Name: Robert Edward Lee Nay
Birth: 5 APR 1865 in Appomattox, VA
Death: 3 SEP 1947 in Batesville, Albemarle, Virginia
Occupation: primarily horse farmer- even tended horses at the county home where he lived in his later years
Step father James Harlow
Burial: Holy Cross Cemetery, Batesville, VA
Census: 1870 District 2 Augusta Va Post office Mount Sidney
Census: 1880 Samuel Miller, Batesville, Albemarle, VA James M Harlow with wife Sallie F son Robert L Neigh and dauMary Neigh
Census: 1900 Samuel Miller/ Batesville Robert L Nay with wife Mary ( b Sep 1865)with son E(verett). H. (Feb 1886; son Charles (Sep 1891) and mother Sarah Harlow (Apr 1838 Va)
Census: 1910 Samuel Miller Batesville Va as boarders of Joseph Kent Robert L Nay 44 yrs old widow real father born in W VA He is manager of Riding galary Also son Charles L Nay 19 yrs a boarder also
Census: 1920 Samuel Miller Batesville Va R L Nay who could read and write with wife Lizzie L and children Mary L, Edith L, James H
Census: 1930 Rockfish, Nelson Co, Va with full family Mary thru Stewart
Misc excellent harness maker and horse trainer; a mailman for a while; in later years when cars came in and horses went out he had no trade
Rober E Lee Nay's connection to which James Henson Nay is difficult to verify. The James H Nay identified here was initially married to Abigail Ashcraft of Marion County, West Virginia. He enlisted in the Confederate Army . One story goes that he was hospitalized in or near Charlottesville Virginia during the Civil War. He met Sarah Johnson there - she possibly being a nurse- . They married had two children, he leaves her and goes back to Abigail in West Virginia where he dies after 1880. Some suspect REL Nay's father and the James Henson Nay as identified here are the same person. REL Nay's father's- James Henson Nay's- marriage certificate identifies other parents (Enoch Nay- name of his son with Abigail) which is of suspicion. Stories abound about JH Nay being married twice at the same time, etc. So this is one of those brick walls of family history. What's listed here may give a history of our Nay family in America, but only assuming this is the correct James H Nay who then had two wives!!!!!
The Nay's moved a lot especially after World War I . Robert E L Nay was into the horse training business before then, and as the automobile came into heavier use and horses in less demand he didn't change with the times. He mortgaged his home to feed the horses and never recovered economically as a family. They lived on rental farms and moved often as money ran out. Their 3 daughters Mary, Edith, and Hallie all went off to schools (Blue Ridge School) during their younger years paid by the Episcopal Church for many reasons but much because of health or economic reasons. They grew up relatively poor in a poor region of Virginia, but amazingly have been a very close and loving family through all times.
Robert Edward Lee Nay (RELN) was born April 5, 1865 in Appomattox Virginia during the surrender ending the Civil War ( the War between the States) and was named after General Robert E Lee. He was the first son of confederate soldier James Henson Nay and Sarah Johnson who followed her husband's regiment to Appomattox which happened to be the week of Lee's surrender. His mother Sarah supposedly met James while he was hospitalized in Charlottesville where she may have been a nurse and subsequently married James who was from the West Virginia area. Our James was living with his wife Sarah and son RELN and daughter Mary in Va in 1870 in Mt Sidney, Augusta Co, Va. In 1880 RELN is living in Batesville Va with mother Sarah, step father James Harlow and sister Mary ( name spelled erroneously Neigh) A James H Nay ( supposedly the same) is in the 1880 WVA census living now with wife Abigail (again).
By 1900 RELN is married with first wife Mary Parr and 2 children ( Everett and Charles) and mother Sarah living with them in Batesville probably owns his house / farm( now known as the Frank Baber home) on current Craig's Store road in Batesville. A small family cemetery is on this land with at least his first wife Mary and a child of Mary Parr and / or Lizzie Suddarth. In 1910 he is a widower living with son Charles boarding with Joseph Kent and is listed as a manager of a riding galary.
In 1911 he marries Lizzie Suddarth- 22 years younger and starts his second family at the farm home he owned in Batesville. Along comes Mary, Edith, Pete, Jake, and Hallie and life seems good in the horse and harness business in which he is very skilled ( he also has delivered mail at some point) Then comes the end of WW1, the emerging auto industry, and an inability by RELN to adapt to his changing economic conditions. By 1924 his lively hood and economic situation is so severely impacted he has to sell his House and furnishings and move his family to much more affordable (low rent) farms. Life gets no better and the depression further compounds his life. He was known to be hard headed and stubborn , did not get along with his stepmother and a relatively older father. Because of these economic issues daughters Mary, Edith, and later Hallie all attended the Blue Ridge School thru the help of the church. Even before this Hallie became very ill and had to go to a sanatorium for a couple years seldom seeing her family during this time. Two additional moves around Rockfish Nelson County , then Glass Hollow and Gray Hollow - both in Albemarle County all out in the sticks ( then and now)until sometime after 1931 in which he moves his family again to a rented farm of about 200 acres on the now Batesville Road near Mt Ed Episcopal church where his wife and children attend. His uncle Ross Suddarth and wife Cornelia had rented this house (now known as the Shepherds house owned by the Haupts who have renovated it similar to the past and have made it a beautiful homestead) up until Cornelia 's death in 1931. Ross moves his family to Oakland California area near his sister Edith Suddarth Beach. Daughter Mary moves to Richmond and marries uncle Willie Suddarth's wife's brother Jack Wood. Daughter Edith marries John Layman of Batesville and is pregnant with son John T by late 1939.
Then in 1940 the most significant tragedy hit the Nay family. In a freak accident his wife Lizzie returning home with gasoline for a gasoline powered washing machine and as she approaches their back porch son George is throwing out the back door materials that exploded with the gasoline Lizzie is carrying and a fire engulfs her. With severe burns Lizzie passes on with in a few days. This accident is so traumatic for the 75 year old RELN that he can no longer carry on and support his young family which includes Pete-21 yrs, Jake-19 yrs, Hallie-17 yrs, George-15 yrs,a nd the youngest Bee at 12 yrs. Within months the family is dispersed with RELN moving into an old age home, Bee in a foster home, Hallie moving to Richmond with sister Mary, Pete marrying in June and taking over the rental farm , Jake working is CCC and soon enlisting in the Army for WW2, and George at 15 yrs going his own way eventually moving to Baltimore and Richmond becoming a window washer by trade and an alcoholic - leading to a very hard life for he and his family and children Doris and Cecil..
In 1947 RELN passes away of cancer in a nursing home in nearby Waynesboro where for the past five years of so he was able to work with his passion- horses. RELN as an individual could not adapt to make a better living for himself or his family. But his family and 2 generations of descendents ( except maybe for George who for many years blames solely himself for the death of his mother) have grown and adapted to their environment in which by 2007 all find themselves living a relatively good life in the USA. How this happened may be the legacy of not RELN but his second wife Lizzie- loved and admired by all as a loving, charitable wife, mother, and friend.
Father: James Henson Nay b: 24 MAY 1816 in (maybe Marion/ Harrison County) West Virginia
Mother: Sarah Sally F. Johnson b: APR 1838 in Fluvanna County, VA
Mary Ellen Parr b: 24 SEP 1865 in Albemarle, Virginia
6 MAY 1885
in Ablemarle County, VA
- Charles L Nay b: SEP 1891 in Virginia
- Everett Early Nay b: 21 FEB 1886 in Virginia
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Louisse Suddarth b: 15 SEP 1888 in Scottsville, Albemarle, Virginia
17 MAY 1911
in Albemarle Co., VA
- Note: per marriage license: in Charlottesville husband 46 wife 21 husband was widowed husband occupation= agent husband's parents James H and Sallie F Nay Baptist minister signed
- Robert "Jake" Edward Nay b: 15 SEP 1921 in Batesville, Albemarle, Virginia
- Mary Elizabeth Nay b: 11 FEB 1911 in Batesville, VA
- Stuart "Bee" Cecil Nay b: 28 JUN 1928 in Batesville, Albemarle, VA
- Edith Lee Nay b: 16 JAN 1913 in Batesville, VA
- Hallie Viola Nay b: 26 NOV 1923 in Batesville, Albemarle, VA
- George William Nay b: 2 NOV 1925 in Batesville, VA
- James "Pete" Henson Nay b: 25 MAR 1919 in Batesville, Albemarle, VA