Rutherford Birchard Hayes was born in Delaware, Ohio, on October 4, 1822. His family had settled there after moving from Dummerston, Vermont, five years earlier.
His father, also named Rutherford Hayes, decided to move from Vermont to what was then the American West to find new opportunities. He went there with his wife, Sophia, their two children, and Sophia's brother, Sardis Birchard. Hayes's father did quite well in Ohio over the next few years. He bought land and built a large house, but he died during a malaria epidemic two months before the future president was born, leaving his widow with three children, a farm, and two houses. She rented out the farmland and one of the houses in the town of Delaware to give herself a steady income.