Cousin Bob, The great bulk of your information is consistent with mine. I will respond first with information about three Layton men who married three Fazenbaker sisters. Other than coincidence of surnames, I have not been able to find any relationship between the Layton men.
Here are facts about the early Layton families of what is now Garrett County.
Grace Fazenbaker married John Layton, who is something of a mystery figure. I have found no official record of this family while John was living. To the best of my knowledge, only family tradition records John Layton. I could find no census record, marriage record, Civil War pension file, or other documentation. In contrast to the period when John was living, I have found census records of this family beginning in 1870, that is, after John had died. While John Layton and Grace had a son named Peter Layton, this Peter is a different Peter Layton than the one who married Grace's sister Mary.
Grace had a sister Mary who married twice--first to Frederick Shriver and then
to Peter Layton. I have a lot of information about Peter Layton, as he served two terms in the Civil War, secured a pension afterwards, and was involved in a couple interesting court cases after the War, but I have nothing about his origins or siblings. My information about his children is consistent with yours.
Grace and Mary also had a sister Elizabeth who married one William Layton. I have a fair amount of information about him, as he served in the Civil War (in the same unit as Peter Layton and several Fazenbaker men), secured a pension after the War, and corresponded with the Commissioner of Pensions about his mother-in-law's pension from the War of 1812.
Most interestingly, William's Civil War deposition talks about his youth. I will repeat that part of his depositon here.
In old age, William Layton recounted the difficult circumstances of his youth. "My mother died at Baltimore when I was about 10 years old. Shortly after that time, my Father broke up housekeeping and I was turned to the world to shift and get along the best I could. From that turmoil until the breaking out of the [Civil] War, I done and got along the best I could. In the meantime I married." "I only know about my age what was told to me at the time of my mother's death. Now as to my exact age, calculating my age of my enlistment and the time of my discharge and to the present [8/13/1907], I am 77 years old. Further I cannot say." Thus, William estimated roughly that he was born about 1830. (This couple produced no children of their own and they are mostly forgotten in family history.)
The most intriguing of clues about the Layton families, however, is what we know about one Nancy Layton, who was a contemporary of those three Layton men who married Fazenbaker sisters, and who lived her life in the same eastern corner of what is now Garrett County as the Layton men. Nancy, who was born about 1825, married Sam Broadwater, one of the original Broadwater pioneer brothers. Sam was much older than Nancy. The intriguing part is that we think we know who Nancy's parents were: James Layton and Elizabeth Chambers. This information comes from Wayne Bittinger's Bittinger book; it appears that Wayne got the information from Nancy's Maryland Death Certificate.
There is a lot more that could be done to try to sort out the Laytons. Can we find any documentation about James Layton? Does he appear in census records, and if so, did he have children? Did he serve in the war of 1812 and apply for a pension? Did he own land? Did he leave a will? One could well invest a lot of time in answering these questions, and still come up with nothing that ties in with the three Layton men who married Fazenbaker sisters, but then again, maybe this is the path to discovery.
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