Individual Page


Family
Marriage: Children:
  1. Martha J. Fritz Lay: Birth: ABT 1849 in Michigan.

  2. Ella Mehitable Lay: Birth: 27 MAY 1853 in Monterey Twp., Allegan Co., Michigan. Death: 29 JUN 1920 in Allegan, Allegan Co., Michigan

  3. Alta Roena Lay: Birth: 28 MAY 1854 in Michigan. Death: 25 MAR 1893 in Battle Creek, Calhoun Co., Michigan

  4. Frank Barber Lay: Birth: 29 NOV 1855 in Monterey Twp., Allegan Co., Michigan. Death: 6 OCT 1933 in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Co., Michigan

  5. Ida E. Lay: Birth: MAR 1858 in Michigan. Death: BET 1920 AND 1930


Family
Marriage: Children:
  1. Imogene Talbot Lay: Birth: 5 SEP 1874 in Wisconsin or Ohio. Death: AFT 1900


Sources
1. Title:   1860 U.S. Census
2. Title:   1870 U.S. Census
3. Title:   1880 U.S. Census
4. Title:   1900 U.S. Census
5. Title:   1850 U.S. Census
6. Title:   Rumsey, Jean, Robert Lay of Saybrook, Connecticut (1997)
Page:   pg. 99
7. Title:   Miscellaneous
8. Title:   Death Information
9. Title:   Obituary
10. Title:   Cemetery Records
11. Title:   Marriage Information

Notes
a. Note:   Obituary of George Lay (sent by David Rumery) Obituary of George Lay on 16 March 1901: born 28 October 1822 at Lockport, New York, family migrated to Pennsylvania in 1832, moved to came to Allegan in May 1844, Adventist, Democrat, survived by his wife, one son, two daughters and two adopted daughters, while another daughter Mrs. Alta Clements died a few years ago. The surviving children are Mr. F.B. Lay & Mrs. M.H. Lane of Kalamazoo; Mrs. Ezra Brackett of Allegan; Mrs. M.C. Russell of Chicago; & Mrs. W.E. Sanderson of Los Angeles, California. Funeral services were yesterday first from his home at Allegan, then from the Adventist Church at Monterey. Interment at Poplar Hill. From Kathryn Kelly kek@mindspring.com (April 2008): Who are the parents of Martha Fritz, Frank Jones, and Imogene Talbot “Nell” Lay? (Is George Lay the father of all three? Who are the mothers?) 1822 Oct 28 George Lay born near Lockport, NY. 1825 Jul 14 Mary Exene Barber born in Old Canaan, CT. 1832 George's migration out west to Monterey via Jackson, MI, reported extensively in histories of of Allegan and Barry counties 1833 Feb 11 Elizabeth Stone born in Oswego, NY. 1844 George Lay arrives in Allegan in May. Mary Barber’s family also arrives this year in Allegan. 1849 Apr 26 Martha J. Fritz birthday per family record. Censuses say born in Michigan. Censuses note her mother is of "foreign birth" (but not father). There is an IGI entry with no source given that says Mary Jane Lay was born to George Lay and Mary Exene Barber on this date in Allega 1850 Census shows George living in the home of James Fritz in Allegan, Michigan, both unmarried and in their 20s, with Martha Fritz age 1 also living there. 1851 May 28 Frank D. Jones birthday per Lay family tree. Censuses report he was born in Pennsylvania. Elizabeth Stone was reportedly living in Erie County, PA, at that time. I have not located a birth certificate. 1851 Oct 5 George Lay purchases 160 acres in Monterey (section 25) and marries Mary Exene Barber in Allegan on Oct 5. 1852 Family record says Martha Fritz, age about 3, adopted by the Lays this year. No name change. Probate Court in Allegan has no record of any adoption. 1853-1858 Ella, Alta, Frank, and Ida born to George and Mary Lay. All published stories about the Lay family mention only these four children. 1856 Elizabeth Stone arrives in Allegan County. 1860 Census shows the Lay family in Monterey Township: George, wife Mary, children Ella/Alta/Frank/Ida Lay (ages 2-6), Martha Fritz (age 11), Nelson Harper (male, age 14 months - no idea who this is), Chatham Lay (male age 60), Charles Russell (born in Ohio, age 23, day laborer). 1862 Nov 27 Mary Lay dies in childbirth in Monterey, MI. 1864 Apr 5 George marries Elizabeth Stone in Gun Plain Township, MI. 1870 Census shows George, wife Elizabeth, children Ella/Frank/Ida Lay, Martha Fritz (age 21, "teacher"), Frank Jones (age 14, attending school), and a domestic, Sophia Westvelt. Sophia is age 21, born in Hamburg (Germany?), both parents of foreign birth. 1874 Sep 5 Imogene Talbot “Nell” Lay birthday per family record. Censuses, death certificate report birthplace of Wisconsin (no city). Marriage certificate reports birthplace of Ohio. I have not been able to locate any birth certificate. There were two females born in Sheboygan, WI, (on the other side of the presumed ferry from Allegan) on that date about whom I have not been able to find any subsequent records. I can’t request their birth certificates without knowing the parents’ names. Family lore is that Imogene was definitely fathered by George -- reinforced by the fact she looks a great deal like her sister Ida, George’s daughter. The assumption is George would have been kicked out of the Seventh Day Adventist Church if such a scandal were made known. (There were close ties to the church. George’s brother was Horatio Lay, MD, a close associate of Ellen White and the first director of the Adventist Health Reform Institute.) One guess as to biological mother is Sophia Westvelt, the domestic living in the Lay household in the 1874 census, who would have been 25 at the time of Imogene’s birth. I have not been able to find anything subsequently on Sophia. (Initial mtDNA results suggest Imogene's mother had Russian/Eastern European origins, but we are awaiting more data for confirmation.) 1877 Apr 15 Family record indicates Imogene Lay was adopted by George and Elizabeth on this date, age 2.5. Probate Court in Allegan has no record of any adoption. Elizabeth's death information reports she never had any children. 1878 Aug 4 A Martha Alice Fritz marries James Bishop in Sylvan, Osceola, MI. I don't think this is the right Martha Fritz but it is the only one I can find. 1879 24 Dec Frank Jones marries Alma Deora Martin in Allegan. 1880 Census reports Frank and Alma Jones living in Hopkins. No parent birth location given by Frank. 1880 Census reports the following Lays living in Monterey: George (age 57), wife Elizabeth (age 47), Nell (age 5) and five "servants" (none Sophia Westvelt) [Note: the family was transcribed as "Tray" so the census record has to be located by that name.] 1890 No census records (lost in fire). 1901 Mar 13 George Lay dies in Allegan, Michigan. His will leaves something to two "legatees": Martha Russell (presumably Martha Fritz, now age 52, about whom I cannot find any information) and Imogene Sanderson (who had married Walter Sanderson by this time). George is buried in the family plot in Monterey Township, presumably Poplar Hill Cemetery as that is where Elizabeth is buried. [Note: checking on whether the Russell Buggy Company of Otsego, Allegan County, evolved into the Michigan Buggy Company which George Lay and his son started in the early 1900s. That may be the connection between Russell and Lay families and Martha that way, but obviously a real stretch.] The Charles Russell day laborer living in the Lay household in 1860 was married to a Harriett in the 1880 census so I don't think that is he. 1908 Jun 19 Elizabeth Stone Lay dies in Allegan, Michigan, and is buried at Poplar Hill Cemetery in Monterey Township.


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