Category Archives: The Fullers

A trip to South Dakota

In the last post I mentioned that I had looked up a bunch of my relatives in Vermont Newspapers. While researching Jason “Elroy” Fuller, I came across something interesting.

One of the first things I found while researching him for the first time was this bio in the book Genealogy of Some Descendants of Thomas Fuller of Woburn. By: William Hyslop Fuller.

Untitled-3

As you can see it says that Elroy lived in South Dakota for 8 years. Being a decent genealogist I know that sometimes you have to take these family histories with a grain of salt. For nearly a year I couldn’t find anything that lead me to believe that Elroy really went to South Dakota. Why would he leave his wife and eight young children alone for such a long period of time?

While searching the newspapers I found something interesting.

The Vermont watchman, November 24, 1904, Elroy Fuller

So it turns out that the family history of Thomas Fuller was correct. Elroy did in fact go to South Dakota. Apparently he didn’t tell anyone that he was leaving. Which made me wonder why there of all places he could travel in the US. As far as I knew my ancestors had no connections to that part of the country. I didn’t find anything on when Elroy came back to Vermont, but I knew that by 1915 he had passed away in Roxbury, VT.

I had given up any hope of finding out more. Until I was searching for Elroy’s father-in-law Luther Blanchard. A few months before the above article saying that Elroy left, I found this one:

Luther Blanchard The Vermont watchman, June 23, 1904 pt2

The Vermont Watchman (23 Jun 1904)

Luther’s second wife was Lydia Hackett, William’s sister. This was the SD connection I was looking for. While William was visiting his sister he must have been introduced to Elroy. What I still don’t understand and probably never will, was why he left for such a long time without taking his family with him. And what was he doing up there?

This information that Elroy traveled to South Dakota is huge for me. My mother and myself are somewhat of the black sheep in our families. We like to travel, not just travel, we moved.. a lot. Knowing that one of our ancestors moved so far away from his family makes us happy to know that we aren’t the only ones. And it’s possible we got it from him.

My question to you guys is this: Is there a place I can look for records about his time in SD? I’ve tried Ancestry and Family Search. I don’t have any ideas from there. Any help would be wonderful.

Isn’t it funny..

.. that when you make plans, life tends to get in the way. Back in June I wanted to start posting here again, but things happen and decisions needed to be made. But enough about that. This is a genealogy blog after all right?

A while back someone shared with me a website that has free digital copies of many old US newspapers. I’ve tried looking at newspapers.com but they didn’t have any newspapers from Vermont at the time. Taking a shot in the dark I started looking up my ancestors. To my surprise I found quite a few of them. I had no idea that back in the late 1800’s any news was worthy of being posted in the newspapers.

For example:

The Vermont Watchman (15 Apr 1896)

Mr. Fuller is my 3x great grandfather. Along with his father in law Luther Blanchard, I have found nearly a hundred little snippets like the one above. I’m slowly starting to look up my aunts/uncles and cousins in these newspapers to get a better look at the life my family had. While I was looking for possible criminal cases, births, marriage, or deaths, I think I found something much more valuable to my research. 

When I started searching for my family, I wanted to get to know the people who had helped create me. They were real living, breathing human beings and I feel closer to them each day I found an article like the one above.  I can’t wait to start sharing these snapshots into my ancestors lives with you all.

 

** The website I mentioned is Chronicling America **

The Fuller boys pt 2 – Forest Elmer Fuller

Today’s post is about the second eldest boy Forest. He was tricky to find, but I didn’t stop until I sought him out.

record-image

Forest Elmer was born on Decemeber 4, 1888 in Braintree, VT. His older brother was just a year and a half and probably knew something special was happening. From this birth record we can see that Jason (his father) has already left farming and now has become a laborer. From what I can tell no one in the Fuller family ever went back to farming. How could their lives have been different if Jason had never left?

WWI-Draft-Registration-Card

The next time I find Forest is in 1917 on his WW1 Draft Registration. From this document we can see that he followed in his brother’s footsteps and became a machinist. Were they well paying jobs at that time?

We also find that he is married and has one child. From future Census records I’ve learned that his wife’s name was Calla and the baby would be Glady, born in 1912. The last important piece of information we see on here is that he’s claiming exemption. I can’t really read what it says, but I think it’s has to do with the family. Maybe because he’s has no sons to carry on the family name?

Forest disappears from records until the 1940 Census. He’s popped up in Connecticut. Wonder what made him move all the way out there? A job promotion perhaps?

1940-Census

From this census we can finally see all of his children, their names and ages. It looks like he had two girls and three boys. We also find out that only received an eight grade education. His wife was lucky enough to have two more years of school, which I understand was rare for a girl in those days. Forest’s occupation has remained the same, he’s a machinist.

WWII-Draft-Registration-Card

Like most men of his generation, Forest was required to sign up for not one, but both of the World Wars. I was excited to finally know his employer’s name. Also we get to see his height, with interesting enough is a good 5 inches shorter than his older brother. I wonder if Ellsworth ever teased Forest for being short?

As with Ellsworth, Forest is also noted has having a scar. This one being from a Hernia operation. Maybe being a machinist was tough work that required a lot of heavy lifting.

USCityDirectories-1952The last time I find Forest is in the City Directories for 1952. As we can see he’s not a machinist anymore, but now an assembler. I wonder if that was a promotion or a job with a new company. Maybe one closer to home.The following year I find his wife Calla listed as a widow.

grave

Forest had died in 1953 at 65 years old. He is buried in West Cemetery in Plainville, CT with his wife. So far away from his family back in VT.

Next time I’ll talk about the third son born to Jason and Etta, Carroll. Possibly the most interesting son in my eyes.

The Fuller Boys pt 1 – Ellsworth Luroy Fuller

One of my many goals for 2013 was to trace a collateral line of my family tree. Because there is so much of my family tree that frustrates me I wanted to make this goal a little easier. I picked a surname that I am most interested in and then picked a couple with a bunch of kids. For the next several weeks I will be talking about Jason Fuller and Etta Blanchard’s boys. They had seven boys and two girls. Many readers of my blog may remember that my second great grandmother was the person that started this whole obsession. These boys are be her brothers.

The first post will be the eldest boy Ellsworth Luroy.

Birth

 The year is 1887. The President was Grover Cleveland and the Vice President seat was vacant. Congress passes the Interstate Commerce Act, and Pearl Harbor is leased by the Navy from the US Senate. It’s an exciting year for the US but for Jason and Etta Fuller the most important part of their life came on the 27th of March. They become parents as Ellsworth Luroy is born.

They were living in Roxbury, VT. Jason worked on a farm and Etta stayed home with her newborn baby. By 1900 Ellsworth has seven other siblings and they are living in a house as his father left farm work. We can assume that he goes to school and then comes home and helps his mother around the house.

marriage

We lose sight of Ellsworth until 1912 when he marries Grace Etta Hopkins on October 9th. He was living in Williamstown, VT as a farmer. Whether he worked on his own farm is unknown, but highly unlikely. Ellsworth and Grace had three children : Pearl born 1915, George born in 1918, and Raymond born in 1921.

 

1920-Census

The next time we see Ellsworth, he’s living in Windsor, VT in 1920. The above is the US Census which tells us that between 1912 and 1920 he left farming and started working at the Quarry. Most of the families on this page of the census all have the same place of employment, however I can’t get a clear grip on exactly what company it is.

WW1Up until this point the entire Fuller family had always been involving in farming. I started to wonder what could have happened to make the sudden chagce of career. I found Ellsworth’s World War 1 Draft Registration. At the bottom of first page we can see that he is claiming exemption because of defective eyes and wrist. Did he have an accident that caused him to stop farming? I may never know unless it was documented somewhere.

WW2

On his World War 2 Registration it’s noted that he has a scar on his right wrist. Was that something so obvious that they needed to mention it? What’s interesting to me is that he had blue eyes. I know that might not seem like a big thing, but no one other than myself and my mother have blue eyes in our family. Could this be the line we got them from? 

I’ve gotten ahead of myself jumping to the 1940’s so lets go back to 1926. By now we know that Ellsworth has a wife and three children. He’s working as a machinist in what I assume was some kind of stone working company.

USCityDirectories-1926

I started looking into the city directories on Ancestry and was so excited to stumble across this. Ellsworth lived next door to three of his brothers on National Street in Windsor, VT. We finally have a company name, however in later directories he starts to work for C A M Co. I’ve always wondered if the siblings stayed near each other and for the better part of the early 1900’s they did. From what I have been able to discover it wasn’t until the 1940’s and after that the siblings started to move away. More on that in another post.

In the 1930 and 1940 Census not much has changed. Ellsworth is still living with his family in Windsor and working as a machinist. In 1940 his son Raymond is working as an apprentice in the same shop. 

1940-Census

After 1940 not much is known about what happened to Ellsworth. I was able to find a death record in the Social Security Death Index. He passed away in February 1963 in Florida. What was he doing in Florida? I had always believed the my great grandmother (his niece) was the first person to move away from New England, but that was not the case. Ellsworth was there almost ten years before. Had my great grandmother gone to visit him and decided that she wanted to live there too? I may never know.

My research into Ellsworth Luroy is not nearly complete, but he’s done a very good job of hiding from me so far. Maybe a look into his brothers will shine more light on his life.

A is for Aimee

I missed the boat in joining the Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge in May. I think this is a great idea and I’m going to try to do one a day for the next 26 days. We’ll see how well that works out.

Starting this off with A is perfect. My A is for Aimee, my great great grandmother. She started this whole thing after all. A few years ago my mother told me that my great great grandmother was in the history books. At the time I wasn’t interested and didn’t look very far into it. I vaguely remembered her saying it had to do with a flood in the 1920s but never researched more.

One day I was thinking about why I love history so much. For some reason early American history was something I could never get enough of. I loved the days in high school when we were learning about it. Especially the Salem witch trails, but more on that later. While I was thinking about this, my mind went back to Aimee. Who was this woman? What kinds of things did she do with her life and why would my mother say she was in the history books?

So I looked up advice on starting your family search. I ran across the show “Who do you think you are?”. After one episode I was hooked. I signed up for an ancestry account, plugged in my name, parents, grandparents, and Aimee’s name. That’s all I knew about my family. I didn’t even know her husbands name or her birth and death date. Ancestry had a few hints pop up and I found out the basic information about her. Her husband was Wilfred “Fred” Thomas and they lived in Barre, VT.

But what about this flood my mother kept talking about? Using their search feature I found this from a newspaper in 1977.

Ancestry wasn’t able to help me get the names of the boys so I ran over to Family Search. There I was able to find the names of the boys and the date they died. About this same time my mother was contacted from a long lost relative we didn’t’ know we had. She was a granddaughter of Aimee. She gave my mother a recording of an interview done in 1977 about the flood. On it there was a man who said that he knew the Thomas family. He was supposed to be the fifth boy in the rescue boat but there was no room. He and everyone else watched as the boys and the rescuer rowed away from the house when it struck something and overturned. It is said that the man rowing the boat had a hand on the youngest boy, Carroll, but was unable to save the boy. He had to let go to save himself. After watching their children being swept down the flood, the interviewer said that Mr. and Mrs. Thomas just sat down without a word.

This was the fateful event that put my great great grandmother in the history books. Aimee’s life after that only got worse before finally getting better. She passed away in 1981 just 3 years before I was born. I would have loved to have known her.

Through Aimee’s parents I have traced the Fuller line until they merge with the Putnam line from Salem. There was my connection to early American history. I had a relative involved in something I was so interested in. Once I found this out I had to know what else my family was connected to. This journey led me to find that every line, expect five or six, that I have been able to trace in the US goes back to 1600s.

Genealogist always say that certain personality traits travel down the family tree. Could it be that since almost my entire family came to the US before the Revolutionary War be the reason why I’ve always been interested in that part of history? I don’t know. What I do know is that through Aimee I have learned so much, not only about myself, but this country as well. I can’t wait to keep going.

So Aimee this is for you!