Daughter of Major Francis Fenwick Laye and Anne Maria Teresa Walsh

Grand-daughter of Lt. General Francis Laye / Mary Airey 

Born 11 September 1848, Douglas, Isle of Man

Baptized 19 July 1848, St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Douglas IOM

Died 23 August 1896, Detroit, MI USA Just shy of 48 years old. 

              Emily Laye

Married 4 April 1868 Portchester, England to Lt William Simpson Brown Blennerhassett Dwyer  /  Divorced abt 1880

Married abt 1882 to John Prince of Sandwich, Ontario Canada and Detroit.  John died 7 Dec 1890   

Likely had child(ren) fathered outside of marriage by Colonel Lambert Francis Wilson DWYER b 27 April 1840, d 2 Jan 1923

Children W




Emily Laye was born 11 September 1848, the day her 36 year old mother, Anne Maria Teresa Walsh, died in Douglas, Isle of Man and was buried Braddan Church cemetery, 14 September 1848."Anne was baptized Catholic, September 11 1848- on her deathbed. Hence it makes sense the children were baptized Catholic, and some re-baptized, probably due to a deathbed promise.   Her father, Captain Francis Fenwick Laye, worked on the island in service to the crown. Her six older brothers and sisters, Mary Ann, Francis and Henrietta were born in Ireland, while the others, Henry Airey, Maria Josephine Louisa and Frederick were born on that Manx isle with her. Captain Laye, from an Anglican family, converted to Catholicism sometime around the time of his wife's death and Emily was baptized at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Douglas 0n July 19, 1847, though she did not seem to later practice that faith.[All dates from church seem to be consistently off about a year]. 

 The Captain took his children and moved to Berwick in Northumberland, near the border of Scotland. In 1851, the now Major Laye, with his children, lived with his 73 year old mother, Mary Laye (Airey), widow of some 23 years of General Francis Laye of the Royal Artillery. Major Laye, 43, was engaged to Anne Robertson, and married her the following year at Berwick. Emily was four years old at her father's wedding. That marriage lasted about a year, with the probable death of this second mother with the 'Anne' name-sake. Her father married soon after this, to a  woman half his age, Elizabeth Patricia Ramsay, a wealthy author and would-be- artist. The two left for Australia, for gold and adventure, planning never to return, and leaving the children behind, probably with his mother, Mary Airey Laye. They returned unexpectedly in 1861, eight years later.  [Documenting soon either way, if this is true- PP June 2001].

In 1868, Emily's father was a 60 year-old retired major, a granddaughter of a general, niece of General J.H. Laye, and related to a good number of other officers such as her cousin Captain J. H.Laye, who would married a year later and fight in the Zulu War ten years later. On the 4th of April, at Portchester, Emily married Ensign William Blennerhassett Simpson Brown Dwyer, the son General Thomas Peard Dwyer of the Royal Marines. That family as well had a long military tradition with many officers then serving. 

But the 19 year-old Emily may not have been married in the best of circumstances. Emily had a child Louisa and soon another, Mary Ann Sinclair, at sea off Jamaica, by 1869. Unusual was the fact that Dwyer, by 1870, was retired from the military, as an ensign, odd in context of being from a family of generals. Their lengthy trip at sea to the East Indies suggests they were given money to disappear on a long honeymoon

As if in exile, in 1870, Dwyer, the general's son, worked in Detroit as a "drayman" possessing $200 with Emily as all their worldly goods. Emily, 22 years old, listed herself as "Emilie" in the census. The household consisted of herself, her husband, her two children and a 33 year old white servant woman named Mary Jasrio, who had been a servant for them in Jamaica. There is an oddity, in this couple near the poverty line, yet having a servant that they paid fare and provided for from the Caribbean. One can almost read between the lines of an anxious mother or mother-in-law of Emily, making a concession to pay in advance for the services of a servant for the sake of their grandchildren. It is to be wondered too at any tension and complication of having "competition" in the form of a 33 year old servant living with them. (Though this situation is stranger sounding to us where the concept of a live-in servant is alien).

 By the age of 26, Emily had two more children, William Lambert Blennerhassett and Dora.. (The first born, Louisa, died sometimes in these early years). In 1875, Emily was pregnant again, but sets sail across the Atlantic back to the British Isles, with William it is assumed. What was the purpose of their visit? Was it a vacation, an attempt at reconciliation or some softening from the other side? Did they come into money? In the city directories, there is no occupation listed for Dwyer, who perhaps was given an allowance to live as a gentleman. Unknown was where they visited other than Edinburgh, where Emily gave birth on the 18 January 1876 to St Hugh Toulmin Gerald Dwyer, my great grandfather. He was baptized at St John's Episcopal Church in the parish of Corstophine.Note- as of 22-04-01, I am of the opinion that Emily's father died and this was where the money was from and the reason for her trip- perhaps he was slowly dieing. Emily stood to gain much inheritance- and perhaps it was the money that helped ruin her marriage.   

The couple returned to Detroit where Emily, 29, gave birth to Ramsay in June of 1877. [A contradiction to this is Hugh DWYER's 1900 Census response- born Dec 1876 Scotland- came to USA 1882- a whole lot changes if this is true. Why did he report 1882??? But Hugh's birth is recorded as having taken place in Detroit -Sep 1878 - 2 years after the fact. Perhaps this was the year they returned. William Lambert is also report in Nov 1878- years after he was born -1873. There are contradictions and discrepancies-obviously they were born in the UK and since William and Emily never became naturalized, they had to dummy the paperwork later]. The name Ramsay was in honor of her father Francis' third wife, Elizabeth Patricia Ramsay, an interesting and wealthy woman in her own right, who wrote and published books based on her world travels in places such as Australia, and dining with the natives. Within a few years the marriage crumbled and Emily and William were divorced. It is unfair to conjecture for any reasons, but an educated guess is that at least one element may have been Emily's fondness of drink-(conjecture on my part!) or her new found wealth.

William remarried in 1882 to a Cornelia Moran, and Emily married a John Prince of Detroit.  William and Cornelia starting a farm in Macomb county and listed himself as a "capitalist." William later moved back to Detroit, and seemed quite stable. In reference to him and in obituaries, one reads about him as a retired "lieutenant" or "captain" the inaccuracy articulating a certain sense that he should have been more. 

John Prince's family background and his contrasting lifestyle to that, mirrored Emily's own life, and that of Dwyer's. Prince's grandfather was Colonel John Prince, the rumored illegitimate son of William IV and Dorothea Jordan, an actress, (which Prince denied). The Colonel was famous for the Battle of Windsor and the Detroiters who placed an $800 bounty on him dead or alive. Emily's husband was also a cousin to Albert K. Prince of Windsor, who married Emily's daughter, Mary Ann Sinclair Dwyer. Prince was nine years younger than Emily, and lived a lifestyle characterized by having some new occupation each year, the last being a newspaper reporter. He died at the age of 31 from chloroform administered by Dr Hal C. Wyman for a bladder condition that needed surgery. (His mother referred him to this doctor with regard to the condition of his heart. The doctor saw nothing, administered the chloroform and he soon collapsed. Emily was 40 when he died. Read in Ohio newspaper account that still after six says, John Prince ws not buried-- that family insisted he was still alive-- that his skin tone etc was still normal. (!!).-- I read that Dr. Wyman was quite a celebrated doctor in Detroit, and founder of a medical center. Having Dr. Wyman meant family had the best  at the time.

Emily married John and lived on at 314 Porter for the next four years, then later with her children. On 23 August,1896, at 48 years old, Emily died of an "enlarged liver."  Emily's cousin also died of liver problems- indirectly. (Not necessarily drinking! Ref: "Cirrhosis of the liver is a common condition of many tropical countries, and numerous authorities have asserted that some cases are caused by repeated attacks of malaria ...’; in that paper he included a figure which he claimed demonstrated monolobular biliary cirrhosis- a result of repeated attacks of malaria, which had compressed and consequently injured the biliary system."   Both were in the tropics). Her children worked humble jobs, but later found themselves in respectable and important positions, such as William Lambert who became a Detroit police inspector. She was buried at St John's Episcopal Church in Windsor. In keeping with this family's century old penchant having old surnames as first names and middle ones, my grandfather, her grandson, was Laye Blennerhasett Dwyer, and my aunt Noreen Laye Dwyer (Potts).       Pat  Paskiewicz

A Fresh Angle – Another Possibility


Probable that Emily LAYE was in the UK 1873 -1878 and possibly up until 1882. I think she was separated from William, her husband, during that time. She may have even gotten divorced there.

  John Prince


Hugh DWYER’s marriage certificate shows as his father "Lambert Dwyer." –Lambert is William’s brother, Capt Lambert DWYER. Possible? Wild, circumstantial evidence only, but possible. Emily was over there at this time!  I have always assumed William's assertion of "Lambert" being his father was a mistake, since have seen many errors on documents, esp death certificates. But this would be a mistake made by a 21 year man about the identity of his father. Lambert is not a common name. The clerk would not simply assume this name, but Hugh had to provide it. Why?  –Perhaps it was a nick-name- but odd nick-name, adopting name of brother. Consider that on Hugh’s Edinburgh baptism certificate, his father is listed in the following fashion: "William B Dwyer, Late, Lt Ret"  [NO IT DOESN'T -CLOSER examination shows it is a fancy "RA" -Royal Army. The "Late" can have a variety of meanings, as former.  PP 7-1-01]. One more tid-bit of evidence. Kathleen McMahon, in a letter years ago, wrote to me that her mother, Dora Dwyer McMahon, stated that her father, Hugh Dwyer, used to get and envelope from England with large amounts of money- from "Bertie" Dwyer (Lambert?) (But there actually was a Bertie DWYER, Bertie being a surname, of a wealthy family). Hugh, in particular, seemed to have more money than the rest of the family. He had his own detective agency for years and was, with a wife, known to go to many parties.     Looks like in 1890 Hugh was clerk for Evening Sun, no doubt where John Prince was a reporter.

Hugh- 1900 Census Born Dec 1873 [wrong] Scotland, Came to USA- 1882.
Hugh BC Detroit- b Dec 18, 1876 Filed on Sept 28, 1878
Ramsay BC Detroit, b  June 12, 1877 Filed Nov 14, 1878 
William L- Detroit Church- bap Jan 1874 b 6-19- 1873. 
William B – Directory city- 1879 then not until 1884.


   William B. DWYER old age     As young c 1869

                                   TIME LINE 

1810 Emily's aunt and uncle Lt Frederick LAYE die at Leith Fort &  Guadaloupe April 1810  
1811 Emily's Uncle, Frederick LAYE born (Father married 3X and had children of a wide variety of ages
1816 Emily's Uncle, Frederick LAYE dies 24 Nov 1816 aged 5 yrs  Also an aunt or uncle ---- LAYE born same year 16 May
1817 Emily's Aunt Louisa LAYE marries John TOWER of Liverpool. 17 May 1817.
1818 Emily's Uncle, Augustus LAYE marries daughter of Thos Gibson Apr 1818, London
1819 Emily's Uncle-Capt LAYE  "aide-de-camp- dies sailing to Porta Bella.-
1828 Emily's grandfather dies, Lt Gen Francis LAYE, Jan in London
1836 Ireland Sister Mary Ann LAYE born 
1839 Ireland Brother Francis LAYE born 
1840 Ireland
1841 Ireland Sister Henrietta LAYE born
1843 Brother Henry Airey LAYE baptized Anglican Aug 2. **

Brother Henry Airey LAYE baptized Catholic Sep 23

1844 Isle of Man Brother Henry Airey LAYE born per Census
1845 Isle of Man Sister Maria Josephine Louisa LAYE born

Sister Maria Josephine Louisa LAYE baptized Catholic Feb 3

1846 Isle of Man Brother Frederick LAYE born
1847 Isle of Man Emily Mary LAYE baptized Catholic July 19 
1848    Isle of Man "Anne LAYE" baptized Catholic September 11 1848- Emily's mother on deathbed..

Emily LAYE Born-11 September 1848, Douglas, IOM. Parents: Francis F. LAYE and Anne Maria Teresa WALSH-.The Mother dies in childbirth She was 36 yrs old.  Father, Maj Francis Fenwick left Isle of Man with children, living with or sharing a house with his mother, Mary Airey LAYE in Berwick. Emily baptized at St Mary's Catholic Church, Douglas, IOM. Mother 'converted' on her deathbed. .

Also Emily's uncle Gen J.H. LAYE marries Amelia DEAN-PITT, daugh of Gen DEAN-PITT,  in New Zealand 23 May

1849 1
1850 2 Berwick Emily's Aunt Susan LAYE marries Dr. Alex SINCLAIR, Surgeon to the Forces, at Berwick 8 Nov 1850 
1851 3 Berwick Northum With father Francis, Grandmother and siblings- no mother present
1852 4 Bewick Northum Father marries Anne Robertson. She probably dies in childbirth.
1853 5 Father marries E.P. Ramsay. Goes off to Melbourne, Australia in search of gold and adventure for eight years.(Makes actual money in real estate).Children left in England! Emily 5 years old. Probably left with grandmother, Mary Airey, in Northumberland.  (But did a hired search for the above certificate for Ramsay and FF Laye from the period from 1853 to the end of 1857 without locating it).
1854 6
1855 7
1856 8
1857 9
1858 10
1859 11
1860 12 Father and stepmother, by pressing business, decide to return to England. In February, visit New Zealand first, as Second Maori War is about to break. 
1861 13 June, Stepmother, E.P. Ramsay-Laye, living in London with Emily's father, publishes her "Social Life and Manners in Australia."
1862 14
1863 15
1864 16
1865 17
1866 18  
1867 19
1868 20 Portchester Married April 4 to William B. Dwyer. Also Louisa Dwyer born in England-prior or shortly after. 
1869 21 B West Indies Wm( in Army?) -Birth to Mary- at sea in August.
1870 22 In Detroit- Census- as "Emilie" - William "drayman" with $200 in worldly goods -Louisa  2 yrs- Mary born pre Aug. A 33 servant girl born in W. Indies
1871 23 .
1872 24
1873 25 Detroit William B Dwyer in Detroit directory- 
1874 26 Detroit/England Son William Lambert born Jan  -Very possible her father Francis dies in England (North county or Portsmouth).
1875 27 Edinburgh At sea and part of year at least in Edinburgh. Dora born?
1876 28 Edinburgh Birth to son Hugh St John's Episc Church Edinburgh, 18 Jan
1877 29 Detroit Son Ramsay born June
1878 30 May have returned from UK this year
1879 31
1880 32 John Prince 20 -living in Detroit with mother .   William Dwyer living under assumed name: Thomas Dwyer (!) with children: Hugh, Ramsay, Dora, Mary and Bertie. Emily no there. Listed as divorced.-No Louise, so prob dead. 
1881 33 Step mother EP LAYE living in Portsmouth England
1882 34 William B Dwyer remarries C. Moran
1883 34
1885 35
1886 36
1887 37
1888 38 Detroit John Prince at 316 Porter
1889 39 Detroit John Prince at 316 Porter
1890 40 Detroit Living at 319 Porter- 2nd husband John Prince, reporter/ adv agent "Sunday World" dies aged 31 from medical procedure.  (Hugh Dwyer that year and next living at 316 Porter- and clerk at "Evening Sun") 
1891 41 Detroit Living at 314 Porter
1892 42 Detroit Living at 314 Porter
1893 43 Detroit Living at 314 Porter
1894 44 Detroit Living at 314 Porter
1895 45 Detroit Living at 92 Farnsworth

Also, her uncle Maj Gen J.H. LAYE dies, London

1896 46 Detroit Dies  of "enlarged liver" August 23, living with her sons 52 Farnsworth

1880 Census Detroit: 


Note- Emily's cousin also died of liver problems- indirectly. Not necessarily drinking! http://www.bhj.org/journal/1996/3801_jan/special_17.htm "Cirrhosis of the liver is a common condition of many tropical countries, and numerous authorities have asserted that some cases are caused by repeated attacks of malaria ...’; in that paper he included a figure which he claimed demonstrated monolobular biliary cirrhosis- a result of repeated attacks of malaria, which had compressed and consequently injured the biliary system."   Both were in the tropics. 



** Dates seem to be consistently off by a year. 

To Prince Page 

  Here is an e mail I received from Cannon Brendan Alger -St Mary's RC Church, Douglas, Isle of Man. -who also called us on the phone!  

Yes I rang. I am Canon Brendan Alger, parish priest of St Mary of the Isle Douglas. You wrote me about Laye baptisms and I have been very long time in replying! Sorry! 
The children mentioned wee baptized in the chapel that predated St Mary's - the chapel was called St Francis Xavier. I have found the entries and today have sent photocopies of the three you gave me. Just a note that the first child's baptism was "subconditione" - that usually means that the child was already christened - as you say probably in an Anglican church. 
Anne Laye of Douglas was buried in Braddan Church cemetery on 14 September 1848
 In Grave 1655 were buried Annie Lay age 36 18th May 1877.
Frederick Lay 1 month old 7 May 1873.   
George 1 yr old 31 August 1864 
George 9 weeks old 6 October 1867.
In Grave number 1412 Emily Jane Lay aged 38 on 15 March 1882.
 In grave 2021 N was buried George Lay 26 November 1891 aged 54.
 Gravestone 1655 reads as follows:
In memory of/ George Seymour Lay /son of George and Annie Lay / of Duke Street, Douglas /who died August 28th 1864 / aged 1 year and 6 months / also of George Lay / son of the above / who died October 9th 1876 / aged 9 weeks also Ann Lay / the beloved wife of George Lay / who died May 18th 1877 / aged ... years
That's all the info I have 
Best wishes



NAME         REL     COND       AGE    OCC           BORN 

Francis Laye   head     widower      43     Captain Bmaster   Scotland

Mary     "        mother  widow         73    fund holder  Northmuber -?

Mary Ann        dau                        15    child at home     Ireland 

Francis          son                         12     ''     ''             '  '

Henrietta       dau                         10      '"    "              '  '

Henry            son                           7       "'    "            Isle of Man

Maria            dau                           6       "      '                ""

Frederick      son                           4        "     "                 ""

Emily            dau                           3        "     "                 ""


Contact:  hfcmrp@yahoo.com     Patrick Paskiewicz
Teach college USA.  BA  Philosophy, MA English Drama and Literature EMU.  Born 1950, before Al Gore invented Internet. Peddling ny completed book to publishers, Who Murdered Nurse Florence Nightingale Shore?, an investigation into the unsolved murder of English army nurse, Miss Florence Nightingale Shore, goddaughter and relative of Miss Florence Nightingale.  
Battled some renal cell carcinoma , but have good prognosis. Next project may look at another person on my tree, early feminist/ adventurer/explorer/writer Patricia Elizabeth Ramsay Laye. 




LAYE FAMILY UK  Connected by Marriages or Reference

EMILY LAYE   Dau of Major Francis Fenwick Laye, grand daughter of Lt. General Francis Laye

DIXON BROWN   Northumberland UK ,  Margaret Brown married Lt. General Francis Laye 1803.

AIREY of Northumberland  Lt. General Francis Laye married Mary Airey 1803    Also GILPIN, GOODEN, MULCASTER, BEDFORD (BEDFORDE), BARKUS, LAYE         

GILLMAN of  Portsmouth  LT COL BERTIE CUNYNGHAME DWYER married Beryl Maud Gillman c 1907.
ANDERSON  NICHOLSON  Northumberland  From Laye/Airey/Barnes Line
 GUY BURGESS    Spy for KGB  LT COL BERTIE CUNYNGHAME's sister-in-law, -Evelyn Gillman.,was the mother of this double agent.

  CLAVERINGS and FENWICKS   Northumberland,  From Laye/Airey/Barnes Line

Who Muurdered Nurse Florence Nightingale Shore   My book project

GREY Northumberland  Laye/Airey/Barnes/Clavering/

CASHER      Family of Beryl Maud Gillman - A Casher did the research, and I am merely posting it for him.

GILPIN Northumberland  Northumberland,  From Laye/Airey/Barnes Line 

FLORENCE  NIGHTINGALE:  SMITHS Her maternal side: For studying the Shores or Nightingale Studies  

BEDFORDE  BEDFORD   Durham, UK From Laye/Airey Line

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE: THE SHORE FAMILY  Norton Hall, Sheffield of Norton Hall. 

General Thomas Peard Dwyer  Detailed Career


 Lt. General Francis Laye     Major General Joseph Henry Laye I    Major General Joseph Henry Laye II    Detailed Careers

PRINCE Essex, Ontario   Tied to ways: GG Grandmother Emily Laye married John Prince, grandson of Col John Prince, and her dau, Mary Anne Dwyer married the Hon. Albert Prince, M.P- the son of Col. Prince. (Yes, that's right).


HON COLONEL JOHN PRINCE, M.P.  A character. Reputed to be illegitimate son of an actress and William IV, notorious for killing American prisoner's of war in the Battle of Windsor. Detroiters put a price on his head. Popular in Windsor.

LT COL BERTIE CUNYNGHAME DWYER   Bertie won Grand National in 1887. "Bertie Dwyer, an English boy of 14  . . . did the fastest time of the race, the only rider to break the two minute barrier with 1 minute 58.6 seconds . . . [A] truly remarkable effort for any rider let alone a 14 year old" (23 The Cresta Run 1885-1985).


INSPECTOR WM BLENNERHASSETT DWYER   Detroit Police Inspector  Very incomplete  
KENNY  County Kerry, Ireland  Also, DWYER, TENT (BROWNE), COURTHROPE, HOARE DEAN PITT  Connected in two way. General J.H. Laye senior married Emelia Dean-Pitt, and Ensign George Sinclair Laye married Amy Selina Nugent, dau of Charlotte Marcia Dean-Pitt.
BUTTERFIELD / SIMPSON AND DUCKETT    LANCASHIRE and BOND E. P. Ramsay-Laye author/feminist pen name: Isobel Massary  4 books, articles, such as "Women and Careers" in Englishwoman Review, 9, (Apr 1878) p 96  -Arguing desirability of married women having careers.

Blennerhassett Kerry   From Dwyer/Hoare  Also  CONWAY, LYNNE, CRUMPE, O'CONNOR, HOARE, DWYER

LAYE Surname Study UK    For Genealogical Reference for all Layes



KEENAN Detroit/ Ontario  Sarah Keenan married my gg grandfather, St. Hugh Simpson Gerald Toulmin Dwyer in Detroit in 1895.

LETTERS OF MARY AIREY LAYE  Letters written by Lt. General Francis Laye's widow, pestering Lord Somerset, later Ragland, for an Ensignacy for her son. Letters to others, like Lord Hill and the Marchioness Winchester.
TOULMIN   London and LANCASHIRE, Mary Anne Toulmin Married to General Thomas Peard Dwyer 11 Apr 1839, Old Church, Saint Pancras, London    Includes: BECKETT, SIMPSON, DWYER, HARRISON, TALBOTT, DWYER CUNYNGHAME Photo Album
WALSH -Meath Ireland    Married to Laye Family Anne Maria Teresa WALSH married Emily Laye's father, Major Francis Fenwick Laye 28 Oct 1835 in Newbridge, Colpe Church County Meath, Ireland CUNYNGHAME Connection is on English branch of family. Captain Robert Hoare Dwyer married  Caroline Georgina Thurlow CUNYNGHAME
HOARE   Kerry  Cork   Connected by Robert Dwyer, father of General Thomas Peard Dwyer marrying Mary Hoare, 1744 Tralee, Kerry.   Also KENNY, DWYER, BLENNERHASSETT, BURNELL, GILPIN, NOTT, WOODCOCK, KELLEY RAMSAY Scot. Eng India   Connection is Major Francis Fenwick Laye married Elizabeth P Ramsay
OGLE Northumberland    Laye/Airey/Barnes/Clavering/Grey ASCENSION ISLAND Mini & partial hist of the RM commandants by Comm (General) T.P. Dwyer
PATERNAL ----  PASKIEWICZ   Plymouth PA/Vilna and Starynki, Russia (Старынкі ). DWYER Surname Study Detroit For Genealogical Reference for all Dwyers
PATERNAL ----  GRIZDIS   and many other spelling  Plymouth PA/Vilna  
PATERNAL---   MIKOLAYESKI  Plymouth PA/Russia/Poland PATERNAL ----  ZENKO   Plymouth PA/Vilna, Olita 
PATERNAL--   SINKIEWICZ or SINKCAVAGE Plymouth PA/Lithuania PATERNAL ---  RUZANTIS   Plymouth PA/Suwalki