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THE FAY FAMILY PAGE

GENEALOGIES
   
Henry T. Fay (about 1797 - 1876)
And his Descendants
   
John Fay
   
John (OPF #2) (11/30/1669 - 1/5/1747) son of John and Mary Brigham
   
Stephen (OPF #35) (5/5/1715? - 5/17/1781) son of John and Elizabeth Wellington
   
John (OPF #117) (12/23/1734 - 8/16/1777) son of Stephen and Ruth Child
   
Henry Fisk (OPF page 34) (born 8/26/1770) son of John and Mary Fisk
   
  
Vermont Directory
Henry Fisk Fay: Expanded Directory
  
   
CONTENTS
   
This page details such information about Henry T. Fay as is available at the moment. It is divided into three sections: Search and Research; Timeline; and Descendants.
   
SEARCH AND RESEARCH
   
The story of Henry T. Fay is very interesting for several reasons, including the way in which it was discovered and researched, and the way in which conclusions were reached.
   
His story actually started for his descendant Scott Osborn and for me with the name of Henry's greatgranddaughter, Maud Amanda Fay, who married Herbert Salisbury. For a long time, Maud's birth was a mystery, a complete puzzle which looked insoluble. Gradually with the help of the census records and a few family memories, as well as a few hypotheses, she was identified as the granddaughter of Amanda C. Fay (see Maud's complete story). What started out as a deduction and belief was later confirmed by marriage certificates and other evidence.
   
Could we take Maud's line further back? Amanda was Maud's grandmother; her grandfather was Daniel Merritt Fay. Amanda and Daniel Merritt are in the 1850 census in Boardman, Clayton County, Iowa. With them is a man who appears in the census index as "Henry F. Fay." For a long time, this misled me. Later when I checked the census itself more carefully, I discovered that the name was quite clearly "Henry T. Fay." The middle initial had been falsely indexed. Henry was 53 and blind; he had been born in Vermont. No relationship was given to Daniel Merritt, but it was safe to assume that this was Daniel's father. Daniel himself was said to have been born in New York.
   
As part of the process of researching Daniel and Amanda, Scott ran a search which showed the existence of a pension file and the existence of 'contesting widows.' I obtained a copy of the full pension file from NARA and transcribed most of it and put it up. The pension file index leads to all the different parts of that file. For the purpose of this summary, the most significant items in the file are information and documentation for Amanda's marriage to Daniel, Amanda's family (Ford), more of Daniel's family (Partch), and the fact that Daniel was born in Chautauqua County, New York in 1828 (year calculated from the age given on the medical records on at least three separate dates).
   
The pension file and further research into the Partch and Ford lines made it clear that Daniel and Amanda had started out from Conneaut, Crawford County, PA. The 1840 census shows both Henry Fay and James Partch in Conneaut, Homer Partch close by in Beaver, and Ambrose Ford not far away. The 1840 census lists Henry as "Henry F. Fay." This is the ONLY place where the initial is actually "F"-- all of the other references in original documents show a "T" or no initial. That it was difficult for people to distinguish between the two is proved by the number of times an indexer has made a mistake. It was this mistake, however, which led me to Henry's people. I ran a search for 'Henry F. Fay' in 1830, and found him, according to the index, in Richmond, Vermont. This of course led to the question of his relationship to the Richmond group. That he WAS connected could not be doubted.
   
My original hypothesis was that he was actually "Henry Fisk Fay, Jr.": the son of Henry Fisk Fay and Betsey Talcott, given his father's name. What I discovered is that he was indeed the son of Henry Fisk and Betsey, but his name was "Henry T. Fay" and not "Henry F." Again, it was the original documents which cleared up this matter; the census itself was "Henry T." and the probate estate documents and land records show the middle initial "T" where they show any. What that "T" stood for is not known at the moment. It has been suggested that it stood for "Truman," and that is certainly possible: Nathan, the older brother of Henry Fisk, had a son in 1806 whom he named "Truman." My guess, however, is that it stood for "Talcott," the maiden name of Henry T.'s mother. This would fit the naming conventions better for the eldest son.
   
The information found on Henry Fisk's page is based primarily on three things: census records; the probate file of Henry's estate; and the original list of Henry's children found in Orlin.
   
Once I had established that "my" Henry, the one who was the father of Daniel Merritt, was a member of the Richmond group, I needed to find evidence to confirm this. By then I knew from other sources that the name of Henry's wife and the mother of Daniel Merritt was Almina Partch, who lived in Hinesburgh, a town next to Richmond. My searches led me to Alice Eichholz, Ph.D., CG, of "New Trails!," newtrails@adelphia.net, who searched for and found original documents pertaining to the Richmond Fays and sent me copies.
   
That is the background; what follows are the conclusions.
   
TIMELINE
   
1797 Henry T. Fay born to Henry Fisk and Betsey Talcott Fay
   
EVIDENCE
AND
DISCUSSION
The year of birth is uncertain. There seems to be no record of his birth in the Vital Records of Vermont. In 1850, his age is given as 53; in 1860, his age is given as 65, and in 1870 as 78. By then he is in the "Poor House" in Illinois. The probate records show only that he was over 21 in 1819, since no guardian was appointed for him. The next child after Henry was Betsey, who was born in 1802, according to the 1850 census (according to the 1860 census, she was born in 1799), and was probably married by 1819. Orlin knows of one daughter before Henry, although as far as we can tell, Harriet died young, for she is not mentioned in her father's will. We will probably never know the exact dates of birth for most of these people.
   
1805 Almina Partch born in Hinesburgh to James and Tamar Hayes Partch.
   
EVIDENCE
AND
DISCUSSION
There is a book on the Partch family from which some of the information on the Partch line was taken, and there is a biography of James Partch listed on the section directory. The 1850 census shows Almina age 45. The name of the town is variously spelled Hinesburg and Hinesburgh.
   
1818-1819 Henry Fisk Fay dies and the long process of probating the will begins. Henry T. seems to be in Richmond during this time.
   
1820 Henry's location is not known. He is not with Betsey in Richmond; his name does not appear on the census index in Vermont. It does not seem to appear in New York.
   
1823 Henry is in Richmond where he posts a bond for surety.
   
1824 Henry is out of state in New York.
   
1825 Henry is out of state in New York.
   
1827 Henry and Almina are married
   
EVIDENCE
AND
DISCUSSION
The fact of their marriage is recorded in the Partch family histories. It is confirmed by the affidavits found in the Civil War Pension File of Daniel Merritt Fay. The date is uncertain. According to calculations based on the pension files, Daniel was born in 1828. Amanda's family Bible, however, shows his birthdate to be July 2, 1825. Since Amanda was born in 1825, it is quite possible that Daniel said he was older than he really was. It is also possible that when Amanda copied the information, she miscopied the birth date since that was less important than the marriage date. I tend to think the medical records are more accurate.
   
1830 Henry and Almina are in Richmond, with two sons.
   
EVIDENCE
AND
DISCUSSION
The census of 1830 shows the number of sons and approximate age only. Daniel was obviously one; the second I believe to have been named George. George was born in Vermont in 1830. He is present in Conneaut in 1850. That is the same place Henry and Daniel started out; and it is where Almina is located in 1850.
   
1840 Henry and Almina are in Conneaut, Crawford, Pennsylvania.
   
EVIDENCE
AND
DISCUSSION
The census shows them in Conneaut. This is the period during which the Partch, Ford and Fay families mingled together. The evidence of the Pension file shows a great deal of this, and it is all supported by the movements of the families in the census. The biography of James Partch indicates that he moved from Vermont to Pennsylvania in 1839. It is not clear exactly when Henry moved to Pennsylvania, but it is logical to assume that it was during the late 1830's, for the Partches and Fays stayed close together, as did the Fords once they joined the group in Pennsylvania.
   
1848 Daniel Merritt Fay and Amanda Cornelia Ford were married in Pierpont, Ashtabula, Ohio.
   
EVIDENCE
AND
DISCUSSION
Thoroughly documented in the pension files. According to Amanda's deposition, they lived in Pennsylvania for a couple of years before travelling to Iowa.
   
1850 Daniel and Amanda are in Boardman, Clayton County, Iowa; Henry T. is a member of their household. He is 53 and blind.
   
1850 Almina Fay is living with her brother Homer Partch in Conneaut.
   
EVIDENCE
AND
DISCUSSION
This is one of the things I find puzzling. Why did Almina stay in Conneaut while Henry went off with Daniel Merritt and Amanda? There were a couple of movements out from Conneaut to Iowa. According to Amanda's summary, she must have moved just before the time the census was taken in 1850. Was Almina waiting until Daniel became established? And did she plan to go in the next trip out? I have not found her after this. It may be she planned to go, but became sick and could not, and then died. I doubt that we shall know. It is also worth noting that the census records show two daughters. In 1840, they were both under 5. What happened to the girls? There ARE two young Fay girls in 1850 in Conneaut, and they are ages 13 and 14. Are those the daughters of Henry and Almina, and is this why Almina stayed in Conneaut? until her daughters should be old enough to be married?
   
1860 Daniel Merritt and Amanda are in Read, Clayton County, Iowa.
   
EVIDENCE
AND
DISCUSSION
Two children are with them. Two years later, Daniel starts his Civil War service.
   
1860 Henry is in Mercer County, Illinois at the house of Edwin Bishop.
   
EVIDENCE
AND
DISCUSSION
Private correspondence between Scott and a woman at the Poor House (see below) offers an explanation for Henry's being at Bishop's.
"In the 1860 census where Henry is shown as a laborer for Bishop it may have only been a 'legal' relationship. The History of Mercer County 1882 says Edwin Bishop was justice of the peace in Eliza Township for 24 years so as such he may have had responsibility for Henry and let him work for him as long as he was able before consigning him to the poor farm. It's too bad that the person admitting him [to the Poor House] is not readable."
   
1870 Amanda and her children are in Boardman, Clayton County, Iowa
   
1870 Daniel Merritt is in prison in Iowa. When he gets out, he takes Hattie, "marries" her, and moves to Illinois.
   
1870 Henry is in the Poor House in Perrytown, Mercer County, Illinois.
   
EVIDENCE
AND
DISCUSSION
"Henry Fay was admitted [to the County Poor House] September 25, 1861. He was a widower from Eliza Township; could read and write; health bad; habits temperate; on the next page which gives date of admission, I cannot read property, authorization for admission, supposed cause of pauperism. There is no date of discharge given, then there is a word I cannot read but it could be "died" as it appears to be four letters with the second letter dotted, then May 16, 1876, which more than likely means that he is buried there."
From private correspondence addressed to Scott Osborn from The Mercer County Farm
   
DESCENDANTS
   
Daniel Merritt Fay  b: 1828
+Amanda Cornelia Ford  b: 12/1827
see Daniel's page
George Fay  b: 1830
+Catharine  b: 1831
Caroline Fay  b: 1851
Nelson George Fay  b: 1858
+Alta Huckleberry
James C. Fay  b: 1861
Mary L. Fay  b: 1836
Betsy Fay  b: 1837