The Fay Family: Benajah Fay

Benajah Fay (1773-1862) of Parma, Ohio
And his Descendants
Benajah Fay was born July 28, 1773 near Fay's Cove on Attom Pond, near Sturbridge, Massachusetts, the son of Ebenezer Fay and Mary (Mason) Fay and great grandson of John Fay of Marlboro.
"[Ebenezer] settled in Sturbridge near Attom Pond at a point which took the name of "Fays Cove" which was then in the midst of a dense forest one mile or more from where there had ever been any public road. He afterwards built on a portion of his large tract of land near the residence of Cyrus and John Fay.
"He was very fond of fishing in the Pond above named and he used to go on horseback and get his saddlebage full of fish, this was after his removal from Fay's Cove." (OPF, p. 203)
Modern maps of Worcester County and of Sturbridge do not show an "Attom Pond." They do, however, show an "Allum Pond" or "Alum Pond." A look at the history of the area, and study of older maps, confirmed the identification. Discussion of this, and some old maps, including one that actually shows "Fays Cove," may be seen here.
Writing of Benajah himself, Orlin summarizes the information he has been able to find out. He ends his short biography with the words:
"It would seem that Benajah Fay Sen., had 4 chil., 3 by wife Ruth (and if only three) that he must have been married three times. Several letters have been written to his descendants in Parma, and elsewhere, with the hope that a satisfactory solution of the case will yet be secured." (OPF, p. 205)
There were in fact three wives, and far more than the four children of whom Orlin knew. That the line of descent can now be established so clearly and with such a degree of completion is due to JAMES SHREVE, SR.
Index of Photographs of Jeremiah Wilcox Fay and family
Index of Photographs of Lyman Fay and Ulysses S. Fay
Index of Photographs from the Album of Mary L. Fay
Index of Photographs of Caswell and Valentine Families
Index of Photographs for Alfred Wylie Fay, son of Jeremiah Wilcox Fay
Index of Documents, Family of Benajah Fay
Solomon Caswell's Memoirs
Photograph of Fay Family Reunion in 1900
Photograph of the Fay Homestead, about 1900
recently contributed and transcribed obits: Clarence E. Fay
(see below for more links)
Parma, Ohio
from The History of Parma by Ernest R. Kubasek
Published in 1976 by Ernest R. Kubasek and Bernard Survoy
Posted by Jim Shreve, Sr., January 7, 2000
"For your perusal, here's some text from "The History of Parma" by Ernest R. Kubasek published in 1976 by Ernest R. Kubasek and Bernard Survoy. This will be presented with me only removing information that does not pertain to the FAYS. Please pardon the occasional typos."--Jim
page 49-51

"In the waning days of 1815, the same year that the war with the British ended, a man, his wife, and their ten children were preparing themselves, their wagons and their team of oxen for the long trek from New York into the Ohio wilderness. Taking the trail from Albany to Buffalo, where it connected with the Lake Trail, the man traveled the distance walking alongside his wagon. most of his ten children walked with him, tending to the horse tied to the back of the wagon. Oftentimes his wife would walk along with him, carrying an infant child, less than one year old, while he carried another small child. There were many stops made, to rest the animals and tend to the injuries of man and woman alike.

The reasons for coming, or not coming, varied; but the inducements that brought this man and his family to a land they had never seen were many. The cost of the land was low, and the soil was richly fertile, there was no slavery and a man's labor received a high price for a day's work.

It was Benejah Fay, a native of Massachusetts, who came with his wife, Ruth Wilcox Fay and ten children from Lewis County, New York and first settled on a division of the Western Reserve known as Township 6, Range 13. The year was 1816. The purchase of Township 6 had been acquired by various proprietors, Tuckerman, Cheny, Ely, Blake, and others. the Fay family were the first settlers in the Township, locating themselves on the Blake Tract.

Fay quickly started the task of clearing the land and with his three oldest sons, Asa 15, Joseph Mason 11, and benejah Jr. 10, he built a cabin. The new land had earned the ignoble name of Greenbrier after a thorny, climbing shrub which produces small greenish flowers. . . .

Being the first settlers in Parma held no particular significance however, for Ruth and Benejah Fay. It was probably some time later before they even realized the fact. The land was still wild, and their chores each day started before dawn and lasted well into the night. What is more important than being first, is the matter of what they did after they arrived here. They had to survive and they did.

When the Fay family arrived, Benejah Fay had to cut a road through the woods to his land. The present site of his first settlement is now Theota Avenue at the intersection of Pearl and Ridge Roads.

Fay was a merchant, not a farmer, and his eye for business soon saw an opportunity. His property fronted a wagon trail leading to Medina and Columbus. In 1819 as the road was now becoming wel traveled, he opened a tavern. It was actually a "double log house", with logs fifteen feet long. The cabin itself was 7 feet high. A remarkable construction accomplishment for three boys and a man. He designed it as an inn with loft sleeping quarters for travelers and primitive accommodations for their horses or oxen. The double log cabin was chinked with clay and had a fireplace, spoken of with proud grandiloquence as being large enough for a man to stand in. The location of Benejah Fay's land, plus the large, warm, welcoming fireplace of B. Fay's Inn, made his place a famous landmark for many years. Fay's foresight was further rewarded when in the summer of the following year, 1820, the first stagecoach lines were started on the route between Cleveland and Columbus.

. . .Fay's Inn was the first tavern south of Cleveland on the Columbus Road and quickly became a favorite stopping place for meals, lodging, and spirits. It also earned the distinction of being Parma's first business established.

Another first for Ruth and Ben Fay came in the same year as the arrival of the first stagecoach line in Parma, although this new arrival did not come by coach. On January 26, 1820 Mabel Fay was born to Parma's first settlers and upon her arrival she earned the honorary distinction of being the first child born in the township.

Soon freight wagons and mail lines were running to Columbus and as B. Fay's Inn prospered, in 1826 Benejah Fay replaced the log house with a frame structure. In 1832 he replaced the wooden structure with a brick one which also became the first brick house in the Parma Township.

Benejah Fay served two terms as a town trustee, 1827 and 1828, and four terms as the township Treasurer - 1831, 1832, 1833, and 1834. Fay was born on July 28, 1773 in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Ruth Wilcox Fay was also born there in the year 1781. Ruth Fay died in 1831 and a year later Benejah married Rhoda Roads. There were no children recorded from the second marriage.

Jeremiah Wilcox Fay, born in Parma in 1822, was the grandfather of Dr. Dudley Fay. Dr Fay presently resides on Vista Lane in Parma."
That is the main mentioning of the Fay's, though there are more references throughout the book. Dr. Dudley Fay died on 1-16-1992. My wife's great-grandfather is the brother of Dr. Dudley S Fay. The book on page 50 lists all the children with their birthdates, which I already posted to the list. It fails to mention any other Fays aside from Dr. Dudley Fay or Benejah's children.


Jim & Elicia Shreve
Descendants of Benajah F FAY (OPF 95)
Contributed by Jim Shreve, Sr.
(full and complete update July 2008)
1. Benajah's descendants generation by generation. Created in the PAF format with links to the following generation, as well as with in index of surnames and an index of names.
2. Benajah's descendants: Overview
Full Version
Shortened Version
Biographies and Wisconsin Census Data for the family of Joseph Mason Fay, the son of Benajah Fay
Be sure also to consult the pages of data in the biography and census section
Census Information
FAY's in Ohio Census (1820-70) by County
FAY's in Ohio Census (1820-70): by year, then alphabetically
FAY's in Ohio Census (1820-70): alphabetically
More FAY's in Ohio Census 1870-80
More FAY's in Parma, Ohio Census 1900-1920
Various Miscellaneous Individual Census Entries (Index on Page)
Cemetery Information
FAY Graves in Cuyahoga County, Ohio & Internment Records
FAY graves from Parma Heights Historical Cemetery
Cuyahoga County, Ohio FAY deaths (partial list)
From the Cuyahoga County Necrology Index
FAY Marriages in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, mid 1800's to early to mid 1900's.
Biographies and Obits
Dudley HUMPHREY/Mabel FAY:   Census 1850 and 1860 and Biographies
Eli Fay:   Census 1850, 1860 and 1880 and Biography
Jeremiah Wilcox FAY:   Census 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 and Biography
Dudley S. FAY (1906 - 1992):   Obituary
Fred W. Fey (1844)
Clark Valentine:   (October 20, 1838 - about September 24, 1867)