Category Archives: Fairbanks

Immigrant Ancestors from England

A look at some of the branches of my family I’ve traced back to England, and the original immigrant ancestors from those lines.


Jonathan Fairbanks arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1633 from Yorkshire, England before settling in Dedham, Massachusetts.  The weird thing about the Fairbanks family is that they touch mine via marriage of Jane Fairbanks to Rev. William Duff, who lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia!

Jonathan Fairbanks (1595 – 1668)
George Fairbanks II (1619 – 1683) Son of Jonathan
Eliezur Fairbanks III (1655 – 1741) Son of George
Cap. Eleasur Fairbanks IV (1690 – 1741) Son of Eliezur
Eleazer Fairbanks (1716 – 1760) Son of Cap. Eleasur
Rufus Fairbanks (1759 – 1842) Son of Eleazer
John Eleazer Fairbanks (1793 – 1860) Son of Rufus
Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks (1823 – 1871 Daughter of John Eleazer
Annie E. Prescott Duff (1847 – 1930) Daughter of Jane Elizabeth


Thomas Jones (1620 – 1671) arrived from Hampshire, England to Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1638.  His great-granddaughter Sarah Jones married Newton Ransom (1722-1796):

Sarah Jones (1724 – 1804)
Dr Luther Ransom (1758 – 1832) son of Sarah
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) daughter of Luther
Charles H Thomas (1821 – 1873) son of Sophia

William Jones came from England to Massachusetts, likely around 1640.  His descendant Mehitable Jones married Paul Dexter Pond (1760-1843):

William Jones (1589 – 1677)
Thomas Jones (1645 – 1679) son of William
Thomas Jones (1674 – 1729) son of Thomas
Aaron Jones (1713 – 1742) son of Thomas
Samuel Jones (1740 – 1786) son of Aaron
Mehetabel Jones (1765 – 1841) daughter of Samuel
Samuel Pond (1790 – 1865) son of Mehetabel
Louisa “Lois” Adams Pond (1823 – 1896) daughter of Samuel


Richard Knight (1603-1683) arrived in Newbury, Massachusetts in April, 1635 aboard the ship “James” with another of my ancestors, Anthony Morse.  His daughter Elizabeth Knight married Anthony Morse (1631-1677):

Deacon Richard Knight Sr. (1603 – 1683)
Elizabeth Knight (1639 – 1667) Daughter of Deacon Richard
Ens. Anthony Morse (1662 – 1710) Son of Elizabeth
Elizabeth Morse (1697 – 1762) Daughter of Ens. Anthony
Nathaniel Morse (1728 – 1781) Son of Elizabeth
David Morse (1756 – 1840) Son of Nathaniel
Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse (1805 – 1890) Daughter of David
Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823 – 1896) Daughter of Sally Maria “Mariah”


Samuel Lathrop came to Plymouth from Egerton, Kent, England in 1634.  His descendant Sarah Lathrop Adams (1765-1857) married David Morse (1756 – 1840) thus combining two Pilgrim lines:

Samuel Lathrop Lothrop (1623 – 1700)
Israel Lathrop Lothrop (1659 – 1733) Son of Samuel
Samuel Lathrop (1692 – 1753) Son of Israel
Capt Elisha Lathrop (1713 – 1787) Son of Samuel
Sarah Lathrop (1765 – 1857) Daughter of Capt Elisha
Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse (1805 – 1890) Daughter of Sarah
Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823 – 1896) Daughter of Sally Maria “Mariah”


Anthony Morse came from Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, and settled in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1635. Apparently Anthony testified at his sister-in-law’s trial where she was accused of being a witch!  His descendant Sally Maria Morse married Samuel Pond (1790-1865):

Anthony Morse Sr. (1606 – 1686)
Deacon Benjamin Morse (1641 – 1707) Son of Anthony
Deacon William Morse (1673 – 1749) Son of Deacon Benjamin
Daniel Morse Sr. (1697 – 1766) Son of Deacon William
Nathaniel Morse (1728 – 1781) Son of Daniel
David Morse (1756 – 1840) Son of Nathaniel
Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse (1805 – 1890) Daughter of David
Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823 – 1896) Daughter of Sally Maria “Mariah”


George Polley (1625 – 1683) came to Woburn, Massachusetts before 1649 from Shoreditch, Middlesex, England.  His grand-daughter Mary Polley married Thomas Jones (1681-1729):

George Polley (1625 – 1683)
George Polley (1656 – 1698) Son of George
Mary Polley (1682 – 1729) Daughter of George
Sarah Jones (1724 – 1804) Daughter of Mary
Dr Luther Ransom (1758 – 1832) Son of Sarah
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) Daughter of Dr Luther
Charles H. L. Thomas (1821 – 1873) Son of Sophia


Daniel Pond arrived in Dedham, Massachusetts from Edwardston, England in 1630.  His descendant Lois Pond married Charles H. Thomas.

Daniel Pond (1627 – 1697)
Ephraim Pond (1656 – 1704) Son of Daniel
Samuel Pond (1729 – 1806) Son of Ephraim
Paul D Pond (1760 – 1843) Son of Samuel
Samuel Pond (1791 – 1866) Son of Paul D
Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823 – 1896) Daughter of Samuel


Robert Ransom arrived in Massachusetts from England in 1654.  His descendant Sophia Ransom was the mother of Charles H.L. Thomas

Robert Ransom (1637 – 1697)
Joshua Ransom (1665 – 1713) Son of Robert
Robert Ransom (1687 – 1777) Son of Joshua
Newton Ransom (1722 – 1796) Son of Robert
Dr Luther Ransom (1758 – 1832) Son of Newton
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) Daughter of Dr Luther
Charles H. L. Thomas (1821 – 1873) Son of Sophia


Richard Smith (1596-1666), came to the US from Gloucestershire, England and settled in Rhode Island in the 1630’s.  He established a trading post on the western side of the Narragansett Bay at a place called Cocumscussoc, later to become the village of Wickford in modern-day North Kingstown, Rhode Island.  His daughter Joan Smith married Thomas Newton (1630-1683):

Richard Smith (1596 – 1666)
Joan Smith (1627 – 1664) daughter of Richard
Capt James Newton (1654 – 1739) son of Joan
Alice Newton (1686 – 1779) daughter of Capt James
Newton Ransom (1722 – 1796) son of Alice
Dr Luther Ransom (1758 – 1832) son of Newton
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) daughter of Dr Luther
Charles H Thomas (1821 – 1873) son of Sophia


Nancy Taylor, born about 1784, was born in London, England according to her son Seneca Folsom’s death record.  She married Gordon Folsom (1788-1813) on 27 Jan 1806 in Rome, Kennebec, Maine.  She died about 1835 in Monmouth, Kennebec, Maine.  She is one of the only English direct ancestors I have that didn’t arrive at the time of the Pilgrims.

Nancy Taylor (1784 – 1835)
Charles Taylor Folsom (1808 – 1886) son of Nancy Taylor
Lucy Gilman Folsom (1835 – 1916) daughter of Charles Taylor Folsom
Helen Maria Nason (1863 – 1912) daughter of Lucy Gilman Folsom


Simon Wolcott arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts with his parents Henry Wolcott (1579 – 1655) and Elizabeth Saunders (1584 – 1655) at the age of six from Tolland, England.  His descendant Theodosia Wolcott married Dr. Luther Ransom:

Simon Wolcott (1624 – 1687)
Henry Wolcott (1670 – 1747) Son of Simon
Thomas Wolcott Sr (1702 – 1762) Son of Henry
Luke Wolcott (1730 – 1762) Son of Thomas
Theodosia Wolcott (1762 – 1825) Daughter of Luke
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) Daughter of Theodosia
Charles H. L. Thomas (1821 – 1873) Son of Sophia


Poem by Annie Blagdon Fairbanks (1822-1899)

Annie Blagdon Fairbanks was the sister of my 3x-great-grandmother Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks.  She lived in Dartmouth, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was never married and never had any children.  When my grandmother died in 1856 at the age of only 32, Annie moved in with my grandfather and helped him take care of his five surviving children.

Annie Blagdon Fairbanks

Annie Blagdon Fairbanks

My cousin Catherine has shared with me a signed copy of a poem written by Annie the 25th of November, 1878 on the occasion of the arrival in Halifax of Princess Louise Caroline Alberta and her husband the Marquis of Lorne.  Princess Louise was the daughter of Queen Victoria of Britain and her husband Prince Albert.  The Marquis had been appointed as Governor General of Canada.

Princess Louise (National Portrait Gallery)

Princess Louise (National Portrait Gallery)

The couple arrived in Halifax on 23 Nov 1878, so the poem was written two days later.  More information on the couple’s Canadian years can be found here.

"The Mayflower's Welcome"

“The Mayflower’s Welcome”



Welcome!  Welcome!  loving welcome to our rock-
  bound shore,
Twice two million hearts behind it, welcome holds
  in store;
We have longed to greet thy coming, with our sun-
  niest skies,
But our welcome gloeth warmly, tho’ ‘neath frost
  it lies.
     Daughter of a race of kings,
     Chieftain, round whose lineage clings,
     All that doth a name enhance
     Of glory mingled with romance.

With one pulse our whole Dominion beats through-
  out to-day,
In the universal gladness, little discords pass away;
For the Princess who is coming home to us across
  the sea,
Has been trusted to our keeping – and a loyal race
are we.
     The Denizens of wood and wild
     Have welcome for her Mother’s child – 
     Mayflowers drooped when Dufferin fled,
     For Lorne they raise a smiling head.

Near the Thistle and the Rose, so lovingly en-
Blushingly the Mayflowers ask, that they a place
  may find.
For their welcome is so earnest, and their love so
  deep and true,
None among the mighty nations, bear a warmer
  heart to you.
     North and South –we come to greet thee!
     East and West – are here to meet thee!
     Watching as those who watch for morn,
     For our sweet lady, and for Lorne.

May the home with us be happy.  We will guard it
Love will nerve the strong right arms, that in our
  country dwell
From Ocean unto Ocean, again we cry once more,
A glad right royal welcome to the Canadian Shore.
     For earthly good and Heaven’s care,
     Most fervently we offer prayer;
     Hear us, oh God! and truly bless
     The Lord of Lorne and our Princess.

Dartmouth, 25th Nov., 1878.   A. B. F.

Note from Catherine: At age 33, the Marquess of Lorne became the fourth Governor General of Canada 25 of November 1878. His wife was Princess Louise, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria.

Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks Letters – Index

This is an index of all the letters written to or from my 3x great-grandmother Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks.

25 Sept 1846 – Rev. William Duff to Jane (prior to marriage)

19 Oct 1846 – Reply from Jane to Rev. William Duff (prior to marriage)

30 Jul 1855 – Jane to Mary Fairbanks Twining

17 Aug 1855 – Jane to Mary Fairbanks Twining (Partial letter)

Summer 1855 – Jane to Mary Fairbanks Twining (Partial letter)

1 Oct 1855 – Jane to Mary Fairbanks Twining

18 Oct 1855 – Jane to Mary Fairbanks Twining

2 Nov 1855 – Jane to Mary Fairbanks Twining

13 Nov 1855 – Jane to Mary Fairbanks Twining (Partial letter)

16 Jan 1856 – Jane to Mary Fairbanks Twining

Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks c1855, courtesy of Catherine Duff

Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks c1855, courtesy of Catherine Duff

Jane Fairbanks & Child (From the Archives of Nancy Prescott Forrest)

Jane Fairbanks & Child (From the Archives of Nancy Prescott Forrest)

Letter From Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks – 2 Nov 1855

Another letter written from Braco, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on 2 Nov 1855 by my 3x great-grandmother Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks Duff to her cousin Mary Martha Fairbanks Twining in Halifax.  This is probably the saddest letter out of all of them, as Jane and Mary discuss the recent death of their mutual first cousin Frances “Fanny” Allison.

There is also some ominous foreshadowing.  In the letter Jane writes: “It is indeed a solemn warning to us who are in health and strength to be also ready seeing we know neither the day nor the hour when death shall come.” She would die only months later.

[Transcription follows the letter itself.  Click on the images to enlarge or download.  Letter courtesy of Catherine Duff & Family.]

Pages 1, 4, & 5

Pages 1, 4, & 5

Pages 2, 3, and 6

Pages 2, 3, and 6

== Page 1

Braco Nov. 2nd [1855]

My Dear Mary,

If I had not been very much engaged for the last week, I should certainly have thanked you very much sooner for your kindness in writing [words crossed out]  at a time when you knew I should feel very anxious to hear although you did not say anything in your first letter to alarm me about Fanny.  I felt quite uneasy about her after receiving it and thought frequently that there was cause for apprehending danger.  I don’t know that I should have thought so much about it had it not been for the death of a young person here in somewhat

== Page 2

similar circumstances – she was just Fanny’s age and died in an equally sudden manner, she too was sick for a day and then was seized with vomiting and after your mentioning that I could not get her out of my thoughts.  Although I cannot say I was in any way prepared for the sad reality when your second letter came.  Poor Aunt Mary. I feared almost to hear again dreading what might be the effect of such an overwhelming blow as this, we all know her intense affection for her children and although she has been sorely tried before this in the removal of younger ones, former afflictions must have been light in comparison to this.

[Frances Elizabeth “Fanny” Allison was the daughter of Jane’s aunt Mary Ann Fairbanks Allison (1800-1896).  Fanny died 21 Oct 1855 at the age of 24.  My records indicate Fanny died in Bermuda, but I’m not sure word would have gotten back to Halifax so quickly as to be sent to Jane before November 2, 1855.  Jane mentions that Mary Ann was “sorely tried before this”, making reference to the fact that Mary Ann’s children Ellen and Agnes died in 1836 at the ages of 1 and 2 years respectively.  They are on the same tombstone in the Old Burying Ground in Halifax.  Mary and her husband David Allison also lost their son Joseph at age 3 in 1839. ]

== Page 3

Fanny must have been everything to her this summer while dear Aunt Eliza’s loss [“must have been” is crossed out] was so fresh and the want of her society so keenly felt, and now my heart aches to think of such a desolating bereavement as hers.  [words crossed out here] her death under any circumstances would have been an awful hole but it seems so very sad that she was not aware of her danger at least as far as friends could know, for many hope at least she was not unprepared by the many of Him with whom nothing is impossible.  It is indeed a solemn warning to us who are [crossed out word] in health and strength to be also ready seeing we know neither the day nor the hour when death shall come.  I have thought more of Aunt Mary’s

== Page 4

sorrow knowing the intensity of her feelings, but alas there are many to share in it.  Her husband and children so suddenly bereaved, the latter can have at present little sense of their loss but poor Sam [Fanny’s husband, Dr. Samuel Wells] will be utterly unprepared for such dreadful feelings and his friends will deeply sympathize in the grief of all.  May he who has sent the stroke administer consolation also, for earthly friendship can do but little.  Mrs. Cossman was here the evening I received your letter telling of her confinement and she told me thought she had never seen any person look so strangely as Fanny.  She said her face has such an unnatural color and appeared to her to be very much swollen so what she said alarmed me also, but still I hoped

== Page 5 [sideways on page four]

all would be well.  It is so natural to hope for the best.  I have had letters from all at home since, but yours contained the most particular account and I must again thank you dear Mary for your kindness and thoughtfulness in writing for I daresay you did not feel very like doing so at the time.  There was some hair in the envelope was it Fanny’s?  Perhaps you intended saying but closed without [saying].  My poor baby has been quite ill for a whole week and although she is better she had two days she will scarcely let

== Page 6 [Sideways on page 3]

any one look at her and for hours will not let me put her out of my arms.  She is so very cross.  Her teeth have been the cause of it but I hope the worst is over now.  We are all tolerable well, but  Aunt Margaret and myself have been very busy with house cleaning getting up stores and other arrangements necessary at this season.  We shall have more leisure soon, I hope.  It did not matter at all about the chemises, just send them when quite convenient.  I must not write more today but with much love to Martha and all at Dartmouth.

Believe me dear Mary your ever affectionate

Jane E Duff

Duff & Forrest Family Photo – c1882

An absolutely priceless photo recovered through some computer wizardry today, courtesy of my cousin Catherine Duff.  The photo was taken at Braco, the Duff Family home in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia about 1882.

[Click to enlarge or download.]

Duff & Forrest Family at Braco, 1882

Duff & Forrest Family at Braco, 1882

Duff & Forrest Family 1882 (detail)

Duff & Forrest Family 1882 (detail)

My 3x great-grandfather Reverend William Duff is in the doorway.  He was 74 years old at the time.

Identified in the front row, left to right, are my great-great-grandfather John Forrest (1842-1920), his wife Annie Prescott Duff (1847-1930), their son George Forrest (1878-1958), his brother Archie Forrest (1875-1946), Rev. Duff’s daughter Maggie Duff (1853-1939), William Forrest (1873-1939) who was also a son of John Forrest and Annie Duff, and two women who are not positively identified.

Annie Fairbanks (1822-1899), who was Rev. Duff’s sister-in-law is identified as being one of the women in the photo.  She moved in with the family when her sister died in 1856 and stayed there until her death.  She would have been 60 in 1882.

I know from two other photos that Maggie Duff and her sister Bella were like two peas in a pod, and I feel like the woman standing next to Rev. Duff looks very much like the woman seated with the hat, so I tend to think that the standing woman is Bella Duff, the younger of the two.

My cousin Catherine and I feel that the older woman is probably Annie Fairbanks, and the woman seated to the left of her might be one of John Forrests sisters, either Helen or Isabella.  Helen would have been 42 and Isabella would have been 50 years old in 1882.  Since the woman doesn’t look much older than my great-great-grandmother Annie Duff (who was 35), I’m guessing it’s more likely Helen.  The photo I have of Helen does bear a strong resemblance to the woman in question.

There is another woman living with the Duff family in the 1881 census (taken almost this same time).  Her name was Emma Gow, a 75 year old widow from Scotland.  There’s some possibility that the older of the two women seated at the right is Emma Gow, but it seems less likely than one of the scenarios above.

Letter From Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks – 18 Oct 1855

This letter was written 18 Oct 1855 from Braco, the Duff family home in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, by my 3x great-grandmother Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks Duff to her cousin Mary Martha Fairbanks Twining in Halifax.  In this letter my grandmother mentions a visit from her father John Eleazer Fairbanks, a bad cold she’s had, some money owed between the two women for sewing services, a young woman who’s moving away from home [perhaps her sister], and obtaining educational supplies for her children.

[Transcription follows the letter itself.  Click on the images to enlarge or download.  Letter courtesy of Catherine Duff & Family.]


Pages 1, 7, 4, & 5

Pages 1, 7, 4, & 5

Pages 2, 3, & 6

Pages 2, 3, & 6

== Page 1

Braco, Oct 18th [1855]

My dear Mary,

Many thanks for the nice long letter I received from you on Saturday.  It always gives me great pleasure to hear from you and I cannot let dear Papa [John Eleazer Fairbanks] leave without at least a note in reply.  Although a cold almost ?? one for writing, or indeed for anything.  I have had a cold and cough for some time and try what I will cannot get rid of such

== Page 2

disagreeable companion. I was in bed last week until Saturday but cannot say that I felt much better for all my care.  I was advised to stay the month.  I got rid of it, but what I could not will do. I think it will not continue much longer as I am almost stupified when my head begins to ache.  You may fancy how delighted we were to have dear papa with us.  It seems so long since I parted from home and all the rest of the family.  I think it was in his plans to remain with no longer but he seems to think he

== Page 3

must leave soon so I suppose we must be satisfied with a short visit.   I think he is looking well.  He had a comfortable passage and means to return this same way but I hope the vessel will not leave before the end of this week which will give him but little time.  I have attended to the message about the work from Aunt Mary and it is all right but when you will get paid dear Mary is uncertain.  I could have sent it by Papa but have not the amount of sent things you bought for me as what you put down

== Page 4

was only part of them.  I will enclose a list of articles as far as I can remember to which I wish you will add all I may have overlooked and the pieces so that I may be able to pay all my lawful debts when William goes up which I think will be soon after the New Year.  I hope it has not been inconvenient to you dear Mary, paying for so many of my things.  I should have reimbursed you long ago but did not meet with a suitable [partial word crossed out] opportunity.  I am so sorry to hear that Charlie’s cough

== Page 5 [Sideways]

was so serious.  I think he will not suffer long with it.  In cold weather it would no doubt be more difficult to heal.  This Christmas brings sad changes to many.  There are few in our family circle [you, crossed out] who will not have to mourn over the earnest plans of those who were so dear. Dear little Annie [perhaps her sister Annie Fairbanks], and I well

== Page 6 [Sideways, full page]

believe she has left a blank in her father’s home which will come to fill, and I very often think of her removed so suddenly, as the treasured and most engaging of them often are, perhaps lest they should be loved too well.  I hope illness is lessening by this time.  She must have had a severe cold.  Many seem to be suffering just now.  Miss Duff sends her kind regards.  She is feeling better just now and I hope the cold weather may strengthen her.  I am going to ask you to make another purchase for me.  The weather and roads are beginning to get unfit for the children to attend school any longer and I must endeavor again to instruct them at home.  Their studies have been rather limited as yet but it is time they were learning something of grammar and Geography.  Would you get me something simple or suitable for young

== Page 7 [Sideways]

children in South Banks.  I can get nothing here of the kind.  It was not any matter about Annie’s sleeves although I would have made them had there been more material.  She has under sleeves of wool that serve all the purpose and she can get on very well without them.  The dress and cape suit her very nicely and are very warm and comfortable.  I must say good night dear Mary with much love to Martha, believe me love.

Your affectionate cousin,

Jane E Duff

Letter From Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks – 17 Aug 1855

[Transcription follows the letter itself.  Click on the images to enlarge or download.  Letter courtesy of Catherine Duff & Family.]

Pages 1 & 4

Pages 1 & 4

Pages 2 & 3

Pages 2 & 3

== Page 1

Braco – August 17th [1855]

My Dear Mary,

I did not receive the basket until last evening although you dispatched it so long ago, it was in Lunenburg but the people at the coach office are very negligent and did not send us word that it was there until yesterday.  It did not matter as every thing was in good form only I would have liked to have acknowledged your kindness sooner.  How to thank you even now, I am sure I don’t know.  You have been at so much trouble and pains and ?? for the comforts and pleasures

== Page 2

of the children and myself that I feel I am most deeply indebted.  Aunt Margaret and I have been lost in admiration over the little dresses.  They fitted us nicely as if they had been cut out by the children.  I liked your tartan very much and thought them all very pretty and serviceable, and cannot say how much I felt the kindness which prompted you to employ so much of your time in making them.  You have supplied things so abundantly now, that it will be quite unnecessary for me to get anything more for them this Summer.  The pinafore is very pretty and fits Maggie exactly.  Give my love to Martha and tell her that the little blue frock will be

== Page 3

very useful.  It too fitted very nicely.  The playthings and candy delighted the children greatly and they beg me to send cousin Mary a great many thanks from them.  They were very much pleased with the books also.  Annie & Willie take a great interest in reading now and books are an unfailing source of amusement to them.  They go to school every day and I hope will make some progress in their education which had to be greatly neglected through the winter.

The bonnet frame I think will suit very well; it is much deeper than the other, as soon as I can manage it, I must get it done.  I daresay it will be an easy matter.  I went in to Lunenburg again

== Page 4

last evening to secure a servant if possible.  I am to have an answer from one on Saturday, but have no great reason to suppose she will come.  Failing her, I mean to go through the country and search until I get something young or old, for the state of things will do no longer.  Miss Duff is not at all well and I fear if she continues to make such exertions she will be laid up altogether.  I am tolerably well but cannot stand a great deal in the heat, and my baby is very heavy to carry about.  It has been so close today that having been about some very fatiguing occupations I feel very useful for nothing