Edward Fuller's Ancestors

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Note: Before 1752 the year began on March 25th. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year, not the beginning.

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Robert Fuller was born about 1548 in Redenhall/Harleston, Norfolk County, England, probably the eldest child born to John Fuller and Anne Collinge. Some researches say his middle name was Nicholas. On January 29, 1572 he married Sara Dunckhorne at St Margaret’s Church in the small village of  Starston in Norfolk County. (Redenhall, Harleston and Starston are within 5 miles of each other. See map below.) Robert and Sara had seven children together (See Sarah below for details). After Sarah's death, Robert married Frances Blackwell, and they were the parents of several additional children born in Redenhall/Harleston. What is interesting to note is that at this time in Redenhall there were two Robert Fuller’s one a butcher and the other a tanner. On pages 143 and 144 of Candler's Notes on Redenhall, it states “In 1588, Robert Fuller, bocher, and Robert Fuller, Tanner, contributed to the newe castyng of the third bell of Redenhale.” Most researches state that our Robert was the butcher. The baptismal register of the Parish of Redenhall identifies only three of the eight children mentioned in Robert’s will as being the butcher’s child. This makes it difficult to determine if the others were children of our Robert!

His children with Frances were — Sarah baptized on September 4, 1585, who married James Spaulding on November 21, 1607 in Denton, and died before her father, but her husband is mentioned in Robert’s will as son-in-law; Christopher baptized on December 15, 1588, listed as the butcher’s son, died at 18 months old and was buried on July 12, 1590; Elizabeth baptized on November 29, 1590, not listed as the butcher’s child, but is mentioned in the will; Valentine baptized on January 16, 1594, who was not listed as the butcher’s son, died at eight years old and was buried on October 24, 1602, before his father; and Mary baptized on July 13, 1595, not listed as the butcher’s child, but is mentioned in Robert’s will. Some researchers include another child named Rose, baptized on December 22, 1588, who is not listed as the butcher’s child, and is not mentioned in Robert’s will. This baptism took place a week after Christopher, mentioned above, was baptized, and there is a burial record dated February 28, 1619, for a Rose Fuller. So if she was their daughter, we can assume she would have been listed as the butcher’s child like Christopher was, and she should have been mentioned in the will.

Francis H. Fuller, in his article Fullers of Redenhall, England, published in volume 55 of the NEHGR states that Robert Fuller wrote his will just prior to his death and called him Roberde Fuller, of the Parish of Redenhall, yeoman. The will was dated May 19, 1614 and was proved by his widow, Frances Fuller on May 31, 1614 and by his eldest son Thomas Fuller on June 16, 1614. The will names sons Edward, Samuel, and Thomas and daughters Ann (aka Susanna), Elizabeth, and Mary as well as a grandson, John Fuller, who was the son of Robert's deceased son, John Fuller. The will is included in the 1614 register, folio 259 of the Norfolk Archdeaconry Court in Norwich. In it he requests to be buried in the Redenhall Church yard. He leaves to his wife Frances, a tenement called Assyes, in Harleston or Redenhall, for term of her natural life, with a little orchard adjoining which “I late bought of John Cooke, now occupied by my son-in-law, James Spalding… also two bundles of faggotts a year and 40s. a year to be paid by son Thomas.” To his son Edward, he left twenty pounds and “on the death of my wife,” the tenement Assyes. To his son Samuel, fifteen pounds. To his daughters Ann, twenty pounds; and to Elizabeth and Mary, each forty pounds, all to be paid by his son Thomas. To his eldest son Thomas, he left the newly built home “wherein I now dwell held of Tryndelhedge Bastoft Manor in Redenhall or Harleston.” Also he left to Thomas some personal property which is specified. “The rest of my chattels to be divided and half to be given to my wife, the other half among my four children, viz., Edward, Ann, Elizabeth and Mary Fuller. . . . When my grandson, John Fuller, son of my son John Fuller, shall be of age sufficient to be bound apprentice, then my son Thomas to have the choosing of his master and trade and is to pay five pounds to set him forth.” His wife Frances and son Thomas were identified as the executors. The will was witnessed by Thomas Wales, John Sutton, and William Fuller. To read a full transcript of this will, go to the Evans Family Webpage , which will open in a new window/tab.

Robert Fuller died on May 23, 1614 in Redenhall and is buried in St Mary’s Churchyard (pictured left) in Redenhall/Harleston. (This church is home to the Fuller family records.) His wife Frances was listed in the Burial Register as a widow when she was buried there on March 28, 1632. Years later on May 30, 1659, Robert’s grandson Thomas Fuller presented the will of his father, Thomas Fuller (Robert’s son), in which is mentioned the Tryndlehedge land which was "bequeathed to said Thomas Fuller Senior by his father Robert Fuller as by copy of Court held 13 Apr. in the 13th year of the reign of the late King James."

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Sara Dunckhorne was born about 1552 possibly in Redenhall/Harleston, Norfolk County, England. Researchers say she was the daughter of John Dunckhorne and an unnamed mother. On January 29, 1572/3, she married Robert Fuller at St Margaret’s Church in Starston, Norfolk County, England (mouse over image right). It is believed that they were the parents of seven children, all born in Redenhall – Eldest son Thomas baptized on December 13, 1573, is mentioned in his father’s will; ancestor Edward, also in Robert’s will, but not listed as the butcher’s son; Ann, baptized on April 22, 1577, married William White in Leiden, Holland and later called herself Susanna, is mentioned in her father’s will; John baptized on March 15, 1578, died before his father and was buried on December 22, 1608, but he and his son are mentioned in Robert’s will; Samuel baptized on September 20, 1580, married in Leiden at least twice, became the first British doctor in Plymouth and is mentioned in his father’s will; Robert baptized on October 22, 1581, is not mentioned in his father’s will and was not identified as the butcher’s son, so he may not be their child; and Edmund baptized on May 19, 1583, listed as the butcher’s son, but died at 15 months old, before his father and was buried on August 19, 1584.

Sarah died a month before her youngest son died and was buried on July 1, 1584, in St Mary’s Churchyard in Harleston at Redenhall Parish, which is adjacent to Starston Parish.


John Fuller’s date of birth is uncertain as records prior to 1559 in Redenhall, Norfolk County, England are not available for this time period. Researchers say his birth is sometime between 1510 to 1518 and his father was named William, but there isn’t documented proof. John married Anne Collinge about 1546 possibly in Redenhall and they had at least three children. See Anne for details. What we do know of him, comes from his will, which he wrote on February 4, 1559 and was proved that same year on May 12th (mouse over and click on image left to enlarge in a new window/tab). Being that his wife is not mentioned in the will, it has been assumed she died before he did, leaving him with at least three young children. His will is registered in the Episcopal Consistorial Court of Norwich. In it he left to his son John all land and tenements “both bound and free in Redenhall and Wortwell, or elles wyer, he paying to my son Robert Fuller 10 pounds.” To “Ales, my daughter, . . . 6 pounds, 8s, 4d.” It also included a small bequest to Stephen and Frances Sadd, when 21. His son John was designated as the executor. The will was witnessed by Thomas Ward, John Barne, Thomas Fuller, and William Norton. John Fuller probably died at the end of April or in the beginning of May that same year, as we find his burial recorded in the St. Mary’s Church, Redenhall Parish register on May 3, 1559.


Anne Collinge was born about 1514 to unknown parents, possibly in Redenhall, Norfolk County, England. She married John Fuller about 1546 probably in Redenhall and they had at least three children – John, considered the eldest because he was the main inheritor of his father’s estate; ancestor Robert; and daughter Alice. There isn’t any proof of their ages, but it is suggested that Robert and Alice were twins. Not much is known about her, but in her son John’s will, he leaves to his wife, “The little house and garden which mother Collinge some time dwelt in, for her life, and to be kept wind tyte and water tyte by my son Raffe.” So it seems he had fond memories of his mother, or as some researcher’s believe, his grandmother.

Because Anne’s not mentioned inher husband’s will, it is believed that Anne Collinge Fuller died before him, leaving John with at least three young children. Some researchers say she died about 1554 in Redenhall, prior to burial records being recorded. She may have died giving birth to the twins. It is assumed she’s buried in the St. Mary’s Churchyard in Redenhall.

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John Dunckhorne is the name some researchers give to ancestor Sara’s father. This researcher has not found any documentation to support this name. Researchers say he was born about 1518 in Norfolk, England, that he married a woman born about 1524 and they had one child, ancestor Sara. They also say that John died in July of 1633 in Norfolk.Part of the reason for the lack of information on this family is that some researchers record different spellings of the surname, Dunkhorn, Dunthorne or Dunkhorne to name just a few. These surnames do appear in the Norfolk parish registers, but none for a John.


William Fuller is said to be in the ancestral line, but no proof exists. Researches say he was born about 1483 in Redenhall, Norfolk County, England, the eldest child of at least five born to Alice and John Fuller Sr. Not much is known about him except what was written in 1901 in the The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, volume 55 on page 410:

There were living in Redenhall, in 1482 and 1488, John and William Fuller, both freeholders, as they were then serving on a jury. In 1508, William Fuller and John Fuller, Jr., were named as grantees in a deed of land in Redenhall. This land was bounded on one side by ‘Free land of John Fuller.’ A copy of this deed may be seen in Egerton Mss., 2713, fol. 7, British Museum, London.

It is believed that the said John Fuller Jr. was his brother.

William married about 1518, possibly in Redenhall and they had at least three sons all born there – ancestor John, William, and Robert. It is not known when and where William Fuller died, but it was after 1526, probably in Redenhall.


John Fuller was probably born about 1460, possibly in Redenhall/Harleston, Norfolk County, England to William and Cecely Fuller. Some researches say his name was William John Fuller. He married Alice (maiden name unknown) about 1482 in Redenhall. Most researchers say that they had only one child together, ancestor William,  then Alice died. Being widowed with a baby, they believe that John remarried and had four additional children – Thomas about 1485; Alice about 1487; Robert about 1489; and John about 1491.

It is believed that John Fuller died in 1511 in Redenhall and his will was proved in the Consistory Court of Norwich on May 17th of that year, but this researcher has not found a copy of that will.


Alice was probably born about 1460, possibly in Redenhall to unknown parents, but some researchers say she was the daughter of Allen Concord. She married John Fuller and had a son, ancestor William, and might have died in 1483 shortly thereafter. If so, she was very young at the time of her death, only 23 years of age. Some researchers say she did not die in 1483, and that she was the mother of John’s other children, dying after the last child in 1491. In either case, her death was probably due to the harsh weather and unsanitary conditions of disease and death in those times with childbearing.

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William Fuller was probably born between 1423 and 1433, possibly in Redenhall, Norfolk County, England. Some researchers say his parents were Thomas Fuller and Margery Fulmer, who lived their lives in Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk County, over 30 miles away. Without solid documentation, his birth year or parentage may never be known. It is reasonable to assume from his surname, that he was a sheep farmer and may have been involved in some area of the wool industry.

Some researchers say that in about 1459, he married Cecely (maiden name unknown), who was born in Redenhall about 1427 to unknown parents. They had at least two children – ancestor John and Robert born about 1462. It is said that William died in 1492 and Cecely in 1522, which would have made her 95 years old at death!


Thomas Fuller was born about 1397 in Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk County, England. He married Margery Fulmer who was born about 1399 in Yaxley, Suffolk County, England.  Some researchers say they are the parents of ancestor William. This researchers has not found any proof that this is true. If it is, they must have traveled to Redenhall sometime between 1423 and 1433 as, it is believed, their son, ancestor William, was born there. Their son remained in Norfolk County, but they could have either returned to Bury St Edmonds or Yaxley, which is just over 12 miles from Redenhall, or stayed in Redenhall. No death records have been found for either of them, but some researchers say that they both died in Yaxley, Thomas in 1489 and Margery in 1494, and are buried in the St Mary the Virgin Churchyard, pictured right. 

Bury St. Edmunds is a historic market town in the county of Suffolk and formerly the capital of East Anglia and county town of West Suffolk. Local residents often refer to Bury St. Edmunds simply as Bury, a variant of the word burgh or borough

This is where the Fuller line ends. But it should be mentioned that the genealogical origins of the surname Fuller stem from the fact that many folks who were born and lived in the early 1300s & 1400s were sheep herders. The wool was gathered and spun into yarn, but was first brushed – the brushes would become full of wool very quickly, so young boys were employed to keep the brushes clean, thus these young boys and sometimes girls, became known as the Fullers. A further extension of this tradition became known as the Fuller Brush Man. This is a true, historical family truth about the Fuller surname!

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Redenhall with Harleston is a town and civil parish in the South Norfolk District of the English county of Norfolk, comprising the villages of Redenhall and Harleston. It covers an area of 13.73 kilometers or 5.30 square miles. (Mouse over map to swap images.)

The following is an except taken from The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, volume 55 on page 410 which was written by By Francis H. Fuller, Esq., of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts in 1901.

The parish of Redenhall with Harleston (yellow) lies nearly in the centre of the hundred of Earsham, County in Norfolk, England. It is in form an oblong, running north and south, with a length of a little less than four miles, and a mean breadth of about a mile and a quarter. At the north-west corner of the oblong its boundary touches Hardwick. Starting from this point, the parish is bounded by Shelton on the north, by Alburgh and Wortwell on the east, by Mendham on the south, and by Needham and Starston on the west. There is only one break in the regularity of the outline, and that is the peninsula projecting into Needham, just west of the town of Harleston.  Redenhall with Harleston and Wortwell taken together, closely resemble a human foot, Harleston lying at the heel, Redenhall church at the centre of the arch, and Wortwell towards the toes.

A few words may be said here as to the relative positions of Redenhall and Wortwell, though the latter parish does not fall within the scope of this article. Wortwell is a separate and distinct parish with its own parochial officers, and now has its own parish council. But for ecclesiastical purposes it is united with, but not merged in, the parish of Redenhall. The two parishes have a church in common, through which their division line passes. The parishioners of Wortwell elect one churchwarden to represent their interests and discharge their duties in matters touching the church. The Rector of Redenhall has the tithes, and is responsible for the cure of souls in Wortwell. The old parsonage house stood in that parish, and we shall see that when the churchwardens made out their rate for church expenses, three-fourths of the amount was raised in Redenhall and one-fourth in Wortwell. (See Charles Candler's Notes on the Parish of Redenhall with Harleston.)

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