Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Andrew Hay, Adam Hay and Hannah Bottomley Brown Hay…A Family Connection Has Been Found!

I am so excited to announce that I have finally found a connection between the families!

When I first began digging into our family history, a connection kept popping up by well-meaning folks who didn’t always check their facts before adding them to the tree, and I have to admit, that being new to genealogy, I also added them to my personal tree. Of course, after a bit of digging, well, a lot actually, I discovered that the family members didn’t appear to be connected except for their location…both families settled in the Yorkville/Raymond, Wisconsin area…and I quickly clipped their branches from our tree.

Fast forward a few years.

Recently I’ve been untangling the tree hosted on the FamilySearch website, because, as you know, it is a universal tree, which means anyone can add, delete, update, alter, and edit the information. (While a great concept, it can be challenging to maintain.) Because of this there were duplicate profiles, incorrectly linked family members, and tons of misinformation. Basically it was a mess, and rather than posting a “Danger, Enter at Your Own Risk” sign I accepted the challenge, rolled up my sleeves (figuratively, because in the summer here in AZ I rarely wear anything with sleeves) and got to work. Alright, let’s just say I’ve spent way too much time untangling the branches, and get on with the information I’m so excited about!

The John Hay family tree in a nut shell...

John Hay married Margaret Grey (my 6th Greats) on May 11, 1786 in Ellingham, Northumberland, England. They had 3 sons. My 5th Great-Grandfather, Adam Hay, was born on April 12, 1790. His older brother John was born on February 16, 1787 and his younger brother Andrew was born on May 10, 1793. 

Adam married Jane Cristal around 1812-1813, and they had five children; George, William, John, Jane, and James. George Hay, my 4th Great-Grandfather, was born in 1814. He married Hannah Fram in 1840, shortly before Adam decided to move the family to America in 1842. George, Hannah and their 1 year old daughter Ann, emigrated with the rest of the family. Tragically, however, Adam’s wife Jane died during the voyage and is assumed to have been buried at sea.
(Travelling with them were the family of Thomas Thomas (yes, that is a real name), which included a daughter, Harriet Thomas. It is unclear whether the families met on the boat, or were friends before, but both families settled in Yorkville, Wisconsin, and young Harriet, born in 1819, became the second wife of Adam Hay on March 9, 1847. (Adam was 29 years older than his bride). To this union were born 5 more children; Joseph, Andrew, John S, Adam and Harriet M.)
George and Hannah went on to have 8 more children, 9 in total; Ann, John Thomas, Elizabeth, Joseph W, Isabelle, George II, Ralph, George III and William J. The family settled in Raymond, Wisconsin. Their son, John Thomas (my 4th Great Uncle), born in 1843, married Mary Caroline Heselden in 1869, and they had 7 children.

In the meantime, Adam’s younger brother Andrew married (wife unknown) and had at least one son named John, who was born on February 26, 1824 in England. A year after his Uncle Adam emigrated to the United States, young John followed suit, and in 1843 also settled in the Yorkville/Raymond area.

John Hay married Hannah Bottomley Brown, widow of Thomas Brown, on March 6, 1849 in Price, Wisconsin. They settled in Raymond, Wisconsin, and had 9 children; Andrew, Martha Elizabeth, Edwin Bottomley, Jane, Margaret, Thomas, Henry Dixon, Alfred E, and John George.

As to the confusion of the families…

Both Adam Hay and John Hay emigrated from Northumberland, England, and both settled in the Yorkville/Raymond area, Adam in 1842 and John in 1843. Both are buried in the Yorkville Cemetery.

Unfortunately people don’t do the research behind the names, so they mix up the families by erroneously linking Hannah Bottomley Brown with John Thomas Hay, who were not only married to other people, but the two John’s were born 20 years apart, and in fact, John Hay is the uncle of John Thomas Hay.

I’ve got census records, marriage records, and biographies that go into detail regarding the two families, as well as newspaper articles that prove that John Thomas Hay and John Hay are two distinct, different people.

The missing link was how Adam Hay and Andrew Hay were related. My recent discovery of the birth/christening records listing their parents as John Hay and Margaret Grey solved the puzzle and I have happily reintegrated the two families into their proper branches on the Hay Family Tree!

Disclaimer: Of course, as time goes on, information may ebb and flow, and if I learn anything new, or if changes need to be made, I will happily post to let you know!  In the mean time, if you have anything to add please don't hesitate to reply to this thread, or contact me through the widget on the right side of the Blog.