Tuesday, February 12, 2013

1900 Autograph Album of Ethel M. Fulton of Oakwood, Maryland

[Note: Please read the comments section for a reader's informative comment of 13 February 2013.]

Autograph album that was presented to Ethel M. Fulton of Oakwood, Maryland, by her father William M. Fulton on 30 November 1900.

The seller of this album indicated that there might be a family relationship between Ethel and inventor Robert Fulton, as several of the signers came from the area of his birthplace.

The album is approximately 7-3/4" by 5" and contains over 30 pages signed by Ethel herself, her relatives and friends.  An alphabetical list of the signers in the album appears at the end of this post.

From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]

Ethel M. Fulton was born in Maryland about March 1887, the daughter of William M. Fulton.  Ethel's mother had apparently died by the time of the 1900 Census, and I wasn't able to learn her identity.  

I'm wondering if her maiden name was Keen, judging from the signers named Keen who called themselves Ethel's cousin.  Hopefully a reader with knowledge of this family will clear up the mystery.

Ethel's paternal grandparents were Mensal [or a variant] William Fulton and Hannah Cecilia (Osborn) Fulton.

If you have corrections to the information above or additions to it on the Fulton and Keen families or on any of the signers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Alphabetical list of signers: [Note: given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]

  • Allie, signed 14 December 1900; Ethel's cousin
  • Addie, signed 21 December 1900; Ethel's cousin
  • Ethel M. Badders, signed on 14 December 1900
  • Ella R. Bicknell
  • William M. Fulton of Oakwood, Maryland, father of the album owner, Ethel M.Fulton.  He signed at least two pages, possibly three.
  • Aunt Hanna, signed on 6 December 1900; she was married to Edgar F. Fulton, Ethel's father's older brother
  • Annie, signed on 6 December 1900; Ethel's cousin.  Possibly Annie C. Fulton, daughter of Joseph T. and Alice (Stewart) Fulton.  Joseph was Ethel's father's younger brother
  • Marie Fulton, signed 6 December 1900; Ethel's sister
  • Ethel's Uncle Edgar, signed 21 December 1903.  Edgar F. Fulton, older brother of Ethel's father William W. Fulton
  • John R. Fulton of Oakwood, Maryland, signed on 20 August 1903; Ethel's cousin John Robert Fulton, son of Ethel's father's younger brother Joseph T. Fulton
  • John C. Fulton of Pleasant Grove, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, signed 6 August 1903
  • Alice Fulton of Pleasant Grove, Pennsylvania, signed 2 August 1903; Ethel's aunt
  • Ethel M. Fulton of Oakwood, Maryland, album owner
  • Bessie M. Gallagher, signed at Oakwood, Maryland on 16 April 1903
  • Cora Grubb, signed 21 December 1900
  • Florence K. Hall, signed 7 December 1901
  • Mollie S. Keen, signed 26 November 1905
  • Leslie Keen; Ethel's cousin
  • Annie C. Keen of Colora, Maryland.  Possibly the daughter of Henry D. Keen and sister of signers Abbie and India Keen
  • D. E. Keen of West Nottingham, Maryland, signed 23 May 1901
  • Susie E. M. Keen, signed 3 March 1902
  • Abbie and India Keene of West Nottingham, Maryland, signed 20 November 1901.  Sister of Annie C. Keen who also signed a page
  • Alice Bicknell McSparran of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, signed on 20 August 1903
  • Miss Lizzie S. Payson or could be Miss Lizzie S. Paxson
  • Carrie R. Ragan, signed on 14 December 1900
  • Sallie Rice, signed on 8 December 1900
  • Nellie Taylor, signed 21 December 1900
  • Hanna C. Trimble, signed 14 December 1900
  • Helen G. Weaver, signed 14 December 1900

Oakwood, Maryland

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Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Signer Annie C Fulton is the daughter of Joseph T and Alice A Fulton, at least according to the 1910 Census information. Her family was on the same page as that of Ethel M Fulton, the young lady who owned the autograph book. Helen G Weaver, who also signed the book, was the first name on the census page.


    Signers John C and Alice Fulton from Pleasant Grove, Pennsylvania, are Ethel's aunt and uncle. John's sister in law, Lizzie Paxon, who also signed the autograph book, was living with them in 1900.


    I'll bet John and Alice took care of Ethel when her father and step-mother married/honeymooned/had their first child. The timing is about right.

    The Keens might have been related to Ethel's stepmother Annie. In 1930 a sister in law named Abbie Keen was living with Ethel's father William.


    In 1900 and 1910, another uncle and aunt, Edgar T Fulton and Hanna L Reynolds, had with them a niece, Mary C Fulton, born Jun 1884 in MD. Is this Ethel's sister?

    1900: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MGZH-CSL
    1910: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M33F-WY1

    These areas of PA and MD are only about 10 miles apart.

    I'm working on the possible connection to Robert Fulton, steamship entrepreneur. It looks promising.

  2. Ed, this is wonderful! I hope you've put on workshops teaching others your research techniques. Readers, you'll want to put Ed's blog in your reader: Old Ohio Home [not limited to Ohio].

  3. I was unable to find the connection between Ethel M. Fulton's family and that of the inventor Robert Fulton. But unless there were two or three unrelated Fulton families in a small area of Pennsylvania, Ethel and Robert are related somehow.

    I did learn that Ethel's paternal grandparents, Minshall William Fulton and Harriet Cecilia Osborn are buried in Little Britain (Penn Hill) Friends Burial Grounds, in Fulton Township, Lancaster County, PA.

    Minshall's father's name was John S. Fulton, and he mentions Minshall, Benjamin, and Rachel Ann (later Marshall) as children in his will, written 1862, executed Aug 9, 1869.

    The marriage of Minshall's parents, John S Fulton and Hannah Cutler, was recorded in the monthly meetings of Little Britain (Quaker) Meeting House on Nov 13, 1817. John was said to be the son of Thomas and Hannah.

    There was a Thomas Fulton on the 1820 Census of Little Britain. (Lost link to source.) And there was a Thomas Fulton in District 4, Cecil County, Maryland in 1830. https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XHP1-RD4#

    A family tree at ancestry.com says that this Thomas Fulton and Hannah Williams were both age 32 when they married in 1786, and that Hannah's mother's maiden name was Mary Minshall.

    If this Thomas was born about 1854, he could be a cousin of Robert Fulton, steamboat entrepreneur. I'm assuming that there has been enough research done on Mr. Fulton and his family that there are no undiscovered older brothers hiding out there. Everyone seems to be sure that there were only five children, and that Robert's oldest sister was born about 1760.

    The History of Lancaster County says there is a James Fulton in the area who could be an uncle to Robert. It also mentions a William and an Alexander Fulton, suggesting that either could be Robert's paternal grandfather. That would make him likely the first common ancestor of Ethel M. Fulton and Robert Fulton.

  4. Ah, so Mensal was probably a derivative of Minsall... There's a place on Mount Desert Island called Manset. I was busy trying to figure out the origin, likely Wabanaki I thought, when a coworker told me it was a misspelling of the surname Mansell!