John Fay, "The Immigrant"

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John Fay, "The Immigrant"

Also Known As: "Faye", "Frye"
Birthdate: (42)
Birthplace: England
Death: December 5, 1690 (38-46)
Marlborough, MIddlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Place of Burial: Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of David Fay and Elizabeth Fay
Husband of Mary Fay (Brigham) and Susanna Bingham
Father of John Fay, Jr.; David Fay; Samuel Fay; Mary Brigham; David Fay and 3 others
Brother of Michael Fay

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Fay, "The Immigrant"

John Fay was born in England about 1648 and died on 5 December 1690 in Marlborough, Massachusetts. His exact burial place is unknown.

Parents: David Fay and an unknown woman.


  1. in Marlborough, Massachusetts to Mary, daughter of Thomas Brigham of Cambridge; 4 children.
  2. on the 5th of July 1678 in in Marlborough, Massachusetts to Mrs. Susanna Morse, widow of Joseph Morse; 4 children.


John Fay (1648-1690) Huguenot refugee from France to Wales, thence in the "Speedwell" to Mass., 1656; lived at Watertown, later Sudbury, and at Marlborough, 1675; m. 1668, Mary ( 1677 ) daug. of Thomas Brigham ( qv ) m. 2d 1678, Susanna, widow of Joseph Morse and daug.. of William Shattuck. [1]


  • Came over in the ship the "Speedwell" via France in 1656 at age 8.
  • On the breaking out of King Philip's war in 1775, he was in Marlborough, MA and was designated among others to defend the garrison house of William Kerley in case of attack. Like most of the settlers, he left the town soon after and repaired to a place of greater safety. (Findagrave)


  1. Taken from " Immigrant Ancestors " Edited by Frederick Adams Virkus. Extracted from Volume II, Compendium of American Genealogy. Pg. 30, REF # 929.1 VIR, Ilion Public Library.
  2. There is reasonable evidence that his father and a brother Michael had preceded him to America, altho' there is no documented record of the father (David) or Michael's birth or death. Reference is made in the early Town records of Sudbury Massachusetts that the father of John and Michael was David Fay "who came to America prior to 1656." (Findagrave)
  3. "History of Hardwick, Massachusetts, with a Genealogical Register, by Lucius R. Paige. Published 1893, by Houghton, Mifflin and Company. (Findagrave)


Link to grave

John immigrated with his parents when 8 years of age on the ship "Speedwell" from Gravesend,England.

John Fay married twice:

  • 1. Mary Brigham in 1668 , daughter (1638/39-1676) of Thomas Brigham and Mercy Hurd ,and had four children:
    • 1. David Fay-15 Oct 1671-2 Aug 1676
    • 2. John(Deacon) Fay-30 Nov 1669-5 Jan 1746
    • 3. Samuel Fay-11 Oct 1673-10 Nov 1732
    • 4. Mary Fay-Brigham-10 Feb 1674-9 Nov 1751
  • 2. Susanna Shattuck-Morse on 5 Jul 1678 ,daughter of William Shattuck in Watertown,and had four children:
    • 1. David Fay-23 Apr 1679-23 Dec 1704
    • 2. Gershom Fay-19 Oct 1681-24 Nov 1720
    • 3. Ruth Fay-Ward-15 Jul 1684-
    • 4. Deliverence Fay-Shattuck-7 Oct 1686-22 Jan 1711

"1656 A List of the Pasingers aboard the Speedwell of London Robert Lock master bound for New England" included a John FAY "aged 08". This one surviving colonial document is said to be the only primary source document left in existence concerning the record of John FAY, patriarch of the FAY family. Speculation followed regarding his youth and associations.

41 passengers were listed on the Speedwell. Other minors sailed the Speedwell: two aged 11 years and two others under 10 as was John FAY. Three passengers were over 40, four passengers over 30, the remaining names on the list averaged in age early to mid 20's. What was true for John FAY was likely true for others on the Speedwell, and during colonial times.

Shortly after John Fay's arrival a group of recent immigrants, including young John moved to a new grant which was newly incorporated under the name of Marlboro, MA. The early records of Marlboro show that John Fay was made a freeman in 1669, at which time he had a wife and child. In 1675 the name of John Fay appears among the proprietors of Worcester, Mass., and that he had a lot of 50 acres assigned to him "in the eastern squadron, lying next to the County road to Boston." Although, he owned land in Worcester he continued to live in Marlboro until the marauding Indians during the Phillips War made it necessary to move his family to the greater security of Watertown Mass. While in Watertown he buried his first wife, Mary Brigham and one child. His second marriage was to Susan "Susanna" Shattuck who was the widow of Joseph Morse. She had 7 children by Morse and 4 by John Fay. After John Fay's death, Susan married as her third husband, Thomas Brigham, who was a brother of John Fay's first wife, Mary Brigham. It is interesting to record that from Susan's last marriage, one of her descendants [actually it was her husband Thomas' brother Samuel] was Peter Bent Brigham who left a sum of $1,000,000 which was not to be spent until 25 years after his death. By this time the fund had grown to $2,000,000 and was used to build the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, a world famous medical research hospital connected with Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass.

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John Fay, "The Immigrant"'s Timeline

November 30, 1669
Age 21
Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
October 15, 1671
Age 23
Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
October 11, 1673
Age 25
Marlboro, Massachusetts, United States
February 10, 1674
Age 26
Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (present USA)