A summary of the Fullerton story

As an introduction to this blog, I will post a few articles I have already written about the Fullertons.

This summary of the Fullerton story was read out at the reunion on 16 October 2010

The Fullertons came to Australia from Ireland. William Fullerton and Mary Dunne were married in the Catholic parish of Clane in County Kildare on 10 November 1839. In the parish register, William’s name appeared as ‘William Fullard’, which has raised questions about whether or not the family name was Fullerton before William and Mary arrived in Australia. It is possible William’s surname was Fullard or Fuller or perhaps Folliard. Due to the scarcity of Irish records in the early nineteenth century, and a lack of thorough records here in Australia, William’s and Mary’s exact date and place of birth and parents’ names remain unknown. There were some other people named Fullard/Fuller/Folliard living near Clane, but no connection with William has yet been confirmed. Dunnes were numerous in the Clane area. The town of Clane is situated 16 ¼ miles south-west of Dublin, near the River Liffey.

In June 1840, William and Mary travelled to Plymouth, England where they embarked on the Himalaya headed for the colony of Port Phillip, which was then part of New South Wales. They were among 170 steerage passengers, there being also 12 cabin passengers and 29 intermediate passengers, as well as crew and cargo. The steerage passengers were assisted immigrants, introduced into Port Phillip under the ‘Bounty’ assisted immigration system.

The Himalaya arrived in Melbourne on 30 September 1840. At that stage, the town of Melbourne was only 5 years old. The passenger list described William as a 25-year-old agriculturist and Mary as a 27-year-old dairy maid. William could read, but Mary could neither read nor write. In Port Phillip, the Fullertons were engaged to work as general servants for John W. Shaw; William for a term of 12 months at £40 per annum and Mary for 6 months at £20 per annum, both with rations. William’s and Mary’s condition in life would have greatly improved by their move. In Port Phillip, labourers were engaged at much higher wages than they could have hoped to receive in Ireland.

Mary gave birth to a son, Peter, 22 days after disembarking from the Himalaya. On 1 November 1840, while the Fullertons were still residing in Melbourne, Peter was baptised at St Francis’ Catholic Church.

Between 1840 and 1854, William and Mary had at least 7 children (4 boys and 3 girls), they were:

  • Michael, born 1842, died aged 6 months, Melbourne.
  • James, born 1843, Newtown (later known as Fitzroy).
  • Bridget Elizabeth, born 1845, Melbourne.
  • Johanna (Hannah), born 1848, Melbourne.
  • Mary, born 1851, Brighton, and
  • Thomas, born 1854, Forest Creek.

In 1854 William purchased an allotment of about 19 acres, situated on what is now the corner of the old Calder Highway and Bubbs Lane, north of Elphinstone.

On 1 June 1858, Mary Fullerton died at the family home. An inquest found that she had died of a ruptured blood vessel in the lungs. Following her death, it is believed that William and his son Peter spent a year in the Otago goldfields in New Zealand. It is also believed William later went droving in outback New South Wales with two of his sons.

In November 1868, while residing at Deniliquin, William became ill and was admitted to the Bendigo Hospital. He was discharged in January 1869, but readmitted in March, only to be discharged again in April. On 7 June 1869, he died in the Inglewood hospital. William left no Will, but in 1873 his eldest son Peter (who had probably been away droving when his father died) applied for administration of William’s estate. At the time of his death, William possessed no personal estate but possessed real estate worth £350, including land at Elphinstone and two small properties in Bridge Road, Richmond.

Only four of the Fullerton children left descendants.

peter_fullertonReturning to Victoria after droving cattle with his brother, Peter Fullerton married Dorothea Atkinson on 1 July 1876 in Bendigo. They farmed at Clover Banks, Avonmore, and had twelve children: Effie, Alice Maud (who died in infancy), Agnes (Smith), Annie (McCormick), Nellie (McCormick), Will, Jim, George (who died in France during World War One), Elsie (Watson), Dorrie (Holmberg), Ettie (Tobin) and Maggie (Gleeson). Dorothea predeceased Peter, who died at Avonmore in 1924 and was buried at the Elmore Cemetery.

james_fullerton_graveJames Fullerton spent several years during the 1870s droving cattle. He worked for pastoralist Langloh Parker on his stations Kallara and Bangate in North Western New South Wales. Later, Parker employed James as the manager of his station Retreat on the Barcoo River between Isisford and Jundah in Western Queensland. Whilst there, James married Agnes Ord on 21 October 1882 at Isisford. They had one child, De Renzie Percival Fullerton, born in 1884. In about 1887 the family moved to Mitchell Vale Station in North Queensland. James died there in 1889 and was buried on the station.

hannah_fullerton_foxJohanna (Hannah) Fullerton married William Barwick Fox on 10 January 1874 in Bendigo. The Fox family lived at Kangaroo Flat and William had a saddlery business. They had nine children: Mary Ellen, Elizabeth, James Peter (who served in the Boer War in South Africa), Ada, Mabel, Ethel, Albert, George and Johanna. Except for George, all died young and left no families. Hannah died in 1922 in Bendigo and was buried at Kangaroo Flat.

mary_fullerton_brownMary Fullerton married George Brown on 8 July 1871 at White Hills. George was an engine driver for the Victorian Railways. They had twelve children: Effie (Bell) (who moved to North Queensland), Alice (died young), Margaret Jessie (died young), George James, William Peter, Grace (Austin), Robert, Elsie (Court), John Percival De Renzie (died young), Edna (Webber), Elva (Austin) and Ted. Mary died in 1935 at the home of her daughter, Elva, in Portland, New South Wales. She was buried in Melbourne with her husband, George, who died in 1929.

Bridget Elizabeth (Lizzie) Fullerton married three times: first to Gerald Fenelon in Inglewood in 1863, second to John Harvey in Numurkah in 1884 and third to John Houghton in Numurkah in 1898. Lizzie did not have any children, though she did have some step-children, the Harveys. Lizzie spent many years of her life at Tocumwal NSW. She died at the home of her sister, Mary Brown, in Ascot Vale, in 1923. She was buried in Melbourne.

Thomas Fullerton died at Hill Plain near Deniliquin in 1865 when aged only 11. He was working as a shepherd on Mathoura Station and possibly lived with his sister Bridget (Lizzie) Fenelon, who was working at the same Station at that time.

That is a very short outline of a family history that spans more than 170 years.

(Sources for this article available on request.)