The Fay Family: Genealogies: Fordyce Fay

What the Census Records Can Contribute

Researched by Linda Fay Kaufman
return to Fordyce's page
The 1810 census page accepted by Engstrom (Sturbridge, Worcester, page 22) has the following entries:

1 male 0-9 yrs 2 females 0-9 yrs
1 male 10-15 yrs
1 male 26-44 yrs. 1 female 26-44 yrs

Joel and Betsey easily fit this pattern. But the children don't exactly.

1810: Joel 32; born April 1778 in Brimfield.
1810: Betsey 29; born November 1781 in Brookfield.

The two girls could be Nancy and Mary. That would place their birth between 1800 and 1810, which makes sense. LDS has Nancy's birth about 1804; the 1850 census shows her as 47, just two years younger than Newell.

If the girls are Nancy and Mary, it seems almost inescapable that one of the boys is Fordyce. If we grant that Betsey and Joel were married about 1803, then a date of 1806 seems acceptable for Fordyce, and a date of 1804 for Nancy. Mary might then have been born about 1808. The older boy would have been born between 1795 and 1800. There is no indication of who he is; perhaps a brother of Betsey?

Lucy 1818-1819; would not show in any census. Her birth seems to come so late that one has to ask if the record is accurate, but in any case, that has no bearing on Fordyce's birth.
The 1820 Brookfield census, page 161, gives us the following:

1 male 0-9 yrs 1 female 10-15 yrs
1 male 10-15 yrs 1 female 16-25 yrs
1 male 26-45 yrs 1 female 26-45 yrs

Joel is 42; Betsey is 39.
Nancy is 16; Mary is 12. Fordyce is 14. There is a younger son; he would have been born between 1810 and 1820. IF we assume that Fordyce was born later than 1806, then we have to explain the boy between 0 and 9 in 1810. I think Fordyce was born in 1806, and there is a new child. That would mean that there was one child between Mary and Lucy, which I think makes sense.
The 1830 census record for Joel hasn't been found yet. Betsey is gone now; Nancy is married and living with Newell Draper and two children in Brookfield. Fordyce is probably already in Baltimore, although according to his obituary, he did not get there until 1832. Perhaps he was in school until then?
The 1840 census for Baltimore, Ward 7, shows one boy under five, one girl under five, a woman 20-30 and a man 30-40.

Catharine was born about 1818, and was 22 in 1840.
Fordyce would have been 34.

The two children are George (b. 1836) and Sarah (b. 1840).
1850: Maryland 5Th Ward Baltimore Page: 129

Fordice with Catharine and six children, George, Sarah, John, Virginia, Mary and Henry.
On the census, Fordice is 39 and Catharine is 32. While Catharine's age agrees with previous information, a date of birth of 1811 is probably not right for Fordice.
Census image not yet found.
Census image not yet found. In 1870, he is age 54 [would make birth year 1816].
1880 Federal Census, 19th Ward, Precinct 6, Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland
FHL Film 1254504 National Archives Film T9-p504 page 147A
Fordice Fay Self Male Married Wh age 60 Born in Ma F/Ma Mo/Ma Leather Inspector
Margaret A. Fay Wife Female Married Wh age 36 Born in Md F/ Ga M/Md Keeping House
Mary Budd Other Female Single Mu age 16 Born in Md F/Md M/Md
The census for 1900, Baltimore, 16th Ward, 8th Precinct, shows only Margaret, Fordyce having died in 1898. His age at death was given as 82, and he had been a resident of Baltimore since 1832 years.

Margaret's date of birth [calculated from age] also varies over the years of the census.
in 1870, she is 32 and Eliza is her daughter [born 1838]
in 1880, she is 36 [born 1844]
in 1900, she is 58 and Eliza is her niece, but she has had one child and that one child is still living; Eliza is 18. This could well be a different Eliza. [born 1842]