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The Fairbanks of South Dedham

Captain David Fairbanks (1731-1776) Lot 206

Anna Wight Fairbanks (1735-1785) Lot 205

Mary Fairbanks Morse (1754-1780) Lot 204

Anna Fairbanks (1761-1783) Lot 203

Lemuel Fairbanks (1757-1761) Lot 235

Lemuel Fairbanks (1767-1770)

David Fairbanks was born on December 4, 1731. He was the son of Benjamin Fairbanks (1695-1757) and Abigail Ellis Fairbanks (1701-1775) (lots 208, 207). David was a farmer and lived in the Clapboardtree area of what was then South Dedham. He married Anna Wight on January 9, 1751. Anna Wight was born on March 12, 1735 to Joseph and Miriam Wight. The couple had seven children: Mary, Lemuel, Rebecca, Anna, Sally, David Jr., and Lemuel.

Their eldest child, Mary, born on May 5, 1754, married John Morse on October 10, 1778. She died on March 12, 1780 at 27 and was buried next to her parents. John Morse remarried.

Daughter Anna, nicknamed Nancy, was born on February 28, 1761 and died on January 1, 1783 at 22 years of age. She is interred next to her sister Mary.

Two of their sons, both named Lemuel, are interred nearby. The first Lemuel was born on October 2, 1757 and died on January 15, 1761 in his third year; the second Lemuel was born on May 11, 1767 and died on January 29, 1770, a few months shy of his third birthday. They share a gravestone in lot 235.

David Fairbanks served as a soldier in the Colonial Wars as a young man, rising to the rank of Captain. He later responded to the Lexington alarm on April 19, 1775 and to the Dorchester Heights alarm on March 4, 1776. He died a few months later, on April 19, 1776, at 45.

Writing for the Norwood Messenger in the 1930s, Win Everett offered that Fairbanks’ gravestone carving, whether a likeness of him or not, displays an interesting wig-style – two knots over his ears and one on top of his head. The epitaph on his stone reads:

Beneath this stone Death’s prisoner lies,

the stone shall move the prisoner rise,

When Jesus with Almighty word

calls his dead saints to meet their Lord.

His widow, Anna Wight Fairbanks, passed away on January 31, 1785.

Most, if not all, the stones of the David Fairbanks family were carved by Wrentham stonecutter Daniel Farrington.


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