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HAYS , family established in the New World in the first quarter of the 18th century, when michael hays (d. 1740) emigrated from Holland to New York. Michael's sons jacob (d. 1760), solomon, isaac (d. 1765), and judah (1703–1764) and their descendants flourished in the American colonies. Jacob was active in building Congregation Shearith Israel in New York City in 1730. Jacob's sons benjamin (d. 1816), michael (1753–1799), and david (1732–1812) became farmers in Westchester County, and all actively supported the American cause during the Revolution, Benjamin by fighting in the army, Michael by permitting colonial troops to use his farm to store supplies. To keep the rebel army from utilizing the stores, the British army seized Michael's farm in 1776 and did not restore it until 1782. After the war Michael served in the New York State Constitutional Convention. The youngest brother, David, operated a store in Bedford in addition to his farm. He married into the *Etting family. While he was serving with the American army, Loyalists, who were attempting to keep supplies from reaching the colonial forces, burned his home, his store, and the rest of Bedford on the night of July 9, 1779. David's eldest son, jacob (1772–1850), converted to Christianity and in 1802 was appointed high constable (chief of police) of the City of New York, a position he held until a year before his death.


Rosenbloom, Biogr Dict.

[Neil Ovadia]

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