Robert Fairbairn1

(11 Aug 1816 - 1890)


     Robert and family emigrated from Scotland around 1847 and are to be found in Glasgow in the 1841 census, which shows Robert as a cloth finisher, not born Lanarkshire.
Attempts to date to find his parents have not been successful.
There may also be an Alexander in the family given that in the 1860 census William is with an Alexander, both lodging in the same household as William's future wife Draxanna AUSTIN.2


     Robert Fairbairn was born on 11 Aug 1816 SCT (not LKS.)3,4 Some sources show Robert as born circa 1814 SCT ie in all US censuses he consistently added a couple of years to the birth date that he gave in his naturalization.1,3
     Robert Fairbairn married Jean Rennie Urquhart on 9 Dec 1832 Barony, LKS, SCT.5,1,6
     Robert Fairbairn was assumed to have died in 1890 Pawtucket, Providence Co., RI, USA, given that son Robert's passport application stated that his father Robert had lived at Pawtucket from 1848 to 1890.1,7
Father and son Robert both worked for the Dunnell Manufacturing Coy of Pawtucket.
The Dunnell Manufacturing Coy appears to also have been known as the Dunnell Print Works, established in the 1830s and one of Pawtucket's largest textile factories.8,9


     Robert Fairbairn and Jean Rennie Fairbairn appeared on the census of 1841 Glasgow St Pauls, LKS, SCT, and are assumed to be husband and wife. They were enumerated as FAIRBAIRN: Robert 25 cloth lapper b SCT; Jean 25 b LKS; William 7, John 1 both b LKS.4
     Robert Fairbanks was shown as the head of the household in the census of 3 Oct 1850 Pawtucket, Bristol Co., MA, USA, with Jean enumerated as FAIRBANKS (sic): Robert 36 cloth draper; Jane 34 ; William 17 cloth draper; John 10, Margaret 8, both attended school during year; Robert 3, all b SCT; Jane 8/12 b Mass.10
     Robert Faben was shown as the head of the household in the census of 7 Jun 1860 nr Pawsey PO, Pawtucket, Bristol Co., MA, USA, with Jane enumerated as FABEN (dwelling 239, but listed as two families): Robert 46 cloth finisher, Jane 42, John 18 (next family !) Margaret 36 written over 16, All b SCT; Robert B 13 (had attended school in last year), Jane 10, Charles 5, Florence N 1 all b Mass.11
     Robert Fairbairn was shown as the head of the household in the census of 1870 Pawtucket, Providence Co., RI, USA, with Jane enumerated as FAIRBAIRN: Robert 56 $4000/$1000 boss finisher cloth, Jane 56, both b SCT; Assumed children: Janie 19 b Mass; Charles 15, Florence 12 at school, both b RI.1
     Robert Fairbairn was shown as the head of the household in the census of 14 Jun 1880 81 Division St, Pawtucket, Providence Co., RI, USA, with Jane enumerated as FAIRBAIRN: Robert 66 print works; wife Jane 63 both b SCT F/M b SCT; Dtrs Jennie R 27 b Mass, Florence N 19 b RI, both print works, F/M b SCT.12


     In 1850 his surname was recorded as Fairbanks.10 In 1860 his surname was recorded as Faben.11

DNA Info

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


Jean Rennie Urquhart (circa 1817 - aft. 1880)
  • William U Fairbairn4 (Sep 1834 - aft. 1910)
  • John Fairbairn11 (circa 1840 - aft. 1860)
  • Margaret Fairbairn11 (circa 1844 - aft. 1860)
  • Robert Bruce Fairbairn5 (Jun 1847 - Mar 1907)
  • Jennie Rennie Fairbairn12 (circa Feb 1850 - Apr 1933)
  • Charles N Fairbairn1,13 (May 1855 - Mar 1925)
  • Florence Nightingale Fairbairn1 (Jul 1858 - Jul 1940)
ChartsRobert and Jane (URQUHART) FAIRBAIRN
Last Edited18 Dec 2011


  1. [S808] Census images, USA, 1870 Pawtucket, Providence, Rhode Island; Roll: M593_1477; Page: 69; Image: 582, hsehold of Robert & Jane FAIRBAIRN, extracted Jan 2009.
  2. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Dec 2011.
  3. [S5] online at, Naturalization 1856 Robert FAIRBAIRN, of Pawtucket, b SCT 11 Aug 1816, cert. 172-Yr1856, Vol 1856-1865, from Index to New England Naturalization Petitions, 1791-1906 (M1299), extracted Dec 2011.
  4. [S201] 1841 Census transcripts, Scotland, via, Glasgow St Pauls, LKS, ED: 13 Pg 11, Hsehold of Robert & Jean FAIRBAIRN, extracted Dec 2011.
  5. [S1597] FamilySearch Labs Record Search (LDS) online at, Marr. 28 Sep 1893 Robert Bruce s/o Robert & Jean FAIRBAIRN; Edith B d/o Henry ALEXANDER & Amelia BOWLES; Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts from Massachusetts Marriages, 1695-1910, batch I00792-7 film 480792, extracted Dec 2011.
  6. [S1597] FamilySearch Labs Record Search (LDS) online at, 9 Dec 1832 Robert FAIRBAIRN & Jean Rennie URQUHART, Barony, LKS, from Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910 batch M11968-5 film 994188, extracted Dec 2011.
  7. [S5] online at, Passport application 27 Apr 1905 R B & Edith A FAIRBAIRN, Pawtucket, Boston, from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington D.C.; Passport Applications, 1795-1905; ARC Identifier 566612 / MLR Number A1 508; NARA Series: M1372; Roll #675, extracted Dec 2011.
  8. [S3120] GenealogyBank Newspapers online at, Obit 25 Mar 1907 Robert B s/o Robert FAIRBAIRN, Beacon St, Boston, Mass, from Pawtucket Times 25 Mar 1907, extracted Dec 2011.
  9. [S2868] Google Books online at, "Education and Democracy: The Meaning of Alexander Meiklejohn, 1872-1964" By Adam R. Nelson, extracted Dec 2011.
  10. [S808] Census images, USA, 1850 Pawtucket, Bristol, Massachusetts; Roll: M432_308; Page: 365B; Image: 86, hsehold of Robert & Jane FAIRBANKS, extracted Dec 2011.
  11. [S808] Census images, USA, 1860 Pawtucket, Bristol, Massachusetts; Roll: M653_489; Page: 90; Image: 91; Family History Library Film: 803489, hsehold of Robert & Jane FABEN, extracted Dec 2011.
  12. [S808] Census images, USA, 1880 Pawtucket, Providence, Rhode Island; Roll: T9_1215; Family History Film: 1255215; Page: 89.2000; Enumeration District: 131, hsehold of Robert & Jane FAIRBAIRN, extracted Jan 2009.
  13. [S1597] FamilySearch Labs Record Search (LDS) online at, Dth 19 Mar 1925 Charles N s/o Robert FAIRBAIRN & Jean URQUHART, aged 79 Stoneham, Middlesex, MA, from Rhode Island Deaths and Burials, 1802-1950 batch I05169-0 film 1927792, extracted Dec 2011.
  • 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"