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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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LAYTON, JOHN GREGORY GRAHAM, land surveyor; b. England, 1818, s/o Gregory Charles John Layton; m. 1st, 1844, Ann Maria Pine, of Richibucto, N.B., and 2nd, 1878, Mary Emma (Young) Fisher, of Clapham, Surrey, England; d. Ottawa, 23 May 1888.

John G. G. Layton's father, Gregory C. J. Layton, came to New Brunswick about 1836 and was teaching school in Glenelg parish in 1838/39. In 1840, he succeeded James Millar as teacher of the parochial school (so-called) in Chatham. In 1844, he was still conducting this school, which was said to be comparable in quality to the common schools of Britain. Meanwhile, in 1841, he took over operation of the Royal Hotel in Chatham from Ann, widow of Robert B. Martin. He relocated this hotel, which was sometimes known as Layton's Hotel, in the Peabody stone house in 1845 and continued as its proprietor until his departure from the Miramichi around 1849. His death occurred in Boston in 1864.

John G. G. Layton was living in Richibucto in 1839, where William J. Layton, a brother of Gregory Layton, had been a land surveyor since the early 1820s. After the death of W. J. Layton in 1842, John G. G. Layton became deputy land surveyor and crown lands officer for Kent County. He was still residing in Richibucto in 1850, at which time he was serving as president of the Kent Agricultural Society. However, in 1851 he was living at Dorchester, N.B., and he was later a resident of Saint John. In November 1861 his wife advertised a millinery and dressmaking service in Chatham. In February 1862 he announced his availability as a land surveyor. Soon afterwards he was named deputy surveyor and crown lands officer for the southeastern parishes of Northumberland County.

Layton succeeded James Caie as secretary of the Northumberland Agricultural Society in 1864 and acted as immigration agent during a term which ended in 1872. He was then appointed to the staff of the Department of Agriculture and Statistics in Ottawa. His "aptness at figures and his knowledge of the resources of New Brunswick" were said to have secured him this position, which he held for the remainder of his life.

Layton and his first wife, Ann M. Pine, had eight children when the census of 1871 was taken. A son, J. Gregory Layton, worked as a clerk in Chatham for some years and subsequently made his home in Newcastle, where he was employed as a lumber scaler.


[b/m] official record of 2nd marriage in England; NB Courier 13 Apr 1844 / Advocate 21 Aug 1878 [d] Advocate 30 May 1888 / Biog. Review NB (under William Wilkinson); Gleaner 30 Apr 1839, 27 Oct 1840, 2 Jul 1842, 13 May 1843, 27 May 1843, 12 Jun 1849, 10 Sep 1849, 27 May 1850, 10 Feb 1851, 1 Feb 1862 (ad), 12 Apr 1862 (ad), 26 Jul 1862, 5 Nov 1864; JHA 1847 (re. crown lands); PANB (petition of John Clark, 1823, re. William J. Layton)