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The Fays and the Farrells

Ellen Farrell Fay Riley in center front.

Michael Fay was born in Ireland. He left when he was seventeen. At some point he married Ellen Farrell.

I do not know what happened to them until July 12, 1862 when their daughter Anna was born in Lynn, Massachusetts. Michael died of drowning when he was thirty years old. It seems he was a Riverboat gambler and was thrown overboard for gambling. His body was recovered several months later and identified by the watchfob his father had given him when he left Ireland. Ellen remarried around 1868 to another Irishman named Henry Riley.

Anna Fay Sturman

Anna went to work as a domestic when she was about 12 years old. She said,"It taught me the value of an honest days work."

Anna ended up in Ohio in the employ of the Thomas and Margaret Sturman family. At age 16 Anna married the oldest Sturman son. A man twice her age. Her new mother-in-law was so incensed that she threw the two out of her home. They made their way down to Kansas.

Anna had long red hair that William adored. He had some of that beautiful hair made into a watch fob that he wore at all times. It is now in the possession of one of her grandchildren.

William was already suffering from Black Lung disease and life in the mining camps was hard. William and Anna had 8 children, Earl, Thomas, George, Charlotte, Alice, Margaret, James, and Albert.

The family moved to Idaho in 1910, where William operated a pig farm for his sister and her husband, Margaret and James Perkins. Anna worked as a domestic in the Perkins' hotel.

Anna was a devout Catholic and it grieved her that her husband had fallen away from the church. His refusal to go to church with her resulted in her refusal to speak to him...for twenty years. On his death bed in 1920 he agreed to call for a priest. After the priest had given the last rites, Anna came to his room and said,"William, you are a stubborn man, good bye." She left the room and he died. Anna lived on to the ripe old age of 97, the oldest resident in Bannock County at that time.

Bind my hands that they may do no wrong;
Direct my feet that they may not walk in wrong.
Calm my spirit and check the rising storm.
Take my soul and keep it safe,
Pure from sin in thy sweet embrace.

Michael Fay b.1828 Ireland d.abt 1868

Ellen Farrell b. 1829 Ireland d. unknown

Anna Fay Riley b. July 12, 1862 Lynn, MA. d. December 16, 1958 Pocatello, ID