During the 19th Century, a large number of the FAIRMAN family and their Crawford, Thompson, Kilpatrick and Baxter cousins emigrated from Donegal, Ireland to Victoria, Australia; including nineteen who migrated aboard the S.S. Great Britain in 1874. As far as I have been able to discover, the earliest Fairman descendants to arrive in Victoria were Robert Fairman CRAWFORD and Richard CRAWFORD (sons of Thomas John FAIRMAN and Elizabeth CRAWFORD) and Thomas KILPATRICK (son of George KILPATRICK and Jane FAIRMAN) who emigrated from Donegal, Ireland and arrived in Victoria together in 1856 aboard the Mermaid. The families all initially selected land in the Lower Goulburn district of Victoria. My great grandfather, Thomas John THOMPSON, who arrived in Victoria in 1867, was the son of James THOMPSON and Catherine FAIRMAN of Sheskinapoll, Donegal Ireland
I have been told that the Irish Fairmans are all descended from a single common ancestor. My research to date suggests that the Fairmann family originally came from Holland with the earliest known ancestor being Benjamin Fairmann. Benjamin's son was an engineer and he and his family moved to Germany in search of work. They had a family of nine children, four of whom moved to Scotland. The brothers Benjamin, Mathew, Thomas and William all followed their occupation as builders. It was this generation of Fairmanns who dropped the second 'n' from their surname.
Their trade took the Fairmans to Londonderry, Ireland, in 1760, where they built churches, bridges, etc. Benjamin, Thomas and William moved to the United States while Matthew remained in Ireland. Mathew gave up building and secured 150 acres of land at Drumnacross, in the Parish of Convoy and Barony of Raphoe South in Donegal.
The following map shows location of the homes and lands of the Fairman and related families in and around Donegal at the time of the Griffith's Valuation (1847-1864).
The following map shows the location of the homes and buildings of the Fairman and related families in and around Donegal at the time of the 1901 and 1911 censuses.