Esther Fairfield

F, #129, b. 12 August 1694, d. 11 March 1777
Father*Deacon William Fairfield b. 14 Oct 1662, d. 18 Dec 1742
Mother*Esther Gott b. c 1667, d. 21 Jan 1723
ChartsPedigree - Jane's father Leon George Campbell
John Campbell (Rev) (Immigrant 1717)
Reference5G Grm
Photo* Esther Fairfield was photo (per source) The original portrait of Madame Esther Campbell, painted when 17 years of age, was in the possession of her son, Capt. William Campbell, whose home was ever with his mother. Mrs. Campbell died of the smallpox, March 11, 1777. At his decease it was presented by him to his daughter Sarah, who married Dr. Shaw of Putney, Vt., and at her decease, to her son, Hon. Henry Shaw of Lanesboro, Mass. Through the kindness of Mrs. Shaw a copy was permitted, the only one ever taken. In Madame Campbell's portrait she is represented in the character of Proserpina, a goddess of harvesting, as was the fashion for ladies in her time to assume a character. It was painted by Cooper, a famed artist in Edinburgh, 1717.
     (current day) The original of the painting was owned by William A. Stimson of San Francisco, CA, a descendent of Rev. John." Mr Stimson died in March 2006. The painting of Esther has now gone to his daughter, Alexandra Davis of Lake Forest Park. WA. There is also a letter regarding the provenance of the painting.1
Birth*12 August 1694 She was born on 12 August 1694 at Wenham, Essex Co., Massachusetts.2 
Marriage*28 September 1713 She married John Wheatley on 28 September 1713 at Beverly, Massachusetts.3 
Marriage*6 February 1722 Esther Fairfield married John Campbell (Rev) (Immigrant 1717) on 6 February 1722 at Massachusetts; In record of the publishment of Rev. John Campbell, "Mr John Campbell and Ester Whetly,* that of his marriage John Campbell and Ester Whittle: by Wm. Waldroun, 6 Feb., 1722, Boston, Brick Church.
     Mrs. Rachel Blackman of Charlton, a lineal descendant of Mary a daughter of Rev. John Campbell, narrated that his eldest daughter Mary (Campbell) Towne, stated that Madame Esther Campbell, her mother, before her marriage to Mr. Campbell, was engaged to be married to a gentleman in England (Mr. William Skepper), whose name she gave to one of her sons-all the other names of her children were given by Mr. Campbell to remind him of his friends in Scotland.
     (Footnote*) The name was Wheatly or Whately
     CAUTION: The above has an error regarding Esther's engagement. Connie Fairfield Ganz provided the following information:
     "Mrs. Rachel Blackman's" account about Esther's engagement to a "gentleman in England, Mr. William Skepper" was confused. It was Esther's grandmother, not she, who had a connection to William Skepper/Skipper. Esther's paternal grandmother, Sarah Skipper (1640-1710), married Walter Fairfield. Sarah Skipper was the daughter of the Rev. William Skipper, immigrant from England, who was of Royal descent (see NEHGS/Gary Boyd Robert's and other published documentations of this). It's true there was some natural fascination in the family with their royal ties, and indeed Esther's father, Deacon William Fairfield, named one of his sons Skipper Fairfield (1706-1768), as did a couple other family members. In fact, my lineage is through William's son Skipper, so I'm very familiar with this line.
     As to the second part about "Wheatly or Whatley," that is another interesting and important part of Esther's story. Esther (Fairfield) Campbell (1695-1777) was the daughter of Deacon William Fairfield (1662-1742), esteemed Speaker of the House of Representatives in Massachusetts from Wenham. The portrait of Esther was made in 1717, Freedland says in her book, when Esther was "17 years of age." However, In 1717, Esther was actually about 22 years old. (so conversely, if it really was made when she was 17, it would have been in 1711, so perhaps 1717 was a transcription error??) In 1717, Esther was already married to John Wheatley (on September 28, 1713, in Beverly, Mass.) -- a union her father publicly objected to initially, but later withdrew his objection. The couple had one child together (John Wheatley Jr. on February 6, 1714/15, b. Wenham), only five months after the wedding (which provides possible insight into the father's objection). Sadly, the child died September 15, 1716, at age eighteen months (Wenham VR), and is one of the earlier burials at the Fairfield Burying Ground in Wenham. Esther's first husband, John Wheatley, died in 1716 in Wenham. Esther married the Rev. John Campbell six years later, on February 6, 1722, in Boston. For more on the Fairfields, visit my website at,4
(MentionedIn) Will1 August 1760 Was mentioned in the will of John Campbell (Rev) (Immigrant 1717) on 1 August 1760; He gives to his wife Esther one moiety of all his household movables and furniture, excepting bonds, notes, accounts, clothing, library and gun, also his spoons and gold rings : to be used and improved by her during her life and afterward to go to Mary Twiss and Isabella Wolcott, his daughters ; also a comfortable home in his house with full provision for her support, with what wool and flax she may need, and eight pounds annually of money for incidental expenses.
     To his son Duncan he gives 40 shillings, as he had received at setting out in trade his share of the estate.
     To his son Alexander he gives a lot in the Cedar Swamp which, with a farm formerly given and his expenses of education as a physician, is his portion of the estate.
     To his son William he gives a deed of one-half his home farm, with other out lands, bearing the same date as his will, and in his will gives him the other half, with his farming tools, stock, etc., and also his negro, " Will," to be kindly used and improved and supported by him during his life.
     To his son Archibald he gives £133. 6s. 8d. lawful money, to be kept on interest until he settles in some business in the world, also his apparel, library, watch, gold wrist buttons, knee and shoe buckles, and a young horse, and provision for payment of all his bills at college "till after the next commencement."
     To his daughter Mary Twiss he gives 40 pounds to be kept at interest for her benefit and a house and lot near the north end of the Plain, one cow and five sheep.
     To his daughter Isabella Wolcott he gives one cow and five sheep ; also 60 pounds to be kept at interest for her benefit. . . "which with what I gave to her at her marriage and some articles since, with a considerable sum of money I paid for Mr. Josiah Wolcott her husband in consequence of the decree of the Governor and council in my favor against him, which he hath neglected and refused to pay makes up her full portion of my estate."
     To his granddaughter Esther Town and his grandsons John and William Town he makes small bequests.
     To his grandson John (son of John, Jr., who had then gone from town) he gives 10 pounds, and to his grandsons, John, son of Duncan, and Edward R., son of Alexander, he gives his land in the South Gore, " provided that the said farm may be sold . . . for their education/' To his grandson John, son of Josiah Wolcott, he gives the gun which was his great-grandfather Wolcott's, and "which I purchased out of the estate of Capt. Richard Williams."
     He appoints his sons Alexander and William his executors.5 
Death*11 March 1777 Esther Fairfield died on 11 March 1777 at Oxford, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, at age 82.6 

Family 1

John Wheatley b. <1690>, d. 1721

Family 2

John Campbell (Rev) (Immigrant 1717) b. c 1681, d. 25 May 1761
Last Edited20 Jul 2016


  1. [S269] The records of Oxford; including chapters of Nipmuck, Huguenot and English history, accompanied with biographical sketches and notes, 1630-1890 (1894), Mary de Witt Freeland, Joel Munsell & Sons: Albany NY, 1894,, pg 470.
  2. [S157] Descendants of John Fairfield of Wenham, Massachusetts, Wynn Cowan Fairfield, : NY, 1953, SLC 929.273 F161f, pg 11, My Evd # 157.
  3. [S157] Descendants of John Fairfield of Wenham, Massachusetts, Wynn Cowan Fairfield, : NY, 1953, SLC 929.273 F161f, page 11, My Evd # 157.
  4. [S269] The records of Oxford; including chapters of Nipmuck, Huguenot and English history, accompanied with biographical sketches and notes, 1630-1890 (1894), Mary de Witt Freeland, Joel Munsell & Sons: Albany NY, 1894,, pg 468.
  5. [S76] History of the Town of Oxford MA, George Daniels, Author: Oxford MA, 1892,, pgs 525-6.
  6. [S103] Vital Records of Oxford MA to the End of the Year 1849, Franklin Rice, : Worcester MA, 1905, 23+, 140+, 272+, SLC 369745 [SLC 0754010 is the microfilm of the original documents of the Town Clerk at Oxford MA], My Evd # 103.