I have a couple of direct ancestors named John FAIRS, the subject of this post was my 4x great-grandfather. His life was quite short, but he and his wife had lots of children including the other John FAIRS my 3x great-grandfather.
John FAIRS was probably born in West Grinstead, Sussex in 1804. He was baptised at the parish church at West Grinstead on the 9th December 1804. He was one of the six children (five boys and one girl) of Thomas and Elizabeth FAIRS.
- Mary FAIRS (baptised 17th December 1826)
- Harriet FAIRS (baptised 26th January 1829)
- Elizabeth FAIRS (baptised 27th February 1831)
- Eliza FAIRS (baptised 10th November 1833)
- Henry FAIRS (baptised 10th January 1836)
- James FAIRS (baptised 8th October 1837)
- John FAIRS (baptised 8th December 1839) [my 3x great-grandfather]
- Ann FAIRS (baptised 13th February 1842)
- Jesse FAIRS (baptised 24th September 1843)
- Fanny FAIRS (baptised 16th August 1846)
At each baptism John’s occupation was given as labourer and in the 1841 census he was described as an agricultural labourer. John and Eliza were living at Goreland Farm, West Grinstead with their five children, sadly Goreland Farm no longer exists, but I do know where it was and have walked past the site many times.
According to his headstone (a double headstone shared with his with and two of their children) John died on the 11th March 1846 aged 41. Interestingly the parish register records that he was also buried on the 11th March. This doesn’t seem quite right, maybe one of the records is wrong, or perhaps there was some reason why he needed to be buried quickly. I really ought to get a copy of his death certificate and see what was going on.
The other interesting thing to note is that their youngest child, Fanny, was baptised on the 16th August 1846, five months after John’s death. Again this record needs checking but of course it is perfectly possible that Fanny was born after John’s death.