Patrick Fay (1840-1894)

     As you will recall Patrick had met Julia Duggan, most likely in Brooklyn, and they married on June 17, 1865 at St. Ignatius Loyola Church on Park Ave. and 84th St. in Manhattan. Their first son William was born in 1866. In 1867 Patrick was listed as a blacksmith and horseshoer, living at 208 West 36th St. (between 7th and 8th Ave.). Patrick had emigrated around 1861 and it seems likely that he picked up the blacksmithing trade by working for his uncle Lawrence Lyons, while in Brooklyn. He was to stick with this trade for the remainder of his life.

     Patrick and Julia lived in the Midtown area on the West side for about twenty years. They had seven more children (six of whom survived) while living there – Joseph (b.1867), Elizabeth (b.1869), Margaret (b.1871), Lawrence (b. 1874), Edward (b.1877) and Julia (b.1879). In keeping with the strict Irish naming pattern they named their first four children after their parents. Lawrence and Edward were probably named  after their grandfathers. They also had a male child in 1872 that did not survive, no doubt to be named Patrick, and of course Julia who was named after her mother. Unfortunately baby Julia also died at less than a year old in June of 1880.

       It turns out that both Margaret (b.1871) and Lawrence (b.1874) were baptized in Newark, New Jersey. So apparently the Fays had relocated to Newark, although Patrick was still listed in the New York City Directory. Perhaps they were feeling the squeeze of rapidly accelerating industrial life. It was at this time that steam powered elevated trains were being constructed in lower Manhattan and on the West side, although horse-drawn vehicles were still the primary means of transportation.

    In 1878 Patrick finally did relocate – he moved his family north to Harlem, living first on 8th Ave , around 124th Street.  Harlem during that time was growing rapidly, especially after the elevated railroads were extended there in 1880. But it was largely becoming a refuge for poorer Jewish and Italian families who were fleeing the overcrowded tenements of lower Manhattan.

      Patrick continued plying his trade as a horseshoer. And in Harlem he and Julia had another three children – Anna (b.1881), Catherine (b.1883) and Charles (b.1886).

The Family of Patrick Fay and Julia Duggan
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       In 1890 all of the Fay children were still living at home, with the exception of William. However on May 12 of 1894 their father passed away at the age of 53. His Death Certificate listed the cause of death as Cirrhosis of the liver. He was buried in Holy Cross cemetery in Brooklyn near the grave site of his younger brother Lawrence, who had died six years earlier. This certainly seems to speak to the fact that, despite living in three different boroughs, the Fays had kept in touch with each other. 

     William, the eldest son, had married Mary Dolan in 1887. She too was a first generation citizen of Irish parents. Her father Patrick was a plasterer living on the upper East Side, and he and his wife  Annie had six children, Mary being the eldest.

     William and Mary set up housekeeping on West 125th St. just a few blocks from his parents. William made his living as a plumber, and together he and Mary would have six children. In May of 1907, with Mary pregnant with their daughter Kathleen, William passed away. His death certificate stated he died of Delirium tremens  of Uremia – the final stages of kidney failure due to chronic kidney disease, often caused by diabetes and high blood pressure.  He was buried with his father in Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn.

     After William’s death Mary relocated to Columbus Ave. around 100th St. She remained in that area for the next four decades, as one by one her children married and moved out. Mary died in 1943 and was buried in St. Raymond’s  Cemetery in the Bronx.

The Family of William Fay (1866-1907)
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     Shortly after Patrick died, his son Joseph married a woman named Nellie McSorley. They stayed in the Harlem area and were running a saloon there in 1900. Apparently that did not work out, because by 1905 Joseph was working as a painter. The couple had no children, but did share their flat with Nellie’s niece Mary McSorley. Joseph died suddenly in June of 1908 and was buried in St. Raymond’s cemetery in the Bronx.

     Elizabeth was married in 1897 to Alfred Van Every. The couple first  set up housekeeping in the Bronx, but then moved to Hemstead, L.I, in 1910, where Alfred worked as a refrigerator salesman. Meanwhile in 1906 her sister Catherine had married John Farley, another 1st generation Irish-American, and they too had settled in the Bronx, having two daughters there – Mary and Anna. In 1920, when they left Hempstead, “Lizzie” and Alfred moved in with the Farleys for a while, but by 1925 they had relocated to Astoria, Queens, and later to Jackson Heights. Alfred, a salesman his whole career, died in 1936. Elizabeth lived on till 1944, when she was finally laid to rest in Holy Cross cemetery in Brooklyn.

     Margaret “Maggie” Fay, Lizzie’s next younger sister had married Charles D. Conry a year after her father died. In 1900 they had an apartment on St. Nicholas Ave in Harlem, not too far from where her mother Julia and the remaining siblings were living. Charles was working as a shipping clerk, and they eventually had two daughters,  Alice in 1902, and Helen in November of 1905. It’s possible that Maggie was adversely effected by the birth of her daughter, because she died just six months later at the age of 35. Meanwhile her mother, Julia Fay, had just passed away in February, at the age of  64. They were buried together in Holy Cross Cemetery in Patrick Fay’s burial lot.

     Lawrence , the son baptized in New Jersey, had moved out of his mother’s house before 1900. Apparently he had married and was living on Amsterdam Ave on the Upper West side, working as a driver. Unfortunately he died on August 12 of 1903. He was buried with his father in Holy Cross cemetery in Brooklyn

      In January of 1901  his next younger brother, Edward,  married a local girl of German extraction, Louise “Lucy” Biehn. They moved in with her large family on W 130th St. a few blocks from the rest of the Fays. Edward pursued the traditional Irish career path as a bartender. The couple had three children – Robert, Raymond, and Ethel – before Edward died of tuberculosis in 1919 at an early age of 42.

Edward Fay and Lucy Biehn . . . . Raymond, Edward and Ethel Fay (circa 1915)
The Family of Patrick Fay and Julia Duggan – Part I
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      Anna Fay married her husband, Edward Hines, the only son of a piano maker in Manhattan, around 1904. Edward was a compositor, someone who sets the typeface for printing presses. After they married, Anna and Edward moved in with her older sister, “Lizzie” Van Every , who was living in the Bronx at the time. In 1915 they also shared a house with Catherine and John Farley. The Hines remained in the Bronx for twenty five years, while they raised their four daughters – Grace, Gladys, Dorothy and Lillian. In 1930 they once again moved in with the Van Everys on  41 St. in Queens. But in September of that year Edward died. Anna went on to marry John Youngham, thereafter residing with him in Whitestone, Queens. Anna ended up living to the age of 84 years, dying in January of 1965.

     As I mentioned before Catherine Fay, Anna’s younger sister  had married John Farley in 1906 and had two girls, Mary and Anna. When John died in 1928, Catherine (Kate) moved in with her eldest daughter Mary who had married a bricklayer, William Fecher. Unfortunately Mary died on September 29 of 1830 after giving birth.  William went on to remarry, and the 1940 Census shows a son named William born around 1931. This I am quite sure was Mary’s child. Her mother Catherine is hard to trace after that point, but there is a recorded death of a Catherine Farley (b. 1884) in Manhattan on St. Patrick’s Day, 1951. 

     Charles was Patrick’s youngest son, and he married Della Doyle in April of 1910. Della had been born in Ireland around 1887 and had emigrated sometime around 1905. There is a record of a Delia Doyle arriving in 1907 from Killkelly, Ireland to stay with her sister Mary who was living on West 121st St. – not far from where Charles was living. After they married they too moved to Queens. They had but one child, a girl named May around 1911. Charles was a gas fitter his whole life. It seems that Della died in February of 1940. At the time their daughter May and her husband George Johnson were living with them. There is some evidence that Charles Fay might have lived till he was 90, dying in Ft. Myers Florida in 1977.

The Family of Patrick Fay and Julia Duggan – Part II
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    Patrick Fay was certainly a prolific family man. He and Julia had eleven children that we know of. And though his children were by no means as fruitful, they did manage to pepper the Bronx and Queens with a bunch of descendants that could all trace back their lineage to that little eight acre farm in Rathcogue, West Meath.