Happy 417th Birthday Grandfather / Uncle Matthew Fuller!

My 10 times great granduncle, Matthew Fuller, was born 417 years ago, 16 October 1603, in Redenhall Parish, Harleston, Norfolk, England. His parents were my 11 times great grandparents, Mayflower passengers, Edward Fuller and his wife. His brother, Samuel, accompanied his parents on the ship and, unlike them, survived the first winter.

Matthew arrived in Massachusetts Colony somewhat later. From the Silver books, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Vol Four, 2nd Edition, pages 5-6, we know that he was in the Plymouth colony by 26 October 1640 since he sold land on that date.

“In 1642 he was propounded a free man, served as a journey man, and was assigned 10 acres of land near Thurston Clark. In 1643 he was chosen Sgt. in the newly established “military discipline.” He was called of Plymouth in a deed.

“Exactly when he moved to Barnstable is unknown, but on 5 October 1652 the court approved his election as Lieut. of the Barnstable militia. He was admitted a Freeman on 7 June 1653, and in that year served as deputy from Barnstable to the Plymouth court. On 20 June 1654 he was appointed Lieut., under Capt. Myles Standish, of a 50 man quota to fight against the Dutch at Monhattoes (New York), but receipt of news of peace between England and Holland on 23 June 1654 made the expedition unnecessary. On 2 October 1658 he was elected a member of the Council of war, and in 1671 became its Chairman. On the 17 December 1673 he was appointed Surgeon General of the colony troops; he also served as captain of the Plymouth colony forces during King Philip’s war.

He was one of the first physicians to settle at Barnstable. He took a public stand on the side of the unpopular Quakers and received a fine for it. He lived in the northwest corner of Barnstable at Scroton Neck, and also own land in Falmouth and Middleboro which had been granted to him by the colony for distinguished service. He died a wealthy man for the times.


Samuel (ca 1630), Mary (aft 1630), Elizabeth (aft 1630), Anne (ca 1640, or earlier) [married Samuel Fuller, son of Samuel Fuller, son of Edward Fuller], and John (after 1640)

The marriage of his daughter, Anne, to my 9th great grandfather, Samuel Fuller, [her first cousin] started the complexity of being my own cousin, and Matthew changing his status from being simply my Uncle to being a Grandfather.

About Pat Shaul

Genealogist / Family Historian; Blog started as a record of my Grandfather's post card collection which ran for 15 months. Then, in June, 2017, I changed over to reporting and commenting on notifications from the ANCESTRY app "We're Related" I then started to provide snippets into ancestor biographies on the dates that were significant anniversaries.
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