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THE FAY FAMILY PAGE

GENEALOGIES
   
Winslow Fay (4/24/1787 - 12/13/1842)
And his Descendants
   
   
John Fay
John, Jr. (OPF #2) (1669 - 1747) son of John and Mary Brigham
Dea. James (OPF #32) (1707 - 1777) son of John Jr. and Elizabeth Wellington
James, Jr. (OPF #67) (2/9/1735 - 3/26/1782) son of Deacon James and Lydia Child
Barnabas (OPF #390) (10/30/1758 - 3/27/1830) son of James, Jr. and Mary Winslow
Winslow (OPF #1119) (4/24/1787 - 12/13/1842) son of Barnabas and Chloe Packard
descendancy overview below
My search for Robert C. Fay, about whom I was told only that he was born October 7, 1820, and died in 1872 in Coupeville WA, had three major breakthroughs, each of which added significantly to what I knew about him. I started with the census, and found him in 1870 with a family, living on Whidbys Island. The oldest son of the family was 20. I could not read Robert's occupation. I could not find Robert at all in 1850, and in 1860, I found an "R.C." in the same area, but he was single, and I thought that Robert had married long before that. And the state where born was different.
   
1860, Whidbys Island, Island, WA
   
1870, Whidbys Island, Island, WA
   
Because Robert lived in Washington, I turned to the US GenWeb for Washington State, and there I found information leading to the first breakthrough. I found an article about sea captains of Washington, which contained biographies of several of these pilots, including Robert C. Fay. I quote Robert's biography below (source information follows the material).
   
SEA CAPTAINS OF WHIDBY ISLAND -- ISLAND COUNTY HISTORY
Whidby Island became the permanent home of many famous sea captains. "Master Mariners" they were called. Captain Thomas Coupe, Captain Howard Bently Lovejoy, Captain Robert C. Fay, and probably others were pilots....
Captain Robert C. Fay, pilot, was born in Cuttingsville, Vermont, in 1820. In 1845 he sailed as Mate on the ship "Harvest" with Captain Coffin, master. They sailed out of Tarpaulin Cove, February 18, 1845, bound on a whaling voyage to the Pacific Ocean for a full cargo of sperm oil. This proved to be a voyage of three and one-half years. (The original log books as kept by Captain Fay are still preserved.) January 1st, 1846, found them still in quest of whale in the neightborhood of the French Rock. They registered at Pitcairn Island. In April 1848, they were homeward bound. On Wednesday, July 5th, 1848, at 11 a.m. they came to anchor back in Nantucket Bay.
The next record says that Captain Fay was in San Francisco in 1849, and sailed from there with Captain Isaiah Folger as Master on the schooner "Exact" which landed the first settlers at Alki Point, November 13, 1851. From that time on Captain Fay remained on Puget Sound taking an active interest in the arrival of all newcomers. We find his name mentioned many times in old records where he helped different families in building their homes and did much to avert serious trouble among the Indians during the uprising of various tribes in 1855-1856.
There are papers preserved recording his experiences with the Indians. He issued them rations daily. He was successful in combating the problem of those few white men who dealt in the liquor traffic, fatal to the keeping of peace among the Redmen and the Whites. He was appointed Government Indian Agent for the Puget Sound Country.
Colonel Simmons, in charge of Treaty Affairs, designated Captain Fay as agent to assemble the chiefs of the tribes to hold a conference. (The original records of these meetings with reports made by Captain Fay and speeches made by the Chiefs are still preserved). On September 12, 1860, Captain Fay married the widow of John Alexander and spent the remainder of his life in Coupeville. He died February 25, 1872.
Letters written to Captain Fay by his sister at the beginning of war talk between the North and South are still preserved in the possession of Ida Alexander Sill. "Robert, we do wish you would come home. We can forsee much trouble and need your gracious presence. It is so hard for us all to understand why a man of your education, ability and family pride should insist on still remaining out in a country inhabited only by savages and those people who are content to give up everything they had here to reside in huts, without schools, churches, or the social life a member of the Fay family should enjoy.
"Have you no explanation to offer? Your conduct in this matter is indeed a problem which we do not discuss other that between muself and our brother Winslow." This verifies the general idea that people in the East had of our great western country and of the pioneers who came and remained to make it famous. Captain Fay was County Superintendent of Schools in 1862.
The US GenWeb Archives provide genealogical and historical data to the general public without fee or charge of any kind. It is intended that this material not be used in a commercial manner.
Text of the book "Sea Captains of Whidby Island". Submitted by Gail Bender February 14, 1998.
   
This gave me several vital pieces of information about Robert.
  • He was born in Cuttingsville, Vermont in 1820. [I think this should be NH]
  • He was on the sea in 1850 and so would not have been in the census.
  • He did not marry until 1860; therefore the older three children in the census are not his.
  • He WAS an indian agent and so the two 1860 centries ARE for him.
  • He had a brother named Winslow and a sister who lived out east.
   
It was the brother named Winslow, as well as the whaling voyages, which led to the next breakthrough. Several searches provided the census of 1840:
Robert C Fay Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Winslow Fay Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts
and, even more conclusive, there was an entry in the logs of the Manuscript Collections held at the Nantucket Historical Association for the Christopher Mitchell (name of vessel), William Keene, master; voyage from October 25, 1841 to February 2, 1845. During the period 3/28/1844 to 4/24/1844, the ship was anchored at the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Apparently Robert and Winslow, who had been signed on, deserted the ship there.
"Desertion: ... Robert and Winslow Fay, Bay of Islands, 4/21/44..."
There were quite a few desertions during the voyage; some returned, some found another way home. The Bay of Islands was a common stop, and it should have been easy for Robert and Winslow to find another berth and return to Nantucket. We know from the biography that Robert sailed out of Tarpaulin Cove, Massachusetts, in 1845. Winslow most probably returned with Robert; we know from the biography that he was close enough to his sister that she could "discuss" Robert's behavior with Winslow.
   
Winslow, though, remains a mystery. I have run many searches in 1850, 1860 and 1870, and I have not found anything. There are Winslow's and Winston's (a common indexer misreading), but none that seems to be Robert's brother. With his name, though, and the other things I knew, I went back to Orlin. And this time, I found them.
   
   
Lucinda, married to Thomas Nesmeth, and living in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1850, chides her younger brother for his behavior unbecoming to a "member of the Fay family." Although Lucinda died in 1852, educated and politically aware people had been discussing the possibility of a war, certain since the laws of 1850 if not before, so there is nothing anachronistic about her comments. And according to Orlin, two sons, Winslow and Robert, went "out west." We know that Robert did; but I am myself not so sure about Winslow. I think it is more likely that he stayed in the east. There is indeed a Winslow in Ohio, but he was there long before the sea-faring Winslow was ready to settle down. There is a Winslow, born in New Hampshire in 1817, in the census of 1860. He is married, with a daughter, living in Titusville, Pennsylvania. He died before 1870, and Mary, his widow, brought up the family, living until after 1910. There were four children. One of them, Ansel W. Fay, had 13 children. I think this is the Winslow we want, but I have no evidence beyond the place of birth and age.
   
My belief that this was indeed Robert's family might have remained just an educated guess, had I not found one more piece of information. This one came from Washington State Digital Archives, Washington Territory Donation Land Claims 1852-1855, land settled at Coupeville 4/29/1853 in the name of Robert Colburn Fay. And Colburn was the maiden name of the mother of Lucinda, Winslow, and Robert.
   
As seen in the census of 1870 above, Robert had three sons: Robert, born 1861, Frank born 1863 and John born 1866. Robert died in 1872. In the census of 1880, the children are still with Frances, but while Frances keeps the last name of Fay, the children all are reported as Alexander.
   
1880, Whidby And Camain Island (Coupeville), Island, WA
   
This is the last time I find Robert's sons. I have searched under Fay, under Alexander, and within limits, under first name, and date and place of birth. I have not found anything.
   
1900, Coupeville, Island, Washington
   
One last note; the Ida Alexander Sill who is mentioned in the above account, was a daughter of Abraham Alexander, the son of John Alexander and Frances Alexander Fay.
   
WINSLOW 1787 and his descendants: Overview
Winslow is the 6th generation
   
2 John Jr. and Elizabeth Wellington
3 James and Lydia Child
4 James 1735-1782 and Mary Winslow
5 Barnabas 1758-1830 and Chloe Packard
6 Winslow 1787-1842 and Betsey Colburn

7  Lucinda Colburn Fay  b: 6/22/1810  d: 12/18/1852
.  +Thomas Nesmith b: 9/7/1788 m: 5/20/1832  d: 7/31/1870
......8  Lucinda C. Nesmith  b: 7/15/1834  d: 8/5/1834
......8  Lucy Elizabeth Nesmith  b: 5/11/1838  d: unknown
......8  Mary M. Nesmith  b: 2/1841  d: 11/24/1848
......8  Maria Louise Nesmith  b: 7/18/1844  d: 8/29/1876
.......  +Walter A. McDaniels  b: 1873  m: 12/6/1875
......8  Henrietta Washburn Nesmith  b: 6/8/1846  d: 10/19/1890
.......  +Edward Hastings  b: 1846  m: 9/28/1870  d: 11/27/1881
............9  Ethel Hastings  b: 10/31/1871
.............  +John Goddard Hart  m: 6/13/1899
............9  Henrietta Hastings  b: 1877
.............  +Stephen Emerson Young  m: 10/3/1905
..................10  Lucy Young  b: 1908
..................10  Mary Young  b: 1910
..................10  Henrietta Young  b: 1913
......8  Thomas Nesmith, Jr.  b: 4/27/1848
.......  +Florence Hildreth  b: 4/5/1848
............9  Hildreth Nesmith  b: 8/23/1876
.............  +Albert William Thompson  b: 2/16/1874  m: 10/6/1898
..................10  Nesmith Thompson  b: 12/23/1899
............9  Thomas Nesmith III  b: 1/4/1879
.............  +Elizabeth N.  b: about 1880
............9  Lauretta Nesmith  b: 5/2/1881  d: 1884
............9  Florence Nesmith  b: 3/1883  d: aft 1920
............9  Fisher Hildreth Nesmith  b: 8/17/1885  d: 6/4/1953
.............  +Elizabeth Flint Nash  b: 9/15/1879  d: 10/1972
..................10  Fisher Hildreth Nesmith Jr b:3/25/1912 d:2/1991
..................10  Mary Baldwin Nesmith  b: 10/29/1913  d: 7/1964
..................10  John A. Nesmith  b: 11/25/1916  d: 11/23/1989
..................10  Anne Nesmith  b: 4/18/1922  d: 10/7/1922
7  Winslow Fay  b: 1817
.  +Mary  b: 1829
......8  Delia L. Fay  b: 1858
.......  +A. B. Shugert  b: 1853
......8  Robert G. FAY   b: 1861
......8  Ansel W. Fay  b: 1863  d: 1/1916
.......  +Josephine Frances Morris b: 8/24/1867 m:1/15/1882 d:5/2/1952 
............9  Charles William Fay  b: 10/26/1883  d: 11/1966
.............  +Maude Derby  b: 1885
..................10  Clara F. Fay  b: 1912
..................10  Florence E. Fay  b: 1917
............9  Fred Roy Fay  b: 2/2/1885
............9  Blanche Fay  b: 9/26/1886  d: 4/1975
.............  +Edward Kopinskie  b: 1/6/1886  d: 9/1971
............9  Goldie May Fay 5/1888
.............  +McLaughlin  
............9  John M Fay  b: 9/6/1890  d: 4/1963
.............  +Edith  b: 1892
..................10  J. Jordon Fay  b: 1919
............9  Robert A Fay  b: 10/24/1892  d: 10/1965
.............  +Dorothy B Allen
..................10  Robert F Fay
..................... +Joanna M Ciano
.........................11  Robert P Fay
............................ +Barbara D Kessler
................................12  Robert A Fay
................................12  Katlyn M Fay
............9  Hazel B Fay  b: 12/1894
.............  +Laurence  
............9  Emma L Fay  b: 8/1896
.............  +Kellogg   
............9  Larelda Fay  b: 3/1900  d: in infancy
............9  Bertha M. Fay  b: 1903  d: 1920
.............  +Hartz
............9  Earl M. Fay  b: 1904
............9  George Leslie Fay  b: 4/15/1906 PA  d: 12/9/1984 TX
.............  +(1)Harriet McCombs  b: 1912  d: 1995
.............  +(2)Valeta F. Tacquard b: 2/1922 m: 10/11/1969 d:12/2007
............9  Laura G. Fay  b: 1909
......8  William E. Fay  b: 9/1866
.......  +Helen  b: 9/1870
7  Robert Colburn Fay  b: 1820  d: 1872
.  +Frances Alexander  m: 9/12/1860
......8  Robert Fay  b: 1861
......8  Frank Fay  b: 1863
......8  John Fay  b: 1866