Tribute to Those Who Preserved the Fairbanks Genealogy Previously

 Few families can boast an American tree as complete and long as the Fairbanks descendants. Most or all of the Fairbanks in America are descendants of Jonathan (1594-1668) and Grace (Smith) Fairbanks) (1597-1673). Jonathan and Grace and their six children arrived in New England between 1833 and 1836. Our lineage descended through Jonas, Jabez, Thomas, Silas, Samuel, Horace, Alpheus, John Horace.

It is with great gratitude to the family members who have preserved our history starting with Lorenzo Sayles Fairbanks in The Fairbanks Family in America 1633-1897 published in 1897 and the Fairbanks House Organization based in the original house built by the family in 1637. In The Fairbanks Family in America, our line is documented through Horace Fairbanks (1805-1881).

From there, individual family helped preserve our information in various ways. Amanda (Claypool) Fairbanks, daughter-in-law of Horace above and wife of Alpheus (1833-1864) saved all of the letters Alpheus Fairbanks wrote to her and her three small children during the Civil War. Alpheus died in Andersonville Prison in Georgia in 1864.

Amanda (Claypool) Fairbanks married Alpheus’ brother Mahlon (1839-1899). They had nine children. Florence VIOLET (Fairbanks) Biggs (1913-1987) was a descendent from this line. Harold Fairbanks (1927-1987) was a descendent from Alpheus. They were half first cousin one time removed.

Violet Biggs and Harold Fairbanks carried on a lengthy letter correspondence about Fairbanks history particularly about the lineage to our Revolutionary War patriot, Deacon Thomas Fairbanks (1708-1791). One of the younger Fairbanks wished to apply for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Harold was a night security officer at the National Archives of the United States of American. In free time, he researched questions Violet asked about the family. Violet wrote, by hand, the information in an organized presentation. They attempted to share what they found with the rest of the family, but did not make the needed connections for DAR standards.

After Violet and Harold Fairbanks passed away, Bob & Wilma Jean (Fairbanks) Rank (1931-2011) and Sharmin Fairbanks McKenny (1952) became caretakers and researchers of our family.

From the research of these past relatives, Sharmin found the connection of Horace Fairbanks (#187) found on page 226 of the book by Lorenzo Sayles Fairbanks to the Horace Fairbanks who was the father of Alpheus Fairbanks. Sharmin was able to prove to the Fairbanks House Organization's satisfaction that the two Horace Fairbanks the same. This made our family official members of the Fairbanks House Organization.

In 2014, Sharmin found, by an internet search, a book publish that year. It was, Blue as Blue Can Be by Robert Kendall. Robert, not a Fairbanks relative, was given the letters written by Alpheus to Amanda during the Civil War. They were found in a trunk auctioned in Texas, a long ways from Kansas where Amanda lived out her life.

Kendall published the letters, verbatim, along with the explanation of the Civil War events related by Alpheus. Robert tried unsuccessfully to contact the family. In the letters Alpheus wrote about himself, his two brothers who fought together in the Civil War, his wife and children, his parents, other siblings, relatives and friends in the Ohio area.

From this first-hand information and from the other documentation the family found and preserved and the help of the registrar of the Estero Island Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, we now have a proven lineage to our patriot Deacon Thomas Fairbanks and are qualified for membership in the DAR.

Others who have worked on different areas of our family history are Ruth Fairbanks Joseph, who studied extensively about the lineage of the Fairbanks in England. Shawnee Fairbanks Korff (1950), who has traveled and studied the Fairbanks’ in England in the early 1600’s and in Kansas in the early 1900’s. Many others that I’m sure I have not yet met. And, all those who have documented the wives of the Fairbanks and the maternal histories.

Thanks to all who have an interest in our heritage through at least eleven generations of Fairbanks in North America. We have taken part in the political organization of this nation, continued to be entry-men, yeomen and patriots that turned the American frontier into a civilized democratic country for the descendants to enjoy.

It is through the work of the preservers of our family lineage that our ancestor’s courage, sacrifice, and hard labor are not buried in Massachusetts, Vermont, Ohio, Andersonville, or Kansas cemeteries, but live on through those who pass their life histories and stories down through the ages.

If you know of others who have contributed to preserving our heritage, we would like to hear from you at our contact page:.