Robert Allen Fairbairn

Robert Allen Fairbairn

Male 1842 - 1915  (73 years)  Submit Photo / DocumentSubmit Photo / Document


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  • Gender Male 
    Alternate Birth 22 March 1840  Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Headstone has this different date.
    Alternate Birth 22 March 1842  [2
    Born 23 March 1842  Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Baptism 12 April 1842  Stockbridge, Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Census 30 March 1851  Nook Farm, Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    • 1851 Census for Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, Scotland
      Transcription by Graham and Emma Maxwell
      Book 1 Page 31
      Nook Farm
      James Fairbairn Head Mar 40 Farm Labourer East Lothian, Oldhamstocks
      Catharine Fairbairn Wife Mar 43 East Lothian, Dunbar
      Barbara Fairbairn Daur Unm 17 Field Labourer Berwick, Cockburnspath
      Peter Fairbairn Son Unm 15 Field Labourer Berwick, Cockburnspath
      James Fairbairn Son Unm 13 Field Labourer Berwick, Cockburnspath
      Robert Fairbairn Son Unm 11 Scholar Berwick, Cockburnspath
      John Fairbairn Son Unm 7 Scholar Berwick, Cockburnspath
      Janet Fairbairn Daur Unm 5 Berwick, Cockburnspath
      Mary Fairbairn Daur Unm 3 Berwick, Cockburnspath
    Emigration Note “Robert Fairbairn arrived 3 September 1860 on the Robert Henderson”  [5
    From Here A Name In 1864 Robert Fairbairn bought "Ferndale" and with the help of his brother built a house. This was of two rooms, made of clay and thatched with wi-wi rushes from the swamp. Here he took his bride.  [6
    Joan's Notes Robert Fairbairn and Jane Houliston met aboard the "Robert Henderson" when they were on their way to New Zealand, but it was four years before they married. In 1864 Robert bought "Ferndale" and, with the help of his brother, James, he built a two roomed house. It was made of clay and the roof was thatched with rushes. I remember Granny telling me when I was a child that the floor of the house was an earth one. After Robert and Janes' wedding they travelled down the Taieri River by boat and then set out to walk from the river to their house. In the process they became lost and the bride's best boots were not particularly suitable for tramping through the swamps and over miles of tutu and scrub. During the early years of their marriage Robert spent a lot of time working away from home whilst Jane battled on by herself. She had to work very hard and was in an isolated area so must have been very lonely at times. Once she walked over the hills to Otokaia and she made regular trips to Taieri Mouth. Every Saturday in the 1860's a storekeeper came down the river to deliver groceries which had been ordered the week before and also to buy the farmers' butter and eggs. This developed into something of a social occasion as it gave the opportunity to meet and talk with others of the scattered settlers. Sometimes Jane was able to drive over on the sledge, but frequently she had to walk. On one occasion, when making her Saturday trip on horseback with her daughter Alice sitting in front, mother and child were thrown to the ground, but fortunately did not sustain any serious injuries. Alice was born at Te Houke, the home of Jane's parents. About 1870 the sod house was vacated in favour of a storey and a-half wooden one. Once Jane's mother decided to visit the family at Akatore with two of her sons. They took the coach to Milton and then set off to walk across the hills to "Ferndale", but they lost their way and had to spend the night in the open. The boys curled up under a flax bush and slept, but their mother spent most of the night walking around. The Fairbairns opened a lignite coal mine on the farm and built a trolley line to bring out the coal. Of the family, all lived to adulthood except James who was caught in the cogs of the machine which was being used to cut chaff. They set off for the injured boy made as comfortable as possible on a sledge, but he died as they reached Saddle Hill. Robert Fairbairn, who was born in Berwickshire, was aged 20 years when he arrived in New Zealand. He had been brought up to farm work, a lover and expert judge of horses, he enjoyed the work of carting to and from the Gabriel's Gully gold fields. In July of 1863 his brother arrived from Scotland on the "Stormcloud" and Robert walked from Gabriel's, across Waipori and West Taieri to meet him. It was winter and stormy; the hills were covered with snow and he became so chilled by the long journey that he became seriously ill. but recovered after some time.

    Prior to their marriage Jane worked at Fulton's at Woodside and helped to cook a hot meal late at night for the victims of Garrett and his fellow bush- rangers who had left them tied up in a gully about three miles from the Fulton homestead.  [7
    Died 8 June 1915  Taieri Beach, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3
    Buried after 8 June 1915  Taieri Beach Cemetery, Taieri Beach, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Person ID I3725  Roger
    Last Modified 24 June 2006 

    Father Ancestors James Fairbairn,   b. 16 December 1804, Oldhamstocks, Haddingtonshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes - date unknown 
    Mother Ancestors Catharine Allan,   b. 12 September 1806, Dunbar, Haddingtonshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes - date unknown 
    Family ID F2169  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family/Spouse Ancestors Jane Houliston,   b. 16 June 1844, Greenlaw, Berwickshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 December 1913, Taieri Beach, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Married 10 May 1864  Warepa, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    From Here A Name Jane Houliston, aged 16, and Robert Fairbairn, aged 20, became great friends on board the Robert Henderson while coming to New Zealand. It was, however, four years before they married.  [8
    Children 
    +  1. Female Alice Fairbairn,   b. 1 October 1864, Balclutha, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 September 1950, Mosgiel, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
    +  2. Female Catherine Fairbairn,   b. 15 May 1866, Taieri Beach, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 August 1951, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
       3. Male James Fairbairn,   b. 4 September 1867, Taieri Beach, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 March 1879, Saddle Hill, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 11 years)
    +  4. Male Robert Houliston Fairbairn,   b. 31 January 1869, Taieri Beach, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 May 1936, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
    +  5. Female Mary Jane Fairbairn,   b. 3 August 1870, Taieri Beach, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes - date unknown
    +  6. Male William Moffat Fairbairn,   b. 9 June 1872, Taieri Beach, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 January 1945, St Leonards, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
    +  7. Female Ellen Houliston Fairbairn,   b. 3 April 1874, Taieri Beach, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 August 1962, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years)
    +  8. Male Samuel Houliston Fairbairn,   b. 9 November 1875, Taieri Beach, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 July 1944  (Age 68 years)
    +  9. Female Jemima Fairbairn,   b. 9 April 1879, Taieri Beach, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 April 1958, Milton, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
    +10. Female Barbara Fairbairn,   b. 5 October 1880, Taieri Beach, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 November 1959, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
    Last Modified 3 February 2003 
    Family ID F115  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend Address Cemetery Farm Town Parish/Suburb City County/Shire State/Province Country Region Not Set

  • Documents
    1851 Census for Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, Scotland
    1851 Census for Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, Scotland
    Image of transcript shows James Fairbairn, wife Catherine (Allan) Fairbairn and 7 children.
    Shipping News from Otago Daily Witness of 8 September 1860.
    Shipping News from Otago Daily Witness of 8 September 1860.
    Bottom corner of page 4 lists passengers arriving on Robert Henderson at Port Chalmers.
    Shows the following families:
    "Donald Campbell, wife, son and 2 daughters";
    "Robert Houliston, wife, 4 sons, 4 daughters";
    "Alexander King, wife, son and daughter";
    "Adam King, 3 sons and 5 daughters";
    and records the death of Ellen Houliston on 7 June and Jane King (wife of Adam) on 14 June.
    From http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/bin/papers?name=OW&year=1860&month=09&day=08&action=view
    Article from the 'Otago Witness' of Saturday 25 August 1860
    Article from the "Otago Witness" of Saturday 25 August 1860
    The article talks about the arrival of the "Pladda" with John Bringans, Janet Mitchell and Bethia Breingans as passengers, the conditions in Otago at the time and concerns about the rapidly growing immigration to Otago.

    See also this history page for a transcript of this article.
    Clipping from the 'Otago Witness' of Saturday 25 August 1860.
    Clipping from the "Otago Witness" of Saturday 25 August 1860.
    This clipping lists a number of items for sale that were brought to Dunedin on the Pladda - blankets, cloth, floorboards, wheels paper. Items of interest to all new settlers probably.
    Shipping News from Otago Daily Witness of 21 July 1860
    Shipping News from Otago Daily Witness of 21 July 1860
    Announcement from Otago Witness Newspaper of future sailing of the ship "Pladda" from Glasgow to New Zealand. Passengers listed include A Bringin, wife and child. This list was compiled in advance of the sailing and sent to New Zealand by mail. It was published in the Otago Witness on Saturday July 21 1860.

    The article also includes reference to upcoming sailings to New Zealand, including the Robert Henderson on which Robert and Alice Houliston and 9 children arrived in New Zealand a few weeks after the "Pladda" arrived on 20 August 1860.

    From http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/bin/papers?name=OW&year=1860&month=07&day=21&action=view

    Headstones
    Headstone in Taieri Beach Cemetery, Otago, New Zealand
    Headstone in Taieri Beach Cemetery, Otago, New Zealand
    In
    Memory of
    James Fairbairn
    Born Sept 4th 1867
    Died Febry 28th 1879
    Also
    Jane Fairbairn
    Born June 6th 1844
    Died Decr 16th 1913
    Also
    Robert Fairbairn
    Born March 22nd 1840
    Died June 8th 1915
    Though lost to sight to memory dear

    Histories
    Article from the 'Otago Witness' of Saturday 25 August 1860
    Article from the "Otago Witness" of Saturday 25 August 1860
    The article talks about the arrival of the "Pladda" with John Bringans, Janet Mitchell and Bethia Breingans as passengers, the conditions in Otago at the time and concerns about the rapidly growing immigration to Otago.
    Document about Houliston and Lawson Families' Early History
    Document about Houliston and Lawson Families' Early History
    Document supplied by Michelle Fitzsimons Scott, who prefaced it saying it was told to her by her grandmother - Catherine Jane Higgins - in 1977.

  • Sources 
    1. [S603] Tombstone Photograph, provided by Peter Marsh in eMail.
    2. [S611] Information submitted by Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    3. [S15] GEDCOM File “Joan.ged”, from Joan van’t Wout.
    4. [S878] British Census of 1851 for Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, Scotland.
    5. [S57] Shipping News from newspaper “The Otago Witness”, author unknown.
    6. [S6] Booklet titled “Here a Name - A History of the Houliston Family in New Zealand”, written by Caldwell, P., page 6.
    7. [S15] GEDCOM File “Joan.ged”, from Joan van’t Wout, RIN = 685.
    8. [S6] Booklet titled “Here a Name - A History of the Houliston Family in New Zealand”, written by Caldwell, P.


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