George W Hayes d 14 February1906

George Hayes was born about 1834 in Orford, NH, the fifth of five children of Sylvanus and Margaret (Patterson) Hayes.  Researcher Gilman Frost says Hayes was born in 1837 in Hanover.  I have not located an original birth record for him.

A description of Orford, from 1817, says: ORFORD – in Grafton county, was incorporated in 1761, and contained in 1810, a population of 1,265; bounded N. by Piermont, E. by Wentworth, S. by Lyme, and W. by Connecticut river, comprising an area of 27,000 acres. There are several ponds in this town, the largest of which is Bakers pond, 260 rods long and 160 wide, forming the source of the westerly branch of Bakers river. Indian pond is in the north part of the town near Stadion mountain. A stream called Jacobs brook rises in Orford and empties itself into Connecticut river above the bridge, which connects this town with Fairlee in Vermont. On this stream are 10 mill dams. Sunday and Cuba mountains lie near the centre of this town, and Smarts mountain in its S.E. extremity, forming the boundary of four towns, viz. Orford, Wentworth, Dorchester, and Lyme. Rev. John Sawyer was settled here in 1787, and was succeeded by the present minister, Rev. Samuel Dana. There are here 2 religious societies and 2 meeting houses and near the river is a pleasant village containing about 25 houses, through which the turnpike passes to Orford bridge. There are in this town several grain and sawmills a clothing mill, and a carding machine.


History: First called Number 7 in a line of Connecticut River fort towns, this town was named for Robert Walpole, Earl of Orford, and England’s first Prime Minister. An original grantee was General Israel Morey, whose son Samuel discovered a way to separate hydrogen from oxygen in water, using the knowledge to develop the first marine steam engine. The first steamboat was demonstrated on the river at Orford.

The 1850 and 1860 census shows George living in Hanover with his parents and brother William. 

Records show two men named George W Hayes who served during the Civil War from New Hampshire.  I suspect that neither is my ancestor.   

1870 census of Hanover shows George living in a household where his brother William Hayes is now the head of the household.  Sylvanus and Margaret Hayes are also in the household, and William and Almeda  (Hayes) Hall are nearby.

On 21 November, 1874, George married Mariette “Minnie” Blood, in Plainfield NH.  George and Minnie had four children.  The first was stillborn, and Frederick died at age 17 months.  Grace lived to be 80.   Sadie was adopted by George’s adoptive sister Almeda, and raised as Daisy Hall.  The 1880 census of Hanover shows George and Minnie Hayes, with daughter Grace, and son Fredrick. (Sadie aka Daisy not yet born).  Five doors down live William and Almeda Hall, with their daughter Fanny and her husband Wright Taylor.

On 5 October 1883, George was granted a divorce from Minnie, based on his charge of her adultery.  He then married Lucy J. S. Morse on 7 April 1888 in Hanover.  She divorced him on 25 March 1891 for extreme cruelty.  (The divorce decree provides an alternative marriage date as 2 April 1887 but Hanover vital records says 1888.)  Lucy was 28, and this was her first marriage. 

Gilman Frosts (a researcher from Dartmouth) collected notes about families in Hanover.  His notes that say that George had a cross-eyed housekeeper who ran off with a man named Buckman.  The 1900 census of Hanover lists a George Haze, b Jan 1837, living with Johanna Hatch.  Is Johanna Hatch the cross-eyed housekeeper?

George Hayes was admitted as a inmate to the Merrimack County Alms-House on 2 March 1903.  The inmate was not a prisoner but was the term used then for the Alms-House which was the poor house now called a nursing home.  Hayes’ occupation was listed as farmer. Their records indicate that he was born at Orford, and died Boscawen 14 Feb 1906, then buried at Penacook. cause of death was cerebral hemorrhage two days earlier.  Place of burial was (tomb) Woodlawn.  We searched the cemetery, and could not find a marked grave, nor anything we recognized as a “tomb”.  Since the death occured in mid February, it is likely that he was placed in the tomb and buried elsewhere later.  But where?  One of the reasons I think that George was not a veteran is that no headstone was erected – at least that we have yet found.

Feb 22, 1906 Thursday Hanover Gazette Etna section

George Hayes, formerly of the east part of town, died at Boscawen on Wednesday of last week.  His daughter, Mrs. Simmons, was in town this week, and says it is not decided yet as to the interment, whether it will be at her home in Penacook, or the remains to be brought to Etna and placed beside those of his immediate relatives.

The cemetery office in Hanover has no information about the Greensboro cemetery (where his parents and brother are buried) but there is an unmarked grave near the others that could be his.

Gilman Frost also noted that in 1885 George lived on Road 44.  His notes also indicate that George and Lucy had a son who could say papa when his mother departed with a man named White.  I have not been able to determine the name of this child.


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