Saturday, December 10, 2011

Surname Saturday - Hull

The Isles of Shoals are
six miles off the coast of New Hampshire
My 9x great grandfather Joseph Hull was a minister.  He left a great paper trail.  Ministers can be dream ancestors for genealogists because of the plethora of records.  He graduated from Oxford on 14 November 1614 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.  He served as curate at Colyton in Devonshire.  Later he was ordained in the Church of England on 14 April 1621 as called to be rector at Northleigh in the Diocese of Exeter.  During this time period he began to believe in “non-conformist” ideas.  There is no record of his marriage, and his wife’s name is known only as "Agnes".   This is odd, considering how much other information is known about Joseph Hull’s life.

Reverend Hull led 106 people from Somersetshire (about 20 families, his wife, 7 children and 3 servants) and arrived in Massachusetts on 7 June 1635.  He was a freeman in Weymouth in September 1635 and preaching in a church as an Episcopalian, but causing dissention.   He moved to Barnstable in 1639 and Yarmouth in 1641 (both towns are on Cape Cod) but was temporarily excommunicated by Governor Winthrop because he left Weymouth without asking permission. 

By 1643 he was the minister in York, Maine.  By 1652 he was back in Launceston, Cornwall leaving all his children but one In Massachusetts.  In 1662 he was “ejected from the rectory of Buryan, Cornwall County, England.”  Again he came to America and this time went to New Hampshire.   He first served as minister at Oyster River (now the city of Durham, New Hampshire) and then settled as minister at the fishing colony on the Isles of Shoals where he remained until his death in 1665.  Although he moved around New England and back and forth across the Atlantic, he left enough of a paper trail along the way for historians to follow his movements as a minister. 

The Hull’s Company ship had a list of passengers compiled by John Porter, deputy clerk to Edward Thoroughgood on 20 March 1635.  They left from Weymouth, England and named their settlement in Massachusetts after this port. 

The Hull Genealogy:

Generation 1:  The Reverend Joseph Hull was born about 1595 in Crewkerne, Somersetshire, England, and died 18 November 1665 on the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire.   The name of his wife is known only as Agnes.  Seven children all born in England:

1. Joanna, born about 1620, married first to John Bursley, second to Dolor Davis who is my 10x great grandfather with his first wife, Margery Willard.
2. Joseph, born about 1622
3. Tristram, born about 1623, married Blanche Unknown (see Bill West's post at this link: )
4. Temperance, born about 1626, married John Bickford
4. Elizabeth, born abut 1628 (see below) my 8x great grandmother
5. Griselda, born about 1629, married James Warren
6. Dorothy, born about 1631, married Oliver Kent

Generation 2: Elizabeth Hull, born about 1628 in Northleigh, Devonshire, England, and died 30 November 1706 in Dover, New Hampshire; married about 1643 in Northleigh to John Heard, who died 17 January 1689 in Dover.  Fifteen children.

Generation 3.  Mary Heard, born 26 January 1650 m. John Ham
Generation 4.  Mercy Ham m. Richard Nason
Generation 5. Richard Nason m. Mary Thompson
Generation 6. Mercy Nason m. William Wilkinson
Generation 7. Aaron Wilkinson m. Mercy F. Wilson
Generation 8. Robert Wilson Wilkinson m. Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 9. Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 10. Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

Accounts of the Reverend Hull’s life can be found in the History of the Township of Durham, New Hampshire by Everett S. Stackpole, Lucien Thompson and Winthrop S. Meserve, 1913, in the book The Isles of Shoals in Lore and Legend, by Lyman V. Rutledge, 1965, and in The Isles of Shoals: An Historic Sketch by John Scribner Jenness, 1975.   A good account of his early years in Massachusetts can be found in Volume 1 of The History of Weymouth, Massachusetts, 1923, and page 73 lists the passengers in the Hull Company ship.

There are sketches of Rev. Hull’s life also in The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, by Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn and Melinde Lutz Sanborn, 1999, Volume III, pages 452 – 460 and also in Ancestral Lines by Carl Boyer, 1998, pages 318 -324.


Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Heather, we have another connection here, albeit an indirect one. I'll be blogging about it.

  2. I too have Joseph Hull in my tree! I descend from Tristram Hull & Blanch.

  3. I was wondering if you had a source for the birthplace and DOB for John Heard who married Elizabeth Hull. I have them in my tree and have never seen any info on his birthplace.
    Thanks, Jeanie

  4. Jeanie, this will be the second edit to this post. Did you see the update from Martin Holick at I've removed the birth information from John Heard because there is no good source information on his birthplace yet.

  5. Wow! I didn't know we were cousins! I also descend from Reverend Joseph Hull through Tristram => John => John => Joseph => Sarah Hull who married George Piggott.

    I am putting a family history book together for my mom and I am going to do a scrapbook page of our four 'men of the cloth': Rev. Joseph Hull, Rev. Stephen Bachiler, Rev. John Wing, and Rev. John Forbes. That's what landed me here :-)

    1. Leslie Ann, I descend from Rev. Hull and Rev. Stephen Bachiler. Double cousins!