Archibald Fairbairn1,2,3

(say March 1783 - May 1842)
FatherArchibald Fairbairn (say 1760 - bet. 1800 - 1841); no records exist (that I've yet found) to conclusively link this Archibald father/son. Another candidate for his parents would be Archibald Fairbairn and Mary Grierson, but they married a bit later, and were firmly based around Bowden, St Boswells, Southdean and would be hard pushed to fit a son of his 1841 census age in between the other known children. DNA results also support that he is related to Archibald and Mary, but not as closely as others, being a 36/37 match with a known descendant of Archibald and Mary, so I've taken that as further circumstantial evidence that I've placed him in the right family, which the naming pattern of his children supports4
MotherAlison Crosser5 (say 1760 - bet. 1800 - 1841)
Relationship4th great-uncle of Lorna Henderson

BMDB data

     Archibald Fairbairn was estimated to have been born say Mar 1783 in the Par. of Whitsome & Hilton, BEW, SCT, this date being taken from the Whitsome baptism, which may or may not be him.6 It is possible that Archibald Fairbairn was baptized on 16 Mar 1783 Par. of Whitsome & Hilton, BEW, father Archibald was a hynd, resident on the now extinct farm of Whitsome Vaults, no mother mentioned so it may not be this Archibald he belongs too, and although he is a tad earlier than I would expect for someone saying he was 50 in the 1841 census, Archibald and Alison (CROSSER) did have a son (my Walter) who said he was born in Swinton, which is very close. In addition, the 1841 shows that he wasn't born in Roxburghshire, which does add some weight to this theory So on balance, I believe it is highly likely to be this Archibald's baptism.7,1,2 Some sources show Archibald as born bet. 1787 - 1791 BEW?, SCT, this being the likely age from the 1841 census, albeit not always accurate.6
     Archibald Fairbairn married Janet Scott on 1 Apr 1810 St Boswells, Par. of St Boswells, ROX, SCT, OPR and igi only give A., but subsequent children's christenings give Archibald as father, so I assume it was Archibald who married Janet.8
     Archibald Fairbairn was assumed to have died in May 1842 St Boswells, ROX, SCT, (Janet shows up in 1851 as a widow living with son Walter, and there's a mortcloth payment of 3/- on May 22nd for "Archd Fairbairn" in the St Boswells OPR.)9,10,11 He was buried on 22 May 1842 St Boswells, Par. of St Boswells, ROX, (date assumes the mortcloth was paid for the day he was buried.)11
     This Archibald has been shown elsewhere as the son of Archibald Fairbairn and Mary Grierson.
I believe he belongs with Archibald and Alison because:
- the naming pattern of the children of Archibald and Janet
- closer dna matches between proven descendants of Archibald and Janet, Archibald's brother David, and of his nephew Walter.
In addition, Archibald and Mary would have had rather a hard time fitting him in between their other children.
Given these, and other dna results, the families are however highly likely to be reasonably closely related, forming a sub lineage of the overall matching Borders FAIRBAIRNs that the FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA project shows as being related.12,13

The Fairbairn surname dna project has come up trumps - again.
I began to suspect that the family of FAIRBAIRNs I was tracing around in Ontario and Alberta just might belong to the family of an Archibald who married Jane Blakey in Tynemouth in 1841. Much later, I realised that I'd never actually checked this marriage cert. When this was remedied I was very interested to see that this Archibald's father was another Archibald.
Given that the one married to Jane was given as born about 1813 in Scotland in most available records, and the only Archibald son of Archibald I had in my database of Fairbairns was the one baptised in St Boswells in 1813 to Archibald F. and Janet Scott, it was looking even more likely that I'd found out what had happened to this latter Archibald, albeit that the father was shown with an occupation (gardener) that I hadn't associated with him. (Up till now I had assumed he had died prior to the 1841 census).
Thanks to a McKee researcher connected to the Ontario branch of these Fairbairns (who only knew their ancestry back to the Robert who married Martha Almira Huston), a descendant was convinced to represent his line in the Fairbairn dna project.
The preliminary results (Apr 2009) showed a 12/12 match, and by May they showed a 64/67 match, with the known descendant of Archibald and Janet (Scott) Fairbairn. QED, especially as two of those markers are unique in the project to this line, and marker cdya of 36 is shared with Martin the known descendant of Archibald and Janet (Scott) F, and none of the others in the project.
And when in Apr 2011 Ed turned up a military record for John, son of a Walter of Roxburghshire, which clearly showed his mother as Agnes ROBINSON, we finally had a proven representative of Archibald and Alison (Crosser) Fairbairn to compare the other representatives with. A good match.13,14

Census/Where lived/Occupations

     In Feb 1819 Archibald Fairbairn was a steward (place possibly Haspark?) Howpark, Par. of Coldingham, BEW, SCT, when dtr Alison born.15 By 1841 Archibald Fairbairn was a gardener (on son Archibald's marriage cert.)3 He was shown as a land steward on dth cert of dtr Alison in 1876 ?Melrose, ROX, SCT,9 in Oct 1894 he was shown as a farm manager on son Walter's dth cert.16
     Archibald Fairbairn and Janet Fairbairn appeared on the census of 7 Jun 1841 Greenwells Glenburney, Par. of Melrose, ROX, SCT, and are assumed to be husband and wife. They were enumerated as Archibald, ag. lab. 50, not b. cty, Janet 40, b cty. Assumed children: John 20, joiner; Helen 25, Walter 15, ag lab; Catharine 12, all but John b cty.6

External links

     Click here to see Archibald's page on WikiTree, a (free) collaborative on-line tree.17
     Archibald Fairbairn belongs to a DNA tested line. There may be more information available on DNASurnames under the DNA project for his/her surname/line.


Janet Scott (cir. 1787 - Jan 1853)
  • Helen Fairbairn18 (Feb 1811 - say 1847)
  • Archibald Fairbairn+3,8,19 (Aug 1813 - bet. 1861 - 1871)
  • John Fairbairn20 (Jun 1815 - bet. Jul 1815 - Sep 1816)
  • John Fairbairn21 (Sep 1816 - Dec 1890)
  • Alison Fairbairn15 (Feb 1819 - Apr 1876)
  • Walter Fairbairn (Aug 1821 - Oct 1894)
  • Margaret Fairbairn (Jan 1824 - aft. 1851)
  • Jeany Fairbairn+ (Jan 1826 - )
  • Catharine Fairbairn (Jun 1828 - aft. 1851)
Last Edited21 Jun 2015


  1. Sanna F Ross (Gaffney), "EM FAIRBAIRN: Borders ex Sanna G," e-mail to Lorna & GenForum FAIRBAIRN, Bap. 1783 Archibald to Archibald, rcvd Oct 2000 (but Sanna thought he belonged to Archibald and Mary (GRIERSON) FAIRBAIRN).
  2. FAIRBAIRN, International Genealogical Index (IGI).
  3. Various, BDM Certified copy, Marr. 6 Feb 1841 Archibald s/o Archibald FAIRBAIRN & Jane d/o John BLAKEY, United Secession Ch, Tynemouth, NBL, copy rcvd Feb 2009.
  4. Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Feb 2003, Dec 2007 & Mar 2008.
  5. "Lorna's Family History Musings", Feb 2003, Dec 2007 & Mar 2008, (assumed to be son of Archibald and Alison (CROSSER) FAIRBAIRN purely from naming pattern of children and places. Another researcher has Archibald's parents as Archibald F and Mary GIESSEN. As he appears to have died between 1841 and 1851, we are unlikley to uncover the truth now, but with children called Archibald, Alison, Walter I think there's a fair possibility he "belongs" to my lot, especially his age in the 1841 census makes his birth year somewhat later than that of the son of Archibald and Mary, even allowing for the rounding in that census).
  6. 1841 Census, Borders, SCT, LDS Film, Melrose Dist 6 p14.
  7. BEW: Whitsome 1-place study: Lesley R online at, Bap. 1783 Archibald s/o Archibald (hynd, resident Whitsome Vaults), extract rcvd Dec 2007.
  8. Births marriages OPR index: ROX, SCT.
  9. Alison CHISHOLM (nee FAIRBAIRN), Dth 1876 Alison CHISHOLM (nee FAIRBAIRN), Darnick, Melrose, ROX 799 #36.
  10. Susan A McLEOD (30189), "EM FAIRBAIRN/COCKBURN ex Susan McL," e-mail to (1), 1851 ROX census, rcvd May 2002.
  11. Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Mortcloth 22 May 1842 Archd Fairbairn, St Boswells, 804/00 0255, copy d/loaded May 2009.
  12. Sanna F Ross (Gaffney), "EM FAIRBAIRN: Borders ex Sanna G," e-mail to Lorna & GenForum FAIRBAIRN, Rcvd Feb 2003.
  13. Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Dec 2007, updated Feb 2009, and again Apr and May 2009.
  14. FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA Project online at, 12/12 match between descendants of Archibald and Janet (SCOTT) FAIRBAIRN and of Robert and Martha Almira (HUSTON) FAIRBAIRN, rcvd Apr 2009.
  15. Baptisms: Coldingham, BEW, Birth 1819 Alison FAIRBAIRN, transc. L McIntosh Sep/Oct 1994.
  16. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Dth 1894 Walter FAIRBAIRN. Mertoun, BEW Dist 751 #7, trans. Robert McC, rcvd Dec 2001.
  17. WikiTree online at, Oct-11.
  18. Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Birth 12 Feb 1811 Helen d/o Archbald FAIRBAIRN, Houden, Par. of Ancrum, ROX Dist 780/0010 0195, copy d/loaded Jun 2008.
  19. Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Birth 2 Aug Bap. 29 Aug 1813 Archibald s/o Archibald FAIRBAIRN (Lessudden) and Janet SCOTT, Par. 804 0010 0150 St Boswells, copy d/loaded Apr 2009.
  20. Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Birth 23 Jun Bap. 16 Jul 1815 John s/o Archibald FAIRBAIRN & Janet SCOTT, Lessudden, ROX, 804/00 0010 0162, copy d/loaded Apr 2015.
  21. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Death cert John F 1890 trans. S Hepburn July 2001.

E. & O. E. Some/most parish records are rather hard to read and names, places hard to interpret, particularly if you are unfamiliar with an area.