John Fairbairn1,2,3

(27 Jan 1824 - bet. Jan 1866 - Mar 1866)
FatherJohn Fairbairn1 (circa Aug 1799 - Dec 1848)
MotherJane Waddell1 (bet. 1796 - 1801 - aft. 1841)


     John Fairbairn was born on 27 Jan 1824 Frogden, Par. of Linton, ROX, SCT, s/o John, a hind at Frogden, which also fits the 1841 "not born county" of the John later married to Helen.1,4,3,2
     John Fairbairn married Helen Ross on 24 Apr 1842 Coldstream, BEW, SCT, (assumes correct id, but given son William's middle name is Ross...)Entry has no identifiers, simply reading: "John Fairbairn & Helen Ross."2,5,6,7
     John Fairbairn died bet. Jan 1866 - Mar 1866 reg. Woolwich, KEN, ENG.2,8,9
Anyone with any proof, family information, that John, son of John & Jane (WADDELL) FAIRBAIRN is the John who married Helen ROSS?
Naming pattern and age fit but it would be good to get more than circumstantial evidence.10
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.10,11,12,13


     John Fairbairn appeared on the census of 1841 Cloverhall, Par. of Eccles, BEW, SCT, with Helen Ross, as OLIVER: Thomas 71 ; Helen 71 .... ROSS: Ellen 21 ab lab b SCT; FREEBAIRN: John 17 ag lab b SCT; (There's a William WADDELL on the same page, and a James FAIRBAIRN on the facing page, but at 17, not John's brother) (NB enumerators were instructed to round ages down to the nearest multiple of 5.)14,15
     The census of 1861 showed John with his wife Helen, their dtrs Ellen and Mary The Barracks, Dist of Fordington, DOR, ENG, household enumerated as FAIRBAIRN: John 37 wheeler b SCT; wife Helen 40 b SCT; Children: Ellen 13 b Woolwich, KEN; Mary Ann 10 scholar b Leeds, YKS; William 6/12 b Aldershot, Hants.2

DNA Info

     The DNA project would very much like to hear from a direct male line representative from the line of John Fairbairn. If the suggested identifications of John (marr. to Jane WADDELL), and their sons John and Andrew are correct, a representative from the family of John married to Helen ROSS, and from Andrew married to Eliza CLARKE may match the representative from the line of Andrew, son of Robert & Elizabeth (CROSBIE) FAIRBAIRN.10
     John's line needs a/another participant in the FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA Project. Check out the Wanted! page for further information.


Helen Ross (circa 1821 - bet. Sep 1889 - Dec 1889)
  • John Fairbairn16,17 (Mar 1842 - bet. 1871 - 1881)
  • James Fairbairn3,4 (Feb 1845 - bet. Jun 1905 - Sep 1905)
  • Jane Fairbairn18 (1847 - aft. 1911)
  • Ellen Fairbairn2 (circa 1848 - )
  • Mary Ann Fairbairn2 (circa 1851 - )
  • William Ross Fairbairn2,19 (circa Sep 1860 - aft. 1903)
ChartsLineage 1b4b: Robert and Elizabeth (CROSBIE) Fairbairn
Wanted: John and Helen (Ross) Fairbairn
Last Edited9 Jul 2013


  1. [S1961] Www FAIRBAIRN searches and miscellaneous correspondence by LornaHen (1) FAIRBAIRN/WADDELL, ex RootsWeb Roxburghshire Msge Board, posted Jun 2003, extracted Sep 2003.
  2. [S204] 1861 Census images, England & Wales, via, The Barracks, Dist of Fordington, DOR, (hsehold) of John & Helen FAIRBAIRN, extracted Nov 2011.
  3. [S2802] Diana DeLuca, "EM FAIRBAIRN/FISHER ex Diana," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Birth 1824 John FAIRBAIRN, rcvd Jan 2008.
  4. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Nov 2011.
  5. [S1599] Findmypast online at, Service Record William FAIRBAIRN, attested 31 May 1887(Gt Yarmouth), discharged to pension 31 Jan 1903 (Dover), extracted Nov 2011.
  6. [S1597] FamilySearch Labs Record Search (LDS) online at, Marr. 24 Apr 1842 John FAIRBAIRN & Helen ROSS, Coldstream, BEW, from Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910 batch M11733-4 film 1067871, extracted Nov 2011.
  7. [S1961] Www FAIRBAIRN searches and miscellaneous correspondence by LornaHen (1) Marr. 24 Apr 1842 John FAIRBAIRN & Helen ROSS, Coldstream, BEW, copy rcvd (from Phil P), Jan 2012.
  8. [S206] 1871 Census images, England & Wales, via, Woolwich Arsenal, Woolwich, KEN RG10/785 ED 9 F 21 Pg 36 Sched 249, hsehold of Helen FAIRBAIRN, extracted Nov 2011.
  9. [S1595] Www FreeBMD ENG online at, Dth 1866 John FAIRBAIRN, aged 42, reg. Woolwich, KEN 1d/534, extracted Nov 2011.
  10. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Sep and Nov 2011.
  11. [S1599] Findmypast online at, 1851: Leeds, Yorkshire (West Riding), HO107/2320 Leeds Cavalry Barracks, F 1186 Pg 18, extracted Nov 2011.
  12. [S201] 1841 Census transcripts, Scotland, via, Coldstream, BEW Par. 733 ED 1 Pg 17 hsehold of John & Jane FAIRBAIRN, extracted Oct 2010.
  13. [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.
  14. [S201] 1841 Census transcripts, Scotland, via, Eccles, BEW Par. 737 ED 5 Pg 13, hsehold of Thomas & Helen OLIVER, extracted Nov 2011.
  15. [S1961] Www FAIRBAIRN searches and miscellaneous correspondence by LornaHen (1) 1841 Census, Eccles, BEW, John FREEBAIRN & Helen ROSS, copy rcvd (from Phil P), Jan 2012.
  16. [S1597] FamilySearch Labs Record Search (LDS) online at, Birth 1 Mar 1842 John s/o John FAIRBAIRN & Helen ROSS, Coldstream, BEW, from Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950 batch C11733-5 film 1067871, extracted Nov 2011.
  17. [S2153] Various, BDM Certified copy, Marr. 4 Aug 1964 John (Sergeant) s/o John (Wheeler) FAIRBAIRN, & Julia Eliza d/o William (Carpenter) JARMAN, Par. Ch., Little Warley, ESS, copy rcvd (from Phil P) Mar 2012.
  18. [S2916] London Metropolitan Archives: Birth death marriage (filmed originals): , Marr. 18 Oct 1873 Jane d/o John FAIRBAIRN; James s/o James GIBNEY, from Saint Mary Magdalene, Woolwich, Register of marriages, P97/MRY, Item 098, extracted Nov 2011.
  19. [S2916] London Metropolitan Archives: Birth death marriage (filmed originals): , Marr. 8 Jan 1881 William Ross s/o John FAIRBAIRN; Fanny d/o Andrew HALL, from Saint Nicholas, Plumstead, Register of marriages, P97/NIC, Item 014, extracted Nov 2011.
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