Robert Fairbairn (m. Janet AINSLIE)1,2

(say 1760 - bet. 1803 - 1866)


     All that is known about Robert himself is derived from his marriage record, baptisms of two children, and an obituary for his known son John, which states John was the "youngest son of Robert Fairbairn, Esq. of East Gordon, Berwickshire".
The two elder sons are yet to be found, and are not immediately obvious in the 1855+ deaths on Scotlands People.
Robert is of an age, and with place connections to Greenlaw (where daughter Isabella was born), that he may be the son of James and Elizabeth (PURVES) Fairbairn of Hallyburton, who had many descendants in Australia, grandson George having emigrated to South Australia in 1839, shortly thereafter moving to Victoria.
Robert's son John was in Western Australia around 1839, later moving to New South Wales, via "the Murray" district - which just happens to be (assuming only one) where a grandson of the Hallyburton family emigrated to abt 1855.
Both George and John had children who rose to prominent positions.3,4,5


     Robert Fairbairn was born say 1760 ?Greenlaw, BEW, SCT.2 He married Janet Ainslie on 25 Jul 1789 Gordon, BEW, SCT; entry reads: "Robert Fairbairn was married to Janet Ainslie" (entry 27th Jun: "Robert Fairbairn and Janet Ainslie both in this parish" - followed a "Compeared for proclamations in order to marriage for James Aitchison and Janet McDougal.")6
     Robert Fairbairn died bet. 1803 - 1866 ?Greenlaw, BEW.2
Farm Horse tax rolls show Robert at Cowrig, Par. of Greenlaw, and being taxed on 4 work horses, 2/- each (which place is where John was born in 1800.)7

DNA Info

     Robert's line needs a/another participant in the FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA Project. Check out the Wanted! page for further information.


Janet Ainslie (say 1765 - bet. 1803 - 1866)
  • Male Fairbairn3 (say 1791 - )
  • Alexander Fairbairn3,1 (circa Oct 1794 - )
  • John Fairbairn+ (circa Mar 1800 - Jul 1872); assumed to be this Robert/John father/son pair because of the AINSLIE name in John's children and East Gordon connection in John's dth notice3,4
  • Isabella Fairbairn2,8 (circa Aug 1801 - Jun 1866)
ChartsRobert & Janet (AINSLIE) FAIRBAIRN
Last Edited21 Jan 2012


  1. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Bap 12 Oct 1794 Alexander s/o Robert FAIRBAIRN, tenant, East Gordon, BEW 742/00 0040 0194, copy d/loaded Oct 2010.
  2. [S56] Scottish BMDB entries (from 1855),, Dth 4 Jun 1866 Isabella SUTHERLAND d/o Robert FAIRBAIRN & Janet AINSLIE, Greenlaw, BEW 743 #10, copy d/loaded Oct 2010.
  3. [S1918] Newspaper clippings, Dth 8 Jul 1872 John FAIRBAIRN, youngest son late Robert FAIRBAIRN Esq., East Gordon, BEW, from The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Sat 13 Jul, 1872, online at, extracted Nov 2010.
  4. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Oct 2010.
  5. [S2841] Interview, Jack FAIRBAIRN, Immigration, 1855 John FAIRBAIRN, to farm on the Murray, VIC phone conversation Apr 2009.
  6. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Marr. 25 Jul 1789 Robert FAIRBAIRN & Janet AINSLIE, Gordon, BEW 742/00 0040 0160, index searched Oct 2010.
  7. [S2891] 1797 Farm Horse Tax Rolls - Scotland online at, 11 Sep 1797 Robert FAIRBAIRN, Cowrig, Par. of Greenlaw, BEW, extracted Dec 2009.
  8. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Birth/bap? 6 Aug 1801 Isabel d/o Robert FAIRBAIRN & Janet AINSLIE, Greenlaw, BEW 743/ 0010 0133, index searched Oct 2010.
  • 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"