusta County, Va in 1740


Hay Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Sampson Hay, who arrived in America in 1806
  • Lionel Hay, aged 43, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Valentine Hay, who landed in Sometset County, Pennsylvania in 1833
  • Jacob Hay, aged 24, arrived in Missouri in 1840
  • Archibard Hamilton Hay, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1842


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  • John Milton Hay (1838-1905), American Secretary of State
  • Elizabeth Dexter "Betty" Hay (1927-2007), American developmental biologist
  • Erin Hay (b. 1970), American country music singer
  • George Dewey Hay (1895-1968), American radio personality, founder of the original Grand Ole Opry radio program, inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966
  • Arthur Hay (1824-1878), 9th Marquess of Tweeddale, Scottish peer
  • Field Marshal George Hay KT, GCB (1787-1876), 8th Marquess of Tweeddale, Field Marshal in the British Army, concurrent Governor of Madras and Commander-in- Chief of the Madras Army
  • Sir Edward Douglas John Hay (1947-2005), 13th Marquess of Tweeddale, a Scottish aristocrat
  • Robert Hay (1711-1776), known later as Robert Hay-Drummond of Cromlix and Innerpeffray, Archbishop of York from 1761 to 1776
  • Sir Andrew Leith Hay (1785-1862), Scottish soldier, politician and writer on architecture
  • Robert Hay (1799-1863), Scottish traveler, antiquarian, and early Egyptologist

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Serva jugum
Motto Translation: Keep the yoke.

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Hay Clan Badge
Hay Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...

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Septs of the Distinguished Name Hay
Arral, Arrale, Arrall, Arrel, Arrell, Arril, Arrile, Arrill, Arrol, Arroll, Arryle, Constable, Constables, Constapil, Constaple, Constapple, Cunstable, Cunstapil, Cunstaple, Cunstapple, Erral, Errale, Errall, Errel, Errell, Erril, Errile, Errill, Errol, Erroll, Erryle, Geffard, Geffarde, Geffart, Geffarte, Geffeard, Geffearde, Geffeart, Gefferd, Geffert, Gefford, Gifard, Gifarde, Gifart, Gifarte, Gifeard, Gifearde, Gifeart, Giferd, Gifert and more.

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Popular Family Crest Products
 
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  1. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  4. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Hay Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hay Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 27 July 2014 at 10:00.

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