We've made major progress with the Fuller ancestry with the finding of three Fuller families in the Lincoln County, Ontario, 1871 census; Thomas, Daniel, and Ephraim; with Thomas and Daniel having the correct sons Thomas B. and Ephraim, and David respectively. While we can't be certain that Thomas, Daniel, and Ephraim were brothers and not cousins, for the time being I will show them as brothers. Before the find, we knew of only four Fullers in two generations; Thomas, Thomas B., Ephraim, and David. We now know that the three brothers had at least 22 children, so much work is left on tracking those descendants.
More recent research suggests that some tragedy may have struck the Fuller brothers. An attempt to track the 22 children resulted in many missing, and some scattered to other families. Only Ephraim's family seems to have survived reasonably intact. More on this later.
The next step in tracing the Fuller ancestry is finding the parents of Thomas, Daniel, and Ephraim, which will get progressively more difficult as records become scarcer. In the 1881 Canadian Census, Thomas was living in Louth, Lincoln, Ontario, and reported his birthplace as New Brunswick. In previous census, he is identified as born in Ontario of Irish descent. So, that gives us a place to look for him and his parents between 1800 and 1880.
The Missing Children
The three brothers (cousins?) found in the 1871 Lincoln County, Ontario, Census had 22 children. The location of the parents and children in the 1880 census (Ontario, Canada and Orleans, New York) shows the following:
1871 Name Est age & Birth Year Location in 1881 Thomas 51 1820 in Louth, Lincoln, Ontario Sarah 45 1826 " Sarah Ann 19 1852 married to Alfred Stull, 1875 Ontario Elizabeth 17 1854 missing, poss married Thomas B. 16 1855 in Orleans, NY with cousin David Harriet M. 12 1859 missing, poss married Daniel 10 1861 poss in Oakfield, Genesee, New York, laborer Ephraim 7 1864 missing Edward 1 1870 missing Daniel 43 1828 missing Harriet 42 1829 missing Jemimah 17 1854 missing, poss married but no Jemimah found in area David 14 1857 in Orleans, NY with cousin Thomas B. Fuller Isaac 12 1859 poss Penitentiary, Portsmouth, Frontenac, Ontario Daniel 10 1861 poss Oakfield, Genesee, New York Thomas 8 1863 poss Elba, Genesee, New York John 5 1866 poss Crystal, Montcalm, Michigan with uncle John Sarah 2 1869 missing Ephraim 39 1832 Welland Co., Ontario Mary E. 38 1833 " Cynthia 14 1857 " Madona 12 1859 missing William F. 9 1862 Welland Co., Ontario Martha A. 7 1864 Married to James Johnson, abt 1883 Ontario Emma L. 5 1866 Welland Co., Ontario Kirby 2 1869 "With Daniel and Harriet both missing, their children missing or scattered, and with several of Thomas and Sarah's children missing (particularly the two young sons), it is possible that some sort of illness took many lives in the three families. Of particular interest is John, son of Daniel who is found in the John Fuller household in Michigan listed as a nephew. More on that later.
According to Kathleen Bailey, who is descended from the Fuller line, Harriet Althea Fuller maintained that she was a "direct descendant of the Mayflower." Unless the connection to the Mayflower was through her mother's side of the family (Corey), Gordon would share whatever lineage Harriet has.
Since there were two Fullers on the Mayflower, brothers Edward and Samuel, it's at least worth following up on the possibility.
Regarding Samuel, there should be a note to avoid confusion. Edward Fuller of the Mayflower had a young son Samuel who was on the Mayflower with him. Edward and his wife both died during the first winter at Plymouth, and Edward's brother Dr. Samuel Fuller, also a Mayflower passenger, took on Edward's son Samuel. The senior Samuel later had a son Samuel of his own, so in discussing the descendants of "Samuel of the Mayflower", one has to be sure which Samuel is being referred to.
Dr. Samuel Fuller, the adult Mayflower passenger was born in 1579-80 and died in 1633. His son Samuel was born in about 1624 and died in 1695.
Edward Fuller was born in 1575 and died in 1621. He married Ann ?. Samuel Fuller, son of Edward, was born in 1612 and died in 1683.
The common given names in Gordon's ancestry are Thomas, David, Daniel, Ephraim, Isaac, Edward, and John.
Regarding Gordon's possible Mayflower ancestry, there are several approaches to research.
Gordon's great Grandfather Thomas Fuller (abt. 1820-1897) reports in the 1881 Ontario Census that he was born in New Brunswick of Irish ancestry (He also reports in other documents that he was born in Ontario, but we'll ignore that for the moment). So, why does a Mayflower descendant move from New England to New Brunswick in about 1800. A mass migration from New England to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick did take place between 1760 and 1800 caused by the British effort to drive the French out of the Nova Scotia area, and relocations before, during, and after the Revolutionary War. So, there is a possibility that a Mayflower Fuller descendant was among the migrants from New England to Nova Scotia/New Brunswick.
The Canadian Census, 1770, shows five Fullers in Nova Scotia-New Brunswick; Ezekiel, Jacob, Nathan, Nathan Jr., and Noah. Nathan and his son, and Noah, Irish Protestants, settled in Horton, (which remained part of Nova Scotia when New Brunswick split off), and were large landowners in that area for many years. Nathan Sr. has a verified Mayflower ancestry (Thomas, John, Samuel, Edward) and many of his descendants remain undocumented, so there is a chance for a Mayflower ancestor here for Gordon. Actually, one of Nathan's descendants, Oliver Fuller (who had a brother named Thomas) had a son Gordon Fuller whose descendants, if any, are not documented.
Ezekiel and Jacob Fuller were in Sackville in 1700, which became part of New Brunswick, and both of them are also Irish-American Protestants. Ezekiel was single and, as far as we know, never married. Jacob's household in the 1770 census has one man, one boy, one woman, and five girls.
The Sackville Township Record Book lists a Jacob Fuller family in Sackville about 1700, consisting of the father Jacob, no wife listed, children:
Oliver (1760) (later listed as Olive)
Faylang (1762) (later listed as Filany)
Dorothy (1769, d. Mar. 1770)
These numbers match the number of men, boys, women, and girls in the 1770 Canadian census, so we can conclude that Jacob is the New Brunswick son referred to in that census.
Jacob evidently came to New Brunswick from Rehoboth, Massachusetts in about 1765 as the "List of Individuals in Sackville, New Brunswick, 1765", includes a Jacob Fuller. He probably returned to Rehoboth in 1770, as the The Vital Records of Rehoboth, Bristol, Mass. lists the Jacob Fuller family, wife Deborah Tower, same children as paragraph above except Oliver is Olive, Faylang is Filany, Waitsill is Waitstill, Dorothy is not mentioned, and new child Leaffee (b. 1771) is listed. One of the authors points out that the "vital records" are often more of a census, so we can conclude that Jacob returned back to Rehoboth from New Brunswick in about 1770.
An LDS Ancestral File, which has been used with some modification by a number of researchers, shows a Jacob Fuller, born 6 Nov. 1734, Rehoboth, Bristol, Mass., parents Samuel Fuller and Waitstill Brown, marriage to Deborah Tower on 2 Jan 1758; children:
If either Jacob Jr. or Joseph returned to New Brunswick, they could be ancestors of Gordon's g-grandfather Thomas. This ancestral file ends with Samuel Fuller (b. 23 Oct 1702) married to Waitstill Brown.
Our adventure with Jacob continues with another WorldConnect file which lists Samuel Fuller (b. 23 Oct 1702) first marriage to Susannah Horton, no children, second marriage to Waitstill Ormsby, children:
Waitstill b. 7 Mar 1728
Dorothy b. 19 Jan 1732
Jacob b. 6 Nov 1734
Ruth b. 24 Apr 1737
Third marriage for Samuel Fuller is to Hannah Lake, with ten children including:
David (20 Oct 1744)
Daniel (24 Apr 1760)
Samuel's parents are listed as Samuel Fuller (b. 23 Nov 1676) and Dorothy Wilmarth (b. 26 Aug 1680). Further WorldConnect files take this family back to a Robert Fuller who came to America in 1638 on the ship Bevis. While there are no Fullers listed on the passenger lists of the Bevis, Fuller genealogists speculate that Robert and his brother Thomas probably worked their passage, as both are later found in New England and shown to have military rank. If Gordon's lineage goes to this family, then there is probably not a Mayflower connection, but it certainly would get his ancestry back almost as far.
Other interesting Mayflower items.
1. Several undocumented WorldConnect files list a family of David Fuller (1772-1846), wife Elizabeth Brewer, children Daniel (1793) and Mary Maria (1798) born in Nova Scotia and/or New Brunswick, and children Courtland, Jane, John, Hannah, Isaac, and Christopher born in Niagara County, Ontario. David died in Nauvoo, Illinois, which was the Mormon area before they went to Utah. David is listed as receiving LDS Baptism in 1879. The file supporting this genealogy is an LDS Family History. David's parents are John Fuller and Hannah Brewer, Mayflower Descendants. (John, John, Samuel, Edward)
2. An Isaac Fuller (dates unk.) is buried (no other Fullers) in the small Servos Family Cemetary in Lincoln County, Ontario. There are only 40 individuals buried there, 12 surnames. Among the surnames is Secord. One of the Servos buried there is a John Secord Servos. Among the children of David Fuller (previous paragraph, 1772-1846) is a John Secord Fuller (1809-?).
Census for New Brunswick, 1851, no Fullers, no Servos, but Secords; Caleb, Carmel, Gilead, William; and Seacords, Elias and James.
3. New Brunswick Land Grants and Petitions (1784-1997) Index lists the following Fullers (followed by land grant dates); Daniel - 1788, Isaac - 1787-1799, John - 1819-1854, Henry W. - 1850, David - 1787-1796. (Johns, Isaacs and Davids may not be the same person for each of the multiple petitions. One petition of David Fuller (1787) also lists John and Isaac. There are numerous petitions for Secords, but none of them cross with the Fullers.
4. The descendancy of Mayflower passenger Samuel Fuller lists a John Fuller (John, John, Samuel, Samuel) (1723-1747) married to Joanna Tillson, having three children, Ephraim (1744), Thomas (1746), and Abigail (1747).
5. A WorldConnect file lists a Nathan Fuller, Jr., b. 23 Oct. 1740 (same date as the Nova Scotia (Nathan Fuller, Jr.), Middlesex County, Connecticut. His father is Nathan, Sr., b. 20 Apr. 1719, Middlesex County, Connecticut (same date and place as the Nova Scotia Nathan, Sr.). Nathan Jr. has a son Josiah Fuller, b. 1783, same location. That's about the same age as our possible ancestor Josiah, b. abt. 1787. Notes for the Robert Fuller who came over on the Bevis states that he had a son Benjamin (1657 - 1711). "Benjamin lived in Salem, afterwards in Rehoboth, where he died Jan. 11, 1711. He had six sons, five of whom moved to Lebanon, Conn., between 1720 and 1726. Three died there, and two removed to western towns in Conn." I know this is a jumble, but I wanted to note the connection of names and places.
The Missing Generation
The Mayflower/Bevis lineages (see Mayflower Connection section following) reach downward to between 1725 and 1750. Our confirmed ancestries go upward to Thomas, Daniel, and Ephraim (b. 1820-1832). That leaves one or two generations to account for if one is to make a connection with the early New England settlers.
So, I started thinking about some of the adjacent Fullers, and some of the bits and pieces seem promising. The first bit is Erastus, who appears in the 1892 census of Orleans County with wife Lydia Travis. Notes in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetary transcriptions have Erastus as the son of Daniel Fuller (Oct 3, 1783 - Dec 15, 1864) and Hannah Godfrey (Mar 2, 1790 - May 2, 1838). In the 1880 Census for Orleans, Erastus says both his parents were born in New York. Daniel and Hannah are about the right age to be parents or siblings of our Fuller ancestors. It occured to me that I don't think I have any record that would attest to the birthplace of any of the three brother's parents.
I looked for Daniel in the 1820-1840 census and found him in Orleans County all three years. There were fenceposts consistent with Daniel and Hannah's age, including Hannah's absence in the 1840 census. In 1820, there are three additional males under 10 and 1 female under 10. In 1830, there are two males 5 - 10, three 10 - 15, one 15 - 20, and one 20 - 30; with three females under 20. In 1840, there is one male under 5, one 5 - 10, two 10 - 15, and two 20 - 30; with three females under 15. Presumably, most of these are sons and daughters, certainly enough sons to account for any or all of the brothers.
In 1820 and 1830 Daniel is the only Fuller head of household in Orleans County (1820 is Shelby, Genesee County). In 1840, Daniel is joined by a Josiah Fuller. In the 1850 census. Josiah has moved to Ridgeway, and is listed as 63, born New York. With him is his wife Anna (59) and children Euphiarim (boy, is it ever hard to spell Ephraim right)(28), Esther (18), and H. Leonard (17). I can't identify Josiah in the 1820 or 1830 census. In the 1840 census, Josiah has a correct fencepost but Anna is off by one. In the household are also five boys under 15 and three girls under 20. It's interesting that Euphiarim's age is exactly ten years different from the age we have for brother Ephraim.
Lastly, if John Fuller, 1880-Michigan (16, Can, Can, Can) is the missing son of Daniel, then his uncle John (53, Can, NY, NY) is also in the equation. He would have been in the same era as Daniel, Thomas, and Ephraim; and his parent's birthplaces would fit with the Senior Daniel or Josiah. I sure wish we had an entry somewhere for Daniel, Thomas, and Ephraim's parents birthplaces as that would establish which are brothers and which are cousins.
I'd like to put Isaac Fuller of the Servos Cemetary in the same group, but I now have an additional Isaac (brother Daniel's son) who might be the one buried there. I decided to send off for the Servos Cemetary transcription which will hopefully settle that issue.
As far as our present research goes, we have a multitude of Mayflower/Bevis possibilities born around 1750.
We have the possibly connected:
Daniel, father of Erastus, b. 1783, probably five sons
Josiah, b. abt. 1787, probably five sons
And, in the early 1800's we have the connected:
Thomas, b. abt. 1820
Daniel, b. abt 1828
Ephraim, b. abt 1832
plus the possibilities:
John, b. abt. 1828
Erastus, b. 1820
It remains to find some record that sorts out all these individuals.
I have found Mary Overholt, but the identification was fraught with peril. The Orleans County genealogy website has done a great job of indexing the census, cemeteries, and marriage records. I've copied the records related to the Fullers and Overholts and Cheri has them. Also, the 1880 US Census and the 1881 Canadian census were unique in that all individuals were indexed, not just the head of household. And, finally, New York has been conducting mid-decade censuses in addition to the Federal censuses.
So, finding Mary Overholt, wife of Ephraim Fuller, as a child should be a snap. The hangup was that in the 1892 New York census, Mary (21) and Ephraim (28) are living just down the street from the William Overholt family (no Mary), and William has three grandsons living with him who when they marry identify their mother as Mary Overholt. Sure enough, the 1881 Canadian census shows the William Overholt family in Louth, Lincoln, Ontario, with the child Mary, age 17. So, are there two Marys, one born in 1864 and one born in 1871? Or did the one Mary lie about her age when her husband died and she remarried Ephraim (leaving her first set of children with her parents).
After much hand-wringing and research on the issue, I decided to see if there were any other Mary Overholts around in the 1880-1881 censuses. There were none in New York, but they were growing like weeds in Lincoln, Ontario, Canada, the same area where Ephraim Fuller was raised. In this one area, five Mary Overholts matched the birth year of one or the other of the 1892 Marys. Fortunately, one of the Marys had a few more attachments to the wife of Ephraim. In the 1892 census, a Harry Overholt, two years younger that Mary is living with Ephraim, Mary, and their children. One of the Mary Overholts in the 1881 census for Ontario, Canada has a brother Harry two years younger. She is the child of George B. Overholt (34) and Mary E. Overholt (33) from Clinton, Lincoln, Ontario. In the 1910 census for Orleans, New York, living next door to Ephraim and Mary is Charles A. Overholt (26) and his mother Mary (63), almost certainly also the motherof Mary. Mother Mary had 10 children, 8 living, so one could spend a lot of time running them down.
After finding the probable George B. Overholt, father of Mary, I decided to take another look at the 1900 US Census for New York and see if I could find George, his wife Mary, or the son Charles A. from the 1910 census. Sure enough, George B. Overholt, Mary, and son Charles A. are living just down the block from Ephrem and Mary in Orleans, New York.
While the issue of Mary Overholt Fuller's parents is not proved, the circumstantial evidence is compelling, and I intend to list them in the file and post it to the Internet. It's what's known as trolling for relatives.
Frenz-Harch side of the family (Wilbert's wives):
Wilbert's first wife was Grace Lydia Emma Frenz. In the 1930 Census she says she and both her parents were born in New York. She is 31 years old at the time, and married Wilbert in 1915 at age 16, so she should be able to be found in the 1900 and 1910 census with her parents Albert and Lena Frenz. So far, I haven't found them, but remember that the upstate New York folks often came from Canada and lied about their birthplaces. I'll keep poking around.
Wilbert's second wife and Gordy's mother was Edna Bertha Harch. Aside from the family rememberences, we have a few facts on Edna from her obit in the Medina, New York, newspaper. "She was born in Wolcottsville and had lived in this community for the past thirty years... Surviving besides her husband, Wilbert, are three daughters, Mrs. Edward Pray of Lockport, Miss Cecelia and Miss Louretta Fuller, both at home; eight sons, Gordon of California, Glen, Norman, Charles, James, John, Alroy and Thomas, all of Medina. Also, one brother Carl Harch of Wolcottsville; eleven grandchildren; several nieces, nephews and cousins."
Edna (3) is found in the 1910 census for Niagara County, New York, with parents Rudolph (41) and Rosalia (33) Harch and brother Carl. Rudolph is a farmer, and both Rudolph and Rosalia list their birthplaces as New York and their parents birthplaces as Germany.
The ancestors of Rudolph and Rosalia become more problematic. The Fuller family history lists the parents of Rudolph Harch as Joseph Johan Harch and Louri Schultz, both with no birthdate or birthplace. Since Rudolph reports his age in 1910 as 41, he would have been 11 in 1880, a very well indexed census. In checking the census for 1880, there are only three Harch families in New York. The only Rudolph Harch listed is the son of Charles (47) and Julia (28) Harch. He is 11 years old and the family is living in Niagara County, New York. There is no Joseph or Johan Harch in the census and the Fuller family history does not list any siblings for Rudolph so we have no way to compare the census family in that regard. There is a more elder John Harch (73) in the neighborhood, married to Maria ? (64), with son John (21) still at home. The parents list their birthplace as Prussia and the son lists his birthplace as New York. This may be Charles' parents and Rudolph's brother.
The only other Harch family in New York is that of Frederick Harch (46) in New York City who may also be related. He lists his birthplace and that of his parents as Darmstadt (Germany).
I couldn't find any Harch's in the 1850-1870 censuses for New York, so the family could have also been in Canada.
Kuski, Rosalie W.
The next wife up the Harch family tree is listed in the Fuller family history as Rosalie W. Kuski, married to Rudolph Harch. The 1910 census shows her name as Rosalia, her age as 33, birthplace New York and birthplace of parents as Germany. She would have been born about 1877 and should be able to be found in the 1880 census. However, there are no Kuski surnames in the 1880 census, so the name may be misspelled. I searched on the first name Rosalie and Rosalia in New York and came up with no good matches. There is a Rosalia Kuntz in the 1881 census for Ontario Canada who is the right age, and the families ethnic origin is Germany, so we may have another case of border crossing.
On the Mary Kuspe, 82, in the 1930 census just up the street from Grace Fuller, I looked in the 1900 census and she is there with husband John Kusba who emmigrated from Poland in 1875 and their children. Unfortunately, there is no child named Rosalia, or anything close, and since she married Rudolph in about 1904, this probably isn't the family. I've checked all Kuski, Kuske, Kuska, Kuskey, etc. families in New York in 1900 and haven't found anything close, so it looks like Rosalia Kuski will go down with the unknown immigrants.
While trying to run down Mary's parents, I noticed an entry in the Orleans marriage records for a George E. Fuller, parents Thomas Fuller and Sarah Guher, so we have another sibling of Ephraim. I've been staring at Henry E. Fuller's entries and now suspect that he is not the direct offspring of Thomas and Henry. Everyone else has probably figured this out, and that's why he is not listed in other files. In the 1881 census, he is listed as being born in England, and Sarah would have been 45, a little old to be having children. If Thomas B. was born in Canada, then Thomas Sr. must have been in Canada long before Henry was born. So, Henry was probably a relative and listed Thomas and Sarah as his parents because they either adopted or assumed care of him.
Wilbert still has a few holes left. Since he left his first wife Grace and married Gordon's mother Edna in 1929, he can't be found in the 1930 census. Grace and her children are in Medina, Orleans County, New York, but there is no sign of Wilbert and his new wife. I don't recall if Gordy knows where they went. Note in the 1930 census, just up the street from Grace Fuller is Mary Kuspe, 82, widow born in Poland; with sons Edward (42) and James (39), both born in New York. I wonder if there is any connection with Rudolph Harch's wife Rosalia Kuski? She would have been 53 years old in 1930.