The following information was mostly taken for the Lay-Evans Blackwell family year book of 2001. The book was mailed to me by cousin, Eva Gail Belle.
According to the year book, since the 1981 L.E.B. Reunion, the family has used the history of the seven Lay sisters to trace the family's beginnings. At the top of the family tree is John Lay and his wives, Molly Scott and Nancy Crawford. John's daughters were Emphus, Hattie, Robbie, Henrietta, Ann, Mary Alice(Topsy), and Helen. His sons were Booker T., J.C. and Joe Lay.
The family resided in Gordon County, Georgia, and eventually migrated north. After the move north, some family members changed the spelling of Lay to Leigh. John Lay did not. He died Nov. 2, 1936. He is buried at Ferncliff Cementery in Springfield, Ohio.
Most of the sisters married men who were brothers or cousins to each other. Robbie and Henrietta married the brothers, James and Horace Evans. Emphus and Ann married the Garlington brothers, Mark and Isaiah. Hattie married Farris Blackwell. He was the first cousin of the Garlington boys.
Mary Alice married Lee Moore and Helen married Roosevelt Cochran. Neither of them had any children. All of the sisters and brothers have passed away. Helen, the last to die on Dec. 4, 1995, is buried in Ferncliff Cementery, also.
The Evans Family, like the Lays, had their origin in Georgia, also. Some say Gordon County, Georgia, but one member of the Evans family, Emmett Evans, was born farther south in Cherokee County, Ga. At least, that's what his daughter, Mary's birth certificate shows.
The patriarch of the family was John Evans (Keesick(?), a name he is said to have preferred), born in 1858. Until further information is obtained this site, and most of our concern in the future, will focus on his off springs from his second wife, Anna. However, it is believed that he had almost as many children by a first wife. He would have fourteen (14) surviving children by Anna Graves(?) (where spelling or legitimacy is uncertain the names will be followed by a question mark. Hopefully, someone will contact me and supply the correct name. At which time, I'll certainly make the changes in the spelling. And I thank you in advance for you kindness and cooperation.).
John and Anna Evans had seven girls: Ida, Lizzie, Ethel, Lugene, Irene, Josie, and Christine; and seven boys: Emmett (my father and the oldest), James, ("Uncle Bud" to us kids.), Hamp, Oscar, Horace, Louis and Dan. The brothers, Horace and James married the Lay sisters, Henrietta and Robbie. The Lay/Evans connection is, therefore, well documented. Most of the family members moved to the town of Springfield, Ohio. A few lived and still live in Columbus, OH.
The facts regarding the L. and E. branches of the L. E. B. family tree are, at this point in time, more extensive on this site than the Blackwell branch of our family tree. Which brings me to the primary and most important future function of this website. It is hoped that facts (and fictions, or proof of the fact or fiction) will begin to pour in once the web address becomes known to more family members.
Time is short for gathering family facts from the more senior members. For example, had this website started just ten short years ago, the amount of information available would be double or triple what it is today. It saddens me when I remember that so many and so much family history have passed on. In leaveing us, they carried with them truths and tales that are needed or could help us in our efforts here. I hope the thought of what has been lost will inspire others to work at finding information about our relatives. Some of them may live in your state, city, neighborhood, and even on your street. Maybe they're even living next door to you.