Bobby asked if I thought the niece, Margaret McDONALD, shown living with William TAYLOR and Janet GRAY in 1841 and 1851 at Sibster, Halkirk might be the dtr of William McDONALD and Margaret GUNN.
That was indeed where I had also thought she might belong, but had never investigated further to see if there was any link to our Isabella McDONALD, first wife of said William TAYLOR.
So much more information is now more readily available, so I set off to solve the mystery.
We were both wrong, as were the census records. Niece indeed! She was William's grandchild, illegitimate dtr of Christina (housemaid) with a George McDONALD, (merchant). No wonder I'd not found her in subsequent census returns before this, she died aged 29 in 1859. Another mystery solved, and a bit of the database straightened out. That particular family have real trouble naming their relationships correctly!
Found a Sth African site that had some useful information on it (http://www.ancestry24.co.za). Didn't find anything on my FAIRBAIRNs, but did find a bit more out about the family of the newspaper FAIRBAIRN there. Some of the family are on OneGreatFamily
and show John as being born Ledgerwood, BEW 1794, which raised my interest a tad. Any male FAIRBAIRN descendants out there interested in joining the FAIRBAIRN dna project?