Readers Comments and Queries

I hope you have found this ramble through Foster history informative and interesting and would invite any comments or queries you may have.

Please email me if you have your own Foster family history to relate, if you have genealogical inquiries that can be pursued here, or if there are any particular Foster stories that you would like to pass on. We will post them all here.

Colin Shelley

Comments and Queries

4 July, 2019.  Death of Fred Foster

I have enjoyed your website on the Foster family and was honored to see that my father, Fred Foster of North Carolina, was included among the many notable Fosters.  It is with much sadness that I wish to inform you that my father passed away on February 20, 2019 after a brief illness.  

Also I am desperately seeking info on Fendel (Fennell, Fendal, Fendele Foster) born approx. 1806 in North Carolina (and briefly Texas).  He appears to have been the father of E.J. Foster who married Mary Moorehead in 1867.  Can find no info on Fendel.  

Micki Foster-Koenig (

3 March, 2019.  Fosters from Tipperary to Canada

My name is Jen and I am a Foster descendant. I’m hoping to find information about the parents of:

George Foster  b. 1788 Tipperary Ireland,  d. May 4 1856 London Ontario, Canada  
and  Margaret Piper  b. Tipperary Ireland,  d. April 1853, London Ontario, Canada. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  
Jen Vandrie (j

2 February, 2019.  Forsters as Border Reivers and in Northumberland

Through our family now resides in East Sussex, our parents came from Kent and we can trace the male Forster line back to Northumberland with certainty to around 1770.  Things get a bit unclear at that point.

I've been aware of the strong connection between my family name and Northumberland since a tour of WWI battlefields and memorials approximately ten years ago.  I had been looking for Forsters on any memorial we visited and had found around fourteen, split between three different memorials. There are eleven on the Thiepval monument.  Every single one of them served with the Northumberland regiment.  Knowing that they drew men from the same towns and villages during the Great War, this immediately sparked a curiosity within me about our family connection to this region.

My father knew of the Bamburgh Forsters and I have recently been reading of the Forster clan of border reivers.  Here is where my query begins as it is unclear to me as to which came first. Are the clan related to the BamburghForsters?  I know that dynasty is extinct.  So why is there such a high concentration of Forsters in Northumberland?  And if I am connected to that region by blood, am I a descendant of the Forster clan of border reivers?

Jon. Forster (

25 January, 2019.  Fosters in Jamaica

I viewed your website on Foster names and was very surprised to see that the Fosters of Surrey, Egham House, and Jamaica (Elim, Bogue and Three Mile Wood in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica) were not included.  

Colonel John Foster of Egham in Surrey came to Jamaica in 1655 with the Venables and Penn expedition which took Jamaica from the Spanish. He was granted the estates of Elim, Bogue and Three Mile Wood in St. Elizabeth parish. The Foster family owned estates in Jamaica up to the 1880’s, I believe, centred in the St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland parishes.  

Joseph Foster Barham, the son of Colonel John Foster, was Instrumental in bringing the Moravian missionaries to Jamaica in the 1750’s. They were the first missionaries to minister to the enslaved population in Jamaica. They were stationed on the estates owned by the Fosters in St. Elizabeth. The Moravian Church remains in Jamaica to this day.  

Yours sincerely, 
Marcia Thomas (

8 January, 2019.  Fosters from Virginia and South Carolina

Do you have any information on a Robert Foster of Virginia who married Sarah (Sallie) Elizabeth Jones?  He died in 1814 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  His descendants moved on to Georgia, Alabama, and Texas.  They seem to be wealthy and well educated; physicians, lawyers, teachers.  They also lived on large farms. 

My third great grandfather was Dr. Robert Washington Foster who was born in 1826 in South Carolina and died in 1907 in Texas.  

LuAnne.Jones (

20 August, 2018.  Fosters in Karachi

I am trying to find out my grandfather and great grandfather’s lineage.   My great grandfather from England was Walter William Foster married to his wife Mary Ann.   They lived in Karachi, based on the information I have from a copy of my grandfather’s baptism. 

Walter William Dale Foster was born in 1899 in Karachi.   My grandfather remarried Auntie Bella after my mother’s mother died.  They had a daughter Leslie.  Later they moved back to Sussex in England after the India / Pakistan war broke out. 

This is all the information I have.  I never got to meet my grandfather.  My mother married and moved to the United States and had six children.  My Aunt Leslie living in in Surrey is the only one alive in that generation.  I think that my grandfather lived in Surrey and not Sussex. 

Brenda Snell Gerhold (bsgerhold@bellsouthnet)

2 August, 2018.  Fosters from Virginia to Pennsylvania

I am looking for Fosters from Virginia.   William A. Foster (1801-1882) and his wife Sarah had four children - Martin A, Erastus Roy, Francis Asbury and Jane.  Then Erastus Foster had at least nine children.   Eventually their descendants ended up in the Dauphin/Wiconisco area of Pennsylvania. 

I am trying to see if anyone knows where William A. Foster originated from, his parent's names and confirmation of Sarah's last name.  It may have been Sarah Angeline Martin, but the records are sketchy.  My grandmother was Shirley R. Foster. 

Jasmynn Mione (

22 August, 2017.  Early Fosters in the East Riding of Yorkshire

Hacing been researching the Foster Strand of my family tree, and traced them back to the parish of Bainton in the East Riding of Yorkshire. 

The searchable records there date back to 1565, a burial for John Foster, whose father was Robert Foster.  The earliest records in the East Riding are from Atwick, three burials for Margaret, William and Christopher Foster all in 1540, which is pretty much when record- keeping started in the area. 

All these records point to a burgeoning Foster clan that was well established in the area, suggesting the surname was introduced a century or so earlier. 

Regards  David Senn, Auckland New Zealand (

14 July, 2017.  Fosters in Ireland and America

When I was a child my mum said I should know the stock I come from.  She said the Fosters were a very special family.  Her mother Mary Ann Foster married William Roberts.  Fosters were Catholics, Roberts were Protestants.  Mum said they eloped to England to get married.  They raised eleven children out of thirteen pregnancies.  Three died at birth and one died after a few months old.   Three were girls, the rest boys.  One was my grandmother. 

My great was Jane Nee foster Swords.  They lived in St Patrick at Dun Loaghaire near Dublin.  My great uncles the Fosters were sea and river pilots licensed by the navy.  As masters it was a dangerous job although very well paid. 

One of the Fosters stowed away to America and started off in New York selling newspapers.  However he met up with a pinkerman.  I believe he came from the same place as the Fosters in Ireland.  He ended up as the chief man for the Pinkerton detective agency, forerunner of the FBI. 

Diane Sturges (

2 April, 2017.  Irish Loyalist Moses Foster in Canada

I am trying to find evidence of birth and parentage for Moses Foster (my 4th great grandfather) who was born in 1758 in Ireland.  He migrated to the American colonies and fought with Britain in the Revolutionary War. 

As a Loyalist Moses and his family's goods and farm were confiscated and they were driven out of the colonies.  King George III granted all Loyalists land in what is now Canada.  Before the revolution Moses lived in Pembroke and Cherry Valley near Albany in New York state. 

Any help in finding out where in Ireland he was born or the names of his parents would be greatly appreciated if known. 

Linda Barlow, UE, Stirling, Ontari
o (

10 November, 2016.  Mary Foster in New Brunswick

I have a Mary Foster who was possibly the sister of my grandfather from his father's mysterious first wife.  She was listed in the 1891 census of St John, New Brunswick in Brooks Ward as living with Peter and Lizzie Cassidy, my grandparents.  The census stated she was a widow and a Baptist.  The Cassidy family was Catholic.  She had three children also living with the Cassidys.  They were - Porter age 16, Laila age 14, and Janie age 7.   I cannot find this Foster family in previous year censuses or later year census or in any records. 

Susan Lucey (

26 June, 2016.  Fosters in Tennessee

My grandparents Elvin Dester and Ella (Dunkelberg) Foster (my mother’s parents) lived in Scott county in Tennessee, as did many other Fosters.

So far I have traced my family back to the Fosters of Hunsdon in Hertfordshire and Sir Thomas Forster 1 (1530-1599).  I found out today that he was a guard to Queen Elizabeth. 

Janis (Carlson) Fritsch (

3 March, 2016.  Forsters in Swizerland and Germany

I'm Swiss and my name is Forster. The name is only common in the canton of St. Gallen, Thurgau and Zurich.  I come from St. Gallen.  You can find the name as well in Germany and in the western part of Austria. 

Wappen is the coat of arms of Hadlikon (Hinwil - my hometown).  It looks like a red/white chessboard (a bit like the Croatian flag).  The same coat of arms has the town where my relatives live in Flawil and Oberuzwil.  My ancestors lived in Oberuzwil.  You can find this coat of arms in some cities in Switzerland. 

The Bavarians have it in blue/white.  This coat of arms is also the coat of arms of the Hungarians and was, before that, the coat of arms of the Sarmatian people.  Sarmatian people lived in the Roman Empire - also in England - and they came together with the Franks and Allemand tribes to Western Europe. 

I think the Forster name comes out of the time where the Franks conquered Europe. I think "Forsters" have something to do with the Franks and the tribes following them.  The Forsters in Bavaria only live in Franken (the Nürnberg area, Augsburg area and the Schwaben part of Bavaria) and there is one part in the west - it was also part of Franken.   It is named Hunsrück. 

Sarmatians lived in the Hunsrück - Hun means hun - and there you have the name Forster again and the Franks ruled over it, because this was their own people.  There is an old legend that huns-Samartian people lived in St.Gallen (Appenzell). Some people make jokes about this, especially with Appenzell people.  Canton Appenzell is surrounded by St. Gallen. 

People outside of Bavaria/Franken do not know the name and they pronounce it wrong and they say Förster.  For Swiss people the name sounds better.  They always think that you are a St. Galler.

I also think that the Fosters/Forsters etc. are part of an ancient ethnic group and the English Fosters/Forsters are related back then to the Swiss/German Forsters. 

Michael Forster (

1 December, 2015.  William Foster, from Ulverston to Nova Scotia

I am trying to find info on William Foster, the son of Joseph Foster and Mary Ann Ashburner, who was born in Ulverston, Lancashire on 20 December, 1878 (not quite sure of this birth-date). 

He departed Liverpool on the vessel Grampian and arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 17 March, 1913.  William would have been my great grandfather. 

Annette Poitras (

23 October, 2015.  Fosters in Alabama and Florida

I've been trying to backtrack a branch of Fosters who were among the first settlers of Alabama and Florida.  These Fosters were the descendants of Samuel S. Foster (born in 1805) and John Foster (born in 1809), both from Alabama.   The only two settlements in Alabama during those years were the Tombigbee and Tensaw settlements.  Yet I cannot find any mention of Foster in any of the  lists.  Your site mentions a group of Fosters settling in Natchez in 1792.  Have you been able track what became of all of them? 

Allen Foster (

2 October, 2015.  Henry Foster, Mulatto in Virginia

Mr. Foster who came to Virginia on the Safety is my African American Foster's ancestor too.  I am close to discovering by whom.  I think it may be Captain John Foster.  My DNA test as 4th-up to 6th cousins is with descendants of his.  

I am looking for information on where I can get copies of slave inventory records if possible of some of this Foster family.  I have only a very small list of possible slaves owned by them.  My ancestor is Henry Foster who was born about 1831 and was listed as mulatto;  I don't know who his parents were.   Henry lived in Mathews, Virginia. 

Rose Carey (

22 November, 2014.  Foster Surname Origins

I have Foster on my maternal side that tracks back to the lineage of Fosters in Berkshire who can be found going quite far back - late 1300’s I believe if not earlier. This region of course begins most of its history as the homestead of Alfred the Great going back to the 500 AD’s and the Anglo Saxon invasion of Britain. 

I thought I might mention that in my own research I found the surname to Germanic variations of Furst/Forst which did not originally mean “trees” or “forest” but meant “one who lives far away” or “stranger.”  We would say: “That guy who lives way over there at the edge of the forest.  We don’t know him well.” 

One finds the surname in Northern France and Flanders as Forestier or Fortier as well. 

You also find the French Forestier as a surname in early French Canada in the mid-1600’s. Their DNA does in fact suggest they were Norman or Flemish with a genetic signature tracking back into Germany/Poland. 

My own conclusions of the surname are that the origins must be primarily Germanic - arriving to Britain via the Anglo Saxons and coming into Northern France via the Franks. 

Suzanne Sears, Toronto (

5 November, 2014.  George Foster from Clogher in County Tyrone

My grandfather George Foster was born in March 1883.  We had always he had been born at Clogher where he lived and worked in Ballagh House with his mother Elizabeth Foster for a Mr. Trimble of Clogher.  But I can’t find out anymore about him or his mother except he was a farm servant and she was the housekeeper. 

He came to Glasgow with my grandmother Margaret Maguire around 1900 when they ran away together. He told his family he was born in a workhouse and brought up by two unmarried sisters, but since finding out he worked and lived in Ballagh House this has all turned the info the family had on him on its head. 

I’d love to find out more about him in his younger days and if he had siblings.  I’ve also tried to find Elizabeth Fosters grave in the Clogher area but found it impossible.  All I know is that she was Church of Ireland as he was and she was 57 when he was 17.  I really wonder if she might have been his grandmother and not his mother at all.   The Trimbles of Clogher were quite influential in the area as that time.  

Donna Robertson in Glasgow (

7 June, 2014.  William Foster in Sydney

I have been searching my great grandfather Alfred Foster from Tasmania.  His father was William Foster and, as far as i can find out, came from Sydney and England William Snr. came out from England in 1801 when he was 12 as a convict.  He was given a pardon and got a job as a shipwright by 1812.  He married twice.  I think the first was in 1827 and Anastasia O'Neil and then came Maria Thompson.  According to his bio he owned a few houses in Sydney.  I’m trying to find more info on his life. 

Anastasia O'Neil’s Father was Thomas O'Neil.  He had got land grants in Sydney about 1811 in an area which is now called Balmoral. 

Cherie Edwards (

3 March, 2014.  William Foster and the Retsof Salt Mine

I am trying to get some biographical information on a William Foster, Jr. who was a prominent financier in New York City during the 1880's.  He invested in a salt mine in Livingston County, New York in 1885 called the Retsof Mine (Foster spelled backwards).   I have no middle initial for this William Foster, Jr.  I'd love to be able to find a photograph of him.  I am conducting historical research on 19th century North American salt mines. 

William Goodman (

21 January, 2013.  Fosters in Brazil

There are some Fosters that came to Rio Grande do Sul state in the south of Brazil in 1870.  Peter Friedrich Foster married twice and had 18 sons.  My grandfather Thomas Foster was his grandson.  He told me he came from German roots and was a free man with adventurous life.  In Argentina the Government tried him as a mercenary soldier and he returned to Brazil.  I didn’t know if he was German. 

My name Pedro Henrique Andre Foster.  I live in Uruguaiana (Rg do Sul), Brazil.

15 October, 2012.  Slave Sites on the Foster Plantation in Louisiana 

My grandmother had an aunt, Lucy Cole, who was a slave on Foster plantation.  My mother and her family would often talk about this history.  In fact some of them went to the plantation in Franklin, Louisiana as children to go to see their aunt Lucy Cole.  They are all deceased now.  My mom lived to be ninety years old. 

We are trying to find out some information; if you could share some knowledge about the slaves; or are there any old grave sites or information perhaps some information that the Foster family kept. 

My mom would often speak about it because of the last Foster there, the grandson who became Governor of Louisiana.  She was but a small child when her mother, brothers and sister would go to Franklin to see their Aunt Lucy. 

We the family would be so grateful if you or anyone have some information on the slaves or their burial sites. 

Thank you kindly, 
Mildred Hartman (

14 October 2012.  Rev. Synolphus Foster in Devon 

I have come across your webpage re the Foster/Forster name and wondered if you or your readers would be able to help with my ancestors. 

I have traced them back to Synolphus/Sinolphus Foster or Forster, a Reverend in Weare Giffard, Devon.  He was born in 1645 but I have been unable to find out where he was born.  He had sons named Ely, born in 1672, and Synolphus.  Ely had a son Prince, born in 1696 in Cornwall.  The family eventually left Cornwall for London. 

With a name like Synolphus I thought I would be able to find him!  He is on the Oxford Alumni list, as are Ely and Prince. 

Lyn Southgate nee Forster (

28 February, 2012.  Fosters from Staffordshire to Australia 

My Fosters in Staffordshire began with Edward Foster, born in 1726, and his wife Hannah Lockett.  The line stayed in Staffordshire until my great grandmother Jane Foster, who was born in 1863, came to Australia in 1883 on the Bulimba to Queensland, before moving south to Victoria and marrying James George Gray three years later. 

I wonder if anyone has information about my earliest ancestor Edward Foster or of the two brothers of Jane Foster who also came to Australia. 

Christine Gray (

21 February, 2012.  Three William Fosters in Sydney, Australia in the 1830’s 

My great great grandmother was Rosanna Foster, born in England possibly Yorkshire in 1812.   By 1830 she and her parents William and Ann lived in Sydney, NSW.  At the age of 18 she married there the publican Andrew Ball.  When he died she married my great great grandfather Gabriel Thompson, a former convict, and my line comes from that marriage. 

As to Rosanna’s father William, there were three recorded William Fosters in Sydney during the 1830’s. 

One had been a convict on the Ganges in 1797 who joined the Rum Corps in 1801.  He later became a policeman and landowner in the Gordon/Lane Cove area. 

Another was a lawyer who left Cambridge University in 1812 and then married and started to study law.  He left for Australia around 1824.  Although not fully qualified in law, within three weeks of arriving in Sydney he was Attorney General for the colony.  He made a pile of money and returned to England in the late 1830’s. He had a brother in Tasmania, also a lawyer. 

The third was a shipwright who owned a house in the rocks which still stands (it is on the historic houses register).  He was most likely from Kineton in Warwickshire. 

Which William was the most likely connection?  Rosanna's daughter became Susan Yabsley, marrying into a famous shipbuilding family.  Thus the last William may be the most likely candidate.  But any leads would be most welcome. 

Cecily Cupit (

9 December, 2011.  Foster and Norse Name Structures 

I am not a Foster nor do I have any Foster relations to my knowledge.  But I was thinking about the name because a friend of mine came into it on her marriage and has given it back now that that has come to an end and i just wondered what it meant.  Things are sometimes so straightforward and sometimes not.  It is just the construct of the name that had me thinking. 

In the northern isles - Orkney & Shetland - the natives spoke a variant of the old Norse language known as Norn until perhaps around 1700 or so, maybe later in some parts.  Norn has an orthography rather like Faeroese in that consonants surrounded by vowels are often elided and therefore become silent. Sometimes these are retained in the written form - sometimes not. 

A local name Foubister made me start wondering about Foster. 

Fou is today pronounced FOO.  But vowels change according to dialect and understanding and as the Norn language died out so did understanding of a lot of names - be they geographical or personal Fou has the same root as FA or FAE in FAROE/FAEROE - however you choose to spell it and the same as FAIR ISLE - it all means sheep - or riches - as sheep back then signified wealth in Orkney and Shetland and Caithness. 

Many names end in BISTER - BUSTER – BSTER.  All are contractions of Bol-staðir - which means farm stead or place.  With the rules that govern Faeroese and Norn, the  ð  (pronounced ETH with the TH voiced as in 'this') in staðir disappears.  Surrounded by two vowels and you are left with STA - becoming - STER as represented by modern spelling.  So Foubister means Sheep Farm Stead and would therefore refer to the wealthy owner of such a place. 

Interestingly Norn and Faeroese developed in this way, the same way, with elision of consonants in this manner:
Eyjafjallajökull..............Eyja.............fjalla..........jökull.............AY (as in hay)
A -   FYATLA - YUHR (as in slur) - KUTL  (like the ttle of little)
because LL in Icelandic is pronounced like the ttle of little or bottle - though kept short as if you are going to say 'cut less' and manage the 'cut l' but not the rest of the word 'less' AY-A-FYATLA-YUHR-KUTL.

Old Norse, Norn, Faeroese and Icelandic are all in the same branch of west Norse languages.  But Icelandic did not absorb consonants in this way and to this day every single letter in an Icelandic word is pronounced with the exception of a G between two vowels which becomes a Y.  So, interested in knowing how to pronounce the name of that troublesome volcano? 

Kind regards 
Emma Blackburn(
((West Norse language specialist)

24 October, 2011.  Fosters in Tasmania

My earliest recorded ancestor is believed to be George Foster who was born in Hobart in 1810.  He married Mary Archer in 1833 and they had three sons, John, Robert and William.  Mary was buried at the Longford pioneer cemetery in Tasmania.

I am pretty sure that their second son Robert was my great great grandfather.  Later in the family line came William Foster who married Phoebe Malvina Turner.  They had six children, including my grandmother Mary Foster who died in 1949.  I am after the Foster male resting places.  I believe that they are around Longford, Tasmania.

Chris Ingram (

28 September, 2011.  John Foster from Ireland (Meath or Sligo?) 

John Foster, born about 1810, is our ancestor.  There are two lines I am researching: 

First, John Foster, born about 1812 in county Meath, became a Royal Irish Constabulary Sub-Constable in 1836, recommended by Samuel Garrett, the large land manager in Meath at the time.  John was transferred in the RIC to county Louth for about six years and ended his career in 1862 in county Fermanagh. 

Second, John Foster, born about 1810 in county Sligo, became a Royal Irish Constabulary Sub-Constable in 1831 and was promoted to 1st Sub-Constable in 1853, acting Constable later in 1853, Constable in 1855, and Head Constable in 1857.  He retired in 1867.  He had one transfer to county Mayo, no date given, and was recommended by Major Warburton. 

I don't know which of these is our ancestor.  But I do know our ancestor John Foster had a daughter Elizabeth in 1858 and was married in Tempo, Fermanagh in 1878.  I am looking for any information that would like of these men to our family.  We know for certain that one is our great grandfather. 

Pat Daesum( 

17 August, 2011.  Forsters/Fosters from Germany   

My great grandfather, William Baldwin Forster came to America in 1872, per records I have been able to find.  Family lore says he came through Galvestion, Texas, but I have been unable to verify that.  He was born in 1836 in Prussia.  It is rumored that he left a wife in Prussia, and perhaps children.  In 1875 he married Sophia Mueller (born in 1855 in Germany).   They lived in Williamson and Travis counties, Texas for their remaining lives.  My great grandparents raised four sons and four daughters, all born in Austin of Travis county, Texas. 

I have a copy of a certificate from the state of Texas, county of Washington where he states he came to North America on November 27, 1872, age 35, and that it was his intention to become a citizen of the USA.   He ‘renounced all allegiance’ etc. to King William of Prussia,’ signed Baldwin Forster.  

I also have a copy of his becoming a citizen on January 26,1893. He did not sign this document, the court wrote his name and filled in all the blanks.  His name was still spelled ‘Forster.’   By the time he died on May 23,1928, his name was B. ‘Foster.’ His death certificate states his father as Charles Foster of Germany and his mother as Alberta [no maiden name] of Germany.  They and some of their children were buried in the old Oakwood cemetery on Interstate 35, Austin in Texas. 

Their daughter, Albertina Berthia Forster [Betty], was my grandmother. To my knowledge, Baldwin and Sophia have only two granddaughters still living.  One is ninety one years and the other ninety nine.  I know nothing of any siblings of my great grandfather. 

Bernadine Sprinkles (

10 July 2011.  Fosters in New Brunswick 

My grandfather was Hiram Foster who was married to Caroline Foster, maiden name Stephenson.  They were married on May 28th 1942 in Carleton County, New Brunswick in the Wakefield parish.  My grandfather’s parents were Jesse Foster and Annie Cook.  I know that my great grandfather married twice. The record indicates Jesse Foster being born in Mainstream, New Brunswick. 

Stephen Foster (

28 April, 2011.  Fosters from Germany? 

My great great grandfather was an Edward Foster born in Maine in 1832.   His parents are listed on his death certificate as George and Elizabeth Foster, but their place of birth is shown as Germany.  Somehow I discovered that they lived in a town in Maine known for its German immigrants, so I believed it. 

Now, I'm not so sure.  If they did come from Germany, it would have been before 1832.  I see one story in the comments on your site that at least one other person has a Foster with German connections. However, it doesn't seem that he had children in Germany. 

Tracy Williams (
Glastonbury, Connecticut

20 March, 2011.  George Foster in Tasmania 

My grandfather was George Foster from Hobart in Tasmania.  His occupation around 1912 was cook.  He is named in documents as my mother’s father born of Minnie Smith.  Minnie surrendered my mother (Millicent May Smith ) at birth or near after.  My mum was raised by a foster family in Tasmania.  I have been unable to locate his family or any positive information.  That’s my Foster. 

Joy Holinger (

31 January, 2011.  Samuel Major Foster of Texas 

My great-grandfather was Samuel Major Foster.  He died in 1900 and is buried near Greenwood (Decatur), Texas.  His wife was Jane Cunius Foster, born in 1843 and died in 1883 after having ten children.   One of their sons was W. (Dub) Foster.  He married Mattie Elizabeth Campbell and had nine children.  One was my father, Boyd Campbell Foster (1912-1996).  The youngest child flew in WW2 and is still alive, James Lewis Foster (born in 1917), and lives in Boise, Idaho 

I believe Samuel came from Tennessee (or maybe Alabama) to Texas.  Would anyone have any information about the generation just before Samuel Major Foster?  At this point, I am not interested further back than that. 

Ronnie Foster (
Bayfield, Colorado, USA

7 January, 2011.  Fosters in South Africa 

I am a 5th generation Foster in South Africa, with my great-great grandfather William arriving in South Africa in the 1870 or 1880’s I believe.  He was married to Agnes.

We believe he was of Yorkshire descent, but have failed to get any further info from before he arrived in SA.  We have a complete family tree of all of William’s descendants in South Africa (he had many children so it is a big tree!).  I know it is a long shot, but would you have any further info? 

Ant Foster (

6 January, 2011.  John Foster of Salem, Mass. 

I'm currently investigating my lineage in the Foster family.  I've been able to track it back to John Foster of Salem 1635.  John was born in 1618 or 1620 in possibly Wendover, Buckinghamshire or Kingswear, Devonshire.  

Is there any way of finding out more information in England?   I'm hoping to connect John with the Fosters(Forsters) of Norththumberland!  Was the name Foster that common in England in the 1600’s? 

I was told as a little boy that all Fosters are related, so I assumed we were related to the Reginald Foster side.  But I soon learned that it was John .  So I'm stuck wondering if there is a pedigree connection. 

Thank you.  
Robert Foster (

12 September, 2010.  Fosters in Tasmania   

I’m researching our line of the Fosters, specifically George Foster, born about 1810, who married Mary (Archer?) in Tasmania, Australia.  They had a son, William, born 1836, who married Mary Duce in 1859 and died in 1860 in Longford, Tasmania, aged 23 years.  William and Mary had a son, John, born the year his father William died.  We are descended from this John Foster.  I am having difficulty discovering details about George and Mary, apart from the fact that they were married in Hobart, Tasmania on 25 October, 1830. 

There may be other sons, John Foster, born 27 October, 1833 and Robert Maleer Foster, born 23 March, 1835 in Hobart, Tasmania.  However, I have no proof that they are from the same family. 

Kind regards, 
Leonie Foster (

7 June, 2010.  Fred Foster, Mayor of Bradford 

According to my grandmother (now deceased), her mother was a Foster and married into the Gamble family.  She always told us that her uncle was "Lord Mayor of Bradford" and that the family had been in the textile industry at one time. 

I don't have my great grandmother's given name, but do know that she and my great grandfather came to the United States and settled in Connecticut at about the same time Fred Foster would have been in office in Bradford.  My grandmother was born in Bradford and her name was Irene Foster Gamble.  She had a brother that I only knew as "Uncle Foster" Gamble.  If it helps any, I do know that the family was active in the Masonic Lodge, men and women, Gambles and Foster. 

Steven Cook, Florida (

14 May, 2010.  Forsters in Manchester 

My husband’s grandmother was a Forster.  Her name was Bertha, and her father was John Forster.  They were born in Manchester {Cheadle}.  I have traced their line back to a Ranulphus Forster, born 1680 and died 1727. 

I am having great difficulty in matching them to the Forsters of Bamburgh.  Do you have any information on when and who of the Forsters migrated to the Cheshire and Lancashire area? 

Kind regards,
Pat Evans (

25 February, 2010.  Foster Brothers in Australia 

My great great grandma Martha married a Joseph Foster after her first husband, Mark Ogley, died.  He and two of his brothers went to Australia (New South Wales) in about 1800 (?).  He died there in 1884.  As far as I know brothers James and William lived and stayed there.  If anyone knows any information regarding James, William, or Joseph, it would be of great interest to myself. 

One more bit of information is that they sailed from England to Australia on a ship called the March of Londonderry under assisted passage. 

John Edward Holroyd (

11 February, 2010.  Fosters from England to Tasmania   

I have searched each year for Fredrick Foster, married in the 1820’s to Eliza Watson, born 1804 in England who was my ggg grandma.  Fredrick’s daughter was Sarah Amelia Madelina Foster, born 1828, who died in Tasmania.  Do you have any Fosters that fit this family? 

Mrs. Gallaghan ((

30 January, 2010.  Fosters from Maryland to Indiana 

Looking for information on a Jessey Foster that married a Nancey Lowry.  I have no idea where Jessey was born but Nancy was born in Westmoreland County (now Indiana County) Pennsylvania in 1767.  Their son, Thomas Jacob Foster, was born in Maryland in 1783-86.  Thomas Jacob Foster married Margaret Schough (she was born in Maryland).  He and his wife moved to Dearborn County, Indiana between 1820 and 1830. 1820 shows them living in Fayette County, PA.  Their children were born in Fayette County, PA. 

Lynn Foster Wilson (

10 January, 2010.  Forsters of Germany and Pennsylvania 

Please be patient with me, while I share a couple stories with you and you can see what you think. 

My mother was Reva Ruth Forster (1937 - 1975).  She was born in Wisconsin.  My mother was a parapsychologist - a much renowned psychic – which is very interesting considering all the witch accusation and so forth that you have gathered.  Her father Raymond Charles Forster (1903 -1988) was born in Oil City, Penn.  His father was Charles A Forster (1879 – 1908).  And his father was Henry Forster or Foster (he seems to have spelled it both ways) and he was reportedly born in Hamburg, Germany in 1848, but died in the US in 1919. 

The family story on the Forsters goes like this (I am coping this word for word from a letter my grandmother, married to Ray, wrote to my mother in the 1960’s): 

“In the early 1700’s one man of Forster was a captain in the English and Irish army and had a most prominent place but turned traitor under pressure when he was supposed to take command of a certain battle situation.  Can’t remember whether he was stripped or branded.  Anyhow he landed in Northern Germany and began persuing a family of his own on German soil.” 


1.    Your website stories made me think this could be a reference to the Jacobite Forster, except he went to France not Germany.  Of course, family stories can be inaccurate to say the least and France is not far from Germany, so maybe the family moved on. 
    I vaguely remember another family story, I think it was the Forster branch as well, that said that the Forster who went to Germany had a wife and family in Ireland/England.  That he went to Germany and got a new wife and had children and then went on to America….but I’m fuzzy on that. 
    This whole side of my family is basically deceased, so there is no one to ask.  I do have pictures of each of the members I mentioned in the first paragraph and lots of stories about each.
    Does any of this seem to match up to anything you have come across? 

Thank you for your time and patience with this rambling letter.
Take good care, 
Robin Ziebert (

26 October, 2009.  Lincolnshire Foster 

My earliest Foster ancestor was Thomas Foster, born about 1774 in Careby Lincolnshire I think (though on some census he is stated in Stamford in Lincolnshire).  He married Elizabeth Clear in 1795 in Collyweston (which was then in Northamptonshire and is now in Cambridgeshire). 

Does anyone have any clues or knowledge of this Thomas that might point me in the right direction of where to look next please?  

With many thanks. 
Sandra (nee Foster) Lee (

19 May, 2009.  A Painting by Vere Foster 

I noted that you include Vere Foster among your distinguished Foster relatives.  I have an oil painting signed by Vere Henry (Foster's middle name).  I wondered if you have any information on how Vere Foster signed his own work.  This piece, signed with an accent over the final e in Vere bears considerable similarities to a watercolor by another artist included in Vere Foster's Simple Lessons in Watercolor.  It is quite a nice painting of the sea, almost impressionist in execution. 

I assume that Mr. Foster himself was at least an amateur painter. Please let me know if you have any information on Foster as a painter. 

Thanks and best wishes, 

Karin Ringheim (

30 January, 2009.  Fosters in Arkansas 

My father knew very little about his family except they moved here to Arkansas from Missouri.   My grandfather was John Foster who married Molly Newton.  She gave birth to twin boys, William Bryan and Virgil Brown. Along with other children, Molly died when the twins were eight years old.  Virgil Brown Foster was my father.  He grew up in Maple Springs, AR.  Both he and his twin brother Bryan were farmers.  Bryan never married.  But Brown married Josie Pruitt and they had seven children. 

All the Fosters I have ever known like the beer and whiskey.  That is about all I know about my family.  I have enjoyed reading on this site.  I knew the family originated from Ireland.  I also know my great grandfather was a John Foster. 

Montine Branscum (


11 January, 2009.  Fosters in North Louisiana 

Great website!  It was a lot to “swallow,” considering I had just linked my mother’s paternal grandmother’s line within the last two days.  It explains so much.  My grandfather was a musical genius, but was demographically challenged in North Louisiana.  He started playing the piano before he could reach the pedals.  He composed music and taught music in the early 1900’s and was a local gospel musical legend. We have one cousin that inherited his incredible ability.  And everyone has some musical talent.  We have all been strangely insightful. 

My mother always suspected we were related to the past Governors.  However, the salve stories are terrible.  Mother never knew anything about her grandmother.  I believe we are connected to the Edward Powell Foster - which would explain why I couldn’t find any documents on her family in the local court houses!

Where does the talkative gene come in?  Thank you for all of your great research!
Charleen Kennedy (

12 July, 2008.  Foster Loyalists Fleeing to Canada 

Great website! I wonder if you know anything about Fosters in New York and Mass. that fled to the Maritime provinces of Canada when the revolution broke out?  My family has stories floating around about the exodus of several branches of the family, particularly from up-state NY and the Hudson River valley, fleeing to New Brunswick where they set-up shop as mill workers and merchants in the growing timber trade for tall-ships that was emerging in St. John and much of Nova Scotia. There are even family rumors that the strip of land that Sing Sing prison is built on once belonged to Fosters but was commandeered when the American Revolution drove the loyalist family off the land.

Does anyone know the connection? Also, what line and region of European Fosters would this line of Fosters trace their lineage back to? 

Brian Foster  
Carleton University, Ottawa ( 

24 June 2008.  Fosters in Cumberland 

I am interested in finding more on this Foster/Bell family which are my husband's ancestors.  

John Foster and Mary Bell married 19 November 1820 in Stanwix, Cumberland
they produced:
Sarah, christened 16 January 1825 Stanwix
John, christened 28 October 1827 Stanwix

Joseph, christened 7 July 1833 Stanwix
James and Jane, christened 5 March 1837 Stanwix

Joseph Foster immigrated to Orangeville, Wellington, Ontario, Canada, but I have found nothing on the rest of this family.  I would appreciate it if you would also post my query on your Foster website. 

Fred Heater (

27 April, 2008.  African American Fosters

My brother, N. Thomas Foster, was the first African American appointed as City Attorney of Camden, New Jersey in 1980.  He is a graduate of Rutgers Law School.  Tom gave oral argument before the United States Supreme Court in November of 1983, shortly before his untimely death of a heart attack the following year. 

In an effort to develop our family genealogy, I am looking for any or all information related to our grandfather, Arnett or Arnette Foster, (7-4-1883 or 1889 are the two birthyears) of Madison County, Florida's forebears.  If you have any information, (i.e. family trees,) I would most definitely be interested!! 

Thank you so very much! 
G. Ann Foster (

5 April, 2008.  Richard Foster of Virginia

Let me introduce myself.  I'm William L Foster, descendant of John Foster who was the brother of Robert Foster who married Elizabeth Garnett, both the sons of Richard Foster. 

You mentioned the Richard Fosters of the 1600s whom my mentor Dr. Billy G Foster wrote about.  I would like to point out that Richard, brother-in-law of Richard of the "Safety," is the Captain Foster who later was Major Foster who moved from the south Norfolk area to the Albermarle Colony.  Richard of “The Safety” moved to Mockjack Bay and it was he who married Susannah Garnett. 

The third Richard moved to Maryland.   Captain Foster was a lawyer and represented his younger brother- in-law who went back to England for five years in college (probably to study law). Dr. Bill Foster's narrative is confusing and must be read over and over again but no assumptions should be made. 

My Fosters ended up moving southeast from Essex Co Va and into Rowan Co NC where they settled at the Forks of The Yadkin River in what is now Davie Co NC just below Winston Salem.  This is where the wagons formed to move west to Kentucky and Tennessee or south to Georgia and Mississippi.  Squire Boone and his son Daniel lived there also. 

Bill Foster (

9 February, 2008.  Knight Forster at Bamburgh? 

I have been looking at your Foster family website and wonder if you have any information on the monument of a knight at Bamburgh. I am presuming he is one of the Forster Lords of Bamburgh.  I have been told that the armour is around 1350 which is too late for the original Lord, unless it was erected later in his memory.  Or does it relate specifically to a later Lord?  Any information would be very much appreciated.

Jean (

27 November, 2007.  Theodosia Foster in Australia?

Looking for any information on Theodosia Alice Foster, born Feb. 1, 1868, in Sunderland, England.  She was the daughter of James Foster.  She was also the niece of Joseph Foster, the genealogist who wrote of the Foster family history.  Family rumor has it that she went to Australia to escape her stepmother.

Don and Carol Clement (

25 November, 2007.  Thomas Foster from Cumberland

Your Foster website is very nice.  I especially like the page with stories.  Thank you for posting it to Cyndi's list to let people know about the site.  Could you please add my information to your Queries page?

Thomas Foster/Forster was born about 1800 in Cumberland, a brick maker in Carlisle, then a publican near Liverpool.  He married Ann Bouch 7 Jul.1821 in Warwick, Cumberland.  They had at least 8 children.  Their daughter Jane (born 1831 in Stanwix, Carlisle, Cumberland) is my great grandmother.  She married William Kirkby (a railway engine driver) 14 Sep.1851 in Preston, Lancashire, and died 19 May.1916 in Bury, Lancashire.  Jane's grandson was my grandfather, William Percy Hardman.  He said his Fosters were from Scotland, but I haven't found that connection yet.

Jane Fraser (

22 November, 2007.  The Story of Arthur Foster

One point that I wonder about is the story of Arthur, because as a child (1930's or early war years) I knew a man named Arthur Foster who lived in a little house in Shoebury not too far from us and who came to our house to do simple jobs for my parents.  I remember he used to clean the knives in the kitchen (no stainless steel in those days!).  He was considered a little simple and spoke with a slightly 'funny' voice (a cleft palate perhaps?).  But he was always happy and smiley and nice to us children and sometimes brought along little 78 records for us to play, though I don't think my parents approved of his choice of music!

I had no idea who he was until I discovered the Elizabeth/Joseph Foster marriage just a few years ago.  The name Foster rang a bell and I looked for his possible birth ib Brighton and obtained the birth certificate for Arthur Harold Foster on 22 April 1901, just too late for the census.  His parents were Elizabeth and Joseph.  It seems certain that this is the same man that your Uncle Geoff remembered.  How and when did he come to Shoebury?

Geoff Mann (