Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Fulcher Family Collection, 1831-1895

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, June 2012

Summary Information
Title: Fulcher family collection
Creator: Fulcher family
Inclusive dates: 1831-1895
Extent: 0.5 linear feet
Abstract:
This collection contains correspondence and other materials related to Richard and William Fulcher, natives of Norfolk County, England, who moved to St. Joseph County, Michigan, in 1835. The brothers received around 100 letters from their friends and family in England, who provided them with family and local news, discussed the effects of transatlantic separation, and commented on political events, such as the American Civil War. Photographs, an extract from a will, and bank checks are also included.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated, 1994. M-3108.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Fulcher family collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Extract from Thomas Fulcher's Will
  • Series III: Checks
  • Series IV: Photographs
  • Series V: Newspaper Clipping

The Correspondence series is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Biography

Richard Fulcher was born near Hingham, England, on January 16, 1796, the son of Richard Fulcher and Sophia D'Urban. He had at least three siblings: Thomas, Elizabeth, and Sophia. Thomas Fulcher (1801-1888) served as curate and rector of the Old Buckenham Parish Church throughout the late 19th century. Richard Fulcher was educated at Oxford and practiced law in London before moving to Michigan with his brother William in 1835. The Fulcher brothers settled near Three Rivers, Michigan, where William died in 1845. Richard later became a farmer in Fabius Township, Michigan. On June 19, 1845, he married Esther Bridgman; they had eight children: Esther Sophia (1846-1850), Elizabeth Agnes (1848-1850), Dorothea (1850-1915), Ada D'Urban (b. 1852), Richard Bransby (1855-1856), John (1857-1942), Amelia (1859-1888), and Mary Mabel (1861-1941). Richard Fulcher died on May 26, 1877.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains correspondence and other material related to Richard and William Fulcher, natives of Norfolk County, England, who moved to St. Joseph County, Michigan, in 1835. The brothers received around 100 letters from their friends and family in England, who provided them with family and local news, discussed the effects of transatlantic separation, and commented on political events, such as the American Civil War. The collection also includes an extract from Thomas Fulcher's will, Richard Fulcher's bank checks (9 items), 9 photographs of the Fulcher family and other subjects, and a newspaper clipping.

The Correspondence series (100 items) is primarily comprised of William and Richard Fulcher's incoming correspondence, which they received after emigrating from England to Michigan in 1835. Friends and family members wrote about their lives in Old Buckenham and Hingham, England, and commented on topics such as their social lives, family health, crops, and local news. Many letters, particularly the earlier items, mention the effects of separation. Thomas Fulcher, curate and vicar for the Old Buckenham Parish Church, and Sophy Moxon, the Fulcher brothers' niece, wrote around 33 letters to William and Richard. Richard's wife Esther also corresponded with her English and American relatives. Later items are occasionally addressed to Ada Fulcher, Richard and Esther's daughter. During the Civil War, Thomas Fulcher and other correspondents commented on political and military developments in the United States. Postwar letters contain some description of travel around England and Wales. The final letters in the collection include several that mention family deaths; a letter dated July 10, 1888, for example, contains a newspaper obituary for Thomas Fulcher and a lock of his hair.

The Extract from Thomas Fulcher's Will (3 pages), dated 1888, concerns his farm and payments to several of his relatives, including Esther Fulcher, Richard's widow.

The Checks series is comprised of 9 printed bank checks drawn on the First National Bank of Three Rivers. Each is signed by Richard Fulcher.

The 9 Photographs are modern reproductions and enlargements of 19th and early 20th century images that depict numerous members of the Fulcher family, including Oriel Fulcher's daughters, Sophia (or Sophy) Moxon, Esther Bridgman Fulcher, Thomas Fulcher, Eliza Fulcher, Bessie Fulcher, and Richard Fulcher. One item depicts the Old Buckenham Parish Church.

A Newspaper Clipping from the Three Rivers Commercial shows 2 photographs of Richard Fulcher's home in Three Rivers, Michigan.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • British--United States--History--19th century.
    • Decedents' estates.
    • Emigration and immigration.
    • England--Description and travel.
    • Hingham (England)
    • Immigrants--United States.
    • Old Buckenham (England)
    • Separation (Psychology)
    • Three Rivers (Mich.)
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Foreign public opinion, British.
    • Wales--Description and travel.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Fulcher, Bessie.
    • Fulcher, Eliza.
    • Fulcher, Esther Bridgman.
    • Fulcher family.
    • Fulcher, Richard, 1796-1877.
    • Fulcher, Thomas, 1801-1888.
    • Fulcher, William, d. 1845.
    • Moxon, Sophia Fulcher.
    • Old Buckenham Parish Church.
    • Three Rivers (Mich.)
    Contributors:
    • Fulcher, Ada D'Urban, b. 1852.
    • Fulcher, Richard, 1796-1877.
    • Fulcher, William, d. 1845.
    • Fulcher, Thomas, 1801-1888.
    • Moxon, Sophia Fulcher.
    Genre Terms:
    • Black-and-white prints (photographs)
    • Checks (bank checks)
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Obituaries.
    • Wills.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
     
    Correspondence [series]:
    Box   1 Folder   1-12
      August 23, 1831-November 26, 1895, and  undated
     
    Extract from Thomas Fulcher's Will [series]:
    Box   1 Folder   13
     1888
     
    Checks [series]:
    Box   1 Folder   14
      December 17, 1868-February 1, 1869
     
    Photographs [series]:
    Box   1 Folder   15
    Late 20th century reproductions and enlargements of 19th and early 20th century images
     
    Newspaper Clipping [series]:
    Box   1 Folder   16
     20th century
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Additional background information is available in the Manuscripts Division:

    • A bound volume of letter transcriptions, done by a family member, is located with the collection.
    • The Manuscripts Division also holds family recollections from descendants of the Fulcher family and additional biographical and historical information compiled by the family's descendants.