Old Wills

1804 Will of Basil Hayden Sr. – Washington County

According to Sister Mary Louise Donnelly, Basil Hayden was the son of George Hayden a resident of St. Mary’s County, Maryland, who died there in 1754.  George Hayden was the son of William and Elizabeth Hayden.  Elizabeth lived seven years after the death of her son and left a parcel of land called ‘Shankes Resque’ containing one hundred and two acres to William and Basil Hayden, sons of George Hayden.  Basil married Henrietta Cole, the daughter of Robert Cole and Ann Greenwell.

Basil Hayden and family, along with twenty-four other families of the Clements area of St. Mary’s County, came to Pottinger’s Creek, in Kentucky, in 1785, as his deed for land was recorded December 3, 1785, in Nelson County, Kentucky.  In 1785 there were just six counties in Kentucky, Nelson was formed from Jefferson in 1784.  In 1792 the area where the Maryland families settled would become Washington County, hence Basil Hayden’s will was found there, but in 1834 this land would be separated to make Marion County.  The first Catholic Church in the state of Kentucky was Holy Cross Church which was built in the year 1792 on the farm of Basil Hayden, Sr.  When he says in his will ‘and my body I desire to be buried in the place assigned for that purpose, at the chapel adjoining my plantation,’ he is evidently referring to Holy Cross Church.  At that time it probably was a chapel; the present church was built in 1823.  There is no stone to be found for Basil Hayden.

Basil Hayden, Sr. (born January 1, 1744, died September 1804) and Henrietta Cole (born July 2, 1754, died 1837) had the following children:

  1. Stanislaus Hayden, born February 7, 1772, married August 5, 1791, Henrietta Hilton, died December 5, 1839.
  2. Robert Hayden, born February 20, 1773, married February 4, 1796, Mary Carlin, died 1806.
  3. Basil Hayden, Jr., born August 7, 1774, married July 15, 1795, Mary Rapier, died July 21, 1833.
  4. Ann Hayden, born November 13, 1776, single, died between 1860-1870.
  5. John Baptist Hayden, born April 6, 1779, died 1785, on the way to Kentucky.
  6. Joseph Hayden, born September 1781, died 1785, on the way to Kentucky.
  7. Eleanor Hayden, born March 1782, died February 25, 1813.
  8. Teresa Hayden, born December 1782, died 1785, on the way to Kentucky.
  9. John Hayden, born February 16, 1784, died 1785, on the way to Kentucky.
  10. William Leo Hayden, born December 16, 1785, married first, February 5, 1810, Anna Pike; married second, January 4, 1813, Mary Hayden, died December 6, 1867.
  11. Teresa Hayden, born May 30, 1788, married February 25, 1813, Henry Moore.
  12. Hillery Hayden, born July 21, 1792, died 1792.
  13. Edward G. Hayden, born November 7, 1795, married November 26, 1829, Catherine Queen.
  14. Lewis Hayden, born August 20, 1796, married February 13, 1810, Mary Dant, died 1849.

I cannot imagine losing so many children on the trek from Maryland to Kentucky.  Sister Mary Louise Donnelly does not give specifics, just mentions, ‘The journey for Basil Hayden, Sr., and his young family was a hard one.  Four of his young children died during the trip.’

Will of Basil Hayden, Sr.

Washington County Will Book A, 1792-1808, Pages 337-340

In the name of God, amen.  I, Basil Hayden, of the County of Washington and State of Kentucky, being sick and expecting short to die, but of sound memory and understanding, do constitute and ordain this to be my last will and testament.  My soul I resign to my Creator who gave it me, and my body I desire to be buried in the place assigned for that purpose, at the chapel adjoining my plantation, and to my worldly goods, after all my just debts are paid, I will and bequest in manner and form following, to wit:

I will and bequeath unto my eldest son, Stanislaus Hayden, two Negroes, namely Clare and George, which he has now in his possession to belong to him and his heirs forever, also twenty pounds in trade to satisfy him for his demand he claims of me for labor and to make up his losses in moving.  I give and bequeath unto my wife, Henrietta Hayden, my land and premises, for and during her natural life, reserving therein a home and good maintenance for my two daughters, Ann and Teresa, and my son, Edward, for and during their single lives.  It is also my will and desire that my two daughters and last-mentioned son have a home and maintenance in said land during the single lives after their mother’s death, and then the land to be sold with reserve and the profits equally divided amongst my heirs.  I also give my wife, Henrietta, for and during her natural life, the following Negroes, namely Jack, James and his wife

Hannah, a woman, Nell, Easter and her son Matthew and Poll, one bed and furniture and the ?, also a bay mare named Madam, the mare to dispose of as she may think proper, but the Negroes and land and the profits thereof to be equally divided amongst my heirs at her death, except the reserve before made.  I give and bequeath unto my son, Robert Hayden, a Negro woman named Mary and a boy named Samuel, which Negroes he has now in his possession, to be his and his heirs forever.  I give unto my son Basil Hayden the Negroes he now has in his possession, namely, Sarah and Luke, to him and his heirs forever.  I give unto my daughter, Ann Hayden, two Negroes named Bill and Isaac, to belong to her and the heirs of her body lawfully begotten, if any, if not, at her death to be equally divided amongst my heirs.  I give unto my daughter Teresa Hayden two negroes named Harry and Charles, to belong to her and the heirs of her body lawfully begotten, if any, if not, at her death to be equally divided amongst my heirs.  I give and bequeath unto my wife’s son, William Hayden, one negro boy named Nace, and one bed and furniture and it is my will that he shall come in for half share only of all the distributions which shall hereafter be made of my estate except the land, which he is to have no part of.  I give unto my son, Lewis Hayden, two negroes named Joseph and Susan and also the yellow sorrel mare and young colt.  I give unto my

son, Edward, two Negroes named Clement and Clare, daughter of Nell.  It is also my will and desire in case any of the Negroes, willed to Ann, Teresa, Lewis or Edward, should die before the death of my wife that their loss or losses shall be made good together out of the Negroes willed to my wife funding her life before distribution of those Negroes shall be made amongst my heirs.  I leave one Negro boy, Jeremiah, to be sold it if be necessary to pay my debts, but if it can be done without, not to sell him.  I given unto the Rev. Mr. Badin and those he may thing proper to make his heir a boy named Gerrard, also my right and title in and unto two hundred acres of land he now lives on.  It is my will that the Negroes willed to Lewis be hired and the profits reserved for him until he comes of age and by his working on the plantation it is my will for him to stay with his mother after this year until he is twenty-one years old, but if he will not work I wish him to have some more schooling and bound to some decent and profitable trade.  The profits of the other Negroes willed to Ann, Teresa and Edward, I wish their mother to make use of in clothing and maintaining them decently during her life.  I leave my son Basil Hayden, Executor, to this my last will and testament and all the residue of my estate not legaced in this will to be dealt with according to the directions of the law.  In testimony of this my last will and testament I do hereon set my hand and affix my seal the 15th day of June

In the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and four.

Basil Hayden

We the subscribers do certify that the above-named Basil Hayden, having his proper memory and understanding, in our presence signed his name and acknowledged the foregoing will to be his free act and deed.  Given under our hands the date of above written.  John Lancaster, Charles Hayden, George Hayden.

June the 21st 1804

In addition to the legacies willed to my two daughters, Ann and Teresa, and my two sons, Lewis and Edward, I give and bequeath unto them ten pounds cash and a bed and furniture each, to make them up even with those children I have assisted when they married and left me.  It is also my will that the provisions now made for the family support, together with the crop now on hand be not counted in the estate, but to be applied to the support of my wife and the family.  I also give and bequeath my saddle and greatcoat to my son Lewis.  Witness my hand and seal the date above.

Basil Hayden

Signed and acknowledged in the presence of us:

John Lancaster, Bennet Cissell

At a county court held for Washington County the 6th day of August 1804

This will was proved by the oath of John Lancaster and Hayden subscribing witnesses thereto and with the codicil thereto amended which was also proved by the oath of John Lancaster and Bennett Cissell, subscribing witnesses thereto, was ordered to be recorded.

Teste. John Reed CWC

8 replies »

  1. A small correction. William Leo Hayden (1785-1867) wasn’t a son of Basil Hayden and Henrietta Cole; that’s why he’s referred to as “my wife’s son” in Basil Hayden’s will, as quoted above.

    When the Hayden family arrived in north-central Kentucky in 1785, they and the rest of their migrant party were confined for some months inside a rough-and-ready fort for their protection. It’s easy to imagine that this was hard on them all, and Henrietta (Cole) Hayden had further reason to be depressed; she had lost four children on the trek from southern Maryland. Whatever her reasons, she had a fling inside the fort with a sketchy land speculator named Charles Ewing, and became pregnant as a result. She subsequently confessed the liaison to her husband, who publicly denounced her but did not divorce her. Henrietta and Basil went on to have several more children. William Leo, son of Henrietta by Charles Ewing, was raised in Basil and Henrietta’s family, where his nickname was “Not Blood.” Basil’s will provided William Leo with half the amount he gave to each of his own surviving children.

    After Basil’s death in 1804, Henrietta immediately married Charles Ewing. But in 1807 he left her and bigamously married one Margaret (or perhaps Mary, sources differ) Flint. In 1808 Henrietta managed to divorce him, which required an act of the Kentucky legislature.

    William Leo Hayden wound up moving several counties to the west of the part of Kentucky that most of his siblings inhabited. What he actually wanted to do was become a Catholic priest, which was forbidden to him because he was born outside of wedlock. He was nonetheless a devoted Catholic and contributed money and land to the church. In 1810 he married Anastasia “Anna” Pike, who died a year later after bearing him one son; then in 1813 he married Mary Hayden, a granddaughter of Basil Hayden’s brother William Hayden (d. 1794). Mary was the mother of William Leo Hayden’s other eleven children. So ironically, although genetically William Leo Hayden wasn’t a “real” Hayden, almost all his children were. His and Mary’s son Urban Hayden (1819-1888) was my great-great-great grandfather.

    • In your notes you mention Charles Ewing as the man who had an affair with Henrietta Cole wife of Basil Hayden. Henrietta subsequently married Ewing in 1804, divorcing him in 1808. Is this Charles Ewing the same person who was previously married to Sarah Wickliffe on February 7, 1786, signed by Sarah’ s father, Charles Wickliffe . Permission for them to marry was in the presence of Judge William McClung of Nelson County, Kentucky on January 1786. Sarah Wickliffe Ewing died in 1804. It seems as though Charles Ewing was a unsavory man, to put it mildly. I am turning to you for any colaberation that the Charles Ewing you write about was the husband of Sarah Wickliffe as I am a descendant of them. In my family lineage their daughter Nancy Ewing was the 2nd wife of Charles Benois Nourse. Please refer to the book James Nourse and his Descendents written by Maria Catherine Nourse Lyle. Thank you very much! Julia MacLeod Williams email juliamwilliams@yahoo.com. Today is April 30 2021

    • Patrick, thank you so much for this additional information. When I read the Will transcription I thought … “my wife’s son”??? Basil Hayden Sr was my five times great grandfather and I am renewing my research for a planned ‘cousins’ trip later in 2023. I am descended from Basil Jr and his daughter, Mary Jane Hayden, who married Richard Hamilton Hill.

  2. If anyone has additional information on Sarah Ewing ( Wickliffe) as to when and where her daughter Nancy Ewing ( Nourse) was born and where it was that her Sarah Ewing ( Wickliffe) died in 1804, I would appreciate it very much. Sarah Wickliffe and Charles Ewing are my 4th great grandparents. A big thank you to fellow descendants who may have this information.
    June 10, 2022
    Julia MacLeod Williams

  3. I resently discovered a possible answer to a family mystery & tale of family rift.
    My GGrandfather James Monroe Radford married Ada Florence Hayden ( b. 1860/61) around 1879 and came to settle in Texas.

    A distant cousin posted in genealogy.com that her mother was named Julia Vivian no last nam listed but she was a servant to a Higgins. Julia had two children before the war and three sons beginning in 1870 w/ surname Hayden.
    Is there a possible connection and a spouse name would be great
    Thank you
    Ps. Ada was born in Alabama

  4. Is there any information as to how Basil and Henrietta’s 4 children died when traveling to KY from MD?

Leave a Reply