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Layng Family

Robert Layng was born December 27, 1819 in Lancashire, Lancashire, England and died May 26, 1903 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. His parents were George Edward Laing and Mary Gellatly. Robert married Mary McCann about 1844 in Ireland. She was born March 23, 1823 in Lurgan, Armagh, Northern Ireland and died September 26, 1911 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. Mary’s parents were Arthur McCann, Jr. and Bessie Peck.

Timeline (based on birthdates, etc.): The family arrived in New York about 1844. They moved to New Jersey where their sons, Robert and George were born. In 1851 they were in New York where William was born. In 1857 their daughter Mary was born in New Jersey. Madgretta was born in Pennsylvania. Letitia was born in New Jersey and by 1860 when Adelina was born they were in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois.

A short history written by Roy Layng (Charles1, George2, Robert3) can be found at the bottom of this page.

After Robert and Mary’s marriage they immigrated about 1844 to the U.S. It appears they settled in New Jersey where several of their children were born. At least for the birth of their son William they were in New York or perhaps visited there. By 1860 they were in Rockford, Winnebago County, Illinois where their daughter Adeline (Addie) was born. Robert died May 26, 1903 in Rockford and Mary died September 26, 1911 in Rockford.

Robert and Mary Layng’s children were:

Robert Harry Layng

Robert Harry Layng was born May 1, 1846 New Jersey, died April 1, 1887 in Rockford, Winnebago County, Illinois.

George William Layng

George William Layng was born September 5, 1848 and died September 30, 1910 in New Jersey, married March 3, 1866 to Mary Jane Richardson, was born 1850 and died October 2, 1939. Their children:

  • George William (Will) Layng was born February 22, 1869 and died August 21, 1916, married 1891 to Jennie L. Wilson was born June 21, 1871 and died December 18, 1953. Their children:
    • Ivan George Layng was born April 8, 1893 and died May 29, 1893.
    • Oral William Layng was born December 28, 1893 and died October 17, 1980.
    • Gladys Emma Layng was born December 11, 1897 and died October 2, 1984 married James Corbett Mackey was born September 8, 1893 and died June 4, 1983.
  • Charles Henry Layng was born April 19, 1871 and died January 8, 1960, married October 3, 1895 to Ida Menti was born August 15, 1874 and died November 19, 1959. Their children:
    • Harry Charles Layng was born January 24, 1897 and died February 14, 1979.
    • Ralph R. Layng, was born December 14, 1898 and died May 5, 1975.
    • Ruth Anna Layng, was born July 1, 1901.
    • Maude Barbara Layng, was born July 4, 1904 and died March 16, 1989.
    • Roy Menti Layng, was born August 25, 1913 married Virginia Hoopes.
  • Madgaretta (Madge) Layng, was born 1872 and died March 31, 1906, married May 18, 1904 to Thomas McNamara.
  • Bessie Layng was born 1880 and died 1882.
  • Robert Layng (Bert) was born January 17, 1881 and died December 25, 1955, married November 21, 1902, married (1) Eva Belle Claypool, (2) Florance Robbins was born December 10, 1881 and died September 30, 1969.
  • Mary Elizabeth Layng married James Tait.
  • Emma Gladys Layng was born August 4, 1883 and died September 21, 1975, married November 9, 1901 Ethelbert Pollard was born September 12, 1876 and died March 3, 1930.
  • Jenny Jane Layng was born January 23, 1886 married Leroy Bowles November 7, 1907.
  • Georgia Hazel Layng was born July 21, 1888, married Ed Linden December 20, 1913.
William Edward Layng

William Edward Layng was born September 27, 1851 in Brownville, Jefferson, New York and died December 23, 1927 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. (photo on right) He married Anna Blunk who was born 1857 and died March 8, 1908. Their children:

  • Albert William Layng was born May 2, 1875 in Winnebago County, Illinois and died April 24, 1923 in Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio. He married July 7, 1893 to Mary T. Gerlich who was born May 2, 1887 in Germany and died September 6, 1958 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. Their children:
    • Earle D. Layng was born August 10,1894 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and died July 24, 1957 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. He married January 9, 1918 to Camilla Margaret Timmons who was born July 16, 1897 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and died April 18, 1968 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois.
    • Loretta Marie Layng was born January 14, 1898 and died January 18, 1976 was married January 1, 1917 to Harry O. Wolfe who was born July 9, 1888 and died February 3, 1966.
    • Phyllis Adelle was born January 14, 1900 and married March 28, 1921 to Carl Lawrence Danielson (Butch) who was born June 19, 1893 and died June 14, 1963.
    • William A. Layng, was born November 9, 1902 and died January 4, 1976. He married November 16, 1929 to Mabel Boyce was born July 16, 1905 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and died February 6, 1968 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois.
    • Kenneth Stanley Layng was born September 19, 1913 and died August 31, 1914 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois.
  • Robert August Layng was born March 17,1876 and died September 6, 1965. He married April 3, 1899 to Agnes Amorette Orr was born July 6, 1881 October 3, 1951 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and died October 3, 1951 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. Their children:
    • Robert Roy Layng, was born July 11, 1900 and died January 20, 1986 and was married January 5, 1924 to Eleanora Anna Margit Krause who was born February 2, 1905 and died February 10, 1989. Some of their children are still living.
    • Ralph Kenneth Layng was born March 1901 and died December 19, 1902.
    • Mildred Gladys was born August 18, 1904 and died June 26, 1959.
    • Raymond Laverne Layng was born June 7, 1907 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and died January 27, 1983 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois, married November 17, 1929 to Mildred Lydia Whitmer born December 8, 1910 in Egan, Ogle, Illinois and died July 18, 1980 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. Some of their children are still living.
    • Alice Marian Layng was born June 1, 1909 and died June 21, 1971 married (3) January 1938 Herbert Edelbert Cordell was born September 2, 1895 and died January 26, 1966. Most of their children are still living.
    • Vera Irene Layng was born March 21, 1912 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and died April 22, 1996 in Salem, Marion, Oregon. She married September 6, 1930 to Lewis Stratemeier Price was born June 3, 1906 in Byron, Ogle, Illinois and died December 19, 1990 in Albany, Linn, Oregon. Most of their children still living.
    • Merle Agnes Layng was born March 12, 1922 and died January 15, 2000 married Frank Leombruni, was born September 23, 1923 died August 3, 1998. Their children still living.
  • George T. (Teddy) Layng was born January 6, 1878 and died November 11, 1940. He married Lottie.
  • John William Layng (aka William John and Billy) was born December 23, 1879 in Illinois and died March 19, 1913 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. He married Elin (Ellen) Mathilda Sofia Peterson. She was born November 11, 1883 in Heda, Sverige (Sweden) and died October 1961 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. Their children:
    • Valeria Mae Layng was born April 29, 1900 and died October 31, 1976. She married Harold Theodore Lundin (1898-1975).
    • Son Layng was born about 1903.
Margaretta (Madgretta/Madge/Maggie) L. Layng

Margaretta (Madgretta/Madge/Maggie) L. Layng was born September 25, 1857 in Bethlehem, Lehigh, Pennsylvania and died November 20, 1946 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. In 1870 she married Calvin M. Messenger who was born in 1853 in Elgin, Kane, Illinois and died October 17, 1926 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. They had the following children:

  • May Messinger was born 1876.
  • Calvin Arthur Messinger was born January 26, 1882 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and died January 17, 1962 in Bisbee, Cochise, Arizona.
  • Bessie Esther Messinger was born March 19, 1883 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and died January 15, 1966. She was married June 4, 1902 in Warren, Illinois to Edward “Eddie” Halsey Miles who was born February 25, 1864 in Knox County, Illinois and died September 14, 1941 in Galesburg, Knox, Illinois.
  • Fred Edward Messinger was born May 30, 1886 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and died December 11 1938 in Rockford Winnebago, Illinois. He was married November 25, 1909 in Winnebago County, Illinois to Eva Ann/Alice Martin. She was born June 26, 1891 and died May 1981.
  • Bertrand Earl Messinger was born January 1, 1888 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and died November 4, 1968 in Winnebago County, Illinois. He was married to Lillie Maude Key who was born April 1, 1891 and died September 6, 1966.

Margaretta married in 1898 to Francis Marion Green who was born August 19, 1848 in Platteville, Grant, Wisconsin and died May 2, 1920 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and had the following children:

  • Francis Alonzo Green was born September 1, 1899 and died December 22, 1984 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois.
  • Edna Green
  • James F. Green
  • Cora Green
Mary Etta Layng

Mary Etta Layng was born February 25, 1857 in Newark, Essex, New Jersey and died January 18, 1908 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. She married March 22, 1874 in Winnebago County, Illinois to William Sprague Tunison. Sr. who was born August 4, 1853 in New York, New York and died December 18, 1929 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. Their children:

  • Arthur W. Tunison was born 1874, married Nettie Lockwood. Four children: Margaret, Edna, Frances and Arthur
  • Eugene G. Tunison was born March 17, 1876 and died January 22, 1904.
  • Maggie Tunison was born August 11, 1878 married November 20, 1899 to Ed Griffith was born July 6, 1873. Their children: Marian, Dorothy, Margaret, Edward, Hettie and Arthur.
  • Clara Tunison was born 1880
  • William Samuel Tunison born 1870 married Bessie Williams then Minnie. One child, Leota?
  • Adeline H. Tunison was born March 19, 1882 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and died 1944 in Galt, Sacramento, California. She married February 3, 1909 to Axel Oscar Wilhelm Lundin (1869-1912) and married in 1917 to Edward Anderson (1876-1940).
  • Madge R. Tunison was born March 19, 1882 and died April 7, 1950 in Sacramento County, California. She married John Schellenbarger.
  • Bessie Dorothy Tunison was born July 31, 1885 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and died April 1, 1945 in Galto, Sacramento, California. She married Steven Shipman and Walter Jay Hamm (1890-1965).
  • Raymond E. Tunison was born 1886 and married Kate Krouskey.
  • Joseph Edward Tunison was born February 17, 1890 and died September 23, 1959, married December 2, 1914 to Sophia Miller who was born September 30, 1880 and died July 5, 1979.
  • Mary Tunison was born 1893.
  • Hazel Tunison was born 1895 and married Bob Roberts.

William remarried to a woman named Mansella F.

Latecia (Tisha) Layng

Latecia (TishaTessa) Layng was born 1858 in New Jersey and died April 1923 in Elgin, Illinois. She never married.

Adeline (Addie) Layng

Adeline (Addie) Layng was born March 5, 1860 and died June 26, 1933 in Illinois. She married Charles Henry Hitchcock who was born in October 1856 and died October 9, 1929. Their children:

  • Clarence Hamilton Hitchcock was born in 1882 and died July 17, 1935 in Winnebago County, Illinois. He married in 1907 to Mildred Penfield Hitchcock. She was born in 1885 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and died October 6 1950 in Winnebago County, Illinois.
  • Frank Artemus Hitchcock was born January 6, 1886 in Elgin, Cook, Illinois and died November 11, 1946 in Vienna, Fairax, Virginia. He married in 1916 to Helen B. Clawson who was born in 1882 in New York and died March 13, 1946.
  • Eleanor M. Hitchcock was born in May 1889 and died in 1957 in Hardwick, Massachusetts. She married Albert Wesley Altenbern was born May 4, 1885 in Lena, Stephenson, Illinois and died January 12, 1967 in Ossiee, Caroll, New Hampshire.
  • Morris Leroy Hitchcock was born November 8, 1896 in Wisconsin and died August 19, 1949. He was married to Hazel Farman who was born August 12, 1896 in Wisconsin and died May 4, 1980. Both are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Christianna (Anna) Layng

Anna Layng
Anna Layng
Christianna (Anna/Annie) Layng was born July 26, 1862 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois and died December 16, 1954 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois. She married June 29, 1880 to William Faulkner. She was a tiny woman with great personal strength and graciousness.

See more about Anna and William’s family on the Faulkner site. William Faulkner.

John A. Layng

John A. Layng (also went by Laing) was born in January 1865 in Illinois and died July 30, 1936 in Dixon, Lee, Illinois. He married in 1890 to Charlotte E. Johnson. Their children:

Charlotte Lou Layng was born January 2, 1892 in Dixon, Lee, Illinois and died January 1, 1986 in North Bend, Coos, Oregon. She married February 11, 1952 to Lewis McGeorge and had the following children:

  • Rosemary/Rose Mary McGeorge was born February 28, 1921 in Oregon and died January 8, 1992 in Coos County, Oregon. She married November 14, 1943 in Marshfield, Coos, Oregon to John Benedict McCarthy.
  • Anne McGeorge was born April 27, 1927 in Marshfield, Coos, Oregon and died March 12, 2004. She married August 25, 1951 in Coos Bay, Coos, Oregon to William Wilbur Hunt.

Robert Layng Home
1327 Greenwood Ave., Rockford, Illinois

Roy Layng’s History

Robert Layng born in Ireland in 1819, educated in Oxford, England, was a jeweler and goldsmith. Married to Mary in 1844, she was Irish and Scottish. Her father was a policeman in Dublin. His (Robert’s) father and mother were Lord and Lady Layng. Back in 1600 James the first of Scotland captured land in north Ireland and gave a big grant of it to our ancestors, and they had a castle called Red house castle. Robert was kicked out of the family because he married a commoner. So,he and his bride came to Boston 1844 and worked for Tiffany, then went to New York and worked for Tiffany’s, and they were the start of al the Layngs in Rockford. Robert, called Harry I think, was the oldest born in 1846, then George in 1848, then they moved to Buffalo, N.Y. where George was cabin boy on boat from Buffalo to Cleveland. He was nine so this dated them there in 1857. He had three brothers-William, Harry, John and 4 sisters, Aunt Madge married Messenger had 6 kids but him. He left her then she married Frank Green and had one son, Frank. He lived in the same house as Robert and Mary. From him came a lot of the history. Then Aunt Annie married William Faulner, sons George, Oliver, Bill, Harry, Art, a daughter Eva, I do not [know] the other girls. Sold the land where West High sits on, 15 acre, for $15,000 in the 1930s. Then aunt Addie married Charles Hitchcock, had 4 kids,. He [had] a jewelry store in Edgerton, WI. Then Aunt Addie married Tunison, sons Art, Bill, Ray, Joe, Gene was in the Spanish American War. Girls twins Madge and Addie, Fran, all dead. On the Tunisons contact Joe, a daughter Marion Tunison. Than Tissa never married, now George and Jane Richardson Layng family. He enlisted in 1863 at 15, got $43 for taking some one else’s place, fought two years, mustered out in 1965 in Selma, Alabama. Came home to Belvidere, and married Jane Richardson, he was 17, she was 15. Children George 1869, died august 1916, Mate 1875 married Jim Tate, Madge married McLamara, Charles 1871 April 18 married Ida Mentia, Swiss girl in 1895 Oct. 3, Robert, 1881, died in 1954, Bessie died 1882, two years old, Aunt Emma, married Robert Pollard, contact her daughter Georgie Pollard Iverson Capron Illinois. She is 92, but still good of mind, Aunt Jenny 1885 married LeRoy Bowls [Bowles], no kids, Aunt Georgie married Ed Linden. He was a movie man, made the first King Kong, in 1932, got $50000 for photoring the picture, than started his own company doing all the trick movie shots for all the studios.

Roy M. Layng born in Knightsville at 1408 Casper Ave.


Family oral histories are rarely accurate and often embellished. Emigrating to America offered the opportunity to reinvent family history. But there are often nuggets of truth and indeed a John Layng did own Redhouse Castle in the late 1500’s to early 1600’s. However, the castle was in Scotland, not Ireland. And John Layng had no male heirs.

Note: King Kong was released in 1933 and Leroy Bowles is not listed under special effects. However, this doesn’t mean that he wasn’t involved–he just didn’t get credit for it. Let me know if one of you has found anything.

Redhouse Castle

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redhouse_Castle

Redhouse Castle is a ruined tower house castle, 2 km east of Longniddry, East Lothian, Scotland, UK, on the B1377, close to Spittal.

The first version of the castle appears to have been a religious institution, probably a hospice for pilgrims and travellers, belonging to the Douglas family. In April 1421 the Earl of Douglas transferred the estates of Ballencrieff and Gosford to his mistress Christian de Ramsay to provide for her and their children.

The castle, a four-storey manor house in red sandstone, remained in the hands of the Douglas family, but it was sold in 1607 to John Layng, the Keeper of the Signet. His initials and those of his wife Rebecca Dennistoun are carved into the pediment. He died in 1612 and is buried in the churchyard of Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh.

In 1608 Layng’s daughter Jeane married Sir Andrew Hamilton [of the Hamiltons of Haddington family]. Shortly afterwards Sir Andrew applied to the Scottish Parliament for the title Lord Redhouse, and when John Layng died Sir Andrew became the owner of Redhouse Castle. Some years later Sir John Hamilton extended the keep into an L-plan, with a lectern-style doocot built into the gateway.

After the 1745 Jacobite rising, the Hamiltons forfeited the castle when Colonel George Hamilton, the last owner, was hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason at Carlisle Castle. It remained empty for some time until, in 1755, it was bought by Lord Elibank in 1755 who preferred to live in his townhouse in the High Street in Edinburgh. The market garden was (and is) a going concern, but he was unable to sell or rent the castle economically.

After having been abandoned for many years, Redhouse Castle was incorporated into the estates of the Earl of Wemyss who resided at Gosford House close by.

Unlike other castles, Redhouse Castle was fortunate in that it was not exploited as a quarry. However, the same red sandstone from which it was built was also used for the foundations of Gosford House.

Motto: The Layng family motto carved into the pediment is “Nisi Dominus Frustra”, translated from the Latin as “without the Lord, all is in vain”, taken from Psalm 127: “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it”. It is also the motto in the coat of arms of Edinburgh.

Clan Laing
From: https://electricscotland.com/webclans/htol/laing2.htm
Laing is an ancient descriptive name, being a reference to ‘long or tall’.  The names Layng, Laying, Laing, and Lang have been interchangeable through much of Scottish history. The family seems to have originated in the northern reaches and islands some time towards the end of the eighth century as Norse and Picts intermixed. Black lists Thomas Laing as promising that Dumfries would pay part of the ransom for the return of David II from England in 1357. John Layng, the Rector of Newlands, Rose to be Bishop of Glagow and treasurer to James III between 1473 and 1474. Sir Neill Layng (1520-1584), a knight of renown is mentioned in historic records. John Layng, was Keeper of the Signet 1583-1609, and was  buried in Greyfriars churchyard. As a Highland Clan of the 13th through the 18th centuries, the Laings were found from coast to coast across the width of Scotland.  Highly mobile and of large numbers they could march from adjoining areas to fiercely defend a benefactor.  These included the Leslies, Gordons, Colquhouns and the Robertsons, and later the Gayers.  The home territory of the Highland Laings is reputed to have been the area known as Laing-Gordon. The name is found frequently in the protocol books of the diocese of Glasgow in the 16th century. Malcolm Laing was a lawyer and historian from Orkney.  He was admitted to the Scottish Bar in 1785. He published a history of Scotland in 1800, and the poems of the Celtic bard, Ossian, with notes and illustrations in 1805. Major Alexander Laing was a well known 18th century African explorer.  He is best remembered for penetrating to the almost legendary city of Timbuctoo in 1826.  Arriving in West Africa in December of 1825 he shortly set off into the desert in January 1826.   He finally arrived in Timbuctoo on 18 August, having survived the privations of the desert and attacks by Tuareg tribesmen. He remained for about a month but on his return journey he was murdered by his guides. The Reverend Cosmo Gordon Lang of Scottish ancestry, was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1928 to 1942.  He officiated at the coronation of George VI and was raised to the peerage as Baron Lang of Lambeth in 1942.
The above information comes from the Clan Laing Association [website no longer active]


England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

Roy Layng History


List of Faulkner Descendants by Malinda Jackson

Last Updated on October 4, 2023 by rootie