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Fairburn family of Leeds

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Fairburn family of Leeds

Postby Ashley K. Howard » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:11 am

My mother was born Mabel Fairburn Hollings in Hunslet, Leeds (1913 - 1989) the illegitimate daughter of Ethel Hollings (1888 - 1974) but she always told people that Ethel was her sister. I always knew her as Auntie Ethel and my mum always called her by her christian name. I appreciate that passing off a child born out of wedlock in this way was not unusuall in those days - how times change.
It must have been that Ethels parents brought my mother up as being their own daughter as the photos I have inherited say Mum & Dad on them when clearly it should say Gran & Granddad, and Sister when they ought to say Mother.
With an unusual middle name - FAIRBURN - I started looking deeper into the mystery and found the attached photo of a family I do not know, only that my mother wrote The Fairburns on the back of it.
There is no date and no name of the photographer. It looks like Mr. Fairburn was quite a productive chap if all nine children in the phto are his. Looking at the children they look well nourished and very well clothed with top quality footwear, so this must have been an upper middle-class family. It may be that he took a shine to a young Ethel (25 when she gave birth) and was unable to keep his hands (and other parts of his anatomy) off her, and to use that well known phrase "got her in the family-way".
My mothers birth certificate has Ethel as being a Printers Pager (Father - blank) so could it be that he was in the printing trade, maybe with his own company?
Try as I may I am unable to find anything about the Fairburn family
Fairburn 003_SMALL.jpg
Fairburn 003_SMALL.jpg (177.92 KiB) Viewed 1238 times
, so do you know anything about them? Are you able to help me find who my mothers real father was, and therefore find who my grandfather on my mothers side of the family was?

Ashley K. Howard (
Ashley K. Howard
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:52 am

Re: Fairburn family of Leeds

Postby Ashley K. Howard » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:41 pm

Hello there,
Many (and I mean many) thanks for those of you who have been in contact with me and given me the tools to 'knock down the wall' regarding my request.
I am now very sure that the young lad on the left is my real granddad, as the lady on the right is Margaret Hollings (his aunt) who in later life he went to stay with and in the 1911 census was living with her in Leeds with Ethel -my mothers real mother. The photo was taken 1901'ish at the farm that he lived in with his mum & dad and bro's and sis's.
Ashley K. Howard
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:52 am

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