The Fultons of Lisburne American Connections

Memiors of the Fultons of Lisburn

by Sir Theodore C. Hope


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Fulton Family of Waukegan Illinois

Fultons of Lisburn - American connections introduction

Summary and Conclusions

A short primer on the Scots-Irish

Overview of The Fultons of Lisburn by T.C. Hope 1903

The Lisburn Fultons of New Zealand and Australia: The Manuscript of Dr. Robert Valpy Fulton of Dunedin, New Zealand

Notes on Ancestry of Robert Fulton the Inventor

Names as clues: Rarity of Fulton surname and selected first names

Steamboat Robert Fulton and the Kilkenny - Lisburn connection

Location names as clues to Family connections: Rising Sun

Location names as clues: Township Names in Lancaster County, PA.

More Township Location Name Clues in Pennslyvania

Fultons of early SE Pennsylvania and dispersion

Fultons of Cecil and Harford Counties in Maryland

Maps of Ireland

My own Fulton Family's possible connection to the Fultons of Lisburn

Fultons from 1660's in Northern Ireland

Fultons from 1740 Protestant Householder list N. Ireland

Fultons from Parish Registers County Down and County Antrim Northern Ireland


Overview and analysis of

The Fultons of Lisburn, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

I ran across a copy of the 1903 book "Memiors of the Fultons of Lisburn" privately published by Sir Theodore C. Hope, K.C.S.I.; C.I.E., Bombay Civil Service (retired) at the Linenhall Libary in Belfast on a business trip there many years ago. I made a copy of it and took it home and studied it. Both Hope's wife and his Mother were Fultons of a group of Fulton's who had lived in or near the town of Lisburn, County Antrim, Northern Ireland since at least the mid 1600's. He combined family stories with searches of land records, wills, and church registers to construct his Fulton family history. Hope's recent Fulton ancestor (John Williamson Fulton included in the chart below) had been approved for inclusion in Burke's peerage to use a Coat of Arms registered to the Family. Hope had updated the ancestry John William Fulton had submitted. The information acceptable by Burke's Peerage was limited, so Hope decided to organize the significant additional information he had gathered on the family and publish it. At the bottom of this page I have attached the first genealogical chart Hope created for the book listing the earliest Fultons of the Lisburn area. The town of Lisburn is located just about 6 miles SW of Belfast on the north bank of the river Lagan. The river Lagan forms the boundary between Counties Antrim and Down, so while Lisburn is in County Antrim, it is just across the river from County Down.

The first thing I noticed was that the first names commonly used in the Fultons of Lisburn and the habit the family had of using surnames as middle names was common in my Fulton line documented only to William Fulton born in or near Belfast in 1833. Lisburn is only about 7 miles SW of Belfast. The more I have studied this, although I have no concrete proof of connection, I have come to believe it very highly likely that my line is an offshoot of these Fultons. A link at the left provides more on my logic for this conclusion. Of course I could be wrong. I have also made it a hobby of the years to gather information on Fulton Families across America and try to study their origins and migration patterns. Also as is pretty typical of us Fultons, I became interested in the famous Robert Fulton who invented (or perfected if you like) the Steamboat as well as a number of other inventions and innovations. I noticed several things that lead me to think the many other Fulton lines of America likely had their origins in the Fulton Family of the Lisburn area.

First, Hope references the earliest entry a memorandum from his Uncle John William Fulton, Jr. in 1872, lists a "William Fulton of Kilkenny, died 1638". (referred to in the Preface and on page 18 of Hope's book). This is the only reference to Kilkenny that Hope sites. What caught my attention was that the tradition in the Fulton Family of Steamboat Robert is that Robert's father, also named Robert came from Kilkenny in Ireland as a boy with his family. Hope never mentions Steamboat Robert Fulton. In fact he makes a comment that he thinks most American Fultons likely come from other Fulton families in other parts of Northern Ireland. So the reference to Kilkenny does not appear to be in any way an attempt to link to Steamboat Robert Fulton's Family. The earliest reference I have found to Steamboat Robert's family being from Kilkenny is in a biography published in 1817 by Robert Fulton's friend Cadwallader Colden, just two years after Robert died. I have an original edition of this book. My belief is that since Kilkenny is in SE Ireland far from traditional areas of Fulton settlement and that since Scot names such as Fulton are rather rare in Kilkenny, that this can't be coincidence or error and indicates that Robert Fulton's family did in fact come from Kilkenny and is a branch of the Lisburn Fulton group. See the link on the left Steamboat Robert and the Kilkenny - Lisburn connection for more information.

Second, I noticed that hope has a number of early Fulton branches listed of the Lisburn group that disappear around the time of the general Scots-Irish emigration to America and using names and naming patterns that seem to indicate a connection to early American Fultons. The two most prominent examples are Paul Fulton and the family of Hugh Fulton in the chart below. See the link on the left Names as Clues for more details on frequency of names.

1. Paul Fulton appears as an adult in the Lisburn tree in 1678. Paul is an extremely rare first name, not only in the Fulton families, but among Scots in general. In fact it never appears in any other Fulton Family anywhere in the 16 or 1700's, except in South Carolina. A David Fulton leases land in Craven County South Carolina in 1735 (about 20 miles NW of present Georgetown, SC.). This David Fulton named his eldest son Paul, and his younger son Samuel named his eldest two sons David and Paul. This naming pattern suggests that David Fulton's Father's name was Paul. I do not think that the rarity of the first name Paul and the timing can be a coincidence and that David Fulton of 1735 SC's Father was the Paul Fulton of Lisburn. The descendents of David Fulton of South Carolina, where the name Paul occurs frequently spread to colonial Georgia and from there to Tennessee and throughout the south. This family is covered in the book "David Fulton of Colonial South Carolina and Some of His Descendents" by William Lawrence Fulton 1883-1983, published 1988 by his estate through The Anundsen Publishing Company, Decorah, Iowa.

2. Hugh Fulton and his wife Elenor Johnston. Hugh and Elinor's marriage is documented and the birth of six children in order William, Robert, Jane, James, John, and Thomas. All these people disappear from known Lisburn area records sometime after 1715. In 1739 a Fulton Family shows up in Augusta County, VA. Adult Fulton's James and John show up in the area in 1742, very likely brothers. James Fulton died here in 1752. He names his eldest son Hugh and a daugther Elliner. James Fulton's will indicates time spent in New England before Virginia and he names children: Hugh, James, William, Elizabeth, Elliner, Jane, John, and "young boys" David and Thomas. It was very common for children to be named after Grandparents. James would have been about the right age and the names of his children suggest he was the son of Hugh and Elinor Fulton of "Deriaghy", a place just north of Lisburn. A Thomas Fulton died in Augusta VA in 1755 and a John Fulton who married Sarah Ramsey (not the John son of James) had an adult son Hugh by 1752 and dies there in 1764. There is a reference in the book Fulton-Hayden-Warner Ancestry by Clarence Leonard, NY. 1923 to his ancestor being Robert Fulton son of Hugh and Ellinor Johnson of Deriaghy. He is aware of Hope and quotes his early entries. When you add these clues up it seems highly likely that Hugh and Ellinor of Deriaghy and probably all his children migrated to American, probably stopping off in New England for a while and then south likely through SE PA with sons James, John, and Thomas likely the ones of this name who died in Augusta County, VA. in 1752, 1764, and 1755 respectively leaving many, many descendents that spread south to South Carolina, west to Tennessee and Kentucky and north to Gallia County, Ohio. Norma Jennings has published a great deal about the Augusta Virginia Fultons on her web site at:

3. Hope's lineage is incomplete. I have great respect for Hope's analysis and book. I think it was carefully researched considering the information available to him at the time. However, it is clear even from Hope's own comments that there were likely other Fultons off the Lisburn group that he did not include. Hope laments in his book a number of times the poor condition of and many gaps in some of the parish registers he reviewed. For example on page 29 he comments on the Lisburn Presbyterian Church records (different from the Church of Ireland Lisburn records) that they "... commence in 1688, and extend, with many unfortunate gaps, down to 1827." I also found these many gaps when I reviewed the registers myself in January 2007. Hope did miss some Fultons in the Lisburn and Deriaghy parish registers as I found the baptism on Sept. 1, 1752 of a James Walter Fulton son of Robert Fulton and missed a Francis Fulton who signed the vestry book several times in the 1750's in the Lisburn Presbyterian Parish Register. Hope did not document these in his book. There are also several entries in this same register from the late 1700's that I found that Hope did not include. These I will list at the end of this page. Understandably, considering at the time Hope was researching church parish registers were typically held in the local churches, Hope does not appear to have looked at church registers other than at Deriaghy and Lisburn. As fellow Fulton researcher Trevor Fulton shows posted on his Ireland pages on Norma Jennings web site (, there are Fulton Families in nearby Drumbo Parish, County Down, that appear from first names used to clearly be closely related to the Lisburn group. And I found a group of Fultons in the Presbyterian Church records of Killinchy Parish that clearly appear to be grandchildren of Richard Fulton (1753-1823) in the chart below. Hope indicates in his book that this Richard Fulton died at Killinchy and lists a son Robert and Robert's three children but lists no other descendents of Robert.. The Killinchy Parish registers seem to clearly show some children and grandchildren of this Robert. I will also list these entries at the end of this page. The main point here is that the lineage Hope provides is incomplete and that there were quite likely many more branches and members of the Fultons of Lisburn that were not documented by Hope and may never be due to missing records.

4. The Lisburn Fultons of New Zealand and Australia. This link takes you to a page on which I have posted a word document transcript of Records of the Family of Fulton, especially in connection with those branches settled in Australasia dated September 7, 1894 by Dr. Robert Valpy Fulton. I have also posted images of the original signature page and four genealogical charts from the original document. The transcript and images are generously provided by Ross W. Fulton of New South Wales, Australia.

In the chart below, I think Hugh of Deriaghy is likely the son of William of Deriaghy, whose widow Elizabeth is recorded as being buried in 1674. I base this on the facts that both are designated as of Deriaghy and that it appears Hugh named his first son William, and a first son is traditionally named after the Father's Father.




Below are my notes from reviewing the Lisburn Presbyterian Church Registers as well as Fultons I found in the Killinchy Presbyterian Church Registers who are closely related to the Lisburn Fultons. Many of the records I found are also documented in Hope's book. However a number including those immediately following are not mentioned in Hope's book. Although the Lisburn Presbyterian Church Registers exist from 1692 there are many missing pages and large gaps including the entire years from 1764 through 1778 and from 1827 through 1844, so there are likely more Fultons from the Lisburn group that are not recorded.

I know that Sir Theodore Hope did not include all the Fultons connected to the Lisburn group in his book and charts.   For example, in addition to the Fultons in Hope’s book listed in the Lisburn Presbyterian Church Registers, I found the following additional Fultons in those same registers that Hope doesn’t mention, but clearly would appear to be closely related:

Hope seems to have missed the entry of a birth of a James Walter Fulton baptized on Sept. 1, 1752, a son of Robert Fulton (This Robert must be the Robert Coulson Fulton in Hope's book).

Thomas Fulton of Magheralave
son Thomas bapt Dec. 19, 1779
son Joseph bapt Aug 18, 1782
then a Thomas Fulton but of Chappell Hill who I am guessing is the same man as above
dau  Jane  bapt March 9, 1785
son  George bapt Oct. 7, 1788,  married Jean Fulton in 1803
then a Thomas Fulton, but of Bow Lane, again, I am guessing the same man as above
son Joseph bapt March 31, 1790 (assuming elder son Joseph died if this is same Thomas)
dau Elizabeth bapt June 11, 1793

William Fulton of Knockmore
dau  Margaret bapt June 12, 1797

John Fulton of Cornmarket (probably a son of Thomas above born before 1779 - a long gap in Lisburne Presby Reg before 1779)
son Thomas bapt June 14, 1796
then John Fulton of Belfast Gate (again I assume this is same as above but he moved)
dau Maria  bapt Aug. 28, 1798
then John Fulton of Bow Lane (same logic as above)
son William  bapt July 25, 1802
dau Ann bapt April 5, 1805
then John Fulton of Chappel Hill (same logic as above assuming same man)
son Richard bapt March 29, 1808
son George bapt April 4, 1811
dau Jane  bapt August 29, 1813
dau Elizabeth bapt January 31, 1816.

Fultons in the Lisburn, County Antrim Presbyterian Church Registers 1779-1827 that are documented in Hope’s book.  I organized them as above in Families.  These are in addition to the ones listed above not mentioned in Hope’s book:
Father:  Joseph Fulton of Bow Lane
son Nicholas baptized Jan. 5, 1782
daughter Elizabeth baptized April 9, 1783.
Hope’s book also lists the following children of this Joseph Fulton whom he says was baptized Sept. 2, 1751.  These following children of Joseph listed by Hope are not listed in the Lisburn Presbyterian Register:
Francis (male) born 1778; Thomas born 1780, Henry born April 3, 1793; Anne born 1776; Amelia (married a Boyd) baptized May 4, 1787.

Father: Richard Fulton of Bridge Street
son James baptized Oct. 7, 1780
daughter Jane baptized May 3, 1782
daughter Mary Ann baptized Sept. 30, 1783
daughter Grace baptized Nov. 14, 1784
son Richard baptized Sept. 11, 1788 (Father Richard listed here as “of Cornmarket”)
son John Forrest baptized Feb. 17, 1790.
Hope’s book also lists the following additional children for this Richard Fulton: Margaret born 1775; Ann born 1776; Robert born 1777; Eliz born 1778; Sarah born 1785 and Ellen born 1787.

Father: James Fulton of Chappell Hill:  Married Agnes Bell on Nov. 10, 1783, witnessed by Joseph Fulton and Henry Bell.
son John baptized Sept. 5, 1784
daughter Ellen baptized August 27, 1787 (Hope has her as a daughter of Richard)
son Robert Bell baptized Sept. 26, 1788
daughter Anna Bell baptized Jan. 7, 1791
son James Bell baptized Dec. 31, 1791
daughter Elizabeth baptized March 21, 1793
son Henry Stewart baptized on Dec. 19, 1795
daughter Jean (Jane) baptized Sept. 15, 1801
Hope also has another daughter Mary baptized July 4, 1786

Father: Andrew Fulton of Bridge Street.  Hope has Andrew as the son of Richard of Bridge Street and says he died in 1822 and married Isabella Wightman.
son Richard baptized June 15, 1802 (Hope says he died at age 8)
son Andrew William baptized Nov. 20, 1804 (Hope says he died at age 4)
son William baptized June 4, 1806. (Hope says married with 2 daughters and died 1881)
daughter Isabella baptized Dec. 23, 1807
Hope also lists another daughter Eliz born about 1800.

Below are Marriages recorded in the Lisburn Presbyterian Register between 1783 and 1821:
James Fulton married Agnes Bell on Nov. 10, 1783.  Witnesses: Henry Bell and Joseph Fulton
George Dunn married Mary Fulton on May 28, 1798.  Witness: John Fulton
William Fulton married Ellen Garret on Oct. 10, 1799.  Witness Mr. Garrett
James Ward married Eliza Fulton on Nov. 15, 1802.  Witness; James Wightman
George Fulton married Jean Fulton on April 1, 1803.  Witness: Richard Fulton
James Wightman married Margaret Fulton on August 10, 1803.  Witness: Richard Fulton
Francis Thomson married Jean Fulton on June 6, 1805.  Witness: James Ward
Thomas Walker married Ellen Fulton on Nov. 22, 1806.  Witness: James Fulton
Robert Thomson married Eliza Fulton on Oct. 22, 1821.  Witnesses:  George Dinnex and Margt Thomson.

Fultons in the Lisburn Presbyterian Church Vestry Book 1777 – 1823:
What looks like a tithe list for 1767 lists a John Fulton and a James Fulton.
Lists for 1776 through 1779 show John Fulton and Richard Fulton listed under heading “in town”.  No Fultons listed under heading “country”.
1781 list John Fulton, Richard Fulton and now Joseph Fulton.
A 1779 list of subscriber to retire some sort of Church debt are listed:
John Fulton   5    13    9
Richard Fulton    3    8    3
Joseph Fulton    2    5    6

1782 tithe list:  Richard, Joseph, James and Thomas Fulton are listed as “in town”.  John Fulton is gone.  1 Fulton is listed under heading “country” but the first name column of the page is torn off.

1783 - 1787 tithe lists: Richard, Joseph and James Fulton of Joseph “in town”.   James Fulton “in town” but with a line through it, perhaps meaning he was there and then was gone, moved or died.  Thomas Fulton “country”.  Thomas was gone by 1785.

1807 - 1810 tithe list: Richard, Robert, James, Andrew, and Joseph Fulton “in town”.   No Fultons “in country”.
1811 – 1811 tithe list:   Same as above except addition of Lieut. William Fulton.
1813 tithe list:  Same as above except a note that “Lieut. Fulton has left the country”.
1814 – 1815 tithe list:  Same as above except addition of a Mr. and Miss Fulton.
1816 tithe list: Same as above except Mr. and Miss Fulton are not there.

Pew Rents 1820-1822:  # 8 Joseph Fulton; # 9 Richard Fulton; #18 Mrs. James Fulton; #19 ?unreadable” and Miss Fulton (not there in 1822); # 28 Andrew Fulton.

Killinchy Parish County Down Fultons: I found another group of Fultons not mentioned in Hope’s book, but definitely linked to them.  See page 33 of Hope’s book.  Here he discusses a Richard Fulton and lists his first son as Robert, born 1777.   He then lists three sons of Robert; Joseph, James, and Robert, but ends the tree there.  In the information about Richard he quotes an obituary entry in the Belfast Newsletter of April 27, 1823 as follows; "At Killinchy, on the 9th inst., in his 70th year, Mr. Richard Fulton, late of Lisburn, Merchant."   I researched the Parish registers of the Presbyterian Church at Killinchy and found children and grandchildren of Robert listed as outlined below.  In addition, all these Fulton’s disappear by 1850 for the area.  To America maybe?

Below are the entries for the Killinchy Presbyterian Church Register that clearly appear to be a continuation of the family listed on page 33 of Hope’s book.

Sept 24, 1824, James son of Robert Fulton of Ballymaccarran to Sarah Mallent of Ardmillam, in the presence of Mathw Fulton of Killimore and Robert Fulton of Ballymaccarran.

August 6, 1830, John son of Robert Fulton of Ballymaccarran to Sarah Marshall, Curragullan, presence of Mathew Marshall Sr and Mathew Marshall, Jr.

August 18, 1830, Mathew son of Robert Fulton of Ballymaccarran to (unreadable first name) daughter of James Shillen, Ballymacashen, in the presence of David Stewart Sr and WM Stewart.

And there are the following births:
Hamilton son of Joseph Fulton of B: Macrely, bapt Aug. 2, 1820

Samuel Spratt son of James Fulton of B M????, bapt June 5, 1825

Sarah to James Fulton of B. Mcarron, bapt Dec. 10, 1826

Robert to James Fulton bapt May 11, 1829

Robert to Mathew Fulton bapt Dec. 26, 1830

William of James Fulton of Ballymacamore, bapt April 22, 1832

Elizabeth of James Fulton of Ballymaccomore, bapt Dec. 22, 1833

Sarah Jane of Mathew Fulton  bpt Feb. 17, 1834

Mathew of James Fulton, bapt August 11, 1835

James of John Fulton of Quarterland, bapt August 10, 1835

Agnes of James Fulton and Sarah Mallart, bapt June 30, 1837

Robert of John Fulton and Sarah Marshall, bapt June 30, 1838.

John of John Fulton and Sarah Marshall, bapt June 12, 1841.