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Fullarton Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: LUX IN TENEBRIS (light in darkness)

Let me share with you the fascinating history of your family, the Fullartons, as it has been passed down through the generations. The origins of the name are intriguing, with some suggesting that it may have derived from ‘fowler,’ relating to the keeping of birds, or ‘fuller,’ referring to a cloth bleacher during the medieval period. Your family is believed to have Anglo-Saxon or Norman roots.

The earliest recorded mention of the Fullarton name dates back to the late thirteenth century, when Alunus de Fowlerton founded and generously endowed a convent of Carmelite or White Friars at Irvine. This association with Irvine still exists to this day. Another notable figure, Adam de Fowlerton, received a charter for the lands of Fowlerton from James, High Steward of Scotland, between 1283 and 1309. Fergus de Foulertoun, in turn, was granted the estate of Kilmichael in Arran, confirmed by a charter from Robert III in 1391. However, Reginald de Fowlertoun of that Ilk faced captivity in England for many years after being taken prisoner by the English at the Battle of Durham in 1346.

Despite these challenges, your family maintained favor with the royal court and continued to expand their lands. John Fullarton of Fullarton cemented this connection further by marrying the daughter of a relative, Fullerton of Dreghorn, leading to the main family being known thereafter as ‘Fullarton of Dreghorn.’ In the sixteenth century, Adam Fullarton, a member of the Fullarton of Dreghorn family and a burgess of Edinburgh, found himself embroiled in religious turmoil alongside John Knox. In 1566, he was implicated in the murder of Queen Mary’s confessor, John Black, on the same fateful night that witnessed the assassination of her secretary, David Rizzio.

The seventeenth century brought financial difficulties for the family. William Fullarton of that Ilk sought protection against imprisonment for debt by petitioning the Edinburgh Parliament in August 1662. Thomas Fullertoun, described as the ‘late commander of the William and Mary frigate’ and a member of the family, invested ¬£100 in the ill-fated Darien scheme of the 1690s, which brought significant financial loss.

Nevertheless, the Fullartons had their share of notable figures. Sir Archibald Fullarton of Kilmichael displayed his courage in the Peninsular War and sustained severe injuries at the Battle of Salamanca. The last chief of the Fullartons, William Fullarton of Fullarton, carved out a diverse career as a politician, colonial governor, agriculturist, and Member of Parliament. While serving as colonial governor of Trinidad, Fullarton found himself entangled in a dispute with his predecessor regarding the treatment of prisoners, leading to costly legal battles and public disputes. He passed away shortly after, survived by a daughter. It remains uncertain at present who, if anyone, inherited the chiefship of the Fullartons.

The Fullarton family history is a tapestry woven with tales of courage, involvement in historical events, and both triumphs and challenges. It is a legacy that deserves to be cherished and remembered by future generations.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: LUX IN TENEBRIS (light in darkness)

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