Discover your inside story with AncestryDNA®

September 30, 2013

Thinking Out Loud About Great-Great-Grandpa Fuller

Thinking Out Loud About Great-Great-Grandpa Fuller
Charles Fuller's son Charles
My great-great grandfather on my mom's side was Charles Fuller. He has long been a thorn in my side. I have his marriage record to Georgiana Golding in 1858 in Lenham, Kent England.  You can read more about Georgiana and the confusion over her surname at "What About The Women"

The marriage certificate states that Charles is a labourer, "of age" (meaning over 21) and that his father is John Fuller, a labourer.  I have researched the witnesses and they are connected to Georgiana's family so no help re Charles.

Charles is found in Lenham in the 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891 census records. Believe it or not there is more than one Charles Fuller of the same approximate age running around Lenham while my Charles is there. But the census proves that I have found the right Charles since his wife in 1861, 1871 and 1881 is Georgiana. She isn't in the 1891 census as she died in childbirth in December 1882. The 1891 Charles is a widower with children who match children in previous census years so his residence areas are known from 1861-1891.

Thinking Out Loud About Great-Great-Grandpa Fuller
Charles Fuller's grandchildren
But here's the catch - in each of those census years he gives a different place of birth and of course, just to be difficult, his ages don't match up exactly. Neither of these two discrepancies concern me in terms of thinking I have the wrong Charles Fuller. But what they have done is make my search for Charles' parents much more challenging!

Here's the detail for Charles in each of those census years:

* 1861. 32 years old born Milton, farm servant (gives an approximate year of birth of 1829)
* 1871. 44 years old born Faversham, agricultural labourer (gives an approximate year of birth of 1827)
* 1881. 52 years old born Lenham (gives an approximate year of birth of 1829)
* 1891. 60 years old, widower born Frinsted, agricultural labourer (gives an approximate year of birth of 1831)

He should be in 1841 and 1851 census. Remember, his father was John according to the marriage certificate and he did not marry Georgiana until 1858. At the very least he should be found as a 10 to 14 year old in 1841, hopefully with parents.

In 1851 there is more than one Charles Fuller who could be my great-great-grandpa but the best fit is a 25 year old single man born Faversham and living in Lenham as a servant in the home of a farmer named Edward Buss.

In 1841 there are several Charles Fuller individuals who "fit" the requirements to be mine. But the best fit is a young boy Charles Fuller age 14 living in Lenham with his mother Sophia age 50 and sister Harriet age 12.  Since Sophia is not with a husband and English marriage records don't give a mother's name, I can't be sure this is the right family.

I do find Sophia Fuller in a later census with her husband John. This fits but there is still no proof this is the right set of parents for my Charles Fuller. I need a birth record and even that would not be final proof since there are a number of men named Charles Fuller all born around the same time.

Here is what I know about John and Sophia Fuller:

1841 census Lenham. Sophia Fuller, 50 with children Charles 14 and Harriet 12. No husband listed
1851 census Lenham. John Fuller age 72, born Lenham, agricultural labourer living with wife Sophia, 62. Sophia was born in Pittham or Petham
1861 census Lenham. John Fuller age 81, born Lenham, with wife Sophia age 73 born Petham
1871 census Hollingbourn. In Hollingbourn Union Workhouse. Sophia Fuller age 81 born Petham

This is truly my proverbial "brick wall". I welcome any ideas or suggestions for me to pursue. 


Haz said...

Are there any records regarding the entry to the work house Sophia I believe that the parish would try to find out if any family were available to support Sophia.

Steve Baldock said...

I am English and also have ancestors from this area of Kent. I have many resources, and could try to investigate further for you if you wish.


Steve Baldock

Claire Becker said...

I have a mysterious Fuller family too ! No Charles that I am aware of though, and I think mine are from Essex. It's only a matter of time before we break through that brick wall.