I have continued to search for information regarding Captain William Fuller of Virginia and Maryland in the 17th century, and especially about his children. I am probably going out on some type of limb, and I freely admit that most of my own knowledge comes from secondary (or worse) sources, but it seems very obvious to me that the history of this family is still far from well documented.
It seems that the southern Fullers, who all claim descent from the Captain through his documented son, William Jr., are content to dismiss the existence of other possible sons of Captain Fuller. I have read the argument that William Jr. and his sister had to return to Maryland from South Carolina after the Captain's death to prove Wiliam Jr.'s inheritance and that such would not have been necessary if other sons were still in Maryland. I find this theory less than compelling, especially since no one seems to consider the circumstances of Captain Fuller's departure, i.e., that he fled Maryland under threat of arrest and prosecution for treason against the English crown. One could easily speculate (based on nothing but these circumstances) that some adult children might not wish to bear the sins of their father and may not have supported him to the end, perhaps resulting in disinheritence. There may have been religious conflicts as well, as a result of William and Sarah's turning to the Quaker religion in the late 1650s.
It also concerns me that there seems to be no firm birth date for Captain Fuller, his wife, Sarah Martiau; nor is there any documented marriage date, to my knowledge. It seems that those who acknowledge only William Jr. as a son, claim c. 1625 for the Captain's birth and 1655 for the date of marriage (based on the birth date of daughter Elizabeth). But, perhaps even more often, it is claimed that the father William was born in 1610. Is there any real evidence on any of these dates???? It would seem that a person who had already achieved success in England while in Cromwell's army and who had obviously achieved significant social standing before going to Maryland in 1651 would have been well-beyond the age of 26 (based on 1625 birth). If he actually had been born in 1610, wouldn't it be expected in the 17th century that he would have had children before the age of 45? The earlier (and probably more likely) birth date would certainly leave room for the birth of sons prior to Elizabeth's joyful arrival in 1655. Which leads to Edward Fuller.
Those who have claimed Edward as a son, place his birth in the year 1657 -- EVERYONE uses that date, but on what is it based??? What I have not seen mentioned is the fact that an Edward Fuller appears all over the western shore area of Maryland in the 1660s and 1670s, i.e., just about the time of Captain William's ouster but at a time he would still be a child if born in 1657. Also, who is the Edward Fuller who testified in the Maryland Provincial Court in 1665 and 1666 if this Edward is not Capt. William's son? According to documents contained in Vol 57 of the Archives of Maryland, this Edward testified through depositions in connection with the murder trial of Francis Carpenter. On Feb. 20, 1665, he states that he is 25 years old, or thereabouts, i.e. born c. 1639-40, while on April 4, 1666 he states he is 28 or thereabouts, i.e., born c. 1637-38. Any of these dates would be consistent with a father who was born c. 1610, but totally impossible if the purported father were born in 1625. Is this Edward a son, brother, of any relation of all to Captain Fuller.
While Ezekiel Fuller of the Isle of Wight has been dismissed as a possible son on various grounds, including geography vs. likely birth date, the georgraphy of Edward Fuller is absolutely perfect for a theory that he is Capt. William's son. Not only does he seem to actually replace William Fuller in government positons and involvement in the provincial court (accomplishments that a new arrival would not have been able to achieve), his land is, by my understanding of the area, precisely in the area where Captain William had resided and been socially active when he had been in Maryland. It is extremely unlikely that a totally unrelated Fuller family would have also been in such a sparsely populated area at such an early date. So, if there was a familial relationship, what was it? Does anyone know anything about Captain William's brothers (if any) and their children. Since no one seems to agree on Captain Fuller's own birthplace, I don't really expect that any documentary evidence on such issues has been found to date.
Until questions such as these can be answered (or at least until I am able to find where they have been answered already, to my great embarassment), it does not seem to me that anyone can dismiss those few Fullers who are present in Maryland at this time period as candidates for children of the Captain. Also, has anyone considered that William may have had a wife before Sarah Martiau? Again, I don't have any answers at this point, but I sure have a lot of questions. Please HELP!