The Story of George Fairbrother

George Fairbrother is my great grand uncle by marriage, and his story is one of the saddest in my family history, one of exile, and early death. Yet it began much more auspiciously.

The word ‘fairbrother’ is a translation of the French ‘beaufrere’, originally a kind of complimentary salutation, like ‘my good fellow’ in English. ‘Beaufrere’ appears in English documents after the conquest by William I of Normandy in 1066, and soon after in its English form ‘fairbrother’. At that time surnames were uncommon, and a second name was used as we use nicknames, to distinguish one man from another by a trait or occupation. It was the Poll Tax of 1379 which introduced surnames, as these were an essential method of taxing the whole population effectively, and from that time onward the family name Fairbrother can be found.

If the Fairbrother family was originally a French one as the beaufrere tag implies, they may have been among the 200,000 Huguenots, or French Protestants, driven from France by religious persecution. About 10,000 of these are thought to have emigrated to Ireland by 1690, encouraged by an act of parliament giving civil liberties to Protestants settling in Ireland. They were skilled weavers who created an industrial centre in the Dublin area. “They started their business around the area now called Weaver’s Square. They taught the people of Dublin how to weave silk and poplin. At first, everything seemed to prosper and many more people came to live in the area. However, difficulties arose because of the Irish weather. The cloth needed to be stretched and dried on tenter hooks in the fields between what is now O’Curry Avenue and Clarence Mangan Road. In 1814 Thomas Pleasants built a stone Tenter House on the land between Cork Street, Brickfield Lane, Brown Street and Ormond Street”. (Jimmymac,

The first mention I can find of George Fairbrother’s family appears to make them part of this development. The family are said to have been Quakers, Dissenters who moved to Dublin from London (earlier, perhaps, to London from France) some time in the 17th century. They were weavers too, and set up business in Dublin in the area known as The Tenters (after the hooks used to stretch the woven cloth), on land still remembered as Fairbrothers’ Fields, which is now Sweeneys Terrace.

Enrolled among the Ancient Freemen of Dublin are many Fairbrothers, including a Samuel, a stationer (1714), Abraham, a weaver and Quaker of Marrowbone Lane (1741) and George, a weaver (1750) ( “The Freeman’s Journal 25th June-1st July 1820 mentions two Fairbrothers on the electoral list: A. Fairbrother, Dolphins Barn Halls, merchant; and H. Fairbrother, Tenter Lane, weaver.”  (Jimmymac, This latter could have been Henry Fairbrother, who was probably the father of my ancestor George Fairbrother.

A Henry Fairbrother, who may have lived about 1760-1840, married an Alice, and with her had four sons. William, born 02 May 1789 in Mill Street, Henry, born 13 October 1792 at Newmarket, Abraham, born 19 April 1795 in Starling Street, and George, born 16 January 1803 in Pool Street.

There are 85 Fairbrothers listed on bmd church registers 1750-1850, 28 of these at St Catherines in Thomas Street and 12 at St Lukes in The Coombe. Their addresses include Weavers Square, Sweeneys Lane, The Tenters, Mill Street, Newmarket, Starling Street, Dophins Barn, Pool Street, Braithwait Street, Little Ship Street, Kevin Street and Patrick Street, and so part of the weavers district of Dublin ( There were still Fairbrothers listed on the electoral rolls of 1939 in Weavers Square.

(Note: The twenty-five Liberties or Franchises of Dublin where Dissenters could freely practise their religious rites included the Bishop’s Liberty, which comprised the large area of the Coombe; Lord Kildare’s Liberty; and the Earl of Meath’s Liberty, which was of the nature of a manor, and included Kevin Street and Booter’s Lane, Bride Street, Bull Alley, Meath Street and Mellefont Lane, etc.; Clontarf; Donnybrook; Ringsend; Clonskeagh; Miltown; Dolphin’s Barn; Hospital Fields; Stonybatter; Grange Gorman; Finglas; Drumcondra; Ballyburgh; and Raheny.)

On 10 December 1824, George Fairbrother, Henry Fairbrother’s youngest son (presumably), was tried and sentenced at Dublin. He was 21 years old, and was sentenced to seven years transportation to NSW; the crime he was accused of was the stealing of lead. He had attained his majority, was living in Clontarf and may have at that time been the owner or co-owner of Fairbrothers Fields as tradition asserts. The seven years sentence was one handed out to those committing what we would often today call a misdemeanor, and dismiss with a lecture from the judge.

George arrived in NSW 03 January 1826 on the Sir Godfrey Webster from Cork. He was described as 5 ft 6 1/4 in tall, of fair complexion, with light brown hair, and blue eyes. He was assigned convict labour as a shoemaker. In the 1828 NSW census he was a labourer at Minto, and on 23 Dec 1831 he had earned his Certificate of Freedom. But George had a problem. In Dublin he owned a profitable weaving business, presumably being managed by his brothers or other relatives. As a now free settler in NSW he was entitled to return home and continue with that business. But first he had to find the means to do so.

However, back in Dublin, hard times had overtaken the weaving industry. Britain had imposed sanctions on an industry which was threatening its own, and in Dublin the weaving trade had all but died out by the 1840s. This may have spelt ruin for George Fairbrother, who decided to stay on in the colony.

On 10 July 1843 George married a Mary Smith at the Church of All Saints Sutton Forest, which is near Bowral and Mittagong, just south of Berrima, inland from Wollongong on the coast south of Sydney. Mary, who spiced up her name by calling herself Mary Hannah Smyth, was a convict, also from Dublin, a Catholic, who had worked as a kitchen maid, had an illegitimate child, a girl, and several convictions for shoplifting. Her father was George Smith (or Smyth). Mary was tried in Dublin in 1837, her age given as 25. She was described as being 5 ft 1 1/2 in, with fair ruddy complexion, brown hair, hazel eyes. Her sentence was seven years, and she arrived in NSW on the Whitby in 1839.

George and Mary had five children together, and Mary’s daughter became George’s step daughter and the sixth child of the family. I have not been able to discover her name. George and Mary’s eldest child was called Alice (perhaps after George’s mother). She was born 15 June 1845, married Thomas Patrick Winchester in 1866 in Maitland, had seven children, and died 1927 at Merewether.

The second child of the marriage was George, born 14 June 1846 at Berrima. He married Luisa Lutherborrow 27 October 1870 at Parramatta, had six children with her, and died 14 July 1883 in Parramatta. The third child was Anne, born 1848 in Berrima, whom I have not been able to trace. Next was John, born 22 November 1850 at Berrima, who married Catherine Cecilia Gammell 17 November 1870, had one child with her, Edith, but Catherine died in giving birth to another, John James. John died 05 March 1911 at Newtown. The couple’s fifth and last child was Thomas Joseph, born 08 February 1853 at Berrima. He married Sarah Ann Cambridge in 1875 in Sydney, had two children, and died 25 December 1928 in Sydney.

All was not well with George Fairbrother. He seems to have suffered a nervous breakdown some time in late 1852, and shortly afterwards made the first of several attempts on his life. There is no possibility of finding out just why his misfortunes of 25 years had an effect at this particular time, when he was apparently surrounded by a loving family. On 18 September 1853 George Fairbrother succeeded in hanging himself from a tree in Cordeaux’s Paddock Berrima, his fourth attempt to kill himself proving successful. His previous attempts had been foiled by his step daughter. He was only 50 years old. The NSW Register has recorded the death under the name Farebrother. The Sydney Morning Herald of 24 September 1853 has the story.

“A second inquest was held before the Coroner on the 20th instant, at the Gold Digger’s Arms, Berrima, on view of the body of George Fairbrother, who was found strangled in Mr. Cordeaux’s paddock (on Sunday last), by his wife and five children. This was truly a lamentable case: it appears from the evidence that deceased had been labouring under depression of spirits and melancholy for a long time, and made many attompts on his life, and was cut down by his step-daughter in the first instance, some months ago, after which he attempted to cut his throat, when the same girl saved him on that occasion also, by taking the razor from his hands. About six months ago, he was a second time cut down by his wife from a beam, when he attempted to hang himself with a pocket handkerchief; on that occasion he was confined in Berrima Gaol for some time. Recently he was in the habit of straying away from home for days together, when he last left he told his children they would find him dead in Cordeaux’s paddock. He was three days missing, when his wife and children went to look for him on last Sunday morning, when they found him where he stated with a leather strap and buckle round his neck the end of the strap tied to a sapling; he was quite dead. The Jury returned a verdict, that the deceased, George Fairbrother, put an end to his existence by strangling himself with a belt while labouring under insanity”.

Mary was left stranded by her husband’s death. She had a five month old baby, and children aged three, five, seven and eight years to look after. Her own daughter may have been in her late teens and able to help financially, but things were desperate all the same. On 5 April 1854 Mary was able to enter George, Anne and John in Orphan School, and thus received maintenance for three of her children. The two eldest girls, aged eight and about 18, would have had to work, and Mary would have had to too, though much of her time would have been taken up with the baby, Thomas.

However, Mary’s lot was to improve. In 1855 she met a man called Richard Roberts. I have been unable to find out anything about him, except that he married Mary Fairbrother 16 July 1855 at St Patricks church Parramatta. There is no trace of her after that until her death, 24 September 1883 at Paget’s Flat Alexandria. Her sons and their families attended the funeral, as the Sydney Morning Herald notice of 25 September 1883 indicates.

“THE FRIENDS of Messrs. THOMAS and JOHN FAIRBROTHER are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral ol their late beloved MOTHER, the late Mrs Mary Roberts: to move from her residence, Paget’s Flat, Alexandria, THIS (Tuesday) AFTERNOON, at half-past 1 o’clock, to the Necropolis. H KINSELA undertaker”.

Curiously, of George’s children, both George and John got off to a rocky start, John being charged with theft in 1859, aged nine, and George with the same crime in 1860, aged 14. Both men were said to have died after a long and painful illness.

George Fairbrother left 13 grandchildren behind, and many great grandchildren. Though his life was filled with disappointment, misfortune and tragedy, he seems to have inspired affection in those who knew him. Like all of us, his greatest enemy was himself.

A note on this narrative. Like all genealogical investigation, it contains speculation, and perhaps unwarranted assumptions. As records are fragmentary and names common, it is easy to mistake one person for another. In many if not most cases the records are missing completely and it has been necessary to fall back on generalisation. Nevertheless I think this a reliable outline of a life, with the proviso that much that would explicate it is missing. But it always is.

©2011 Original material copyright Phillip Kay. Images and other material courtesy Creative Commons. Please inform post author of any violation.


30 thoughts on “The Story of George Fairbrother

  1. Dublin City Directory, 1850
    Fairbrother, George, 112 Dorset street Upper
    George B., 15 Usher’s street—residence, Berry’s buildings, 33 Rathmines road
    Abraham, 69 Church street Old
    Abraham, 4 William street South

  2. * “We’re able to bate New-street yit,” says one old fellow to me, who was a mountaineer, alluding to the feuds that formerly existed between the former and the inhabitants of the city.
    # Coombe, old English for valley. The Coombe was anciently called the Wale of Dublin. ‘Tis now crowded with buildings.
     Timothy Fairbrother, under whom the “Liberty Boys” acquired their renown, as is usually the case with heroes, had his Dulcinea to inspire him to valorous deeds, a leading star to the haven of glory; and he was deeply impressed by the charms of Mary Trotter, the daughter of a substantial dairyman in Dolphin’sbarns, a plump, yellow-haired white and red, and the sole heiress of an hundred cows. What time Fairbrother could spare from his loom or the parade was spent with Mary Trotter; but whatever encouragement she might have at first given him, he perceived latterly her conduct was as though she felt no particular interest for him. She received him in an affable, unconcerned manner, evincing that her heart was contented in the possession of some other object. This was soon explained, by meeting, on one occasion, a portly sergeant of the Royal Hospital at her father’s house. Whatever may have been Timothy’s fame within the precincts of the Liberty, or his own estimation of his prowess, it dwindled into insignificance in comparison with the reality of the soldier before him, who spoke of foreign campaigns, swore with military grace, cocked his hat fiercely, and rolled his eye martially; and Mary did listen to his tale, turning pale and red by turns. Poor Fairbrother was completely eclipsed: he could not swim smoothly down the current with “the apples;” his countenance became fallen; an altercation ensued which would have been productive of unpleasant consequences, had not old Trotter and Mary interposed to prevent them. The military mania, which had taken possession of Fairbrother’s breast, and which successful skirmishes against the mountaineers had matured, together with the Quixotic desire of doing something worthy of Mary, and recover that esteem in her regards of which his rival had deprived him, prompted him to the hardy design of attacking the Royal Hospital, at the head of his associates, consisting of about three hundred men, and thus endeavour to fling back the contempt, which the sergeant had poured upon the body, that Fairbrother commanded. This hair-brained attempt they palliated, in consequence of disputes which, on frivolous
    grounds, had at different times arisen between the inmates of the Hospital and the “Liberty Boys.” When their chief appeared before them his countenance was changed, his eyes bloodshot, his manner agitated. He related with indignation the insults that had been heaped on their whole body, who at the recital, muttered expressions of revenge. “Boys,” exclaims Fairbrother, “de bloody fogies have insulted us, and we’ll make claret as red as their coats flow from dem dis blessed night; we’ll taytch dem—we can fight as well as demselves: so showlder yer arms, and folly yer layder.” To avoid suspicion, they set out in squads of ten and twenty, with the intention of concentrating at the western gate of the hospital, which they at length effected. The sentry, before they manifested any hostile movement, alarmed at the congregating numbers, had just time to fasten the gate, and make his escape along the elm walk towards the house, but not before he was assailed by an hundred missiles, some of which struck the poor fellow, and hurt him severely. He was, however, able to alarm the adjutant and several of the men, who soon communicated the circumstance to others. In the meantime the “Liberty Boys” had made fierce attacks upon the gate. “Now, my boys,” says Fairbrother, “is your time; but, bedad, we forgot the scaling-laddhers. Mount on de walls, my darlints—dat’s it—pull down de stones!” Timothy himself showed the example, and already an hundred had established themselves in the avenue. General Dilkes, the master, who was at the time entertaining some of the principal officers of the garrison, on being informed of the circumstance, rose up, and in the most cool and collected manner begged of his guests not to disturb themselves, that an affair, though trivial, would render his absence for a few moments necessary, but that he should soon join them again. The promptness of the adjutant had already assembled two hundred of the men, armed with muskets and halberts; and when the general appeared, the “Liberty Boys” had almost all made
    * Pronouncing the words as “dis” and “dat,” and many others, which were more frequent formerly inDublin and its vicinity than at present, I take to be occasioned by the intermixture of the Danes with the aboriginal inhabitants.
    their way in, with Fairbrother at their head, and were drawn up en echelon, in front of the military. So far their frantic spirit had led them; but hesitation for a moment seemed to take possession of their ranks, whilst the pensioners, displayed all the coolness and steadiness that characterise the disciplined soldier. Dilkes addressed the misguided youths in a paternal manner, warning them, and entreating them not to rush upon their own ruin. He was answered by a volley of stones, and some musket shots were discharged. One of the stones struck him on the breast, but not to prevent him from pronouncing the word, “Fire!” when a number of the muskets of the pensioners went off, and the unhappy Fairbrother fell dead. Several of his erring companions were severely wounded, and the remainder took to their heels, and made their escape to their homes in the Liberty without pursuit. Brave soldiers are ever generous; and the pensioners, at the command of the kind-hearted general, conveyed the wounded to hospital, judiciously discriminating between an act of rebellion against the government, and the mad freak of wrong-headed youth. He, moreover, exerted his influence, as they had already suffered, to have the affair overlooked. Whether Mary Trotter took the sergeant after, I have not heard. If they were married, he must have left the hospital, as it is contrary to its rules; but I am inclined to think that such was the case, and, all obstacles being removed, he succeeded to the possession of the dairy. On the 31st of August, 1822, as Lieutenant-general Sir Samuel Auchmutty, who had been, a very short time previous, appointed commander of the forces and master of the hospital, was riding, in company with the deputy-master, Colonel Thornton, in the Phoenix Park, he fell suddenly from his horse. It is supposed he expired in an apoplectic fit, for on being taken up and carried to the Royal Hospital, he was quite dead. He was a brave and distinguished officer, a knight of the grand cross of the Bath, and colonel of the seventy-eighth regiment. Sir Samuel, when commander-in-chief at Madras, with an army of twelve thousand British and native troops, captured the island of Java, on the 4th of August, 1811. In the unfortunate expedition against Buenos-Ayres, under General Whitelock, he had been second in command; but the incapacity of the former rendered the skill and experience of Auchmutty ineffectual, whose counsels, had they been followed, would have contributed to the glory of the British arms.

  3. History of the Royal Hospital . Kilmainham near Dublin,1843:
    Within the last six years some of the old mountaineers,” who used to come into Dublin with their drove of small horses laden with turf or brooms, were wont to speak of the combats which they had maintained in their youth with what were termed the “Liberty Boys,” dwelling in that border suburb anciently called “Rathland.”f This district was early inhabited by weavers, whose sedentary and stay-at-home occupation was compensated for by the freshness of the air in that part, blowing directly from the mountains, yet which advantage had also its drawback, as the spirit of the O’Byrnes and the O’Tooles had not, even so late as 1750, been completely subdued. They came down in groups of fifty or sixty, and sometimes a hundred, in their great frize jackets, with oak saplings, and entering into the houses of the poor, pallid weavers, took whatever pleased their fancy, and then away with them to their mountain fastnesses. Such descents were the expiring efforts of those once formidable attacks of their ancestors, which struck the old Dublinians with terror and dismay.
    For their own defence, the inhabitants of the Liberty associated themselves into a corps, to repel the aggressions of those hulking mountaineers. At first, indeed, their attempt at military organization was rude—one arming himself with an old barrel of a gum, affixed to a part of his cast-off loom, chopped into something like a stock; another with a rusty sword, or a bayonet fastened to the top of a broom-stick;—and so, headed by one Timothy Fairbrother, they used to exercise in Roper’s-rest, or Newmarket-onthe-Coombe: sometimes they ventured to the fields about Dolphin’s-barns; yet insignificant as were their beginnings, they not only, in several instances, drove their enemies back, so that an affray now became very rare, but established a character for courage and bravery; and from that period may be dated the commencement of the spirit which afterwards embodied the far
    * “We’re able to bate New-street yit,” says one old fellow to me, who was a mountaineer, alluding to the feuds that formerly existed between the former and the inhabitants of the city.
    f Rathland, now the Liberties of Dublin.

  4. The Friends Burial Ground is a Quaker burial ground located at Temple Hill, Blackrock County Dublin. It opened in 1860 and is the only Quaker burial ground in Dublin. The Friends Burial Ground at Temple Hill is 7 acres (28,000 m2) in size and opened with the first interment on 6th March 1860 of Hannah Chapman.

    All the gravestones in the burial ground are uniform in size and are inscribed with only the names and dates of who they are for. This is in keeping with the Quaker rules for interment.It is noted that some of the Quaker families interred here include, Fairbrother.

    Samuel Fairbrother Builder, of Dublin, who built Nos’. 99 and 101 St Stephen’s Green in 1742.(References  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin 2005),

    Selected Records Transcribed From the Society of Friends (Quakers)
    Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives,circa 10th May 1755:
    Judith Burn,daughter of George & Abigail Burn, of Newtown, County Roscommon spouse of John Fairbrother, of Dublin,Ballymurry.

     1780 circa Jackson Marriages in Dublin records :
    Harvey Fairbrother of Sweeneys Teneters in County of Dublin Woollen- stover & Scourer & Mary Fairbrother nee Jackson

    General Index 1885–2007:The Proceedings and Quarto Series of the Huguenot Societyof Great Britain and Ireland 1885–2007 Edited by Dorothy North
    *Fairbrother, E.H. A French Protestant prisoner of war [circa 1702/3] P10 409–410

    City of Dublin Directory 1850:
    Fairbrother, George, 112 Dorset street Upper 
    George B., 15 Usher’s street—
    residence, Berry’s buildings, 33 Rathmines road 
    Abraham, 69 Church street Old 
    Abraham, 4 William street South 

    1. A Dictionary of Members of the Dublin Book Trade 1550-1800
      By Mary Pollard, Bibliographical Society (Great Britain)
      Samuel Fairbrother: born circa 1684 died circa 1758?
      Skinner Row, opposite Thosel (Kings Arms) 1714 -1753 Glasnevin.
      Printer, bookbinder, bookseller. King’s Stationer, Printer to House of Commons, circa 1715 1750,

      City of Dublin,Election of Two Candidates to Parliament: Electoral Roll of Electors:
      Saturday 17th January 1835:
      Henry Fairbrother, “Brazier”, 12, Back Lane

      City of Dublin Election, May, 1859: Electoral Roll of Electors:
      #174:  Edward H. Fairbrother, 112 Dorset Street. (upper)
      #175: , George, Fairbrother, 112 Dorset Street, (upper.)

  5. City of Dublin Directory 1850:
    Fairbrother, George, 112 Dorset street Upper 
        George B., 15 Usher’s street—residence, Berry’s buildings, 33 Rathmines road 
        Abraham, 69 Church street Old 
        Abraham, 4 William street South 

    Census of Ireland: 1911: Church of Ireland and Roman Cathoilic families:

    Residents of house # 13 Tenter Lane & Fields, Merchants Quay City of Dublin:

    Fairbrother Frederick 56 years

    Fairbrother Mary Jane 52 years

    Fairbrother Catherine 50 years

    Singleton Catherine 18 years daughter

    Singleton Robt Fredk 0 years grandson

    Singleton Herbert G 21 years son in law

    Residents of house # 15 Tenter Lane & Fields, Merchants Quay City of Dublin:
    Fairbrother Samuel 45 years Head of Family

    Emmd Fairbrother 19 years

    Mary Jane Fairbrother 42 years Wife

    Fairbrother Frederick 43 years Brother

    Fairbrother Catherine 40 years Sister in Law

    Fairbrother Catherine 7 years Niece

    Fairbrother John 36 years Bridge Street, Upper Usher’s Quay Dublin

    Fairbrother Susan 40 years Parliament St. South City Dublin

    Fairbrother Mary 30 years Bridge Street, Upper
    Usher’s Quay Dublin

    Fairbrother Margaret Mary 13 years Lennox Street Fitzwilliam Dublin

    Fairbrother Henry Patrick Joseph 0 years Lennox Street Fitzwilliam Dublin

    Fairbrother John 0 years Bridge Street, Upper Usher’s Quay Dublin

    Fairbrother Henry Patrick Joseph 45 years Lennox Street Fitzwilliam Dublin

    Fairbrother Susan Margaret E 16 years Lennox Street Fitzwilliam Dublin

    Fairbrother Mary Anne Josephine 14 years Lennox Street Fitzwilliam Dublin

    Fairbrother Bernard Anthony Joseph 10 years Lennox Street Fitzwilliam Dublin

    Fairbrother William Henry Joseph 1 years Lennox Street Fitzwilliam Dublin

    Fairbrother Sara Jane 69 years Eaton Square Terenure Dublin

    Fairbrother Frederick 56 years Tenter Lane & Fields Merchant’s Quay Dublin

    Fairbrother Isabella 10 years Weaver’s Square Merchant’s Quay Dublin

    Fairbrother Mary Jane 52 yearsTenter Lane & FieldsMerchant’s Quay Dublin

    Fairbrother Catherine 50 years Tenter Lane & FieldsMerchant’s Quay Dublin

    Fairbrother William 8 years Weaver’s SquareMerchant’s Quay Dublin

    Fairbrother Annie 6 years Weaver’s Square Merchant’s Quay Dublin

    Fairbrother Rosie 4 years Weaver’s Square Merchant’s Quay Dublin

    Fairbrother Anna 32 years Weaver’s Square Merchant’s Quay Dublin

    Fairbrother William 33 years Weaver’s Square Merchant’s Quay Dublin

    Fairbrother Elizabeth 38 years James’s St. Usher’s Quay Dublin

    Fairbrother Peter 40 years Fearon’s CourtWood Quay (part of) Dublin

    Fairbrother Frances 36 years Foxrock, Part of Stillorgan Dublin

    FairbrotherAnne 40 years Fearon’s Court Wood Quay (part of) Dublin

    Fairbrother Mary C 16 years Fearon’s Court Wood Quay (part of)Dublin

    Fairbrother Thomas 2 years Bridge Street, Upper Usher’s Quay Dublin

    Fairbrother Catherine 28 years Lennox Street Fitzwilliam Dublin

    Fairbrother Peter 4 years Fearon’s Court Wood Quay (part of) Dublin

  6. Dublin (Roman Catholic)- Saint Nicholas of Myrna, Francis Street,
    Baptism of Joannes Fairbrother of 9 Ash Street on 15th February 1854
    John Fairbrother
    Catherine Cuffe

    Sponsor 1
    Joannes Mc Quigan
    Sponsor 2
    Catharina West

    Dublin (Roman Catholic)- Saint Nicholas of Myrna, Francis Street,
    Baptism of Susan Fairbrother of 18 Ash Street 18th February 1856
    John Fairbrother
    Catherine Cuffe

    Sponsor 1
    Bernardus Flanagan
    Sponsor 2
    Rosanna Ryan

    Dublin (Roman Catholic)- Saint Nicholas of Myrna, Francis Street,
    Baptism of Mary Fairbrother f 18 Ash Street on 22 December 1858
    John Fairbrother
    Catherine Cuffe

    Sponsor 1
    Edward Collins

    Sponsor 2 Esther Ruth

    Dublin (Roman Catholic)- Saint Nicholas of Myrna, Francis Street,
    Baptism of Ellen Fairbrother of 9, Coombe 16th January 1861
    Date of Birth
    15th January 1861
    Henry Fairbrother
    Bridget Molloy

    Sponsor 1
    Patrick Moran
    Sponsor 2
    Mary Whelan

    (*My great grandparents in Dubiln)

    Marriage of Henricus Fairbrother 18 Ash Street and Bridgitta Molloy of 5 Brabazon Street on 8th August 1858
    Johannes Fairbrother
    Bride’s Father Gulielmus Molloy
    Catherine Cufffe:
    Bride’s Mother
    Ellena Buckley

    Witness 1
    Philippus Whelan
    Witness 2
    Ellena Gardener

  7. Baptism of JOHN FAIRBROTHER of SWENYS LANE on 10 April 1785

    Dublin (Church of Ireland Protestant) ,- St. Luke
    Baptism of HENRY FAIRBROTHER of NEW MARKET on 13 October 1792



    Dublin (Church of Ireland Protestant) , – St Catherine
    Baptism of ABRAHAM FAIRBROTHER of STARLING STREET on 19 April 1795


    Dublin (Church of Ireland Protestant)St. Werburgh
    Baptism of HENRY FAIRBROTHER of 13 LITTLE SHIP ST on 12 March 1809



    Dublin (Church of Ireland Protestant) , – St Catherine
    Baptism of HENRY FAIRBROTHER on 22 August 1819


    Dublin (Church of Ireland Protestant) St. Nicholas Within
    Burial of HENRY FAIRBROTHER of PATRICK ST on 5 December 1824
    Dublin (Church of Ireland Protestant) St. Nicholas Within
    Baptism of HENRY FAIRBROTHER on 6 May 1827

    Date of Birth
    15 April 1827


    Baptism of THOMAS FAIRBROTHER of 57 BACK LANE on 15 June 1834
    57 BACK LANE

    Dublin (Church of Ireland Protestant) , – ST. Luke
    Burial of HENRY FAIRBROTHER of BACK LANE on 5 November 1847
    52 years

    Dublin (Roman Catholic ) St Nicholas
    Baptism of HENRY FAIRBROTHER of 1 GRT SHIP ST on 2 February 1866

    Date of Birth
    18 January 1866

  8. My grandfather born in the City of Dublin 1864 circa died in Liverpool Workhouse 1924. I have just discovered that he was the son of Henry Fairbrother of the Silk Weavers lineages. My forebears became Roman Catholic in Liverpool and Dockers (Longshoremen or Wharvies) sadly drink was a major cause of Poverty in Liverpool and Bootle. I have traced babies as far back as 1780’s in the City of Dublin Liberties and discovered that descendants are still found in the same parishes in 2016, I will post all information that I have discovered to all inquirers.

    1. Interesting, John. Anything you have on Henry born 1760 died 1840 (dates are estimates) married Alice about 1780 and with the four sons I mention would be helpful.

      1. I will look in my new research and post all relevant information of the family in Dublin. There are still family members whoo live in the City of Dublin Liberties and just relatively outside the ancient precincts. Although I have been to Dublin several times as late as last Summer I did not know of any connection to my late Mother’s family.(God Rest) I still have not sorted it into a sequence of time schedule, so please bear with me.

        There is a large group of my distant Fairbrother relatives in Bootle the town literally next door to the City of Liverpool which is separated by just a White-line road marking. I met them, but recall over 50 years ago my mother told me of her cousin Jane Fairbrother.

        From what I have learnt researching my personal family I have traced my surname and DNA Genetic Code back to Normandy in the days before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 AD.

        To return to to Fairbrother family I descend from I thought it was a Protestant surname from Lancashire as there were literally hundreds of Cotton spinning mills
        around Manchester and its satellite towns. I only knew of John Fairbrother my grandfather and nothing else except where my mother lived as a child with her granny and where her mother and father+siblings lived in the 1900’s.

        I first discovered just days ago he was born in Ireland, (?) Then his mother and father were shown as Brigid Molloy and Henry Fairbrother, his sibling being born in Dublin, Liverpool and Manchester. I was able from this revelation to trace them in Liverpool and Bootle for over a century, they were extremely poor

        I was born nearby where my own grandfather and his wife and family lived in the early 1900’s and I was a Liverpool Docker myself so I knew some places where they had migrated from over the time from the 1880’s.
        I will also send early details of my mother and siblings, I was amazed to discover John Fairbrother had died in the Liverpool Workhouse in 1924.

        I remember in 1949 when I was three years old a blind old woman who lived in an old dwelling saying “where’s his the baby” and she kissed me on the cheek. She died within the hour I think. I also remember standing in the street with my mother who wept and I wonder why she was weeping as I did not know mothers or “big” people cried.
        John Liverpool

      2. Please note the Census of Ireland before 1901 & 1911 were lost to Fire. Therefore we must accept the most available records as True accounts of Head of Household as they were recorded as the Taxpayer.

        The Irish Government has now released Church Records for the City of Dublin
        and there are Huguenot Records available on -line under Irish Genealogy.
        (Free Access)

        Tithe Applotment Book:
        St James,Dublin
        St James’

        Griffiths Valuation of Ireland – St. James, County Dublin

        Tenter Lane
        St. Catherines

        Cork Street
        St. Catherines

        Ormond Street
        St. Catherines

        Tenter Lane
        St. Catherines

        Tenter Lane
        St. Catherines

        George B.
        Usher’s Island
        St. Audoens

        Wm., Esq.
        Rathmines, E.
        St. Peters

        Dorset Street, Upper
        St. Marys

        Dolphinsbarn Canal View Cottages
        St. James

        Ballynount, Gt.

        Samuel Fairbrother is recorded as having been born in Dublin on 20 August 1720, educated as a Quaker and baptised in St Catherine’s Church, trade weaver, joined the Methodists 1746 and received into the Moravian congregation 1750, married Elizabeth Hose 1755 and ‘went home happily’ 10 March 1788.27

      3. Digitized by the Internet Arciiive in 2011 with funding from
        National Library of Scotland



        Embellished with neat Maps of Ireland and Scotland.


        J. Fairbrother (Hosier)

  9. There was a Fairbrother at Dolphin’s Barn Dublin in 1801, operating “cotton machinery”. Dublin voters in 1820 included A. Fairbrother of Halls Dolphins Barn, and H Brother of Tenter Lane, weaver. The occupational designations in the 1820 list were very broad, and cotton manufacturers were designated simply as weavers. Your ancestors probably among many Dublin cotton manufacturers in this period, almost all of whom moved onto other things or were bankrupted in the early nineteenth century, as the terms of trade changed. Paul Star.

    1. Thanks Paul. The Freemans Journal list of voters unfortunately only gives initials of forenames. Frustrating. The Henry and Alice I found have sons Abraham and Henry whom could be the A Fairbrother and H Fairbrother mentioned. Right age. And the unfortunate George was tried only a year or two after 1820. But so far the BMD registrations have not surfaced. Still hoping.

  10. I am really interested in using the 3 old Dublin image (Dublin Quayside Scene) in a TV programme. Please could you tell me the source details so I can obtain a hi res image and licence.
    Many thanks,

  11. I see two Harveys on the Irish genealogy site, one a Frederick Harvey son of Samuel, a market gardener. There’s a Harvey 1753 to 8 Jul 1834 as well. But the George you mention must be another line as he would be a generation earlier than the George I have traced who was transported to Australia. There is the connection to Fairbrothers Fields though in both lines, so they must be first cousins perhaps. Do you have any info on the transported George I wrote about. The crime of stealing lead from a church for instance (for the making of bullets?). What about Henry and Alice, can you shed any light there?

    Quite by chance I discovered something more about ‘my’ George while looking at your ancestry. George’s wife Mary Hannah Smith was transported, and the couple married in Australia. Mary had a daughter in Dublin which no-one could trace, but now, looking again, I see a Mary Smith, an infant of 20 months, was listed on board the Whitby, the ship Mary Hannah came out on. This must surely be the ‘missing’ daughter.

    1. George (He was not born in Dublin,but got his freedom by GRACE George was not born in Dublin and got his freedom by GRACE ESPECIAL ” meaning he could vote_in 1750..He(George) had two sons Abraham1st and Harvey1st. Frederick was the son of Samuel 1st and Samuel was the son of Harvey the 2nd…WE come from the same line..Let me know more of what you found out..Fairbrother Fields was a large tract of land in the heart of Dublin owned by the Fairbrothers,to-day it would be worth 100’s of millions of pounds maybe billion??? My mother was into the family tree and told us how they left France in 1685 and first moved to what is North Germany.then 65 years later showed up in Dublin.The people who left France were Protestants and worked As weavers (George and his family were weavers),also tanners , lacemakers.and brushmakers. The name Fairbrother may be from the french word FAIRE BROSSE meaning Make BRUSHES.Therefore likely FAIRBROTHER.

  12. Must be the same one. At Dill of the Grange station. Married Anna Walker 26 Sep 1900, father Samuel, a market gardener. The Emma who witnesses may be his mother perhaps. Do you go further back?

  13. Hi William. I see several William Fairbrothers on the Irish Genealogy site mentioned in my essay, one of whom was a policeman. Any relation?

    1. Your father James was possibly a brother to Isabella, Joan, Albert, Edward, Eveline, Elsie, Bertha and Eleanor and son of Eleanor (Henderson) and James Corry Deering Would love to hear from you.

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