Helen Fairbairn1

(2 Feb 1844 - 18 May 1926)
FatherJames Fairbairn (circa 1817 - Sep 1904); connection assumes correct id of Helen dtr of James as Ellen married James Walker - see notes weighing pros (several) and cons (only one - why does the 1871 census show Ellen as born Kelso?)2,3,4
MotherChristian Nesbit Fairbairn2 (Feb 1819 - Jun 1885)


     Helen Fairbairn was born on 2 Feb 1844 Coldstream, BEW, SCT, bulk baptism on page headed 1848:
"Helen lawful daughter of James Fairbairn and Christian Nisbet Fairbairn was born 2nd Feby 1844 (annotated John)
Mary lawful daughter of the above was born 18 March 1846 (annotated John)
Ralph lawful son of the above was born 19th Sept 1848."2,5,6,7 Some sources show Helen as born circa 1844 Kelso, ROX, SCT.8
     Helen Fairbairn married James Walker, son of George Walker and Isabella Fairbairn, on 19 Feb 1870 The Cathedral, Manchester, LAN, ENG, 19 Feb 1869 from son George's birth cert, but 1870 Q1 from indexes;
cert. shows James as 25 joiner resid. 17 Frances St Strangew, s/o George WALKER, shoemaker; Ellen as 26 resid. 227 York St, Cheetham, d/o James Fairbairn, stone cutter. Both signed; Wit.: Alexander BLACK, Mary ?GIVEN?9,10,11,3
     Helen Fairbairn died on 18 May 1926 Romiley, CHS, ENG, at age 82.9,7
Who was the Ellen dtr of a James Fairbairn, stone cutter who marr. James Walker in Manchester in 1870?
My first conclusion, given the 1871 census showed Ellen as born Kelso, was to assign her as the Ellen born abt 1844 at Kelso to James & Euphemia (Reid) Fairbairn, given James was enumerated in the 1871 census as a stone breaker.
But why did she say she was born Coldstream in the 1911 census, the next to be more specific than simply "Scotland"?

The strength of a DNA match between a descendant of James & Ellen (Fairbairn) Walker, and a descendant of James and Christian Nisbet (Fairbairn) Fairbairn also gave me cause to review this conclusion.

The immediately obvious connecton was via James Walker's mother, an Isabella Fairbairn, highly likely to be the dtr of James Fairbairn and Janet Hunter, James being the son of Robert & Elizabeth (Crosbie) Fairbairn.
But that would be a 5th cousin relationship between the matches, where the strength of the match indicatd 3rd cousins or thereabouts.
Could the descendant of James and Ellen have another connection?

What if Ellen was actually the Elleanor with James and Christian Nisbet Fairbairn at Coldstream in 1851?
Was that James ever a stone breaker?
All census data indicated he was an ag lab (1851/1861) or a gardener (1871/81/91/1901 and dth cert. 1904).
BUT the birth record of his dtr Jane in 1842 at Coldstream stated he was a quarryman.
With Christian being first cousin of the above Isabella the DNA inherited by the match would start to make sense.

Although by now Ellen was living in England, her first daughter was names Christina, not Euphemia, which I'm taking as a conscious use of the Scottish naming pattern - additional evidence for the identification of the correct Ellen/Helen/Elleanor.

Against the ID?
Nothing much at all other than the puzzling Kelso birth place Ellen Walker nee Fairbairn stated in the 1871 census.

Addiitonal circumstantial evidence:
When Mary, dtr of James and Christian married, also in Manchester Cathedral, one of the witnesses was a James Walker.

This exercise has also led me to finally connect up the John Fairbarn who married Jane Waddell as the son of Robert and Elizabeth Crosbie.
And the Ellen who married James Walker in Manchester Cathedral as the dtr of James and Christian Nisbet (Fairbairn) Fairbairn.12


     The census of 1851 showed Jane, Helen and Mary in the household of their parents James and Christina Fairbairn (nr church), Coldstream, BEW, SCT, enumerated as FAIRBAIRN: James 33 ag lab b Whitsome, BEW; wife Christiana 32 Eckford, ROX; Children: Jane 8 scholar b Eccles, BEW; Elleanor 7, Mary 5, both scholars, Ralph 2 all b Coldstream.2 Helen Fairbairn appeared on the census of 1871 Francis? St (17), Cheetham, Dist of Manchester, LAN, ENG, in the household of Isabella Fairbairn as dtr in law.8
     Helen Fairbairn appeared on the census of 1881 Nelson St (63), Newton, Dist of Prestwich, LAN, ENG, with James Walker, enumerated as WALKER: James joiner; wife Ellen 37 both b SCT; Children: George 10 scholar b SCT; Christine 8, James 6, Edwin 4, all scholars, Robert 2 all b Manchester, LAN.13
     Helen Fairbairn appeared on the census of 1891 Newton, Dist of Prestwich, LAN, with James Walker, enumerated as WALKER: James 46 joiner; wife Ellen 47 both b SCT; Children: George 20 shoemaker's apprent. b SCT; Christina 18, James 16 engine cleaner, Ediner (sic) 14 errand boy, Robert 12, Isbella 9, John 4 all scholars, all b Manchester.14
     Helen Fairbairn appeared on the census of 1901 Carter St (9), Broughton, Dist of Salford, LAN, ENG, with James Walker, enumerated as WALKER: James 56 joiner; wife Ellen 57 both b SCT; Chidren: Edwin 22 24 bricklayer, Robert 22 gardener (day), Isabella E 19, John 14, all b Manchester, LAN.15
     Helen Fairbairn appeared on the census of 1911 Church Lane (3), Romiley, CHS, ENG, with James Walker, enumerated as WALKER: James 67 retired joiner, building trade, b. Kelso, ROX; wife Ellen 67 marr. 43 yrs 8 children, 7 still living, b. Coldstream, BEW; Son George 42 single, plumber, building trade, b. Coldstream, BEW; Grddtr: Nellie PARKER 11 b. Peel Green, Manchester.7


     Helen was also known as Elleanor Fairbairn.2
ChartsLineage 1b4b: Robert and Elizabeth (CROSBIE) Fairbairn
Ralph & Helen (CROW) FAIRBAIRN
Last Edited1 Dec 2017


  1. [S56] Scottish BMDB entries (from 1855), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Birth or bap. 2 Feb 1844 Helen d/o James FAIRBAIRN & Christian NISBET, Coldstream, BEW 733/00400178, index searched Apr 2009.
  2. [S203] 1851 Census transcripts, Scotland, via Ancestry.com, Coldstream, BEW Par. 733 ED 1 Pg 21 or 15, Sched 95, hsehold of James & Christiana FAIRBAIRN, extracted Apr 2009.
  3. [S7] Ancestry.com - Family Trees online at http://search.ancestry.com, Marr. 19 Feb 1870 James s/o George WALKER; Ellen d/o James FAIRBAIRN, Manchester, LAN, copy d/loaded from tree of susan_whitehouse, Aug 2017.
  4. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Aug 2017.
  5. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Birth 2 Feb 1844 (entered 1848) Helen d/o James FAIRBAIRN & Christian Nisbet FAIRBAIRN, Coldstream, BEW (bulk bap. Helen, Mary, Ralph), copy d/loaded Aug 2017.
  6. [S1640] Births deaths marriages index (pre 1855): Scotland, Birth/bap 2 Feb 1844 Helen d/o James FAIRBAIRN & Christian Nisbet FAIRBAIRN reg. Coldstream, BEW 733/0040 0178, index searched Apr 2009 , Microfiche and http://scotlandspeople.gov.uk
  7. [S215] 1911 Census images, ENG, http://www.findmypast.co.uk/CensusPersonStartSearchServlet , http://ancestry.com, Romiley, Sub Dist Bredbury, Dist Stockport, CHS RG14; Piece: 21347; ED 6; hsehold of James & Ellen WALKER, extracted Aug 2017.
  8. [S206] 1871 Census images, England & Wales, via Ancestry.com, Par. Cathedral, Cheetham, Dist Manchester, LAN RG10/4061 ED 2 F 82 Pg 37 Sched 187, hsehold of Isabella WALKER, extracted Jan 2011.
  9. [S6] Birth death marriage indexes: 1916-2005 (St Caths), http://ancestry.com, Dth 18 May 1926 Ellen w/o James WALKER, in 83rd year, from H/stone Romiley Churchyard, tree of Susan WHITEHOUSE, online at http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/4464125/person/-1583710865/…, extracted Jan 2011.
  10. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Birth 14 Jul 1870 George s/o James WALKER & Ellen FAIRBAIRN, Coldstream, BEW 733/00 #42, copy d/loaded Jan 2011.
  11. [S1599] Findmypast online at http://www.findmypast.com, Marr. 1870 Q1 James WALKER & Ellen FAIRBAIRN, reg. Manchester, LAN 8D/278, extracted Jan 2011.
  12. [S1] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Conclusions", Aug 2017.
  13. [S208] 1881 Census images, England & Wales, via Ancestry.com, Newton, Dist Prestwich, LAN RG11/4013 ED 18 F 34 Pg 9 Sched 41, hsehold of James & Ellen WALKER, extracted Jan 2011.
  14. [S211] 1891 Census images, England & Wales, via Ancestry.com, Newton, Dist Prestwich, LAN RG12/3254 ED 18 F 99 Pg 36 Sched 225, hsehold of James & Ellen WALKER, extracted Jan 2011.
  15. [S213] 1901 Census images, England & Wales, via Ancestry.com, Broughton, Dist Salford, LAN RG13/3725 ED 26 F 120 Pg 37 Sched 224, hsehold of James & Ellen WALKER, extracted Jan 2011.
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