Kenneth L. Lay: A Chronology

The most reliable genealogies of Kenneth Lee Lay trace his ancestry back to a Jesse Lay, born about 1744 in Halifax County, Virginia. Jesse Lay may have been the son or grandson of David Lay from Wiltshire, England.

Prior to the Revolutionary War, Jesse Lay of Halifax County, VA, moves to Caswell County, North Carolina, in the north-central part of the colony. His son, Jesse Duncan Lay (b. 1766), moves farther west, to Wilkes County, NC, where his son John Michael Lay is born in 1790. John Michael Lay moves to Campbell County in northeastern Tennessee, where his son Thomas Lay is born in 1832.

After the death of his wife, Delilah Croley Lay, Thomas Lay remarries and moves with his son John Croley Lay, to Missouri. John Croley Lay, born circa 1850, is Ken Lay’s great-grandfather.

1874 Andrew Jackson Lay, Ken Lay’s grandfather, is born in Texas County, MO, in the heart of the Ozarks. (The county seat is Houston.) Andrew Jackson Lay will die in 1949 (when Ken Lay is seven) on the farm where he spent his entire life.
1895 Andrew Jackson Lay marries Matilda Ellen Owens (b. 1876).
1914 October 3. Omer Lay, father of Ken Lay, is born to Andrew Jackson Lay and his wife in Solo, Texas County, MO. Omer (1914–99) is the 10th of their 11 children, of whom 7 boys survive into adulthood: Clarence Otto (1896–1975), Luther Henry (1898–1984), John Shelby (1899–1980), Ira (1901–73), Vester Euel (1907–1993), Omer, and Robert (1918–74). These will be Ken Lay’s ...

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