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Archiver > LAY > 1999-10 > 0938910985

From: "Angus P. Robinson" <>
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 1999 19:36:25 -0500

This below letter and information has been lying in my files
for over 15 years. I hope it helps. This lady made some rather
provocative statements as to the LAY/LEIGH line have royal
connections. Do not ridicule her - keep an open mind until we
can learn more. Stranger things have happened.
Angus "Scotty" Robinson


SOURCE: Letter from Mrs. Evelyn L. Kile, 115 Grove Ave.,NW,
Cleveland, Tennessee 37311,dt'd. 18 September 1984. This
is in respounce to my quiry, via mail, to her Aunt, Mrs.
D.B.Lay (copy of letter in file).

Dear "Scotty"
We are cousins, just what degree I don't know but I'm
great-great-great grand dauqhter of Charles Middleton Lay so I
guess a great-great-great neice of John. I get lost trying this
My Aunt, Mrs. D.B.Lay gave me your letter, since she is not
very interested in all this being only married into the LAY family -
neither is my Mom (89 years old-also from Gordon Co.,Ga.), so I'm
going to send you some of what I have.
I kinda believe J. Gilbert Lay is dead as I haven't heard from
him in a number of years & he must have some age on him.
There are always Thomas in family, William, Berry, a few Davids
& back in past, Peter's, also James, John.
The S.C. LAY's have a coat of arms made back years & recognized
in England. It is not as elaborate as Lord Leigh's but all titles are
now out since Lozd Edward Leigh never married & his sister received
his estate, title of Dame. She didn't marry so estate went to a
Cousin who was a Minister. There are no title in family now since
late 1800's.
Evelyn L. Kile

The following material was written in long hand with a pencil and
covered two or three generations.

b. S.C. 1759, died Nov. 10, 1829, married Nancy Freeman, b. 1760,
died 1837. Fought in Revolutionary War - died in Pickens Co.,S.C..
Changed spelling to Lay from Leigh - said "too dang hard for people
to spell". (Also name Leigh not too well liked in S.C.). It is
possible (from info I have), that he was son of Egerton Leigh who
was Chief Justice of Carolinas for the King. Also possible (not
proven) his Mother was of Henri Middleton of S.C.
Charles Middleton Lay & Nancy Freeman had following known
children born in Pickens Co.,S.C.:
l. James (born 1779) died Gordon Co., Ga, in 1860, m. Elizabeth
McKinney, born S.C., Oct.22, 1793 (don't have children-a great
grandson years ago ).

2. John born June 25, 1789, Pickens Co., S.C., died Gordon
Co.,Ga. March 22, 1862, m. Polly (Possibly Boone), born April 11,
1788 in Pickens Co.,S.C. died Gordon Co.,Ga., Aug. 15, 1863.
I know they had son John 0. Lay who was in Civil War and
a dau. Malinda who married Wm. J. Fuller.

Also I find a Joel C. Fain who was son of Karen H. & Wm. M.
Fain, Karen was born July 6, 1806-died July l, 1875, this is oldest
grave in Fain Cemetery in Calhoun, Ga.. This Joel C. Fain was born
March 21, 1839-died March 13, 1895. His wife is shown as Jennie
Seay Fain, born Jan. 25, 1844, died July 18, 1885.

(Back to children-Charles Middleton Lay)

3. William, born 1805 in Pickens Co.,S.C., married Elizabeth
Rebecca Martin born in S.C. 1812. Both died at Calhoun, Ga..
children of William Lay
a. had son Charles F. born 1838, m. Nancy V. Brown in
1866, no children but adopted her nephew, Marchy
Keith - where they lived is now known as Keithburg
& just outside of Canton,Ga. on Etowah River.
b. son J. Gilbert Lay (not in Missouri) married Sary McKemp,
their son William F. born 1842, married Dora Bates.

4. Charles Freeman Lay born Pickens Co., S.C. 1808, married
Nancy Christian Baker, b. 1815. He died in Fulton; MS. Sept.
2l, 1814. Nancy Christian Baker Lay died prior to 1860.
Charles Freeman was my Great-Great randfather, the youngest
(I suppose) brother of John Lay, your great great-
Charles & Nancy had 3 sons-there were some daughters I'm
sure, but these are rarely ever listed in records. Their
sons were: John D. Lay(who still lives in Tennessee); James
Berry Lay, Sr.(my great Grandfather), born 1833 & George
Washington Lay, Sr. born 1835.
Charles Freeman Lay married 2nd: Margaret (?)Gunthorp- a widow
with two children(boy & girl) in 1865 and they started West
soon after. They reached Fulton, Miss. where Charles Freeman
Lay died in 1874.
I know nothing about John D. Lay but James Berry Lay, Sr.
married Martha Ann Stowers & had 2 sons.
a. William Freeman Lay, born 1859 who married Frances Hall in
1881 (my Grandparents)-they had 14 children-10 lived to be
grown-7 boys & 3 girls.
b. James Berry Lay, Jr. born 1861, married Elizabeth Hall,had
4 sons-

John Lay, James Lay & Charles Freeman Lay all came to what
is now Gordon Co., Ga. before the Indiana thought of leaving,
they traded with them & bought land from them. They seemed to
have money for those times.

I don't think we came from David Lay. I don't believe he was
Father of Charles Middleton Lay. The dates do not correspond.
The names go from one generation to another but David appears
around 1800 but thats too late.
There is a Thomas Lay (who some think was our great-great)
but he is apparently Charles Middleton's brother or Cousin since
he is contemporary. He was Rev. War, strangely he married a
Polly Lawrence in 1783 in N.C. during Rev. War. They crossed
back and forth it seems. He settled in Claiborne Co., Tenn. His
great-great grandson did live in Haroldton ?, Mont..
Back to South Carolina Lays or Leighs - Their real name is
VENABLE from West Hall High Leigh, England. Agnes was only child
of Richard de Leigh, married (Wm. Venable, 2nd son of Baron
Kendation). She had a son, John (their eldest) & since she
could not inherit her Father's Estate - her son John took the
name Leigh but he bore his Father's Arms. The Leighs or LAYS of
S.C. descended from Agnes. 'They were Barons (Sir) - rather
colorful at times - we always manage to descend from youngest
son. One of our ancestors was a true friend of Edward - The
Black Prince so for this reason Sir Peter Leigh of Lyme was
beheaded by the Duke of Lancaster. Another Sir Thomas Leigh was
Lord Mayor of London & is buried in Mercers Chapel, he died 1571.
His 2nd son (Sir Thomas) married Catherine-4th daughter of Sir
John Spencer. Sir Thomas grandson (another) Sir Thomas, born
l594- died I671, married Mary Egerton, the daughter of Lord
Ellensmore, Lord Chancellor of England. They had 5 sons & 6
daughters. Their youngest son Christopher had a son named
Egerton who was appointed Attorney General of Provence of the
Carolinas. He had a son also named Egerton who petitioned
England to give him his Father's position, or that of Chief

Justice, upon his Father's death in 1749. The youngest
Egerton was made Chief Justice in 1753 & remained there until
1775. He received the barontcy in 1773, but was loyal to Crown
so he & wife sailed for England in 1775. Whether they landed
there or not is not known. Most of children were loyal to
colonies & stayed.
The LEIGH's had many enemies both in Colonies and England.
The Colonies because it was said-they were "Royal families".
The Elder Egerton replaced Pinckney & they resented being called
back to England and did all they could to block anything Egerton
Egerton made an Enemy of Lord Holland(a Jacobite) and Duke
of Bedford so the Westminister sent him to Charleston for Safety
so, believe this is all I can do now.
Charles Middleton Lay & a John Lay are shown in S.C.
censuses in 1834. Also, are shown as living in Pickens Co.,S.C.
in 1829. Whether the John is your great-great-or a brother of
Charles M. I do not know. A John Leigh Will is listed in Pickens
Co.,S.C. in 1859 who couldn't be yours, also a John Leigh is
shown living in George-Town District of S.C. in early 1800's.
The Leigh's England seats are at Stoneleigh near Warwick,
71 miles NE of London & Flethamsted,3 miles from Coventry.
I need to get all this together & retyped. I had most of it but
someone "borrowed" it at our reunion this year & I don't have
but the jumbles. I don't know of anything published on our Family.
There are a number of different lists floating but some of the
published is wrong. for instance in"History of Gordon Co.,Ga." it
lists my Great Grandfather James Berry Lay, Sr. as helping take
Indians west. He was only 5 years old-how could he?
I'd love to dig more but it is costly & since I'm on Social
Security now its kinda expensive, but I like digging.
If you have Johns children I'd like their listing. I'm
sure trying to get mt families- I'd really like to know who
borrowed my typed records.
I hope you can read this. I wrote in Pencil as it is
easier, especially since "arthritus" lives with me in my thumb
and index finger, so, if I can help further, I'll be happy to.

Evelyn L. Kile
P.S.: My Mother had a cousin named
Gertrude Jones, but she is supposed
to live in Virginia now. She was born
at Reseaca, Ga.-Just north of Calhoun.

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