Robert Fairbairn1,2

(bet. 1789 - 1809 - bet. 1854 - 1886)


     Robert Fairbairn was born bet. 1789 - 1809 Eckford, ROX, SCT, this range depending on whether the 1851 census age is 42, 52 or 62.1
     Robert Fairbairn married Elizabeth Young on 26 Sep 1847 Blantyre, LKS, SCT, entry reads: "Robert Fairbairn and Elizabeth Young both in this parish."3,4,5,1
     Robert Fairbairn died bet. 1854 - 1886 ?Liverpool, LAN, ENG; For a while it was thought that his death might be that registered Mile End in 1879 as Robert FAIRBAIRNS, of ?Orbon? St, with informant dtr in law E FAIRBAIRNS of Spring Field, but that Robert is fully accounted for in 1861, 1851 (both London) and 1841 (Durham), with dtr in law Elizabeth FAIRBAIRNS at that address in 1871 and 1881 (and the use of FAIRBAIRNS is unknown in this family).
So no finer age range has yet been found, nor the mystery of where/when he died solved. All we know for sure is that Elizabeth died in 1886, being described as widow of Robert Fairbairn, civil engineer, the only time she is described as a widow.1,6,7,8


     Robert Fairbairn appeared on the census of 1851 Bothwell, Royal Burgh of Hamilton, LKS, SCT, with Elizabeth Fairbairn, enumerated as FAIRBAIRN : Robert 52 (unclear, could be 62 or 42, latter seems more likely) civil engineer b Eckford, ROX; Wife Elizabeth 29 b Dumbarton, DNB; Children: John 7 scholar b Coldstream, BEW; Robert 3 b Glasgow, Margaret 1 b Hamilton; Serv Jean ?Brown? 16.
Ancestry transcription had FACOBAION, with Robert born Eclford, Robegurghshire, and John born "Caloshean", with them all living in hsehold of Thomas (50 coachmaker b Hamilton) & Catherine (30 b Hamilton) CATHELL who is actually the 2nd prior entry entirely (an uninhabited building in between.)1,9

DNA Info

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


     Known families that have been discounted to date:
- Robert and Agnes BLACK/Euphemia ROBSON (have Eckford connections, but both father and son Robert elsewhere)
- Robert, brother of the James married to Helen GOODFELLOW (fully accounted for in census and death records)
- Robert in Bothwell in 1841 with Thomas and Jean (CULLEN) as he was also at home with his mother and siblings in 1851.
To date ancestry's 1841 Scottish and English census indexes, and images/transcriptions, have been checked for all Rob* FAIRB*, born 1784 thru 1814 to no avail. He has to be there somewhere, but obviously not transcribed in a way to fit this pattern! (needs to be extended to f*r*b*n, or similar)
Before applying the date range (to fit the 42/52/62 age range in 1851), England had 68, several of whom where FAIRBROTHER etc, and Scotland 44, but that reduced to 30 once that date range was applied.
Of these, only two could not be conclusively eliminated, but both seemed unlikely by occupation:
- an ag lab aged 55 at Cherrytrees, Yetholm, seems an unlikely match for a civil engineer in LKS by 1851
- the tailor in Melrose, whose wife Elizabeth (JAMIESON) could be a widow by 1851, but again, that occupation seems an unlikely match

1861 census: (not yet exhaustively checked)

It is possible that his son John who predates his marriage to Elizabeth by some years, and the second forename of his only known daughter Margaret Alison, may be significant.
There's a potential candidate for Robert's parents in the family of John & Alice/Alison (AINSLIE) FAIRBAIRN of Swinton, whose family do have some Coldstream connections (Robert's son John was born Coldstream).

Some descendant somewhere must have some information as to his fate and ealier family history!10


Elizabeth Young (Jan 1821 - Jul 1886)
  • John Fairbairn11,1 (circa 1843 - aft. 1861)
  • Robert Fairbairn11,1 (May 1848 - bet. Jan 1902 - Mar 1902)
  • Margaret Alison Fairbairn1,11 (circa 1850 - bet. Jun 1878 - Sep 1878)
  • James Fairbairn11 (circa 1852 - aft. 1861)
  • George Fairbairn11 (Oct 1854 - May 1924)
ChartsLineage 1b4b: Robert and Elizabeth (YOUNG) Fairbairn
Last Edited28 Apr 2012


  1. [S203] 1851 Census transcripts, Scotland, via, Par. of Hamilton, LKS Reg. 647 ED 3A Pg 40 sched 171, hsehold of Robert & Elizabeth FAIRBAIRN, extracted Dec 2008.
  2. [S2333] Rootsweb Msge Board online at, George & Laura FAIRBAIRN & family, posted by Roger WHYBREWDec 2008, extracted Dec 2008.
  3. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Marr. Proclamation 26 Sep 1847 Robert FAIRBAIRN & Elizabeth YOUNG, both in Parish of Blantyre, LKS, OPR624/0040 0174, copy d/loaded Dec 2008.
  4. [S2333] Rootsweb Msge Board online at, Marr. 1847 Robert FAIRBAIRN and Elizabeth YOUNG, Blantyre, SCT, from George & Laura FAIRBAIRN & family, posted by Roger WHYBREW, posted/extracted Dec 2008.
  5. [S1596] Online search: assorted surnames, International Genealogical Index (IGI), Marr. 26 Sep 1847 Robert FAIRBAIRN & Elizabeth YOUNG, batch M116244, Blantyre, LKS, extracted Dec 2008.
  6. [S3172] Interview, Rosemary DUNCANSON-HUNTER, Dth 8 Jul 1886 Elizabeth FAIRBAIRN, Mile End Infirmary, verbal extract rcvd Apr 2012.
  7. [S3172] Interview, Rosemary DUNCANSON-HUNTER, Dth 4 Jul 1879 Robert FAIRBAIRNS, reg. Mile End, inf. dtr in law E FAIRBAIRNS, Spring Field, verbal extract rcvd Apr 2012.
  8. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Apr 2012.
  9. [S2806] Roger WHYBREW, "EM FAIRBAIRN/YOUNG (Eckford) ex Roger W," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, 1851 census: Hamilton, LKS, copy rcvd (ex Rosemary) Jan 2009.
  10. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Jan 2011.
  11. [S204] 1861 Census images, England & Wales, via, Bow St Mary, Dist Poplar, MDX RG9/304 F 125 ED 46 Pg 20 Sched 107, hsehold of Elizabeth FAIRBAIRN, extracted Sep 2008.
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