John Fairbairn1

( - Aug 1832)


     John Fairbairn died in Aug 1832 East Third, Par. of Smailholm, ROX, SCT; entry reads: "Fairbairn, John residing in the East Third of Smailholm Died on the twenty eighth and was Buried in Smailholm Churchyard on the thirtieth day of August"
Prior entry was John Crosbie of Smailholm Overtown, and the one before that John's (previously) assumed father Robert FAIRBAIRN, which latter assumption would rule out the id of John marrying Jane WADDELL as the son of Robdrt & Elizabeth (CROSBIE) FAIRBAIRN.2,3
No longer presumed to be the 1799 John s/o Robert Fairbairn and Elizabeth Crosbie - as that John looks more likely to be the John married to Jane Waddell.
So who is this one from East Third, buried 1832???4
With an eldest known son Robert, it had been suggested that John marr. to Jane WADDELL, may be the 1799 John son of Robert & Elizabeth (Crosbie) Fairbairn, although this identification puts John slightly on the young side to have married in 1817, and is rather later than the 1795-ish date we now (Apr 2014) have.
Against this identification was the death/burial of a John FAIRBAIRN of East Third in 1832, two entries after assumed father Robert's.

Another suggestion has been the John baptised Smailholm to Robert and Agnes (WRIGHT) Fairbairn.
However, that John was baptised in 1782, which is a bit far the other way from the age given in the 1841 census (assuming a correct identification, and accurate age of course!)

Although we have not (yet?) found yDNA evidence to (dis)prove the id, we do have some, admittedly circumtantial, autosomal DNA matches to aid the identification, sufficiently for Robert and Elizabeth's family to be revised and John marr. to Jane WADDELL included.

Wonder who the John buried in 1832 was?

The DNA connections:
John and Jane had a dtr Christian Nisbet Fairbairn who marries James Fairbairn (not yet found to be related).
A descendant has a predicted 3rd cousin match with a descendant of Isabella (marr. to George Walker), dtr of Robert and Elizabeth (Crosbie) Fairbairn's son James.
But the DNA matches would be 5th cousins, and share too much DNA for that to be likely.

========== (below to be reviewed for relevance)
Coldstream features in the families below.

The John married to Jane WADDELL had sons Robert (1818, Eckford), John (1824, Linton) and Andrew (1828, Smailholm) about whom nothing further was postively known.
Andrew is now fully believed to have married Eliza CLARKE (Plumstead 1853), which id has been further confirmed after finding a better 1851 census for him showing his birth place as Smailholm, rather than the Woolwich barracks Andrew who was recorded as born Church Hill, Berwickshire.

In addition a potential candidate has now (Nov 2011) been found for son John, also in the military. He is assumed to have married Helen ROSS (Coldstream 1842).
Circumstantial evidence for the prosecution includes the 1841 census which has likely candidates for both Andrew and John in Eccles, Andrew at Stable Birgham and John, as FREEBAIRN, with future wife Ellen/Helen at Cloverhall.

By 1851 Andrew is with brother George in the Royal Artillery Barracks in Leeds, but John yet to be found.
There is also a likely "cousin" marriage between descendants of John & Helen's sons John and James.

With daughter Christian Nisbet FAIRBAIRN also marrying a FAIRBAIRN (James, son of Ralph FAIRBAIRN & Helen CROW), perhaps there is a connection to that family?

As always, we would love to solve such puzzles if at all possible by calling on DNA evidence.
The best option is to find a willing direct male line FAIRBAIRN to to join the Fairbairn Surname DNA Project and undertake at least a Y-DNA37 test (but preferably Y-DNA67 for consistency with other project members).
The other option, less direct, but all helping piece together families more accurately, would be for autosomal dna testing of any descendants, this being the FamilyFinder test which can also be ordered via the project.5,6,7,8
Last Edited8 Sep 2017


  1. [S1596] Online search: assorted surnames, International Genealogical Index (IGI), FAIRBAIRN/CROSBIE, batch C118052 1648 - 1820 1067951, 0102302 Film 6901560, extracted Sep 2003.
  2. [S1640] Births deaths marriages index (pre 1855): Scotland, Bur. 30 Aug 1832 John FAIRBAIRN, East Third, Smailholm, ROX, from FAIRBAIRN dth index download, searched Sep 2003 , Microfiche and
  3. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Dth 28 Aug Bur. 30 Aug 1832 John FAIRBAIRN, of East Third, bur. Smailholm, 805/00 011, copy d/loaded May 2009.
  4. [S1] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Conclusions", Updated Aug 2017.
  5. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Sep and Nov 2011.
  6. [S1599] Findmypast online at, 1851: Leeds, Yorkshire (West Riding), HO107/2320 Leeds Cavalry Barracks, F 1186 Pg 18, extracted Nov 2011.
  7. [S201] 1841 Census transcripts, Scotland, via, Coldstream, BEW Par. 733 ED 1 Pg 17 hsehold of John & Jane FAIRBAIRN, extracted Oct 2010.
  8. [S110] Scotlands People Index, "OPR Roxburghshire, Scotland, FAIRBAIRN Births 1538-1854", Birth/Bap.? 6 Jan 1782 John s/o Robert FAIRBAIRN & Agnes WRIGHT, Smailholm, ROX, 805/ 0010 0108, extracted from index May 2012.
  • 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"