John Fuller Of Newton
Fuller Farm – Highways
Francis Jackson dedicated a section in his book to the location of early highways in Newton, starting on page 37 quoting from Newton Records, including this 1730 entry on page 45 entitled “highway through the Fuller Farm”:
“The undersigned do all and every one of us agree and consent to lay out an open highway, two rods wide, as it is allowed of in the settlement of the farm called ‘Fuller’s farm,’ for the use of and convenience of the proprietors of said farm, down to the town way, at Solomon Park’s line, marked on a walnut tree and heap of stones in Jonathan Fuller’s land: and then a walnut tree, and then a white oak tree, and then a peach tree, on land of Joseph Fuller, and then a white oak tree, on land of Jeremiah Fuller, and then to a white oak tree, and then to a gray oak tree, and then to a walnut tree, and then over the dam, at the upper end of the wet meadow, and then to a rock, on the land of Jonathan Fuller, and then to the town way, for us. And also agreed to have liberty of passing through gates or bars, from one proprietor’s way to the other, where the way is now trod. And we do oblige ourselves, and our heirs, to mend and maintain the said way forever, from the corner of the line between John Fuller, and down to the town way at Solomon Park’s line.
“In witness whereof, we set our hands and seals, this thirteenth day of May, Anno Domini in the third year of the reign of our sovereign Lord George Second, of Great Britain, King, &c.
Jonathan Fuller Jr.
Isaac Fuller Jr.
In presence of us:
Elizabeth -|- Mirick, (her mark).
Priscilla -|- Dike. (her mark).”
“Division of the Fuller farm, 788 acres. The town accepted this way 1751.”
1751 Town Record-Public Road through the FullerFarm
The following is an extract from the Feb 4, 1750/1 Town Meeting Records which formally sets up a new public road through the Fuller Farm:
“Newton February 4th, 1750[/51]”
“We the Subscribers Selectmen of the Town of Newton have the desire and Request of A Number of the Inhabitants of Said Newton Laid out an open Way for the use of Said Town (Said Way being through the Land Called Fuller Farm) we begin near the House of Josiah Fuller at a Rock in the said Josiah Fuller Fence which is on the South side of said Way from said Rock to A stake and stone by a White oak Stump from thence to A White oak marked, from thence to another White oak marked, from thence to A stake and stone at the Corner of John Fullers Land, from thence to a stake and stones of the Land of
the Widdow Hannah Fuller and Ensign Joshua Fuller from thence to a stake and stones, from thence to a Large Blew Stone in Ens[ig]n Fullers Wall, from thence to a stake and stones by said Ens[ig]n Fullers Wall, from thence to Rods West from the appletree which is at the Corner of the Casway, from thence to a Rock and heap of stones near the Southerly end of the Casway, from thence to a stake and Stones at the Corner of the Land Belonging to the Heirs of Thomas Fuller Deceased, and from thence as the wall now stands toll it comes to the Land of Jonathan Fuller the third, from thence to a Rock in said Jonathan Fullers Fence & from thence as the Fence now stands till it comes over the Brook Called Cheasecake Brook, and from said Brook the Bound[ary] is the Fence on the northerly side till it comes to the Town Way at the Brow of the Hill the above said Way is Two Rods wide from Josiah Fuller to the Easterly side of the abovesaid Brook and from thence to be one Rod Wide”
“Henry Gibbs )
Caleb Henrick ) Selectmen
Isaac Jackson )
James Ward )
The aforesaid Way was laid out with the consent and the full satisfaction of us
the Subscribers who are owners of the Land adjoining on both sides of the said Way and have received full satisfaction for said Way. In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands the Day and Year first above written.
Jonathan Fuller third
1. Francis Jackson, A History of the Early Settlement of Newton, county of Middlesex, From 1639 to 1800, with a Genealogical Register of its Inhabitants Prior to 1800. By Francis Jackson of Boston, a Native of Newton. Boston: Printed by Stacy and Richardson, 1854.
2. One rod equaled 16.5 feet (5.03 meters) in the day and therefore this highway would have been 33 feet (10.06 meters) wide, which even in today’s standards is a very wide road; per Wikipedia ‘United States Land Measurements’.
3. This agreement as it stands was to set a highway through the Fuller Farm for the exclusive use of the residence of that land. However is likely the foundation of the 1751 entry in the Town Meeting Records where the Town accepted a new highway within and through the Fuller Farm which was open to the public as a Town Road as shown on the 1700 map of Newton.
4. Although Jackson states this agreement was taken from the Town Records, this researcher did not find it in the Town Meeting Records Book. This land division agreement was signed by ten descendants of John Fuller of Newton as well as three witnesses, all presumably affected by the division. However, there is no indication that the Town officers were involved and therefore is likely a private agreement by the land owners in 1730, which included many of John’s sons. In his Will of 1697/8, John Sr. gave each of his five sons a farmstead of about 200 acres and the Will stipulated that “…..and further my will is that my abovesaid sons shall not allinate [alienate – to transfer ownership] the above given and granted lands unto any stranger until first the next relation of the above said Fullers have the offer of it…….”. This may have led the family to treat the entire farm as a private family area longer than usual if each one had to sell to another Fuller family member before considering an ‘stranger’, which was John’s intent. We know the location of the farmsteads of each of the sons. When this agreement was signed in 1730, two of the sons had died but we can determine from their Wills, the names of the owners of those farmsteads in 1730. In his Will, John Sr. distributed his land to each of his sons:
1. John Jr. died in 1720/21 and in his Will left a farm, to his sons John III (79 Acres) and Isaac (52 Acres) with the house to be shared ½ each. In addition he gave to his sons Jonathan and Caleb, each 34.5 Acres and ½ of his original farmstead of 1682 (shown on the Map of 1700).
2. Jonathan died 1722 and in his Will left his farm to his nephew, Captain Jonathan Fuller, except his wife, Mindwell, was to live in one end of the house for as long as she lived (in fact she lived 36 years after her husband and died in 1758).
3. Joseph died in 1739/40 and was alive in 1730 but may not have lived on lands within the original Fuller Farm as his father-in-law gifted him 23 acres. However, his Will stated that he was giving his three sons, Lieut. Joseph (b. 1685; m.1719), Capt. Jonathan (b. 1686; m. 1717) and Isaac (b. 1698; m. 1722) all of his land clear from any encumbrances.
4. Joshua died 1752 and was alive in 1730. He is not located on the map of 1700 and had no sons after three marriages. By the time of his Will in 1752, he had an estate of 2200 pounds, but no land.
5. Jeremiah was born in 1658 and died in 1743, so was only 62 in 1730. His son Thomas was born in 1701 and married in 1728 and it is likely that Thomas would have received his inheritance at that time, which was formalized in Jeremiah’s Will of 1743; “…where he lives E of my farm….”. East of Jeremiah might mean that Thomas may have taken over John Sr.’s farmstead in 1728. Thomas is mentioned in the 1751 Town Record document as being deceased as he died in 1748.
5. George II reign was from June 11, 1727 until his death in 1760 per Wikipedia ‘George II of Great Britain’; so that makes the date of the entry 13 May 1730.
6. A copy of the original town meeting book, Newton Town Meetings 1715-1758, Book 1, 312 pages, Original data: Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts com. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Partial page 243, page 244 and partial page 245.