An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: French, Scottish
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. They took the yokes from the oxen with which they were ploughing, and so belaboured the invaders as to drive them from the field, amidst shouts of Hay! Hay! 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.  The king also assigned three shields or escutcheons for the arms of the family, to intimate that the father and his two sons had been the three fortunate shields of Scotland.
The surname Hay was 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. 
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.
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.
Another 265 words (19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
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.
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 United States in the 17th Century
Hay Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Hay Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Hay Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Hay Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Hay Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Hay Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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.
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...More
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.
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 18 May 2016 at 19:44.