Naturally the coat of arms or family crest should be thought of as art or entertainment and not taken too seriously.   The arms on this page are an attempt to illustrate the descriptions from the Burke's General Armory and some other sources.   Whether or not they can be actually connected to our modern-day families is in dispute.  The original illustration was purchased by me and belongs to me - copy or vary it as you like. 

Suggestions and corrections for the illustrations and information are welcome

(Donna Hollingsworth Hocking

Family tradition in several families in various parts of the country maintains that the first Lays in the Virginia territory were Jesse, John, and David Lay. They were perhaps brothers and came into Virginia (which encompassed everything west of Jamestown at the time) from Canada. According to the stories, Jesse Duncan (1811-1896) told his family, they were of French Descent and detested the English, and came to Virginia to help the colonists "whip the English".

The origin of the Lay family is believed to be France, but there is absolutely no proof whatever as to the actual ancestry of the patriarch Jesse Duncan Lay (1811 - 1896).
The chance that we are related to the men that actually bore the Lay crest  is almost nonexistent.
Click on any image for a larger view.



  •    Or, lion rampant, gules.
        Shield of gold. Red lion erect.
  • CREST:
  • MOTTO:
  •    Force avec vertu.
        Strength with virtue.
    Corrections or Comments? Contact Donna Hollingsworth Hocking