In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Fairstead like this:
FAIRSTED, a parish in Witham district, Essex; 2¼ miles SW of White Notley r. station, and 4 WNW of Witham. Post town, White Notley, under Witham. Acres, 1,853. Real property, £2, 620. Pop., 351. Houses, 70. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £424.* Patron, the Bishop of Rochester. The church is ancient.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Fairstead has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Braintree. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Fairstead and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Fairstead, in Braintree and Essex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 10th March 2014
Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time, and maybe some references to other places called "Fairstead".