James Fairbairn (m. Helen GOODFELLOW)1,2,3

(15 Dec 1788 - 12 Jan 1873)
FatherGeorge Fairbairn (m. Janet MURRAY)3 (say 1745 - aft. 1789)
MotherJanet Murray3 (say 1747 - aft. 1788)


     Known places associated with George and Janet, are Sprouston (baptisms of first two dtrs) and Kelso (baptisms of later children).
Assuming that all of the known baptisms to George and Janet (Murray) Fairbairn around this time belong to this one couple, then George and Janet were probably born around 1745.
James' and Helen's first son was named George, and they had a dtr Janet, albeit the 1st (that I know of), rather than the 2nd dtr as would fit the Scottish naming pattern.
Proven place connections in Scotland for James are Maxton (1813 when he married Helen) and Eccles (where some of the children were baptised);
There is a Maxton connection with a proven descendant of George and Janet's in that their son Robert married Ann Curle there in 1811.
James and Helen's sons James (1821) and Robert (1825) were born at Birgham, Eccles, at which time James was described as a weaver.4,5


     James Fairbairn was born on 15 Dec 1788 Kelso, ROX, SCT, entry reads: Geo: Fairbairn and Jat Murray had a son named James born 15th Decmr 1788 & baptised 8th Feby 1789 Wit: Wm Bishop Robt Henderson.6,7 He was baptized on 8 Feb 1789 in the Par, of Kelso, ROX, SCT.3 Some sources show James as born in 1786.8
     James Fairbairn was not married to Agnes Ramsay (see Robert's bap.)2,9,10
     James Fairbairn married Helen Goodfellow on 6 Mar 1813 Maxton, ROX, SCT, entry (6 Mar 1813) reads: James Fairbairn in this Parish and Helen Goodfalla in the Parish of Roberton were thrice proclaimed in order to marriage and no objections offered and were married (World Fam. Tree has/had 1812.)11,12,13
     James Fairbairn died on 12 Jan 1873 Edwardsburgh, Leeds & Grenville Co., ONT, CAN, at age 84; cert shows James as 84 farmer b SCT, cod drposy one mth, inf James FAIRBAIRN Jnr carriage maker Spencerville, reg. 5th Feb 1873, Presby; Registrar Gideon FAIRBAIRN (following cert was wife Helen.)7 Others say that James Fairbairn died in 1875 Edwardsburgh Twp, Grenville Co., ONT, CAN.14
Robert son of James Fairbairn:
Assuming accurate information was provided for Robert's baptism, he was conceived around Sep 1812, somewhere around Broomhouse, Maxton and Rutherford.
The father named (presumably by mother Agnes) was a James Fairbairn.
Of the Fairbairns currently known to have Maxton connections, I only have two named James prior to 1812: this one born 1788, the other born 1801, which would be a tad precocious, and information conflicts as to whether the latter was born Rutherford (1861 census), Maxton (1881 census), or Kelso (baptism) anyway.
The identification of this 1788 born James is because he was known to be in Maxton in Mar 1813 when he married Helen Goodfellow.
Agnes moved south to England and joined her son Robert & family in Kent by 1841, James moved to North America with Helen and family, probably around 1833, settling in Spencerville, Ontario.
I know of no other FAIRBAIRN families of the right timeframes with Maxton connections, hence my identification of this James as Robert's father. (Robert is Agnes' father's name.)10


     James Fairbairn appeared on the census of 1851 Edwardsburgh, Grenville Co., ONT, CAN, with Helen Fairbairn, enumerated as FAIRBAIRN: James 63 farmer; Helen 62 b SCT (bracketed); Gideon 21 labr at home, All b SCT Relief; George 35 farmer b SCT bapti??d; Electa? 33 b CAN bracketed; (assumed children) Helen 11, James 10, George 8, Thos 5, Wm H 3, Jerushia 1 (F) all b Canada, ?Baptismal?15

DNA Info

     James belongs to a tested line in the FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA Project. Follow this link for supplementary DNA information.

Family 1

Agnes Ramsay (Nov 1779 - bet. Sep 1861 - Dec 1861)
  • Robert Fairbairn+ (Jun 1813 - bet. Jan 1897 - Mar 1897); James was certainly in the area at the right time, and I've found no other candidates as yet2,10

Family 2

Helen Goodfellow (circa 1789 - Jan 1873)
  • Janet Fairbairn16 (Aug 1814 - Jul 1882)
  • George Fairbairn16 (May 1816 - 1904)
  • Thomas Fairbairn17 (circa 1818 - May 1876)
  • James Fairbairn5 (Apr 1821 - Mar 1882)
  • Helen Fairbairn (Jun 1823 - )
  • Robert Fairbairn18 (Aug 1825 - Aug 1880)
  • Andrew Fairbairn (Jun 1828 - Oct 1903)
  • Gideon Fairbairn (Sep 1831 - Mar 1892)
ChartsLineage 1b4a1: George & Janet (MURRAY) FAIRBAIRN
Last Edited14 Jun 2020


  1. [S888] FAIRBAIRN, International Genealogical Index (IGI), pre 1999.
  2. [S1596] Online search: assorted surnames, International Genealogical Index (IGI), Bap. 5 Jul 1814 Robert s/o James FAIRBAIRN & Agnes RAMSAY, batch C117982, Maxton, ROX, extracted Dec 2008.
  3. [S1596] Online search: assorted surnames, International Genealogical Index (IGI), Bap. 8 Feb 1789 James to George FAIRBAIRN & Janet MURRAY, batch C117936, Kelso, ROX, extracted Apr 2008.
  4. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Feb 2008.
  5. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Birth 8 Apr 1821 (Birgham) Bap.21 May 1821 James s/o James FAIRBAIRN & Helen GOODFELLOW, Eccles (BEW) 737 40/159, copy d/loaded May 2020.
  6. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Birth 15 Dec 1788 Bap. 8th Feb 1789 James s/o Geo FAIRBAIRN & JatMURRAY, from Kelso OPR 793/0040 0098, copy d/loaded Dec 2008.
  7. [S5] Ancestry.com online at http://search.ancestry.com, Dth 12 Jan 1873 James FAIRBAIRN, Leeds & Grenville Dist ONT, Roll MS935_5, from Ontario, Canada Deaths 1869-1934, extracted Mar 2008.
  8. [S1741] Gordon SUDDABY, "FT (and Emails) FAIRBAIRN/WALKER ex GSuddaby Rootsweb," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Birth 1786 James s/o George FAIRBAIRN & Janet MURRAY, rcvd Mar 2003, from a World Family Tree CD (data sourced to a Fairbairn Family History by Hattie (Fairbairn) Anderson).
  9. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Birth 15 Jun 1813 Bap. 5 Jul 1814 Robert son to Agnes RAMSAY (Rutherford) & James FAIRBAIRN (Broomhous), at Maxton, ROX 798/00 0010 0097, copy d/loaded May 2010.
  10. [S1] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Conclusions", May 2010.
  11. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Marr. 6 Mar 1813 James FAIRBAIRN & Helen GOODFALLA, Maxton, Dist 798 0010 0220, copy d/loaded Apr 2008.
  12. [S1264] Dave RICHARDSON, "EM FAIRBAIRN WIGHT & RICHARDSON BEW & NBL," e-mail to L McIntosh, Jul 1999.
  13. [S1741] Gordon SUDDABY, "FT (and Emails) FAIRBAIRN/WALKER ex GSuddaby Rootsweb," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Rcvd Mar 2003, from a World Family Tree CD (data sourced to a Fairbairn Family History by Hattie (Fairbairn) Anderson).
  14. [S1741] Gordon SUDDABY, "FT (and Emails) FAIRBAIRN/WALKER ex GSuddaby Rootsweb," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Dth 1875 James FAIRBAIRN, Edwardsburgh Twp, Grenville Col, ONT, rcvd Mar 2003, from a World Family Tree CD (data sourced to a Fairbairn Family History by Hattie (Fairbairn) Anderson).
  15. [S809] Census image, Canada, via Ancestry.com, 1851/2 Edwardsburgh, Greville Cty, ONT hsehold of James & Helen FAIRBAIRN, extracted Mar 2008.
  16. [S1741] Gordon SUDDABY, "FT (and Emails) FAIRBAIRN/WALKER ex GSuddaby Rootsweb," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Rcvd Mar 2003, from a World Family Tree CD.
  17. [S1961] Www FAIRBAIRN searches and miscellaneous correspondence by LornaHen (1) GenForum Feb 2001 from RDEvins (e-mail address).
  18. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Birth 13th Aug Bap. 30 Sep 1825 Robert s/o James FAIRBAIRN & Helen GOODFELLOW of Birgham, Private: Margt Redpath, Margt Broomfield, Eccles OPR 737/0040 0165, copy d/loaded (for Archibald s/o David & Jane F) May 2009.
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