Sir William Fairbairn 1st Baronet1

(19 Feb 1789 - 18 Aug 1874)
FatherAndrew Fairbairn2,3,4 (Feb 1758 - Jan 1844)
MotherMargaret Henderson2,4 (say 1760 - Jan 1820)


     William Fairbairn was born on 19 Feb 1789 Kelso, ROX, SCT, entry reads: Andrew Fairbairn & Margaret Henderson his spouse had a son born the 19th february and baptd the 8th March 1789 named William Witnesses Wm Bishop John Mac Dougall.4,2 He was baptized on 8 Mar 1789 Kelso, ROX; Wit: Wm Bishop John Mac Dougall.4
     William Fairbairn married Dorothy Marr on 8 Jun 1816 Bedlington, NBL, ENG, Marriage transcript shows William as in the Parish of Manchester (His life shows 7 sons, 2 dtrs, wife a Miss MARR and married in 1816.)2,3,5,6
     Sir William Fairbairn 1st Baronet died on 18 Aug 1874 Moor Park, Dist of Farnham, SRY, ENG, at age 85; son-in-law's, Mr BATEMANs. Caught chill at opening of new buildings at Owens College 1870. Chapter XXIV of his life describes a tablet erected in his honor. Born at Kelso, 18 (sic) Feb 1789, and died at Moor Park, Surrey, 18 Aug 1874.3,2,7,8 He was buried on 25 Aug 1874 St Mary the Virgin, Prestwich, LAN, ENG, transcr. of entry reads: Burial: 25 Aug 1874 St Mary the Virgin, Prestwich, Lancs.
William Fairbairn, Baronet - son of Andrew Fairbairn; Age: 85; Abode: Polygon Ardwick; Buried by: N. W. Gibson Canon.9
From Halls "History of Galashiels": 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.
During the period William [ Peter!] Fairbairn officiated as interim schoolmaster, advertisements were inserted in the Caledonian Mercury, Edinburgh Evening Courant, and Kelso Mail, requesting applications for the office. The candidates had to be qualified to teach English, writing, arithmetic, book-keeping, mensuration, Latin, French, and church music. A short leet of three was chosen, and, after being examined by the Presbytery, the following report was handed to the heritors
Peter's sister Helen named three of his daughters as her executors if her sister Margaret had pre-deceased her.10,11 "After serving in the navy during the American War of Independence, his father returned to Scotland, and married the daughter of a Jedburgh tradesman, a Miss Henderson, with whom he had five children another of whom was Peter Fairbairn (1799-1861), engineer and inventor."12


     William Fairburn was shown as the head of the household in the census of 1861 The Polygon, Ardwick, Manchester, LAN, ENG, with Dorothy enumerated as FAIRBURN: William 72 civil engineer b Kelso, ROX; wife Dorothy 69 b Morpeth, NBL; plus a butler, cook, 2 hsemaids, ladys maid & kitchen hand.13
     William Fairburn was shown as the head of the household in the census of 1871 Polygon, Ardwick, Manchester, LAN, ENG, with Dorothy enumerated as FAIRBURN (sic): William head, mar, 82 civil engineer b Kelso SCT; (next page) wife Dorothy 79 b Morpeth, NBL; Dtr in law Bessie Ann, widow 39 annuitant b Manchester; Grdson Wm Murray, 21 undergrad Cambridge b Manchester. Servants: lady's maid, cook, 2 housemaids and a kitchen maid.14

DNA Info

     William's line needs a/another participant in the FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA Project. Check out the Wanted! page for further information.


Dorothy Marr (Oct 1791 - Jan 1882)
  • Anne Fairbairn15,2 (May 1817 - May 1894)
  • John Fairbairn2 (Feb 1821 - 1867)
  • Sir Thomas Fairbairn 2nd Baronet16 (Jan 1823 - Aug 1891)
  • William Andrew Fairbairn17 (Dec 1824 - Jan 1910)
  • Peter Fairbairn18 (Oct 1828 - Aug 1859)
  • Rev Adam Henderson Fairbairn MA2,19 (Oct 1836 - Jul 1888)
ChartsLineage 2b1: John & Helen (ANDERSON) FAIRBAIRN
Last Edited7 May 2013


  1. [S2449] Wikipedia online at, Photo from frontespiece of his life, online at, d/loaded Nov 2010.
  2. [S1062] Letter, Janis ULSTEIN to (1), From "The Life of Sir William Fairbairn, Bart. (1877). Written by "Himself", extract rcvd Jun 2006.
  3. [S1038] G Roy & Pat FAIRBAIRN, "Corres. FAIRBAIRN/WANLESS, Quebec ex G Roy & Pat F.," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Feb 1996.
  4. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Birth 19 Feb Bap 8 Mar 1789 William to Andrew FAIRBAIRN & Margaret HENDERSON, Kelso, ROX Dist 793, copy d/loaded Mar 2008.
  5. [S1961] Www FAIRBAIRN searches and miscellaneous correspondence by LornaHen (1) 1813-1837 Marriages visited 7 Oct 2000.
  6. [S1599] Findmypast online at, Marr. 8 Jun 1816 William FAIRBAIRN (Par. of Manchester, LAN) & Dorothy MARR, Bedlington, NBL, from Northumberland & Durham FHS, extracted Dec 2008.
  7. [S1595] Www FreeBMD ENG online at, Dth 1874 William FAIRBAIRN, aged 85, reg. Farnham, Sep qtr 2a/68, extracted Jan 2009.
  8. [S1513] Burke, Burke's Peerage, Birth 19 Feb 1789 Dth 18 Aug 1874 William FAIRBAIRN 1st Bt, s/o Andrew FAIRBAIRN & Margaret HENDERSON, 107th Ed, 2003, p1371, extracted Jan 2009.
  9. [S3264] Lancashire OPC Database by Online Parish Clerks online at, Bur. 25 Aug 1874 William FAIRBAIRN, Baronet - son of Andrew FAIRBAIRN; Aged 85, bur. St Mary the Virgin, Prestwich, LAN, transcr. online at…, from Register: Burials 1872 - 1885, Page 59, Entry 468, LDS Film 2356234, extracted May 2013.
  10. [S2786] John BURLEIGH, "EM FAIRBAIRN/SCOTT ex John B," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Peter FAIRBAIRN, s/o William, schoolmaster Galashiels from Hall's History of Galashiels (1898), Sect 4 Ch 1 Pg 452/3, extract rcvd Jan 2009.
  11. [S3256] Will/Inventory: Helen FAIRBAIRN d Edinburgh 1867 (Will (22 Sep 1865) Inventory (21 Aug 1867) Proved 21 Aug 1867) Edinburgh Sheriff Court SC70/4/111 and SC70/1/136: Will 22 Sep 1865 Helen FAIRBAIRN of 18 Buccleugh Place, Edin., SC70/4/111, copy d/loaded Apr 2013.
  12. [S2693] Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online ed online at, James Burnle, 'Fairbairn, Sir William, first baronet (1789-1874)', rev. Robert Brown, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 8 March 2008.
  13. [S204] 1861 Census images, England & Wales, via, Ardwick, LAN, ENG Dist 9 RG9/2869 Folio 82 Page 1 Schedule #2, hsehold of William & Dorothy FAIRBURN, extracted May 2005.
  14. [S206] 1871 Census images, England & Wales, via, Ardwick, LAN, ENG Dist 9 RG103976 Folio 60 Pages 3&4 Schedule #7, hsehold of William & Dorothy FAIRBURN, copy d/loaded May 2005.
  15. [S1961] Www FAIRBAIRN searches and miscellaneous correspondence by LornaHen (1) visited 7 Oct 2000.
  16. [S1961] Www FAIRBAIRN searches and miscellaneous correspondence by LornaHen (1) visited 7 Oct 2000.
  17. [S2847] Cambridge University Alumni Database online at, 10 Jan 1868 William Murray (s/o William Andrew of Kensington Gdns Sq, grdson of Sir William FAIRBAIRN), admitted pens. Trinity College, extracted May 2009.
  18. [S1513] Burke, Burke's Peerage, Birth 13 Oct 1828 Dth 18 Aug 1859 Peter s/o William FAIRBAIRN 1st Bt, and Dorothy MAR, 107th Ed, 2003, p1371, extracted Jan 2009.
  19. [S2847] Cambridge University Alumni Database online at, Dth 21 Jul 1888 Adam Henderson FAIRBAIRN, Fawley Rectory, extracted May 2009.
  • Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.

    Abraham Lincoln
  • My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.

    Cary Grant
  • Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.

    E. B. White
  • I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.

    e. e. cummings
  • What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know.

    — Saint Augustine
  • Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

    Mark Twain
  • If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.

    Henry David Thoreau
  • If two things look the same, look for differences. If they look different, look for similarities.

    John Cardinal
  • In theory, there is no difference. In practice, there is.

    — Anonymous
  • Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

    John Adams
  • People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.

    Abraham Lincoln
  • History - what never happened described by someone who wasn't there

    — ?Santayana?
  • What's a "trice"? It's like a jiffy but with three wheels

    — Last of the Summer Wine
  • Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened

    — Terry Pratchett
  • I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it.

    — Terry Pratchett
  • .. we were trained to meet any new situation by reorganising; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illuson of progress

    — Petronius (210 BC)
  • The time we have at our disposal every day is elastic; the passions that we feel expand it, those that we inspire contract it; and habit fills up what remains

    — Proust
  • You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

    William J. H. Boetcker
  • Only a genealogist thinks taking a step backwards is progress

    — Lorna 1992
  • No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.

    — George Bernard Shaw
  • A TV remote is female: It easily gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know which buttons to push, he just keeps trying.

    — Anon
  • Hammers are male: Because in the last 5000 years they've hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.

    — Anon
  • The right thing to do is to do nothing, the place to do it is in a place of concealment and the time to do it is as often as possible.

    — Tony Cook "The Biology of Terrestrial Molluscs"