Paternal Ancestral Line

Volume I — Paternal Ances­tral Line

Chapter 1 [Gen­er­a­tion #1]

In the Mor­mon Fam­ily His­tory Lib­rary, we happened across a book­let by Fran­cis F. foster titled “A Likely Story, ances­tral images of some Fosters and some oth­ers.” This author states that the name Foster was ori­gin­ally For­ester, mean­ing “one who has charge of a forest.”

Mr Foster quotes the fol­low­ing from a gene­a­lo­gist named Mont­gomery Seaver:  “It is believed that all the Fosters, except those who have adop­ted the name, are des­cen­ded from Anacher, Great For­ester of fladers, who died in the year 834 A.D. and are blood kin to one another; ‘forty-second cous­ins, more or less.’”

Using this as a begin­ning, this author then traces the ances­tral line to Wil­liam the Con­queror, then to Henry I and onward to other Eng­lish kings. Now that you have enjoyed this day dream, let’s des­cend from this cloud and look at reality — - -

THE FOSTERS ARE TRAVELLERS! For the past 400 years, our ancest­ors moved from Buck­ing­ham­shire through five other Eng­lish counties, then across the Atlantic Ocean to Amer­ica where they had suc­cess­ive homes in eight states from Mary­land to California.

Why did they move? The answer is obvious—they were millers and they looked for more reward­ing oppor­tun­it­ies in vil­lages with wind­mills or water mills.

We began our search in Cam­bridge­shire because I know my grand­father James [9] was born there at Swaff­ham Bul­beck. This lead to find­ing his father Thomas [8] in the 1851 Brit­ish census, which indic­ated his birth took place at Princes Ris­bor­ough, Buckinghamshire.

Con­cen­trat­ing on par­ish registers in Buck­ing­ham­shire, we worked back­ward to the vil­lage of Iving­hoe where Jacob [1] (or James or Joseph accord­ing to to other sources) was born ca 1556. [My Latin dic­tion­ary states that Jac­o­bus is Latin for James.]

Jacob Foster [1] evid­ently vis­ited the adja­cent vil­lage of Aston Clin­ton at one time; it is only five miles from Iving­hoe. There he met Agnes Smith [1] who was christened there 05 Feb­ru­ary 1581. They were mar­ried, went back to Iving­hoe, and sub­sequently gave birth to three children:

  • Fran­cis [2], christened 08 Septem­ber 1617
  • Jac­o­bus [2], christened 27May 1622
  • Emma [2], christened 10 March 1623

Chapter 2 [Gen­er­a­tion #2]

Fran­cis Foster [2] made his way to Aston Clin­ton some time before 1640 where he met a young lady named Susana. The date of their mar­riage was not dis­covered but a son resulted:

  • Richard Foster [3], christened 06 Decem­ber 1640

Chapter 3 [Gen­er­a­tion #3]

Richard [3] and Susanna were far more pro­duct­ive than Richard’s par­ents, bring­ing eight chil­dren into the world in a period of 16 years, all of them born in Aston Clin­ton. Sadly, three died in infancy and a fourth died at the age of 15.

  • Richard [4], christened 03 Octo­ber 1672, died 23 April 1674
  • Martha [4], christened 02 April 1674, died 09 April 1674
  • Ann [4], christened 12 May 1677
  • Richard [4], christened 10 Feb­ru­ary 1679
  • Sarah [4], christened 02 June 1681
  • John [4], christened 07 June 1683, died 26 Feb­ru­ary 1686
  • Joseph [4], christened 26 March 1688, died 21 Feb­ru­ary 1704
  • Samuel [4],  christened 05 Feb­ru­ary 1691

Chapter 4 [Gen­er­a­tion #4]

The Fosters were on the move again, with Samuel [4] mak­ing the four mile jour­ney from Aston Clin­ton to Ellens­bor­ough. There he met Ruth Allen who had been born 02 May 1695 but not bap­tised. They were mar­ried 25 Septem­ber 1715.

The Elles­bor­ough Par­ish Register con­tains this state­ment: “An account of such as are born in Elles­bor­ough and not bap­tized May, 1695. Wil­liam Allen of Combe (Oxford­shire) had a daugh­ter born May 2, 1695.”

Shortly after the mar­riage, Samuel and Ruth packed up their cloth­ing and house­hold goods and trans­ferred 2 1/2 miles to Monks Ris­bor­ough, where two chil­dren were born:

  • James [5], christened ca 1717, mar­ried Sarah Ran­dall 16 June 1736 at Princes Risborough
  • Samuel [5], christened ca 1718, mar­ried Sarah Eldridge 29 Novem­ber 1742 at Monks Risborough

Samuel Foster’s wife, Ruth, died 11 March 1743; he was mar­ried again on 21 Novem­ber 1743 to a widow, Rachel Taylor.

Samuel and Rachel evid­ently changed their reli­gion from Church of Eng­land to Ana­baptist. They had a child born 09 Septem­ber 1745 who was bur­ied in the Ana­baptist yard at Princes Ris­bor­ough. Samuel was also bur­ied there on 19 March 1746.

Chapter 5 [Gen­er­a­tion #5]

Samuel Foster [5] evid­ently­de­cided to remain in Monks Ris­bor­ough where his father lived, and he stayed there until his death 06+ June 1791. At the age of 24, he met 21-year-old Sarah Eldridge and they were mar­ried 29 Novem­ber 1742. The mar­riage took place, not in their home vil­lage, but in Hughenden, about six miles away—possibly an elopement?

Samuel and Sarah had eight chil­dren in the 20-year period from 1744 to 1764, two of whom died in infance:

  • Wil­liam [6], c-29 Octo­ber 1744, bu-31 Octo­ber 1744
  • Wil­liam [6], c-07 June 1746, bu-09 July 1768
  • Sarah [6], c-01 Novem­ber 1748, mar­ried Willliam Adams of great Kimble, and adja­cent par­ish, on 13 July 1772
  • John [6], c-13 April 1751, mar­ried Eliza­beth Lam­born on 21 May 1781
  • James [6], c-16 March 1754; mar­ried Cath­er­ine King on 05 August 1797; bu-07 Janu­ary 1821
  • Samuel [6], c-17 Septem­ber 1757, mar­ried Anne Smith on 21 Octo­ber 1778; Anne Smith bu-20 Feb­ru­ary 1792; Samuel bu-09 Octo­ber 1820
  • Joseph [6], c-21 Novem­ber 1760, bu-26 Feb­ru­ary 1761
  • Joseph [6], c-07 July 1764

Samuel Foster [5] was bur­ied 06 June 1791 at Monks Ris­bor­ough. His wife, Sarah, was bur­ied 10 August 1787.

Chapter 6 [Gen­er­a­tion #6]

John Foster [6] was christened 13 Aril 1751 at Monks Ris­bor­ough. He was mar­ried 21 May 1781 at the age of 30; his wife, Eliza­beth Lam­born, was christened 06 July 1755. her par­ents were John and Sarah Lamborn.

John and Eliza­beth had eight chil­dren, three of whom died in infancy:

  • John [7], c-01 July 1781; bu-03 April 1808
  • Sarah [7], c-25 April 1784; bu-14 April 1833
  • Ananias [7], c-03 Decem­ber 1786
  • Rebecca [7], c-18 May 1789; bu-22 May 1789
  • Charles [7], c-25 Novem­ber 1790; bu-01 Decem­ber 1790
  • James [7], c-08 July 1792; mar­ried Mar­garet Ayers 11 July 1818
  • Eliza­beth [7], c-28 Feb­ru­ary 796; bu-02 June 1799
  • Thomas [7], c-28 Septem­ber 1800; mar­ried Rebecca Bailey 03 April 1832

John Foster was bur­ied at the Great Kimble 02 August 1831, at age 80; Eliza­beth was bur­ied at Askett 05 July 1825, at age 70.

Chapter 7 [Gen­er­a­tion #7]

Sig­ni­fic­ant events are tak­ing place in this gen­er­a­tion of the Fosters. Sev­eral mar­riages will be cel­eb­rated, two wives will be taken by death, and three sons will leave home, two going to another country.

Before we relate all these hap­pen­ings, let’s take a look at the fam­ily mem­bers. James Foster [7], the father, was christened 08 July 1792 at the Church of St Mary’s in Princes Ris­bor­ough. Another bap­tism took place 01 Decem­ber 1816, quot­ing from the “Records of the Bap­tized Church of Jesus Christ assembled at Princes Risborough””:

“Lords day Decem­ber 1st 1816. In the morn­ing the Ordin­ance of Bap­tism was admin­istered to James Foster of Askett. In the after­noon he was received into the church, the Pas­tor giv­ing to him the right hand of Fel­low­ship at the Lord’s Table.”

A year and a half later, on 11 July 1818, James Foster mar­ried Mar­garet Ayers at the Church of St Mary’s. Mar­garet was 21 years old, christened 05 March 1797 at the vil­lage of Bury in Lan­cashire. What brought Mar­garet to Princes Ris­bor­ough is not known, and no record has been found of her parents.

James and Mar­garet Foster had six chil­dren, born in the small vil­lage of Askett, in the par­ish of Princes Risborough:

  • John [8], christened 16 April 1819
  • Mary [8], christened 04 Novem­ber 1822
  • Thomas [8], christened 31 Janu­ary 1828
  • James [8], christened 18 June 1830
  • Fanny [8], christened 23 Novem­ber 1834
  • Gains [8], christened 16 Novem­ber 1835

The 1841 census shows that Thomas [8] and James [8] are still liv­ing at home, but John [8] has moved to Cam­bridge­shire. Thomas [8] fol­lowed his older brother there, and both are lis­ted in the census records of 1851 at Swaff­ham Bul­beck, a vil­lage nine miles east of Cambridge.

A third son, James [8], has left home but oper­ates his own busi­ness in Princes Ris­bor­ough, where he is lis­ted in the 1851 census as a mas­ter tailor. His wife is named Ellen, and they have a two-year old daugh­ter named Emily.

The 1851 Swaff­ham Bul­beck census veri­fies that both Thomas [8] and John [8] Foster are achiev­ing suc­cess as millers. Thomas mar­ried Sarah Steed on 13 Octo­ber 1850 and is liv­ing with his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Peter and Eliza­beth Steed. He is lis­ted as a mas­ter miller employ­ing one man.

John Foster [8] was mar­ried before 1849 to Eliza­beth, last name not found, a nat­ive of Had­den­ham, Buck­ing­ham­shire. Three chil­dren were the product of this union:

  • Alice Maud Hill, born ca 1849, died 05 Decem­ber 1854 at Swaff­ham Bulbeck
  • Mary Eliza­beth, born ca 1850, died before 1873
  • John Henry Hill, born ca 1852, died 27 Janu­ary 1855

The 1851 Swaff­ham Bul­beck census veri­fies that John and his wife are hav­ing suc­cess in the milling trade. He is lis­ted as a miller and farmer of 56 acres of land, employ­ing two millers, two appren­tices, two agri­cul­tural labour­ers, and one servant.

The Cam­bridge Chron­icle car­ried the fol­low­ing obit­u­ary: “Feb­ru­ary 3, 1855, Aged 35 after a severe inflic­tion borne with Chris­tian resig­na­tion deeply lamen­ted, Eliza­beth, the beloved wife of Mr John Foster, miller and merchant.”

A grave marker in the church cemetery at Swaff­ham Bul­beck has the fol­low­ing inscrip­tion: “Behold I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke. In memory of Eliza­beth, wife of John Foster, who died Feb­ru­ary 3, 1855, in the 35 year of her age.”

[Sam’s note: the mother Eliza­beth died only a week after her last child, three-year old John Henry, died.]

The Staine Hun­dred Chron­icle is a col­lec­tion of news­pa­per clip­pings from the 19th cen­tury at the Cam­bridge City Lib­rary. The fol­low­ing item from this pub­lic­atin is provided through the cour­tesy of Mr Dan McMa­hon, Chair­man of Staine Hundred:

Feb­ru­ary 4, 1859: “Swaff­ham Bul­beck — to be sold at the Swan Inn, Bot­tisham on Thursday, 14 April A.M., that very good Free­hold Dwell­ing House situ­ate as aove with extens­ive stabling, Hay House, Bul­lock Sheds and large Cattle Yard…Also that par­cel of Valu­able Free­hold Arable Land at the back called Red Barn Close con­tain­ing with the site of the premises about 4a 3r 16p, recently in the occu­pa­tion of Mr John Foster or his under­ten­ant and now in hand.”

The house also con­tains an entrance pas­sage, 2 sit­ting rooms, pantry, kit­chen (in which there is a pump of water) and 4 good bed­rooms, detached wash-house and garden, now let to Mr Foster, upon an agree­ment for 14 years, from Michael­mas 1847, at the rent of 90 pounds per annum.”

James Foster [7] the father of John and Thomas, died 08 Decem­ber 1879 at Bot­tisham, Cam­bridge­shire, of gan­grene senilis, age 87. The date of death of his wife, Mar­garet, is not known.

We have spared no expense to bring you the fol­low­ing note: “Sir Hugh de Bol­bec, from Bol­bec in Nor­mandy, gave the vil­lage of Swaff­ham Bul­beck the lat­ter half of its name.”

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