The ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture of England
produced the name of Fairbirn. It was given to a person with attractive, youthful looks, or someone who was noted as having been a beautiful child. The surname Fairbirn is derived from the Old English words fair, which means lovely, and bearn, which means child. However, the name Fairbirn may also be a local
surname applied to someone from the settlement of Fairbourne in Kent
or Fairburn in the West Riding of Yorkshire
. In this case, Fairbirn belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation
names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Fairbirn family
The surname Fairbirn was first found in North Yorkshire
at Fairburn, a small village and civil parish in the Selby district that dates back to before the Domesday Book
when it was listed as Fareburne c. 1030. A few years later in 1086, the Domesday Book
lists the placename as Fareburne CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
and literally meant "stream where ferns grow," having derived from the Old English fearn + burna. CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
Early History of the Fairbirn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fairbirn research.Another 331 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1297, 1327, 1644 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Fairbirn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fairbirn Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations
under which the name Fairbirn has appeared include Fairbairn, Fairbairns, Fairbarn, Fairborn, Fairborne and many more.
Early Notables of the Fairbirn family (pre 1700)
Another 22 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fairbirn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fairbirn family to the New World and Oceana
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England
at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Fairbirn arrived in North America very early: Robert Fairbarn landed in 1763. William Fairbarn joined many of his fellow Fairbarns when he purchased land in Philadelphia in 1835.
The Fairbirn Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Nec cede arduis
Motto Translation: Not high yield