My genealogy research diary. What changed, where, sometimes even why.
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Monday, 30 June 2008

Jun 29, 2008: Clergyman to Attorney to Newspaperman

Many thanks to the USGenWeb sites, and Betsy (yet again). Betsy found a History of Western Nebraska with a biography of a Robert H FAIRBAIRN, Jr which conclusively linked Clergyman Robert to newspaperman Robert, as one and the same person, his father. One more mystery solved.
Web pages updated, and Mary LILLY nee FAIRBAIRN included for good measure.

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Sunday, 29 June 2008

Jun 28, 2008: Mattie in Moorcroft or Modesto?

I've admitted defeat - I cannot find what happened to Mattie FAIRCHILD, dtr of John and Lucinda (BOYCE) FAIRCHILD.
Known info: mentioned as the surviving daughter of Lucinda when she died in 1908, as Mrs J E SULLIVAN of Moorcroft, Wyoming. Mentioned by Grandma VIELE (so pre 1956), as last heard of in Modesto, California, as a nurse.
May have been called Winifred.
RootsWeb WorldConnect db updated, wont be available for searches for up to 36 hours, so use the facility to jump straight to database LornaHenderson

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Saturday, 28 June 2008

Jun 27, 2008: LILLYs of the field

FAIRBAIRN chart updated, yet again, to reflect latest findings, most updates were in the descendants of Mary FAIRBAIRN and Walter LILLY.
The id of Mary was definitely clinched for me when I found a "cousin" with them in 1920, one Lorraine E LEE, grddtr of Mary's sister Esther.

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Friday, 27 June 2008

Jun 26, 2008: Herding more FAIRBAIRNs

Been busy chasing some of the FAIRBAIRN/SAFLEY family around in the census, and in the process, trying to figure out if I'd picked up the right Robert H, grdson of Robert and Helen (FAIRBAIRN) SAFLEY in the 1910 census. Decided that he couldn't possibly get from a to b between the two census days he appeared in (with parents James and Mary in Portland, Multomah Co, Oregon) on the 15th April 1910, with an uncle and aunt on the 21st (Brook Park, Pine Co, Minnesota).

Meanwhile Betsy had worked another of her miracles and found what looked like Mary dtr of David and Jane (HERD) FAIRBAIRN. She had also had made it to Mt Morris, Waushara Co, Wisconsin, where she pops up with husband Walter LILLY (married Huron Canada according to a patron submission on the IGI).

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Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Interesting journey today. Checked off a marriage cert for one chap, looked at the other one on the page and realised it was one of the FAIRBAIRN/CLAPPERTON lot. So off I went checking what I did and didn't have for the family from assorted census data. Decided to cross check one census against a marriage, so got the cert, and realised that I already had the groom in my database down my RUNCIMAN tree. James WALLACE, descendant of William MERCER and Janet RUNCIMAN, married Janet CLAPPERTON, descendant of George FAIRBAIRN and Janet PURDIE. No, they weren't related, but both are distant relations of mine.
The FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA project is growing - a descendant of the family of William FAIRBAIRN and May CARTER (married Greenlaw 1792) has joined, so that should be an interesting addition given where all the family lived - Greenlaw, Eccles, Earlston, Jedburgh, Bedrule, Ednam (with Dumfries, and Kirkcudbright thrown in for good measure).

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Monday, 23 June 2008

Jun 22, 2008: Elsie found too

And Betsy found David and Jane (HERD) FAIRBAIRN's dtr Elsie too. So more of the family have been documented. Elsie married Joseph L BROTT, variously described as born Canada, Michigan or New York. Apparently has two children, so it does look likely that the 1850 census Jane is hers (still to be found after that census though).

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Saturday, 21 June 2008

Jun 20, 2008: Miles of Fairbairns

Think I've found David and Jane (HERD) FAIRBAIRN's dtr Jane in the States as well.
On the Waushara County, Wisconsin GenWeb site there are some marriages transcribed from the Wautoma Courthouse records, including an 1854 marriage of a Jane FAIRBAIRN and a Joseph PROCTOR. Census data shows that Jane was born Scotland c 1824, AND they lived in Mt Morris, Waushara County, which is also where David and Jane were to be found at one stage.
Dtr Elvira married a Joseph MILES and lived Dale, Cottonwood, Minnesota, then Garfield, Washington State.
Anyone got any obits to prove these connections?
Jane appears to have disappeared between 1880 (Dale, Cottonwood, Minnesota living with dtr and son-in-law) and 1900. I've not found Alvira (MILES) beyond 1900 (River, Garfield Co, Washington) as yet.

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Friday, 20 June 2008

Jun 19, 2008: Tracing TRACY

Betsy and I have convinced each other that she has found yet another dtr for David FAIRBAIRN and Jane HERD. The Jane TRACY who married David & Jane's son Archibald had a brother George who is listed on ancestral file as marrying a Martha FAIRBORN, who just happened to be born St Mary, Perth, Ontario, 1834. Looks like another example of siblings marrying siblings. The circumstantial evidence includes the fact that in the 1870 census George and Martha have moved from Perth to Mt Morris, Wisconsin, which just happens to be where David and Jane are now living as well. A George and Elizabeth of an age to be his parents are also with them.
In 1870 George and Martha are shown with two children, Anna and George, both born Canada. Betsy excelled herself and found an Annie of the right age, with parents given as George and Martha, marrying back in St Marys, Perth, to a clergyman Robert O KELLOGG.
Darned if I can find the TRACY family in Canada in 1851 though, or anywhere in 1880. It looks as if Anna/Annie died in California about 1886 and their only dtr shortly before that.
In the process of ferreting around in Ontario records, several more twigs have also been added/updated on the Quebec FAIRBAIRNs (mainly the family of Clarissa Harlow FAIRBAIRN and Elihu Robert MARSTON, but several others as well).
Also found another dtr for the family of John FAIRBAIRN and Margaret SINTON, a Rachel popped up with them in 1851, and I later found her 1929 death in Blandford, Ontario.
Depending of course on when you are reading this, any of the links above pointing to WorldConnect wont necessarily show the updates, as I haven't uploaded them yet, but any pointing to charts on my domain web pages have been.

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Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Jun 16, 2008: Attorney, Newspaper Publisher, ?clergyman?

Another successful conclusion to a few days searching. I've been trying to find what happened to Robert the son of David FAIRBAIRN and Jane HERD, and had been following a couple of candidates around Wisconsin and Iowa records, both Robert H FAIRBAIRN/FAIRBURN, one married to a Lucy, with sons Lewis D and Robert (1860 and 1870 census) and another married to a Sarah, with dtrs Bird and Ora, but with a possible son David from a prior marriage (later census records).
I'd given up trying to prove they were one and the same person and decided to go public on GenForum asking if anyone recognised the families and could help.
And 5 minutes later, decided to also check out, and post, to the Rootsweb Iowa board, which I searched for FAIRBAIRNs first. Didn't find any, but when I searched for Chickasaw I did find a link to the Iowa GenWeb pages, where I plugged in FAIRBAIRN to see what would come up.
Lo and behold, Robert H FAIRBAIRN pops up straight away, as Robert Hurd, or Herd, FAIRBAIRN, author of a 1919 history of the county, born Napanee, Ontario. So, what with his mother's maiden name explaining the H in the census records, and a birth place the same as sister Eshter, I'd found the right chap, despite the fact that he was an attorney and newspaper editor and publisher, neither occupation being typical in the family.
Haven't proven the Lucy link though.
Rootsweb LornaHenderson db updated, and pages added to the web for both Robert Herd FAIRBAIRN, and his father David.

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Saturday, 14 June 2008

Jun 13, 2008: OneWorldTree

I continue to be amazed, or more accurately, incredulous, at Ancestry's OneWorldTree. I just hate the way it automatically combines data, presents it as fact, and makes it look I've contributed rubbish data! I've tried getting them to remove the original gedcom they used way back for my data, but all I've succeeded in doing is that they've changed the last update date from the really old ?1995? date, to a more modern one, which makes it even worse.
So, if you are looking at OneWorldTree and follow links back to the sources that show data supposedly contributed by me, don't necessarily believe what you see there, jump out to the web pages (at least that link is accurate) and look at the current data on WorldConnect.

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Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Jun 11, 2008: Dashing soldier anyone?

Still sorting out FAIRBAIRNs, tracking them around Ontario, Iowa, Minnesota, Washington, California +++, and in the process wondering if some of the other Lennox Co, Ontario families are also connected, particularly any with connections to Napanee, where David and Jane's dtr Esther's obit says she was born (in 1840).
Added a couple more photos to the web, including an unidentified dashing young chap clad in tartan, in Hamilton, Ontario, and a lovely photo of James and Joan's dtr Barbara.
Thanks Betsy and Melinda, respectively.

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Saturday, 7 June 2008

Jun 6, 2008: Even fewer James'

Another very successful FAIRBAIRN day, culminating in 3 fewer James FAIRBAIRNs in my database.
For some reason I decided to check the actual marriage entry for Alison, dtr of James and Joan (FORSYTH) FAIRBAIRN. What a bonus. She was described as of Melrose bridge bar, and a few entries down the page was a James FAIRBAIRN of the same place, marrying an Elizabeth LAIDLAW. I'd stumbled across James' 2nd marriage!
I then found I already had James and Elizabeth in 1851, but hadn't known who she was, so had never connected them, but had tentatively identified that James as the one an Elizabeth LAIDLAW or FAIRBAIRN, relict of James of Lantonhall, and if that held, he was highly likely to also be the James F. who erected a headstone to his uncle James CROSSER. So, all these James' have now been combined, and James FAIRBAIRN's web page updated.
Several more twigs have been identified from US census records as well, and more snippets received from Melinda to add to the picture of our Civil War veteran, John FAIRBAIRN aka FAIRCHILD.

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Thursday, 5 June 2008

Jun 5th, 2008: The army and John F. didn't agree

John, son of James and Joan (FORSYTH) FAIRBAIRN is now on the web, with what I suspect could be the reason for his name change from FAIRBAIRN to FAIRCHILD.

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Jun 4, 2008: Orkneys to Edinburgh

GenesReunited has come up trumps again. A while ago I found another FAIRBAIRN twig had married a FOTHERINGHAM from the Orkneys. And there she was on GR. The descendant (Diana) has now been in touch, extending the family of James and Agnes down to present day (Hampshire mainly).

In the process of getting John, son of James and Joan (FORSYTH) FAIRBAIRN onto the web as Melinda has come up with a couple of photos and some family snippets that illustrate the relationship evidence.

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Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Jun 2, 2008: SAFLEY/SAFELY does it

Major update to the FAIRBAIRN, (or should I say FAIRCHILD?) tree. About a month ago I was contacted by a lady with FAIRBAIRNs in Iowa but I couldn't spot any immediate connection. Sanna, bless her cotton socks, dug out an old message I'd posted to help someone else with some Iowa FAIRBAIRN data and kept me in the loop when she found more.
Betsy kept digging, turning up FAIRBAIRN/SAFLEY cousins marrying FAIRCHILD cousins between a family of a James and of a David, in Ontario and Iowa/Nebraska/Connecticut/Washington ++. Then she got back in touch, having found my plea for "what happened to this family - that of the James in Selkirk in 1841 with children named Alison, Archibald etc.
Both her David and her James had children named Alison and Archibald, the family stories for her James matched by name, date and age, the family in Selkirk in 1841. With a lot more digging, over the space of the last couple of days, we've confirmed what happened to David and James, sons of Archibald FAIRBAIRN and Alison CROSSER.
The FAIRBAIRN family tree has grown somewhat as a result.
And even better, one of the prior researchers of the American line has reminiscences from "Grandma Viele", which bring them to life, and photos, some of which will gradually be added to the web.
In the meantime I've added one of the newfound Archibald FAIRBAIRNs to the web pages to add a bit of colour to the family story.
Watch this space.

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