Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
NameMoses Lay , GGG Uncle
Birth11 Aug 1811, Caswell Co NC
Death5 Jan 1871, Johnson Co IL Age: 59
BurialZion Cemetery568
FatherBurrell Lay (ca1776->1852)
MotherLeannah Newell (ca1781-1871)
Birth7 Mar 1811, KY
Death12 Nov 1854, Pope Co IL Age: 43
BurialZion Cemetery
FatherMichael Reagan (ca1759-1831)
MotherJane (Unknown) (1761-)
Marriage13 Mar 1833, Pulaski Co KY
ChildrenEphriam F. (1834-1889)
 Levi (1835-1905)
 Fountain Marion (1839-1875)
 Mary Caroline (1841-<1893)
 Leander Jane (1844-1928)
 Elizabeth (1849-)
 George E. (1851-1858)
Birth28 Jul 1827, Clarksville, TN
Death9 Jan 1896, Pope Co IL Age: 68
BurialZion Cemetery569
FatherCyrus Iddo Burns (1800-1881)
MotherElizabeth Johnston Enloe (1803-<1857)
Marriage9 Jan 1857, Pulaski Co KY
ChildrenThomas W. (1856-1910)
 Sarah Elizabeth (1858-)
 Joseph (1862-1951)
 Dink (1864-)
 Priscilla (1867-1905)
 Moses (1865-1951)
Notes for Moses Lay
Burrell Lay and Leannah Lay were the parents of six or seven children, including Moses Lay. He was born in Caswell County, North Carolina in 1811. He moved, at the age of seven, with his parents to Pulaski County, Kentucky, where he grew up and lived until 1834. He married Jane Reagan in 1833. She was the daughter of Michael Reagan, Revolutionary War soldier. At the time of his marriage to Jane Reagan, his parents gave them a farm of 125 acres. Although a good future seemed assured him in Pulaski County, Moses Lay, like his father before him, felt the urge to move to where it was believed the pastures were greener and opportunities greater.

So, after one year following their marriage he sold his land to his Uncle "Landy" Newell and in 1834 with his wife and small son, Ephriam, went from Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky on a flat boat down the Cumberland River to Carthage, Smith County, Tennessee. For seventeen years Moses Lay lived and farmed in Smith County, Tennessee having only fair success. By this time his family included himself, wife, Jane, and seven children.

Learning of the opportunity to buy land in Illinois from the Federal Government at a very favorable price, he sold his Smith County, Tennessee farm in 1851 and moved his family by covered wagon to Illinois. He purchased land, located in Johnson County, Illinois from the Federal Land Bank in Shawneetown, lllinois l have copies of these original records.

His land was in New Burnside Township, Johnson County, Illinois, near the community of Ozark. This land was not only suitable for farmland, but it had hills and hollows, fine timber and bluffs and streams providing beautiful snenery. Also on this land in Johnson County was one of the most beautiful water falls in any part of Southern Illinois. For many years it was known as "LAY FALLS". At this time it is a part of a recreation area for young people. This love of Nature was a definite quality of the character of the Lays. From the Virginia Farm of Moses Lay's Grandfather, David Lay, through the succeeding years, the Lays have always chosen to have land in the hill country.

One of the children of Moses Lay, Levi Lay, in a biographical sketch in the "History of Johnson, Massac, Pope and Hardin Counties, Illinois" published in 1893, says: "The family of Moses Lay went to Johnson County, Illinois in 1851, making the trip in two large covered wagons, one of which was drawn by horses and the other by a yoke of oxen. They had sold their small farm in Tennessee, and bought a few household effects; saddle horses and a cow"

In 1853 Jane Reagan Lay, wife of Moses Lay, died and is said to be first person buried in Zion Cemetery, in Pope County, Illinois, about three miles east of Ozark. With the death of his wife, Jane, a big problem faced Moses Lay with a family of growing children. For about two years he remained unmarried. Then he met Mahala Ellen Burns recently moved into the neighborhood from Tennessee, with her father, Cyrus Iddo Burns, a native of York County, South Carolina.

Moses Lay and Mahala E Burns were married in 1856. She not only accepted being Mother to the children whom Moses had by his first marriage but had six more, as his new wife. He died in 1871 and she continued as Mother and head of the family until all of the children were grown. She died in 1896. Moses Lay is buried in Zion Cemetery with each of his wives on either side, in their eternal resting place. My older brother, Coy Lay, now in his late 80's recalls that our father, Joseph Lay, told him that our Grandmother, Mahala Burns Lay, was a success as manager of the family farm and was a good Mother who maintained firm discipline over her children and household.570

1850 Census of Smith Co TN
Household Members Age

Moses Lay 42
Jane Lay 42
Ephraim F Lay 16
Levi Lay 13
Fountain Lay 11
Mary Lay 9
Alfred S F Lay 7
Jane Lay 2

1860 Census of Johnson Co IL
Household Members Age

Moses Lay 48
Mahala Lay 31
Fountain Lay 21
Mary Lay 18
Alfred J Lay 15
Jane Lay 12
Elizabeth Lay 11
Thomas Lay 4 (child of Mahala Ellen)
Sarah Lay 1 (child of Mahala Ellen)
Levi Lay 25
Elizabeth Lay 10

1870 Census of Johnson Co IL
Household Members Age

Moses Lay 59
Elen Lay 43
Thomas Lay 13 (child of Mahala Ellen)
Sallie Lay 11 (child of Mahala Ellen)
Joe Lay 9 (child of Mahala Ellen)
Dink Lay 6 (child of Mahala Ellen)
Persilla Lay 3 (child of Mahala Ellen)
Moses Lay 2 (child of Mahala Ellen)
Bettie Bryant 20
Last Modified 20 Aug 2021Created 3 Jul 2023 using Reunion for Macintosh
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