FULLER, Edward - I28219

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Fuller Coat of Arms

This name signifies one who whitens or bleaches cloth in a mill; a clothier. The ancestry of the immigrant progenitors of the FULLER family in America has been clearly traced to the Fullers of Redenhall, Norfolk, England, which was about 25 miles from Yarmouth, the English home of John Robinson, prominent elder and pastor of the Pilgrims. A very full account of the Redenhall Fullers may be found in New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 55.

I. Edward FULLER, who with his family and his brother Samuel, came to Plymouth in the Mayflower, 1620, was the son of Robert Fuller, a butcher of Redenhall, Norfolk, England, where he was baptized 4 Sept. 1575. Undoubtedly the family had heard the preaching of John Robinson, which probably accounts for their joining the pilgrimage to a new land for the sake of religious liberty. It is thought Edward joined the company at Southampton, in August of that memorable year. Robert FULLER, the father, is recorded as having made a contribution towards the purchase of the sixth of the famous chimes of eight bells in the church at Redenhall, in 1588.

With Edward FULLER came his wife and small son Samuel, another son, Matthew, at least, being left behind


in Holland, who followed to the new home in America in a later expedition. Edward was the 21st signer of the agreement or "Compact" which was drawn up in the cabin of the Mayflower shortly before the landing on Plymouth Rock.

Neither Edward nor his wife was destined to long endure the hardships and privations of the first winter on these shores, and both died before spring, he between 11 Jan. 1620 and 10 April of that year, and she after the former date.[1] Edward had two sons, Matthew and Samuel. Joseph Smith, Jr. is a descendant of both sons.


  1. John, born 15 March 1598 in Redenhall, Norfolk, England. John married Margaret BALLS 19 Apr 1620 in Starston, Norfolk, England.
  2. Matthew, born 16 October 1603, Redenhall, Harleston, England; married Francis IYDE about 1625 in Plymouth and died 26 Oct 1678 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts.
  3. Thomas, born 1 March 1605 also in Redenhall. Around 1616, he married Anne ? in Woborn, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
  4. Samuel, born 8 April 1612 in Redenhall. 8 April 1635 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Samuel married >Jane LOTHROP (daughter of Reverend John Lothrop and Hannah Howse. Samuel died 31 Oct 1683 in Barnstable, Massachusetts.

Matthew Fuller

II. Matthew FULLER, was born in England 16 October 1603. He did not embark in the Mayflower with his parents, but came with a later group of emigrants to the new colony, appearing on record there in 1640, as head of a family. In 1642 he had land assigned to him, was juryman, and propounded as freeman. The following year he was appointed sergeant of the military company raised in Plymouth, Duxbury, and Marshfield, of which Myles Standish was captain.

In 1650 he was living in Barnstable, where he followed the profession of physician, the first on record in that locality. In 1652 he was lieutenant of militia at Barnstable, and the following year elected as representative to General Court. In 1654 he appears as lieutenant under Captain Standish of the fifty men raised as Plymouth's quota to expel the Dutch from Manhattoes. As peace between England and Holland was declared before this force departed he saw no service. In 1658 he was elected to the Council of War, and in 1671 was its chairman and lieutenant of force to quell the Saconet Indians. In 1673 he was appointed surgeon general of the Colony troops. In 1676 he was captain in King Philip's War.

Captain Matthew Fuller died in 1678[2], his will, written 20 July of that year, being admitted to probate on 30th of following October. His wife, Frances, was named as executor, and the invoice of his properties estimated them at £667.04.66. Colonial wills are always exceedingly interesting because of their quaint wording and spelling, and in addition, are valuable sources of information regarding the personal and relationships of families. Captain Matthew Fuller's will is particularly rich in these particulars, and is given in full in Mayflower Descendant 13:7,11, from which the following extracts are presented:

Captain Matthew Fuller died in Barnstable between 25 July 1678, the day he made his will, and 22 August 1678, date of inventory. The Will and Inventory are recorded in Plymouth Colony Wills and Inventories, Vol. III, Part II, pp. 127-129. He mentions...
to Shubeall Jones, my Grand Child the Reputed son of Ralph Jones, the angle lott of Marsh meddow which I formerly bought of his father Ralph Jones...
to welbeloved son John ffuller...
to the Naturall sonnes of my son Samuel ffuller Deceased, Thomas ffuller Jabez ffuller Timothy ffuller Matthias ffuller, and Samuel ffuller ... lands and meddowes in Townshipo Barnstable...
to Samuel ffuller, the son of Samuel ffuller my Eldest son Deceased...
to Bethyah the wife of John ffuller my son...
to daughter Mary wife of Ralph Jones...
to daughter Ann ffuller the now wife of Samuel ffuller...
to daughter Elizabeth Rowley the wife of Moses Rowley...
to Jededah Jones son of Ralph Jones...
to Ralfe Jones Samuel ffuller Junir: and Moses Rowley senir my sones in law...
to onely beloved son John ffuller and bethya his wife...
to Mary ffuller the late wife of my son Samuel ffuller Deceased...
to ffrancis my Deare & welbeloved .... sole executrix, etc....

Most of these legacies were bestowed with provision that they were to be received "after ffrancis my wifes Decease." The will was "Signed: Matthew ffuller and a seale," in the presence of Joseph Laythrope and John Haws. An interesting sidelight connected with this inventory and estate is the following, quoted from Mr. Amos Otis in his Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, and appearing in Items of Ancestry, I.M.R., 65. Among the items in Capt. Fuller's inventory is the following: "Pearls, precious Stones and Diamonds, at a guess, £200." In connection therewith a marvelous story is told. Soon after Capt. Fuller's death, the box of jewels is missing. A Scotch servant was accused of the theft. There was no proof, only suspicion. The charge so affected him that he abstained from food and soon died of grief and starvation.

He was buried in a grove on the northeast slope of Scorton Hill. When he died it was winter, and deep snow lay upon the ground. His body was buried at this spot because the deep snow prevented his neighbors from carrying it further. For nearly two centuries the plow has spared the turn which covers his grave. To this day it is pointed out and timorous people dare not pass it after dark. Many fearful stories are told of its apparitions of the Scotchman, and wayward children have been frightened into obedience by threats of appeal to the Scotchman's ghost in aid of the elders' commands. Recently stones have been placed, on at the head, and another at the foot, of the lonely sepulcher.


  1. Elizabeth, born 4 April 1626 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. She married Moses ROWLEY, (son of Henry R. Rowley and Sarah Palmer) Moses died 8 Mar 1706 in Haddam, Connecticut and was buried there 16 June 1706. Elizabeth died 20 July 1675 in Haddam, Connecticut and is buried there.
  2. Anne, born about 1628 and died 28 December 1691 in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Anne married a cousin, Samuel Fuller (son of Samuel Fuller and Jane Lothrop, Matthew's younger brother).
  3. John, born about 1631. He married Bethia ? about 1659. Roughly about the age of 61 (1692) he died.
  4. Samuel, born about 1634 in Plymouth. He married Mary ?. On 25 March 1676 in Rehoboth, Massachusetts he died.

Elizabeth FULLER

III. Elizabeth FULLER married 22 April 1652, Moses ROWLEY. Click here to see the ROWLEY biographical sketch for continuation of this line.


II. Samuel FULLER was born in England, and came in the Mayflower with his parents in 1620, but was left an orphan that first winter. Among the other passengers on the ship were his uncle, the renowned Doctor Samuel Fuller, who was able to render such valuable service to both Plymouth Colony and the Massachusetts Bay Colony in their fights against epidemics and heavy mortality due to the privations of pioneer life, and his aunt Susanna WHITE, who, left widowed that first winter, later became the wife of Edward WINSLOW, and the "first lady" of the plantation.

Young Samuel made his home with these kind relatives. At the division of land in 1624, Samuel was counted for three persons -out of respect for his parents. In 1634 he was made freeman of the Colony, and about that time removed to Scituate, where he was married, 8 April 1635, "ye 4th day of the weeke," by Captain Myles Standish, of Plymouth, to Jane, daughter of the Reverend Mr. John Lothrop, who was then in charge of the church at Scituate.

Samuel Fuller was called "a man of Kent" at Scituate, and his house stood north of Greenfield, on the first lot abutting on Kent Street. Besides this he possessed twenty acres in another section of the settlement, and other property.[3] Upon the death of his uncle, Samuel Fuller was made executor of the latter's estate. In 1641 he was constable at Scituate, and in 1643 listed among the "males able to bear arms" in that settlement.[4]

In 1644, Samuel was admitted an inhabitant of Barnstable, where he lived until his death, which occurred 31 October 1683. His will, which was exhibited in court 5 June 1684, mentions "eldest son Samuel,...son John,...daughters Elizabeth Taylor...Hannah Bonham...Mary Williams...and Sarah Crowe...," and to the son John he leaves his "Great Bible."[5] With other curious and interesting wills of Plymouth Colony, it is filed at Plymouth. Samuel Fuller was one of the last survivors of the Mayflower passengers. His wife preceded him in death.


  1. Hannah, married 1 January 1659, Nicholas Bonham. She was born about 1635 in Barnstable, Massachusetts and died 29 October 1683, Piscatway, New Jersey.
  2. Samuel, born 11 February 1636 in Barnstable. Married his cousin, Anne, daughter of Captain Matthew Fuller. At the settlement of his estate in 1691 four sons and two daughters signed as heirs. Honorable Melville Weston Fuller, LL. D., chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, is a descendant. (Items of Ancestry, I.M.R., 65.) Samuel died 28 December 1691.
  3. Elizabeth born about 1639 in Barnstable and died October 1683. She married ? Taylor.
  4. Sarah born 1 April 1641 and died in 1649.
  5. Mary was born 16 Jun 1644 in Scituate, Massachuesetts; married 18 November 1674, Joseph Haverhill. They had three daughters and one son. She died 11 Nov 1720 in Norwich, Connecticut.
  6. Thomas, born 18 May 1630; Died young, sometime before Oct 1683
  7. Sarah born 14 December 1656; married John Crowe Sr..
  8. John born 11 January 1656 in Barnstable; married 1678 to Mehitable ROWLEY. He died 10 May 1726 in Haddam, Connecticut where he was also buried.
  9. Son, unnamed, born and died on 8 February 1658 in Barnstable.[6]
  10. Barnabas, Davis lists as among one of Samuel and Jane's children.[7].


III. John FULLER was born at Barnstable, 1656. He was commonly referred to as "Little John," to distinguish him from his cousin, Doctor John Fuller. He married in 1678, Mehitable, daughter of Moses ROWLEY and his wife Elizabeth FULLER, said Elizabeth being an own cousin of John's. Mehitable was born 11 Jan. 1660, and on 30 Sept. 1688 was admitted to the Barnstable Church.[8] On 21 Oct. of the same year she brought her three sons to be baptized, an on 19 May 1689, a daughter, Thankful, to be likewise christened.

"Little John" Fuller and his family lived on his father's estate at Sorton Neck, Barnstable, until they removed to East Haddam, Connecticut, in 1694, where he became a prosperous and well-to-do farmer, conveying in 1721, lands and farming implements to each of his sons.

John Fuller died in March, 1725, his will of 28 Feb. being probated on 10 May of that year. In it he describes himself as being a resident of the "township of Haddam, Hartford, upon the east side of the Great River." His wife died about 1732.


  1. Thomas; born about 1679 presumed in Barnstable. Died 9 April 1772 at East Haddam; married Elizabeth ?. They had six sons and one daughter.
  2. Samuel, born about 1682 presumed in Barnstable. Died 29 May 1748 at East Haddam.
  3. Shubael, born about 1684 presumed in Barnstable. Died 20 May 1748 at East Haddam. He married Hannah (daughter of Jonathan Crocker and Hannah Howland) on 7 Mar 1708 in Haddam.
  4. Thankful, baptized 19 May 1689; married at Colchester, Connecticut, 9 July 1707, Japez Crippen, of Falmouth, Massachusetts. Thankful died sometime after 18 May 1740 in Barnstable.
  5. Deborah, born 19 May 1689 in Barnstable; married 11 September 1716 to John Rowley. Deborah died 30 Jan 1752 in Colchester, Connecticut.
  6. Edward; born about 1693 at Barnstable; married about 1714 to ? Bates; died in Colchester 7 January 1731.
  7. Elizabeth; born 4 March 1693 in Barnstable; married 4 March 1713 in Falmouth, Massachusetts to Samuel Rowley (son of Moses Rowley and Mary Fletcher), of East Haddam. Elizabeth died 7 January 1731 in Hebron, Connecticut.
  8. John; born 10 November 1697 in Barnstable; married 1 May 1721 to Widow Mary Rowley, daughter of William Cornwall. John died 8 March 1769 in Haddam.
  9. Joseph; 1 March 1699 in Haddam; married 22 December 1722 to Lydia Day. Joseph died 19 July 1775 in Kent, Connecticut.
  10. Benjamin; born 20 October 1701; married 1721 to Content Fuller in Haddam. Benjamin died at Charon, Connecticut, 20 December 1740.
  11. Anne; born about 1703 in Haddam; married 9 Marcy 1727, Jonathan Rowley. Anne died 6 Sep 1741 in Sharon, Connecticut.
  12. Mehitable, born 16 April 1706 in Haddam; married Benjamin Kneeland 11 February 1740 also in Haddam. Mehitable died 17 May 1738 in Colchester, Connecticut.

Shubael FULLER

IV. Shubael FULLER, baptized at Barnstable, Massachusetts, 21 Oct. 1688, removed with his father's family soon afterwards to East Haddam, Connecticut. He married 8 Dec. 1708, Hannah, daughter of Jonathan and Hannah (Howland) CROCKER, born 26 Mar. 1688, at Barnstable.[9] From the records of deeds it is shown he owned land in the parish of Middle Haddam, near the East Haddam line. This settlement was later called Middletown, and, since 1767, Chatham. His death, which occurred 29 May 1748, is recorded at East Haddam, where his wife's name appears as church member since 29 Jun. 1712, and where his children were baptized.[10]


  1. Lydia, born 1 September 1709 in Haddam, Connecticut; married about 1709 to Daniel Gates (son of Daniel Gates, Sr. and Rebecca Dutton). Daniel diet 5 October 1775 in East Haddam.
  2. Ephraim, born 8 September 1711 in Haddam; married Sarah Beckwirth about 1736 in Haddam. Ephraim died 6 March 1779.
  3. Thankful, born 10 Jul 1713 in Haddam; married about 1734 to Abijah Brainard. Thankful died 28 April 1806 in Haddam.
  4. Lornah, born 29 November 1716 in Haddam.
  5. Hannah, born 29 April 1718 in Haddam; married Lamuel Daniels 10 September 1738 in Haddam. Hannah died 19 November 1753 in Middletown.
  6. Shubael, Jr., born 6 January 1720 in Haddam; married twice (1) Hannah Cone 28 Jun 1744 in Haddam and (2) Sarah Chapman. Shubael died sometime before 22 Jun 1804 in Savoy, Massachusetts.
  7. Jonathan, born 1 September 1724 in Haddam and died as an infant, 19 January 1726 in Haddam.
  8. Rachel Lovel, born 24 February 1727 in Haddam; married Justice Hurd 20 May 1740 in Haddam. Rachel died 1815 in Chesterfield, New Hampshire.
  9. Leah, born 6 June 1731 in Haddam; died young some time before 27 June 1748.
  10. Zurviah, born 29 March 1716 in Haddam; died some time after 28 March 1780 in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. Zurviah married Edward Bill.


V. Lydia FULLER was born at East Haddam, Connecticut, 1 Sept. 1709, and married there to Daniel GATES[11] It is interesting to note that Lydia Fuller is fifth from the immigrant Edward in the Matthew line, and fourth in the Samuel family Line.

See GATES biographical sketch for continuation of that line.

  SOURCE:  The Ancestry & Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale by Audentia Smith Anderson (1926)


  1. (Mayflower Descendant 2:117)
  2. (Genealogical Dictionary of New England, Savage, 2:217)
  3. (History of Scituate, Deane, 272.)
  4. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 4:257)
  5. (Mayflower Descendant 2:237)
  6. (Savage, 2:218)
  7. (Ancient Landmarks of Plymouth, Genealogical Section, 114)
  8. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 10:346)
  9. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 12:43)
  10. (Fuller Genealogy 1:42,43)
  11. (Fuller Genealogy 1:42,43)