Mayflower Descendants from the Fuller Family

Introduction: In this article, Melissa Davenport Berry continues her series on Mayflower descendants – focusing this time on the Fuller family line. Melissa is a genealogist who has a blog, AnceStory Archives, and a Facebook group, New England Family Genealogy and History.

The Fuller family that braved passage across the Atlantic on the Mayflower in 1620 left many descendants.

Illustration: “The Mayflower Compact, 1620,” a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1899
Illustration: “The Mayflower Compact, 1620,” a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1899. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Elizabeth Needham Ballard, member of the Mayflower Society in Texas, is a direct descendant of Captain Matthew Fuller, who came to Plymouth in 1640. His father, Edward Fuller, was one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact in 1620. Matthew Fuller was a noted physician and soldier, and was appointed Surgeon General of the Plymouth forces.

Elizabeth shared some photos and Bible records of her kinfolk for this article, and I found some interesting newspaper articles by searching GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives for her line.

An article about the Mayflower passengers and their descendants, Columbus Dispatch newspaper article 23 November 1967
Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio), 23 November 1967, page 67

This article has good information about the Fuller brothers, Samuel and Edward, such as this:

An article about the Mayflower passengers and their descendants, Columbus Dispatch newspaper article 23 November 1967
Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio), 23 November 1967, page 67

And this:

An article about the Mayflower passengers and their descendants, Columbus Dispatch newspaper article 23 November 1967
Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio), 23 November 1967, page 67

Capt. Mathew Fuller’s daughter Elizabeth married Moses Rowley of Barnstable, Massachusetts. This 1982 newspaper article outlined the different branches of the Rowley family, who settled in New England.

An article about the Rowley family line, Advocate newspaper article 7 November 1982
Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), 7 November 1982, page 160

The family line can be traced back to Henry – first noted in the Plymouth, Massachusetts, records in 1632 – who married the widow Ann Blossom in 1633. Moses Rowley was a neighbor of Samuel Fuller. He was made Deputy of General Court and later moved to East Haddon, Connecticut.

Moses’ granddaughter Abigail Rowley married Micah Mudge, a Revolutionary War patriot and one of the founders of Richmond, Massachusetts. This illustration, from the Springfield Union, shows Richmond being surveyed and reports that “The first settler in Richmond was Micah Mudge, who established a home there in 1760.”

An article about Micah Mudge, Springfield Union newspaper article 30 March 1958
Springfield Union (Springfield, Massachusetts), 30 March 1958, page 49

I also found this advertisement for Lee Savings Bank using the Berkshires Scrapbook archives. The ad portrays a warm family scene of protection and security using an image of Micah and Abigail Mudge with daughter Elizabeth, the first white child born in Richmond.

An article about the Mudge family, Berkshire Eagle newspaper article 10 February 1954
Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts), 10 February 1954. Credit: The Berkshire Eagle; New England Newspaper Corp.

Charlotte, second daughter born to Micah and Abigail, married Daniel Thurston, a Revolutionary War patriot. Daughter Elisabeth “Betsy” Thurston married George Washington Croshaw, who descends from the Stockton family of New Jersey.

A son Doughty Stockton Croshaw, Civil War Union soldier and publisher/editor of the conservative newspaper the Independent in Batavia, Ohio, married Ellen Marie Fairman. Their daughter Ida J. Croshaw married Charles M. Needham.

Montage: Charles Marion Needham and Ida Jane Croshaw (1855-1917); family Bible recording birth of Charles Needham on 15 September 1855
Montage: Charles Marion Needham and Ida Jane Croshaw (1855-1917); family Bible recording birth of Charles Needham on 15 September 1855. Credit: Elizabeth Needham Ballard.

The couple moved to Indiana and purchased a 10,000-acre farm known as Needham House Farm. For many years they were the leading horse breeder and harness supplier in the area.

Just recently, Needham House Farm (1887) was listed on the historic register and honored with the Hoosier Homestead Award at the State Fair organized by Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch this past August.

Montage: Needham House Farm
Montage: Needham House Farm. Credit: Elizabeth Needham Ballard.

Elizabeth Needham Ballard says:

“I love researching this family; it has led me to kings and queens, Jamestown, the Mayflower, and New Amsterdam, New York. I have found royalty, Huguenots, presidents, senators, governors, poets, witches, clergy, Quakers, soldiers in the Colonial Wars, the French and Indian War, signers of the Declaration of Independence, soldiers in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, WWI and WWII. The family is full of clergy, farmers, scholars, horse breeders, manufacturers of farming and horse equipment, a newspaper owner and editor, world travelers and adventurers. My father and I traveled the world researching the family; I feel their loves, hopes and desires in me, as I speak their names they live on forever, never to be forgotten.”

Some famous descendants of Edward Fuller are Mormon church founder Joseph Smith, artist Georgia O’Keeffe, Amelia Earhart, actor Don Knott and radio/tv host Dick Clark.

Further Reading:

Genealogy:

Elizabeth Needham Ballard——Fuller Mayflower line:

  • Edward Fuller, died Jan-Mar 1621 on board the Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor, m: (in England or Leiden) Mrs. Edward Fuller (maiden name unknown), died Jan-Mar 1621 on board the Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor
  • Mathew Fuller, m: (in England) Francis ____, presumably Hyde
  • Elizabeth Fuller, m: 22 Apr 1652 (in Barnstable, Massachusetts) Moses Rowley
  • Moses Rowley, m: Jan 1675 (in Barnstable, Massachusetts) Mary Fletcher
  • Jonathan Rowley, m: 4 Feb 1742 (in Colchester, Connecticut) Abigail Green
  • Abigail Rowley, m: 1767 (in Richmond, Massachusetts) Micah Mudge
  • Charlotte Mudge, m: 20 Feb 1786 (in Lebanon, New York) Daniel Thurston
  • Elizabeth Curtis Thurston, m: 18 Apr 1822 (in New York) George Washington Croshaw
  • Doughty Stockton Croshaw, m: 11 Apr 1854 (in Medina, New York) Ellen Marie Fairman
  • Ida Julia Croshaw, m: 24 Mar 1878 (in Batavia, Ohio) Charles Marion Needham
  • Francis Marion Needham, m: 15 Oct 1902 (in Indian Creek, Indiana) Lola Montez Knarr
  • Roland Francis Needham, m: 4 Sep1923 Dorothy Cosette Felker
  • Francis Marion Needham, m: 5 Aug 1954 (in Gloucester, England) Constance Louisa
  • Elizabeth Needham Ballard

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20 thoughts on “Mayflower Descendants from the Fuller Family

  1. Melissa, wonderful! Thank you for including me and my family in your research and writing. So nice to see the Fuller’s written and talked about.

    Blessings, Elizabeth

  2. Another notable descendant of Edward Fuller was Melville Weston Fuller, Chief Justice of the United States. My grandfather, Willard King, wrote a biography of him.

  3. This was wonderful to read! I am a descendant of Matthew and his brother Samuel (whom you did not mention) through two different lines. What a great family lineage we have.

  4. I really liked this! I learned a lot of new facts about the Fuller family and others. I found out that I have Mayflower family as well. It is so interesting to know and trace the generations to the present time.

  5. I am Stephen Wayne Fuller. My family is descended from the Fuller’s on the Mayflower through Stephen Hopkins, I believe. Thanks for posting this. I would love to have more information on this.

  6. I was just looking at Relative Finder and I found I am related to Mayflower Fuller!!! He comes through my grandfather’s line. Plus I have Tilly, Chilton too. Fun to find all that history.

    1. Hi Pat, that is so cool and yes, I have loved finding all the Mayflower stories from GenealogyBank newspaper searches. Keep us posted on your finds!

  7. Hi,
    Does anyone have information on the second Mayflower crossing?
    In my family search I see a Finch on the list. And my ancestors lived in Conn.
    Thanks,
    Bill

  8. More may be found on Dr. (Captain) Matthew Fuller in the book SOLDIERS IN KING PHILIP’S WAR, by George Madison Bodge.

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