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Mary Fay (Brigham)

Also Known As: "Faye"
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Dr. John Brigham and Sarah Brigham
Wife of Gershom Fay
Mother of Gershom Fay; Mary Smith; Susanna Fay; Sarah Billings; Silas Fay and 2 others
Sister of Sarah Goodenow; John Brigham; Hannah Ward; Thomas Brigham and Mercy Streeter

Managed by: Kris Hewitt
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Mary Fay


Daughter of Dr. John Brigham and Sarah nee Davis. Mary was distinguished for heroism in the Indian wars.

On 18 Aug 1707 Mrs Mary Fay, two of her children, and Miss Mary Goodnow (daughter of Samuel Goodnow) were gathering herbs in a meadow when they saw twenty or more Indian warriors stealthily approaching. They immediately ran for the fortified home of Samuel Goodnow. Mrs Fay, who was six months pregnant, and her children succeeded in reaching it and closing the gate before their pursuers could overtake them. There was only one man in the garrison at the time; the rest of the men were at work in the field. The savages attempted to break through the enclosure, but were repelled by the heroic defenders inside. Mrs. Fay loaded the muskets, handing them to her male companion who was able to maintain constant fire upon the enemy. Hearing the gunfire, the men in the field returned and the enemy retreated.

Miss Mary Goodnow, being lame from birth, could not escape her pursuers. She was overtaken, seized, and dragged into the woods.

That same day the Indians surprised and took two men who were laboring in the field: Jonathan Wilder, a native of Lancaster, and Daniel Howe of Marlborough. Daniel was able to escape by seizing a rifle from one of the Indians and breaking it over his head; Jonathan was killed.

The next day Capt. Thomas Howe of Marlborough and about twenty men pursued the Indians. They were joined by another twenty or so men from Lancaster. They overtook the enemy, who now numbered thirty-six. A battle ensued in which two white men (John Farren and Richard Singeltary) and ten to twelve Indians died. The packs of the Indians fell into the hands of the whites. In one of them was the scalp of Miss Mary Goodnow. A few days later her mangled body was found and buried.

On 18 Nov 1707, Mrs Mary Fay gave birth to a daughter she named Susanna. The child was afflicted with a constant nervous trembling. At the time it was supposed that the cause of her condition was the fright her mother experienced earlier that year. 

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Mary Fay's Timeline

May 6, 1678
September 17, 1703
Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA
July 10, 1705
Massachusetts, United States
November 18, 1707
October 2, 1710
Massachusetts, United States
August 12, 1713
Marlborough, Middlesex County, MA, United States
June 26, 1716
Massachusetts, United States
August 1721
Marlborough, MA