Facts, Analysis, & Narrative Thomas Fairchild Lineage Ch 10: Robert Eldridge Fairchild (1879-1922)

Chapter 10
American Generation 9
Robert Eldridge Fairchild (1879 – 1922)

This chapter represents the final chapter in the Fairchild Family Genealogy. It presents the lives of my grandparents and my mother and the challenges they faced before, during and after the Great Depression of 1929, for that catastrophic event impacted every aspect of their lives. For additional information about my parents as a married couple and me, my siblings and our children and grandchildren, visit KesslerFamilyHistory.Wordpress.Com.

Robert Eldridge Fairchild was my grandfather. He was born on December 4, 1879 in Flag Pond, Tennessee and died on July 4, 1922 at the age of 43. He was the oldest son of Dr. John Milton and Polly Fairchild. He married Amanda Smith (1882-1979) sometime prior to the birth of their first child, Jackson Milton (Jack) Fairchild in 1902. They had four other children: Charles Ernest (Ernest), Donnie Fairchild, Thomas (Tom) and Sue Kate Fairchild.

According to the 1900 U.S. Census on June 6, 1900 Robert is still living at home as is Mandy Smith, but they live only a short distance apart in Middle Fork Township, Madison County, North Carolina. Robert is living with his father John and mother Mollie. He is the oldest child. Other children listed on the Census are: Janie, Thomas, Rosco, Lillie and Joseph. The Census indicates that everyone in the family can read and write. This is important because in rural farming communities many families felt that formal education was less valuable the learning farming and household management.

In this same Census Amanda Elizabeth Smith is also living at home. Her mother, Donah “Donnie” Smith is listed as head of household. Living with her are Thomas (age 18), Mandy E. (age 16), George (age 14), Minnie (age 13), Della (age 8), and John (age 6). Of this group, including mother Donnie, only Thomas can read and write. The fact that Mandy E. is listed as age 16 on June 6, 1900 contradicts the birth date on her tombstone, which is listed as February 12, 1882, which would have made her age 18 in the Census. It is unclear which date/age is accurate.

Sometime between June 6, 1900 and mid-to-late 1901 Robert courted and married Mandy Smith. Since the lived near each other it is likely that they knew each other from a young age. Little did Amanda know the hard life she was entering into as she would mother five children then lose her husband at an early age and confront the harsh realities of the great depression from the late 1920s through and until World War I.

According to the U.S. Census conducted on April 23, 1910 Robert and Amanda are still living in Middle Fork Township, Madison County, North Carolina. There are listed as living at location #77. Robert is age 32 and Mandy is age 26 (again supporting the idea that she was born in 1884 rather than 1882). Children include Jackson (age 7) and Ernest (age 1). Next door at location #76 is the Donnie Smith family. Donnie is age 50 and she has George (age 24), Minnie (age 22), Della (age 18), and John (age 16) living with her. Their primary occupations are farmers.

By the U.S. Census taken on January 10, 1920, Robert and Amanda have moved to Asheville and Robert was working as a “carder” in a cotton mill. His age was 40 and Amanda was 37. The children included Jack (age 17), Ernest (age 11), Donnie (age 7), Thomas (age 4) and Susan (age less than one year). It is reasonable to assume that the shift from Middle Fork Township to Asheville was related to the need for factory workers during World War I, which was waged from 1914 to 1919. This decade was turbulent for many reasons in addition to the War. The Spanish Flu Pandemic swept the world in 1918, killing millions. The Russian Czar was overthrown in 1917 and Communism suddenly gained world headlines. There were massive strikes and bombing in American factories to protest working conditions and what were perceived as unfair labor practices. Certainly these events shaped the home life of Robert and Mandy Fairchild and their children.

The 1920s were no less turbulent for the family. Robert died of Pellagra, a common illness during the 1920s, on July 4, 1922. In the early 1900s, pellagra reached epidemic proportions in the American South. Between 1906 and 1940 more than 3 million Americans were affected by pellagra with more than 100,000 deaths. Pellagra caused a person’s skin to crack and boil up in a similar fashion to leprosy, and victims eventually succumbed to dementia and death. “The source of pellagra,” wrote government officials, “that affects the South almost exclusively, is a disease chiefly due to inadequate diet; it responds to rather simple preventative measure, including suitable nourishing food.”

Amanda had to assume the role of bread-winner for the family on the eve of and into the Great Depression of 1929. According to my mother, Sue Kate, the family ran a boarding house during the Depression, with boarders paying rent and subsidizing family expenses. Oldest son Jack was in the military and away from home. During the Great Depression, Americans wondered how so many people could be hungry when the country’s farmers were producing so much food. North Carolina’s farmers were producing plenty of “cash crops” like cotton and tobacco, but they were not making enough money from these crops to afford food. Food was available but many people simply could not afford it. Between 1929 and 1932, the total amount that North Carolinians made from agriculture plummeted from $310.5 million to less than half that, $144.3 million. With too much cotton and tobacco and too little money to buy food, one government study reported that “too many southern families have simply done without, and as a result they have suffered severely from malnutrition and dietary diseases.”

At the time of the U.S. Census on May 2, 1930 as the Depression took root widow Amanda, son Thomas and daughter Sue were living with Amanda’s son Ernest, who is listed as head of household in Middle Fork Township. Also living with the family were Nellie  C. Crowder, age 24, and her son Edward Cecil Crowder, age 7 (7/13/1922 – 8/6/1991). Nellie was one of Zettie Riddle’s daughters (Amanda’s niece).

This familial arrangement must have been particularly challenging since Ernest, as well as Tom and Donnie Fairchild all suffered from a hereditary eye disease named Retinitis Pigmentosa. The disease involves progressive degeneration of the retina’s light receptors. As the disease progresses the peripheral vision slowly constricts and the central vision is usually retained until late in the disease. By 1940 both Ernest and Tom were legally blind and could not sign their World War II draft registration cards. It can be assumed that Donnie’s vision had also reached near-blindness by 1940.

Clearly the family struggled during the 1930s as the effects of the Great Depression gripped the nation. As recounted to the author by Jack Fairchild, when he returned from military service his brother Tom had become seriously ill but the doctors and hospitals refused treatment because the family had no money or insurance. Jack said that he vowed at that time that they would never be in that position again and he and Tom worked hard at tobacco farming and saved their money (over $800,000 by the 1970s).

They lived and worked on the family farm in Middle Fork. The house, even in the 1970s had no indoor plumbing or running water – the family used an outhouse. The home had electricity, but the frugal brothers, who never married, rarely used it, going to bed at dark and rising at first light. My mother, Sue recounted how it was her job to go to the nearby creek and bring buckets of water to the house. Over time Jack and Tom purchased two additional farms within walking distance of their primary residence.

According to the latest available U.S. Census taken on April 11, 1940, Amanda (age 58), Jack (age 37), Tom (age 25) and Sue (age 20) were living together in Middle Fork Township. They were also living at the same location in 1935 according to Census information. Jack and Tom were listed as farmers and Sue is listed as an at-home rug maker. Amanda’s brother, Thomas Jefferson Smith (age 59) and his wife Julie A. Smith (age 49) were living near the Fairchilds. John Allen (age 27) and Donnie Allen (age 27) and their son Denver B. Allen (age 8) and daughter Shelby Jean (age 1) were also living nearby.

Later in life Jack and Tom Fairchild gave up farming and purchased a multi-apartment building in Asheville. They lived in one unit but did not rent out the others. They let a female friend of Tom named Loretta, whom he had met at a group activity for visually-impaired people live in another of the units. They leased the farms in Middle Fork rather than sell them.

Donnie married John Emory Allen and raised a family. They moved to Swannanoa, North Carolina, near Asheville in the late 1940s and lived there the rest of their lives. Sue Kate Fairchild, my mother, was voted “most likely to succeed” at her high school. She told us that she sold her beloved pet hog in order to obtain bus fare to Baltimore during the 1940s, where Glenn L. Martin was hiring factory workers. She said that she could not wait to leave the farm. She met Edgar F. Kessler, Jr, at Glenn L. Martin, married, and raised a family in Baltimore, Maryland. Ernest Fairchild married and moved to Asheville where he raised a family.


American Generation #9

Robert Eldridge Fairchild, Wife and Children

Robert Eldridge Fairchild 

b: Dec 4, 1879, Flag Pond, Tennessee
d: Jan 2, 1932, South Toe Township, Yancey, NC

Amanda Smith
               Married (Robert Eldridge Fairchild abt. 1901)

b: Feb 12, 1884, North Carolina
d: Dec 3, 1979, Mars Hill, NC


Jackson Milton Fairchild 
                                                       (Never married)

b: Aug 15, 1902, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC
d: May 14, 1991, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

Charles Ernest Fairchild
                                                              (Married …)

b: Mar 13, 1908, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC
d: Mar 1985, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

Donnie “Mollie” Fairchild
                                        (Married John Emory Allen)

b: Jun 17, 1912, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC
d: Sep 20, 2009, Swannanoa, NC

Thomas Fairchild
                                                            (Never married)

b: Feb 11, 1915, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC
d: Mar 1985, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

Sue Kate Fairchild
                                     (Married Edgar F. Kessler, Jr.)

b: Aug 9, 1919, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC
d: Aug 16, 1986, Baltimore, Maryland


            Amanda Smith was the daughter of William Spencer Smith and Donah “Donnie” Rice Smith. While the Smith family can only be traced one generation beyond Spencer Smith to his father (Thomas Smith) and mother (Jane Holcombe Smith), the Rice family can be more readily traced. In the various U.S. Census reports various Rice families are listed in close proximity to the Smith family. Donnie Rice’s parents were John S. Rice Jr (1829-1900) from Virginia and Mira Dessie Rice (1839-1923).

            In the 1860 U.S. Census, the Rice family consists of John S. Rice, Jr. (1829-1900) and Mira (Dessie) Rice (1839-1923). The children include Donah Rice (age 11), Lyrie Rice (age 9), Douglas Rice (age 8) and Herchel Rich (age 4). In the 1880 Census Donah is gone from the household, but new additions to the family include John W. Rice (age 9), Mary E. Rice (age 4) and Dorey L. Rice (age 2).

In the 1880 Census taken on June 3, 1880 the Smith family consisted of Spencer Smith, age 23 whose occupation is listed as farmer, Donnie Smith, age 20, and Sarah E. Smith (Zettie), age 1. There are many Rice and Riddle families listed nearby. Zettie eventually grew up to marry Willard G. Riddle (see photo).

As noted earlier, in the U.S. Census taken on June 6, 1900, Donah “Donnie” Smith is listed as a widow and head of household. Her occupation is listed as farmer. Living with her are Thomas (age 18), Mandy E. (age 16), George (age 14), Minnie (age 13), Della (age 8), and John (age 6). Sarah “Zettie” has left home by this time, likely married to Willard Riddle. As noted early, Thomas Smith is the only one who can read and write in the household – all others, including Amanda have a “no” in the read and write columns.

The Allen family is also listed in the same 1900 U.S. Census for Middle Fork Township, District 0077, Madison County, North Carolina. Amanda’s daughter, Donnie Fairchild (obviously named after Amanda’s mother), grows up to marry John Emory Allen. In the 1900 U.S. Census John Allen is listed as 2 months old. The Smith family’s location in the Census is listed as #100. Just down the road at #64 is the Fairchild family.

The fact that Mandy E. is listed as age 16 on June 6, 1900 contradicts the birth date on her tombstone, which is listed as February 12, 1882, which would have made her age 18 in the Census. It is unclear which date/age is accurate. Since her brother, Thomas J. Smith was born in 1882 it is unlikely that Amanda was also born that year.

Thomas John Fairchild (b: 1915), Edgar F. Kessler III, and Jackson Milton Fairchild (1902-1991)


Jackson (Jack) Milton Fairchild (1902-1991) with Edgar Kessler III (photo taken in 1975)


Sue Kate Fairchild (1919-1986) at Donnie Allen’s Home in Swannanoa, N.C.


Donnie Fairchild Allen (1912-2009)


Facts, Analysis, & Narrative Thomas Fairchild Lineage Ch 9: Dr. John Milton Fairchild (1849-1932)

Chapter 9
American Generation 8
Dr. John Milton Fairchild (1849 – 1932)

Dr. John M. Fairchild was perhaps the most distinguished of our lineage since the original Thomas Fairchild came to Connecticut in 1640. Before discussing the known facts about him, however, it is essential to correct a number of facts that are embedded an many family trees and histories that are available on the Internet.

First and most significant, although most family trees list John’s mother as Sarah (Sally) Caudill Fairchild, his birth mother according to Jean Fairchild Gilmore’s book, Early Fairchilds in America and Their Descendants, was Lucinda (Lucy) Bolling, who died during his childbirth. Second, within the family it was said that his middle name was Milton, but according to Ms. Gilmore and her book, his middle name was Madison. John’s grandson, John Milton Fairchild (son of Thomas Nelson Fairchild) registered for World War II and printed and signed his name as John Milton Fairchild. It is likely that he was named after his grandfather, strongly suggesting that Dr. Fairchild’s middle-name was Milton.

John was born on May 26, 1849 in Tazewell County, Virginia. His mother was Lucinda Bolling Fairchild who died during his childbirth. Likely as a consequence of losing his first wife, John’s father, Benjamin relocated with his newborn son to Whitesburg, Kentucky where his father had relocated years before. He met and married 16-year-old Sally Caudill the same year that John was born.

More than one historical record indicates that John was a medical doctor. His great granddaughter, Sue Kate Fairchild recounted that he attended the University of Louisville, majoring in medicine. However, he is not listed in a directory of Kentucky medical school students from 1838 to 1908, which includes the University of Louisville, Hospital College of Medicine, Kentucky School of Medicine, Kentucky University Medical Department and Louisville Medical College. No similar directories were available for Tennessee or North Carolina where he may have attended medical school, so at present it is unknown where he received his medical training. Another alternative is that John, like many physicians in the mid-1800s was self-taught. Often students were apprenticed to doctors and learned directly from them. “In the early 1840s most doctors learned through apprenticeships, and many did not attend medical school. Anyone could work as a doctor, with or without a medical license.[1]

John was only 17 years old when the Civil War ended in 1865 and it is therefore unlikely that he was educated or practiced medicine during the Civil War. However his interest in medicine may have stemmed from eye witness accounts of wounded soldiers and civilians that he saw as a teenager. It is entirely likely that the he witnessed extensive battle-related injuries and bloodshed and this could potentially have motivated him to pursue medicine as a career. It is also not clear how he could afford to attend medical school – it is possible that his step-mother’s Caudill family helped since they were entrepreneurial and successful.

As discussed in the preceding Chapter, sometime after 1860 John’s father Benjamin moved the family from battle torn and violent Whitesville, Kentucky to Russell County, Virginia, likely to escape the hostilities taking place in and around Whitesburg. Kentucky. According to the 1860 U.S. Census the family was living in Whitesburg, but according to the 1870 U.S. Census they had moved to Russell County, Virginia and Benjamin was still working as a blacksmith.

John married Mary A. (Mollie) Kincheloe in Jonesboro, Washington County, Tennessee on January 25, 1875. Virginia. Mollie was born in 1858 so she was about 17 years old when they married. Their first son, Robert Eldridge Fairchild was born on December 4, 1879 in Flag Pond, Tennessee, but the remaining children were born in Yancey County, North Carolina[2].

It is not known how he met her or why he was in Tennessee. Washington County, Tennessee is about 128 miles from Whitesburg, Kentucky which was a substantial distance in the travel-by-horse era. It is also not known why or how they relocated from Flag Pond to Mars Hill, North Carolina, but the distance between those two locations is only 17.5 miles.

In addition to working as a medical doctor, John was also actively involved in the church. His 1880 marriage certificate to Polly Kincheloe lists his name as Rev. J. M. Fairchild.  There is some conflict regarding when their first son, Robert Eldridge Fairchild was born. Robert’s death certificate states that he was born on December 4, 1879 even though his parents were not married until January 1880. If this is the case then the wedding may have taken place after Robert was born. However, Robert’s World War I draft registration card lists his birth as December 4, 1850.


During his life Dr. Fairchild encountered a wide range of experiences as a medical doctor. Certainly he was involved in the delivery of hundreds of babies over the years. He also was involved in deaths, sometimes tragically involving family members. In one such case he testified to the death of one of his daughter-in-laws, Laura Victoria Fairchild, wife of his son Thomas. She died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage.


The 1900 U.S. Census shows that Dr. Fairchild and family had relocated from the Tennessee and Kentucky area to Madison County, North Carolina at Middle Fork Township. Family members included Mollie A., Robert E., Janie (Sarah), Thomas N., Roscoe C., Lillie K., and Joseph W. By 1910 all of the children except for Joseph W. had left home. The family lived in South Toe, Yancey, North Carolina. By 1920 John Fairchild was well into old age. The family is still living in South Toe Township, Yancey, N.C. His occupation is listed as farmer. His son Thomas N. and daughter-in-law Hattie Fairchild are living with John and Mollie as well as their grandsons Samuel and John. He died in 1932 at his home in South Toe Township, Yancey, North Carolina.

American Generation #6
Dr. John M. Fairchild, Wife and Children

John Milton Fairchild, M.D. 

b: May 26, 1849, Tazewell County, Virginia
d: Jan 2, 1932, South Toe Township, Yancey, NC

Molly A. (Molly) Kincheloe
                                            Married Jan. 25, 1880

b: May 10, 1861, Washington, Tennessee
d: May 28, 1923, South Fork, Yancey, NC


Robert Eldridge Fairchild
                                              (Married Amanda Smith)

b: Dec 4, 1879, Flag Pond, Tennessee
d: Jul 4, 1922, South Fork, Yancey, NC

Sarah Jane (Janie) Fairchild
                                              (Married …)

b: 1884, Yancey, NC
d: Aug 28, 1977, McDowell, NC

Thomas N. Fairchild

b: May 23, 1884, Yancey, NC
d: Jun 22, 1954, Marion, NC

Roscoe C. Fairchild

b: Jul 4, 1888, Yancey, NC
d: May, 1963, Sykesville, Carroll County, Maryland

Lillie K. Fairchild
                                                   (Married Ballew)

b: Jan 1890, Ivy, Madison, NC
d: Jun 22, 1954, Yancey, NC

Joseph W. Fairchild
                                                    (Married …)

b: Sep 19, 1893, Yancey, NC
d: May 22, 1973, Asheville, NC


Molly Kincheloe descended from a family that immigrated from England to America in the 1600s. Her parental line was:

  • Eldridge Forrest Kincheloe (1829-1897) and Mary Jane Baxter Kincheloe (1833-1915)
  • James Horace Kincheloe (1795-1874) and Mary Louise “Polly” Kincheloe (1796-1848)
  • George E. Kincheloe (1761-1893) and Sarah Buckner (1761-1811)
  • John Kincheloe, Jr. (1728-1809) and Mary “Polly” Wickliffe (1725-1794)
  • John Kincheloe, Sr. (1694-1746) and Elizabeth Canterbury (1698-1777)
  • Cornelius Chencello Kincheloe (1661-1722) and ? Shadrack (1672-1722)
  • Hugh Kincheloe (1620-1690) and Marion Kaley (1640-1737)

During the 1640s and 1650s England experienced a civil war between two factions, one led by King Charles I and the other led by Oliver Cromwell and the English Parliament. Cromwell convinced parliament to establish a professional army which won the decisive victory over the King’s forces at Naseby (1645). Charles I was tried and executed in 1649.

Hugh Kincheloe supported Charles I and his son Charles II. Cromwell defeated the supporters of Charles II at Dunbar in 1650 and Worcester in 1651, effectively ending the civil war. Those who supported the Kings were persecuted for that support and forced, in some cases, to flee for the New World as Hugh Kincheloe did in 1658. 

Hugh Kincheloe and family fled to and settled in Prince William County, Virginia. His son, John Kincheloe Sr. moved from Prince William to Fauquier County, Virginia in 1761. Fauquier County was described as a wilderness, but one of the beauty spots of Virginia. John Kincheloe Jr. was the founder of the Kincheloe family in east Tennessee, arriving there with his family and all children and the families of his married children in the autumn of 1789. He homesteaded near Kendrick’s Creek, seven miles west of Jonesboro in Washington County.

John Kincheloe Sr. was married to Elizabeth Canterbury, a descendant of the English Canterbury family dating back to 1066 and the Norman Conquest. His son, John Kincheloe, Jr. married Mary “Polly” Wyckliffe, a descendant of John Wyckliffe, a famous theologian known for translating the Holy Bible into English.

The next several generations of Kincheloe families resided in this location. James Horace Kincheloe (John Jr.’s grandson) lived nearly 80 years in the same homestead on Kindrick’s Creek in Washington County, Tennessee, his home being the same as his father, George Kincheloe. He, his father George, grandfather John Jr. and his children, grandchildren and slaves are buried on his farm.

James Horace Kincheloe served as a private in Bunch’s Regiment of East Tennessee Militia in the War of 1812, serving from January 4 to July 14, 1814. He engaged with the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend of the Tallapoosa in east central Alabama and at Hickory Grounds. During the Civil War he was active in pursuing secession in Washington County, Tennessee and was paid after the war for grain he gathered for the Secessionists. Consequently, his pension for serving in the War of 1812 was suspended in 1873 on charge of disloyalty because of his secessionist efforts in the Civil War. He served as a private in the Local Confederate Defense Troops in Trevitt Sullivan’s Company, Tennessee Reserves.

Polly Kincheloe Fairchild’s father, Eldridge Forrest Kincheloe served as a private in McKenzie’s Tennessee Confederate Cavalry, became a Baptist minister, and served as missionary to the poor mountaineers of his section of east Tennessee. He lived on his farm near Fall Branch, Washington County, Tennessee. He married Mary Jane Baxter and they are buried on their home tract, three miles south of Fall Branch. He is listed as a farmer in the 1870 Census and their home was near Cox’s school.

In the early stages of family research my brother, Edgar Kessler believed that because of the Kincheloe name we were descended from either Cherokee or Black Dutch lines. However, as illustrated here, the Kincheloe family has been in America since the earliest times and before that resided in England and Scotland.

[1] American Medical Association

[2] Records list the children being born in Yancey County, North Carolina, but in 1851 Madison County was created from part of Yancey County. The family actually lived in Mars Hill, which ultimately resided in Madison County.


Facts, Analysis, & Narrative Thomas Fairchild Lineage Ch 8: Joseph Sirah Fairchild (1792-1860)

Chapter 8
American Generation 7
Joseph S. Fairchild (1826 – 1904)

            Joseph Sirah Fairchild was born in Russell County, Virginia on September 26, 1826. He likely was born and raised in Russell County – he was the last of three children of Benjamin and Barbara Ellen Litz Fairchild. His father Benjamin relocated to Letcher County, Kentucky and remarried in 1848 so it is likely that Joseph, 22 years old by then, remained in Russell County, Virginia, probably staying with his mother or living on his own.

His first marriage to Lucinda Bolling occurred in 1847 or 1848[1]. Their first son, John Milton (or Madison as noted in some sources) Fairchild was born on May 26, 1849 in Tazewell County, Virginia (bordering Russell County) and Lucinda (probably Lucy) did not survive the childbirth. Clearly this event was traumatic for Joseph because he became both a grieving widower and a first-time father at the same time.

In all likelihood his wife’s death drove Joseph to leave Virginia and relocate to Letcher County, Kentucky where his father had relocated years before. In a very short time Joseph remarried to Sarah “Sallie” Caudwell in Perry County, Kentucky. Sallie was born on October 23, 1834 and was only sixteen years old when she married Joseph in 1849. She bravely assumed parental responsibilities for baby John who was less than a year old.

Joseph and Sallie had twelve more children over the next 29 years. The children were all born in Whitesburg which is the County seat of Letcher County, Kentucky.

Like his father, Joseph was a blacksmith. In the 1850 U.S. Census the family lived in Whitesburg, Letcher County, Kentucky. Joseph’s age is listed as 21, which would make his birth year 1829, but other records indicate his birth was actually in 1826. In that Census his wife Sarah is listed as 16 years old and their first son, John M. Fairchild is listed as being one year old. As noted earlier, Sallie was not John’s birth mother.

In the 1860 U.S. Census the family still lived in Whitesburg. By this time the family had expanded to include six children: John, Mary, Robert, Rachael, Margaret and baby Samuel.

Civil War Era (1861-1865)

The Civil War brought hardship and deprivation to many regions of the country. Most able-bodied men enlisted in the military and fought for either the Union or Confederate armies over the almost five years that the Civil War lasted. Most Kentucky men enlisted in the Confederate Army.

Letcher County, Kentucky was no exception as the following excerpt about the Caudill family of Whitesburg writes:

Uncle Billie Caudill was a farmer and great hunter until the” war between the states” broke out in 1861. He enlisted in the Southern army and served on many of the hottest battlefields. When he returned to his home he found his large family almost in desperation for the necessities of life and living. His, as well as other farms about, were grown up in briers and bushes and many of the homes of his old neighbors and friends deserted.

            In an article titled “The War on Civilians”[2] there are numerous accounts of the brutality that occurred in Eastern Kentucky during the Civil War and its toll on citizens. Several excerpts are noted:

  • Late August 1862: Hiram Hogg reports that Col. Benjamin E. Caudill (Sally Caudill Fairchild’s brother) was recruiting for the 13th Kentucky Cavalry (Confederate States) near Whitesburg. What we all raised there is all destroyed, I have to move my family from there ….
  • Same date: G.W. Noble reported that Bill Strong, a solider just out of the Union Army had been shot at by some Confederate sympathizers. According to Noble, “that fired him up, and he went to making a company of his own men and killing nearly every Southern citizen he found.”
  • November 1862: Hiram Hogg wrote that members of the 13th KY Cavalry (CS) at the farm of Elisha Breeding on Breeding Creek, Letcher confiscated most of the family’s food supply. They took Elisha to another location and shot him in the back.
  • Late December 1862: Francis Marion Wilcox wrote that “the people were loyal here, yet in great dread of roving guerilla bands that often scooped down on them taking their property and often murdering them …”
  • March 1863: According to Etta Eversole, after her husband returned to war she and her family moved two miles down the river and it was there that a band of marauding guerillas descended on the helpless wife and children. The marauders tool all the cattle and horses except one blind mare and one yearling street which were hidden in the woods. They took all the meat from the smokehouse, killed the geese and threw them into the river to float downstream; they ripped the feather-beds and let the feathers blow away on the March wind.
  • April 1863: Abijah Gilbert wrote that the 10th KY Cavalry took “every horse and mule I had, numbering thirteen … they go after my two oldest sons, up the branch from my house, and shot most of their ammunition at them. The Rebels then set fire to my houses, burning everything I had, leaving my wife and children with nothing but the clothes they had on. My wife got on her knees to them and offered them one thousand dollars in cash, not to burn our houses. They kept her off with their muskets; some few things, however, which she did get out were taken from her by the rebels … the balance all went to the flames.”
  • May 1863: Sergeant Joseph Axline, 9th OH Cavalry (US) reported “The people are leaving by the hundreds from this and adjoining counties … and fleeing for their lives from the rebels and starvation and trying to get to the rear of our lines. Many have no definite place in view but anywhere that their families can be safe and get something to eat. We see these families almost hourly passing, some carrying their all on their backs, others are fortunate enough to have an old horse that the rebels would not have and their goods are packed on him. One family that I saw a few days ago had their all packed on the back of an ox of which they were fortunate owners and a little boy perched on top while the rest of the family was trudging along on foot.”

Another account[3] provides a compelling description of two battles that occurred in Whitesburg, which was Joseph and Sally’s home when the War started.  Whitesburg is located in Letcher County, Kentucky in the shadow of Pine Mountain. At the beginning of the Civil War its population was about 350. Early in the War both Union and Confederate officials recognized the strategic importance of Whitesburg as it was the closest community to several gaps and roads through the steep Appalachian Mountains (Pine Mountain Range). Due to the steepness of the terrain that gaps and roads were the easiest and sometimes only accessible means of moving troops and supplies between Kentucky and Virginia.

Though spared from destruction, Whitesburg was in every sense of the imagination torn apart by the Civil War. People who had been the best of friends and neighbors were now willing to kill each other for their cause – not only were neighbors split, but families as well as a father and son or brothers were apt to join opposing armies and potentially face each other in combat.

The First Battle of Whitesburg occurred on December 13, 1862 at Pound Gap, approximately 12 miles north of Whitesburg.  In the days preceding the Union officer learned that Col. Ben Caudill was away on business and his younger brother, Capt. David Caudill was recovering from an injury sustained in another battle. The Union Major assembled his men on December 12th and attempted to catch the Confederate contingent by surprise. Fortunately for the Confederates, they had posted scouts (sentinel pickets) and the attempted surprise attack was detected and the main contingent had sufficient time to prepare for the assault.

The battle raged throughout the day. Eventually, with neither side gaining advantage, the Union solders fell back toward Whitesburg and their original encampment. This ended the Battle of Whitesburg. Though the number of wounded and killed was small in comparison to other major Civil War battles, they were devastating to this area. The small community knew almost all of the involved combatants. According to the authors, the resentments, bitterness and hatred that grew out of the carnage resulted in mountain feuds and political bitterness that persists even today.

The Second Battle of Whitesburg occurred on April 16, 1865 (actually occurring 6 days after Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox Court House). A group of Union soldiers was located in the area at the same time as a contingent of Col. Ben Caudill’s men – the two groups were separated by the rain-swollen North Fork of the Kentucky River near Whitesburg. Gunfire erupted on both sides of the river. Over time the superior fire power of the Union forces took its toll on the rebel forces. The Confederate leader hoisted a white flag and pretended to negotiate terms of surrender as a ruse to gain time to evacuate his men. The retreating troops moved southward toward the mouth of Sandlick Creek as they destroyed all skiffs and canoes that could be used by the Union Army to ford the river.

After the War soldiers on both sides came home to find their homes and barns burned or in disrepair and their fields overgrown. Most fences were gone because the rails were used for firewood. The destruction and hardship inflicted on the citizens of Southeastern Kentucky explain why Joseph and Sally decided to leave the area in the 1860s.

Taking Refuge in Virginia

Joseph Fairchild and his family clearly were impacted by the tumultuous events of the 1860s. As able-bodied men left to fight and farming activities ground to a halt there was little work for a blacksmith like Joseph Fairchild. He and his family had to do what was necessary to survive and avoid the violence and hardships described above.

The 1870 U.S. Census taken on August 5, 1870 shows the family living in Castle Woods Township, Russell County Virginia. Three additional children have been born since the 1860 Census: Elizabeth, Stephen and Nancy. Robert is listed as a “shop hand” and a young man named Hiram Maelemore is listed as a “blacksmith’s apprentice.”

In terms of why Joseph moved to Russell County, Virginia in particular, it is likely that he had family or friends in that area. It is also likely that the region of Southwest Virginia was relied on more heavily by the Confederate government to provide farm produce to feed the Army and other areas of the South. In the 1870 U.S. Census, on the page following the Fairchild family listing there is a listing for a family headed by Charles G. Gose. One of Benjamin and Sally’s sons is named Stephen Gose Fairchild, so it is likely that there is either a family or friend connection between these families (to be researched further).

Post-Civil War Era

By the time of the 1880 Census taken on June 14, 1880, the Civil War had ended and the family had moved back to Whitesburg, Kentucky. Joseph is listed as a farmer in this census. Joseph’s age is listed as 53 and Sally’s age is listed as 45. There are five unmarried children: Samuel (age 20 and listed as farm hand), Elizabeth (age 18), Stephen (age 16 and listed as farm hand), Joseph (age 9) and Mary (age 2). Daughter Margaret Asher (age 23) and Joseph’s granddaughter Sarah Asher (age 2) are also living with the family.

The 1900 U.S. Census, taken on June 9, 1900 reveals that the family is still in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Joseph is 73 years old and Sally is 65 years old. Samuel (age 40) is living with the family – it is possible that he is ill at this time because he died six weeks after the census was taken. His occupation is listed as civil engineer. The youngest child Poppie (Mary Ann) is still living at home – she is 21 years old. Stephen Blair, age 13, and George Adams are also listed as servants.

It is interesting to note on the 1900 U.S. Census that one of Joseph’s sons, Stephen and his family is also listed on the same page. Many of Sally Caudill Fairchild’s relatives also live in the same vicinity according to the census.

Joseph Sirah Fairchild died on December 9, 1904 in Whitesburg, Letcher, Kentucky. Sally lived ten years longer, passing on May 17, 1914.

Letcher County, Kentucky

Letcher County was formed in 1842 from portions of Harlan and Perry counties and is located in Kentucky’s Eastern Coal Field region. The county elevation ranges from 940 to 3,720 feet above sea level and has a land area of 339 square miles. The county seat is Whitesburg, located on the North Fork of the Kentucky River and founded in 1842 when the county was formed. The census for 1860 numbered the population of Whitesburg at 100; only one vote was recorded for Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 election.

American Generation #6
Joseph Sirah Fairchild, Wife and Children

Joseph Sirah Fairchild b: Sep 25, 1826, Russell County, Virginia
d: Sep 9, 1904, Sandlick. Letcher County, Kentucky
Lucinda Bolling Fairchild
                              (Married abt. 1848)
b: Unknown
d: May 26, 1849, Tazewell County, Virginia
Sarah “Sally” Caudill Fairchild
                                   (Married 1849)
b: Oct 23, 1824, Letcher County, Kentucky
d: May 17, 1914, Whitesburg, Letcher County, Kentucky

Children with Lucinda Bolling

John Melton Fairchild, M.D.
        (Married Mollie Kincheloe in 1880)
b: May 19, 1845, Letcher County, Kentucky
d: Jan 2, 1932, South Toe Township, Yancey, N.C.

Children with Sally Caudill

Mary Ann Fairchild
           (Married David M. Collier 1878)
b: Nov 4, 1850, Letcher County, Kentucky
d: Dec 7, 1929, Letcher County, Kentucky
Robert Sampson Fairchild
              (Married Rachel Asher 1876)
b: Jan 1, 1853, Letcher County, Kentucky
d: Jul 22, 1881, Letcher County, Kentucky
Rachel Fairchild
      (Married John Robertson Blair 1878)
b: Jan 29, 1855, Boyd, Kentucky
d: Nov 1, 1950, Letcher County, Kentucky
Margaret Fairchild
                  (Married John Asher 1877)
(Married Hiram Raleigh 1884)
b: Jul 17, 1857, Letcher County, Kentucky
d: Jul 6, 1918, Letcher County, Kentucky
Samuel Caudill Fairchild b: Nov 24, 1859, Letcher County, Kentucky
d: Jul 26, 1900, Letcher County, Kentucky
Elizabeth Fairchild
                   (Married Newt Lewis 1889)
b: Jan 29, 1862, Letcher County, Kentucky
d: Jun 17, 1920, Letcher County, Kentucky
Stephen Gose Fairchild
         (Married Sarah “Sally” Kelly 1894)
b: Apr 15, 1864, Letcher County, Kentucky
d: Jul 15, 1963, Letcher County, Kentucky
Mariah Fairchild b: Aug 6, 1866, Letcher County, Kentucky
d: Sep 12, 1866, Letcher County, Kentucky
Nancy Fairchild b: Sep 18, 1868, Letcher County, Kentucky
d: Apr 3, 1877, Letcher County, Kentucky
Joseph Watson Fairchild
               (Married Lydia Christian 1894)
b: Feb 24, 1871, Letcher County, Kentucky
d: Feb 15, 1957, Letcher County, Kentucky
Sarah Ellen Fairchild b: Feb 12, 1873, Letcher County, Kentucky
d: Feb 12, 1873, Letcher County, Kentucky
Mary Ann “Polly or Poppie” Fairchild
    (Married George Martin Adams 1900)
b: Jul 24, 1878, Letcher County, Kentucky
d: Feb 26, 1974, Letcher County, Kentucky



Despite extensive research, no definitive familial information can be located about Lucinda Bolling of Tazewell County, Virginia. However, we know a few things. Joseph Sirah Fairchild married Lucinda Bowling sometime before 1849 and she died during childbirth on May 26, 1849, giving birth to Dr. John M. Fairchild.

It is likely that she is somehow related to Jarrett Bowling (1762-1856) Tazewell County, Virginia. Jarrett had thirteen children. His daughter, Mary H. Bowling was born in 1813 and married Christopher Gose (1807-1853). The Gose family were involved with Joseph Sirah and his wife Sarah Caudill Fairchild. They named one of their sons Stephen Gose Fairchild. Also, during the Civil War, Joseph Sirah moved from Whitesburg, Kentucky to Castle’s Woods, Russell County, Virginia and according to the 1870 U.S. Census. On this same Census a neighbor is named Charles H. Gose, one of Christopher and Mary Bowling Gose’s sons.

Given these facts it is likely that Lucinda Bowling was related to Mary H. Bowling Gose.

The Caudill Family

Sally Caudill was part of one of the oldest, most numerous, Influential and popular families in Eastern Kentucky. In 1803 the region was a vast wilderness. One of the earliest settlers was James Caudill who migrated from North Carolina. He was a Revolutionary War soldier and Indian fighter. He was born in North Carolina in 1750 and enlisted at a young age in the American army for service in the Revolutionary War. In the early days of the war he was captured by the British and suffered many indignities. He and his comrades escaped and returned to the American Army. He fought on many of Revolutionary War battlefields including King’s Mountain in 1780. He also fought at Guilford Courthouse.

After Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, James returned to his home in North Carolina. However he traveled deep into the wilds of Virginia and Kentucky and engaged hunting, trapping, farming and fighting Indian marauders.

He married the daughter of a Revolutionary soldier and fathered three sons in North Carolina. In 1803 he and his family made the final move to Eastern Kentucky, building homes, erecting a church and school house and otherwise establishing a viable settlement. In 1820 James Caudill became a charter member of the old Oven Fork Church, organized on the Cumberland River in what was then Harlan County. His son William Caudill was listed as a church deacon and his wife, Nancy was listed as a deaconess. The oldest son Henry had seven sons and two daughters. These were Stephen, born 1810; James, 1816; Henry H., 1818; Billie, 1820; Isom, 1822; Ben, 1824; Jesse, 1826 and David, 1828. James Caudill’s daughter, Abagail, and William Pennington, her husband, are also mentioned in the old Oven Fork record as among the first deaconesses and deacons of that church.

James Caudill was the brother of Sarah “Sally” Caudill Fairchild’s grandfather. So she lived at the same time and likely interacted with he and the entire Caudill clan over the years. As noted in the earlier analysis, Whitesburg was populated by many Caudill families.

[1] Early Fairchilds in America and Their Descendants, Compiled by Jean Fairchild Gilmore, p. 438.

[2] Researched and compiled by Marlitta H. Perkins; updated November 22, 2003 – http://www.oocities.org/eastkyunion/Mountain_Chronology.html

[3] The First Battle of Whitesburg (December 13, 1862) and The Second Battle of Whitesburg (April 16, 1865) By Richard Glen Brown and David Chaltas;http://bencaudill.com/documents_msc/whitesburg/whitesburg_battle.html

photo-joseph and sarah fairchild early fairchilds--joseph and sarah fairchild


2014-04-09 Fairchild Map Va Ky NC

Facts, Analysis, & Narrative Thomas Fairchild Lineage Ch 7: Benjamin Fairchild (1792-1860)

Chapter 7
American Generation 6:
Benjamin Fairchild (1792 – 1860)

            Benjamin Fairchild was born in Washington County, Virginia in 1792. George Washington was the nation’s first President at the time. This is the year that the U.S. Postal Service was established and the year that Kentucky, Benjamin’s future home, became the 15th state in the United States of America.

Benjamin’s older brother Aaron, was a farmer and served in the War of 1812 in William Neely’s Virginia militia. Ben’s occupation, according to subsequent U.S. Census listings, was blacksmith.

He first married Barbara Litz in 1817 in Washington County, Virginia (note that Russell County initially was part of Washington County but later became a separate county, hence some references to Russell County as the location of marriage and childbirth). They had three children, all born in Washington County, Virginia: Margaret, John and Joseph, suggesting that the earliest time that they relocated to Kentucky was after Joseph’s birth in 1826.

His second marriage was to Minerva Jane Blevins in 1848 in Johnson County, Kentucky. Note that there is a substantial age difference when the marriage took place, as Benjamin was 56 years old while Minerva Jane was only 18 years old. They had four sons: Caleb, Martin, Arther, and Benjamin Franklin Fairchild. See note below related to another Benjamin living with the family according to the 1860 census.

In the 1850 U.S. Census he lived in Bath, Kentucky and his occupation is listed as blacksmith. Horse racing was very popular in this part of Kentucky at the time and would certainly provide steady business for a blacksmith. By this time the children he fathered with Barbara Litz Fairchild have left home and the listed dependents included his second wife, Minerva and two-year old son, Caleb.

Note that Bath, Kentucky was bordered on one side by Salt Lick Creek. This is significant because a substantial number of Kentucky Fairchild family members listed their residence location as Salt Lick, Kentucky.

In the 1860 U.S. Census he still lives in Bath, Kentucky but his younger children are now listed. There are two issues to note: 1) Benjamin Fairchild, age 15 is listed in the 1860 Census with a birthplace of Virginia – he was not listed earlier in the 1850 Census – possibly this could be one of his grandchildren, since he is 66 years old at the time; 2) the youngest son is listed as Franklin Fairchild but additional research has found that his full name was Benjamin Franklin Fairchild, but in the family he was referred to as Franklin since there were two other “Ben” names in the home.

Northeastern Kentucky was home to a strong and vibrant iron industry which may have been attractive to Benjamin, since he was a blacksmith. As early as 1818 the Argillite Furnace was opened not far from Bath, Kentucky as served as the beginning of the iron industry in that region. More furnaces were built and soon iron from Hanging Rock Iron Region became nationally known, due to the high quality of the product. Iron produced at these charcoal fired furnaces was hauled to Poage’s Landing for shipment on the Ohio River to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

Benjamin died in 1860 at the age of 68. His wife, Minerva Jane apparently returned to Virginia after his death since that is where she died in 1889.

American Generation #5
Benjamin Fairchild, Wife and Children

Benjamin Fairchild


b: 1792, Washington County, Virginia
d: 1860, Johnson County, Kentucky
Barbara Ellen Litz Fairchild
                                                           (Married on Sep 19, 1817)
b: 1795, Virginia
d: Aug 5, 1880, Virginia
Minerva Jane Blevins Fairchild
                                                             (Married on Jan 13, 1848)
b: 1838, Lawrence, Kentucky
d: 1889, Virginia

Children with Barbara Litz Fairchild

Margaret (LeMore) Fairchild
                                                                  (Married Hiram LeMore)
b: 1818, Russell County, Virginia
John Fairchild b: 1820
Joseph Sirah Fairchild
                                        (Married Sarah “Sally” L. Caudill in 1849)
b: Sep 25, 1826, Russell County, Virginia
d: Dec 9, 1904, Sandlick, Letcher, Kentucky

Children with Minerva Jane Blevins Fairchild

Caleb Fairchild
                                                     (Married Louisa Winkle in 1866)
b: 1849, Lawrence, Kentucky
d: 1915, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Martin Fairchild b: 1850. Lawrence. Kentucky
Arther Fairchild b: 1854, Lawrence, Kentucky
Benjamin Franklin Fairchild
                                              (Married Mildred Ann Hilliard in 1877)                                                           (Married Sophia Byrd in 1887)
b: 1857, Lawrence, Kentucky
d: Apr 22, 1922, Cobb, McIntosh, Oklahoma

MATERNAL ANCESTRY: Barbara Litz and Minerva Jane Blevins

Barbara Ellen Litz was daughter of Leonard and Julie Ann Gose Litz of Cripple Creek, Wythe County, Virginia.  Minerva Jane Blevins was daughter of William (1778-1872) and Ava Jane Collins (1803-1875) Blevins.

2014-04-09 Fairchild Map Va Ky NC

Facts, Analysis, & Narrative Thomas Fairchild Lineage Ch 6: Hezekiah Fairchild (1760-1816)

Chapter 6
American Generation 5
Hezekiah Fairchild (1760 – 1816)

     Hezekiah, son of Gershom and Lydia Fairchild, had five brothers, Benjamin, Nathaniel, Aaron, Joseph, and Caleb and four sisters, Theodocia, Sarah, Ann and Clowe. He was born in 1760 and grew up during the Revolutionary War and founding of the United States period.

Revolutionary War Service
     Hezekiah served as a private in the New Jersey contingent during the Revolutionary War. (Official Registry of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War, edited by William S. Stryker, Trenton, NJ. 1872, p. 878). There are no particular details that indicate which New Jersey battalion he served with, but it is likely that he was a member of the initial First or Second Battalions (he married in 1780 to he was not serving at that time – the Third and Fourth Battalions were still in active service in 1780). On November 10, 1775, six companies of the First and Second Battalions were ordered to man the Highlands Fort on the Hudson River. On November 27th, the rest of the two battalions were ordered into barracks near New York. On December 8th, both battalions were ordered into the city of New York.

On January 10th, 1776, three companies were ordered to report to Colonel Nathaniel Heard (First Battalion Middlesex Militia) for duty in arresting Tories and disaffected persons in Queens County, New York. The rest of the battalion was stationed at Perth Amboy and Elizabethtown, New Jersey, until May, 1776. On May 3, with the Third Battalion, they left New York to join an expedition to Canada, and, having been joined by the Second Battalion, took an active part in Quebec operations. Subsequently, the First and Second Battalions were ordered into barracks at Ticonderoga, and remained at that station until directed by General Sullivan, November 5th, 1776, to return to New Jersey for discharge.

Alternatively, Hezekiah could have been part of four companies later organized and stationed at Staten Island, New York and Amboy, New Jersey. The two groups were joined at Elizabethtown, April 28th, 1776 and left that place for New York on the next day. On May 2nd the battalion was reviewed and then sailed in sloops for Albany. Colonel Dayton reported there to Brigadier General John Sullivan, of New Hampshire. During the remainder of the year, they were stationed at Johnstown, German Flats, Fort Dayton, Fort Schuyler, Ticonderoga, and Mount Independence. They were chiefly engaged in preventing Indian incursions. The battalion left Albany March 7th, 1777, and was discharged at Morristown, New Jersey, on March 23rd.

Moving to Virginia and Getting Married
            It is not clear whether Hezekiah relocated to Virginia because of his war service or for some other reason. It has already been shown that a number of Fairchilds visited and migrated from Morristown, New Jersey southward along the Appalachian mountain range. It is possible that he had uncles and/or cousins who preceded him in relocated there.

He met and married Jimima (Gemenia) Bell who was born in Russell County, Virginia and they married in 1780. Washington County, Virginia was one of the first localities to be named after George Washington after the Revolutionary War. Washington County is located in the far southeastern area of Virginia, just above the North Carolina border. As with many other frontier counties, the boundaries and territory changed over the years. In 1786 the northwestern part of Washington County became Russell County, which is the listed birth location for Jemima Fairchild.

Hezekiah and Jemima had seven children, all born in Washington County, Virginia. All three sons however migrated southward to Johnson County, Kentucky and lived there until their deaths. More about this migration when we discuss the next generation.

Chickamauga Wars (1776-1794)
     Given that Hezekiah married Jemima Bell in 1780, it is likely that the young couple experienced firsthand the Indian Wars that occurred in and around southwestern Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. Virginia was raided by Indians during the Chickamauga Wars (1776-1794), a series of raids, campaigns, ambushes, minor skirmishes, and several full-scale frontier battles which were a continuation of the Cherokee struggle during and after the American Revolutionary War against American frontiersmen encroachment.

In July 1776, Chief Dragging Canoe led an attack on Black’s Fort in Washington County, Virginia on the Holston River.  The Indians killed the settler Henry Creswell on July 22, 1776, outside the stockade. More attacks continued the third week of July. Black’s Fort was capable of sheltering up to 600 settlers and had become the county seat of the newly formed County in 1776 (it was renamed to Abingdon after Martha Washington’s English manor in 1778).

In 1780 after returning from Revolutionary War fighting, soldiers learned that the Cherokee had used the men’s absence to plunder numerous homesteads. Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson sent an expedition of seven hundred Virginians and North Carolinians against the Cherokee in December 1780, under the command of Sevier, defeating the Cherokee at the battle of Boyd’s Creek, Tennessee. On Christmas Day 1780, the soldiers rode through Cherokee villages on the Little Tennessee River burning homes and destroying crops.

The area remained prone to attack until after Chickamauga leader Bob Benge was finally slain by settlers in Washington County in 1794. Since Dragging Canoe was the dominant leader in both phases of the conflict, the period is sometimes called “Dragging Canoe’s War.”

American Generation #5
Hezekiah Fairchild, Wife and Children

Hezekiah Fairchild b: 1760, Morristown, New Jersey
d: 1817, Washington County, Virginia
Jemima (Gemenia)  “Jeminie” (Bell) Fairchild
                                          (Married in 1780)
b: 1760, Russell County, Virginia
d: 1816, Washington County, Virginia


Aaron Sinclair Fairchild
                (Married Rebecca McSpadden in 1812)
b: 1789, Washington County, Virginia
d: April 16, 1871, Johnson County, Kentucky
Benjamin Fairchild
                     (Married Barbara Ellen Litz in 1817)
                (Married Minerva Jane Blevins in 1848)
b: 1792, Washington, County, Virginia
d: 1860, Johnson County, Kentucky
Nancy Fairchild
                            (Married James Watson, 1819)
b: 1794, Washington County, Virginia
Fannie L. Fairchild
                               (Married Stephen Litz, 1818)
b: Jan 22, 1796, Washington County, Virginia 
Joseph Fairchild
                      (Married Katherine Lark bef. 1830)
b: 1810, Washington County, Virginia
d: Dec 18, 1859, Johnson County, Kentucky
John Fairchild b: 1810, Washington County, Virginia
Eleanor Fairchild b: 1815, Washington, County, Virginia
d: 1830, Washington County, Virginia

MATERNAL ANCESTRY: Jemima Bell Fairchild

Culturally, we tend to think of the name Jemima as a slave-era name (Aunt Jemima’s Pancakes, etc.). However in the late 1700s it was a common female name. Daniel Boone’s daughter was named Jemima. When the Cherokee began raiding into Kentucky, a war party led captured three teenage girls in a canoe on the Kentucky River. The girls were Jemima Boone, daughter of Daniel Boone; and Elizabeth and Frances Callaway, daughters of Richard Callaway. The war party hurried toward the Shawnee towns north of the Ohio River, but was overtaken by Boone and his rescue party after three days. After a brief firefight, the war party retreated and the girls were rescued. They were unharmed and Jemima Boone stated that they had been treated reasonably well.

2014-04-09 Fairchild Map Va Ky NC

Facts, Analysis, & Narrative Thomas Fairchild Lineage Ch 5: Gershom Fairchild (1728-1778)

Chapter 5
American Generation 4
Gershom Fairchild (1728 – 1778)

The preceding chapter went into extensive detail about Gershom’s father, Caleb. Before presenting details about Gershom and family it is useful to discuss the migratory pattern of the Fairchild family since Thomas arrived in 1639/1640. The family initially helped found and settle Stratford, Connecticut and many generations remained there for a long period of time. However a migratory pattern commence with some of Thomas’ children.

Two of Thomas’ children, Thomas Jr. and Emma Fairchild Preston were part of a contingent that broke with Reverend Blakeman, the village’s first pastor, in Stratford and relocated to Woodbury, Connecticut. This occurred in spring, 1673 when fifteen Stratford families left Stratford and traveled 40 miles over wilderness to found the new “plantation” named Woodbury.

The second great migration occurred when two of Zachariah and Hannah Beach Fairchild’s children migrated from Stratford to Morristown, New Jersey. These grandchildren of Thomas Fairchild included Caleb and Zachariah Jr.  As noted in the previous chapter, Caleb who was born in 1693 was located in New Jersey as early as 1730. Family lore has it that he migrated first to Long Island, New York and then into Morris County, New Jersey. It is not clear if the Fairchilds that relocated to Morristown, New Jersey kept in touch with those who remained in Connecticut.

Another migratory link involves on of Gershom’s uncles (Caleb’s brother), Ebenezer Fairchild (1729-1808). Ebenezer was born in Morris County, New Jersey, but he died in Ashe County, North Carolina. In 1757 Ebenezer accompanied the famous preacher, John Gano, from New Jersey to the “Jersey settlement in North Carolina on the Yadkin River.” Ebenezer returned to New Jersey because he purchased land in Newtown, Sussex City, New Jersey in 1761; four years after his North Carolina trip. A year later his son Abiud was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Five years later, his son Cyrus was born in Sussex County, New Jersey.

In 1769, Ebenezer’s daughter, Sarah married Ebenezer Frost in Roan County, North Carolina. Two years later, in 1771, Ebenezer obtained a letter of reference from Morristown Baptist Church to a church in Rowan County, North Carolina. He helped organize Dutchman’s Creek Baptist Church in Rowan, North Carolina and was one of ten charter members (Dutchman’s was later renamed Eaton’s Baptist Church).

Twenty five years later, in 1799 Ebenezer moved from the Jersey Settlement in North Carolina to Howard’s Creek, Ashe County, North Carolina. In 1801 he purchased land located six miles from Boone, North Carolina. His will, was executed upon his death in 1806 in Ashe County, North Carolina and included mention of Lewes Fork, Howard’s Creek on the north side of the New River in Wilkes County.

As we will learn later in this chapter, two of Gershom’s cousins migrated from Morris County New Jersey to Virginia. His Uncle Hezekiah’s sons, Hezekiah Jr. and Aaron began the migration from north to south. Although Gershom remained in New Jersey throughout his lifetime, his son Hezekiah moved to Washington County, Virginia, likely following his second cousins. More will be discussed about Hezekiah in the next chapter.

Gershom Fairchild

  Gershom was born to Caleb and Ann Sherwood Trowbridge Fairchild in 1728. He was the fifth of eight children fathered by Caleb, but grew up as part of an extended family because Ann had previously been married and widowed before marrying Gershom and brought her two children from that marriage (David and Anne Trowbridge).

 Gershom was a blacksmith and lived in Morristown, New Jersey until later in life when he lived in Bernards Township, Somerset County, New Jersey. He married Ledia (Ledy) on November 19, 1754. Unfortunately, there is no record of Ledia’s pre-marital last name. Gershom and Ledy had ten children from 1749 through 1778. All were born in Morris County, New Jersey.

Gershom was a pew-holder at Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church, Somerset County from 1769 to 1776. He died in 1778.

In 1776 his son Nathaniel was living in Barnard Township, Somerset County, New Jersey with his mother. He enlisted in the Revolutionary War at Fishkill in the New York line and served 9 months. When he applied for a pension in Erie County, New York years later he was required to prove that he served. Caleb Fairchild of Buffalo, a relative, in a sworn affidavit given on 18 Jul 1833 “said he knew him well and that these facts were true.” There was a sworn affidavit given by Theodosia Hall, Nathaniel’s sister of Carlisle, Schoharie County, New York on 12 Aug 1833 stating that these facts were true.

     The will of Gershom Fairchild legally establishes Nathaniel, Caleb and Theodosia Hall as his children. The New Jersey probate records include the will of Gershom Fairchild of Barnard Township, Somerset County, New Jersey dated 20 Jul 1776 and witnessed by Theodosia, wife of Jacob Hall. Nathaniel was one of three executors and Gershom calls him “my son Nathaniel.” Gershom also names Caleb, Benjamin, Hezekiah, Aaron and Joseph as his sons.

Gershom’s brother Ebenezer Fairchild moved to Howard’s Creek, Wautagua County, North Carolina. This could be the link in terms of our ancestral migration to Kentucky and North Carolina. “Before Ebenezer moved his family from New Jersey to North Carolina, he made at least two trips there and back. He kept a diary beginning 21 Oct 1757. A History of Watauga County, North Carolina by John Preston Arthur gives an account on pages 87-96 of Ebenezer and his diary. By 1770 Ebenezer had apparently succumbed to hard drinking and loose living, and was neglectful of his church for he repented by letter and was baptized and received back into the Church. Sometime in the 1770’s the family settled in Wilkes County, N.C. Ebenezer was a private in the Revolutionary War and just missed by one day the Battle of Kings Mountain, N.C.” (Early Fairchilds in America and Their Descendants, Gilmore, p. 44)


One of Gershom’s cousins (Caleb’s nephew) named Zachariah (son of James Fairchild) was a loyalist during the Revolution and had to flee the country after the King abdicated and America became independent. “Zachariah, son of James and Abigail Fairchild was a Loyalist who went to Canada and is ancestor of a Canadian branch of Fairchilds.” (Ibid, p. 46)


American Generation #3

Gershom Fairchild and Wife and Children

Gershom Fairchild

b: 1728, Stratford, Connecticut

d: 11/28/1778, Bernard Township, NJ

Ledia (Ledy) Fairchild                (Married in 1754)

b: 5/4/1733, Stratford, Connecticut

d: 1777, Morristown, New Jersey


Benjamin Fairchild

b: 1749, Morristown, New Jersey

d: 1750, Morristown, New Jersey

Nathaniel Fairchild

b: 1/8/1752, Morristown, New Jersey

d: 1/21/1837, Clarence, Erie, New York

Aaron Fairchild

b: 1754, Morristown, New Jersey

Theodocia Fairchild

b: 10/22/1754, Morristown, New Jersey

d: May 1838, Geneva, Ontario, New York

Hezekiah Fairchild

b: 1760, Morristown, New Jersey

d: 1817, Washington County, Virginia

Joseph Fairchild

b: 10/17/1764, Morristown, New Jersey

d: 3/16/1813, Geneva, Ontario, New York

Caleb Fairchild

b: 1770, Morristown, New Jersey

d: 1837, Buffalo, Erie, New York

Sarah Fairchild

b: 1772, Morristown, New Jersey

Ann Fairchild

b: 1776, Morristown, New Jersey

Clowe Fairchild

b: 1778, Morristown, New Jersey


Little is known, including maiden name of Ledia Fairchild before her marriage to Gershom.  

Facts, Analysis, & Narrative Thomas Fairchild Lineage Ch 4: Caleb Fairchild (1693-1777)

Chapter 4
American Generation 3
Caleb Fairchild (1693 – 1777)

Generation 3, starring Caleb Fairchild is an interesting one. It is the first to leave the Connecticut area and settle in the wilderness of New Jersey. He led an active and well-documented life until succumbing to smallpox, along with his wife and one of their sons in 1777. Smallpox took a heavy toll on the Revolutionary Army at the same time.

Caleb and Ann Fairchild

Caleb Fairchild was the son of Zachariah and Hannah Beach Fairchild. He was the fifth of nine children, the “middle child,” and was born September 10, 1693 in Stratford, Connecticut. He married Ann Sherwood Trowbridge on May 17, 1717.

Caleb and Ann had eight Fairchild children: Sarah (1719-1719), Matthew 1720-1790), Sarah (1722-1804), Joseph (1724-1804), Gershom (1728-1788), Ebenezer (1729-1808), Mehitabel or Mabel (1732-1795), and Ezra (1734-1777).

Caleb was the grandson of Thomas Fairchild and was the first ancestor to leave Connecticut. According to T.M. Fairchild, Caleb and Ann Fairchild moved from Connecticut to Whippany, New Jersey which is in Morris County (see following section describing migration from Stratford to New Jersey). It is probable that his son Matthew Fairchild was born in New Jersey.

Caleb was a farmer & mill owner of Fairchild Mills in Hanover, New Jersey. He was a respected member of the community where he and Anne settled, and raised her children, as well as the children that they had together.

1735 caleb fairchild family home 1735 fairchild mill

Caleb, Anne, and Caleb’s brother Zachariah were among the founding members of the Morristown First Presbyterian Church.

Anne, Caleb, and their son Ezra died during an outbreak of smallpox (which also claimed the lives of several Continental soldiers) in the spring of 1777.


The mills and forges were the lure that would bring settlers from the east and the north, and which would finally give Whippany (then part of Hanover, New Jersey) its reputation.

The mills also produced the leading families of the township. The first of these were the Fairchilds. The family patriarch, Caleb Fairchild, arrived in Whippany in 1735, with his brother Zachariah, and his wife Anne, and established a gristmill and a saw mill on the tract of the orignal forge and property now occupied by the International Paper Co. (now since gone).

A member of the Presbyterian Church in Hanover for a number of years, he and Anne were also founding members, along with Zechariah, of the Morristown First Presbyterian Church in Morristown. Caleb also served as Morris County Sheriff from 1746 to 1748. He died on May 1, 1777 at 84 years of age.

Caleb’s son Abner was a Captain in the Army. Abner had seven sons who were patriots. Abraham Fairchild, grandson of Caleb, also an Army Captain, followed in his grandfather’s footsteps.

On the site of Caleb’s saw mill, Abraham established a very successful woolen mill. On Stoney Brook in Malapardis, he built a carding machine and fulling mill (a step in the woolen cloth-making process which involves the cleansing of wool to eliminate oils, dirt and other impurities and to make it fuller), the first in this section of New Jersey.

Abraham Fairchild was a social as well as business leader of the township. His mansion on Jefferson Road drew notables from all parts of Morris County. Abraham’s son John sold the family interests in other plants, but retained the fulling mill and took over its management. John’s son, E.R. Fairchild, and grandson, A. K. Fairchild, carried on the operation of the company until 1890, a span of a century of family ownership. In the post-Civil War period, with machinery purchased from New York State Prison, the plant turned to the manufacture of woolens.”

Migration from Stratford, Connecticut to Morris County, New Jersey

According to New Jersey Archives, Caleb was in New Jersey as early as 1730. His last grantor deed in Stratford was 18 April 1722. One of Caleb’s descendants said he went from Stratford to Stonington, Connecticut, then to Hempstead, Long Island, New York, and then to New Jersey. He also at one point briefly lived in the New Haven, Connecticut area, and is on the deeds there. It is noted in Fairchild family history correspondence that several of Zachariah and Hannah Fairchild’s children relocated from Connecticut to New Jersey and settled near Whippany and Morristown and in the Berkshire Valley.

Revolutionary War Connections

Caleb’s oldest son Matthew fathered a son, also named Caleb (1743-1807). This Caleb was a fifth generation descendant of Thomas Fairchild and was a Revolutionary War soldier who served from New Jersey.

Another son, Abner, and Abner’s son Abraham, also fought in the Revolutionary War. He was a Captain in the Army. Abner had seven sons who were patriots. Abraham Fairchild, grandson of Caleb, also an Army Captain, followed in his grandfather’s footsteps.

One interesting note about this generation of Fairchilds is that while some of them and their descendants clearly fought on the side of the Continentals in the Revolutionary War others were Loyalists who supported the King during the War. The Loyalist contingent fled to Ontario, Canada after the War to avoid prosecution and imprisonment. Most of the Canadian Fairchilds hail from this line of the family.

Caleb as Sheriff

Most colonists were farmers and crops were their only source of sustenance and income. Few people worked for money in the form of wages. The barter system was the dominant form of exchange for most citizens because the King’s government prohibited colonial money and there was a short supply of English money in circulation.

Over time as demand for a fiat currency to replace bartering increased, colonists and businesses sought various solutions. The first strategy was use of South American Spanish coins, known as “Pieces of Eight” or “Spanish Dollars”. A second strategy adopted by some colonies was printing of paper money. However, there was significant distrust that the value of the notes would be backed by the colonial governments. Consequently, merchants in a colony that printed currency often did not honor it and neighboring colonies also did not recognize it.

The fiscal situation in the colonies added to growing distrust between colonists and Colonial governments. Government appointees often ignored fiscal matters leaving colonies in a financially difficult situation.

Counterfeiting in colonial America was common, especially in the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania colonies from 1730 to 1770. It occurred in almost all colonies to some extent before the revolution. Causes included the general political situation and feeble colonial government efforts to control or stop the people involved.

Counterfeiting of Spanish coins and paper money was relatively easy. Coin counterfeiting required metal working skills and paper counterfeiting required ability to use ink and paper to replicate colonial script. The Kings government and its colonial representatives regarded counterfeiting as a serious crime subject to death. The colonists however viewed counterfeiting as less serious. Those in charge did not want to antagonize the citizens and intensify anti-Monarch sentiment so the death sentence was rarely enforced.

The crime of counterfeiting was usually committed by two different levels of society. The most skillful and persistent were small “gangs” of men who moved about and had only limited ability to produce counterfeit notes but a persistence that made it profitable and worth the risk. These were generally petty criminals who were known to local sheriffs and constables. They effectively recruited locals to get involved, struck quickly and moved on.

The second group was men of substance; family men, landowners, church members and small business owners; all were upstanding community members. Their involvement in counterfeiting is attributed to acts of civil disobedience which preceded the eventual rebellion against the King.

On the 25th Nov., 1746, Caleb Fairchild was appointed High Sheriff of Pequannock by Governor Belcher, of the Colony of New Jersey. He served as sheriff for two years. During this period counterfeiting was occurring with great frequency. A group of ten men were involved in counterfeiting activities and were discovered, indicted and arrested on September 20, 1748. The men were Timothy Conner, Seth Hall, Jonathan Hathaway, John Pipes, Job Allen, Andrew Morrison, Abraham Southerd, Samuel Blackford, Sylvanus Totten and David Brant.

According to accounts, Sheriff Caleb Fairchild allowed the counterfeiters to escape. It was later learned that Sheriff John Kinney had also assisted in the jail break. The men were later arrested again and tried before a Kings Court, given somewhat lenient sentences and released. They were again indicted in 1752 for escaping from jail and required to pay small fines.


Caleb Fairchild in Hanover Town, June 4, 1776, No. 1- pg. 75, plotted p. 106

All that certain tract of land lying in Hanover afore said. Beginning in the middle of the road that leads from Morristown to Hyberna furnace also being a corner of Mathew Ball’s land from thence running North by said Ball’s land seventy-three degrees along the said Ball’s line eleven chains & eighty links to Nathaniel Peck’s land now Jonathon Hathaway’s thence by his land South twenty degrees & fifteen minutes West twelve chains & eighty-five links to the land of Mathur Fairchild thence South seventy-nine degrees East twelve chains to the middle of the road thence South seventy-nine degrees East twelve chains to the middle of the road then North fifty-six degrees East two chains & twenty links along said road thence North eighty degrees five chains then North fifteen degrees East three chains to the beginning. Containing fifteen acres & fifteen hundredths of an acre strict measure.
Jonathon Hatheway
Ashur Fairchild


“1773, Oct. 4 – Fairchild, Caleb, of Hanover, Morris Co.; will of.

To wife, Anne, use of all real and personal estate, during her life.

To children, Matthew, and Joseph, Gershom, Ebenezer the following legacies: to Joseph 10 pounds; to Matthew 10 pounds; to Gershom 10 pounds; to Mehitabel, 20 pounds; to Sarah, 5 pounds. sons Joseph and Ezra, all real estate, and they pay legacies.

Executors- sons Joseph and Ezra. Witnesses-Ebenezer, Ezekiel Cheever, Sarah Cheever. Proved May 14, 1777”


(from “Whose Who in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Morristown, NJ”)

Fairchild, Catherine–17/44–Daughter of Ephraim & Gitty Fairchild, d. 26 Nov 1826, age 11 months 4 days. [Ed. Note: CR70 show Catharine Price Fairchild, Daughter of Ephraim & Gertrude “Gitty” (Oliver) Fairchild].

Fairchild, Catherine–20/37–Buried with David Fairchild–Erected by their Son S. F. 1821. [Ed. Note: This would appear to be the Catherine (Gregory) Fairchild which CR69 show b. 13 Mar 1735, m. David Fairchild 9 Nov 1757, and d. 18 Feb 1800. See Fairchild, David at Site 20/37].

Fairchild, Dabriat (Deborah)–25/12–d. 13 Apr 1757, age 50. [Ed. Note: Wife of Zachariah, the First Leading Elder of the Church upon separation of the Morristown Church from the Hanover Church in about 1737. Vail spells the name Dabriah. CR69 show Deborah, 1st Wife of Zachariah Fairchild of Morris Plains. Deborah & Zachariah were parents of two i.e., David and Abiel. CR69 show “Dabriat” on the headstone].

Fairchild, David–24/26–d. 13 Apr 1855, age 88.7.10. [Ed. Note: CR69 show David Fairchild, Son of David & Catherine (Gregory) Fairchild, b. 3 May 1767, m. Hannah Day 13 Sep 1794. David & Hannah were parents of eight i.e., Samuel, Lewis, Josiah, Franklin, Henry, David Day, Silas, and James].

Fairchild, David–20/37–Buried with Catherine Fairchild–Erected by their Son S. F. 1821. [Ed. Note: This would appear to be the David Fairchild which CR69 show was the Son of Deborah & Zachariah Fairchild, b. 6 May 1734, 1st m. Catherine Gregory on 9 Nov 1757. David & Catherine were parents of ten i.e., Abijah, Rhoda, Phebe, Samuel, David, Silas, Eunice, Mabel Silas, and Lewis. David 2nd m. Nancy Loper 3 Jan 1807. David d. 30 Aug 1807, age 73. The S. F. who erected the marker at this Site for David and Catherine probably was the 2nd Son named Silas who died 18 Feb 1852, age 75. The other possibility would be their Son Samuel, although he moved to Savannah, Georgia. His date of death has not been found].

Fairchild, Elizabeth–Reinterred at Evergreen No Date No Location Shown–Wife of William W. Fairchild, d. 23 Apr 1832, age 24.4.7. [CR72 show Elizabeth Jaggers m. 15 Feb 1830 to William Fairchild, d. 4 Apr 1832, age 24. Reinterment confirmed by Chambers at Page 62].

Fairchild, Hannah–24/25–Wife of David–d. 10 Jan 1851, age 82.7.5. [Ed. Note: See Fairchild, David at Site 24/27].

Fairchild, Phebe Briant–20/2–Wife of Silas Fairchild, d. 7 Sep 1846, age 70 [Ed. Note: Parker shows originally copied 1816 and corrected with Church Records. See Fairchild, Silas].

Fairchild, Rhoda–20/36–d. 27 Dec 1845, age 84. [Ed. Note: CR69 show Rhoda Fairchild, Daughter of David & Catherine (Gregory) Fairchild, b. 9 Sep 1860, d. 26 Jan 1845, age 84].

Fairchild, Sarah–29/23–Wife of Matthew, d. 6 Jan 1750, age 33. [Ed. Note: Parker shows originally copied 1756 and corrected with Church Records. CR71 show Sarah _______ was the 1st Wife of Matthew Fairchild. Matthew remarried two more times. He is shown Father of ten i.e., Caleb, Ruth, Ann, Sarah, Stephen, Asher, Jonathan, Theodocia, Rebecca, and Mehitabel. Based on the dates of Baptism, Sarah would have been the Mother of the first five. Based on the date of Matthew’s third marriage, the last two would have been by his third Wife. It is unclear which of Matthew’s Wives i.e., #1 or #2, was the Mother of which of the three remaining children i.e., Asher, Jonathan, and Theodocia].


Since 1735 the name Fairchild has been well known in Morris County. Thomas Fairchild, a native of England crossed the Atlantic to the Colony of Connecticut in 1639. Caleb Fairchild, the direct ancestor of the branch of the Fairchild family living in Morris County, located in Whippany, New Jersey, in 1735, and died in May, 1777 aged eighty-four years. His wife and he were members of the First Presbyterian Church as early as 1742. Mathew, the eldest son, born in 1720, died June 5, 1790, aged sixty-nine years. His ten children were all baptized in the First Presbyterian Church in Morristown. The seventh son, Jonathan Fairchild, was born November 3, 1751, baptized December 10, 1752. On September 8, 1783, he married Sarah Howell. He died August 5, 1813, aged sixty-three years.

Dr. Stephen Fairchild, their youngest son, was born in Littleton, Morris County, October 28, 1792. He was a man of strong mentality, possessing a very studious nature. After acquiring a common school education he prepared himself for the practice of medicine. He pursued his studies under the direction of Dr. Ebenezer and Charles E. Pierson, of Morristown, New Jersey; attended medical lectures in Philadelphia for a year, and engaged in practice in New York. Upon urgent solicitation of many friends he removed to Parsippany, New Jersey as the successor of Dr. Hartwell, who recently died. For thirty-six years he was successfully engaged in the practice of his chosen calling, and his pronounced skill and ability made him the leader of his profession. He was among the first to adopt Homeopathy and became a firm believer that practice. He was not only an eminent physician but was an earnest and devout Christian. Few physicians have ever been more loved or honored than Dr. Stephen Fairchild. Death came to him after a long illness, marked by the greatest suffering. He bore it with Christian fortitude. He died July 13, 1872, and was laid to rest in the cemetery of Parsippany.

Dr. Stephen Fairchild enjoyed an ideal home life. He was married May 18, 1818 to Miss Euphemia M. Brinkerhoff born in Mount Hope, New Jersey, September 1796, daughter of George D. Brinkerhoff and Euphemia Ashfield. Mr. Brinkerhoff retired from business, purchased a home in Parsippany, and removed his family in 1797. The residence had been a noted tavern in Revolutionary times. It became the birthplace of the children of Dr. Stephen and Euphemia Fairchild. It was destroyed by fire in November, 1874, but was rebuilt on the old site and continued to be the home of Mrs. Euphemia Fairchild through her last years. She died June 20, 1882. She was a lady of the old school – amiable, educated, refined, and a sincere Christian.

The children of Dr. Stephen Fairchild and his wife were: Richard Van Wyck, born February 22, 1819, and Eliza S., born October 19, 1820, but died in infancy. The only son followed in his father’s footsteps, and the two were associated in business for a number of years, a most ideal relationship existing between them. The son was prepared for college in the classical school conducted by Ezra Fairchild, in Mendham, New Jersey. In 1837 he entered the junior class at Princeton College, where he graduated in 1839. At Princeton he was the College wit, and thus with a strong vein of humor, combined with his power of imitation and representation, together with his wide and varied information, made him a most agreeable companion and entertaining gentleman. He was an able writer. His nature was not without the poetic side, nor did he lack in musical culture; he was fond of all the arts and interests that elevate humanity.

He studied medicine under the professional guidance of father, and subsequently under Dr. McClennan of Philadelphia, and Dr. Mott of New York. He entered upon practice with his father in 1843, and attained an eminence in professional circles, for his knowledge was comprehensive and accurate, possessing exceptional skill in the diagnosis of cases and the administration of proper remedies.

Dr. Richard Van Wyck Fairchild died very suddenly, February 24, 1974, and was laid to rest in the family plot in the burial ground at Parsippany. He survived his father hardly two years, and thus they were united in such ties of love and interested in life were not long separated in death.

American Generation #3

Caleb Fairchild and Wife and Children

Caleb Fairchild  b: Sep. 10, 1793, Stratford, Fairfield, CTd: May 1, 1777, Morristown, NJ
Anne Sherwood Trowbridge Fairchild

(Married in 1716)

b: 1691, Stratford, Fairfield, CTd: Apr 6, 1777, Whippany, Morris County, NJ


Sarah b: May 1719, Stratford, Fairfield, CTd: May 1719, Stratford, Fairfield, CT
Matthew b: 1720, Morristown, NJd: Jun 5, 1790, Hanover, New Jersey
Sarah b: Jun 5, 1722d: Oct 5, 1804
Joseph b: 1724d: Oct 5, 1804
Gershom b: 1728d: Nov 28, 1778, Somerset, NJ
Ebenezer b: 1729d: Feb 5, 1806
Mehitabel (Mabel) b: 1732d: Jan 12, 1795
Ezra b: 1734d: Apr 14, 1777