William Fulcher (1884-1938)

by Aris Baker

William “Willie” Fulcher was born in North Carolina on November 22nd, 1884, in a large family of nine siblings. He had five brothers and four sisters and was the oldest child in his family. His parents, Columbus and Fannie Fulcher raised Willie in a non-religious household. Willie Fulcher only had a 4th grade education and worked on his father’s farm at fifteen years old. By 1910, Willie had moved to Norfolk and was working as a dock laborer and renting a room on Allentown Road.

Willie married his wife, Lula Wilson, on February 18th, 1912, in Norfolk, Virginia and they had three children, Marie, Naomi, and Lillie (born after the war). When Willie signed up for the draft, he was working as a laborer in a steamship company and he and his wife had two daughters. Before enlisting into the U.S. Navy, Willie worked for the City Water Department of Norfolk, Virginia. The couple also shared their home after the war with Ernest and Mannie Odom and their infant daughter Helen. The couple continued renting out a room in their home on Smith Street to a variety of boarders, and Willie continued working as a plumber for the city. William Fulcher died March 1, 1938 of a cerebral hemorrhage and is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Norfolk.


“United States Census, 1900”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSYY-NHK : 25 February 2022), Willie Fulcher in entry for Columbus Fulcher, 1900.

“United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MPLW-NQK : accessed 29 November 2022), Willie Fulcher in household of Thomas Moore, Norfolk Ward 1, Norfolk (Independent City), Virginia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 20, sheet 4B, family 89, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 1637; FHL microfilm 1,375,650.

“United States Census, 1920”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MJJW-7K9 : 4 February 2021), William Fulcher, 1920.

“United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:CH5C-8W2 : accessed 29 November 2022), William Fulcher, Norfolk, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 24, sheet 14B, line 77, family 318, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 2470; FHL microfilm 2,342,204.

“United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918”, database with images, FamilySearch(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6Z3-178 : 23 December 2021), William Fulcher, 1917-1918.

“Virginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics, County Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” database, FamilySearch(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:847V-RWW2 : 1 July 2022), William Fulcher, 18 Feb 1912; citing Marriage Registration, Norfolk, Virginia, United States, Virginia State Library and Archives, Richmond.

“Virginia, Death Certificates, 1912-1987,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVR4-PH93 : 16 August 2019), William Fulcher, 01 Mar 1938; from “Virginia, Marriage Records, 1700-1850,” database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2012); citing Norfolk, , Virginia, United States, entry #, Virginia Department of Health, Richmond.