Walter Edward Fairbairn1,2,3,4

(circa March 1871 - 29 March 1930)
FatherWalter Fairbairn4,2,5 (Nov 1837 - Dec 1904)
MotherElizabeth Chappel4,2,5 (cir. 1847 - bet. 1891 - 1901)
Relationship2nd cousin 2 times removed of Lorna Henderson

BMDB data

     Walter Edward Fairbairn was born cir. Mar 1871 13 Sidney Sq, Mile End Old Town, London, MDX, ENG, Although the 1881 census indicates Walter was born c 1870/1, in Roxburghshire, he does not appear in the records there. He is most likely the Walter Edward Fairbairn in the St Cath's index for the 1st qtr of 1871, reg. Mile End (Folio 1c p 595) which id is partially confirmed by the 1891 census showing him as born England, and fully confirmed by his baptism entry.2,3,6,7 He was baptized on 26 Mar 1871 Christ Church, St George's East, Tower Hamlet, MDX, ENG; entry shows Walter Edward as son of Walter, joiner, & Eliza FAIRBAIRN of 13 Sidney Sq.7
     Walter Edward Fairbairn married Davina Oswald MacDonald, daughter of John McDonald and Jane Oswald, on 11 Apr 1890 28 Canongate, Jedburgh, ROX, SCT, cert shows: Walter E Fairbairn joiner - apprentice and bachelor; s/o Walter Fairbairn (joiner - master) and Eliza Chaple; age 19; usual residence - 21 New Bongate, Jedburgh; Davinia McDonald weaver in woolen mill and spinster; LD of John McDonald (compositor - dec) and Jane Oswald; age 19; usual residence - 28 Canongate, Jedburgh. marr. after banns; according to the forms of the Free Church of Scotland; minister Arch. Cameron; witnesses - William Aitchison and Jessie McDonald (assumed to be Davinia's elder sister.)8,9,5
     Walter Edward Fairbairn died on 29 Mar 1930 14 Temple Park Cres, Edinburgh, MLN, SCT; cert reads: Walter Edward Fairbairn, joiner journeyman, married to Davina MacDonald; son of Walter Fairbairn, joiner master, dec. and Eliza Chaple, dec. Died aged 59, of nephritis (assumed - transcribed as nephestes?) and arteriosclerosis. Inf. son H Fairbairn, 26 Yeaman Pl, Edin, present.4,8

Census/Where lived/Occupations

     The census of 7 Apr 1871 showed Archibald and Walter in the household of their parents Walter and Eliza Fairbairn 13 Sidney Sq, Mile End Old Town, London, LND, ENG, enumerated as FAIRBURN: Walter head, 33 joiner b SCT; wife Eliza 24 b Benden(?) Essex; Sons: Archibald C 2 ; Walter 1mth, both b Stepney, MDX.6
     By the census of 3 Apr 1881 Walter Fairbairn was still in London shown as son of Walter (and Elizabeth Fairbairn) but now at 69 Maplin St, Mile End Old Town.2,10
     In Apr 1890 Walter Edward Fairbairn was an apprentice of 21 New Bongate, Jedburgh, ROX, SCT, when he married.5 By Feb 1891 he was an insurance agent, when his first son Walter Archibald was born 9 Old Bongate, Jedburgh, ROX, SCT, (and a couple of months later in the census).11
     Walter Edward Fairbairn appeared on the census of 3 Apr 1891 27 Richmond St, Edinburgh St Cuthberts, MLN, SCT, as a lodger of Joseph Broomfield and Agnes Broomfield (Walter recorded as an assurance agent, and being Joseph's 1st cousin once removed, via Joseph's mother Margaret Fairbairn.)12
     Fr 1894 - 1899 Walter Edward Fairbairn was now described as a joiner, for the remaining Jedburgh birth certs 12 Old Bongate, Jedburgh, ROX, SCT, and for the rest of his life.9
     The census of 1901 showed Walter with his wife Davina, their sons Walter, James and Henry, their dtr Mary 2 Leslie Pl, Edinburgh St Bernard, Dist of St George, MLN, SCT, household enumerated as FAIRBAIRN: Walter E (indexed as William E) 30, joiner b ENG ; wife Divina C (assumed mistranscription of O) 30 b Edin; Children: Walter A 10, James 6 scholar, Mary J 4, Henry E 1 all b Jedburgh, ROX; Visitors (both McKenzie): Thomas 23 wax refiner, & William 20 grocer & ironmonger both b Linlithgow.13
     Fr 1901 - 1903 Walter Edward Fairbairn and Davina Oswald MacDonald were living 2 Leslie Pl, Edinburgh, MLN, SCT.14 By Sep 1978 he was described on a son's dth cert as a dec'd joiner, so any spell as an insurance agent appears to have been temporary.15

All the other info

     Walter Edward Fairbairn was the informant for the death of his child Mary Jane Fairbairn on 2 Jun 1902 2 Leslie Pl, Edinburgh, MLN, SCT.13,16
     Walter Edward Fairbairn was the informant for the death of his father Walter Fairbairn on 5 Dec 1904 New Bongate, Jedburgh, ROX, SCT.4


Davina Oswald MacDonald (Aug 1870 - Mar 1956)
  • Walter Archibald Fairbairn13,11 (Feb 1891 - Sep 1974)
  • James Fairbairn13 (Jun 1894 - Jan 1975)
  • Mary Jane Fairbairn13 (Mar 1897 - Jun 1902)
  • Henry Edward Fairbairn8,9,15 (Jul 1899 - Sep 1978)
  • Charles McDonald Fairbairn17 (Jan 1903 - Dec 1978)
Last Edited21 May 2010


  1. (2nd forename assumes correct id from St Caths index - confirmed by his dth cert.)
  2. 1881 Census transcripts, UK, via Family Search/LDS CDs, FHL Film 1341107 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 0485 Folio 52 Page 15, extracted c 2000.
  3. Birth index: St Caths:, FAIRBAIRN births, searched Aug 2003.
  4. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Dth cert 1904 Walter FAIRBAIRN, trans. Stuart H Jul 2003.
  5. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Mar. 1890 Walter E FAIRBAIRN and Davinia McDONALD, transcr. Robert McC, rcvd May 2005.
  6. 1871 Census, ENG, Ancestry: Mile End Old Town, Western, London, ENG Dist 16 RG10/556 Folio 119 Page 13 Schedule #79, copy d/loaded May 2005.
  7. online at, Bap. 26 Mar 1871 Walter Edward s/o Walter (joiner) & Eliza FAIRBAIRN, Christchurch, St George's East, MDX, from London Metropolitan Archives, Christ Church, Watney Street, Register of baptisms, P93/CTC2, Item 007, extracted May 2010.
  8. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Dth 1930 Walter Edward FAIRBAIRN, transcr. Robert McC, rcvd May 2005.
  9. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Birth 1899 Heny Edward FAIRBAIRN, transcr. Robert McC, rcvd Jun 2005.
  10. 1881 Census transcripts, UK, via Family Search/LDS CDs, Ancestry images d/loaded May 2005.
  11. Scottish BMDB entries (from 1855),, Birth 1891 Walter Archibald s/o Walter Edward FAIRBAIRN & Divinia Oswald McDONALD reg. Jedburgh, ROX, copy d/loaded Jan 2008.
  12. Scottish BMDB entries (from 1855),, 1891 Census Edinburgh, MLN (Dist 685/5 25 2 Page 15 Schedule #?5), d/loaded May 2005.
  13. 1901 Census (images for ENG, transcriptions for SCT), UK, Via, Edinburgh St Bernard, Dist St George MLN REg 685/1 ED 51 Pg 21 Sched 123, hsehold of Walter E (indeed as William E) & Divina C FAIRBAIRN, extracted Jan 2008.
  14. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Dth 1902 Mary Jane FAIRBAIRN, Edinburgh, MLN, transcr. Robert McC, rcvd Jan 2008.
  15. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Dth 1978 Henry Edward s/o Walter Edward FAIRBAIRN & Davinia Oswald MacDONALD, marr. to Charlotte Scott CHALMERS, transcr Robert McC, rcvd Dec 2007.
  16. Interview, Nancy FAIRBAIRN nee GREENHILL, Skype phone conversation, 18 Jan 2008.
  17. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Marr. 1925 Charles McDonald FAIRBAIRN & Isabella Harrison KEIRNAN, Edinburgh, transcr Robert McC, rcvd Dec 2007.

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.