Johann Michael Hoh (son of Johann Simon Hoh), born 1711 in Gerhardsbrunn or Zweibrucken, Germany. He married Anna Elizabeth Schneider, Jan 19, 1734 in Labach.  They had 8 children: 

boys:  John Jr., Johann Valentine, Johann Adam, Johann Simon, Johann Francis, 

girls:  Anna Maria, Anna Eva, Anna Margaretha.  

[Notice the German habit of giving the same name to each son and each daughter. They would have been called by their 2nd name.]  

Son Adam's will of 1803 was signed "Adam Hoh." And a descendant in Pennsylvania remembers hearing the story that the family name had been German Hoh and was changed to Hay in America.

Johann Michael (John) Hay died Apr 13, 1773, probably in Germany. His 5 sons came to America.  John Jr, Valentine, Simon and Francis all stayed in Pennsylvania.  But Adam moved to Virginia after 1770 (maybe after his father died, IF his father came to America).

The "History of Sangamon County" (Illinois, 1912) says that John Hay was the son of a prominent Scottish soldier who left Scotland near the end of the 1600’s and joined the army of the Elector of the Palatinate of the German empire.  

There was terrible religious persecution in Scotland during the reign of Charles II, a Catholic ruler in a protestant country, who reigned from 1660 to 1685.  In 1688, with William, a protestant, crowned, the persecution stopped.  Since the prominent Hay family in Scotland were mostly Catholic, this would lead us to believe that John Hay's father left Scotland after 1688 to escape protestant rule.  From 1688 to about 1745 the Jacobites (Catholics) in Scotland were trying to re-establish Charles II's son, James II and then his son Charles, both catholics, as king.  Many of them were deported or had to flee to save their lives.  This is most likely why our Hay ancestor left Scotland and went to Germany.

From another descendant's line [Deborah Owens]:  Her grandfather said that he descended from John Hay who "had money, left Scotland because he  'had to', fought as a mercenary soldier in Germany for a Prince of Hesse, married a German woman, had 7 or 8 sons. The money was gone by the time of the death of the sons."  This line of descendants stayed in Germany until just before WWI  [long after the 5 Hay brothers who emigrated to America in the mid-1750's), which makes this story have even more authenticity.  Perhaps the first group (5 brothers) emigrated when the money ran out . . . ]

This line of descendants moved into the Austro-Hungarian Empire about 1860 when her great-grandfather was born.

Since the above story comes from and two different German Hay lines (one that emigrated in the 1750's and one that emigrated in the 1910's) it seems extremely likely that it is true.  

Connecting the German Hay family to the Scottish family hasn't happened yet.  There is one source that shows a John Hay, born abt 1635 in Hoheinod, Germany, who was the son of  Gilbert 11th Hay.  However, Gilbert died without issue, and if Gilbert was a titled Lord, would he be in Germany? 

Gilbert 11th Hay was born in 1631.  In 1648 he was involved in trying to rescue King Charles I (who was executed Jan 30, 1649), and later was involved in raising a regiment to support Charles II.  These efforts in support of the Catholic kings could have caused him a lot of grief, and could be an excuse for his spending time in Germany.

There definitely was a German Hoh/Hay family related to the Scottish Hay family, but it's a little earlier than this story (1615)

Some information on this German Hay family:

- There is a record of a John 12th Hay who was born abt 1635 in Hoheinod, Germany, son of Gilbert 11th Hay. Gilbert, b 1609-1674, Scotland, was son of William 10th Hay (1583-1636), who was the son of Francis 9th Hay (1557-1631).  But John 12th Hay was not a son of Gilbert's, but a relative.

- They might be related to the Mueller family who lived in Gerhardsbrunn, Germany, in the Duchy of Zweibrucken, in the heart of the Rhenish Palatine. The Muellers came to America in 1766 with a Hay cousin. This Mueller family also had a Johann, an Adam and a Valentine, and they also settled in BrothersValley, Pa.

- Johann Michael Hoh was born Feb. 3, 1711, Gerhardsbrunn, Germany and died there April 13, 1773. He married Anna Elisabeth Schneider, Jan 19, 1734, Labach, Germany. Another source shows this Gerhardsbrunn Hay (Hoeh/Hoh) family having been there for several generations before some of them moved to BrothersValley, Pa.

- One source says that  Johann Michael Hoh and Anna Elizabeth Schneider of Zweibrucken, Germany, were the parents of Valentin, John Adam (b 1730), Simon & Francis. And that Johann Michael was the son of Johann Simon Hoh (b 1682 Germany)

-Adam Hay (below) signed his will "Adam Hoh".

It was at Zweibrucken on the Rhine that the 5 Hay brothers were born who later came to America. About the mid-1700’s John & his 4 or 5 sons, emigrated from Germany to America.  

The family soon scattered and one son, John Jr, settled in Pennsylvania, where he acquired a considerable estate and filled several important offices.  Another son, Adam, went to Virginia.  The other 3 went to BrothersValley, Pa. (where they may have suffered in the Smallpox epidemic of 1783)

John and his sons had received military training in Europe, and he served with some distinction under General Washington 

(from "History of Sangamon County," Ill).  

HAY, JOHN, one of the early settlers of Springfield, and the son of Adam Hay, was born in Berkeley County, Va., April 13, 1775, and came of a sturdy race of men. His grandfather was the son of a Scottish soldier who left his own country near the close of the seventeenth century and entered service in the army of the elector of the Palatinate of the German empire.

About the middle of the eighteenth century the grandfather, who was also John Hay, with his four sons, emigrated from Germany to America (Valentine & Franz came in 1763 on the ship "Sally").  The family scattered some: 

John Jr settled in York Co, PA, where he acquired a considerable estate and filled several important offices. He served as a soldier of the Revolutionary War, attaining the rank of Colonel. 

Sons, Valentine & Franz ended up in Brothers Valley, Pa (now Somerset Co).  There may have been a connection between the Brothers Valley Hays and the Hay family in Morrison's Cove, PA (a valley in Bedford Co from New Enterprise NE to Williamsburg).  

Son Adam went to Virginia. He, as well as his brothers, had received a military training in Europe, and he served with some distinction under General Washington in the War of Independence. He was an acquaintance and friend of the great General, and one of the early recollections of his son John, the subject of this sketch, was of meeting Washington on a country road. The boy was riding behind his father on the same horse when a carriage approached. They turned aside to let it pass, when it halted, and Washington greeting Adam Hay, directed some friendly remarks to the young lad, who was requested by his father to salute General Washington, which order was promptly obeyed. The mother of John Hay was Mary Boyer, who was born in Germany and came to America when a young girl. She has been described as an excellent woman, of independent spirit and strong personality. 

Children: [It was a common German practice to give all or several sons or daughters the same first name, and then call them by their second name. For instance, all the sons might have Johann as a first name and all the daughters have Anna or Mary.]

1. Lt. Col. John Hay Jr, 1733-1810, born Alsace (France/Germany), settled & died in York Co, Pa. He and his brother Simon were both in the Revolutionary War; John became Lt. Colonel. He was Magistrate; County Commissioner 1772-1775; was a member of the Committee of Correspondence 1774, Delegate to Continental Congress 1776; Member State Legislature 1779-1783-1784 and member of the convention that framed the state constitution. 

Northampton Co, PA history (1877):  "John Hay Sr., kept a public house, on the road leading from Bethlehem to Gnadenhutten.  John Hay, Jr. was a prominent man, served during the Revolution and died in 1796 while on a trip to Ft. Pitt, where Pittsburg now stands."

In 1785 " John Hay, an attorney, tops the upper strata with an assessed worth of about 1,270 pounds." 

His plantation is now known as Hay Addition, City of York, Pa. John Hay married Feb 15, 1756 to Juliana Maul; 

children: 4 sons, 5 daughters. 

1a)     Col. George Hay (1776-1832), (second son) married Seaba (Joseba) Fahnestock (1775-1800). Dr. Michael Hay, born March 31, 1795, (son of George and Seaba) married May 11, 1823 to Margaret Worley; moved to Johnstown, Pa., in 1836.

1b)    John Hay III, m Susan Schmeiser

2. Adam Hay, born 1733, Alsace, Germany; don't know when he came to America; married about 1770, maybe in Northhampton, PA. Adam settled his family in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. This area was dominated by German-speaking immigrants. Married Mary Boyer (see below)

3. Valentine Hay, born Alsace, Germany; came from Rotterddam on ship "Sally," landed in Philadelpha, Oct 5, 1767, accompanied by brothers Simon and Francis. He married Elizabeth (Hoh?) and settled in Brothers Valley.  He later moved with family to Kentucky. Reformed church records in Berlin, PA lists birth of his daughers: 

3a)     E. Gertrude, Sept 8, 1777 (bapt Oct 9)

3b)    Anna Maria, Oct 10, 1780

4. Francis (Frantz) Hay, born abt 1740-1826, Alsace, Germany. He sailed from Rotterdam on the ship "Sally" and landed in Phildelphia Oct. 5, 1767.  He is first found on the 1771 tax list in Brothers Valley as a free man. He married in 1773 to Gertrude Groff and had 3 sons and 4 daughters. He was the grandfather of Associate Judge Samuel Snyder in Somerset. He served on the first and succeeding official boards of Berlin Reformed Church, and laid out the western portion of Berlin, PA. He and Simon were on the 1800 Brothersvalley, Somerset Co, Pa census.

5. Johann Simon Hay, b Apr 18, 1742, born Alsace (or near Berlin) Germany. (See bio) When he was about 20 (1763) he emigrated to the America on the ship "Sally" with his brother Frantz.  (A web page on Simon's family says he sailed from Rotterdam on the ship "Sally" and landed in Phildelphia Oct. 5, 1767 with his 2 brothers, Valentine and Frantz.)   Simon settled for the first few years in Hagerstown, MD (at the Conococheague settlement), working as a weaver, where he met a man who owned land in Brothers Valley (now Somerset Co), Pa.  He married about 1774 in Washington, Maryland to Anna Maria Shaver (b 12/13/1754 Hagerstown, Md.) 

In 1767-68 he moved to near Berlin, Somerset Co (then Bedford co) PA settling in Brothers Valley at the location of Hay's Mill, which he later built.  On this land still stand the old stone house he built in 1790.

Simon and brother Valentine are on the 1779 tax list of Brothers Valley Township. He and Francis were on the 1800 Brothers Valley, Somerset Co, Pa census. (A Simon, Valentine, Daniel, Michael & Michael Hay Jr. are also on the 1800 census of Bedford Co, Pa.). 

His loom is in a Pennsylvania museum.  He died 3/19/1818, Hays Mill, Pa.  (another source says he died in Feb 3, 1842, age 103). 

Reformed Church records in Berlin, Pa lists births of his 5 sons and 5 daughters: 

5a)    Michael (1775). He might have been the Michael Hay who built a house in Salisbury, Elk Lick twp (Brothers Valley), PA. "The road entered the town on Market (now Grant) street, and became the main thoroughfare. Peter Shirer built the first house on lot No. 32, on the corner of Grant and Ord streets, where Michael Hay afterwards built the brick house." [from History of Bedford & Somerset Counties]

5b)    Jacob (1777) born at Conococheague

5c)    George Hay (1781)

5d)    Valentine (abt 1779)

5d)    Peter Simon Hay (he might be the Peter Simon Hay, born April 18, 1790; died May 4, 1845; married Elizabeth Walker, daug. of Phillip)

also daughters: Susan, Mary, Elizabeth, Eva, Catherine.


Hay family in America

Adam Hay

1st American generation

ADAM HAY, b 1733, Alsace, Germany.  It's not clear whether Adam was the Johann Adam baptised in 1738 in Gerhardsbrunn, near Zweibrucken, Germany, which would mean that he was a brother of Valentine, Simon & Francis of Brothers Valley, Pa.  Adam emigrated to America with his father and 4 brothers and first settled in PA.   

1763, Northhampton Co, PA - letter signed by Adam Hay

He married Anna Marie (Mary) Boyer, 1770, Northampton, PA. She came to America as a young girl.  

For some reason, in the 1770's Adam left his siblings in Pennsylvania and moved to Berkley County, Virginia.  Adam’s service in the Revolutionary War was “non-military Revolutionary service” in Berkeley Co., Va.  He sold wheat to the army and "served" under George Washington.  Gen. Washington and was an acquaintance and friend of his. (See History of Sangamon County, IL)  A letter by Washington to Thomas Jefferson in 1780 mentions Maj. Adam Hay.

Adam and Mary bought piece of land Sept. 27, 1796 in Berkeley County, Va.

April 27, 1801 Adam and Mary sold their 184 acres for 500 pounds and moved to Fairfield County, Ohio.  Adam died there in 1803.


In  the  name of God amen.  I Adam Hay of Fairfield County and state of Ohio being well in health and in sound  mind  and  memory thanks  be to Almighty God for it.  But calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is  appointed for all men once to die  I recommend my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it and my body to the  earth to be buried in a decent  and  Christian like manner at the discretion of my executors hereafter named and as to  such worldly goods and estate as it hath pleased God to indue me with I dispose of in the following manner and form. Viz.....And first it is my will that my just debts and funeral charges be paid out of my estate.

Item.  I  bequeath to my well-beloved wife Mary,  my four horse craters? and wagon and all the gear and tarklin? that belongeth to the team.   Likewise my two working oxen and furthermore I leave my beloved wife all my household  furniture.  After the decease of my beloved wife the horses and wagon and the two oxen to be left to my two youngest  sons Jonathan and Peter.

Item. I bequeath to my beloved wife four milk cows.  My money must be laid out for land by my executors as the ___see propper? and my wife to hold the land as her sole property till her decease, then the land to be equally  divided amongst all my children.

Item.  I bequeath to my son-in-law Luke Ingman forty dollars in cash.  

And lastly I appoint my wife and son-in-law Luke Ingman my sole executors of this my last will and testament,  revoking all other wills heretofore made.    Ratifying,  confirming this and  none other to be my last will and testament in witness ____  share? of I have hear unto   set my hand and seal this 22nd day of April,  one thousand eight hundred and three.

signed — Adam Höh          

witnesses present — Jeremiah Strode, Jesse Hedges

The state of Ohio,  Fairfield County: Court of Common Pleas September Term 1803 at which the last will and  testament of Adam Hays of Amanda township in Fairfield county is procured, proven and admitted to record.

Mary died about 1815 in Amanda twp, Fairfield Co, Ohio.  Most of the children moved away, but son Peter stayed and died in Fairfield Co., Ohio.

 Children (6 girls, 3 boys; all born in Berkley Co, Va):

1. Barbara Hay was born abt 1772, Va; m John Hartong (Harton) in Berkeley Co., Va.  They moved to Steubenville, Ohio; then in 1815/16 to Jefferson Co., Ind.  Sometime before 1820 John drowned in a river (in Ohio or Ind.).  [Perhaps she moved back home to Ohio after her husband's death because there was a Barbary (sic) Hay who married George Shitterly, Nov. 21, 1819 in Fairfield Co., Ohio. Her brother Peter still lived there and maybe some sisters.]  However, Barbara died May 1874 (age 103) and was buried near Madison, Ind.

2. John Hay was born Apr 13, 1775, Va.  In 1793 at the age of 18 he moved (with a group of Quakers) to Fayette Co, Ky where he married about 1799 to Jemima Coulter.  More on him in the History of Sangamon Co (IL). They lived there 39 years and had 13 children (6 sons/7 daugs).  

In 1832 at the age of 57, he, Jemima and their 11 children moved to Sangamon Co, Ill. settling in Springfield.  They left Ky. because he was opposed to slavery. He manufactured bricks in Ill. and was involved in many important community affairs.  They were Baptists and John was a trustee of the First Baptist Church of Springfield. Jemima died in 1843 and John died May 20, 1865 (age 90; a few weeks after Abraham Lincoln, who was a neighbor and a personal friend of his).  One of his grandsons, John Milton Hay (1838-1905), was Secretary of State under presidents McKinley & Roosevelt.  

Children: (13 or 14)

1)    Charles Hay, was a physician, father of John M. Hay (Secretary of State)

2)    Joseph Hay, was a physician

3)    Theodore Hay, was a physician

4)    Milton Hay, was a lawyer. His had an law office on the same floor as Lincoln. He heard Lincoln say, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people ALL of the time." And he passed it on.

    Milton's nephew was John M. Hay (1838-1905), (son of Charles) born in Ind, moved to IL,  1859 he worked in his uncle's law office next door to Abe Lincoln's, was Asst Private Secretary to President Abraham Lincoln, was at Lincoln's bedside when he died, wrote a ten-volume book entitled, Abraham Lincoln: A History, appointed Ambassador to Great Britain in 1897 under William McKinley, became Secretary of State in 1898 under McKinley & Roosevelt, negotiated the Treaty of Paris 1899 following the Spanish-American War, and was involved in preparations for the Panama Canal, established the Open Door policy with China.


John (on right) with Lincoln     --     John as Secretary of State      --           John Hay cigar box cover

3. Elizabeth Hay was born abt 1777, Va; married Luke Ingman, Jan 20, 1801, Berkeley Co, (W)Va; probably moved to Fairfield Co, OH with her parents in April 1801, since Luke is listed an the executor of Adam Hay’s will in April 1803; Elizabeth died June 7, 1853, Ashland Co, Ohio

4. Catherine Hay was born 1779, Va. She married Thomas Selby; died Aug 9, 1830, Ashland Co, Ohio

5. Eve Ann Hay was born 1780, Va; married abt 1802-3, (Probably in Fairfield Co., Oh) to Jacob LEATHERS. They moved to Wayne Co. (northern Ohio) about 1817; then moved to Ill. after 1840.  Children:

1)     Susannah Leathers, b Ohio; m John Harpster

2)     John Leathers, b 1806 Ohio; m Elizabeth Slater

3)     Jacob L. Leathers, b 1810; m Mary Ewing

4)     William Leathers, b 1811; m Nancy Orum

5)     Elizabeth Leathers, b abt 1815; m Jacob S. Baker

6)     Silas Leathers, b 1821 Ohio; Marinda Ransom

7)     Mary Ann Leathers, b 1824 Ohio; m David Heral 

            ch: Mary Elizabeth Heral (m John VonAllmen) -- I wonder if Mary knew her 2nd cousin was the Secretary of State in 1898? Her granddaughter said that she remembers her having an old book about Abraham Lincoln, and she wonders if it was the one written by John Hay.

6. Susannah Hay was born July 6, 1781, Va; married Tunis Newkirk, Apr 9, 1801, Berkley Co, Va (her father, Adam was the bondsman); died July 4, 1843, bur Greenfield, Fairfield Co, OH. Children (all born in Fairfield Co, Ohio):

1)     Anna Newkirk, b 1802; d 1882, Hamilton Co, Oh

2)    Jeptha Newkirk, b 1807; d 1881 Fairfield Co, Oh; m Nancy Ann Michael

3)    John W. Newkirk, b 1813; d 1864 Fairfield Co, Oh; m Julianne Stansberry

4)    Virginia Newkirk, b 1817;  d 1902 Cambria, Mich; m John Lamb

5)    Jane Perty Newkirk, b 1820; d 1889, Cambria, Hillsdale Co, Michigan; m Daniel Lincoln Pratt

7. Rosanna Hay was born abt 1783-4,(May be daughter of Adam or Peter): married Orin Abbott, May 27, 1824; he was Justice of the Peace for 15 years.  Orin ran a store at the Rock Mill and had two distilleries, one on the Peter Hay farm where he married Rosannah.  She died Sept. 7, 1852; he died 1862.  Children: (2 sons and 3 daughters)

1)     John Abbott, b Oct. 1, 1828

2)     Lafayette Abbott, b Sept. 24, 1830; m ? Lysinger; was in 73rd Ohio infantry in the Civil War and was in “Sherman’s raid to the sea.”  He had an arm amputated during the War.  After the War he was a merchant at Clearport with “one of the best stores in the country.”

8. Jonathan Hay was born maybe 1786, or was twin of Peter; married Elizabeth Hooker, May 4, 1809, Fairfield Co, Ohio; moved to Wisconsin. 

The following may be Peter the son of Adam, or Peter the son of Peter the son of Adam: Leander’s autobiographical sketch in History of Fairfield County says he (Leander) was the son of Peter (& Christiana) who was the son of Peter.  But I am going to assume here that this Peter is the son of Adam & Mary:

9. Peter Hay (Esq.), b 1788, Berkeley Co., Va; d Oct 27, 1853, Fairfield Co, Ohio; m Aug 25, 1819 to Christiana Platter (she was born in Ross Co., Ohio and moved to Fairfield Co. when she was young).  He ran a mill—the “Peter Hay Mill”; it was sold in 1830 and years later torn down.  They were member of the Presbyterian Church, and were buried in Amanda twp., Fairfield Co., Ohio.  Children:

1)     Joseph Hay

2)     Margaret Hay, m Col. Schleich

3)     Catherine Hay, m Levi Burgeon 9- 2-1861

4)     Peter Hay

5)     Edwin R. Hay

6)     Edward Hay

7)     Sarah Jane Hay “Jennie”; m Oct. 22, 1863, Daniel J. Schleich (b 1834).  He was a Captain in the Civil War before he married, but had to resign because of illness. He was a farmer (until 1881 when they moved into Amanda), a Democrat, member of the Presbyterian Church, Township Treasurer, member of the School Board.  5 Children:

        7a)     Thomas Frederick Schleich

        7b)     Edward Schleich

        7c)     Augustus Taylor Schleich

        7d)     Ellen Schleich

        7e)     Walter Schleich

8)     Zelda Hay

9)     Leander Hay (youngest), b Apr. 14, 1841, Amanda twp., Fairfield Co., Ohio; attended Ohio University but became a farmer, owning 300 acres.  He m Jan 1866 Malinda C. Strickler.  He was a Democrat, Justice of the Peace, Township Clerk, and member of the Reformed church.  One child: Frank Edwin (m Rose Hanaway and d Aug. 29, 1894)


Hay family in Germany

Johann Michael Hoh

See also:

Ancestors of the American immigrant, Adam Hay