This is a surname of Scottish origins. It is locational and originates from the hamlet of Fairnington in the county of Roxburgh, just over the border in Scotland. The place name, and hence the later surname, is probably tribal. If so it derives from the Olde English and Celtic "Fareingtune", meaning the place (tun) of the fair people (-ing), and a probable reference to an early Viking settlement of the pre 7th century, although this is not proven. Locational surnames are by their nature "from" names. That is to say names given to people as easy identification after they left their original homesteads, for whatever reason, and moved somewhere else. This could be the next village or some far away city, but in the small communities of the Middle Ages and through to the 19th century, every place had its own personality and strangers remained strangers for at least one generation. In this case the surname is recorded in Roxburgh, although not until the 19th century, when Andrew Fairnington and his wife Christina, were witnesses at the christening of their son John, at Jedburgh, on June 12th 1870.