John Fairbairn1,2,3,4,5

(5 Aug 1819 - 1 Sep 1876)
FatherJohn Fairbairn1 (circa 1788 - Jun 1863)
MotherJanet Henderson1 (circa 1791 - bet. 1851 - 1856)


     An interesting family of contradictory information.
According to John's son John Thomas FAIRBAIRN's 1905 bio, he was the son of John and Isabella (BRACKEY) FAIRBAIRN, which John was 'of an old and prominent Scotch family', having been born in Berwickshire and emigrated in 1853.
This bio says John T was born in Lancaster, Eire Co, NY, some census data has Upper Canada.
The same bio mentions father John's remarriage and two step brothers Thomas and Peter (found to be James Peter), both in the lumber business in Sacramento.
The absence of Robert is explained, (assuming he does belong to John Snr's 2nd marriage) from the 1900 census showing that John Snr's widow only has 2 surviving children.
And if in Canada in the 1861, John Snr must have returned to the States to serve in the US Civil war?
And why does son John T's marr. cert say his mother was Agnes SAGETER? or LAGETER? (or [S/L]agston as a Rootsweb poster has it)?6


     John Fairbairn was born on 5 Aug 1819 Earlston, BEW, SCT.1,7,5 Some sources show John as born circa 1829 SCT (1861 census.)8
     John Fairbairn married Isabella Brockie, daughter of Isabella Dinwoodie, on 7 Jan 1843 at Earlston, Berwickshire, OPR shows John Fairbairn as residing at Yarlside and Isabella Brockie residing at Earlston gave in their names for proclamation 7th January 1843.2,5,9
     John Fairbairn married Agnes Sageter? say 1850 presumed not to exist, with John T FB's marr. having an incorrect mother - for now.10
     John Fairbairn married Helen Taylor circa 1855 ?NY, USA, date assumes this is the John widower of Isabella BRACKEY/BROCKIE.11,4,8,5,12
     John Fairbairn died on 1 Sep 1876 Hastings Co., ONT, CAN, at age 57; cert. shows a John FAIRBAIRN aged 51 b SCT, died of consumption 1 yr duration, inf. a solicitor of Brussels, reg. 9th Sep.11,3,5
It is assumed that John marr. to 1st wife Isabella Brackie with son John b. New York 1853, is the same John married to Isabella Brockie in Earlston in 1843, despite marginally contradictory immigration dates.
This is partially corroborated by DNA evidence in that a descendant (F-44) of John's son James Peter (born 1870 Ontario to John and 2nd wife Helen) matches a descendant of John Snr's assumed brother William (F-42).6


     John Fairbairn appeared on the census of 1841 Yarlside, Par. of Earlston, BEW, SCT, as John FAIRBAIRN, ag lab 20 b BEW; also William SHILLINGLAW, 15 ag lab b BEW (SHELLINGTON on ancestry) next door to parents (NB enumerators were instructed to round ages down to the nearest multiple of 5.)13,14
     John Fairbairn appeared on the census of 28 Jun 1855 Lancaster, Erie Co., NY, USA, with Helen Taylor, enumerated as FAIRBANKS (sic): John 29 laborer resid. 5 yrs b. SCT (alien); wife Hellen 23 born Canada, resid. 1 month; Child John 3 resid 3 yrs.12
     John Fairbairn appeared on the census of 1861 Grey, Huron Co., ONT, CAN, with Ellen Fairbairn, enumerated as FAIRBAIRN: John 32 (surname repeated in occupation col) b SCT; wife Ellin 28 b U.C. John 9, Robert 3 both b U.C. All F.C.15

DNA Info

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

Family 1

Isabella Brockie (circa 1826 - Sep 1854)
  • John Fairbairn16 (May 1844 - Jun 1851)
  • John Thomas Fairbairn10,5,8 (May 1853 - May 1913)

Family 2

Helen Taylor (circa 1833 - aft. 1900)
  • Robert Andrew Fairbairn4 (circa 1859 - bet. 1896 - 1900)
  • Thomas Fairbairn11,5 (circa 1864 - aft. 1904)
  • James Peter Fairbairn11,5,17 (Aug 1870 - Oct 1957)
ChartsLineage 1a4: John & Helen (ATCHESON) FAIRBAIRN
Last Edited16 Jan 2017


  1. [S888] FAIRBAIRN, International Genealogical Index (IGI), Extracted pre 1999.
  2. [S1596] Online search: assorted surnames, International Genealogical Index (IGI), Marr. 7 Jan 1843 John FAIRBAIRN & Isabella BROCKIE, patron submission, batch 7027210 sheet 82, srce call #0538585 film, extracted Feb 2009.
  3. [S5] online at, Dth 1 Sep 1876 John FAIRBAIRN, reg. Hastings Co, ONT Roll MS935_12, extracted Feb 2009.
  4. [S5] online at, Marr. 16 Jan 1889 Robert Andrew s/o John FAIRBAIRN & Helen TAYLOR; Jessie Ellen d/o Robert McKAY & Ellen FERGUSON, Grey Twp, Huron Co, ONT, Roll MS932_64, from Ontario, Canada Marriages 1857-1924, extracted Jan 2009.
  5. [S1961] Www FAIRBAIRN searches and miscellaneous correspondence by LornaHen (1) Biographical Sketch John T FAIRBAIRN, Walsh Stn, Sacramento Co, CA, online at…, extracted Feb 2009.
  6. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Feb 2009, updated Jun 2011.
  7. [S1596] Online search: assorted surnames, International Genealogical Index (IGI), Birth 5 Aug 1819 John s/o John FAIRBAIRN & Janet HENDERSON, patron submission, batch 7027208 sheet 2 film 0538628, extracted Oct 2008.
  8. [S809] Census image, Canada, via, 1861 Grey, Huron, Ontario; Roll: C-1035-1036, hsehold of John & Ellin FAIRBAIRN, extracted Aug 2009.
  9. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Marr. proclamation 7 Jan 1843 John FAIRBIARN & Isabella BROCKIE, Earlston, Berwickshire, 736/00 0020 0175, copy d/loaded Feb 2009.
  10. [S5] online at, Marr. 3 Jan 1883 John T FAIRBAIRN & Agnes HOUSTON, reg. Tuckersmith, Huron Co, ONT, roll MS932_43, extracted Jan 2009.
  11. [S1596] Online search: assorted surnames, International Genealogical Index (IGI), 1881 Census: Grey, Huron Centre, ONT, FHL Film 1375909 NA Film #C-13273 Dist 174 Sub-dist G Div 2 Pg 63 Hsehold 264, Ellen FAIRBAIRN, extracted Jul 2008.
  12. [S300] Census images, USA, Assorted state census records, 1855 Lancaster, Erie Co., NY, hsehold of John & Hellen FAIRBANKS (sic), extracted Jan 2017.
  13. [S201] 1841 Census transcripts, Scotland, via, Yarlside, Earlston, BEW Par. 736 ED 3 Pg 20, hsehold of John FAIRBAIRN, extracted Feb 2009.
  14. [S201] 1841 Census transcripts, Scotland, via, Yarlside, Earlston, BEW Par. 736 ED 3 Pg 20 hsehold of John & Janet FAIRBAIRN, rechecked Feb 2009.
  15. [S403] 1861 Census images, Canada, via Ancestry, 1861 Grey, Huron, Ontario; Roll: C-1035-1036, hsehold of John & Ellin FAIRBAIRN, extracted Aug 2009.
  16. [S1596] Online search: assorted surnames, International Genealogical Index (IGI), Birth 17 May Bap 16 Jun John s/o John FAIRBAIRN & Isabella BROCKIE, patron submission, batch 7027208 sheet 67, srce call #0538628 film, extracted Feb 2009.
  17. [S1] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Conclusions", Aug 2011.
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