Thanks for your fascinating message Lorna. None of us ever knew where the "Crow" in our grandfather's name came from. If John Fairbairn and Margaret Crow's son George was indeed our grandfather, it would all make sense. (Our mother often joked that our father, George, was not given a middle name -- because he was nothing to crow about!)
But this leaves me with more questions:
1. I am assuming George Crow Fairbairn's DOB was 1875. Is that right? (That would make him 34 when my father was born -- sounds right)
2. Do you know what became of John Fairbairn and Margaret Crow? Your message indicates that their children James and George went to live with their grandparents at ages 8 and 6. Why were they separated from their parents?
3. There are a number of messages posted about a James Fairbairn who lived in Cockburnspath in the 1840s and on. According to Tara Hawkins message (number 4), James and his wife Janet/Jessie Paterson had three children, among them a John, born in 1850. Could this be the same John Fairbairn you referred to in your message -- possibly my ggrandfather? Once again, the dates seem to match.
4. There are also several references to a Captain James Fairbairn who was involved in the Great Eyemouth Disaster (see John Lyndon Fairbairn's message 122). Could that be the same James mentioned above (or perhaps his son)?
Thanks for all your help in bridging the gap in our knowledge of the Fairbairn family!