On this date, 23 February 1952, Hannah Anna (Layton) Marriner James, passed away. She was my 2nd great-grandmother.
Born on 10 October 1874, Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Hannah was the daughter of Augustus Layton and Rebecca Ann Moore. She joined older brother, George Augustus, who was born earlier that year.
According to the New Jersey State Census, in January 1875, the Layton family was residing in Long Branch, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Augustus, age 45, was a merchant. Rebecca Ann, age 33, was a housewife.
Four years later, on 7 January 1879, sister Mary B. was welcomed to the family.
On 26 June 1880, the Layton family was enumerated in Long Branch, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Residing in the household were Augustus, Rebecca, George, Hannah, and Mary. Augustus was a book and shoe dealer, and Rebecca was a homemaker.
On 9 June 1881, another brother was born. Sadly, he did not live long, dying the next day in Lower Freehold Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
In 1885, the New Jersey State Census shows that Augustus, Rebecca, George A., Hannah, and Mary B. Layton lived in Ocean Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
A decade later, in 1895, the Laytons—Augustus, Rebecca, George, Hannah, and Mary—were again enumerated in Long Branch (Ocean Township), Monmouth County, New Jersey.
Then, on 20 April 1898, Hannah Anna Layton, age 25, married Bertram Erickson Marriner in Bradley Beach, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Bertram, also 25 years old, was the son of Josiah K. Marriner and Georganna Ida Marks.
Less than a year later, the couple celebrated the birth of their first child, a daughter named Thelma M. Marriner. Thelma was born on 4 March 1899, in Neptune Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
In March 1900, a son named Adelbert Earl Marriner was born in Neptune City, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
In June 1900, Hannah and Bertram Marriner and their children lived on Ridge Avenue in Neptune City, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Bert was a painter. Living next door to the Marriner family were friends George E. James and his wife Jemima.
Soon, however, a great sorrow would fall on the Marriner household, when five-month-old Adelbert Earl Marriner died on 10 August 1900, in Neptune City, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
Thankfully, less than a year later, that sadness would be replaced with joy on 25 January 1901, when another daughter, Gertrude May Marriner, was welcomed to the world.
Two years later, another blessing would grace their home when daughter Myrtle Ida Marriner (my great-grandmother) was born on 23 October 1903.
On 6 June 1905, the Marriner family—Bert, Hannah, Thelma, Gertie, and Myrtle—resided at 9 Corlies Avenue, Neptune, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Bert’s occupation was still a painter.
About two weeks after this census was taken, Bert and Hannah Marriner welcomed their fourth and final daughter, Belva Marriner, born on 21 June 1905, in Neptune, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
The 1910 Residential Directory for Asbury Park documented Bertram Marriner, a painter, as residing at 238 Corlies Avenue. Living next door at 236 Corlies Avenue was Edward Marriner. (I believe that this was, in fact, Bert’s brother Edwin Marriner.)
On 12 May 1910, the Marriner Family—Bertram, Hannah, Thelma, Gertrude, Myrtle, and Belva—were enumerated in Neptune Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Thelma was a housewife, and Bert was a self-employed house painter. The home in which they resided was mortgaged.
Although life seemed to be going well for the Marriner family, more heartache would soon follow. On 18 September 1912, Bert’s father Josiah K. Marriner died in Neptune Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
Four years later, Hannah would also experience great loss when her beloved father, Augustus Layton, died on 30 December 1916, in Long Branch, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
Perhaps it was in response to the grief, but at some point in their marriage, Hannah’s husband started to drink, and when he drank, he was abusive. Unfortunately, Hannah and their children were the ones who suffered. In 1916, Bertram Marriner attacked Hannah in a drunken rage, beating her unmercifully. Luckily, neighbors were able to stop him before he could “put his wife out-of-the-way” (his own words).
After the attack, the couple separated. In July 1917, Hannah Marriner appeared before the magistrate, Peter F. Dodd, to lodge a charge of non-support against her husband Bertram. The hearing was scheduled for 24 July 1917, at 10:00 a.m.
On the night before the hearing, 23 July 1917, at approximately 11:00 p.m., a drunken Bertram Marriner, who had been not been in contact with his family for three days, returned to the family’s home on Corlies and Stokes Avenues in West Grove, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Hannah and their daughters were in bed.
With a hammer in hand, Bertram Marriner made his way upstairs. He hit his wife with the hammer as she slept, striking her several times before she could flee. Hannah ran to the neighbor’s home to get help. Bertram then went to his 13-year-old daughter Myrtle’s room, who had become hysterical over her mother’s attack. He struck his daughter above the eye, knocking her unconscious.
Afterward, Bertram Mariner headed downstairs where he attempted to commit suicide by slashing his wrist. Found by the police, he was transported to Spring Lake Hospital, where he made a full recovery. Meanwhile, his wife and daughter were attended by Dr. Charles E. Jamison. After Bert was released from the hospital, he moved in with his widowed mother.
On 4 October 1917, Bertram Marriner and his attorney Bernard V. Poland were in court to answer to the charge of atrocious assault and battery. A $1,000 bail was set for his 8 November 1917, trial. Bertram’s mother Georgianna served as surety. He was found guilty, and the sentence was affirmed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey on 7 September 1919.
On 20 January 1920, Hannah (Layton) Marriner and her daughters were enumerated in Neptune Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Hannah, the head of household, was 45 years old; Thelma, who was working as a stenographer and typist, was 20 years old; Gertrude was 18 years old; Myrtle was 16 years old; and Belva was 14 years old.
Soon after, daughter Gertrude May Marriner married Harry John McCollum, son of James Harry and Florence McCollum.
In September 1920, Hannah (Layton) Marriner filed for divorce from Bertram Erickson Marriner on the grounds of desertion and cruelty.
In late 1920, daughter Myrtle Ida Marriner married Howard Wilbur Cole, son of Lloyd Wilbur Cole and Alice M. Manley.
On 23 March 1921, Hannah and Bertram Marriner’s divorce was finalized in Monmouth County, New Jersey.
Five years passed. Then, sadness overcame Hannah again when her dear mother Rebecca Ann (Moore) Layton passed away on 14 January 1926, in Long Branch, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
On 7 April 1930, Hannah Marriner and her daughters Thelma and Belva were living in 210 1/2 Brinley Avenue in Bradley Beach, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Instead of saying that she was divorced, which was a social stigma, Hannah claimed to be widowed. The home that she owned was valued at $13,000.
Now, let’s flashback to Hannah’s past. Do you remember neighbors George and Jemima James who came to Hannah’s aid during her troubles with her ex-husband? Well, sadly on 25 December 1932, Jemima (Watson) James died in New Smyrna, Volusia County, Florida. Hannah, who had remained close with the couple through the years was there to support George in his grief. At some point, their friendship transformed and became something more. So much so that on 25 June 1933, Hannah Anna (Layton) Marriner married George Eli James, in Bradley Beach, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
Nine years later, on 7 October 1942, daughter Thelma, age 43, married Frank William Darby, age 38, in Manasquan, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Frank was the son of Samuel R. Darby and Ann Maria Edwards.
For ten years, Hannah and George Eli James were happy until 13 October 1943, when George died in Miami, Dade County, Florida. His body was taken back to New Jersey, where he was buried next to his first wife in Glenwood Cemetery in West Long Branch, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
Then, on 23 February 1952, Hannah Ann (Layton) Marriner James died in Miami, Dade County, Florida. She was laid to rest in Miami’s Flagler Memorial Park.