The Fay Family: Genealogies: Maud Amanda Fay

Herbert Rawson Salisbury, born 7/13/1866 in Stacyville, IA, to Henry Salisbury and Ellen Rawson, was married on October 4, 1897, in Clermont, IA, to Maud Amanda Fay, born 7/1/1878, died 12/18/1942.
Who were Maud Amanda Fay's parents?
Maud's father was Ambrose E. Fay, the son of Daniel and Amanda Fay. Maud's mother was Leona Jane Baker. A marriage confirmation has now been found, supporting conclusions which had been reached in the course of research. This is an excellent example of just how far census documentation can take you. This page was dedicated to the search, and it has been left mostly as it was except for the final step.
The census of 1850 becomes of even more importance now, for it is that census that shows us Daniel and Amanda Fay, with their first child Ambrose, and Henry F. Fay, a man of 53, blind, born in Vermont. Henry is not with Daniel's family in 1860, so it is likely that he died between 1850 and 1860. We do not yet know the parentage of Henry F. Fay; we have eliminated several possibilities, but not yet found the right one. This is our next mystery.
1900: The First Certainty
In the 1900 census, the family is living in Delhi Township, Delaware County, Iowa. Herbert is 33; he was born in July 1866 in Iowa; his father was born in New York and his mother in Michigan.
Maud A. was born in Iowa (her parents also, according to the census) in July of 1878, and is now 21. They have been married two years, and have a son, Marshall, born November 1898, now 1.
The First Attempt
Many efforts were made to track Maud. The most likely one seemed to be a baby who was born to William and Alice Fay, in Cedar Rapids, Linn Co., Iowa. At the time of the census, Maud was three. William was said to be born in Massachusetts, Alice in NY. This couple IS in Orlin, on page 264, and everything seemed to fit within the limits of census accuracy. Maude (and Orlin has an 'e' where the census does not) was born July 10, 1877. The one year difference in birth date could be explained away.
However, further investigation revealed that in the 1900 census, Maud was still with her parents, in San Diego City in California. She could not be the Maud who married Herbert Salisbury and was with him in Iowa in 1900.
The Second Attempt
The LDS ancestor base has a record of the birth of Maud to a Leona Baker and a John Fay in 1878, in Clermont, Fayette, Iowa. This file specifically mentions her marriage to Bert Salsbury [sic] in 1898. This sounded very promising, but it could not be supported by any evidence. It was thought for a while that this was the key, and it may still be [as we now know, it was part of the key]. If Leona is Maud's mother, and John her father, why does none of the three appear in the 1880 census? If they ARE in that census, we have not been able to find them. If one examines the file at LDS further, it is apparent that there are mistakes and inconsistencies in it. And there seems to be no documentation.

With some effort contact was made with the person responsible for the information in that particular file; the information came from a grandmother who is no longer living. Leona, born about 1856, was said to be the daughter of Ralph Albert Baker and Narcissis Gehon. I was able to find her family in 1850, and again in 1860, where she is 6. But the line there does not seem to justify further exploration, even though I thought at first that it might be easier to trace the baby through the grandparents. [The family was not together in 1870; Narcissa is living with an older woman; Albert seems to be gone; and Leona has not been found.]
Which in fact may be the case, but not through the Bakers. The most recent communication from the family includes a note that Maud's mother died young but her grandmother lived with her until they left for Oregon about 1905. They left her there in Iowa. There is no grandmother living with Herbert and Maud in 1900. But is there trace of a possible grandmother?
Amanda C. Fay
I discovered in some notes I had made earlier a reference to an "Amanda C. Fay." And I went back to the 1880 census and looked a bit longer at an entry for a "Maud Fay" under the name "Hibbard."

Census Place:   Cox Creek, Clayton, Iowa
        Source: FHL Film 1254333  National Archives Film T9-0333     Page 320D
        Relation        Sex     Marr    Race    Age     Birthplace
Lester M. HIBBARD       Self    M       M       W       25      PA
        Occ:    Farmer  Fa: PA  Mo: PA
Fanelia HIBBARD Wife    F       M       W       24      IA
        Occ:    Keeping House   Fa: PA  Mo: OH
Edna HIBBARD    Dau     F       S       W       1       IA
                        Fa: PA  Mo: IA
Maud FAY        Niece   F       S       W       1       IA
                        Fa: PA  Mo: IA
Since Maud is a niece, she can only be the child of Lester's sister or Fanelia's brother. Is there any other evidence of Fanelia's family around? In the same census, there is an Amanda C. Fay:

	Census Place:	St. John, Clayton, Iowa
	Source:	FHL Film 1254333  National Archives Film T9-0333     Page 321A     
	Relation	Sex	Marr	Race	Age	Birthplace
Amanda C. FAY	Self	F	D	W	45	OH
	Occ:	Keeping House	Fa: CT	Mo: NY
Delmer M. FAY	Son	M	S	W	12	IA
	Occ:	At Home	Fa: NY	Mo: CT
Having found an Amanda C. Fay living close to the Hibbards in 1880, I looked at the 1900 census.
Here, we find that Amanda is now living WITH the Hibbard's and that she is clearly marked as Lester's mother-in-law, the mother therefore of Fanelia.
Amanda C. Fay's history
I like this one not only because the dates and the locations are right, but also because of the two names, Amanda and Maud Amanda. It would be so common for a daughter to be named for her father's mother. I then looked further at Amanda.

The first evidence of Amanda C. Fay is in 1850. She is in Iowa, Boardman Township in Clayton County.
She is 22, was born in NY, married to Daniel M, has one child, Ambrose E. who is 8 months old. Subtracting, she was born 1828; Daniel in 1828; Ambrose in 1849. In addition, there is a Henry F. living with them; he was born in Vermont, he is 53, and was born in 1797.
The Evidence of 1870
The next mention we have of her comes from 1870, again from Boardman.
Daniel is not here now. Amanda, now 44 [calc. birthdate is 1826], is head of house. Ohio is given as her state of birth. Ambrose is 20 (born in PA). There are three more children born in Iowa: Cornelia G, age 14; Merritt, age 10; and Delmer M, age 2.
The absence of Daniel is a mystery until we look at the census of 1880, where Amanda is said to be divorced. The couple must have separated, if not divorced, between 1868, the birth of Delmer, and the census of 1870. We know that Daniel fought in the Civil War; he seems to have enlisted in 1862, and again in 1864. He applied for and received an invalid's pension in 1890. In 1896, his widow Amanda applied for and received a widow's pension. There is something else here, though, and that is the mention of a "Con Wid": Hattie L. Fay, filing from Illinois. When did Daniel marry Hattie, and did he have children with her and what happened to her? More questions. It would be interesting to get the complete pension file and learn more.
In 1880 Amanda is in St. John, Clayton County. Her age is given as 45, which cuts 10 years off it. Of her children, only Delmer is with her. Although just the two live in this household, right new door is a large family; and living with the family is Homer Fay, age 18, with exactly the same birth information as Delmer: IA, NY, OH. "Homer" is too young to be Ambrose; but could this possibly be Merritt? Merritt was said to be 10 in 1870, but as we see for Amanda, age is not reliable here.
Some Conclusions
At this point, we pick up the Hibbards and Maud Fay again.

Amanda is said to have been born in December 1824, in Ohio, and to be 75 now. Fanelia E. was born 1855 in Iowa and is 44. Her father is said to have been born in PA, her mother in OH.

Now look at Maud in the 1900 census: she was born in Iowa; her mother was born in Iowa, and her father was born in Iowa.

I think this is the one we want. She was born about 1826 in New York where she was married; she may have spent a year in PA (birth of Ambrose); then moved to Iowa, where she remained, her later children all being born there.

She had four children, Ambrose, Cornelia, Merritt and Delmer. I think that Fanelia or Fernelia (the 1900 census is so hard to read that she is not listed in the index) IS Cornelia. The ages are right, and so are the states, although for this family, the states are totally mixed up.

But IS this the right Maud? and the right Amanda?
This is our mystery. Can you help?
Please email Scott Osborn if you have information! Thank you!
Thanks to the persistence of Scott, we now know that this was indeed the answer: see the marriage document.
Vermont Directory
Henry Fisk Fay: Expanded Directory