More questions than answers from this FAIRS gravestone

24 Jul

I was looking at my FAIRS ancestors again last night (and it was well into the night), and have noticed a few strange things that are going to require some further investigation and some death certificates.

Gravestone of John, Eliza, Ann and James FAIRS

Gravestone of John, Eliza, Ann and James FAIRS

It all started with the gravestone (pictured above) of John and Eliza FAIRS (my 4x great grandparents) and two of their children at West Grinstead churchyard, Sussex. It is not easy to read the inscription, but I have the monumental inscription from the volume at the West Sussex Record Office (PAR 95/7/9).

IN
MEMORY OF
JOHN FAIRS
WHO DEPARTED
THIS LIFE MARCH 11TH
1846
AGED 41 YEARS
IN
MEMORY OF
ELIZA WIFE OF
JOHN FAIRS
WHO DEPARTED
THIS LIFE DEC 3RD
1867
AGED 61 YEARS
ALSO ANN THEIR DAUGHTER. DIED DEC 7TH
1867. AGED 25 YEARS
ALSO JAMES THEIR SON AGED 10 YEARS
SO TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS THAT WE
MAY APPLY OUR HEARTS UNTO WISDOM

Obviously this is quite a useful source of information, four members of the same family on the same gravestone, three of which have ages and dates of death. In connection with the burial records (from the Parish Register Transcription Society) it becomes even more interesting.

John FAIRS buried 11 Mar 1846 (aged 41)
James FAIRS buried 24 May 1848 (aged 10)
Eliza FAIRS buried 9 Dec 1867 (aged 61)
Ann FAIRS buried 9 Dec 1867 (aged 25)

I now have a list of questions that I want to find answers to, and that means I am going to need to order some death certificates.

  1. What caused John FAIRS to die so young?
  2. Why was John FAIRS buried on the same day as he died? or is one of the sources incorrect?
  3. Why did Ann FAIRS die so young?
  4. Was there any connection between the deaths of Eliza FAIRS and her daughter Ann FAIRS who died four days apart?
  5. Why did James FAIRS die so young?

Time to go do some shopping I think!

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