ORIGIN: Leiden, Holland

MIGRATION: 1620 on Mayflower


OCCUPATION: Surgeon (see CHURCH MEMBERSHIP below). Inventory included "a surgeon's chest with the things belonging to it" valued at £5.

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: In 1629 Samuel Fuller visited Salem, principally in his role as surgeon, but while there he consulted with Endicott about the organization and practices of the Plymouth church, a discussion that undoubtedly affected the founding of the Salem church in that year [Bradford LB 46-48]. He went on a similar mission to Massachusetts Bay in 1630 [Bradford LB 56-59]. In 1633 Bradford commented on the epidemic which took many of the Plymouth colonists, and specifically "in the end, after he had much helped others, Samuel Fuller who was their surgeon and physician and had been a great help and comfort unto them. As in his faculty, so otherwise being a deacon of the church, a man godly and forward to do good, being much missed after his death" [Bradford 260].

FREEMAN: "Samuel Fuller senior" appears early in the "1633" list of Plymouth freemen, before those admitted 1 January 1632/3 [PCR 1 :3].

EDUCATION: Sufficient to act as a surgeon. He wrote three polished letters to Bradford in 1630 [Bradford LB 56-59]. Inventory included about thirty books valued at £3 2s. 6d.; they were mostly Bibles and other religious volumes, but there were also his "physic books," some dictionaries and other practical books [MD 2:8].

OFFICES: Plymouth tax assessor for rate of 25 March 1633 [PCR 1 :9]. His inventory included "2 fowling pieces & a musket" valued at £2 [MD 2:9].

ESTATE: In the 1623 Plymouth division of land Samuel Fuller received two acres as a passenger on the Mayflower, and "Brigett Fuller" received one acre as a passenger on the Anne [PCR 12:4, 6]. In the 1627 Plymouth division of cattle Samuel Fuller, his wife Bridget Fuller and Samuel Fuller Junior were the first three persons in the eighth company [PCR 12: 11 ]. (This "Samuel Fuller Junior" was not son of Samuel but of his brother Edward [MD 39:85].)

"Sam: Fuller, Senior" was assessed 18s. in the 25 March 1633 Plymouth tax list, and "Widow Fuller" was assessed 9s. in the list of 27 March 1634 [PCR 1:9, 28].

"Mrs. Fuller" allocated hay ground, 14 March 1635/6, 20 March 1636/7 [PCR 1:40, 56]

In his will, dated 30 July 1633 and proved 28 October 1633 [PCR 1:18], "Samuel Fullere the elder ... sick & weak" bequeathed "the education of my children to my brother Will Wright & his wife, only that my daughter Mercy be & remain with goodwife Wallen"; "if it shall please God to recover my wife out of her weak estate of sickness, then my children to be with her or disposed by her"; "there is a child committed to my charge called Sarah Converse, my wife dying as afore I desire my brother Wright may have the bringing up of her" and if he refuse then "I commend her to my loving neighbor & brother in Christ Thomas Prence," whosoever takes her to bring her up in the fear of God as their own "which was a charge laid upon me per her sick father when he freely bestowed her upon me"; "whereas Eliz[abeth] Cowles was committed to my education by her father & mother still living at Charles Towne" she to be conveniently apparelled and returned to her father or mother or either of them; "George Foster being placed with me upon the same terms by his parents still living at Sagos" he to be restored to his mother; to "Samuel my son my house & lands at the Smeltriver"; "my house & garden at town be sold & all my moveables there & at the Smeltriver (except my cattle) together with the present crop of corn ... except ... such as [my overseers] shall think meet in the present education of my two chil-dren Samuell & Mercy"; "two acres of land that fell unto me by lot ... to Samuell my son"; two acres of land "given me by Edward Bircher ... at Strawberry Hill if Mr. Roger Williams refuse to accept of them as formerly he hath done ... also one other acre by Mr. Heeks" to Samuel; "my cousin Samuell go freely away with his stock of cattle & swine without any further reckoning"; all the swine be sold "except my best hog which I would have killed this winter for the present comfort of my children"; whereas "I have disposed of my children to my Brother Will[iam] Wright & Prisilla his wife ... in case my wife die he enter upon my house & land at the Smelt River, & also my cattle not disposed on together with my two servants Thomas Symons & Rob[er]t Cowles for the remainder of their several terms to be employed for the good of my children"; in case "my said brother Will[iam] Wright or Prisilla his wife die, then my said children Samuell & Mercy together with the said joint charge committed to the said Will[iam] & Prisilla be void except my overseers or the survivor of them shall think meet"; a cow calf to the Church of God at Plymouth use to be determined by the Deacons; "to my sister Alice Bradford" 12s. for a pair of gloves; any debt due from Capt. Standish "I give unto his children"; a pair of 5s. gloves to "Mr. Joh. Winthrop, Govr. of the Massachusets"; to "my brother Wright" one cloth suit; the two pounds of beaver owed by Capt. John Endecott "I give it to his son"; when "my children come to age ... my overseers make a full valuation of that stock of cattle & the increase thereof & that it be equally divided between my children, and if any die in the meantime, the whole to go to the survivor or survivors," they to enjoy their portions at the age of discretion "not at any set time or appointment of years"; "my brother Wright" to have the refusal of the purchase of cattle; to.':John Jenny &Joh. Wynslow" each a 5s. pair of gloves; to "Mrs. Heeks" 20s.; to "old Mr. William Brewster my best hat & band which I have never wore"; "if my children die, that then my stock be thus distributed: first that what care of pains or charge hath been by any about my children be fully recompensed"; next "as it may redound to the Governing Elder or Elders of this Church at Plymouth ... as my overseers shall think meet"; to "Rebecca Prence" 2s. 6d. for a pair of gloves; "my kinsman Sam. Fuller now in the house with me enjoy whatsoever lands I am now possessed of except my dwelling house at town or whatsoever shall be due to me or them" if my children die before their full age, also "my ruffiet cloak & my stuff suit I now wear"; "I institute my son Samuell my executor and because he is young & tender, I enjoin him to be wholly ordered by Edw Wynslow Mr. Wil Bradford & Mr. Tho. Prence" overseers, they to have 20s. each; to "Mercy my daughter one Bible with a black cover with Bezaes notes"; the rest of "my books to my son Samuel, which I desire my Brother Wright will safely preserve for him"; "when my daughter Mercy is fit to go to school ... Mrs. Heeks may teach her as well as my son"; whatsoever "Mr. Roger Williams is indebted to me upon my book for physic, I freely give him"; if "my wife" recover, she to have the education of the children; if the overseers die, then some other of the church be appointed; "whereas the widow Ring committed the oversight of her son Andrew to me at her death, my will is that Mr. Tho. Prence one of my overseers, take the charge of him." The will was followed by a list of debts acknowledged by Samuel Fuller "upon his death bed" including "Henry Wood ... an old debt due at Leyden" and "an herbal belonging to Joh. Chew of Plymouth in old England" [MD 1:24-29, citing PCPR 1:1-3).

The inventory of Samuel Fuller the elder was presented at court 2 January 1633/4 and totalled £212 16s. 6d. "besides the books & the country house," and included £25 in real estate: "a dwelling house &c. in the town," £15; and "the country house," £10 [MD 2:8-10, citing PCPR 1:22-24). .

BIRTH: Baptized Redenhall, Norfolk, 20 January 1580, son of Robert Fuller [NEHGR 55:192).

DEATH: Plymouth between 9 August 1633 (date of will) and 26 September 1633 (probate of will).

MARRIAGE: (1) Alice Glascock, who died by 1613.

(2) (as "Samuel Fuller, say-weaver, from London in England, widower of Alice Glascock") Leiden 23 April 1613 [NS] "Agnes Carpenter, single woman, from Wrington in England" [Plooij XIV; Leiden Pilgrims 95; MD 8:129-30), daughter of Alexander Carpenter (see PRISCILLA CARPENTER [PM 93]). She was buried at Leiden on 3 July 1615 [NEA 3:2:49].

(3) (as "Samuel Fuller, say-weaver, from England, widower of Anna Carpenter") Leiden 27 May 1617 [NS] "Bridget Lee, single woman, also from England, accompanied by Josephine Lee, her mother" [Plooij XXX; Leiden Pilgrims 96; MD 8:129- 30); she died after 2 May 1667 [MD 39:86).


  1. Child, bur. Leiden 29 June 1615 [NS] [Dexter 615).
  2. (poss.) BRIDGET, b, say 1619; m. Plymouth 30 September 1641 Henry Sirkman [PCR 2:23). (The temptation is strong to place Bridget in this family, and we are told that Samuel Fuller had "a child which came afterwards," apparently meaning after both parents had arrived [Bradford 442]. Samuel did not, however, name her in his will.)
  3. MERCY, b. after 22 May 1627 (not in 1627 division accounting of 1651 [Bradford 445]; no further record.
  4. SAMUEL, b. about 1629; m. (1) ____ ; m. (2) between 11 April 1663 and 2 May 1667 Elizabeth (Nichols) Bowen, daughter of John Nichols and widow of Thomas Bowen [MD 39:86-87].

ASSOCIATIONS: Brother of EDWARD FULLER (see his sketch for a comment on the accepted ancestry of these two men). Through his second wife related to WILLIAM BRADFORD, WILLIAM WRIGHT and others (see PRISCILLA CARPENTER).

COMMENTS: In his list of passengers on the Mayflower Bradford included "Mr. Samuel Fuller and a servant called William Button. His wife was behind, and a child which came afterwards" [Bradford 442]. In his 1651 accounting of Mayflower passengers Bradford reported that "Mr. Fuller his servant died at sea; and after his wife came over he had two children by her, which are living and grown up to years; but he died some fifteen years ago" [Bradford 445].

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1996 the Five Generations Project of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants published an account of Samuel Fuller and his descendants, revised by Margaret Harris Stover and Robert S. Wakefield from the edition prepared earlier by Katharine Warner Radasch and Arthur Hitchcock Radasch [MF 10].

The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony 1620-1633

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