Fairbairn Family Genealogy Forum
The area (Cockburnspath) being discussed is a small village near the port of Eyemouth on the East Coast of Scotland near the border.
Eyemouth was the home port of the fishing fleet that was destroyed in a severe storm during the mid-1800s, an event now known to history as the Great Eyemouth Disaster. The entire fleet was lost, dashed to pieces on the rocks while the wives and children of the fishermen watched, helpless to do anything to save them. Not one man in the fleet survived this storm.
One of my gggrandfathers, James Fairbairn, was the Captain of the Fleet. His family took responsibility for his poor judgement, although I am not aware that anyone held the family responsible in any legal or financial sense. Family history has it that my ggrandfather, John Shaw Fairbairn was one of two males in the village of age to be on the boats who survived the disaster. He was ill from pneumonia, but survived it. The other, as I understand it, was an elderly man who had broken his ankle several days earlier.
GGrandfather John's family moved to Edinburgh. There he grew up, married, and his son James moved to the Elgin Illinois (near Chicago) in the USA with his children in about 1909.