FAIRBANKS

From the files of Stephen M. Lawson


Fairbanks Ancestry in England

Jonathan Fairbanks and Grace   The Covenant of Dedham, MA

George Fairbanks and Mary Adams

Mary Fairbanks and Joseph Daniels

Eleazer Daniels and Mary Holbrook

Abigail Daniels and Ephraim Morey

Benoni Morey and Huldah Brown

Eli Morey and Sophronia Mason

Elijah Mason Morey and Elizabeth Merrill

William Clemeth Morey and Melvina E. Andrews

Minnie Elsie Morey and Aretus Erastus Freeman

Iva Melvina Freeman and Donald VanHoosier Lawson

Stephen Martin Lawson

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Fairbanks Ancestry in England

The information on the English ancestry is based on the article by Clarence A. Torrey in The American Genealogist (Vol. 37, No. 2, April 1961).

William FAIRBANKE - b. 1455; d. 1518. In 1492, 8th Henry VII, William took land of the soil and waste of the lord, in Sowerby, to hold according to the custom of the manor. William was father of John and ancestor of Jonathan FAIRBANKS of Dedham, MA.

John FAIRBANKE - b. 1480; d. 1551. In 1504, 19th Henry VII, and 1506, 22nd Henry VII, land transfers names John as son of William. Married Margaret. John and Margaret were parents of Gilbert.


Gilbert and Jennet Fairbanke

Gilbert FAIRBANKE - b. about 1505; d. Mar. 4, 1577/8. Land transfers in 1526 and 1550 name Gilbert as son of John. In 1569, 11th Elizabeth, he would not pay the stipend of the minister or curate of the chapel. His deathbed will (proved Apr. 16, 1578), names wife and surviving children.

Jennet - bur. Jan. 16, 1578/9. Her will (dated Jan. 13, 1578/9; proved May 3, 1582) names sons George and Edward, and daughters Agnes and Elizabeth.


  1. George - b. about 1528.
  2. William - Resided at Hensall, Snaith, Yorkshire. Probably married Isabella HORTON on Jun. 28, 1562.
  3. Johanna - bap. Jan. 19, 1544; probably died young.
  4. John - bap. May 3, 1547. Resided at Hensall, Snaith, Yorkshire. Married Jane BANNESTER on Jan. 28, 1565/6.
  5. Michael - bap. Jul. 3, 1549; bur. Sep. 14, 1549.
  6. Hugh - bap. Aug. 16, 1550. Resided at Hensall, Snaith, Yorkshire. Married Jane MITCHELL on Mar. 28, 1578.
  7. Dorothy - bap. Mar. 25, 1553; bur. Dec. 18, 1554.
  8. Agnes - Married George HARRISON on Dec. 14, 1573.
  9. Elizabeth - Married Mr. BRATHWET about 1577/8.
  10. Edward - Married Mary MITCHELL on Nov. 5, 1582.


George and Sybil (Wade) Fairbank

George FAIRBANK - b. about 1528. Perhaps the George FAIRBANK buried at Sowerby, Mar. 29, 1610. Married first May 10, 1551. He married second, Feb. 15, 1573/4, Jenet (MAWD) BRODLYE, whose name also appears as Johanna BROADLEY, widow of William. Jenet was the mother of Abram, the youngest child.

Sybil WADE - bur. May 21, 1573, Halifax, Yorkshire. She died in childbirth, along with her ninth child.


  1. Genet - bap. Apr. 26, 1552, Halifax, Yorkshire; died young.
  2. John - b. about 1554, Halifax, Yorkshire; d. 1625, Thornton-in-Craven. John's first wife died after Aug. 2, 1593, at Skircoat, Halifax. He married second Aug. 6, 1593, Isabel STANCLIFFE (bur. Jul. 9, 1597), and third in 1598 Ellen PARKER of Thorne, Thornton. Children of John FAIRBANK and his first wife: Marie married Mr. DEAN; John; George; and Joseph who died in infancy. Child of of John and Isabel FAIRBANK, his second marriage: Susan died young. Children of John and Ellen FAIRBANK, his third marriage: Helene died in infancy; Joseph died in infancy; Anna married James CROOK; Michael; Jeremy married Margaret MECROFT; Susanna married John OXENHARD; Jonathan; and Abigail married Henry BLAKEY.
  3. Genet - bap. Jul 28, 1556, Halifax, Yorkshire. Married Jul. 25, 1575 Matthew BROADLEY, son of John and Jenet (WADE) BROADLEY.
  4. Maria - bap. May 18, 1558, Halifax, Yorkshire. Married Jan. 15, 1580 Richard SALTONSTALL.
  5. Dorothy - b. about 1560; bur. May 24, 1562, Halifax, Yorkshire.
  6. George - bap. Aug. 2, 1562, Halifax, Yorkshire.
  7. Robert - bap. Dec. 8, 1566, Halifax, Yorkshire.
  8. Susan - bap. Jun. 5, 1569, Halifax, Yorkshire. Married Feb. 7, 1590 William WADE.
  9. A child - b. May 1573; bur. May 21, 1573, Halifax, Yorkshire.
  10. Abram - bap. Jan. 22, 1575/6, Hlifax, Yorkshire; bur. there Apr. 23, 1576. Son of George and Jenet FAIRBANK.


George and Mary (Farrer) Fairbank

George FAIRBANK - bap. Aug. 2, 1562, Halifax, Yorkshire. Lived at Heptonstall, Halifax in 1593, where he obtained a license to marry in that year, possibly his second marriage.

Mary FARRER - Daughter of Richard FARRER and Margaret BLACKBURN. Richard's will was dated Apr. 7, 1610. Mary is recorded as from Erringden on the license to marry.


  1. Jonathan - b. about 1595.
  2. Mary - bap. Nov. 30, 1600, Heptonstall, Halifax, Yorkshire; probably bur. Dec. 11, 1620.
  3. Ester - bap. Feb. 27, 1602, Heptonstall, Halifax, Yorkshire.


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The Fairbanks family in America

T H E C O V E N A N T

Dedham, Massachusetts (Settled 1635; incorporated 1636)

  1. We whose names are hereunto subscribed, doe, in the feare and reverence of out Almightie God, mutually; and severally pmise amongst ourselves and each other to pffesse and practice one trueth according to that most pfect rule, the foundation whereof is everlasting Love;
  2. That we shall by all meanes Laboure to keepe of from us all such as ar contrayre minded and receave onely such unto us as be such as may be pbably of one harte with us that we either knowe or may well and truly be informed to walke in a peaceable conversation with all meekeness of spirit for the edification of each other in the knowledge and faith of the Lord Jesus; and the mutual encouragement unto all Temporall comforts in all things; seeking the good of each other out of all which may be derived true Peace.
  3. That if at any time difference shall arise betwene pties of out said Towne; that then such ptie and pties shall prsently Referre all such difference unto someone 2 or 3 others of our said societie, to be accorded and determined without any further delaye if it possibly may bee;
  4. That every man may now, or at any time heereafter shall have Lotts in our said Towne shall pay his share in all such Rates of money and charges as shall be imposed upon him Rateably in pportion with other men. As allso become freely subject unto all such orders and constitutions as shall be necessarily had or made now or at any time hereafter from this day forwarde as well for Loveing and comfortable societie in our said Towne as allso for the psperous and thriveing Condicion of our said Fellowshipe, especially respecting the feare of God in which we desire to begine, and continue whatsoever we shall by his Loveing favoure take in hand.
  5. And for the better manefestation of our true Resolution heere in every man so receaved; to subscribe heere unto his name, there by obligeing both himself and his successors after him forever as we have done.


[There follows 125 signatures of those subscribing to the Covenant, evidently over a period of some years. While all the Morse Signers and Jonathan Fairbanks, Sr. appear to have been among the original signers, the sons of the latter were ages 18, 16 and about 7 years in 1636. The names of the Fairbanks sons appear at intervals from oldest to youngest among the last signers of The Covenant. The signers, in numerical sequence shown, included:

(3) Samuel Morse, and his sons (34) John, (28) Daniel and (29) Joseph
(16) John Coolidge
(31) Jonathan Fairbanks, and his sons (98) John, (102) George and (110) Jonathan
(50) Thomas Hastings]


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Jonathan and Grace (Smith) Fairbanks

Jonathan FAIRBANKS - b. about 1594-1596, England; d. Dec. 5, 1668, Dedham, MA. Son of George FAIRBANK and Mary FARRER, and descendant of William FAIRBANKE (1455-1518). Some sources suggest that Jonathan came from Sowerby, West Riding, Yorkshire, England to Boston in 1633 in the "Griffin," but without documentary evidence. Claims that he was the brother of Richard FAIRBANKS, or that he arrived aboard the "Speedwell," are also apparently without documentation. Moved to Dedham, MA by 1636 when he built his house there. The house at 511 East St., Dedham was built of timbers brought from England, and may well be the oldest frame house in America. It is probably unique also because it has been occupied by the same family for nearly 350 years, and has never been deeded or mortgaged! He signed The Covenant of Dedham, MA. His will dated Jun. 1, 1668 and proved Jan. 26, 1669 names wife and his five surviving children. Estate inventoried at £300. Married in England, probably as stated in the following record: Parish in Halifax, West Riding, Yorkshire, Jonathan FAYRBANKE and Grace SMITH, of Warley, a neighboring hamlet, May 20, 1617.

Grace SMITH - d. either Oct. 28, 1673 or March 3, 1676, Dedham, MA. Surname also given as LEE.


Children of Jonathan and Grace Fairbanks

See Notable Cousins for line to: George Herbert Walker BUSH, George Walker BUSH, and Charles Warren FAIRBANKS

  1. John - bap. Feb. 15, 1618, Halifax, England; d. Nov. 13, 1684, Dedham, MA. Signer of The Covenant of Dedham, MA. Inherited home at Dedham. Married first Jan. 10, 1641 Sarah FISKE (d. Sep. 26, 1683), and second Mary FISH. Children of John and Sarah FAIRBANKS: Joshua died young; John married Hannah WHITING; Sarah married Mr. SAWYER; Jonathan died young; twins Martha and Mary (both died in infancy); Joseph married Dorcas; Hannah married Samuel DEERING; and Benjamin married Mary RICHARDS.
  2. George - bap. Nov. 28, 1619, Halifax, England; d. Jan. 10, 1682/3, probably at Medfield, MA.
  3. Mary - bap. Feb 3, 1622, England; d. Mar. 10 or Apr. 4 or Jun. 4, 1684. Married first Apr. 2, 1644, Michael METCALF (d. Jan. 1654), and second, in Jun. 1654, Christopher SMITH. For descendants of Mary FAIRBANKS and Michael METCALF, refer to Some Descendants of Rev. Leonard Metcalf of Tatterford Parish, Norfolk, England - by Howard H. Metcalfe (2003; 768 pages), available from the publisher. Children of Mary and Michael METCALF: Michael married Elizabeth; Mary married John WARE; Sarah married Robert WARE; John married Mary BOWERS; Dea. Jonathan married Hannah KENDRICK; and Eleazer married Meletiah FISHER.
  4. Jonas - bap. Mar. 6, 1625, Halifax, England; d. Feb. 10, 1676. Killed by Indians, together with son Joshua. Married May 28, 1658 Lydia PRESCOTT (b. Aug. 15, 1641, Watertown, MA; d. after Oct. 1712), daughter of John PRESCOTT and Mary PLATTS. Lydia married second Ellis BARRON (b. about 1633; d. before Oct. 1712, Lancaster, MA), son of Ellis BARRON and Grace, as his second wife. Lydia and Ellis BARRON were parents of Mary, Abigail, and Joshua. Children of Jonas and Lydia FAIRBANKS: Mary married first Moses ADAMS, and second Ephraim BROWN; Joshua killed by Indians at age 15; Grace died young; Jonathan married Mary HAYWARD; Hazadiah married John MOORE; Jabez married Mary WILDER (ancestors of Vice Pres. Charles W. FAIRBANKS); and Jonas.
  5. Susan - bap. Dec. 23, 1627, Thornton-in-Craven, England; d. Jul. 8, 1658 (or 1659). Father's will mentions her, her husband, and "four children of Ralph, that he had by his last [or late] wife my daughter Susan." Married Oct. 12, 1647 Ralph DAY (d. Oct. 28, 1677). Note that Ralph DAY married a second time and had additional children. Children of Susan and Ralph DAY: Elizabeth; Mary married John PAYNE; Susan ; John; and perhaps Ralph died as infant.
  6. Jonathan - b. about 1629, England; d. Jan. 28, 1711/12, Dedham, MA. Signer of The Covenant of Dedham, MA. Married Deborah SHEPARD (b. about 1631, England; d. Sep. 7, 1705), daughter of Edward and Violet. Children of Jonathan and Deborah FAIRBANKS: Deborah married William LYON; Grace died young; Sarah died young; Edward; David; Samuel married Christian CHAPELL; Mary married Samuel WHITING; Jeremiah married Mary PENFIELD; Jonathan married; Abigail; Elizabeth; and Rachel.


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Capt. George and Mary (Adams) Fairbanks

George FAIRBANKS - bap. Nov. 28, 1619, Yorkshire, England; d. Jan. 10, 1682/3, probably at Medfield, MA. Son of Jonathan FAIRBANKS and Grace SMITH. Resided at Dedham, Sherborn, and Medfield, MA. Signer of The Covenant of Dedham, MA. Member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, and Captain and resident Commander of the old stone garrison house at Bogestow Pond. Estate inventoried at £800.17.9. Married Aug. 26, 1646, Dedham, MA.

Mary ADAMS - b. 1628; d. Oct. 11, 1711, Mendon, MA. Probably resided with daughter Margaret HOLBROOK after the death of George.


Children of George and Mary Fairbanks

See Notable Cousins for line to: Emily Elizabeth DICKINSON, Erastus FAIRBANKS, Thaddeus FAIRBANKS, and Margaret MEAD

  1. Mary - b. Dec. 20, 1647, Dedham, MA; d. Jun. 9, 1682. Married Joseph DANIELS. [An SDP lineage gives her birth date as Nov. 10, 1647.]
  2. George - b. May 26, 1650, MA; d. 1737. Inherited home at Sherborn, MA. Married first about 1671 Rachel ADAMS (d. May 12, 1678), daughter of Peter and Rachel ADAMS of Braintree, MA; second about 1679 Susanna (d. about 1685); and third about 1687 Sarah. Children of George and Rachel FAIRBANKS: Rachel; and Mary married Benjamin ALLEN. Children of George and Susanna FAIRBANKS: Susannah died in infancy; Susannah; Dorothy; and Margaret. Children of George and Sarah FAIRBANKS: Jonas; Sarah; George married Sarah; and John.
  3. Samuel - b. Oct. 28, 1652, MA; d. Nov. 20, 1676, MA.
  4. Eleazer - b. Jun. 8, 1655, MA; d. 1741. Selectman at Sherborn 1703. Given name spelling has several variations. Married about 1678 Martha LOVETT (b. about 1657). Children of Eleazer and Martha FAIRBANKS: Mary; Martha married first Oliver DEATH, and second Ebenezer LELAND, Jr. (Martha and Ebenezer became ancestors of anthropologist Margaret MEAD); Lydia; Margaret died young; Mercy married Joshua UNDERWOOD; and Capt. Eleazer married Martha BULLARD (ancestor of poet Emily DICKINSON, and of inventor Thaddeus FAIRBANKS).
  5. Jonas - b. Feb. 23, 1656/7, Dedham, MA; d. Nov. 28, 1676, MA.
  6. Jonathan - b. May 1, 1662, recorded at Medfield, MA; d. Dec. 18, 1719. First physician at Sherborn, MA; selectman 1695-1701; town clerk 1699-1701. Drowned while returning from Medfield to Sherborn across ice of Bogestow Pond. Married first Sarah (d. Jul. 9, 1713); and second about 1714 Anne. Children of Jonathan and Sarah FAIRBANKS: George married first Lydia GAY, and second Rachel DRURY; Dr. Jonathan married first Lydia HOLBROOK, and second Hannah COOLIDGE; Comfort married Joseph BILLINGS; Joseph died young; Samuel married Susanna WATSON; and Jonas died young. Son by Anne: Benjamin died young.
  7. Margaret - b. Jun. 27, 1664, MA. Married at Sherborn, MA, William HOLBROOK (b. Jun. 23, 1657; d. Nov. 19, 1714), son of William HOLBROOK and Elizabeth PITTS. Children of Margaret and William HOLBROOK: Mary died in infancy; Margaret died in infancy; and William died young.


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