William Fairbairn (Schoolmaster, Bowden; m. Margaret SCOTT)1,2

(circa Apr 1756 - 25 Mar 1810)
FatherJohn Fairbairn (m. Helen ANDERSON)2 (1714 - 1796)
MotherHelen Anderson2 (say 1725 - )


     William Fairbairn was born circa Apr 1756 Smailholm, ROX, SCT.3,2 He was baptized on 11 Apr 1756 Smailholm, ROX; entry reads April 11th John Fairbairn & Helen Anderson his spouse had a Son baptized William.2,4
     William Fairbairn married Margaret Scott bet. 1774 - 1778.1,5
     William Fairbairn died on 25 Mar 1810 Galashiels, SEL, SCT; 53.3,6,5,7 He was buried in the Old Kirk Cem., Galashiels, SEL, SCT, grave 101.3
Hall's History of Galashiels has this to say about Schoolmaster William's son Peter (who officated as interim schoolmaster for a time, presumably when his father died in 1810, but names him as William instead of Peter):
"He was cousin to William Fairbairn, the eminent Manchester engineer, who for a term attended the Parish School at Galashiels under his uncle, and was also cousin to Sir Peter Fairbairn of Leeds. Mr Fairbairn died in Edinburgh in 1862, aged seventy years"
Peter's 1862 death certificate is rather confusing however in that his son David names his grandparents (who had died some 50 years earlier) as Peter Fairbairn schoolmaster and Margaret maiden surname Anderson. Close! By the 1861 census Peter's age matches his 1792 baptism entry in the Galashiels parish records "William Fairbairn Schoolmaster in Galashiels & Margaret Scott his wife .. had a son named Peter". The other items about "William" aka Peter in Halls all fit Peter, with Wililam and Margaret not being known to have a son William.6,8

For those of you reaching this page because of William FAIRBAIRN married to Jean WANLESS and documented in Reby DODD's Who's Which: The Wm mar. Elsie ELLIOT may well be the parents of David and William (marr. WANLESS), but Reby assigns this William to John & Helen (ANDERSON) FAIRBAIRN. That William is known to be the schoolmaster marr. to Margaret SCOTT.
Likewise the "brother" Thomas given as Thomas FAIRBAIRN M.D. that married Helen KINNIBURG. That Thomas did indeed have a brother William, but he was born 1814 and married Agnes DODDS, and Thomas himself is the son of Thomas & Margaret (CLARKSON).
Reby9 apparently has William and Elsie (ELLIOTT of Minto) as having 4 children, ? then David, (marr. had 2 sons, came to Canada), then Thomas, then William (m. Jean WANLESS) which, in addition, would put Thomas as older than William.10,9,11

DNA Info

     William belongs to a tested line in the FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA Project. Follow this link for supplementary DNA information.
     William's line needs a/another participant in the FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA Project. Check out the Wanted! page for further information.


     William Fairbairn (Schoolmaster, Bowden; m. Margaret SCOTT) is the ancestor of researcher John Burleigh. Email: John.12


Margaret Scott (say 1757 - )
ChartsLineage 2b1: John & Helen (ANDERSON) FAIRBAIRN
Last Edited16 Dec 2015


  1. [S1141] Cash book and Kirk Sessions Baptisms: Bowden, ROX, SCT, Birth 7 Mar Bap. 9 Apr 1786 Andrew s/o William FAIRBAIRN & Margaret SCOT, before congtn, Bwoden, ROX, extracted Feb 1998 , Film 1067932.
  2. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Bap. 11 Apr 1756 William s/o John FAIRBAIRN & Helen ANDERSON, Smailholm, ROX, copy d/loaded (same page as Agnes and Andrew) Mar 2008.
  3. [S1956] Robert S.McCutcheon, "EM Borders/CAI Corres:McCUTCHEON," e-mail to (1), Dth 25 Mar 1810 William FAIRBAIRN, Galashiels, ex Galashiels Old Kirk MIs, rcvd Oct 2001.
  4. [S888] FAIRBAIRN, International Genealogical Index (IGI), Bap. 11 Apr 1756 William s/o John FAIRBAIRN & Helen ANDERSON, Smailholm, ROX, extracted pre 1999.
  5. [S2892] National Records of Scotland online at http://catalogue.nrscotland.gov.uk/nrsonlinecatalogue/ was http://www.nas.gov.uk/onlineCatalogue/, 1 Jun 1819 Mrs Margaret FAIRBAIRN or SCOTT v William FAIRBAIRN, Decreet dated 26 May 1819 (CS36/26/24 and CS35/26), extracted Dec 2009.
  6. [S2786] John BURLEIGH, "EM FAIRBAIRN/SCOTT ex John B," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Dth 1810 William FAIRBAIRN, schoolmaster Galashiels, previously Bowden, from Hall's History of Galashiels (1898), Sect 4 Ch 1 Pg 452, extract rcvd Jan 2009.
  7. [S1961] Www FAIRBAIRN searches and miscellaneous correspondence by LornaHen (1) 12 Dec 1799 Andrew s/o William FAIRBAIRN schoolmaster of Galashiels, p to John TURNBULL, merchant for 5 yrs, from Apprentice records, at http://scotsfind.org/apprentice-access/apprentice.pdf, extracted May 2008.
  8. [S56] Scottish BMDB entries (from 1855), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Dth 16 Oct 1862 Peter FAIRBAIRN, aged 70, reg. Dist St Giles, Edin MLN Dist 685/04 Pg 224 #671, copy d/loaded Dec 2008.
  9. [S1960] Sanna F Ross (Gaffney), "EM FAIRBAIRN: Borders ex Sanna G," e-mail to Lorna & GenForum FAIRBAIRN, Rcvd Mar 2008.
  10. [S1062] Letter, Janis ULSTEIN to (1), Jan 2003 ex igi Batch P004551.
  11. [S1] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Conclusions", Sep 2010.
  12. [S2786] John BURLEIGH, "EM FAIRBAIRN/SCOTT ex John B," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Alfred Henry PARRY & Beatrice Elizabeth FAIRBAIRNs, (grdparents of John), rcvd Nov 2008.
  13. [S1141] Cash book and Kirk Sessions Baptisms: Bowden, ROX, SCT, Birth 10 Apr, Bap. 13 May 1778 John s/o William FAIRBAIRN & Margaret SCOTT , Film 1067932.
  14. [S2786] John BURLEIGH, "EM FAIRBAIRN/SCOTT ex John B," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, John FAIRBAIRN (1778 Selkirk -1809 ?Edinburgh) m. Sarah MORRIS, rcvd Nov 2008.
  15. [S820] Census image, SCT, 1871 Nth Berwick, ELN 713/00 002/00 028, hsehold of Janet ELLIOT, copy d/loaded Sep 2010.
  16. [S1141] Cash book and Kirk Sessions Baptisms: Bowden, ROX, SCT, Birth 27 Apr 1780 Bap. 21 May 1780 George s/o William FAIRBAIRN & Margaret SCOTT, Bowden, extracted c 1993, , copy d/loaded May 2007, rechecked Mar 2008 , Film 1067932.
  17. [S1141] Cash book and Kirk Sessions Baptisms: Bowden, ROX, SCT, Birth 23 Jul Bap. 25 Aug 1782 James s/o William FAIRBAIRN, schoolmaster, & Margt SCOT, Bowden, 783/0010 0234, extracted Feb 1998 , Film 1067932.
  18. [S1141] Cash book and Kirk Sessions Baptisms: Bowden, ROX, SCT, Birth 8 Jan Bap. 2 Mar 1788 Nelly d/o William FAIRBAIRN & Margaret SCOTT, of Midlem, Bowden, ROX, extracted Feb 1998 , Film 1067932.
  19. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Birth 8 Jun 1792 Peter s/o William FAIRBAIRN & Margaret SCOTT, Galashiels, SEL Dist 775, copy d/loaded Mar 2008.
  20. [S1961] Www FAIRBAIRN searches and miscellaneous correspondence by LornaHen (1) UK Surnames site and subsequent correspondence: Barry SMITH, rcvd Aug 2004.
  21. [S3115] Scotlands People Index, "OPR Selkirkshire, Scotland, FAIRBAIRN Births 1538-1854", Birth 17 Aug 1798 Agnes to William FAIRBAIRN & Margaret SCOTT, Galashiels, SEL Dist 775, index searched Mar 2008.
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