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.

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