Show ContentsFullarton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Fullarton is an ancient Scottish name that was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. It is a name for someone who lived in the barony of Fullertoun in the parish of Dundonald in Ayrshire. That the family assumed the name of where they lived is often indicative the degree of power and influence they held in that area. Fullarton is most definitely such a name, easily identified by the suffix "-ton", meaning "settlement" or "town".

The place in question is almost certainly Fullerton, near Ayr or possibly Foulertoun near Forfar, both in Scotland. Both of these towns derive their name from the word "fuglere", meaning "bird-catcher" (the English word "fowler" has the same origin), indicating that fowl was the primary product of these towns.

Fullarton "which is situated on the southwestern bank of the river Irvine, derives its name from its ancient proprietors, the Fullartons, by one of whom a convent was founded in 1240, on the site of the present town, and amply endowed for friars of the Carmelite order. " [1]

Early Origins of the Fullarton family

The surname Fullarton was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire. The earliest evidence of the Fullerton family appeared in the mid 13th century, with Alanus de Fowlertoun who founded and endowed out of his lands a convent of Carmelite or White Friars at Irvine. He died circa 1280 and was succeeded by his son Adam de Fowlerton, who had a charter of the lands of Foullartous and Gaylis in Kyle Stewart a few years after his father's death.

A branch of his family settled in Arran and are said to have received from King Robert the Bruce a charter of the lands of Kilmichael with the office of coroner and the honorary title of Falconer to the King, in 1307. These estates were held for several centuries and in later years the family branched to Kinnaber in Angus. [2]

Gradually many of the estates were lost by marriage, and one of the last was Ballintoy Castle in County Antrim, Ireland which was acquired by the Downings in marriage. From the appointment by Bruce on, a long series of titles belonged to this respectable family. Rankin de Fowlartoun was the dominus de Corsby in the early 15th century and John Fullarton was first minister of Sanquhar after the Reformation.

The most prestigious title held by the family came, however, in 1327 when Robert I granted to Galfridus de Foullertoune (whose name is also recorded as Galfredus Fullerton) the land of Oulertoun in the sheriffdom of Forfar and the hereditary office of falconer within the sheriffdom. The estate was held by the Fullartons for over 120 years before they transferred themselves to the parish of Meigle, in which there are lands which bear the name to this day. [2]

Early History of the Fullarton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fullarton research. Another 221 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1707, 1645, 1727, 1720, 1727, 1865, 1588, 1607, 1631, 1603 and 1593 are included under the topic Early Fullarton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fullarton Spelling Variations

Prior to the first dictionaries, scribes spelled words according to sound. This, and the fact that Scottish names were repeatedly translated from Gaelic to English and back, contributed to the enormous number of spelling variations in Scottish names. Fullarton has been spelled Fullerton, Fullarton, Foulerton, Fowlerton, McCoy and others.

Early Notables of the Fullarton family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Mr. John Fullerton, Esq. Thribergh in the West Riding of Yorkshire was home to this gentleman for some time. "The parish comprises 1,624a. lr. 27p., of which about 800 acres are arable, 770 pasture, and about 30 woodland, all the property of John Fullerton, Esq., lord of the manor. The soil...
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fullarton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Fullarton family to Ireland

Some of the Fullarton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 303 words (22 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Canada Fullarton migration to Canada +

In such difficult times, the difficulties of raising the money to cross the Atlantic to North America did not seem so large compared to the problems of keeping a family together in Scotland. It was a journey well worth the cost, since it was rewarded with land and freedom the Scots could not find at home. The American War of Independence solidified that freedom, and many of those settlers went on to play important parts in the forging of a great nation. Among them:

Fullarton Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. James Fullarton U.E. who settled in Eastern District, Cornwall, Ontario c. 1784 [3]

Australia Fullarton migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Fullarton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Fullarton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Indus" in 1839 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Fullarton (post 1700) +

  • William Fullarton of Fullarton FRSE FRS (1754-1808), Scottish soldier, statesman, agriculturalist and author, Commissioner for the government of Trinidad, only son of William Fullarton of Fullarton, a wealthy Ayrshire gentleman [5]
  • John Fullarton (1780-1849), Scottish traveller and writer; he contributed articles to the Quarterly Review in defence of the Tory party in 1823, and is said to have been one of the founders of the Carlton Club [5]
  • Stephen "Steve" Fullarton (1919-2008), Scottish soldier, the last survivor of those who volunteered to serve on the republican side in the Spanish Civil War
  • Archibald Fullarton, Scottish founder of Archibald Fullarton and Co., a prominent publisher in Glasgow in the 1800s
  • William M. Fullarton (b. 1882), Scottish association football player who made over fifty appearances in The Football League from 1903 to 1906; he managed Plymouth Argyle (1906-1907)
  • James "Jamie" Fullarton (b. 1974), Scottish former professional footballer and current manager of Notts County (2016-)
  • Brigadier Ian Grant Fullarton (1895-1952), Australian District Officer Commanding 7th Military District from 1946 to 1950 [6]
  • Edwin Fullarton Borrie (1894-1968), Australian civil engineer and town planner who was awarded the Town and Country Planning Association (Victoria) (Sir James) Barrett medal, eponym of Lake Borrie, Victoria, Australia
  • James Fullarton Arnott (1914-1982), Scottish theatre professor

The Fullarton Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Lux in tenebris
Motto Translation: Light in darkness.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) INDUS 1839. Retrieved from
  5. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  6. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, August 30) Ian Fullarton. Retrieved from on Facebook