Today I have been thinking about starting to do some work on my FAIRS ancestry, and I am quite looking forward to the prospect of getting started on this project. I think the main reason is because it is going to be quite easy for me to do, and has the potential to go quite a way back, quite quickly.
My 2x great grandmother was Annie FAIRS, she married Ebenezer TROWER in Henfield, Sussex in September 1889. However it is really her father that I am interested in, John FAIRS from West Grinstead, because I have already done quite a bit of research on Annie and most of her sisters. To my knowledge John and his wife Mary Ann had six children, all of whom were girls.
I have already done some work on John FAIRS, and I know his parents were also from West Grinstead, his father was also John FAIRS but he died relatively young. So I will be concentrating on working back from John’s parents and see where that leads me.
The reason that this is going to be quite easy is that I have parish register transcriptions for West Grinstead (from the Parish Register Transcription Society) and I can access microfilm copies of the originals at Horsham Library, along with copies of the local newspapers and old maps. I already have several pages of FAIRS monumental inscriptions from a book deposited at the West Sussex Record Office (WSRO PAR 95/7/9), which I haven’t sorted through and included in my family tree yet.
Looking at the West Sussex Record Office catalogue online there is also quite a good selection of rate books in the parish records for West Grinstead, that should be helpful going back beyond the 1841 census, if I can get down to the record office to view them that is.
The other advantage of researching in West Grinstead is that it is quite convenient for walking, and I can visit the churchyard quite easily and hopefully find some FAIRS gravestones to photograph. It is close enough that it won’t take me all day to get there, but could be done in an afternoon or an evening.
All in all, this should be quite a nice project to take on, although thinking about it, it does all sound a little too easy. I am sure there will be some challenges along the way, well it wouldn’t be genealogy if there wasn’t!