Some Information About John Fuller of Newton

John Fuller Sr. b. abt. 1611[1] in England, UK [-or is it-] bp. 28 Aug 1617 in Colchester, Essex, UK.[2] Died 7 February 1697/8 in Newton, Middlesex, MA, bur. East Parish Burying Ground in Newton, Middlesex, MA.[1]

+Elizabeth Cole was Christened January 1, 1622/3 in St Peter and St Paul Parish Church in Lavenham, Suffolk, England, UK. Died 13 April 1700 in Newton, Middlesex, MA.[3] Married bef. 1645.[4]   

Arrival in New England The first documented record of John and his family in New England is the birth record of their fourth child, son Joseph in Cambridge, Massachusetts on 10 February, 1652/3.[5] We know the family was in New England at least six months prior to that because Walter Cole’s Will, dated 13 Aug. 1652, contains a bequest “and also twenty shillings more unto my daughter Elizabeth, the nowe wife of John Fuller, in New England.” This date is much later than the 1644 arrival date recorded in most history of Newton books, and the 1644 date on the “First Settler’s Monument” standing the East Parish Burying Ground.    

Fuller Farm 
Francis Jackson[6] was the first of the history books to make reference to the “Fuller Farm” in his 1854 book. The nucleus of the farm was the purchase or 750 acres in 1658 and then by subsequent purchases he increased it to upward of 1000 acres. He distributed it among his five sons, through his will dated 1696.  In an agreement dated March 25, 1699/1700, these five sons divided the farm into five parcels of land based on their father’s will. This agreement was known as the “First Division”, gave access to their individual farmsteads. A second agreement dated May 13, 1730 between the residence at that time, set out roadways through the farm which tied into those in the town of Newton. 

Ancestral Line
Our research has concluded that the most likely ancestral line[7] for John Fuller of Newton is back to his grandfather, James Fuller. If John was born in 1617, it would have been some 9 months before James Fuller wrote his last will May 21, 1618.

1678 Letter
On Dec 14, 1678 John Fuller of Newton wrote a letter to the Judge of the Probate Court and asked the Judge to please inform the Court that the 22 acres of land in the estate inventory of the late Simon Ong, was in fact his (John’s) land. Two court cases ensued (Fuller vs Ong and Ong vs Fuller) and the outcome was that John lost his appeal. It is likely that John knew Simon as they both were from Lavenham, Suffolk, England, a fact that did not seem to appear in the court transcripts. We also noted that Simon’s father, Edmond, was a witness to James Fuller’s will. More …  

John Was An Elected Town Officer 

1665-75 – Elected Officer in Cambridge[8]

    1. 1665+66, Surveyor of Highways (p158/163).
    2. 1669+1675, Constable (p181) and (p225).
    3. 1673/74, Viewer of Fences for the Common Fields for Cambridge Village (p217).
    4. 1675, Constable (p225).


PAGE 158

[71]   1665. At a publ: meeting of the Inhabitants for choyce of Constables & select men &c there were elected for the yeare ensuing

Records of the Town of Cambridge MA 1630-1703, Page 158

Constables: Andrew Belcher, John Watson, & Thomas Parkes. (Thomas fox chosen in lew of Andrew Belcher)

Townsmen: Capt. Daniel Gookin. Thomas Danforth. Jno Cooper, John fisenden, Thomas fox & mr Edward Jackson.

Surveyors of High wayes: Isacke Sternes, Wm Dixon, Robert Browne, __ Ri, Dana ___,  John Fuller.


PAGE 163

[73]    At a meeting of the Inhabitants the 12th of november, 1666.

mr William Manning, mr Samuel Andrew, & James Trowbridge, were chosen

Records of the Town of Cambridge MA 1630-1703, Page 163

Constables for the yeare ensueing.

Capt Gookin, Thomas Danforth, Edw: Oakes, Jno fissenden, Jno Cooper, & Thomas Fox, were chosen Select men, for the yeare ensueing.

Gilbert Crackbone, Zach Hicks, Jno fuller, Richard Woods, & Isacke Sterns were chosen surveyors of highways.


PAGE 181

[81]    November th 8 1669 at A Generall towne meeting for the Choyse of Cunstabls select men and surveyors

Records of the Town of Cambridge MA 1630-1703, Page 181

for Cunstabls: walter haftins, Richard Ecels, John fuller

for select men: Captaine Gookin, mr thomas danforth, mr John stedman, william Maning, thomas fox, John Cooper

surveyors of highways: Samuell Gofe, John Addams, daniell bacon, David fiske”


PAGE 217

[94]    March th 9 1673/74 -At a metting of the select men

to looke after swine that they bee yooked and Ringed we are appointed for the towne: danill Cheaver and Common

Records of the Town of Cambridge MA 1630-1703, Page 217

for menotime Row: Jeames hubbard
for the farmes towards Concord: John Coller and thomas Cutter
for the vilage on the south side of the River: Job hide and thomas hammond Jur and neere the towne Richard dana
for vewers of fences of Common fields:
for the necke fence: John goue and John stedman Junr
for menotime field: John swane and Nathaniell pattin
for the west field: Richard Robbins, Amos woodward and John watson
for the vilage:  John fuller and John spring
and for the south side of the River: Nathaniell sparhauke and samuell Champne


PAGE 225

[97]  November th 8 1675

At a publicke meeting of the Inhabitance towne for the Choise of towne officers

Records of the Town of Cambridge MA 1630-1703, Page 225

for Counslables: william Maning, mathew bregd, John Jackson, John fuller

for felect men: mr John stedman, mr Edward Oakes, thomas fox, walter hastins, francis More,  John Cooper

surveyors of high ways: for the towne: thomas longhorne; over the River: steven francis; for the vilage: Jonathn hide; for the farmes neere Concord: samuell stone.



1686-1698Elected Officer in Newton/Cambridge Village/New Cambridge



  1. 1686-91 – Selectman[9]
  2. 1686-87 – Townsman[10]


  3. 1687 – Surveyor of highways[10]
  4. 1690 – Tithingman[10]
  5. 1690, Mar 26 – Freeman[11]
  6. 1693-94 – Selectman[10]


  7. 1694 – Fence Viewer[10]


  1. The birth date of 1611, has been used in the history books of Newton and sources indicate this birth date was calculated from information on his grave stone and is confirmed by his death record in the “Massachusetts Vital Records 1620-1650” [hereinafter MA VR,], Newton Deaths, p448: “Fuller, John Sr., Feb. 7, 1698. [1697-8. a. 87, G.R.1.]”. GR1 is the East Burying Ground in Newton, Massachusetts. However, the wording on the gravestone states “Aged about 87 Years”. See Note 2 link.  
  2. This research shows that John Fuller of Newton was baptized 28 Aug 1617 in St Peter’s Church in Colchester, Essex, UK. More……   
  3. MA VR, Newton, p 448. “Fuller, Elizabeth [dup. Elizebeth], Apr. 13, 1700.”
  4. Likely married in England about 1645 based on the birth dates of the children. Children …  
  5. It was not easy to navigate the life of John Fuller in the 17th century as there were three John Fullers who immigrated to New England between 1620 and 1650 and each one married an “Elizabeth”. Many history books did not get it right at the time. We do not have evidence as to when our John Fuller family arrived in New England, but the first documented record is the birth of Joseph in 1652/3 in Cambridge, so is likely the first three children were born in England.
  6. Jackson, Francis, A History of the Early Settlement of Newton, County of Middlesex, Massachusetts: 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, pages 278/9. 
  7. Our research recognizes James Fuller of Lavenham, UK as the most likely grandfather of John of Newton and James’ son John Fuller, who married Ann Gates in 1594 as his most likely father.        
  8. Town Records, The Records of the Town of Cambridge (Formerly Newtowne) Massachusetts 1630-1703. The Records of the Town Meetings, and of the Selectmen, comprising all of the First Volume of Records, and being Volume II, of the Printed Records of the Town. Printed by Order of the City Council Under the Direction of the City Clerk Cambridge, 1901, University Press, John Wilson and Son, Cambridge, U.S.A.
  9. Jackson, Francis, 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, page 216.
  10. Ritter and Fleishman, Newton, Massachusetts 1679-1779 a Biographical Directory. Boston, 1982, The New England Historical Genealogical Society, Page 33. [A ‘tithe’ was a levy of 10% of earnings to the church. A Tithingman was an elected person whose task it was to ensure that people paid their fair share and enforce the attendance and observance of the Sabbath. Also, to preserve order during service.]
  11. H F Andrews, List of Freemen Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1630 to 1691, Exira Printing Company, Exira, IO, 1906.