It's a sad fact that women often get overlooked in genealogy. As it is the men that carry on family names, it is they that we tend to focus on. Add to that the fact that older census records only recorded the full name of the male head of household, and we are left with very little information about the women of our family. This is both tragic and a little ironic, since it is these forgotten women that gave birth to each generation we research. In an attempt to remedy this, I will be chronicling the women in each line of my family. At the moment, I do not have a lot of information on some of these women, but I am always searching, and will add more information as I get it. 

We begin with my mother's mother's mother's...well, you get the point. 

Me: Robyn Williams

My mother: Linda Harding*

Linda's mother: Joyce Stalker-Harding*

Joyce's mother: Dorothy Layton-Stalker

Dorothy was born in 1903, the first child of Clarence Layton and Minnie West. She was raised on a farm near Taber, where she attended sewing school. In 1925, Dorothy married George Stalker, and they raised their 7 children near Taber. She passed away in 1996.

Dorothy's mother: Minnie West-Layton

Minnie was born in 1884 to a very young mother and a much older, already married father. Not a lot is known about Minnie's life, but it can be assumed it was a tough one. Her father, William West, abandoned Minnie's mother Mary, taking Minnie to live with him, his wife and his other children. She apparently had no contact with her mother until 1910, the year after William's death. In her late teens, she married Clarence Layton, and they raised their 8 children near Taber, Alberta. Minnie passed away in 1929.

Minnie's mother: Mary Taylor-West

Mary has always been a bit of a mystery. Depending on the sources, she was born in 1863, 1866, 1870 or 1871. Her father was James Charles Taylor, whom nothing is known about. Her mother was Sarah Kearl, whose family is well researched, but no mention is ever made of Mary. She apparently lived with her maternal grandmother for awhile, and various family stories tell of her living on the streets after William abandoned her, taking their daughter with him. It's unclear if this is actually true or not, but we know that she eventually met and married Henry Gibboney, and they went on to have their own family and small business. Mary died in 1931 in Lethbridge, Alberta.

*for the sake of privacy, I have not included any information about living relatives.


Denise Harvey
03/13/2013 20:54

I am a great-grandaughter of both Horton George Layton and his cousin, Russell Bowler Layton, father Timothy Layton. I found your site interesting, if there is any info you need I would be happy to work with you. I would like to also point out, just for academics, that there is no coat of arms associated with the majority of our Layton ancestors (those sites are out to make a buck). Arms were meant for nobles and gentlemen, and usually meant for just the person they were granted to; rarely were they hereditary unless the person was nobility. Our Bedfordshire ancestors were regular peasantry as far as I have found, and can make no claim on arms. :)

03/14/2013 11:32

Hi Denise! Great to have another distant relation stop by. :) I would love to exchange info - my genealogy email is

As for the coat of arms, I've just come to the conclusion I can't make anyone happy, hahaha. I posted the images because I received several requests for them, and once they were posted, I began receiving complaints about them. I just can't win! I know they are mainly associated with nobility - I think many just want to see them out of interest.


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