ID: Elizabeth (Fairfield) McKinstry tombstone (Gen. 4: John-Walter-William-Elizabeth)

Source: original image, Ellington, Tolland Co., Connecticut


Rev. John McKinstry, son of Roger McKinstry, born in Antrium Co. Ireland 1677 and died in Ellington 1754. The first pastor of the Church of Ellington. Elizabeth Fairfield, his wife, b.1681 d. 1762.

Notes: IMPORTANT: THIS TOMBSTONE HAS INCORRECT DATA FOR ELIZABETH FAIRFIELD. Despite the good intentions of William McKinstry, the grandson of Rev. John and Elizabeth, who erected this memorial, it is an enduring but erroneous account of Elizabeth Fairfield. Were it not for other supporting documents that confirm Elizbeth's identity as the daughter of William Fairfield of Wenham, the tombstone dates would raise doubts about the possibility of a match, because Wenham vital records list Elizabeth's birth as January 9, 1699/1700. As for her death date, The Commeorative Biographical Record of Tolland Windham Counties, Ct acknowledge the year 1782. It is easy to imagine the original marker may have eroded, making the 82 look like a 62. In addition, McKinstry researcher and author Alice Hawes confirms that in 1766, Elizabeth's son John wrote a letter to a former classmate, Ezra Stiles, in which he mentions his mother still living in Ellington. Lastly, the McKinstry Genealogy by Willis agrees with the 1782 death date. In short, the only feasible conclusion based on evidence is that Elizabeth's tombstone should read born 1699/1700 died 1782.

photo of Rev. and Elizabeth (Fairfield) McKinstry tombstone in Ellington Connecticut