THE GENEALOGY OF MARY HAYS
In an effort to increase awareness of the domestic life of Mary Hays, a knowledge of her immediate family is paramount in understanding various decisions she made throughout her life concerning the location and persons associated with her numerous domiciles. As a single woman, living alone at this time was never an option, so throughout her life, except for a brief period c. 1806-08 in Islington, Mary Hays is always living in a home with someone who is serving as the "head of household," in many cases a family member (at various times her mother, sisters Joanna, Sarah, and Marianna, brothers Thomas and John, and nieces Emma Hills and Joanna Palmer), another single woman (Ann Cole, Miss Mackie, Miss Farrell), or a family unit (the Penningtons, the Fenns, the Browns).
In uncovering the genealogy of Mary Hays (this is the first time this has been done), we learn that she had a younger sister, Marianna, not previously known who forms an intimate connection between the Hays family and the family of Samuel Palmer, the Romantic artist; the importance of her cousin, Benjamin Seymour, and his career in Russia and America; the extent of her network of nieces and nephews (almost 40, with well over 100 grandnephews and grandnieces) in the London area and how often her residences coincide with the locations of many of these relations; the frequency with which Hays assisted in the care and education of her nephews and nieces, beginning in the 1790s with the Dunkin and Hills children and continuing to 1840 with Matilda Mary Hays; the social status of her family (as a rule, all were at the upper end of the rising British middle class in the 19th century, with John Dunkin easily being classed as wealthy, with many living in spacious homes and mansions at various times); and the interconnections of members of her immediate family with other families, including that of Crabb Robinson, John Towill Rutt, William Pattisson, William Wedd, and Samuel Palmer, father of the Romantic artist of the same name (much of this is revealed in the Diary and Reminiscences of Crabb Robinson and through various records kept at the PRO and the London Metropolitan Archives, and through Hays's correspondence).
The pages are listed in the menu to the left and below; they can also be accessed successively on each page.
Will of John Hays, Mary Hays's Father