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James & Anastasia

James B. Fullton

James B. Fullton was born and spent the first 6 years in Bordentown, Burlington Co, NJ [1], the son of a tailor, Robert Fullton and his wife, Catherine Sparburn. Catherine's death at or shortly after James' birth forced his father to remarry before James was 6 months old; thus he was raised by his step-mother, Mary Roger Fullton [2]. It is not unlikely that James was raised Quaker, since Bordentown was primarily a Quaker enclave[3]. Around 1771, the family moved from NJ to the southern part of Frederick Co, MD (which would become Montgomery Co in 1776) [4]. Apparently James was raised and trained as a tailor, like his father before him [5]. When the Revolution started, Robert signed an Oath of Loyalty to the state of Maryland (as opposed to the King), putting the family firmly on the side of the Patriots. However, James was too young (and Robert too old) to be of service in the fighting until 1781, when at the age of only 15, he was drafted into the 3rd Regiment of the Maryland Militia [4]. His company was organized in Georgetown; from there is marched to Annapolis to join the main body of the regiment and then onto Yorktown where Washington was organizing a campaign against Lord Cornwallis. Though the 3rd MD Regiment never saw action in that campaign, Fullton was extremely proud of his service there. He returned to Maryland in December where he was discharged. As far as we know, he lived quietly at home until, in 1787, he married Anastasia Tuel and moved with her, her brother Horatio and her half-brother Leaven Benton [6], to York District, SC which was very unevenly settled in those days.

By 1789, James was settled into the growing community of Yorkville, serving on petit juries in almost session of the local courts [5]. In 1791, while his own oldest children were still in diapers, James undertook for 3 years to teach the trade of tailoring to a young orphan named Samuel Johnston [5]. He would eventually pass that same trade along to his oldest son, Ezekiel. However, James became involved in other issues of local importance. In 1794, he was appointed overseer of the road to the Kings Mountain Iron Works. The next year he was contracted to build a road to Drennan's Ferry, and the year after, with construction of the road complete, he was made it overseer. In 1796, official documents began referring to him as Capt. James Fulton -- perhaps he was head of the local militia, though I can find no record to explain the title.

One family member related to me that James was eventually elected to a term in the SC state legislature, though I have not been able to verify this independently. This was supposed to be the occassion for which a silhouette portrait of James was made [7]. We do know that James owned a few slaves: one male, Joseph, 2 females, Sidney and Minerva, and the 3 children of Minerva (sexes unknown) [8]. James was also probably converted to Methodism sometime around 1800; the preacher Daniel Asbury brought Methodism to this region in 1794 and James' final two children bear names denoting his and Anastasia's Methodist viewpoint. James disappears for a time (this may actually be more of a product of for which years local records have been published), but reappears in 1833 to claim his pension as a veteran of the Revolutionary War. His claim was honored and he received a pension of $22 per year for the remainder of his life [5]. After his death, he was buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Yorkville [9].


References:
  1. Family Bible Record, National Archives.
  2. See Progenitors page
  3. Unfortunately records of the Bordentown Friends Meeting have been long lost, and the local Quaker cemetery has no tombstones as was their custom.
  4. Transcription of James Fullton's Revolutionary Pension Records, National Archives.
  5. Recods in that book.
  6. Will of Joseph Benton, Maryland State Archives & Rootsweb.
  7. Silhouette portrait, supposedly of James Fullton, courtesy of Sylvia Rankin.
  8. Estate Papers of Anastasia Fullton, South Carolina Archives.
  9. Photograph of grave in Rose Hill Cemetery, Yorkville, SC

Anastasia Tuel Fullton

Anastasia was born near Georgetown in what is today part of Washington DC [1]. If her ancestry is correct [2], her roots in Maryland go back very far and deep, descending from several prominent Maryland families (Offutt, ....) and from Ninian Beall, an early hero of Maryland history. Her father is reputed to have died in the Revolutionary War; in any case, we know he was dead by ___, because Anastasia's mother remarried to Joseph Benton sometime around ____. Anastasia would have spent most of her childhood in the house of her step-father living with her brother, step-siblings and half-siblings. Finally, at age 24, she married James Fullton (2 years her junior) and moved with him and some family down to York, SC [3].

Anastasia was a potter, and a well-known one, at least locally. Two months before James died, Congress authorized pensions for widows of Revolutionary veterans; she applied in 1850, sending to Washington 3 pages of her family Bible to prove her claim to be the wife of James Fullton [4]. After her death in 1851 at age 88, her estate was handled by her son Theodore [5]. She was buried next to her late husband [6]; her gravestone misrepresents her age by a year.


References:
  1. Family Bible Record, National Archives.
  2. See Progenitors page
  3. Will of Joseph Benton, Maryland State Archives & Rootsweb.
  4. Transcription of James Fullton's Revolutionary Pension Records, National Archives.
  5. Estate papers of Anastasia Fullton, South Carolina Archives.
  6. Photograph of grave in Rose Hill Cemetery, Yorkville, SC