Hayes family of South Africa

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We are interested in family history and genealogy, and this page shows some of the families that we are researching, and a little about our own family. For a concise summary of the families we are researching, check our Tiny Tafel page.

Steve also maintains the web page of the African family history network. It will give you more information about genealogy and family history research resources on the net, especially those relating to Africa.

Our family tree

There are several places where you can see our family tree, and check if you are related:

  1. Our Gencircles page. It's a good place to search to see if anyone in our family tree matches anyone in yours. It also has the most up-to-date information.

  2. Our TribalPages This has less information than the Gencircles one, but it also has more on current generations of living people. For that reason it is password protected, and we will only give the password to known relatives as a protection of privacy. If you think you might be related, and want to find out, check one of the other two. If you are related, e-mail us to ask for the password.

  3. Our family tree page on this site lists all our ancestors, and 3 generations of their descendants. We have not included all the descendants of our ancestors that we have on file, as it would be too big and clumsy to maintain. It is less up to date than the other two, but it is the one you are most likely to come across through a search engine.

If you think your tree connects with ours, please let us know and we will be glad to exchange information. See our contact page for e-mail addresses etc.

If you were looking for your family and found us, we might also have been looking for you. Some family members have written to us in the past, and then their addresses have changed, and we have lost contact. So check below to see if we (or anyone else) have been looking for you!

Is someone looking for you? Who? Me? Old friend perhaps? Type your last name and search!

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Some families we are researching


The earliest ancestor we know of was Simon Hayes, born about 1785 in North Curry, Somerset, England. He married Rachel Allen of Winscombe, and they had four sons, William, Sander, John and James who moved to Bristol and became builders and carpenters. Steve's grandfather, Percy Wynn Hayes, came to South Africa at the end of the 19th century, and was a stockbroker in Johannesburg, and later secretary of the Dumbe coal mine at Paulpietersburg, Natal.


The Green family came from Canada. The earliest ancestor we know of was James Green, a butcher of Quebec. His daughter Eliza had a son, William John Green, by a London merchant, William Goodall, and so the son was also known as William Goodall Green. Eliza Green later had an affair with Edward, Duke of Kent, which gave rise to a family legend that the Greens were of royal descent. She later married Thomas Esdaile, and settled in England. Though she had no children by him, he was apparently a very good stepfather, for his name cropped up several times in later generations.

William Goodall Green joined the commissariat department of the British Army, and served in Montreal, Halifax, and later in the Cape Colony, where several members of his family went. One son, Henry, was British Resident of the Orange Free State in the 1850s. Val's great great grandfather, Frederick Thomas Green (erroneously referred to in several books as Frederick Joseph Green), was an elephant hunter and trader in what is now Namibia and Botswana from the 1840s until his death in 1876. His first wife was from a well-known Herero family, and one of the descendants of that line, Mburumba Kerina, is credited with having invented the name Namibia (Kerina is the Herero form of Green).

Other members of the Green family settled in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. Eventually a few made their way back to Canada.


The Growdon (or Growden) family came from Cornwall. The earliest ancestor we know of is William Growden of Egloshayle who married Elizabeth Sandercock in Cardinham, Cornwall. They lived in Bodmin and had several children. Some moved to Australia and New Zealand, and from New Zealand one branch went to the USA. Steve's great grandfather, William Matthew Growdon, married Elizabeth Greenaway and came to the Cape Colony about 1876 as a platelayer on the Cape Government Railways. Eventually he was promoted to permanent way inspector, and settled in Queenstown. Several of his sons also worked on the railways.

If your surname is Growdon or Growden, check the Growdon family page


The Pearson family came from Whitehaven, Cumberland, England. Val's grandparents, William Walker Pearson and Martha (Mattie) Ellwood, were born in Whitehaven and came to Natal in the early 20th century. They were married in St John the Baptist Church, Pinetown, in 1913.

Other families

There are several other families for which we have information that are not listed here, though they are listed in our Tiny Tafels. Please contact us by e-mail or snail mail if you would like to exchange information.

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More family tree information

You can see more of our family tree on our Gencircles page. It's a good place to search to see if anyone in our family tree matches anyone in yours.

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Perhaps you came to this page looking for members of your family you have lost contact with or have never met. But it is also possible that some members of your family may be looking for you!

Is someone looking for you? Who? Me? Type your last name and search!

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This page maintained by
Steve Hayes
Please see web page for contact information
e-mail address may overflow because of spam

Started: 1996-09-27
Updated: 16 May 2009