I love the history of my Fulton ancestors!

“John Fulton was a native of Kilkenny, Ireland, and came with his father, when a mere youth, to Lancaster County, Penn. There were four sons in the family, John, Robert, Hugh and Andrew. The family were among the founders of the First Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, Penn., and their strong Presbyterian proclivities led to the opinion that they were of Scotch ancestry. John was apprenticed to a blacksmith, Robert to a tailor, and Hugh and Andrew to farmers. Robert afterward engaged in farming in Little Britain Township, Lancaster County, when his son Robert, who was the first to successfully apply steam to the propulsion of vessels, was born in 1765.

After his service in the army of the Revolution, he removed his family to Northumberland County, Penn., then on the frontier, and encountered the perils of the period in the vicinity of the massacre at Wyoming. Mr. Fulton, his wife, and his sister were carried into captivity by the Indians at this time, and he and his wife were held until the exchange at Quebec, a short time before the close of the war. Two of their children were killed by the Indians in the presence of their parents, being taken by their feet and having their brains dashed out against the trees, because, by reason of their youth, they were unable to keep up in traveling. The sister was given the privilege of escape by running the gauntlet. Two rows of young Indians were formed, each with a whip in hand to scourge her as she passed between the lines. A whip was given her with the privilege to strike as she ran, and so well did she use it that her tormentors cheered her for her bravery. The life of the husband was spared that the Indians and Tories might avail themselves of his skill as a blacksmith, and that of the wife that she might be their cook and servant. The cruelties inflicted upon them in their captivity oftentimes made death more desirable than life, and engendered a hatred of Indians and Tories that never was modified.”

{in 1803} John Fulton and his son, with their families, emigrated here (Rising Sun, Ohio Co., Indiana) from Lancaster county, Pa. They bought land the following year from Benj. Chambers, and Samuel Fulton built a cabin on the river bank, near where the woolen factory now stands, in Rising Sun. The beautiful scenery of green and lofty hills, opening fields, giant forests, and winding river, presented an enchanted picture to his family. He was a pioneer of many excellent qualities, and noted for his daring skill as a hunter, simplicity of manners and integrity of character. He opened his house for the use of the Rev. James Kemper and Rev. David Riske to preach the gospel, from 1804 to 1808….
The early settlement of Ohio county is — as also that of all other counties in the State — full of romance. In the winter of 1805, Samuel Fulton made a large party for his neighbors; Benj. Chambers, an invited guest, put his oxen to a large irogue (a water craft, or dug-out), and, with all of his family and a few of his neighbors in it, gave them a merry sleigh-ride to the party. This was a common conveyance during the season of sleighing, in those early days of our history.”

Many of the earliest Fulton family members are buried in the “Fulton Burying Ground” one and a half miles north of Rising Sun, on the road to Aurora. (Today one can find the cemetery as it sits right on the northwest corner of State Highway 56 and Bellview Lane.) My Fulton ancestors remained in Ohio County, Indiana with 2 generations moving into Switzerland County Indiana before they married into the Peak family across the state line in Hamilton County, Ohio.

John Fulton gravesite – Fulton Burying Ground, Ohio County, Indiana

* “History of Dearborn and Ohio Counties, Indiana, 1885”
** “Illustrated History of the State of Indiana”(Goodrich & Tuttle) – p. 491 & 492

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