Monday, April 19, 2010
The surname Fuller, like many other surnames, comes from a profession by the same name. A "fuller" was someone who washed yardage, by scouring and thickening the cloth for pre-shrinking...by beating and trampling the raw cloth while it was soaking in the water, not unlike a "tucker".
My Fuller ancestors come from Norfolk England as early as the 1520's. They arrived on the Mayflower, and successive generations came from Norfolk on separate ships afterwards. They settled in Barnstable, Massachusetts until about 1680, when they moved to East Haddam, Connecticut. The Fullers stayed in East Haddam for three generations, migrating further north in 1769 to Campton & Grafton, New Hampshire. In the 1820's the family moved to Lowell, Massachusetts. In the 1830's they were in Kennebec County, Maine. In the 1860's, Ottumwa, Iowa. In the 1880's my Fullers could be found in Bangor, and then in the 1930's, Portland, Maine, where I was born. For each of these moves, other Fullers remained in those towns.
Going reverse chronologically, here is the Fuller line my family is associated with:
My paternal grandmother's name was Lorena Bell Fuller, daughter to Arthur William Fuller and Lorena Holland Murch.
Arthur Fuller's father was Charles, whose father was Samuel Bean Fuller from Ottumwa, Iowa.
Arthur's father was John Fuller, born in 1773 in Campton, New Hampshire to parents Samuel Fuller III and Lois Andrews.
Samuel's father Samuel Fuller II was born 1733, the eldest of a large family born in East Haddam, Connecticut to Samuel Fuller I & Marcy Price.
Samuel's father Samuel the First was born 1711 in East Haddam, the youngest child born to Timothy Fuller and Sarah Gates, daughter to Haddam town founder George Gates.
Timothy was born 1670 in Barnstable, Massachusetts to Samuel & Mary Fuller of England. He kept slaves named Salem & Lois, and was the town blacksmith. All of his children were baptised at the East Haddam First Congregational Church, yet most of his kids' children were not...
Samuel was born 1630 in England to parents Matthew & Frances Fuller of England. He was an Army lieutentna, and died in 1676, killed by Indians during King Philip's War. Samuel was a Barnstable town officer.
Matthew was born 1603 in Norfolk, England. He arrived in America 1640, and worked as a surgeon and an Army captain. He served under Miles Standish in the operations against the Dutch in Manhattan. He never fought there though, as peace had been established by the time they set off to fight. He became captain during King Phillip's War. In the Quaker controversy, Matthew took a noble stand in favor of religious tolerance. He was friends with many Quakers and helped quell some violence towards them. He was the first physician established in Barnstable. He was granted a large amount of land in Massachusetts for his bravery and service. His estate was valued at almost 1670 pounds, a very large amount at the time. He left a large amount of his estate to his eldest grandson Thomas Fuller and to his eldest surviving son, John.
Matthew's father was Edward Fuller of the Mayflower journey. I've yet to apply at the Mayflower Society for this. More info can be found at my blog post on the Fullers' Mayflower roots.