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Two of the 41 signers of the Mayflower Compact were Fullers, brothers Samuel and Edward, and both came over on the Mayflower from Leiden, Holland, in 1620.

Samuel was an educated and well-respected man. He was not only a surgeon (physician) to Plymouth Colony, but also apparently a man with some relgious learning, although not a minister himself. He was consulted in 1629 about the founding of Salem Church, and next year assisted also in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He continued to practice medicine until his death in 1633, and in his will he bequeathed to Roger Williams, who was soon to be minister of Salem Church, one of his books on "physic". Samuel left a son Samuel, from whom there are many Fuller descendants. Although I do not have descent from Samuel, Robert Charles Anderson tells us that apparently he made such an impression on the early settlers of Massachusetts Bay that several of them placed their children in his household, presumably for their social and educational improvement, and among these was an ancestor, Elizabeth Cole, daughter of Rice.

"Edward Fuller and his wife died soon after they came ashore" says Governor Bradford in his journal, however "their son Samuel is living and married and hath four children or more." Samuel, the son, was brought up by his Uncle Samuel, but when he came of age seems to have removed from central Plymouth to Barnstable and to have lived a quiet life there. However, he did mary Jane Lothrop, daughter of one of the first ministers of Plymouth, and sired several sons.

Edward also had an older son, Matthew Fuller, who, it appears, came over much later, because the first record for him in the colony is dated 26Oct1640, by which time he was already married and had several children. Matthew followed in his Uncle Samuel's footsteps as a surgeon, and he also had a military bent, serving as Capt. Miles Standish's lieutenant in 1654, and later as Captain of the Plymouth forces in his own right. During the period of King Philip's War, he served on the United Colonies Council of War, and also as Surgeon General of the colonial forces against the Indians.

I have descents from both of Edward's children, Samuel, and Captain Matthew, through 5th generation Mayflower descendant, Roger Fuller, of Hebron, Connecticut.

Most of the Mayflower lines are very thoroughly worked out by now, and the definitive and most up-to-date reference on the first generation of Plymouth colonists is Robert Charles Anderson, The Pilgrim Migration (NEHGS, 2004), while for those interested in learning whether the descend from one of the Plymouth Fullers, the two volumes of the Mayflower Families Through Five Generations series, published by The Mayflower Society (Volume 1: Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, and William White; and Volume 4: Edward Fuller) are the works to consult.

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Hi, John. I'm having some difficulty establishing my Fuller line. The problem is, everywhere I look, I find different siblings for Edward and Samuel. According to my data, I'm a 10th great-grand nephew of Edward, being descended from his brother Thomas (b. 1573) and Edward's siblings are John, Thomas, Samuel, Robert, Edmund and Anna or Susanna. Yet, when I consult more or less historical documents on the family, they always state that the children of Robert Nicholas Fuller and Sarah Dunkhorne were Edward and Samuel and no other siblings are mentioned. To your knowledge, which is correct, and what are your sources?

Hi Gary

I have not, until now, looked closely at the evidence identifying the Mayflower Fuller family with the family of Robert, butcher of Redenhall. And the only sources I have readily available at present are the two articles published in the Register in 1901: "Early New England Fullers" NEHGR 55(Apr1901):192-196, "Fullers of Redenhall, England NEHGR 55(Oct1901):410-416, and "Was Matthew Fuller of Plymouth Colony a Son of Pilgrim Edward Fuller?", by Bruce Campbell McGunnigle, et al. in TAG 61(Oct1986):194-199. It was McGunnigle who published the Mayflower Familes volume on Edward Fuller.

BTW I'd like to correct one of the sources I gave before. The volume I cited for Samuel Fuller, volume 1 of the Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, has been superceded by an entire volume devoted to Samuel, Volume 10. The reason I didn't cite the right volume is that I'm stuck with the older Volume 1, but I'm thinking about ordering Volume 10.

I note that all these sources are secondary sources, but that they are exceptionally good ones. Robert Charles Anderson in particular, you can always take to the bank, not least because his work has been built on the best work which has gone before him. However, to do a really thorough job, one would want to have a squint at some of the more important original records, and besides that, there is a great deal of Plymouth Colony material scattered in various places. As far as I know, though, the crucial pieces of evidence are to be found in the sources cited above. If you, Gary, or anyone else, know of other primary sources which reflect on the composition of these families, or of other primary records or compilations of primary records which should be taken into consideration, by all means come forward and enlighten us.

There is, in fact, one other secondary source concerning this family which I would love to get my hands on: Philip Howard Gray, Penobscot Pioneers, Volume 3 (CamdenME: Picton Press, 1993). Unfortunately it is out of print, and I can find no library which has a copy which might be borrowed. I do find one offering of this book on the internet, but I cannot justify the $45 price at this time. The reason this source intrigues me is that it was mentioned by Anderson, but dismissed because the author, who has proposed a different structure for the family, "employs a style of logic and argumentation not normally found in the genealogical literature, and his conclusions are not adopted here." Quite frankly, I would love to examine a new "style of logic and argumentation" because historians need all the help that that can get.

Anyway, having examined the evidence presented in the sources listed, it appears to me that there were probably three overlapping Roberts of the parish of Redenhall with Harleston (which also includes, for purposes of parish records, the hamlet of Wortwell), County Norfolk, and two wives of Roberts were buried there during the period when children were being baptized to Roberts, and in addition, the Robert who died in 1614 leaving a will naming the Mayflower sons and other children, also had a widow, Frances. And there were at least two adult Roberts buried there during the period who were not styled as anyone's son, one in 1608, and one in 1614, the latter the one who left a will which matches the names of the Mayflower Fullers.

I have gone through the baptisms and burials involving Robert Fullers, and made a sorting out of these three Robert families in light of the 1614 will, and I come up with a list children of the second Robert, the butcher, who made his will in 1614, thus (listed in baptismal order - # means died in infancy):

Thomas, Edward, Ann, Ann (again), #John, Samuel, John (again), #Edmund, Sara, #Christopher, Elizabeth, Mary

Of those who did not die in infancy, only Sara is not named in the will, but Robert the testator does refer to his son-in-law John Spalding. One of the Anns might belong to the first Robert. I have omitted the children whom I conjecture belong to the first Robert, and the third Robert.

One thing which is clear from the evidence presented in the NEHGR articles is that Thomas, the eldest son, did not come to America, and that the Thomas Fuller who did come to Dedham (there by 1642) was the son of Ralph Fuller of Wortwell, Norfolk. Since Wortwell shared the same parish church with Redenhall, one would expect to find a baptismal record for this Thomas Fuller there, and indeed one does "1610: Thomas ffuller son of Rage ffuller and Elizabeth his wife, bap. 13 Oct."

John Robb
Thanks, John. I note the absence of Robert (22 October 1581) as a child of Robert Nicholas Fuller in your list. I'm not sure where I got him from, actually. Then there is your Ann, whom I assume is the same as my Anna or Susanna, correct?


There is a baptismal record for Robert, son of Robert, dated 22Oct1581 but I did not include his name in my list because there were two (and possibly three) Robert Fullers of Redenhall having children baptized to them during this period, and I had ascribed Robert the son, to the other Robert, for reasons too complicated to go into here. However, I am working up an intensive analysis of these Redenhall Fullers and will publish it as an attachment, probably by tomorrow, if that proves to be possible (haven't tried that yet with GW).

Whether Robert's wife's premarital name was Sara Dunkhorn, or even Sara, seems problematic, although in my hypothetical reconstruction of Robert's family, I have at least posited Sara as the mother of most of his sons. Bruce Campbell MacGunnigle, in his Mayflower Families volume on Edward, calls Robert's wife, "Sara (Dunkhorn) Fuller", but provides no evidence for it, and Robert Charles Anderson, in his most recent review of the Mayflower Fullers says only that their father was named Robert. There are no Dunkhorns, or anything like it, amongst the parish register entries extracted in NEHGR, I can't find any reasonably close surname in any of my surname dictionaries, nor does any such name come up in the UKCensuses for 1841 or 1881. I suspect that whatever record "Dunkhorn" appears in (I don't suppose the word was made up out of thin air) it was probably a corruption, perhaps of Duncombe.

I seriously doubt that Robert had a middle name Nicholas. Formal middle names were extremely rare, especially outside the upper gentry class, until about the late 18th century in both Britain and America.

As for your question about "Anna or Susanna", I would point out that these were distinct names, and that "Anna" was the latinate form of Anne. "Anna" occurs just once in the 200 some extracted Redenhall entries, while there are perhaps 10 references to "Ann" or "Anne"; I suspect that this "Anna" was a slip of the pen for the Latin-trained cleric who made all his other entries in English.

Also, I pass on the following note from an introductory page to MacGunnigle's Edward Fuller volume:

"No evidence has been found to support the statement by Hubert Fuller and Florence Fuller (THE FULLER FAMILY IN ENGLAND AND AMERICA, 1972, Pine Hill Press, Freeman SD; p.10) that Edward and Samuel Fuller of the Mayflower and their 'sister' Susanna, the wife of William White of the Mayflower, were the children of Sir Nicholas Fuller of Stepney." and he goes on to note that the names of children in Sir Nicholas's extensive will do not correspond to those of the Massachusetts settlers.] In addition, no proof has been found to show that Susanna was the sister of Edward and Samuel Fuller."

So probably that is where you got your Nicholas, although there was an earlier Nicholas Fuller of Redenhall who was presumably part of the same extended Fuller family, but one can't make anything of that. According to George Redmonds, Christian Names, Nicholas was about the 10th most popular English name during the period, and of course Fuller is a rather common English name too.

John, I look forward to reading your analysis of the Redenhall Fullers, whenever it might be available. For now, though, I find some of your conclusions and suppositions rather interesting.

First of all, who ever said that the Massachusetts Fullers were descended from a Nicholas Fuller of Stepney? Certainly not I, nor anyone else that I've encountered. I have never seen any such reference, in fact. Every recounting of the lineage that I have seen says that Robert Nicholas Fuller, b. 1543 in Redenhall and his wife Sarah Dunkhorne were the parents of Edward and Samuel Fuller of the Mayflower. There is, in fact, no mention, at any point in the lineage, of a Nicholas Fuller and certainly no Fullers of Stepney, so I don't know what MacGunnigle is thinking, let alone where he got his data from. The Redenhall Fullers, so far as I know, go back to at least 1423 in the same location (Redenhall) and I can find no mention of Stepney as a place name in reference to this lineage.

I concur that Dunkhorne or Dunkhorn probably is a corruption of something, though this, in and of itself, is unrelated to my inquiry about the lineage of the Fullers. Somewhat more relevant is the issue of Anna or Anne's name, but regardless of spelling it was some form of that name and I haven't seen anything else suggested as an alternative except Susannah, which probably isn't correct. I would imagine Anne was most likely her real name. In either case, though, it's not relevant to my question, which is why there are so many multiple versions of Edward and Samuel's siblings. I have seen many versions that list only Edward and Samuel as children of Robert, and then there others that show additional siblings and the list is always different. This was primarily what I was concerned about, as the data I have says I'm descended from a brother of Edward and Samuel named Thomas. It's a bit disconcerting to find so much variation in the siblings of Edward and Samuel.

I do agree that the middle name of Nicholas seems questionable, especially when you consider that it is the only such instance of a middle name found in the entire lineage. None of Robert's forebears, that I know of, had a middle name and neither do his own sons and their descendants, right up to my Fuller connection, who is Chloe Fuller (1712-1760), daughter of Noah Fuller and Mercy Cushman of Salem. Chloe married John Bates and the Bates line married into my Rea line in 1888. So, Robert Nicholas Fuller seems to stand out as the only one in the line with a middle name, to my knowledge. However, I don't know where the leap to a Nicholas Fuller of Stepney came from, especially when no one I know of has ever claimed this line has any connection to any such person or place.

The reason that there are so many conflicting versions, Gary, and not only of the first generations of this Fuller lineage, but of the first generations of just about every lineage I've seen, is that so few self-styled genealogists have the skills, the knowledge, and the perseverance, to do solid primary records research. In fact, many lack even the ability to sort out the wheat from the chaff when it comes to secondary sources.

I think that genealogists whose focus is primarily on New England fail to appreciate the immense difficulties of sorting out so many people of the same name in areas and periods where vital records are scant to non-existent. Outside New England, there is a need to build one's case circumstantially and indirectly on all manner of other records, and most genealogists soon find themselves out of their depths, and fall back on mere compilation of the work of others, which is more often than not, based on misguided supposition and even sheer speculation, but which, if it was published long enough ago, seems to have "stood the test of time", or at least to have been based on "family tradition".

Solid family history can be done in these other areas only by people who have taken the trouble to learn how to accurately read and interpret primary manuscript records written with a different set of scribal conventions and concerning matters which bear only a tenuous and misleading relationship to the affairs that we moderns are familiar with. And these researchers also need to find and consider all the records involving a particular surname in a particular time and place, (as well as the records for in-law and allied families), and to reconstruct all the families with that surname, at least in a general way, just to be sure that they are associating each piece of evidence with the right family. This is a task difficult enough to challenge even the best genealogists, and it is entirely and appropriately daunting to most others, who therefore fall back on published compilations or unverifed family traditions.

16th century England occupies a middle ground between New England and the rest of early America, at least where parish records are extant. But this huge advantage is undercut by the quite different folkways, and the variant records practices, as compared with early colonial America.

New England researchers are building on the immense labor of their mostly forgotten predecessors who worked their patient way through these ancient records, transcribing or abstracting them, assembling them into evidential complexes, and reconstructing families on their base. Much of this was done by Savage or his contemporaries of 150 years ago. Thus, although you dismiss MacGunnigle's note on the Sir Nicholas Fuller hypothesis with scorn, yet ironically it is precisely the work which MacGunigle himself did in compiling his volume (standing on the shoulders of those others), which makes nonsense of this hypothesis. New England genealogy has such a hoary past that myths like this one, concocted before the Redenhall data was ever discovered, have a way of living on well past their time. I've been at this about 20 years, and I have certainly encountered the Nicholas theory before.

One of the innumerable fruits of these early New England labors was the Redenhall data, published in the Register in 1901, but coming across it there (thanks to the modern index) and using it to reconstruct the family of the Mayflower pilgrims are two different things. Had this been done by one of the New England savants, and published in the Register, TAG, or one of the other scholarly journals, I doubt that we would even be discussing it here, but to my knowledge it hasn't, and we are either at the mercy of the flailings of amateurs, or obliged to try to confront the data ourselves.

My reconstruction of the family of Robert Fuller, butcher of Redenhall is tentative, and likely wrong in places. However, it is based entirely on citable primary data (none of it found by me) and it is closely reasoned. Thus, I think it is worthy of consideration whereas all those other versions you have read are not.

One might study those other versions and guess where they went astray. For example, Susanna Fuller, which the evidence noted above, shows was the sister of Giles, who was himself related in some close but unknown way with Dr. Matthew Fuller of Barnstaple, who (most, but not all, experts accept as the son of Mayflower Edward) might easily have been conjectured to be a sister of Edward, although this would be considered a naive mistake by anyone with in-depth experience with the early New England records.

I have longed since learned to pay little or no attention to any work which does not have detailed citations to primary sources, and I spend most of my time, whether I'm working on my own ancestral lines, or doing work for clients, paging through the old manuscript records, usually via LDS films. I do this even in New England, at least for the most important evidence. Thus, having many Windsor CT ancestors from the time of the founding, I work from photocopies or careful scholarly transcriptions of the earliest records, even though the Barber collection (an excellent secondary source) is more convenient.

I cut my teeth on New England genealogy, taking up where my uncle (whose hobby this was and who had a degree in history), left off. And I was able, by digging deeper into the primary records and by casting my nets wider, to break through many of his roadblocks, and to disprove a number of his New England lines.

Since then I have shifted my focus to the much more challenging Scotch-Irish settlers of the American frontier, for whom there are no vital records, and I have long since learned to dismiss out of hand material which cannot be grounded in the primary records - which is nearly all of what has been published, whether in books or on the internet.

Genealogy is not a matter of competing authorities. It is solely about the exhaustive compilation, and judicious interpretation of primary records evidence. And in my experience, multiple and significantly different versions of the same family, especially when they lack detailed citations, are a sure sign of amateurish and conjectural fumblings. The elite scholarly genealogists no doubt have their disagreements on minor points, but these rarely extend to major issues, because they are all aware of the same accumulated evidence, and have all developed an adequate level of understanding of the place and period, and expertise in its records, before they presume to publish their work. There is thus close consensus among the scholarly experts, not from copying, but because their work is reality based.

Unfortunately, I am aware of no published reconstruction of the Redenhall families, which is why I have ventured to make the best of the data myself. And if you, or anyone reading this has any additional primary records data on this English family which might bear on the Robert Fuller families of the late 16th century, I hope that you will come forth and share it.


John, I've been at this for 25 years, myself, though, admittedly, I'm not a professional and most of my research has been based upon secondary sources. For me, it has been largely a hobby interest and so I have probably not devoted myself to it with the same rigor you have. Nonetheless, most of what I've accumulated has been New England lineages of my own, primarily on my father's side, via my great-grandmother Bates.

I don't take issue with MacGunnigle's conclusion re: the middle name of Nicholas so much as I do his basing it upon Nicholas Fuller of Stepney. As I said, I have encountered no mention of either a Nicholas Fuller in this lineage, nor have I encountered any mention of any place called Stepney, so I'm, frankly, at a loss to understand what it is he is referring to, exactly. But, yes, I agree that the middle name of Nicholas is probably wrong.

As for the multiple lists of siblings for Edward and Samuel, I agree they are the result of many amateurs' mistakes over a period of generations and that working with primary sources, since there are no secondary ones, as you say, would be the only way to sort this mess out.

It may be safest, at this point, to assume nothing more than the historically accepted facts; i.e., that Edward and Samuel were brothers who both arrived on the Mayflower. That, then, would be where the lineage ends (or starts, depending upon how you look at it) and until such time as better evidence can be found, that would be as far as anyone should go with it, as far as any siblings of Edward and Samuel are concerned. If there are not good and consistent records of their siblings, then what more can we do?

I disagree with your comment that the Scots-Irish settlers of America had no vital records. I find that a rather astounding statement, considering I've been doing Scots-Irish research for 25 years. As to whether or not there were any records, that's wholly dependent upon where one is looking for them. The Scots-Irish ranged far and wide in America and settled in several states, each with its own peculiarities, as far as vital records are concerned. My own line settled in Franklin County, Pennsylvania and I've had no trouble with my research there, to speak of. Finding my emigrant ancestor in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland in 1774, on the other hand, has been quite a headache, due principally to Michael Collins and his thugs' burning of the hall of records in Belfast in 1921. Also aiding my Franklin County, Pennsylvania work is the work of genealogist Stanley B. Rea, who was a cousin and fellow descendant of my immigrant Matthew Sutherland Rea, as well as data left to my father from his parents' estate. From what I have, I've been able to assemble a fairly accurate picture of my family in Pennsylvania, and especially later on in Wisconsin and Minnesota, though I'm still working to fill in some gaps, here and there. But the idea that there are no records of the Scots-Irish in America is simply incorrect and I don't know where anyone would get such an idea. The records for them are just as plentiful in Pennsylvania as they are for anyone else of the same period. I can't speak for Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia and other states where the Scots Irish settled heavily, but in Pennsylvania, there is plenty of good data available.


I don't understand what you are fussing about with respect to Nicholas Fuller. MacGunnigle was simply disclaiming the
sister Susanna nonsense, and the the once popular idea that the Mayflower Fullers were related to Sir Nicholas of Stepney.
The name Nicholas doesn't otherwise figure in his book at all which is entirely concerned with the descent of Edward Fuller
of Plymouth Colony.

I merely commented with respect to the Robert Nicholas Fuller name that you threw at me that it was extremely unlikely that
a 16th century Englishman should have had a middle name.

The evidence linking the Mayflower Fullers to the Redenhall family is all circumstantial, but considered altogether is quite
convincing IMO, though a bit less than absolutely conclusive. If you wanted to be conservative you might want to speak of
the father of Edward as [Robert Fuller?] though I am quite willing to do without the square brackets and the "?". I shall
summarize the case in favor of Redenahll in my report, though my primary focus there will be on sorting out the families.

What I said about vital records was this: "I have shifted my focus to the much more challenging Scotch-Irish settlers of
the American frontier, for whom there are no vital records". Would you be happy if I had qualified that to "practically no
vital records"? Or should I have said "no public vital records". There are, to be sure, a few bible or other family
records which have survived, but these are few and far between. And there are practically no readable gravestones from the
colonial period.

Apart from a few scattered marriage records and even fewer baptisms registered in non-Presbyterian churches, the only
significant collection of vital records I know of for the Scotch-Irish of the PA and VA frontiers about whom I was
commenting, was the private diary of the Rev. John Cuthberson's Journal, which covered a wide area centered on LancasterCo
for the period 1751 to the late 1780s. The Presbyterian church records of the period (and most Scotch-Irish were
Presbyterians) were kept as private journals by the ministers themselves, and they were usually carried away by the
ministers when they changed churches. Only a few of these from the colonial period, and most of the extant
journals for PA ended up at the Presbyterian Archives in Philadelphia. I spent several days researching there a
number of years ago, and found practically nothing for the colonial period and the brief frontier period of western
counties like Fayette, Washington, and Allegheny where my Robbs settled early, when the Indians were still a menace. There
were no settled churches, and the few ministers church-hopped, leaving the local pulpit vacant on the majority of Sundays
and taking their records of marriages and baptisms with them. No doubt in more settled areas, church records survived from
this period, after the frontier had passed on

There are a smattering of marriages and baptisms involving Scotch-Irish names in Anglican or other churches in the town of Lancaster, and at Philadelphia, but there are no birth and death records, and few marriages until after 1800, when the frontier had passed on and the area had become settled.

According to the Family History Library Catalog, public birth and death records in Franklin County didn't begin until the
1890s and marriage records not until 1885, and few states outside New England began keeping vital records much before the
1860s - long after the frontier had moved on across the Mississippi, and the Scotch-Irish had been assimilated into the
general population. In any case, FranklinCo PA was organized in 1784, and could only on sufference be described as the

The only vital records for frontier Virginia (for Augusta and its child counties, and later Kentucky, and of course later Tennessee which derived from North Carolina) are the marriage records which begin about 1785, prompted by a statute requiring ministers to make returns to the counties they practiced in. And about the same time marriage bonds began to come into use in some counties, but these were often neglected on the frontier. One can find quite a few marriage records during the final days of the Kentucky frontier, but then they go missing again from the early years of the settlement of Indiana and Ohio, when there were virtually no settled ministers, and of course no public vital recordkeeping.

Meanwhile in New England, full public vital records (births, marriages, and deaths) begin practically with the first settlements in the 1630s, and run without interruption in most cases through 1850, making New England genealogy a whole different kettle of fish.


John, sorry, but the way you worded it, it seemed you were saying the middle name of Nicholas was associated with some connection to Nicholas Fuller of Stepney, and I was simply saying that I've never encountered any such suggestion in my research of the Mayflower Fullers or the Fullers of Redenhall. In my data, there is no Nicholas Fuller mentioned at all and no mention of Stepney, nor anyone titled "Sir." So, I was merely wondering how it is that MacGunnigle concluded that anyone had ever attempted to make any connection between the two when I've never seen any evidence that anyone ever has. But, thanks for clarifying what you meant. I'm otherwise agreed that the middle name is out of place in that time period.

Agreed on the evidence linking the Mayflower Fullers to the Redenhall Fullers, though that does seem to be the dominant and accepted view and, I would add, there doesn't seem to be any alternative data that I'm aware of. That is one of my pet peeves with those who spend their time disproving others' research, is that, while they always point out the flaws, they never offer any alternatives to them. These people did exist and someone fathered Edward and Samuel. If it wasn't Robert Fuller, then do you have any evidence it was someone else, instead? If not, then why be so contentious of the accepted genealogy? Yes, it is circumstantial, and, at some point, almost every lineage becomes so, for lack of further evidence. At some point, one has to make an educated guess, otherwise, no further progress can be made. If everyone went strictly by primary records and discounted anything else, I submit that most of us would never advance our lineages out of the 19th century, if even that. Even the best historians and archaeologists speculate and make hypotheses base upon the known facts and some educated conjecture.

With regard to the Scots-Irish (and, by the way, it is properly Scots, not Scotch. Scotch is for drinkin', laddie), I agree (now that you've clarified) that there are very few extant public records of the Scots-Irish living on the frontier. Admittedly, all I can say about my g-g-grandfather James Azel Rea's birth is that it is said to have occurred in 1827 in Cumberland County, PA. That's what was in the notes my grandfather had at the time of his death. So, that is very well based upon word-of-mouth family tradition. It is interesting, though, that all his siblings were born in Franklin County, and given the proximity of Fannett Township in Franklin County with West Pennsboro Township in Cumberland County, I believe it's possible the family was living in the same place for a couple of generations and the boundary lines changed around them. As for James' grandfather, the immigrant Matthew's date of death is based entirely upon a will that was found in Willbook "C" of the Franklin County Court records from 1784-1826. His birthdate, on the other hand, may never be known, thanks to the lack of 18th century vital records in Northern Ireland. So, yes, you are more or less correct about the records out on the frontier in the 18th century. There is very little to go by for that period, but this is nothing that is confined to the Scots-Irish, by any means. Anyway, thank you for the details about the preachers, etc. I wasn't aware of that.

Yes, I'm aware of the far more superior records of New England, extending back to the founding of the colonies. Massachusetts, in particular, kept immaculate vital records that have made research there relatively easy, by comparison. I have used,early on in my research, and I have copies of most of the volumes of the town vital records that were published in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for each of the towns of Massachusetts, especially Vital Records of Dudley, Massachusetts to the Year 1849, I believe it was titled. Generations of births, marriages and deaths, all in one convenient volume.

I think we have filled the stack for this thread, because GW doesn't allow me to reply directly to your last. So I am posting the following instead as a reply to myself. When I post the Redenhall data, I will make a separate thread out it.



So much for Nicholas.

I agree with every word of your second paragraph. Amen,

As for Scots, Scottish, and Scotch, here is the entry from novelist and language maven Kingsley Amis's The Kings English: A Guide to Modern Usage (New York: St Martins Press, 1998)

"Scotch, Scottish

"Best known and most often used world-wide in the form Scotch, a noun, the name of a drink. There is much to be said about this, but I will confine myself here to remarking that whereas the legal definition of whisky is long and
complicated, that of Scotch whisky is short and simple, viz. 'whisky made in Scotland'.

"Scotch was at one time the preferred form of the adjective in England. Now this has almost disappeared, driven out by Scottish, the preferred form north of the Border for over a century, while Scotsman has driven out
Scotchman. The form Scotch survives, however, in compounds and set phrases. Nobody talks about
butterscottish or hopscots, and I have never come across a Scottish egg or woodcock, nor a
dendrologist who talked about a Scottish pine (by rights he should say a Scotch fir, a fir being a kind of
evergreen conifer with needles placed singly on the shoots, whereas a true pine has its needles placed in groups of two or

"The spelling whisky, without any E, is preferred for the product of Scotland. Whiskey, with the E, is
generally used for varieties made in Ireland and the USA."

Scotch-Irish is the traditional compound form, is still widely used, and is perfectly correct.

You are right about Fannett Township. It was founded in 1761 while still part of CumberlandCo, so you definitely need to
look in Cumberland for Rea records too. Incidentally, "Rea"s (though usually with the "h", e.g. "Rhea"s or "Rea[g]h"s,
and also occasionally "Ray"s) were quite prevalent on the early VA frontier, and there are several interfamilial connections between them and my line of GAYs (who thankfully appear mostly just as "Gay"s or "Guy"s - the old Scottish, and
English pronunciation).

I've researched around 200 of my New England surname lines using those collections of town vital records. Again, secondary
sources, but in all but about 20 cases, I was just trying to develop an outline pedigree back to beginning. I the 20 or so
lines I researched intensively, I went to LDS films of the original town records. Usually at the beginning the vital records were kept, along with everything else (even land and probate records) in a single town book, and in many cases the
vitals didn't get broken out into separate books for 50 years or more. So I ended up going through many of these early
books page by page, and in the process learned a lot, both about the New England Puritans, and about doing genealogy. I
also learned that every town, and later that every jurisdiction, had its own idiosyncracies of record keeping, and that
figuring this out was a necessary precondition to doing thorough research. Robert Charles Anderson, who in addition to his masterwork Great Migration series, publishes a quarterly "Great Migration Newsletter", and one of running series takes up one after the other, the history and composition of that town's records. Incidentally, most or all of the Massachusetts town vital records books are now online and indexed at NEHGS. I'm not sure, though, whether access is restricted to members only.


I am a direct descendant of William Fuller (1483) and his wife Cecely (1478) from Redenhall Norfolk. I can confirm that you are right the Fullers who arrived on the Mayflower are direct descendants of the Redenhall Fuller, I am the 11th Great Nephew of John Fuller father of Robert Fuller Redenhall whos' two sons came over on the Mayflower.

I am a decendant of a Thomas Fuller, brother of John Fuller sons of William and Cecely Fuller from Redenhall Norfolk.

The Seattle Public Library has Penobscot Pioneers vol 1 thru 6. What do you need from it? I don't get there every day or even every week but do get there at least 2 - 3 times a month.





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