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Nancy and Joseph Hayes personal narratives

 Collection — Folder: S615
Identifier: S0615

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the personal narratives of Nancy Billingsley Hayes and Joseph Hayes, which cover the period from 1786 to 1824. The collection consists of photocopies of the original Hayes writings and typewritten transcripts of these writings. Nancy Hayes relates her experiences traveling west with her family and the first years of her marriage to Joseph. She describes the earthquake of December 1811 and local experiences during the War of 1812. Joseph Hayes relates his experiences and observations while traveling west from Chester, Pennsylvannia in 1801. He also describes the founding of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, his early work experiences, a smallpox outbreak in 1803, and community gatherings such as house-raisings and corn-huskings.


  • mid-1800s


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Nancy Billingsley Hayes was born December 4, 1790 in Berkeley County,Virginia to Thomas and Nancy Billingsley. Her family moved west and settled at the forks of Mill Creek near Sharon (now known as Sharonville, Ohio) in 1796. In the spring of 1803 her family moved to the area that is now Dearborn County, Indiana. She married Joseph Hayes in 1809 and they had 12 children. She passed away on May 24, 1875.

Joseph Hayes was born on July 31, 1786 in Chester County, Pennsylvania to Solomon and Mary Craig Hayes. He set out for the "far west" with his brother, John Hayes, in 1801 and was one of Lawrenceburg, Indiana's first settlers. He engaged in farming and live stock trading and it was believed that he was the largest land owner in Dearborn County at the time of his death. He was married to Nancy for 65 years and passed away on February 3, 1875.


Ezra G. Hayes personal narrative, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library.

"Another Pioneer Gone." Lawrenceburg Press, February 4, 1875, 3.

"Death of Mrs. Joseph Hayes." Lawrenceburg Press, May 27, 1875, 3.

"The Will of Jos. Hayes, Sr." Lawrenceburg Press, February 12, 1875, 2.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Smith Library in 1946.


No further additions are expected.

Related Archival Material

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collection(s) in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

S614: Ezra G. Hayes personal narrative

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2015/08/13 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2015/08/13 by Laura Eliason.
Nancy and Joseph Hayes personal narratives
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.