The Fay Family: Henry Fisk Fay (born 1770)

Henry Fisk Fay (8/26/1770 - 1818)
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
John and Mary Fisk were married in Hardwick, and their marriage and the births of their first six children Susanna, Nathan, Caleb, Helena, John, and Henry) are all recorded in the Vital Records of Hardwick, Massachusetts. After the birth of Henry in 1770 and before the birth of Joseph in 1772, John and Mary moved north to Bennington, Vermont. There, as is well known, John lost his life in the Battle of Bennington; and Mary and the two youngest boys died with a very short space. Henry was 7; and was left to the guardianship of General Samuel Safford, whose daughter Mary married Nathan, Henry's brother, in 1783.
In 1790, Nathan is shown on the census in Williston, with wife and two sons (John and Henry). His next son, Nathan, is said by Orlin to have been born in Richmond; which dates his move there. With his brother Henry, he was among the first settlers of Richmond. Along with Asa Brownson (Asa and Nathan live close together in 1790), they settled in the western part of the town. It should also be remembered that Williston was adjacent to Richmond.
I am indebted to Harriet Riggs of the Richmond Historical Society for the following comment: "I think I should clear up one misconception - that of Nathan Fay and family moving from Williston to Richmond. They didn't move at all; the town line changed.
On October 27, 1794, the Vermont Legislature formed the town of Richmond from parts of Williston, Jericho, and New Huntington (now called Huntington). In 1804, a part of Bolton was added to Richmond. The area where a number of Fays lived is called Fays Corner, a part of the town of Richmond." (from a private communication, March 2005)
There is a map below, dated 1876, showing Williston, Richmond, and Fays Corner within Richmond; and there is a detailed map, dated 1857, of Fays Corner on Roswell Bishop's page.
In 1790, Nathan was 30, Henry 20. It is not clear where Henry is in 1790; he doesn't seem to have his own household yet, and he is not living with Nathan. David Talcott had moved from Massachusetts to Williston prior to 1786, and he is listed on the Williston census of 1790 (his name is indexed 'Tolcott'). There are four males over 16 in David Talcott's household; it is possible that Henry works on the place, and is listed as part of that household. That would explain how he came to meet and marry Betsey, who would have been 15 in 1790.
It is not known when Betsey married Henry, but probably about 1794. Their first daughter seems to have been born in 1795. At any rate, both Nathan and Henry appear in Richmond in the census of 1800 with wives and growing families.
Nathan and Henry were engaged for years as clothiers at Fay's Corners, where they carried on the business of carding wool and cloth-dressing, said to have been the first works of the kind in Chittenden County. Nathan, the older of the two, served in the war of 1812.
According to Orlin, Henry Fisk was a lawyer in Burlington, but I think this is a mistake. Henry's brother John was a lawyer in Burlington; but there is no evidence that Henry ever lived in Burlington. All of the evidence points to the conclusion that he remained in Richmond.
One of the things that makes studying this line more difficult is the practice of these lines to use the names "Henry" and "Nathan" in each generation and each line. Thus we have the following people:
  • Nathan, b. 1760, son of John and Mary Fisk
  • Henry, b. 1770, son of John and Mary Fisk
  • Nathan, b. 1785, son of Nathan and Mary Safford, d. 1788
  • Henry, b. 1788, son of Nathan and Mary Safford
  • Nathan, b. 1791, son of Nathan and Mary Safford
  • Henry, b. 1797, son of Henry and Betsey Talcott
  • Nathan, b. 1811, son of Henry and Betsey Talcott
This naming was not at all unusual, of course; the pattern recurs in most of the lines. But the presence of some or all of these at one time in Richmond, Vermont, makes it difficult to decide which of the men we find in any one given situation.
The early census records help a little in keeping people organized, but they are also somewhat difficult to read and follow. For a summary of the census records of Richmond, with a brief discussion of the conclusions, click here for Nathan's line, and here for Henry's line. The full version (without discussion) is here.
Chittenden County, Vermont, 1876, by H. W. Burgett and Co. (detail)
image copyright 2005 by Cartography Associates
used with permission
6  Harriet Fay
Harriet seems to have died in early childhood. She appears as one of the three girls under 10 on the 1800 census. By the 1810, there are only two in the 10-15 group. The probate documents prove that Betsey and Maria were still living in 1825; therefore, Harried died between 1800 and 1810.
6  Henry T. Fay  b: about 1797
Note: Line is continued and discussed on a separate page.
6  Betsey Fay
...+Alvin (or Alvan) Plummer
.....7  Wesley Plummer  b: 1828
.....7  Calista Plummer  b: 1826
.....7  Eugene Plummer  b: 1830
......  +Nancy  b: 1830  
..........8  Alice Plummer  b: 1858
..........8  Annie Plummer  b: 1864
.....7  Caroline  b: 1834
.....7  Mary  b: 1837
.....7  Joseph  b: 1841
6  Sukey (Sucah) Maria Fay
Maria was one of the oldest daughters; she was the one who petitioned for the final division of the estate. It had always puzzled me that Henry would have named one daughter Maria and a later daughter Mary. The land sale records and the probate show that "Maria" was her middle name.
6  Louisa Fay (see below for discussion)
There is another mystery here. The probate records list a daughter named Louisa who is a minor above the age of 14 in 1821; her guardianship is given to John Fay. No guardianship is established for Betsey or for Maria. It is quite clear that Betsey is already married, and it is clear that Maria is not married at the time of the distribution. Orlin knows nothing of Louisa. There is no mention of Louisa in the final distribution. My own guess is that the probate guardianship entry was a mistake. Certainly, mistakes were made from time to time; we have a record in this particular file of a mistake being made and corrected. I do not think there was a child named "Louisa" but rather that John was named guardian for Maria in 1821.
6  Jonathan Fay  b: 1804  d: 7/17/1890
...+Harriet Edwards  b: 1809  d: 4/16/1892
.....7  Juliette S. Fay  b: 1829  d: 5/17/1871
......  +P. S. Whitcomb  b: 1823  d: 4/29/1864
..........8  Frederick Whitcomb  b: 1851	
..........8  George Whitcomb  b: 1854	
..........8  Charles Whitcomb  b: 1857	
..........8  John Whitcomb  b: 1863	
.....7  Irvin Fay  b: 1842
6  David Fay

Note: There is a David Fay of the right age in the census records, but the identification is not yet complete enough to include the data.
6  Nathan Fay  b: 1811  d: 4/30/1889
...+Eliza L.  b: 1816  d: 5/23/1855
.....7  Henry A. Fay  b: 4/6/1840  d: 3/28/1903
.....7  Lucy Jane Fay  b: 8/21/1842  m: about 1864  d: 1915-1920
......  +Sidney N. Tilley  b: 2/20/1843 d: about 1915
..........8  Lora Tilley  b: 1866	
..........8  Alice J. Tilley  b: 6/1878  d: between 1915 and 1920
...........  +Homer B. Phelps  b: 6/1871
...............9  Beatrice J. Phelps  b: 1905
...............9  Murray F. Phelps  b: 1908 
...............9  Charles H. Phelps  b: 1909
...............9  Mildred H. Phelps  b: 1913
...............9  Sidney O. Phelps  b: 2/1915
6  Laura Ann Fay  b: 1808	
...+Warner Davis  b: 1806  d: after 1880	
.....7  Rancil Fay Davis  b: 12/1832	
......  +Jennie Carolyn Cook	 b: 12/1850		
..........8  Helen L. N. Davis  b: 4/1887			
...........  +John H. Becker  b: 1881
...............9  line continues
.....7  Hellen Davis  b: 1837	
.....7  Mary Davis  b: 1838	
.....7  Henry Davis  b: 1842	
.....7  Caroline Davis  b: 1844	
.....7  Byron Davis  b: 1847
......  +Abbie  b: 1850
..........8  George Davis  b: 1875
...........  +Eva M.
.....7  Frank Davis  b: 1859
6  Mary Fay			

Note: this is not the Mary Fay who married Eli Brownson. That Mary, born in 1793, was daughter of Henry's brother Nathan. Mary Fay Brownson has her own Sk number and entry.
6  Caroline Fay  b: 10/6/1817  d: 5/22/1905  m: 3/10/1836
...+William Henry Harrison Pattee b:  3/21/1812 d: 9/1/1903
.....7  Amelia Caroline Pattee  b: 5/8/1837  d: 8/23/1856
.....7  David Jackson Pattee  b: 12/22/1839	
......  +Sarah I  b: 1/1856	
..........8  May B. Pattee  b: 10/1875	
..........8  Harry M. Pattee  b: 12/1877	
..........8  Martha M. Pattee  b: 1/1882	
..........8  Ada C. Pattee  b: 3/1887	
..........8  William H. Pattee  b: 3/1890	
.....7  Lucy Marilla Pattee  b: 9/27/1843	
.....7  Ira Gordon Pattee  b: 9/22/1845	
.....7  Hubbell Laomi Pattee  b: 1/10/1848	
.....7  William Wallace Pattee  b: 4/10/1850  d: 11/30/1872
.....7  Capitola Amelia Pattee  b: 4/5/1858	
.....7  John Henry Pattee  b: 2/9/1861