Fullerton Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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medieval bird trapping
medieval bird trapping

Fullerton Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This last name is a Scottish and northern Irish habitational surname denoting a person who was from a place named Fullerton, derived from the Old English words fuglere, meaning “bird catcher” and tun, meaning “enclosure” or “settlement”. Hence, the literally translation of the name is “settlement of bird catchers”. The two main towns that gave birth to this name is considered to be Fullarton in Ayrshire and Foulertoun in Forfar, Scotland. Other locations that might have given rise to this surname include places in Hampshire.

Bird catching was a critical function during medieval times and the Middle Ages in Europe. Medieval-Spell.com contains the following excerpt: “Medieval hunting, cultivated especially in the days of chivalry, was much more than a form of entertainment, it was considered an art and a science. According to Elzéar Blaze, a writer and a captain in Napoleon’s army, Medieval hunting included three categories. First, venery, defined as “the science of snaring, taking, or killing a particular animal from amongst a herd.” Second, hawking, the art of hunting with the falcon, and that of training birds of pray to hunt feathered game. The third was fowling, which initially started out of the necessity to protect the crops against the birds”.

An alternate theory is that it a locational surname referring to a person from a town where cloth is dressed, from fuller, a medieval occupation involving cleaning wool through the process of fulling.


Phoencian Mariners
Phoencian Mariners

Craig-Fullerton.com offers up legend or family folklore as to why the family’s crest is a camel’s head, since no camel’s lived natively in Scotland: “It has been said that those who were later to call themselves Fowlertoun were descended from Phoenician mariners who were shipwrecked on the northern coast of Europe, possibly where Norway now lies. They joined up with the tribes sweeping south into Gaul or what is now France and eventually aligned themselves with William the Conqueror and joined in the invasion of Great Britain. Because they were for some time in Gaul it has therefore been said that their origin was French”.

Fullerton Family Motto
I have identified three Fullerton family mottoes, translated from Latin to English as follows:
1) Lux in tenebris (Light in the darkness)
2) Mihi terraque lacusque (I have lands and waters)
3) Ad summum emergent (They rise to the top)

Surname Spelling variants
Spelling or names with similar etymologies include Fullarton, Fulerton, Fallerton, Foulerton, Fowlertoun, Fowlartoun, Fillerton, and Foulerton.

Early Bearers of the Fullerton Surname
Alanus de Fowlertoun was documented in Irvine, Strathclyde, Scotland c. 1280 AD. Ade de Foulerton was documented in Glenkill in 1329 AD. Rankin de Fowlartoun was documented in 1429 in Ayshire. Johannes de Foulartoun was document in Glasgow, Scotland in 1487 AD.

Fullarton House
Fullarton House

Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Fullerton ranks 3,912th popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following four states: Montana (1,543rd), Maine (1,717th), Wyoming (1,889th), and New Hampshire (1,963rd).

The surname Fullerton frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (4,400th), Scotland (800th), Wales (10,156th), Ireland (2,693rd) and Northern Ireland (528th). In England, it ranks highest in counties Merseyside, Northumberland, and Wiltshire. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Shetland and Clackmannanshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in Ulster.

The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world:  Canada (2,716th), New Zealand (2,494th), Australia (2,447th), and South Africa (56,713th).

Fullerton Family Tree & Fullerton Genealogy

Isle of Arran
Isle of Arran

Fullarton of Kilmichael
The lineage of this branch of the Fullarton family tree begins with Fergus Fullarton, or Macloy, who received the lands of Kilmichael for the support he rendered to Robert The Bruce (1274-1329 AD) while he was in concealment in the Isle of Arran. Several generations down the family tree came Major Archibald Fullarton, of Kilmichael and Whitefarland, Scotland, son of Dr. Louis Fullarton and Susannah Stewart, who possessed estates that had been in the family for five hundred years. Major Archibald was a Magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant for county Bute. He married Jane, daughter of Reverend Dr. William Peebles of Ayr, and had a daughter with her named Jane Annabella, who married Menzies James Bowden Fullarton in 1855. He later married Janet, daughter of John Robertson, Esquire of Lawhead, and had two sons and three daughters with her. He died in 1860. Janet Spottiswoode Fullarton of Kilmichael and Whitefarland, Isle of Iran, succeeded to the estates at the death of her sister in 1876. The Fullarton coat of arms or Fullarton family crest is blazoned in the medieval European art of heraldry as follows: Argent, a crescent between three otters’ heads erased gules. Crest: A camel’s head erased proper. Motto: Lux in tenebris. They were seated at Kilmichael, Brodick, Isle of Arran, Scotland.

Fullerton of Ballintoy Castle

Ballintoy Castle
Ballintoy Castle

This family is a branch of the Downings, extinct Baronets. Nicholas Downing, Esquire of Drummond, county Londonderry, who died c. 1698 AD is considered the progenitor. Several generations down the came George Alexander Downing, Esquire, son of Dawson Downing, who received considerable lands from his great-uncle, and in compliance with his great-uncle’s testamentary injunction, the surname and arms of Fullarton, and became of Tockingnor and Ballintoy, born in 1775. He married Mary Anne, daughter of James Peacock Esq., and had issue with her as follows: Alexander George (discussed below), George (military officer), David (of Walhampton Park, Lymington, married Susannah Jane Mott and had two sons and eight daughters with her), Catherine, Amy, Susan (married John Maxwell Esq.), Frances (married Sir Andrew Armstrong, Baronet), and Mary Anne (married Reverend Canon Howman). His son, Alexander George Fullerton was an Esquire of Ballintoy Castle, county Antrim, and a Brevet Major in the Army, born in 1808. In 1833, he married, in Paris, France, Lady Georgiana Leveson-Gower, daughter of Earl Granville, and had a son and heir with her named William Granville, born at the British Embassy in Paris in 1834.

Fullerton of Thrybergh Park
The progenitor of this branch of the Fullerton family tree is Allan Fullarton, who lived c. 1240 AD.  His son, Adam Fullarton, received a charter of lands of from James, High Steward of Scotland, which was renewed by King Robert II of Scotland in 1371 AD. He had a son named Reginald Fullarton, who lived c. 1310 AD, and had a son named Sir Adam Fullarton, of Fullarton. In 1346, Sir Adam accompanied the army under King David II of Scotland into England and was created a Knight by that monarch. He was taken prisoner with King David II at the Battle of Durham. He married Marjorie, a lady of the Stewart family, and had to sons with her: John was (was taken prisoner with his father and left for ransom, had a son named Reginald) and David (obtained a charter from Hugh Eglintoun of the lands of Laithis). He died in 1399 and was succeeded by his grandson Reginald. Reginald had a son named Rankin Fullarton, who lived around 1412 AD. From him descended James Fullarton, who married Agnes, daughter of John Fullarton of Dreghorn, with wife Jean, daughter of John Mure of Rowallan, and had three sons with her: 1) James Fullarton (ancestors of the Fullartons of Fullarton, county Ayr, Scotland), 2) John (served with the army in Germany and in 1639 went to France as Lieutenant College to the Honorable Alexander Erskine, he was advanced to rank of Colonel in the French service by King Louis XIII of France, acquired the estate of Dudwick in Aberdeen. He married and had issue, including a descendant named General John Fullerton of Dudwick who distinguished himself in the Prussian and Russian services), and 3) William. His third son, William Fullarton, Minister of St. Quivox, married Frances, daughter of Stewart of Reece, a cadet of the Stewarts of Reece, and had issue including a son named Robert. Robert Fullerton, of Craighall, lived in 1660 and married Barbara, daughter of John Wallace, and had issue with her as follows: John (his heir), Robert, William, Adam, George, Barbara, and Isabel. His heir, John Fullerton of Craighill, was born in 1716. He married Ms. Weston of West Horsley Place, county Surrey, England, and had issue with her as follows: John (heir), Weston, and Judith (married Savile Finch Esq. of Thrybergh, county York, England, Member of Parliament for Malton). He was succeeded by Reverend John Fullerton, Rector of Stratford-on-Avon, who married Rebecca Garth and had two issue with her: John and Judith. His son, John Fullerton Esq. of Thrybergh, Denaby, and Brinsworth, county York, born 1788. In 1801, he married Louisa, daughter of Tore Townsend of Honnington Hall, and had issue, including: 1) John (his heir), 2) Weston (married Charlotte, daughter of Reverend T. Trebeck, Rector of Chirley, had issue named John Reginald, Thomas, a Commander in the Royal Navy, Cecilia Louisa Anne, and Seline), and 3) Thomas, 4) Reverend Arthur (Rector of Thrybergh, married Augusta Dyson), 5) Anna (married George Ramsden Esq. of the Priory), 6) Elizabeth (married D.H.W. Pickard, Esq. R.A. of Hooton Hall, Rotheram, county York, and Sturminster Marshall, Dorset), 7) Horatio Sophia, and 8) Frances (married Reverend Charles Smith, Rector of East Sarstone). Colonel Fullerton died in 1847 and was succeeded by his eldest son, John Fullerton, Esquire of Thrybergh and Brinsworth, married, in 1827, Louisa, daughter of Sir Gray Skipwith, Baronet of Newbold Hall, and had issue with her as follows: 1) Thomas Gray (discussed below), 2) Reverend Charles Garth (Rector of Boothby Graffoe, married Catherine, daughter of Reverend A. R. Kenney, Rector of Bourton), 3) Robert, 4) Arthur George (Lieutenant Commander Royal Navy, married Isabella, daughter of Colonel St. Aubyn Molesworth), 5) Louisa, 6) Augusta Selina, 7) Sophia (married Reverend Henry Taylor Cordeaux, Vicar of Kilnhurst), 8) Julia Frances, 9) Emma, 10) Charlotte, and 11) Ellen. He died in 1871, and was succeeded by his eldest son Thomas.Thomas Gray Fullerton, Esquire of Thrybergh, county York, England and of Brunswith House, Clapham, Surrey, was born in 1828. In 1857, he married Euphemia Margaret, daughter of Reverend Dr. Worsley of Gatcombe, Isle of Wight. The Fullerton coat of arms of Fullerton family crest for this branch of the family tree is blazoned as follows: Argent, a chevron between three otters’ heads erased gules. Crest: A camel’s head and neck erased proper. Supporters: Two savages wreathed with laurel about the head and middle each holding in the exterior hand a club resting on the shoulder all proper. Motto: Lux in tenebris. They were seated at Thrybergh, Rotherham.

Fullerton from England to Virginia
John Fullerton, son of James, was born in London, England c. 1650 AD. He married Ann Sudoe or Snow(e), and had a son with her named Alexander. John came to colonial America. His son, Alexander Fullerton, was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1672. He married Mary Ellen, daughter of Ephraim Jones and Ruth Prescott, and had issue as follows: John A., Mary, William W., Edward, Ann, and Mary Ellen. Two of his sons are discussed as follows:
1) John A. Fullerton was born in Boston, MA in 1696. He married twice: Rebecca (daughter of Joseph Delano) and Ruth (daughter of Caleb Sampson).
2) William W. Fullerton was born in Boston, MA in 1702. He married Mary, daughter of John Crowell, and had issue with her as follows: Lucia, Anna, Penelope, Sarah, Araunah, Abigail, Mercy, Mary, John, Ann, Althea, Ruth, William, Stephen, and Deborah.

Lord Fullerton
Lord Fullerton bust in Signet Library
wiki: Stephencdickson, SA4.0

Marriages of Fullertons
1) Henry Fullerton married Jenny Dougharty in Liverpool, England in December 1780
2) John Fullerton married Mary Duxbury in Manchester, England in May 1787
3) William Fullerton Esq. married Annabella Crawford in Edinburgh, Scotland in September 1772
4) Robert Fullerton married Lucy Kate in Edinburgh, Scotland in March 1897
5) Nellie Fullerton married John Blyth in Washington, Maryland in October 1799
6) William Fullerton married Ann Lewis in Belmont, Ohio in November 1818
7) Leander Fullerton married Marthina Powers in Clark County, Arkansas in January 1878
8) George L. Fullerton married Margarett Smith in Highland, Ohio in 1843
9) Joseph Fullerton married Trumbull, Ohio in 1841
10) Samuel Fullerton married Sarah Duff in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in July 1893
11) Peruassia Fullerton married Boyer L. Rodgers in August 1864
12) Henry B. Fullerton married Kate Carpenter in Daviess, Indiana in March 1891

Early American and New World Settlers
Some of the earliest settlers in colonial America bearing this name include:
1) James Fullerton came to Virginia in 1658 and owned land there. He was most likely from Ireland.
2) Grace Fullerton came in 1659
3) Allen Fullerton came to Virginia in 1669 and owned land there.
4) Stephen Fullerton came to Virginia in 1679
5) Susan Fullerton came to Virginia in 1679
6) Helen Fullerton came to Delaware in 1682
7) Alexander Fullerton came from England to Virginia in 1684
8) Robert Fullerton came from East New Jersey in 1684
9) Thomas Fullerton came from Scotland to New Jersey in 1684
10) Thomas Fullerton came to Boston, Massachusetts in 1687
11) William Fullerton came to South Carolina in 1688
12) Samuel Fullerton came to Virginia in 1691
13) Alexander Fullerton came to Maryland in 1694
14) James Fullerton came to New Jersey in 1696 or 1697
15) Alexander Fullerton came to Boston, MA in 1699
16) George Fullerton came to Charlestown, South Carolina in 1708
17) Arthur Fullerton, age 19, came to Annapolis, Maryland in 1724 as a indentured servant
18) William Fullerton came to New England in 1728
19) George Fullerton came to Georgia in 1735 or 1736
20) Robert Fullerton came to Boston, MA in 1745

Several thousand members of the Fullerton family came to the United States through Ellis Island, during the nineteenth century, including:
1) James Fullerton came from England aboard the SS City of Brussels in 1871
2) Robert Fullerton came from Ireland aboard the India in 1871
3) Jessie Fullerton came aboard the Saint Louis in 1896
4) Edward G. Fullerton came aboard the Waesland in 1894
5) Mif. H.B. Fullerton came from Aberdeen, Scotland aboard the City of Rome in 1894
6) Alexander Fullerton came from Abderdeen, Scotland aboard the Oceanic in 1903
7) John Fullerton came from Glasgow, Scotland aboard the Oceanic in 1903
8) James Fullerton came from Armagh, Ireland aboard the Astoria in 1901
9) William Fullerton came from Ireland aboard the Astoria in 1907
10) Isabella Fullerton came from Egremont, England aboard the Carmania in 1907
11) James W. Fullerton came from Donefal, Ireland aboard the Columbia in 1907
12) John Fullerton came from Ahoghill, Ireland aboard the Caledonia in 1910

Some of the earliest settlers in Canada bearing this name include:
1) John Fullerton came (from Scotland?) in 1683
2) James Fullerton, and three family members, came to Halifax, Nova Scotia c. 1750.
3) James Strachan Fullerton came from Scotland to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1774.
4) James Fullerton and wife Mary McIntosh came from Scotland to Halifax in 1780
5) James Fullerton came in 1796
6) James Fullerton came to Quebec in 1814
7) Fergus Fullerton and his wife Mary came to Nova Scotia in 1818
8) John Fullerton came to Ontario in 1819
9) Neil Fullerton came to Nova Scotia in 1819
10) Mary Fullerton came from Scotland to Quebec in 1825

Some of the earliest settlers in Australia bearing this name include:
1) Eliza J. Fullerton, age 17, came to Melbourne in 1853
2) William Fullerton, age 31, came to Victoria in 1864
3) Mary Fullerton, age 70, came to Melbourne in 1865
4) David Fullerton, age 20, came to Melbourne in 1862
5) William Fullerton came to Victoria in 1852
6) Archie Fullerton, age 21, came to South Australia in 1865

Some of the earliest settlers in New Zealand bearing this name include:
1) Margaret Fullerton, a “dairy woman” by occupation, came to Canterbury aboard the Mermaid in 1864
2) Ann Jane Fullerton, a “dairy woman” by occupation, came to Canterbury aboard the Mermaid in 1864
3) John Fullerton, age 28, came to Auckland aboard the Assaye in 1874
4) Henry Fullerton, age 26, came to Wellington in 1888
5) Harry Fullerton, age 26, came to Wellington in 1888

Grantees of Arms
1) Fullerton, late Downing, George Alexander, or Ireland, and St. Anne’s, Jamaica (of Wadham College, Oxford), 1790s.

There are hundreds of notable people with the Fullerton surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include:
1) Charles Gordon Fullerton (1936-2013) was a Colonel in the US Air Force and a NASA astronaut born in Rochester, New York
2) Curtis Hooper Fullerton (1898-1975) was an American baseball pitcher who played for the Boston Red Sox from 1921-1925 and 1933, born in Ellsworth, Maine
3) David Fullerton was a member of the US House of Representatives for Pennsylvania from 1819-1820, previously serving in the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1827-1839
4) Reverend Dr. Donald B. Fullerton (1892-1985) was a Christian missionary and teacher born in Brooklyn, New York, who founded the Princeton Christian Fellowship,  having also served in World War I as a 2ND Lieutenant.
5) Admiral Sir Eric John Arthur Fullerton (1878-1962) was a British Royal Navy officer who served in World War I and II, having commanded the HMS Orion and HMS Mersey.
6) John Arthur Fullerton (1912-1965) was a politician who served in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada from 1945-1963, born in Thessalon
7) Robert Fullerton (1773-1831), born in Edinburgh, Scotland, was governor of Penang (a state in Malaysia) and the first governor of Straits Settlements
8) William Young Fullerton (1857-1932) was a Baptist evangelist, administrator, and writer from Belfast, Ireland who served as President of the Baptist Union and Home Secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society, known for influencing the preaching of Charles Surgeon
9) Hugh Stuart Fullerton III (1873-1945) was an American sportswriter from Hillsboro, Ohio, one of the founders of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, best known for uncovering the 1919 Black Sox Scandal in the World Series
10) Terry Fullerton (1953) is a retired British race car driver from London England, active from the 1960s through 1984, known for winning the Karting World Championship

Fullerton America Civil War Veterans
There were several soldiers with the last name Fullerton who served in the American Civil War, including the following:
1) Andrew J. Fullerton of the 26th Regiment Wisconsin Infantry (Union)
2) John Fullerton of the 17th Regiment Iowa Infantry (Union)
3) Joseph C. Fullerton of the 22nd Regiment Indiana Infantry (Union)
4) Alexander Fullerton of the 79th Regiment Illinois Infantry (Union)
5) Simeon Fullerton of the 1st Regiment Michigan Cavalry (Union)
6) Hugh S. Fullerton of the 1st Regiment Ohio Heavy Artillery (Union)
7) Charles H. Fullerton of the 12th Regiment New Hampshire Infantry (Union)
8) George F. Fullerton of Moody’s Company Louisiana Artillery (Confederacy)
9) David Fullerton of the 27th Regiment Tennessee Infantry (Confederacy)
10) Jefferson I. Fullerton of the 8th Regiment Alabama Cavalry (Confederacy)
11) James W. Fullerton of Harrell’s Battalion Arkansas Cavalry (Confederacy)
12) John T. Fullerton of the 2nd Regiment South Carolina Infantry (Confederacy)
13) Peter Fullerton of the 3rd Battalion North Carolina Light Artillery (Confederacy)
14) George H. Fullerton of the 21st Regiment Texas Cavalry (Confederacy)

Fullerton America Revolution Veterans
There were several soldiers with the last name Fullerton who served in the Revolutionary War, including the following:
1) David Fullerton of New Hampshire
2) Private James Fullerton of New Hampshire
3) Private John Fullerton of New Jersey
4) Private Nathaniel Fullerton of Pennsylvania
5) Private Samuel Fullerton
6) Private Thomas Fullerton of Pennsylvania
7) Corporal James Fullerton
8) Private John Fullerton of New York
9) Sergeant Joseph Fullerton of New Jersey
10) Private William Fullerton of New York

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

George Alexander Fullerton
George Alexander Fullerton

1) (Thrybergh Park, co. York). Ar. a chev. betw. three otters’ heads erased gu. Crest—A camel’s head erased ppr. Motto—Lux in tenebris.
2) (borne by George Alexander Downing, Esq., of Ballintoy Castle, co. Antrim, and of Westwood, co. Hants, who assumed the surname and arms of Fullerton, in lieu of his patronymic, Downing, having inherited estates from his great uncle, Alexander Fullerton, Esq., of Ballintoy Castle, descended from Fergus Fullarton, of Scotch ancestry, who settled in Ireland temp. James I.). Ar. three otters’ heads erased gu. quartering Downing. Crest—A camel’s head and neck erased ppr. Motto—Lux in tenebris.
3) (that Ilk, co. Ayr). Ar. three otters’ heads erased gu. Crest—A camel’s head and neck erased ppr. Supporters—Two savages wreathed about the head and middle with laurel, each holding in the exterior hand a club resting on the shoulder all ppr. Motto—Lux in tenebris.
4) (Dreghorn. co. Edinburgh). Same Arms, with a crescent of the last in chief for diff. Crest—An otter’s head erased gu. Motto, as the last.
5) (Craighall, Scotland). Ar. a chev. betw. three otters’ heads erased gu. Crest and Motto, as Fullerton, of that Ilk, co. Ayr.
6) (Greenhill, Scotland). Ar. three otters’ heads erased gu. on a chief of the last two croziers in saltire of the first. Crest—A camel’s head and neck erased of the first. Motto—Ad summum emergunt.
7) (Rosemount, Scotland). Ar. a stag’s head betw. three otter’s heads all erased gu. Crest—An otter’s head erased gu. Motto—Lux in tenebris.

William Fullerton of Carstairs
William Fullerton of Carstairs (1720–1806)

8) (Kilmichael, co. Bute). Ar. a crescent betw. three otters’ heads erased gu. Crest—A camel’s head erased ppr. Motto—Lux in tenebris.
9) (that Ilk, co. Forfar). Ar. on a chev. betw. three otters’ heads couped gu. a crescent betw. two stars of the first.
10) (Kinnaber, co. Forfar). Ar. on a fesse betw. three otters’ heads erased gu. two mullets of the first. Motto—Mihi terraque lacusque.
11) Per fesse wavy or and sa. three tigers’ heads couped, counterchanged. Crest—A tiger’s head couped per fesse wavy or and sa. in the mouth a cinquefoil slipped vert.
12) Argent a chevron or between three otter’s heads erased sable. Crest: A camel’s head erased or. Motto: Lux in tenebris. Bookplate “Fullerton of Carstairs” of N. Y., engr. by Abel Anderson, Amer. wood engraver. Source: Bolton’s American Armory.

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