Saturday, May 5, 2018

Surname Saturday ~ FAIRBANKS of Dedham, Massachusetts

Fairbanks House, 1940, Dedham, Massachusetts


Jonathan Fairbanks (abt 1594 – 1668), my 10th great grandfather, came from Halifax in Yorkshire, England. He was the son of John Fairbanks (born about 1560) and Isabella Staincliffe, the grandson of George Fairbanks (born about 1530) and Sybil Wade, and the great grandson of Gilbert Fairbanks and his wife Janet.

Jonathan settled in Dedham with his wife and six children, and built the house which is still standing.  The Fairbanks House is  built of timber from England and is considered to be one of the oldest frame houses in the United States.  It remained in the Fairbanks house and has never been deeded or mortgaged, and has belonged to the Fairbanks Family Association since 1903.

Jonathan Fairbanks signed the Dedham Covenant in 1636.  His will names his wife and five surviving children.  I descend from their son Jonas (1624/5 – 1676), my 9th great grandfather, who removed his family to Lancaster, Massachusetts where he was killed by the native Indians with his son Joshua on 10 February 1676.  His wife, Lydia Prescott remarried to Elias Barron as his second wife. 

My 8th great grandmother was Grace Fairbanks (1663 – 1689), who was orphaned when her father was killed in Lancaster at age 12.  She married Ephraim Bullen of Sherborn and had four children.  My Fairbanks lineage daughters out here.  The next generation removed to Brimfield, Massachusetts, and the next generation to Nova Scotia, Canada as planters upon the removal of the Acadians.

For more information on the Fairbanks family:

Dedham Town Records 1:28

Genealogy of the Fairbanks Family in America, 1633 - 1897, by Lorenzo Sayles Fairbanks, 1897

"The English Ancestry of Jonathan Fairbanks of Dedham, Massachusetts" by Clarence Almon Torrey, The American Genealogist, Volume 37 [1961]: pages 65 - 72.

"Jonathan Fairbanks of Dedham, Massachusetts and his family in the West Riding of Yorkshire", by Ruth Fairbanks Joseph and James Swan Landberg, The New England Historic Genealogical Register, Volume 166, pages 165 - 187.

My FAIRBANKS genealogy:

Generation 1:  Jonathan Fairbanks, son of John Fairbanks and Isabella Staincliffe, born about 1594 in Halifax, Yorkshire, England, died 5 December 1668 in Dedham, Massachusetts; married on 20 May 1617 in Halifax to Grace Smith, daughter of Samuel Smith and Grace Gawkroger.  She was born 6 January 1600 in Warley, Halifax Parish, Yorkshire and died 28 November 1673 in Dedham.  Six children.

Generation 2: Jonas Fairbanks, born 6 March 1624/5 Sowerby, Halifax, and died 10 February 1676 in Lancaster, Massachusetts; married on 28 May 1658 in Lancaster to Lydia Prescott, daughter of John Prescott and Mary Gawkroger.  She was born 15 August 1641 in Watertown, Massachusetts and died 31 December 1723 in Watertown.  She married second to Elias Barron.  Six Fairbanks children.

Generation 3:  Grace Fairbanks, born 15 September 1663 in Lancaster, died 11 August 1689 in Sherborn, Massachusetts; married about 1680 to Ephraim Bullen, son of Samuel Bullen and Mary Morse.  He was born 18 July 1653 in Sherborn and died 1690 in Sherborn.  Four children.

Generation 4:  John Bullen m. Sarah Underwood
Generation 5:  Grace Bullen m. Ebenezer Healy
Generation 6:  Comfort Haley m. Abigail Allen
Generation 7:  Comfort Haley m. Rebecca Crosby
Generation 8:  Joseph Edwin Healy m. Matilda Weston
Generation 9:  Mary Etta Healey m. Peter Hoogerzeil
Generation 10:  Florence Etta Hoogerzeil m. Arthur Treadwell Hitchings
Generation 11:  Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)

The photo above is from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photograph Division, Historic American Buildings Survey HABS MASS, 11-DED, 1-9, Jonathan Fairbanks House 511 East Street, Dedham, Massachusetts, General View from South East. Created 1 May 1940.

A previous blog post about the PRESCOTT family:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~ FAIRBANKS of Dedham, Massachusetts”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted May 5, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).


  1. Interesting connection to South East Arizona, what is now a Ghost Town named Fairbanks after the Banker who helped finance the railroad (?). Following the history of that Banker on Wikpedia it seems he was related to the Fairbanks of Dedham

  2. Jonathan Fairbanks is also my 10th great grandfather through his daughter Mary who married first Michael Metcalf 2 Apr 1644 at Dedham, MA. I descend from their 3rd child Jonathan Metcalf. I have only been to Dedham in the winter when the Fairbanks House is closed. Hopefully, will get there next summer.

  3. I just discovered that two of my ancestors were signers of the Dedham convenant. Robert Hinsdale and Peter Woodward. They, along with your ancestor are gather together on WikiTree under Signer of the Dedham Covenant.

    You guy is here: