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Hayes Family History
In Ireland, Hayes originated as a Gaelic polygenetic surname "O hAodha", meaning descendant of Aodh ("fire"), or of Aed, an Irish mythological god. Septs in most counties anglicised "O hAodha" to "Hayes". In County Cork, it became "O'Hea". In County Ulster, it became "Hughes", the patronymic of Hugh, an anglicized variant of the given name Aodh. Hayes is noted on a public record in County Wexford as early as 1182. In County Cork, under the Munster providence, Hayes falls under the banner of the McNamara clan in the Dalcassian Sept. The Hayes clan is also been known to hail allegiance to Clan Cian, the ruling O'Carroll clan, of southern Ireland.
THE common Wexford name Hayes is an example of possible Gaelic or Norman origin. One of the chief Norman families that settled in the Barony of Forth was named Hay, an important Anglo-Norman family named Hay originated in La Haye-du-Puile in Manche,Normandy. The form Hay remained in use in Wexford for uries before undergoing the easy transition to Hayes. Wexford also had a Gaelic sept of O hAodha which
me anglicised Hayes and Hughes. The heads of this cent were chiefs of Ui Deaghaidh, an ancient subdivision of Ui Ceinseallaigh, nearly co-extensive with the barony of Gorey.2
As the name Hayes has been chiefly associated with the Forth and Bargy area, where the Norman Hays were established, we must conclude that the majority of these are of that stock. However, the name is found in all parts of the county and it is interesting to note a relatively high number of the name Hughes in the baronies of Gorey and Ballaghkeen North.3
The well-known name Day found in Forth and Bargy is possibly a corruption of the Norman de la Hay, Gaelicised de Hae. On the other hand, it is suggested that the Days derive from the Gorey sepi of O Deadhaigh.
The first of the Norman Hays are reputed to have come to Wexford from Hay in Pembrokeshire, though there are several other Hay place names in Britain (four in COrnwall). They built castles ai Hillcastle and Slad in the present parish of Tagoai; Hayestown and Killiane (Piercestown parish). Tacumshane, and Castlehayestown (Glynn parish). The Hays also had a castle in Wexford town, in Hay's Lane (now nema Lane). In 1641 it is called 'an old castle owned by Walter Hay'.
The name is prominent in the affairs of the county from early Normanes until the Cromwellian suppression in the mid-seventeenth century. ine earliest reference is to Richard Hay, one of the witnesses of the foundation charter of Dunbrody Abbey, in 1176. Thomas Hay was 11 of Wexford in 1284; Adam Hay, Kilscoran, was among the ents and gentlemen of the county summoned with horse and arms in 1345; Patrick Hay was Vicar of Tacumshane in 1541; Matthew Haie died seised of the Manor of Tacumshane on February 17, 1593.7 our Hays were Sovereigns (now mayors) of Wexford: Michael in , Jasper in 1691 Nicholas in 1643, John in 1645. In 1296 the King 15 wrote to Walter de la Haye, Escheator of Ireland, directing him To take into the King's Hands all the lands and tenements of William de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (deceased).'
The Hays were among the principal forfeiting proprietors after the rebellion of 1641 and under the Cromwellian Act of Settlement a large part of their Barony of Forth lands was granted to Captain Richard Nunn, founder of the Nunn family in Wexford. The Nunns de the fine Hay castle at Slad and drew the material to Hill casile built a mansion incorporating the old Hay castle. This casile lasie 1960 when it, 100, was demolished and a new house built on its site.
Havestown Cas?le suffered a similar fate at the hands of the Per family who used the materials to build Hayestown House. The Survey of 1654 shows Robert Hay, proprietor of 153 acres at Little Hayestown and Mathew Hay owning 246 acres at Great Hayestown in 1641. It is interesting to find Havestown House returning to a family in modern times.
Robert Hay is recorded as owning 121 acres in Tacumshane in 1640 This property was granted to Constantine Neale under the Act of Seulement.
The building of Killiane Castle has been attributed to Christopher Cheevers of Ballyhealy bui Philip Hore in his history of the Barony of Forth states that Killiane was inherited by Hamon Cheevers through his marriage to the heiress of Hay 'in that place.' Elsewhere he lisis Killiane as one of the several castles built by the Hays. Killiane Castle and the fortified courtyard wall are still well preserved. The mansion house attached to the lower may have been built early in the seventeenth century.
In the Cromwellian confiscations the property was granted to Colonel Bunbury, and afterwards passed to the Harvey family. Towards the close of the last century it was the residence of Mrs. Avlward, mother of Rev. Edward Aylward, Administrator in Wexford (1889-97). It later came into the possession of the Cooper family of Drinagh from whom it was purchased in 1920 by John Mernagh whose son, John A. Mernagis is the present owner.
A poliery was established on the Killiane property in the seventeen century by Jonathan Chamberlayne, a Quaker who acquired over acres in the townlands of Great Killiane and Ballykelly. This property later passed to the Poole family of Growtown Taghmon
After losing their properties in the Barony of Forth the main branch the Hay family sellied at bannkeele (Ballaghkeen) where they remained until the middle of the nineteenth century when the property came under the ownership of the present Maher family. Edward Hay of this family.
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