Matthew Fuller acquired considerable land on Sandy Neck at Barnstable. A piece of this land, he sold to his brother, Samuel, and then he and Samuel bought more land on Sandy Neck from the Secunke Indians. Jointly and individually the two of them owned nearly the entire neck.
Matthew was obviously a capable and industrious man who also had a good understanding of military and political functions. He was very outspoken and known to be unbending when he felt he was right. This got him into trouble with his superiors at times but did not appear to have done any harm to the good will between himself and others. Perhaps this is because he was usually right and his offense was only in his boldness of expression. At any rate, promotions continued to come at regular intervals and he continued to be successful in his dealings with his friends and neighbors. It has been suggested that people became so accustomed to his blustering ways that they ignored them and respected him for what he did rather than being offended at what he said. At the time of his death, in 1678 at Barnstable, Matthew Fuller was quite a wealthy man.
Matthew and Frances are known to have had five children. They were Mary, Elizabeth, Samuel. Matthew and John. John was also a doctor and earned a good reputation as such. After Frances died Matthew married a woman by the name of Hannah and they had a daughter they named Anne. Anne married her cousin, Samuel Fuller, who was the son of Matthew’s brother, Samuel.
Matthew’s own son, Samuel, contributed his share as a pioneer of early America too. This Samuel was born in England and came to America with his parents, probably when he was somewhere between 15 and 20 years old. His wife, Mary, is believed to have been Mary Eaton but no proof of that has been found. They had seven children. Like his father, Samuel was civic minded and was active in the local government and militia. He was a town officer and a member of a colony committee to inspect and assess damages done to some Indians by English cattle. By the time he received a commission to Lieutenant in the Plymouth Colony Forces many of the Indians in the area were becoming resentful of the spreading out and advancing of the white settlers. Lieutenant Samuel Fuller found himself getting involved in several Indian attacks. He survived King Phillip’s war but, when the Indians attacked Rehoboth and burned it to the ground on the 25th of March in 1675, Samuel was counted among the fatalities. At the same time, back in Barnstable, a wife and unborn child waited for a husband and father who would never return. When that child was born later the same year, he was given his father’s name. And so, there was another Samuel to carry on for the Fuller pioneers.
Now, we are coming to the time when the settlements were extending beyond Massachusetts and young people were being encouraged to go settle in Connecticut. Timothy and Samuel Jr. both moved to Connecticut. Timothy settled at East Haddam and Samuel went to live around Mansfield and Preston. After attaining the military rank of Sargent, Samuel was referred to as Sgt. Samuel. In 1696 Timothy inherited from his brother, Matthew, half of the land at Middleborough, Massachusetts that had been willed to them by their grandfather, Matthew.
Sgt. Samuel met a girl in Connecticut who impressed him quite favorably and, on the third of October of 1700, he and Elizabeth were married. Elizabeth was a girl from Duxbury, Massachusetts and daughter of Reverend Rodolphus Thatcher which made her a granddaughter of Rev. Thomas Thatcher. She was also a Harvard graduate and a learned Arabic scholar. When Sgt. Samuel died in 1716 he left his entire estate to this remarkable lady. She later married Israel Standish of Preston, Connecticut who was a grandson of Miles Standish.
Excerpted from “Wool Trompers” by J. L. Fuller
History can be boring until it involves some of your own ancestors. Then it takes on an entirely new meaning. Have you researched your family’s history? If you have, what did you find? If you haven’t, you may find it very rewarding.