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Common Errors in Hull Lineages title image

By Phyllis J. Hughes, HFA Genealogist (now retired)

Following are some of the past errors found in print and on the internet. Questions and comments about this listing can be sent to:

Due to constraints of time and resources, we cannot respond to requests from non-members for genealogical help. Members should include their full name and member number when contacting the HFA. A list of membership benefits is available here.


  • HFAm = book, The Hull Family in America, 1913, by Col. Weygant
  • HFR = The Hull Family Register, 1994, by David Boatman, a reprint and continuation of the Rev. Joeseph Hull line from Weygant's 1913 book
  • * = Errors, with references, have been discussed in prior HFA Journal or HFA Newsletter articles

Hull Lines in Weygant's 1913 book, The Hull Family in America:

George Hull and Rev. Joseph Hull are brothers from Crewkerne, co. Somerset, England, and are sons of Thomas “the Younger” Hull, who is the son of Richard Hull. This is where the line ends, as the parish records terminate with Richard.

There is absolutely no evidence to assign George Hull and/or Rev. Joseph Hull to a lineage which includes Hugh Hull and Matthew Hull, a lineage which is entirely separate from the Crewkerne, England, Hulls, and are not known to be related.

The Richard Hull line, while included in Weygant's book, is not connected to the George Hull and Rev. Joseph Hull Lines. The ancestors of Richard Hull are not known, but he immigrated in the early 1600s, probably from England. He is not related to the Richard Hull who is the grandfather of George and Rev. Joseph Hull.

Claims of Descent from four Famous Hulls

Many Hulls claim a descent from the following famous Hulls:

It is virtually impossible for any Hull surnamed person to claim any of these four famous Hulls as their ancestors. It is impossible for anyone, whether they have the Hull surname or not, to claim either Commodore Isaac Hull or Secretary of State Cordell Hull because these Hull men had no children. They might claim them as a distant relative, but not as an ancestor.

Other common sources of errors

John Hull, “the Mintmaster” or “the Silversmith” (1624–1683)

(Not related to any of the other large Hull branches)

  • * John Hull, “the Mintmaster,” had two infant sons, but they had no issue, so the Hull name is lost in the second generation with these brothers. Hannah Hull Sewall was the only child of John Hull who lived to produce heirs. Therefore, the Hull name died when the two sons, John and Samuel, died as very young infants

General William Hull (1753–1825) of the War of 1812

  • * HFAm #391, Richard Hull line, General William Hull had only one son, Abraham, who never married in order to produce Hull-surnamed heirs. Therefore, there are no descendants by the name of Hull from General William Hull

Commodore Isaac Hull (1773–1843) of the War of 1812

  • * HFAm #782, Richard Hull line, Isaac Hull had no children. Therefore, it is impossible for anyone to descend from this noted Hull who was the commander of the ship Constitution. While he did have relatives, he had no descendants.
        Furthermore, none of Commodore Isaac Hull’s brothers had sons with male issue, so the Hull name is lost in the second generation descending from these brothers. Anyone claiming to be a descendant of Commodore Isaac Hull or his brothers has been given incorrect information

Cordell Hull (1871–1955), Secretary of State 1933-1944

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Administration

  • * Cordell Hull had no children. Therefore, it is impossible for anyone to descend from this noted Hull, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1945. While he did have relatives, he had no descendants. Anyone claiming to be a descendant of Cordell Hull has been given incorrect information. His Hull line has been DNA-tested, but remains unidentified

Hull Coat of Arms

Claims to royal ancestry, unclaimed fortunes, and coats of arms…are alarm signals that you may be in for a fabricated pedigree. You did not become an emigrant if you had a reason to remain in your homeland. Most of our ancestors were hardworking people, usually from the middle to lower end of the economic scale.

—Mary Lynn Spijkerman Parker, “Perpetuating Myths,” The Dutch Family Heritage Society, Vol. 7, No. 1

Several websites are displaying coats of arms for Hulls to which they have no genealogical connection (see first, second, and third sites). In our experience, when coats of arms are attributed to Hulls, on websites and in print, they are associated with families or, even broader, a surname. Coats of arms traditionally belong to an individual—not to a family or surname. The only coat of arms that I have found, which is legitimate, belonged to an individual with no male heirs (John Hull, “the Mintmaster,” below). None of the Hulls in this country can claim a legitimate coat of arms, unless they have themselves registered this with the proper registry in England. So in this country, a coat of arms for anyone with the surname Hull is almost meaningless.

  • Not every member of a family had the right to bear a coat of arms; they were not common family property. They were usually passed down in an unbroken family line from the oldest son to his oldest son. Normally only a descendant in the male line was entitled to use these, but, in rare instances, an unmarried daughter could claim these heraldic arms. They were and are the private property of one individual. There is no such thing as a family coat of arms
  • When Orra Eugene Monnette, a descendant of the Rev. Joseph Hull, mentioned a Hull coat of arms in his First Settlers of Ye Plantations of Piscataway and Woodbridge, Olde East New Jersey, 1664–1714 series of books, he had absolutely no evidence for saying that the coat of arms illustration in his book was “borne by American descendants”
  • There is a coat of arms for John Hull at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. This belonged to John Hull, “the Mintmaster,” but he had no male descendants, in his children’s generation, who lived. So there are no men bearing the Hull name from his line. (See more on John Hull above)

Hulls in Washington County, Pennsylvania

  • * HFR #1293, John Hull, of Washington County, Pennsylvania, who died 1788, did not marry Rachel Gossett. It is well documented that he did marry a woman named Rachel, but her maiden surname was not Gossett. The marriage date which was given for John Hull and Rachel Gossett is actually for this couple: John Hall and Rachel Cogall, who married 03 September 1764, Burlington Co., New Jersey. This line does not descend from the Rev. Joseph Hull, as given in HFR
  • * HFAm #805 (HFR #2348), Henry Hull, who married Christinia Cox, is now verified to be the son of John and Rebecca [—?—] Hull of Washington County, Pennsylvania and not the son of HFAm #403 George Hull. These Hulls do not descend from the Rev. Joseph Hull line, as proven by DNA analysis

The German Hohl/Holl/Hull Lines

  • * Jacob Hull/Holl, who married Elizabeth Souder(s), no doubt descends from a German/Dutch/Swiss line but probably was not born in Germany himself
  • * Sons given to Peter Thomas/Tomas Hull/Holl/Hohl, immigrant, by assorted researchers and compilers, but now proven not to be his sons: Francis, Henry, John, William, Robert, Joseph, and David
  • Francis Holl/Hull was not the son of Peter Thomas Hohl/Holl/Hull, but rather the son of J. Nickolas/Nicholas or (Johann) Nicholas Holl and Catharina Elisabeth Bauss
  • Henry Holl/Hull was not the son of Peter Thomas Hohl/Holl/Hull, but rather the son of Francis Holl/Hull and (1) Maria Agnes Klinglin
  • Francis Holl/Hull’s son Frederick, by his second wife Margreda/Margaret [_?_], did not marry Polly Cunningham, but rather Mary Ann “Polly” Koch/Cook
  • The John Hull, who married Amy Strickland, was not the son of Peter Thomas Hohl/Holl/Hull, but rather the son of Philip Hull and Elizabeth Barbara Lingenfelter
  • Peter Hull Jr., the son of Peter Thomas/Tomas Hull/Holl/Hohl Sr. and (2) Susanna Margaretha Diefenbach, probably did not marry Barbara Keith, but rather married Barbara Penninger. This issue is still being studied.

See also errors in the Rev. Joseph Hull line, where some of the Hulls of this German line have been incorrectly placed, i.e.:

  • HFAm #800, Jacob Hull: all of these children, with the exception of William, were the sons of the German Peter Hull and Barbara (?Penninger), who was the son of the immigrant, Peter Thomas Hohl/Holl
  • * HFAm #3,150, William Hull, #3,151, Laban Hull, #3,154, John Henry Hull, #3,156, Jesse Hull, and #3,160, Henry Welton Hull, were all from the German Peter Thomas Hohl/Holl line, and not descendants of the Rev. Joseph Hull. They were the sons of Henry Hull and Hannah Harness, who was the son of Peter Hull and Barbara (?Penninger)