Robert Fairbairn1

(circa 1786 - aft. 1851)
FatherArchibald Fairbairn (say 1760 - bet. 1800 - 1841); originally a potential relationship based on, possible, naming pattern, and Napanee connections, now reinforced by atDNA matches between descendants of both Robert and of his assumed siblings James, David and Walter2
MotherAlison Crosser2 (say 1760 - bet. 1800 - 1841)


     Robert Fairbairn was born circa 1786 SCT.1
     Robert Fairbairn married Kate Scott say 1815 SCT date assumes marries shortly before "oldest child" Elizabeth.3,4
     Robert Fairbairn died aft. 1851 ?Richmond, Lennox & Addington Co., ONT, CAN.1
The relationship between Archibald and Robert was originally only on rather circumstantial evidence.
Here's my original rationale:
Robert emigrated to Ontario c 1828 and settled in Lennox Co. Archibald & Alison's son David F and wife Jane Herd also emigrated to Ontario (abt 1834), and two of their children are documented as born at Napanee in Lennox Co (Robert 1838, Esther 1840).
The children of Robert and Kate look like they will fit the Scottish naming pattern as the 2nd dtr is an Alison, and it rather looks as if the first son was also known as Archie. However, as both William and James/Archie's ages vary wildly in assorted records, it isn't clear if William or James/Archie is the eldest son.
As to identification of the children: I was looking for sons William, James and Robert and dtrs Elizabeth, Alison, and Jane according to the pre-Confederation Scots information.
A descendant of Elizabeth provided Robert Snr's wife's name and Elizabeth's husband, and they were easily found, living next door in 1851, and assuming that they never moved, their tavern was at Napanee. Alison was already documented as marrying David Fitchett. The James who married Mary Strain had already been investigated by Betsy as a possible match for the James son of David and Jane (Herd). We now believe he fits here much better, particularly as their dtr Agnes Bush Fairbairn was a witness to the marriage of Minto Grieve and William French, Minto being her cousin, dtr of William and Elizabeth (Fairbairn) Grieve. William is a bit more circumstantial. Naming pattern of his known children would indicate parents of Archibald and Eliza or Jane and I don't have any good candidates for that. Proximity to Robert and family however adds a bit of weight.
I don't yet know who Esther is with Robert in 1851, but it does seem to be a family name, wherever it crept in from. Jane may or may not have married a John Hope, blacksmith and moved to Pamelia, Jefferson Co, NY. This is based on VERY flimsy conjecture in that in 1850 there, a John and Jane Hope have a Robert and Archibald Fairburn living with them of an age to be the two in Richmond in 1851, albeit with birthplaces reversed.
Investigations will continue.
I would be ecstatic for someone to turn up with some lovely obits that proves all of this, particular for Robert Snr. Wonder where the pre-Confederation Scots migration info on the children came from?5,6,7,8

Robert's entry in Scottish Emigration to Canada pre-Confederation reads: FAIRBAIRN: Robert b ca 1786. To ONT ca 1828; stld nr Selby, Lennox & Addington Co ch incl: William, James, Robert, Elizabeth, Jane, Alison qv OGF15,115 (where qv refers to Alison marrying David FITCHETT);
Additional info has Elizabeth marrying William GRIEVE in ONT, emigrating c 1828 as well, and separate information for the chap I believe is son William has him emigrating 1826 (1901 census), and his obit says at age 10, with parents (which implies 1827 given age at death, but as other info gives him an 1820 birthdate, he may have been younger) Additionally, information in William's obit says that his family firstly went to Bytown (Quebec), which just happens to be where William and David Fairbairn were from the early 1810s, William being a proven relation via the Fairbairn surname dna project
Subsequent info was that Kate died at sea crossing the Atlantic.3,4,9,10

Dec 2014 update:
We have an atDNA match between a descendant of Robert's son William, triangulated with matches to both a descendant of Walter and a descendant of both James and David.
Feb 2015 update:
And another atDNA match has, I believe, clinched this. A descendant of Robert's dtr Elizabeth shows up as another triangulated match with descendants of Robert's brother Walter, and matches to descendants of other siblings, along with the match from December, her 4C1R, and also to descendants of John and Bessie (Flint) Fairbairn's son Robert.11


     Robert Fairbairn appeared on the census of 1851 on the 6th, 7th, 8th Concession, Richmond Twp, Lennox Co., ONT, CAN, enumerated as FAIRBAIRN: Robt labourer 22 Sr (sic); Robt Jr (sic) gentleman 65; Esther 22 All b SCT; Robt 11 b USA; Archd b C West 9 All Presby;
(these are neighbouring entries, conjecture as to how they relate to each other):
The immediate previous entry is the family of Robert's dtr Elizabeth with husband William Grieve and family (Esther 7, Geo 5, Robt 3, Minto 2); It does rather look like they are all living in the Grieve's tavern as the next building listed is the frame house of the carriage maker, Abraham Fraser. A prior entry is that of William and Catherine (Morgan) Fairbairn, who looks likely to be the William known to exist as a son of Robert.1,10


     Click here to see Robert's page on WikiTree, a (free) collaborative on-line tree.12
     Follow this link for Lorna's family information on Robert Fairbairn.


Kate Scott (say 1786 - circa 1828)
  • Elizabeth Fairbairn3 (May 1817 - Aug 1879)
  • Jane Fairbairn3 (circa Nov 1820 - Jul 1896)
  • James Archie Fairbairn3 (circa 1821 - say 1893)
  • William Fairbairn+3 (circa 1822 - Dec 1912)
  • Alison Fairbairn3 (Jan 1822 - Jun 1864)
  • Robert Fairbairn3,13 (circa 1828 - Aug 1887)
ChartsLineage 1e: John & Bessie (fflint) FAIRBAIRN
Last Edited15 Feb 2015


  1. [S809] Census image, Canada, via, 1851 Richmond, Lennox Co, ONT, hsehold of Robt FAIRBAIRN, extracted Jun 2008.
  2. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Jul 2008, updated Jan 2015.
  3. [S2337] F-5 FAIRBAIRN, "EM FAIRBAIRN/SINTON Yetholm ex Scott F," e-mail to L Henderson (1), Robert FAIRBAIRN, 1828, Scottish Emigration to Canada pre-Confederation, rcvd Jul 2008.
  4. [S2285] GenForum online at, Family of William GRIEVE and Elizabeth (Bessie) FAIRBAIRN, Richmond, ONT, posted Aug 2000 by Bonnie HURSH (email no longer current), extracted Jul 2008.
  5. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Jul 2008, updated Jan & Feb 2015.
  6. [S1961] Www FAIRBAIRN searches and miscellaneous correspondence by LornaHen (1) "History of Chickasaw and Howard Counties" by Robert Herd FAIRBAIRN, pub. 1919 Synopsis of pages 497-9, as shown on IAGenWeb (, extracted Jun 2008.
  7. [S5] online at, Obit 8 Mar 1916 Esther LEE nee FAIRBURN, "Waushara Argus", from tree of miket6m4n8u, extracted May 2008.
  8. [S1596] Online search: assorted surnames, International Genealogical Index (IGI), 1881 Census: Napanee Town, Lennox, ONT, FHL Film 1375872 NA Film C-13236 Dist117 Sub-dist G Pg 57 Hsehold 280, Wm GREIVE (sic), extracted Jul 2008.
  9. [S2333] Rootsweb Msge Board online at, Dth (c. 1828) Kate FAIRBAIRN nee SCOTT, at sea (Atlantic), from GRIEVE board posting, Aug 2000 by Bonnie HURSH, extracted Jul 2008.
  10. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Jul 2008.
  11. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Jan & Feb 2015.
  12. [S3217] WikiTree online at, Oct 2011.
  13. [S5] online at, Marr. 28 Jun 1864 Robert FAIRBAIRN & Clarinda HAM, FHL Film 1030060 Lennox & Addington Co, ONT, extracted Jul 2008, (marr. index transcript shows Robert as son of J & M FAIRBAIRN, I've not seen the original, but am beginning to doubt it).
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