Thank you for your reply.I left dates out because he answered differently each time.On 5 Oct 1861 when J M Hays joined the Confederate Army at Daingerfield (Titus County) Texas, he said that he was 19 years old.Thus he was born in about 1842.
In the 1867 Titus County Vote Registration files, J M Hays said that he was from Alabama, that he had been in the state for 10 years (thus arrived 1857), that he had been the county for 5 years (thus arrived in county in 1862).
In the 1900 census, J M Hays is listed as age 65 (thus born in 1835) in Alabama with parents born in North Carolina.
On his application for a Confederate Pension in Sept 1902, J M Hays states that he was 62 (thus born in 1840).
In the 1910 census, Jessie Hays is living with his son Robert L Hays.It lists the age of Jessie as 73 (thus born in 1837).
His death certificate (information provided by son Bob Hays) gives his age at death as 83 (thus born in 1836).
Thus his birth was in 1842, 1835, 1840, 1837, or 1836.I believe that he was born in 1842 (as indicated when he enlisted).When he enlisted why should he claim to be 19 if he was 21, 24, 25, or 26?