Friday, October 27, 2017

Along the Pilgrim Trail ~ The Fullers of Reddenhall, Norfolk, England

Along the Pilgrim Trail, Part 8

St. Mary's church, Redenhall, Norfolk, England

Vincent and I recently took the General Society of Mayflower Descendants Heritage Tour of England, Wales and The Netherlands along with 41 other enthusiast participants (known as "The 43").  We traced the footsteps of the Separatists and the Mayflower passengers and crew all around these countries with some amazing tour directors, guides, historians and authors.  We were given access to places off the usual tourist trails, and behind the scenes.  We had a wonderful time, and I will be blogging about it over the next few weeks.

We stopped in Norfolk to see the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary's Church in Reddenhall where the Mayflower passengers Samuel and Edward Fuller lived and worshipped. This church is over 1000 years old! Parts it date back to Saxon times, and the chancel dates from the 1300s. It has a lovely churchyard where we found several Fuller tombstones still standing, and very legible!

We toured the church, and the rector gave us a sample of what reading from the Book of Common Prayer would have been like in the time the Fuller family lived there.  Then another parishioner gave us a history lecture. There were several other Fullers touring the church, just by coincidence, from Vermont! Small world!

Edward and Samuel Fuller were brothers.  Edward Fuller was baptized at St. Mary's church on 4 September 1575, the son of Robert Fuller and Sarah Dunthorne.  He appears in only one record in Leiden, Holland, with his brother Samuel.  He traveled on the Mayflower in 1620, signed the Mayflower Compact, and died with his wife that first winter, leaving one son, Matthew (b. about 1605) in England, and another son, Samuel (b. about1608) an orphan in Plymouth, who was cared for by his uncle, Samuel Fuller.  Samuel, the younger Mayflower passenger, married and had nine children and many descendants.

Samuel Fuller was baptized at St. Mary's church in Redenhall on 20 January 1580. He lived with the Separtists in Leiden, where he married Agnes Carpenter on 24 April 1613.  Their infant son was buried at St. Pieterskirk in Leiden on 29 June 1615, and Agnes was buried soon after on 3 July 1615.  He remarried to Bridget Lee in Leiden on 27 May 1617, and she did not travel on the Mayflower, but joined Samuel Fuller in Massachusetts in 1623 on the Anne.

The rector of St. Mary's reading from the Book of Common Prayer

Fuller descendants posing in the organ loft

This hand lettered sign is on the wall at St. Mary's

The Fuller Connection
Gravestone on the North side of the church
provide evidence of a local family named
Fuller. Two of its members sailed on the
"Mayflower" in 1620 in search of religious
Little is known about Edward Fuller but
Samuel Fuller played a leading part in the
settlement created by the Pilgrim Fathers.
Samuel, son of Robert Fuller, was born and
"baptised in Redenhall Parish" in 1580.  He moved
to Holland in 1608: either beore or after this
he qualified as a doctor.  In 1617 he married for
the third time, two earlier wives having died.
The following testimony was written by a fellow
colonist named William Bradford in his
"History of Plimoth Plantation" as present by
the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower descendants.
"It pleased the Lord to visite them this year 1633
with an infectious feaver of  wich many felt
very sick and upward of 20 persons dyed,
men and women besides children... and in the
end, Samuel Fuller, who was their surgeon and
phisition and had been a great help and
comforte to them; as in his facultie, so
otherwise, being a deacon of the church,
a man godly, and forward to do good,
being much missed after his death."
Some of the Fuller graves in the churchyard at Redenhall

In memory of
Baptised in this Church
4th September 1575
Baptised in this Church
20th September 1580
Pilgrims to America on the Mayflower 1620
Presented by the Fuller Society 2011

St. Mary's Church, Redenhall, 

A sketch of Edward Fuller and his family: 

A sketch of Samuel Fuller: 

Part 1 of this series "Babworth, Nottinghamshire":

Part 2 of this series "Scrooby Manor"   

Part 3 of this series "Gainsborough, Lincolnshire": 

Part 4 of this series "Harwich, Essex, home of the Mayflower"
Part 6 of this series "William Mullins of Dorking, Surrey"   

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Along the Pilgrim Trail ~ The Fullers of Reddenhall, Norfolk, England", Nutfield Genealogy, posted October 27, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).


  1. I live in Norfolk and have carried out quite a lot of research on this family. I have also taken a fellow Fuller researcher around the area on a Family History Tour.


  2. Because of the DNA testing from, I learned that Samuel Fuller the Younger is one of my ancestors. He was 12 when he and his parents sailed on The Mayflower, and his parents died the first winter in Plymouth, as you have said. He became a Freeman in 1634 and married Jane Lothrop in 1635. He died in Pennsylvania at the age of 75, predeceased by his wife.It is pure luck that I found your blog, and information about the Fuller family. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. I also came upon your blog quite by accident. Edward Fuller is my ancestor also. The photographs you posted are a real treat. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thank you for sending this info to me. I have a good family history produced by my grandfather on my dad's side that covers from Redenhall to Western Mass. if some one is interested.