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List of Notes and Resources              Samuel Day Family Page

From a paper by Mary Richmond of the
Fayette County Genealogical Society
100 North Walnut
West Union, Iowa 52175
Telephone:(319) 422-5797:
Thanks to Mary Richmond for her kind permission
to reprint her write-up of research results.
Although this report was written for her personal
use and does not cite sources, it presents a very
nice description of what we know of this family.


Samuel Day and Eunice Fay

        The earliest proven Day ancestor is Samuel Day who, research suggests, was born 26 November 1748 in Cape Ann (Gloucester) MA to Thomas and Mary (Webber?) Day. He and his twin brother , Thomas, were christened the next day, on 27 November 1748.
        Nothing is known of this family for the next 24 years. During that time it appears that Samuel, Thomas and their mother moved to Brimfield (Monson) MA where Samuel met Eunice Fay, the 21-year-old daughter of Edward Fay and Sarah Joslin. They were married at the Congregational church at Stafford CT on 16 January 1772. Eunice was pregnant at the time of the wedding.
        Their first child, Samuel, was born 30 June 1772 (or 15 July 1772 as computed from the age on his gravestone). The birth was not recorded in Stafford CT.
        Two years later, on 18 September 1774, their second son, Edward, was born. This birth was not recorded at Stafford, either. Perhaps Samuel and Edward were born in Monson MA. (Research needed)
        When Edward was seven month old the Revolutionary war began. When the call t arms came on 19 April 1775, both Samuel and his twin brother, Thomas, joined Captain Freeborn Moulton's (Monson) company of Minutemen, Colonel Danielson's regiment, and marched to Cambridge MA. On 3 May 1775, after 18 days of service, Samuel left Cambridge and apparently went home. Thomas left for home the next day.
        Samuel is said to have remained in service until the final surrender at Yorktown in October 1781. But this Massachusetts service record does not contain anything beyond these 18 days of service.
        When Samuel left to fight at Cambridge, Eunice probably took the two small boys and went home to Stafford to live with her parents, Edward and Sarah (Joslin) Fay. Sarah would soon be alone, too; Edward Fay enlisted at Brimfield MA on 20 July 1775 as a private in Captain Isaac Colton's company, Colonel David Brewer's (9th) Regiment.
        It stands to reason that Samuel Day would have re-enlisted at the same time and place as Edward Fay. If so, there is no record of it. He is known to have been home sometime during August or September of 1775 when Eunice conceived for the third time.
        Perhaps it was our Samuel Day who enlisted in Massachusetts in Captain Lyman's company, Colonel Elisha Porter's regiment. This may have occurred after his sojourn with Eunice at Stafford. On 22 July 1776 a Samuel Day was listed on that regiment's roll of deserters. His description was: age 28, 5' 8" tall, dark complexion, resident of Brimfield MA. The age and residence, and maybe more, fit our Samuel.
        On 30 May 1776 the birth of Eunice's third son, Thomas, was recorded at Stafford. Did Samuel again leave from Captain Lyman's company to go home in June 1776 to see his new son? Did Samuel choose not to return? Or did he re-enlist in Connecticut, and thereby really stay in service until the end of the war??
        Eunice made a decision of faith during the summer of 1776. On 22 September she became a member of the First Congregational church at Stafford. There is no record of Samuel becoming a member at this time. But their three sons, Samuel Jr., Edward and Thomas, were baptized at the Stafford Congregational church a week later, on 29 September 1776.
        Samuel was home again during October of 1777 when Eunice conceived for the fourth time.
        The RECORD OF CONNECTICUT MEN IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION lists a Samuel Day from Stafford who served in Captain Roswell Grant's company, Colonel Obadiah Johnson's regiment. This Samuel Day was stationed at Providence RI on 7 March 1778.
        Another son was born to Eunice and Samuel in July or on the first of August in 1778. He was baptized at the Stafford Congregational church on 2 August 1778 and was named Benjamin.
        By 1780 Samuel and Eunice had taken their family to Whitingham (Windham county) VT. Samuel was one of two men appointed Deer Rief at the Town Meeting held in Whitingham on 26 March 1781. He was also one of 55 men listed on the First Grand List of 1781 showing those who paid taxes at that time. This list is a good indication of the extent of the population of Whitingham in 1781. Samuel and his family had spent the winter there, perhaps much of 1780 as well. This makes one wonder if Samuel really was in service until 1781.
        Sarah (Sally), the first daughter of Samuel and Eunice Day, was born at Whitingham on 15 October 1780. She was followed by Elijah (born 5 January 1783), Stephen (born 3 February 1785), Eunice (born 3 October 1787), Mary (Polly) (born 20 January 1790), Elkanah (born 12 April 1792--died 16 April 1792), and Terzey (born 5 March 1795--died 27 September 1795). All these were born in Whitingham VT.
        Elkanah and Terzey may have been buried near their grandmother, Mary (Webber?) Day, who died 18 February 1793 at Whitingham. The early burials were made in private plots with no monuments. Some early graves in Whitingham, located on privately owned farm land, were marked by field stones that have since, no doubt, been moved off the graves.
        The town made an attempt to establish a "Burying yard" on 1 March 1784 and appointed a committee to look for a suitable place. Nothing came of the action.
        At the Town Meeting held 1 March 1784 Samuel Day was named a Grand Juror and also one of three "Listers" who were responsible for keeping track of those who paid their taxes. Samuel's twin brother, Thomas, was also a resident of Whitingham at this time having been elected as a "Pettee" Juror and also as one of three men who were highway surveyors.
        Vermont was still unsure of its statehood. In February 1781, Whitingham residents voted to unite part of Vermont and part of New Hampshire as a separate state. Later that year a proposal was made to unite part of Vermont with New York, and on 16 June 1781 Whitingham's representative voted in favor of the proposal. The matter was not resolved until 1792 when Vermont was admitted to the Union as a separate state.
        Samuel Day served as a Selectman in 1787 when it fell upon the town of Whitingham to discipline a resident because of "Mismanagement and Bad Conduct" (interpreted to mean "intoxication").
        In 1786 farmers were generally unable to pay their taxes in money. The town that year voted that the "town tax be paid in wheat at 4s. per bushel, Rey at 3s., Corn at 2 and 6, Oats at 1 and 6, Flax at 8d. per pound, sugar at 5d. per pound." Samuel Day was probably among those who paid taxes in this manner.
        On 21 July 1788 the town voted to raise a tax of two pence on the pound to hire a minister. The tax was to be paid in money, "Wheet", "Rey", corn, flax, pr "neet" stock on or before 25 December 1788. The town also agreed to clear off a place to build a meeting house, the clearing to take place the second Monday of September. However, the tax was not paid by all, so the project was halted.
        In 1790 another attempt was made to establish a burying ground. This time the town officials made it known that the town would accept a gift of land and would fence it "with Posts and boards spiked on." Though land was offered (and apparently used for burials) the fence was not put up. On 7 March 1791 another committee was charged to search for a convenient 0place to bury the dead. Even then the matter went unresolved for another 21 years--long after Samuel Day and his family had left the area.
        In 1793 one fourth of all the children in the town died of scarlet fever. Did Eunice lose a child because of this epidemic--one born between Elkanah and Terzey?
        Another attempt to build a meeting house was made on 6 July 1795. The house was to measure 40 x 50. It was voted that 200 pounds in timber boards and shingles was to be on the designated site by 1 July 1796. The meeting house was to be located on a height of land a few rods east of the school house in the center school district. The school house stood on the north side of what was called the "common".
        By 1 February 1796 a vote was taken to see if the residents still wanted to proceed with the meeting house. The majority of the residents again voted in favor of the project, and even rejected a proposal to postpone the building for one year. Yet there was still opposition; and on 21 March 1798 the voters were asked, "Will you build a Meetinghouse?". The town voted NO.
        Town officials opened the matter again on 18 March 1799 and voted (41 to 2) to build a house 45 x 50. It was to have "lower flowers Leyed, and Door made and Hung"{. It was to be "Well boarded, clapboarded and shingled" and finished with glazed windows by 1 December 1799. This time the project was completed, though there were no pews or pulpit as yet.
        At a meeting held 5 June 1800, Samuel Day was named to a committee of three to "supply the house with Preaching the Insuing Year". Did they search for a minister? Or were they to act as lay preachers? A new committee was appointed annually for the next few years with duty of providing preaching.
        Samuel Day and his twin brother, Thomas, "of Monson" MA were among a group of 16 men known collectively as Amos Green and Company who applied for a land grant in Whitingham.* Their petition was granted on 20 October 1796 and the property was divided equally by the 16 men, reserving 300 acres to the support of a college, school and minister. Each of the men were required to plant and cultivate five acres of land and build a house at least 18 feet square within the four year term. All pine timber suitable for ships was to be reserved to the state for use by the Navy.
        During the summer of 1791 the first federal census of Vermont was taken after Vermont was granted independence from New York that year. The count was completed in August. Samuel day of Whitingham VT had these people in his home:
                3 males older than 16 (Samuel Sr., Samuel Jr. & Edward)
                4 males younger than 16 (Thomas, Benjamin, Elijah & Stephen)
                4 females (Eunice Sr., Sarah (Sally), Eunice Jr. & Mary (Polly))
        At some point after the 1791 census Samuel Jr., the oldest son of Samuel and Eunice, went back to Tolland county CT. On 10 October 1793 he married Elizabeth Munger in Union county CT. He was age 21; she was 20. The Mungers were close relatives on the Fay side of the family. Eunice's sister, Joanna Fay, was Elizabeth Munger's mother. So Samuel and Elizabeth were first cousins.
        Samuel and Eunice Day were still in Windham county VT at the time of the federal census of 1800. The census listed:
                1 male 10 to 16 (Stephen)
                2 males 16 to 26 (Elijah & Benjamin)
                1 male over 45 (Samuel Sr.)
                1 female under 10 (?)
                2 females 10 to 16 (Mary & Eunice)
                1 female 16 to 26 (Sarah (Sally))
                1 female over 45 (Eunice Sr.)
        Their oldest sons, Samuel, Edward and Thomas, were no longer with them. They were living in Jericho VT in 1800. The little girl under the age of 10 is not known. Was she a grandchild? Or another unknown daughter--perhaps born between Elkanah and Terzey? (Terzey was dead by 1800.)
        The Congregational Church was organized in Whitingham on 25 October 1804. Samuel Day's family may not have been members. Sometime between 1800 and 1804 Samuel and Eunice and at least four more of their children moved to Jericho in Chittenden county VT. Benjamin and his sister, Sarah (Sally), lived out the rest of their lives there. Stephen and his sister, Eunice, married there--Eunice in 1800.
        A Jericho land record dated 27 February 1809 indicates Samuel Day was the owner of two farms. Were these farms part of the bounty land he received? (Research needed)
        Five years earlier, on 31 July 1804, Samuel had sold six acres of land to his son, Samuel Jr., for $127. The six acres were located in the "northerly lot number 39". At this time Samuel Jr. owned a "house farm" south of Samuel Sr.'s "home farm". (Map needed)
        Samuel Sr. deeded his land to his son, Stephen, in return for a promise that his son would care for him in his old age. Perhaps he also gave away all his personal property at this time.
        Stephen and his family left Jericho before Samuel Sr.'s death. Did Stephen lose the property? Or was it deeded over to Benjamin? Benjamin's history in Jericho was honorable and his family prospered. They were involved in finance, politics and business.
        Samuel Day Sr. died in Jericho on 11 May 1829 at the age of 81. Did his son, Benjamin, let his far-flung brothers and sisters know of it? Samuel's wife, Eunice, had died twenty years earlier on 28 August 1808 at the age of 57.
        Samuel Sr. must have suffered much heartbreak over Samuel Jr.'s situation. Had the older man tried to help his son in his ashery business by selling the six acres of his home farm to him? Had he sheltered his son's family when they lost everything for non-payment of a debt? And where did Samuel Jr. get the money to buy a portion of Thomas Day's land as a new residence? From Samuel Sr.? Hopefully Eunice had died before things started to fall apart for her oldest son, and the day family was plunged into dishonor when Samuel Jr. and his family were "warned out" of Jericho town.
        Both Samuel Sr. and his wife, Eunice, are buried in Jericho Center cemetery just south of Jericho Center village. The graves lie on the east face of a hill on the west side of the road leading into the village. Eunice's stone is weatherworn and hard to read. Samuel's stone was still quite readable in 1987.

*Each man received 297.55 acres. Source: A. Augustine Butterfield; Some Facts About the Early History of Whitingham, Vermont (1916) p. 43

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