Married/ Related to:
Also known as: Jacob Fulse
1. Hannah Fuls
Also known as: Hannah Foucks, born ABOUT 1720 at England
2. Christiana Fuls
Born 1728, died May 29, 1815, 86 or 87 years
Christiana was the second wife of Dr. Bernardus VanLeer. His first wife, Mary Branson, died in 1749, leaving six children, all sons, ages 1 to 13. That family has been well documented and is recorded at the VanLeer-Branson site
In 1737/1738, in Christ and St. Peters Church, Philadelphia, John George VanLeer (VonLöehr), Bernardus father, had married, second, Rebecca Fauls (or Fuls). When John George died in 1748, the same year that Mary Branson VanLeer died, his residence was given as Marple Township. Christiana and Bernardus would have been step-brother and sister. It is possible that Bernardus, Mary, their children, his father and stepmother, and Christiana lived together as extended family in the large brick manse which Dr. Bernardus built in Marple Township, then Chester County, Pennsylvania. When Chester County was divided in 1789, Marple Township became part of Delaware County.
The name "Fuls" appears to be German or Swedish, and may have come from the large Swedish and German population in and around Wilmington, Delaware, a colony of very early settlers. According to Weatherby and Bourke sources, Christiana and Hannah Fuls were daughters of Jacob Fuls and wife, unknown. We believe the wife was Rebecca Mather, daughter of John Mather, Sr. In his will made in September 1763, John Mather, Jr., Attorney at Law of Chester, Pennsylvania, bequeathed to sister Rebecca VanLeer my gold ring. Rebecca, in 1763, was the second wife of John George VanLeer, father of Dr. Bernardus.
Christiana's sister, Hannah Fuls, married Benjamin Weatherby, which would account for the reference in a Wilmington Deed found in the VanLeer box. The 1766 deed is for a lot in Wilmington, Delaware, the property of Benjamin Weatherby, being sold to Bernard[us] VanLeer who is one of the executors of Weatherbys will. Quoting that 1766 will, Weatherby identifies Bernard[us] VanLeer as his brother-in-law. Bernardus had no sisters; therefore, if we go by today's meaning of the term "brother-in-law," Christiana was either sister to Weatherby or to Weatherby's wife; the latter is apparently the case.
Christiana would have been about 10 years old in 1737 when Rebecca married John George VanLeer, and about 21 in 1748 when Bernardus wife and father died. The widowed Rebecca Mather Fuls VanLeer married George Moore and left the VanLeer household. Christiana would have been left in the household, a young unmarried woman, running the home and caring for the VanLeer children. If she had grown up there, she would certainly have been sharing that burden for some time.
In any event, Bernardus VanLeer and Benjamin Weatherby, both prominent men in Philadelphia and Chester County, were business associates and close friends, and it is logical to assume that Christiana and Bernardus knew each other long before they married. Their marriage record states that both parties are of "Marbel Twp." However the pairing came about, Bernardus married Christiana in 1750 when he was 64 years old and Christiana was about 23.
Bernardus and Christiana had 7 or 8 children, 6 of whom lived to have families of their own. Mary Bransons children inherited their Branson grandfathers interests in the iron forges of Chester County and, for the most part, located in the Northern part of Chester County. Christianas children remained in the Southeastern part of the county, the part which, in 1789, became Delaware County.
Christiana and Bernardus shared a 40-year-long marriage; in the early part of it, she raised Mary Branson VanLeers children along with her own. She was 63 when Bernardus died in 1790 at age 104. Although her youngest child, Dr. Bernard, inherited the Marple Township estate, Christiana remained in that Broomall home for 25 years, a widow of independent means, until she died at age 88 in 1815. She received rent paid to her by her eldest surviving son, Isaac, who was given a Van Leer farm in Tredyffrin Twp. near Daylesford, E. of Paoli, PA (the Cabin Farm.) and from her daughter, Mary VanLeer Moore, who was given the Ball Farm (and the Ball Tavern) next to Isaac.