The Fay Family: Brigham Fay (1796 - 1846)

Fay Lines in Aurelius and Auburn
Three Fay Lines: Overview
Brigham Fay
James W. Fay
Edwin Reed Fay
Fred Hollister Fay
Harold Van Vechten Fay
Fay Burials in Fort Hill Cemetery
Auburn Cousins: Ward, Reed, Van Vechten
When Brigham Fay came to Aurelius and met and married Johanna Reed, daughter of Jesse and Johanna Carpenter, he joined a family that could trace its roots back to John Reed, born in Cornwall, England, in 1633. John settled first in Rhode Island, moving to NY about 1684.
James, son of Daniel Reed, and great-grandson of John, was born March 29, 1736, in Amenia. He married Joanna Castle on April 17, 1760. James and Joanna had 13 children; Jesse, born July 16, 1768, was the fourth. James resided in Amenia, where he was a distinguished business man. He died there July 20, 1814, ae. 78 years.
Early Settlers of New York State, 1760-1942, Volume I, pp. 654ff. Of the daughters, we know that Julia Ann married Joseph L. Perry; see the discussion of the 1850 census on Edwin's page.
In 1790, James Reed is listed on the census in Amenia, with a household of 7 males 16 and older (himself; Daniel, Reuben, Elijah, Jesse, Stephen, Amos), 4 under 16 (Gilbert, Jacob, Robert, Philo) and 4 females (Johanna; Johanna, Betsey, Rhoda). By 1800, there are only three sons living with James, the others probably having set up their own households, among them Jesse in Aurelius. Since there are older males with Jesse in 1800, it seems likely that a couple of Jesse's brothers went along with him to the farm in Aurelius.
Jesse and Joanna had 7 children in Aurelius: Julia Ann, 10/19/1799; Joanna, 10/8/1802; Betsey B., 6/26/1805; Eliza Ann, 3/18/1808; James C., 9/2/1810; Susan M., 4/8/1813; and Abigail Mariah, 9/2/1815. Jesse died August 25, 1831, in Aurelius. Johanna survived him by many years.
In the census of 1800, Jesse and Johanna have been married three years. They live in Aurelius and they have two young daughters (Julia Ann; and possibly another daughter who died in infancy and wasn't named on lists. Johanna was not yet born. There is no record of a second daughter in this age group on the 1810 census.)
By 1810, Jesse's household contains three daughters (Joanna, Betsey, Eliza) and a son under 10 (James), as well as a male (one of Jesse's brothers still with him?) and a female in the 10-15 age group (Julia Ann). Jesse is 42. Note that there is only one daughter in the 10-15 year group.
James C. eventually inherited the farm. He lived in Auburn, returning frequently to the farm to take care of it. The "C" in his name may stand for Carpenter (from his mother), or Castle (from his grandmother), or it may be something entirely different. James C. Reed died June 22, 1901, and Charlotte, his wife, April 5, 1895. They do not seem to have had any children. They are buried in the Fort Hill Cemetery.
The census pages for 1820 and 1830 show children coming and going and switching age groups. By 1840 Jesse is gone, and the census record is now in the name of "J. C." or "Johanna Carpenter." I believe that the farm now is home not only to Johanna Reed and her younger children, but also to James Reed and his wife Charlotte, AND to Johanna Reed and her husband Brigham Fay, along with their two children. James would be 28 in 1840; Charlotte, his wife, 22; Johanna would be 38, Brigham 43, James 15, and Edwin 11. The census numbers would certainly permit this interpretation. It should also be noted that by 1850, Johanna Fay is a widow like her mother, and she AND her mother and Edwin are in Aurelius together.

With them is also a granddaughter of Johanna Reed by the name of Mary Perry; she is 12.

I think the Fays and the Reeds lived together from the beginning. In Edwin's biography, there is the sentence "His early life was passed upon the farm" confirming the deductions from the census.
Edwin Fay eventually inherited the farm where he grew up.
"The house on the South side of the road was another Tavern and when I first remember was owned by James Reed. He lived in Auburn and came out to the farm most every day, driving an old sorrel horse on a phaeton wagon and Halsey Taylor lived on the farm. James Reed was Edwin Fay's uncle and the farm came to Edwin Fay at Mr. Reed's death and the people living there were constantly changing...Charles Russell, Edward Byrne, the Atkins, Harry Ward, Holmes. The barn on this place was struck by lightning in September or October of 1900 and was rebuilt immediately. Mr. Fay died at the age of 100 years seven months and a few days, and the farm was sold to Henry Weeks who died in November of 1944."
by May Ellison Baker Hall (March 8, 1864 - November 30, 1950)
(from the Cayuga County and Finger Lakes site developed by Bill Hecht)