Saturday, December 1, 2018

Looking like we are Fairbairns, not Elliotts after all????

The Fairbairn Surname DNA project is gradually plugging away at upgrading different lines of the Haplogroup I1 Fairbairns and their matches to BigY.
One of the benefits of this, especially when the resulting files are added to, is that  timescale estimates are added to the branches being created on the yDNA tree of mankind.

A snapshot of the resulting tree as at Nov 2018 is on the Guild of One Name Study Histories pages
copied here:

Our Fairbairn (& matching Elliott) sub branch of I-Y7277 is
I-Y32666/ which as of Nov 2018 yFull estimated was formed 3800-2300 years before present, average 3000 (where "present" is 1950). The Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) is estimated as 600 ybp (average of 900-325 ybp).
Underneath that branch we now have one branch without close matches on the known sub branches.

Then come two main sub branches:
  • one estimated to have formed 600 ybp (average of 900-325 ybp), with a MRCA of 225 ybp 
  • one estimated to have formed 550 ybp (average of 900-225 ybp), also with a MRCA of 225 ybp
The former has two of our matching Elliot kits in it
The latter has two separate branches of our Fairbairns, namely the Cockburnspath, Berwickshire branch and that of John Fairbairn/Bessie Flint who married abt 1725 in Melrose, Roxburghshire

So, with the earlier generic branch being a Fairbairn, it does look like these Elliotts sprang from a Fairbairn around 1400, or 1725, depending on whether you use the branch formation or the MRCA date.

It's sale time again at FamilyTreeDNA until the end of December, so an excellent time to get more branches represented by BigY testing (hint hint)

Some background reading from Roberta Estes DNA-explained blog as to Why the Big Y

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Those dratted 404 Page Notfound messages

Apologies for an increased number of 404 page not found messages both from links on this blog and any lying around the web pointing to what used to be the Lineages sub-section of my One Name Study pages.
The latter site has been rationalised to move the old Analysis section into the Histories section of the Guild of One Name Studies Fairbairn pages and shift the old Lineages sub-section up a level in the site hierarchy of my ONS pages.
To find the current page, remove the /lineages
 portion of the URL to jump to where it is now.
Any I can influence will gradually be corrected.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Are we Fairbairn or Elliott?

Donations are currently being called for to add to our knowledge of when the matching set of Fairbairn and Elliott results diverged on the yDNA tree of mankind - somewhere down from I-Z140 which branch formed about 4,100 years before present (ybp - present being 1950)

We now know that a sub group of the I1 haplogroup matching Fairbairns (lineage 1e) form their own little sub branch at I-Y32666, Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) estimated to be about 225 ybp
and that at least one of the group of matches between all the Fairbairn and Elliotts has confirmed as I-Y7277 - MRCA 3,100 ybp

Donations for the BigY test are most welcome.
We have a willing participant from the Elliotts once the money is raised -  $525 US is called for.
If sufficient is raised we can extend that to either, or both, she says optimistically, of another ELLIOTT or the FAIRBAIRN waiting in the wings who also likely fits somewhere between I-Z140 and I-Y32666.

We anticipate awaiting another BigY sale before ordering, so please contribute to the General Fund for the Fairbairn/Fairburn project at
marking in the note any specific focus for your donation if desired.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Update for I1 Haplogroup FAIRBAIRNs

With one of the recent BigY sales at FamilyTreeDNA, the opportunity was taken to test four of the Lineage 1e FAIRBAIRNs, and analyse their results at

The latest version (5.04) of the yFull tree now shows that this has resulted in the creation of a new branch of the tree underneath I-Y7277 (which was estimated by yFull as having been formed 3400 ybp TMRCA 3100 ybp) which is where they are currently shown on FTDNA.

The new branch is I-Y32666, with an estimated formation date of 3100 ybp but a TMRCA (time to most recent common ancestor) of 225 ybp, ie 1725.

The DNASurnames Haplogroup tree which shows yDNA tree branches, along with line patriarchs and tested participants (if approved to do so, has been updated (

We believe, from papertrails, ySTR testing and a bit of "a miracle happens here" for one or two of the links, that all four tested descend from John FAIRBAIRN and Bessie FLINT whose children were baptized at Melrose, Roxburghshire from  1729 to 1740, and one at Smailholm in 1741.

So how much earlier were all the branches for the matching I1 Fairbairns formed?

That will take an interested party, or two, from any of other groups at
to also test BigY and analyse the results at yFull.
Any takers?

Friday, April 21, 2017

DNA Sales

Check out the overall DNASurnames blog for full details of the FamilyTreeDNA sale prices for DNA Day, and a link to sales at other sites.

Of particular interest for the Fairbairn Surname DNA project are those for
FamilyFinder - $20 off to $59 US
BigY down to $425US
SNP Packs down to $89
yDNA 37 to $129
yDNA 67 to $209

Please check with your project admin before rushing off into SNP Pack testing to ensure that you are purchasing a relevant pack for your haplogroup.
And if you are going to test BigY at some stage, save your pennies rather than duplicate your testing by also doing a SNP pack.

FYI we now have 4 BigY test results in the FAIRBAIRN project, all currently determined to be I-Y7277, and awaiting further analysis at to see if there's any new sub branches to be found.
It would be good to see how the ELLIOT sub group in the project compare!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Inventive indexing

Been a while since I posted an entry in this category:
Margaret Fair Caren, appears in the 1871 census for Selkirk in the Ancestry transcriptions.
She is Margaret FAIRBAIRN nee WATERS, (deserted) wife of Angus FAIRBAIRN Vocalist of the previous post, living with her parents at Newark Cottages.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Angus FAIRBAIRN, Vocalist

Tried to post this to the RootsWeb Fairbairn Message board but it wouldn't post, and sent it to the Mailing list, more out of curiousity to see whether or not either/both were still operating given the ups and downs of RootsWeb over the last few months ( or longer).

The below investigation was prompted by a posting on the Facebook Fairbairn Family group about Angus Fairbairn the Eminent Scottish Vocalist, performing in Barrie, Ontario
Can anyone prove, or disprove, my theory that Angus FAIRBAIRN, of the "Fairbairn Family of Scottish Vocalists" performing in Boston by 1878 is actually James Angus FAIRBAIRN son of Thomas FAIRBAIRN and Catherine ANGUS?

Evidence for the prosecution:
  • James Angus is shown as "Vocalist" on the 1852 bap. entry for son James George b. Newark, Selkirk;
  • 1851 census shows James (railway signalman) and wife Margaret with a dtr Jessie b. 1849 (Moncrieff Tunnell, Forteviot Perthshire).
    Which Jessie is not with Margaret in 1861
  • That 1861 census shows Margaret as married, FAIRBAIRN, with her parents (WATERS) and with her three sons, but no husband, at  Newark Cottages, Selkirk. 
  • This 1849 Jessie fits the age and birthplace of the Jessie dtr of Angus in 1861 with Angus and "wife" Mary Fairbairn in Greenwich, Kent
    Which census shows:
    FAIRBAIRN (indexed as FAIRBURN): Angus 36 scottish vocalist b. SCT; wife Mary 28  b. Middlesex; Sister-in-law Elizabeth ROBERTS wid. 36 Professor of Music b. Middlesex; Children: Jessie  12 b. SCT; Elizth 4 b. Middlesex; Mary A 2 b. Kent; Niece: Maria ROBERTS 7 b. Devonshire
    I believe Mary and Elizabeth are nee BENNETT but cannot find a marriage between Angus FAIRBAIRN and Mary BENNETT.

Throw in:
  • James Angus birth/bap. entry at Kirknewton is dated 15 Apr 1823 - about the right day, right month as shown on the 
  • death cert. of Angus FAIRBAIRN Vocalist, in Massachusetts (cert. #4622 for 30 Jun 1887 shows Angus F FAIRBAIRN as 65y 2 m 16 days, male, marr., died/ resid. 10 Humphrey Sq, b. SCT to Thomas and Catharine, both b. SCT; Buried Forest Hills)

What's a year between genealogists?
Particularly when data for Angus ranges from 1822 (dth cert)  to 1825 (1861) to 1830 (1880)
  • An 1887 death also explains actual wife Margaret changing from "married" but with no husband in the 1881 census, to widowed in the 1891 census.


Anyone with any sign of James Angus beyond the birth of son James George in Newark, Selkirk  in 1852?

An obituary was subsequently found that tied Angus Fairbairn the Scottish Vocalist dying 1887 in Dorchester, Massachusetts to his coming from "about Galashiels" which has fully convinced me that James Angus last seen at Newark, Selkirkshire is one and the same person as Angus.

The obit is rather damning as to his abilities however.