James Fairbairn1

(circa December 1794 - between 1851 and 1854)
FatherArchibald Fairbairn2 (say 1760 - bet. 1800 - 1841)
MotherAlison Crosser2 (say 1760 - bet. 1800 - 1841)
Relationship4th great-uncle of Lorna Henderson

BMDB data

     James Fairbairn was born cir. Dec 1794 Grahamslaw, Par. of Eckford, ROX, SCT.3,4,5 He was baptized on 10 Dec 1794 Haughead, Par. of Eckford, ROX, SCT; the entry in the Gateshaw Records reads: Decr 10th Baptized James Son to Archibald Fairbairn & Alison Croser in Grahamslaw, Parish of Eckford (Eckford is a neighbouring parish to Morebattle, as are Yetholm, Linton, Hounam and Northumberland. According to Groomes, Morebattle can claim the oldest Secession congregation in the South of Scotland (first Minister ordained in 1739), the original meeting house standing at Gateshaw Brae or Corbet, and the present one was built in 1866, so Archibald and Alison travelled to get their children baptised away from their nearest church, which was of the wrong persuasion for them.)2,6,3
     James Fairbairn married Joan Forsyth on 18 May 1817 Yarrow, SEL, SCT, entry isn't very informative "May 18 Jas Fairbairn and Joan Forsyth 1/2d."7,5,8
     James Fairbairn remarried on 26 Apr 1844 Melrose, ROX, SCT, to Elizabeth Laidlaw "Grandma Viele" wrote that her "grandmother Joan Forsythe died when father (John b 1832) was quite young and a step mother came into the picture. I never heard much about her except that she wasn't kind to the children".
This could certainly explain a mass emigration of the children! I assumed that this 2nd marriage was after 1841 as James didn't have a wife with him in that census, but it could just as easily have been between the c 1834 death of his first wife Joan, and the census, or she could just have been absent on the 1841 census night. However, subsequent happenstance (my curiousity about the marriage of James' dtr Alison) led to my finding this entry further down the page: "James Fairbairn at Melrose bridge bar and Elizabeth Laidlaw in the Parish of Ettrrick and married 26 April 1844" (having been "booked for Marriage on 12 April), Melrose Bridge bar being where Alison was when she married her Willam Scott.9,10,11,4
     James Fairbairn died bet. 1851 - 1854 ?Lantonhall, Par. of Jedburgh, ROX, SCT.12,13,4
     An ancestral file entry by Mrs Nees (Olympia, WA, USA) links the James who married Mabel Thomson as the s/o Archibald and Alison , and chr Morebattle 1794. She also had that Archibald as chr Aug 1758 St Boswells, s/o Robert. She advises that this information was provided to her by a relative and unchecked, much to her regret.14
I believe that the Archibald baptized 1785 St Boswells is the son of Robert and Agnes (Landreth), and is the one married to Mary Grierson instead. My previous belief that there was a better candidate for the 1794 Morebattle James, s/o Archibald and Alison in the 1841 census in Selkirk, with children Archibald and Alison, has now been borne out, as, although I could not find hide nor hair of them after this date in Scotland, this is fairly easily explained when descendants got in touch from America with evidence that they are highly likely to belong to James son of an Archibald and an Alison, with a brother David, also with children that fit this naming pattern.

It does seem highly likely that there is a connection somewhere between all these families, particularly since I now know that James and Mabel's son Robert's baptism was in the Gateshaw Secession Church records, as were 3 of Archibald and Alison's children. Possibly the one married to Mabel is a son of the Archibald who married Mary Grierson?
James' birth c 1795 would fit in a gap of Archibald & Mary's children between Margaret born St Bowsells c 1793 and George born Southdean c 1804, but I would expect James & Mabel's son to be named Archibald, rather than Robert, for this to be a strong contender, Robert being born Jul 1824 after a Dec 1822 marriage doesn't leave much room for an earlier son Archibald.

Any descendants of James & Mabel out there willing to participate in the Fairbairn surname DNA project to help sort this out?
DNA tests on descendants of both Archibalds have indicated a close relationship between them.

Research on this family has suddenly come to life again from contact with an American descendant of James Fairbairn and Joan Forsythe. Known family relationships link this family to a brother David for James. Both David and James have first sons Archibald, and 2nd daughter's Alison/Alice/Elsea, so I've bitten the bullet and decided that the mystery has been solved. Now all we have to do is find descendants of James and Mary Bell (Thomson) and link them in somewhere too!
And as at Feb 2009 I'm a tad closer to finding candidates. The Archibald Henderson Fairbairn who emigrated to Canada has been found in the 1916 Canadian census with an additional son, James, and the branch of Robert, married Grace Spalding, has been found to have a NZ descendant or two.15,14,16

Census/Where lived/Occupations

     James Fairbairn appeared on the census of 1841 Sloethorn Bank, Selkirk Burgh, SEL, SCT, as FAIRBAIRN: James, 46 ag lab, Alison 20, Archibald 15, Janet 14, James 12, Barbra 11, John 9, Walter 7. Only Alison b cty. (NB enumerators were instructed to round ages down to the nearest multiple of 5.)5,17
     James Fairbairn appeared on the census of 1851 Lanton Mill, Par. of Jedburgh, ROX, SCT, with Elizabeth Laidlaw, enumerated as FAIRBAIRN: James 56 proprietor & farmer 8 ac b Eckford, ROX; wife Elisabeth 51 b Ettrick, SEL.4

All the other info

     I have long thought that the James Croser buried Eckford with the h/stone mentioning a nephew James Fairbairn would be the brother of Alison Fairbairn nee Crosser. I am now confident of this id.
The second marriage for James Fairbairn reported in "Grandma Viele's" reminiscences, has been found, which, tied to the property of Elizabeth Laidlaw, relict of James Fairbairn of Lanton Muir, to where James Croser was, it all makes sense to me now.18
     James outlived his wife Joan Forsyth who died cir. 1834.17,19,20
     James Fairbairn was considered as a potential duplicate of James Fairbairn, but this has been discounted; one the son of Archibald and Alison, the other married to Mary Bell Thomson, they cannot be in two places at once in 1841, one with children Alison, Archibald etc, the other with wife Mabel and son Robert.21 James Fairbairn erected the h/stone on the grave of James Croser Eckford, ROX, SCT, H/stone: Sacred to the memory of James Croser portioner Lanton Hill who died at Jedburgh 14.12.1842 aged 75 years this stone was erected by his affectionate nephew James Fairbairn."13 James Fairbairn and Elizabeth Laidlaw owned property "George Hilson Jun solicitor, Jedburgh seized -pt of Lanton Muir - on Disp by James Murray, Hind, formerly Timperdean, now Shedlaw, with consent of Elizabeth Laidlaw, relict of James Fairbairn, formerly Hind, Clarilaw, latterly Lantonhall May 7 - Jun 3 1854 PR 171. 186" on 1 Dec 1855 Lanton Muir, ROX, SCT.22,12

Family 1

Joan Forsyth (say 1795 - cir. 1834)
Children
  • Helen Fairbairn23 (Apr 1818 - Apr 1878)
  • Alison Fairbairn5 (cir. 1820 - bet. 1880 - 1896)
  • Archibald Fairbairn+5 (1822 - aft. 1860)
  • John Fairbairn24,25 (Sep 1823 - bet. 1828 - 1832)
  • Hannah Forsythe Fairbairn10,26,27 (Dec 1824 - Mar 1904)
  • Janet Fairbairn5 (Nov 1826 - Nov 1898)
  • James Edward Fairbairn5 (cir. Jul 1828 - Mar 1895)
  • Barbara Fairchild5 (1830 - Aug 1896)
  • John Fairchild+5,28,29 (May 1832 - May 1894)
  • Walter Fairbairn5,10 (Jan 1834 - Jan 1916)

Family 2

Elizabeth Laidlaw (cir. 1800 - cir. 1854)
ChartsFAIRBAIRN
John & Bessie (FFLINT) FAIRBAIRN
Ancestors & siblings of Les Henderson
Last Edited6 Mar 2012

Citations

  1. Ann COSSAR, "EM FAIRBAIRN/CROS(I)ER ex Ann C," e-mail to L McIntosh (1), Mar 1996 ex OPR index.
  2. Ann COSSAR, "EM FAIRBAIRN/CROS(I)ER ex Ann C," e-mail to L McIntosh (1), Bap. 10 Dec 1794 James s/o Archibald FAIRBAIRN and Alison CROSSER, Gateshaw Assoc Session, Morebattle, ROX, ex OPR index, rcvd Mar 1996.
  3. Morebattle, ROX: Gateshaw Associate Session & Free Church Records: Item 4 (Gateshaw 1775-1907) & 8 (Free Church 1847-52), Bap. (at Haughhead) 10 Dec 1794 James s/o Archibald FAIRBAIRN & Alison CROSER, of Grahamslaw, Par. of Eckford, ROX, extracted Jul 2008.
  4. FreeCensus, UK online at http://www.freecen.org.uk/, 1851 Jedburgh ROX SCT1851/792 ED 3 Pg 12 Sched 55 hsehold of James & Elisabeth FAIRBAIRN, extracted Mar 2008.
  5. Sanna F Ross (Gaffney), "EM FAIRBAIRN: Borders ex Sanna G," e-mail to Lorna & GenForum FAIRBAIRN, Mar 2001 ex 1841 SEL.
  6. Francis H Groome Groome: Gazetteer of Scotland, 1891 edition, Morebattle,Vol V, p 68, extracted Jun 2008.
  7. FAIRBAIRN, International Genealogical Index (IGI).
  8. Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Marr. 18 May 1817 Jas FAIRBAIRN & Joan FORSYTH, Yarrow, SEL Dist 779/000 0020 0113, copy d/loaded Jun 2008.
  9. Melinda NORTON, "Corres. re FAIRBAIRN/SAFELY between Melinda N & LornaHen," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, From Reminiscences of "Grandma Viele", rcvd Jun 2008.
  10. Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Jun 2008.
  11. Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Booked for marriage Apr 12 1844 James FAIRBAIRN & Elizabeth LAIDLAW, Melrose, ROX Dist 799/0050 0371 pg 366, (on same page as Alison FAIRBAIRN & Willia SCOTT), copy d/loaded Jun 2008.
  12. Sanna F Ross (Gaffney), "EM FAIRBAIRN: Borders ex Sanna G," e-mail to Lorna & GenForum FAIRBAIRN, Genforum posting re Lanton Muir transaction with consent of Elizabeth LAIDLAW, relict of James FAIRBAIRN, formerly Hind, Clarilaw, latterly Lanotnhall, dated May/Jun 1854, posted Apr 2006, extracted May 2006.
  13. Borders FHS, MIs: ROX Eckford, #5 James CROSER, portioner Lanton Hill, extracted c 1995.
  14. Mrs Shari Nees (55491), "FAIRBAIRN/THOMSON/BUNYAN ex Shari NEES," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Bap. 10 Dec 1794 James FAIRBAIRN, Morebattle, ROX, rcvd Jun 2008.
  15. Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Mar 2008, updated Jun 2008, and Feb 2009.
  16. Morebattle, ROX: Gateshaw Associate Session & Free Church Records: Item 4 (Gateshaw 1775-1907) & 8 (Free Church 1847-52), Bap. (at Caverton Mill) 4 Oct 1824 Robert s/o James FAIRBAIRN & Mable (sic) THOMSON, extracted Jul 2008.
  17. FreeCensus, UK online at http://www.freecen.org.uk/, SCT1841/778 Selkirk ED 3 Selkirk Burgh F 3 Pg 18, Sloethorn Bank, hsehold of James FAIRBAIRN, rechecked May 2008.
  18. Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", pre 2002, updated Jun 2008.
  19. Ancestry.com online at http://search.ancestry.com, Dth 1 Jan 1916 Walter FAIRBAIRN, London City, Middlesex Cty, ONT Roll MS935_222, extracted May 2008.
  20. Melinda NORTON, "Corres. re FAIRBAIRN/SAFELY between Melinda N & LornaHen," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Dth c 1834 Joan Forsythe, from Reminiscences of "Grandma Viele", rcvd Jun 2008.
  21. Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", bef 2002, updated Jun 2008.
  22. "Lorna's Family History Musings", May 2006.
  23. Online search: assorted surnames, International Genealogical Index (IGI), Birth 15 Apr 1818 Helen to James FAIRBAIRN & Joan FORSYTH, batch C117792, Yarrow, SEL, extracted May 2008.
  24. Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Birth 7 Sep 1823 Bap 2 Nov 1823 Jedburgh, John s/o James FAIRBAIRN & Joan FORSYTH, Jedburgh, ROX Dist 792, copy d/loaded Jun 2008.
  25. Online search: assorted surnames, International Genealogical Index (IGI), Bap. 2 Nov 1823 John to James FAIRBAIRN & Joan FORSYTH, batch C117928, Jedburgh, ROX, extracted May 2008.
  26. Online search: assorted surnames, International Genealogical Index (IGI), Birth 11 Dec 1824 Hannah Forsythe to James FAIRBAIRN & Joan FORSYTH, batch C117928, Jedburgh, ROX, extracted May 2008.
  27. Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Birth 11 Dec 1824 Bap 7 Jan 1825 Jedburgh, Hannay Forsythe d/o James FAIRBAIRN & Joan FORSYTHE, Jedburgh, ROX Dist 792, copy d/loaded Jun 2008.
  28. Melinda NORTON, "Corres. re FAIRBAIRN/SAFELY between Melinda N & LornaHen," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Family of Hannah Fairbairn REID, rcvd Jun 2008.
  29. Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Birth 17 May 1832 Bap 29 Jul 1832 John s/o James FAIRBAIRN, Hobkirk, DIst 790, copy d/loaded Jun 2008.

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.