Fairburn is a name of Anglo-Saxon
origin. It was a name given to a person with attractive, youthful looks, or someone who was noted as having been a beautiful child. The surname Fairburn is derived from the Old English words fair, which means lovely, and bearn, which means child. However, the name Fairburn 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, Fairburn 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 Fairburn family
The surname Fairburn 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 Fairburn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fairburn research.Another 331 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1297, 1327, 1644 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Fairburn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fairburn Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred
years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations
are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon
surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Fairburn were recorded, including Fairbairn, Fairbairns, Fairbarn, Fairborn, Fairborne and many more.
Early Notables of the Fairburn family (pre 1700)
Another 22 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fairburn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fairburn family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Fairburn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- E Fairburn, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1827
- R Fairburn, who landed in Thames, New Zealand in 1836
- W T Fairburn, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836
- John Fairburn, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
- Thomas Fairburn, who landed in Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand in 1843
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Fairburn (post 1700)
- William Armstrong Fairburn (1876-1947), American author, naval architect, marine engineer, industrial executive, and chemist
- Charles Edward Fairburn (1887-1945), English electrical engineer, known for his pioneering work in rail transport and for his design of the Fairburn Tank 2-6-4T steam locomotives
- Arthur Rex Dugard "Rex" Fairburn (1904-1957), New Zealand poet
- Harold Fairburn CMG, KPM (1884-1973), British Inspector General of the Straits Settlements Police in Singapore from 1925 to 1935
The Fairburn 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