Ancestral Fullers To New England Before 1650

IT may have been Jesse Franklyn Fuller who, in 1896, first talked those 8 ’ancestral heads’ and then proceeded to list 9 early Fullers and their dates of arrival to New England. This list of 8 ‘ancestral heads’ and 9 names was repeated by Newton Fuller in his 1898 Genealogy of Fuller families’ book.

HOWEVER, it was likely William Hyslop Fuller who, in 1910, first defined “Ancestral Fuller families” as those American families, whose emigrant ancestor settled in America prior to 1650 and then proceeded to list 10 families.

EARLIER historians did not use the term ‘Ancestral Fullers’ but cited several Fuller families as  first settlers in New England and in fact James Savage in his 1860 book named some 12 early Fuller families [refined list from the John Farmer 1829 Register] which may have been the source of many later historical works. We note that 11 early Fuller families, who arrived in New England prior to 1650, are listed in the Charles Pope 1900 book. Pope provided more information on the early Fuller settlers and gave us a better insight into their origins.

London, 1616

John Fuller (Newton/Cambridge) is listed in these early works. [Webmaster's notes]

I. William Hyslop Fuller(1), in his 1910 book, wrote: 

Nearly nine generations of Dr. Samuel Fuller’s descendants have passed away without any collection of their genealogical records having been made. Meanwhile old records have been fading, wearing out, being lost, neglected and burned, as for example, the list of towns whose documents have been destroyed by fire is quite extensive.

While making a search for the records of descendants of Edward Fuller of the Mayflower, a brother of Dr. Samuel, and since publishing (in 1908) the material obtained, I have been collecting information concerning this, another of the ancestral American Fuller families, and herewith present the results thus far obtained. Records of this kind will always be incomplete, and in this case it is my judgment that it is time, and the safest and most advisable course, to publish what I have already obtained rather than await the slow and uncertain process of accumulation of some of the data which will be found wanting. In regard to the term “Ancestral Fuller families” it has seemed quite appropriate to speak of those American families as ancestral, whose emigrant ancestor settled in America prior to 1650.”

These heads of families, so far as I know were ten in number:

  1. Edward Fuller, born in 1575, came to America in 1620. [Vol 1- 1908]
  2. Dr. Samuel, born in 1580, came to America in 1620.  [Vol 2 - 1910]
  3. John of Lynn, born in ?, came to America in 1630. [Vol 3 - 1914]
  4. John of Newton, born in 1611, came to America in 1635. [Vol 3 - 1914]
  5. John of Ipswich, born in 1620, came to America in 1635. [Vol 3 - 1914]
  6. Thomas of Woburn, born in ?, came to America in 1638. [Vol 4 - 1919]
  7. Robert of Salem, born in ?, came to America in 1638. [Vol 4 note of thanks to Newton Fuller of New London]
  8. Robert of Dorchester, born in ?, came to America in 1640. [Vol 3 - 1914]
  9. Captain Matthew, born in ?, came to America in 1640. [Volume 3 - 1914]
  10. Thomas of Dedham, born in ?, came to America in 1642.” [Francis H. Fuller Book]

[Note: Although W.H. F. lists ten 'Ancestral Fuller' families in his 1910, Volume 2, he provides detail genealogy of only eight in his four books. We assume that he recognized that the remaining two Ancestral Fuller family's detail had already been published by Newton Fuller and Francis H. Fuller. Secondly, although he talks about William, the brother of John of Ipswich, he does not count him as one of the ten, likely because he left no descendants.]

(1) William Hyslop Fuller, The Genealogy of some Descendants of Dr. Samuel Fuller of the Mayflower – to which is added a Supplement to the Genealogy of some of the Descendants of Edward Fuller of the Mayflower published in 1908,  Printed by C.B. Fiske & Co., Palmer, Mass. 1910, Vol. II, Preface, page 5.

II. Newton Fuller(2) in his 1898 book wrote:

“Robert Fuller, of Salem, according to the best evidence at our command, came from Southampton, England, in ship “Bevis” in the year 1638.  He was progenitor of many Fuller families of New England, and was one of eight early settlers of America by the name of Fuller who are “ANCESTRAL HEADS” of a large and worthy progeny, wide-spread over the United States and in Canada.

To ascertain the special consanguinity of these eight ancestral Fullers would necessitate a research in the records of England. Dr. Samuel and Edward of the “May flower” were brothers, and the ethnological evidences forcibly favour a common origin not very far remote.

The eight Ancestral Fullers are :

  • Dr. Samuel, and his brother Edward, of the Mayflower, 1620.
  • John, of Ipswich, Mass., and William, of Hampton, N. H., who came in 1634
  • Thomas of Dedham, and John, of Newton, Mass., who came in 1635.
  • Robert, of Salem, and Thomas of Woburn, Mass., who came in l638
  • Robert, of Dorchester, afterward of Dedham, Mass., who came in 1640.

William, of Hampton, N. H., left no children; his property was inherited by the children of his brother John of Ipswich. The numerous descendants of the eight Ancestral Heads are found, almost universally, to exhibit intelligence, a high moral tone, a spirit of thrifty independence and enterprise, which has marked them as worthy sons of their pilgrim fathers, whose high toned principles were ever regarded as dearer than life itself.”

(2) Newton Fuller, Genealogy of the Fuller Families Descending from Robert Fuller of Salem and Rehoboth, Mass. 1638, New London, Conn., page 3.

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III. James Savage(3) in his 1860 book listed these early Fullers:

[It should be noted that the early Fullers to New England named by Savage are basically an updated and expanded list of the early Fullers identified by John Farmer in his 1829 book 'A Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New-England'. The Savage book goes beyond the first settlers and gives us the first three generations; however, for the purpose of this section, we list here his 'Ancestral Fullers' as defined by William Hyslop Fuller.]

  1. Edward, of the Mayflower, 1620.
  2. Samuel, brother of Edward, Mayflower, 1620
  3. Edward, Boston, 1630
  4. Giles, Hampton, 1640
  5. John, Ipswich, 1634
  6. John, Lynn, 1644
  7. John, Cambridge/Newton, maybe 1635
  8. Robert, Dorchester/Dedham, 1640
  9. Robert, Salem, 1639
  10. Thomas, Woburn, before 1643
  11. Thomas, Dedham, 1643
  12. William, Ipswich, 1635

(3) James Savage,  Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, VOL. II., Boston, Little Brown and Company, 1860., pp 215-220.

IV. Charles Pope(4) in his 1900 book listed:

  1. Edward, Mayflower [1620]; d. in 1621; s. Samuel, res. in Plymouth.
  2. Samuel, physician, Mayflower [1620]; d. 1633; Will prob. July 30, 1638, mentions son Samuel, dau. Mercy.
  3. Edward, Charlestown, before Gen. Court 3 Jul. 1639.
  4. Giles, prop, for propr. [proposed] at Dedham, 1638. Rem. to Hampton; weaver, Hampton, son of Roger, of Topcraft, co. Norf. Eng., yeoman.
  5. John, joiner, Boston, came in the Abigail in May, 1635, with William F. Settled at Ipswich; d. June 4, 1666; will prob. Sept. 25, 1666.
  6. John, farmer, maltster, Cambridge, propr. 1644.
  7. Robert, Salem, 1639.
  8. Robert, Dorchester, 1640. Rem. to Dedham.
  9. Thomas, Woburn. propr. 1640.
  10. Thomas, Dedham, propr. Nov. 25, 1642.
  11. William, ae. 25, wih John, ae. 15, came in the Abigail in May, 1635. Settled at Ipswich.

(4) Charles Henry Pope, The Pioneers of Massachusetts, (A Descriptive List), Boston Mass., Charles H. Pope, 1900, pp 178/9.

V. Jesse Franklyn Fuller(5) in his 1896 book wrote:

ANCESTRY.  It is well established that those bearing the name of Fuller, sonumerous and wide-spread over the United States and Canada have descended from eight ancestral heads, the dates of whose arrival in this country is as follows:

  • Dr. Samuel, and his brother Edward, of Hampton, N.H., who came in 1620.
  • John, of Ipswich, Mass., and William, of Hampton, N.H., who came in 1634.
  • Thomas, of Dedham, and John, of Newton, Mass., who can in 1635.
  • Robert, of Salem, and Thomas, of Woburn, Mass., who came in 1638.
  • Robert, of Dorchester, later of Dedham, Mass., who came in 1640.

Although positive evidence is wanting it is very probable that in England these several heads has a common ancestor. This record attempts to deal with the ancestor Thomas, of Woburn, later of Salem.”

[Note: J.F.F states there were eight Ancestral Fuller families and then lists nine; again we assume that he did not count William of Hampton in his eight as William left no descendants.]

(5) Jesse Franklyn Fuller, A Genealogy – Fuller – A Brief Sketch of Thomas Fuller and His Descendants with Historical Notes, Appleton, Wis., Crescent Printing House. 1896, page 4.

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