A few months back I attended a reunion for the descendants of Henry Miller Layne where the desire to document my ancestry was reawakened after a long long slumber. My initial “research” consisted of little more than copying research originally completed by Floyd Benjamin Layne in the 1950s for his book Layne-Lain-Lane Genealogy. My focus then was geared more towards finding as many relatives as possible with little concern given to documenting my sources or trying to learn who my ancestors really were.
I wanted to change that this time around, starting with my oldest Layne ancestor, John Hiram Lain of Virginia. Given the amount of information that is available today, perhaps I could learn a bit more than old Floyd did back in the 1950s. I began by trying to learn more about John Hiram’s origins. Exactly when did he arrive in middle Tennessee and why? I didn’t make a great deal of progress just focusing on John, so I then starting learning what I could of his children hoping that perhaps that would turn up more clues as to the family origins. I discovered a good bit and thoroughly documented all I learned of John and his first two children, David and Elizabeth, but mostly what I learned was that Floyd Benjamin’s book is riddled when inaccuracies.
Before moving forward with his next child I decided to take a step back and fill in and correct some of the information from the book at sort of a higher level. I needed sort of a sturdier platform from which to do the more detailed work. When I began I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 Laynes with no birth information of any kind. This made it hard when searching my tree to figure out, for example, which of the 35 John, 34 William, or 17 Daniel Laynes I was trying to locate.
After several weeks of work I’ve updated information on hundreds of Laynes and Layne relations and I’m now only missing birth year information on only 81 Laynes. Now that that is complete I intend to get back to my original goal which was learning and documenting everything I can about John Hiram Layne and his children. Although I’m going to skip ahead next to Isaac Layne because Floyd Benjamin’s book appears to have a pretty significant mistake that I need to correct.
Hopefully I’ll have Isaac documented soon, but in the meantime if you find any errors or omissions, kindly point them out and I’ll correct them as soon as I can.