James Fairbairn (m. Elizabeth PURVES)1,2,3,4

(circa Jan 1722 - 25 Oct 1808)
FatherJohn Fairbairn (m. Magdalen BO)4 (say 1685 - circa 1721)
MotherMagdalen Bo5,6 (say 1685 - aft. 1722)


     James Fairbairn was born circa Jan 1722 Lidgatehead, Par. of Earlston, BEW, SCT, (h/stone implies c. 1720.)4,3 He was baptized on 17 Jan 1722 in the Par. of Earlston, BEW, SCT; entry reads: "James posthumous son to John fairbairn lidgatehead in fanns at a dyet of examination."4 He married Elizabeth Purves on 18 Nov 1754 Legerwood, BEW, SCT; entry reads: "Married were James Fairbairn and Elizabeth Purves both in this parish."2,7,1
     James Fairbairn died on 25 Oct 1808 Hallyburton, Par. of Greenlaw, BEW, SCT; aged 88 (I've assumed Hallyburren from Earlston MI transcripts is Hallyburton, Greenlaw, particularly as James is recorded at Halyburton, Greenlaw in the Farm Horse Tax rolls 11 Sep 1797 - 6 work horses, taxed 2/- each.)3,8,9 He was buried with Elizabeth Purves Earlston, BEW, SCT, #602: IMO Elizabeth PURVES spouse to James FAIRBAIRN tenant in Hallyburren who d. 10.3.1808 aged 75 and of the said James FAIRBAIRN who d. 25.10.1808 aged 88 (I've assumed Hallyburren is Hallyburton, Greenlaw.)3
There is an excellent genetic match (new BigY sub-branch formed 2021) between John(F-17), descendant of John and Jessie (JOHNSTON), and Stewart(F-38), descendant of James & Isabel (TAIT).
The latter James, marr. to Isabel (TAIT), was believed to belong to John and Agnes (GIBSON), with a plausible interpretation of his headstone matching him to the baptism of John to John abt 1713, fitting that at Lidgatehead in that timeframe
BUT an earlier transcription of the headstone, with many of the unreadable bits filled in, ruined that theory. As does the birth differences of the two James (1750 for son of John m. Agnes Gibson vs 1765 for the James marr. to Isabel Iait)

Although baptisms for James and Elizabeth's family show them at Mellerstain, Hallyburton is not far away and there are family connections teased out of the Rev. James FAIRBAIRN of Newhaven's will that links the families of MACK, TAYLOR, PURVES, DOUGLAS et al to enable the family to be as shown here.10

DNA Info

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


Elizabeth Purves (circa 1732 - Mar 1808)
  • Janet Fairbairn11 (circa Nov 1758 - )
  • Magdalen Fairbairn5 (circa Sep 1760 - Apr 1800)
  • James Fairbairn12,13 (circa Aug 1762 - bet. 1841 - 1851)
  • Margaret Fairbairn14 (circa Jan 1765 - Nov 1811)
  • Elizabeth Fairbairn15,6 (circa May 1767 - )
  • John Fairbairn+ (circa 1772 - Jul 1824); It should be noted that Burke's Colonial Gentry shows different parents for John. An uncorroborated extract from Burke's Colonial Gentry, (1970) shows John's parents as Patrick and Margaret (Purves) Fairbairn, which I strongly suspect is a mixture of Jessie's parents and John's, given Jessie's death cert. shows hers as a Patrick and Margaret (Johnston) Johnston. The cousinships stated in the Rev John's 1895 obituary do rather make those shown here more likely16,17,6
ChartsLineage 1a2: John & Magdalen (BO) FAIRBAIRN
Last Edited25 Mar 2023


  1. [S888] FAIRBAIRN, International Genealogical Index (IGI), Marr. 18 Nov 1754 James FAIRBAIRN and Elizabeth PURVES, patron submission, batch 7204722, sheet 81 film 0820209, extracted c 1994.
  2. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Marr. 18 Nov 1754 James FAIRBAIRN & Elizabeth PURVES, Legerwood, BEW, "both in this parish", 749/0010 0077, copy d/loaded May 2009.
  3. [S692] Borders FHS, MIs: BEW Earlston - extracts, #602 James FAIRBAIRN & Elizabeth PURVES, extracted Mar 2009.
  4. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Bap. 17 Jan 1722 James s/o John FAIRBAIRN, Lidgatehead Par. of Earlston, 736/0010 0076, copy d/loaded Dec 2009.
  5. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Bap. 29 Sep 1760 Magdallen d/o James FAIRBAIRN, Mellerstain, Earlston, BEW 736/00 0010 0131, copy d/loaded Oct 2010.
  6. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Sep - Dec 2010.
  7. [S2520] OneGreatFamily online at http://OneGreatFamily.com, Marr. 18 Nov 1754 James FAIRBAIRN & Elizabeth PURVES, Legerwood, from O'Sullivan/Cassidy (extensive) FAIRBAIRN tree, no contact details available, extracted May 2009.
  8. [S2520] OneGreatFamily online at http://OneGreatFamily.com, Birth 1720 Dth 25 Oct 1808 James FAIRBAIRN, from O'Sullivan/Cassidy (extensive) FAIRBAIRN tree, no contact details available, extracted May 2009.
  9. [S2891] 1797 Farm Horse Tax Rolls - Scotland online at http://www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/, 11 Sep 1797 James FAIRBAIRN, Halyburton Mill, Par. of Greenlaw, BEW, extracted Dec 2009.
  10. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Sep - Dec 2010, updated Dec 2022.
  11. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Bap. 6 Nov 1758 Janet d/o James FAIRBAIRN, "tenant in Mellerstain", Par. of Earlston, BEW 736 10 / 128, copy d/loaded Dec 2022.
  12. [S1918] Newspaper clippings, Obit 1 Jun 1895 Rev John FAIRBAIRN, Greenlaw, from The Free Church of Scotland Monthly (Edinburgh, Scotland), Saturday, June 01, 1895; pg. 143. Empire, extracted Sep 2010.
  13. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Bap. 26 Aug 1762 James s/o James FAIRBAIRN, Mellerstain, Earlston, BEW 736/00 0010 0134, copy d/loaded Oct 2010.
  14. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Bap. 9 Jan 1765 Margaret d/o James FAIRBAIRN, tenant, Mellerstain ; and James s/o John FAIRBAIRN, Miller, Mellerstain Mill, same day, recorded Earlston BEW 736/00 0010 0137, copy d/loaded Oct 2010.
  15. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Bap. 6 May 1767 Elizabeth d/o James FAIRBAIRN, tenant, Mellerstain, Earlston, 736/00 0010 0142, copy d/loaded Oct 2010.
  16. [S1961] Www FAIRBAIRN searches and miscellaneous correspondence by LornaHen (1) John s/o Patrick FAIRBAIRN and Margaret PURVIS, posted online by Darryl Lundy at http://thepeerage.com/p36149.htm#i361488, quoting Sir Bernard Burke, A genealogical and heraldic history of the colonial gentry (London, U.K.: Heraldry Today, 1970), volume II, page 676, extracted May 2009.
  17. [S1918] Newspaper clippings, Obit 1 Jun 1895 Rev John FAIRBAIRN, Greenlaw, from "The Free Chrch of Scotland Monthly" (Edinburgh, Scotland) pg 143 "Empire", copy d/loaded Sep 2010.
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