Frederick Clifton Pierce.

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3 1833 01241 3008












Who died in 837 A. V.

With Wills, Inventories, Biographical Sketches, Etc.



Author of the Batchcller, Batchelder, Brocklchank, FiskcFisk, IVhilney, /',

Pcirci-, iiiict Pi-arci- Genealogies, Haiuke Memorial, Forhcs-Forbtish and

Gibson Genealogies, History of Grafton, History of Barre,

History of Rockford, Pierce Memorial,

Field Genealogy.



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Table of Contents.


Origin of the Name Foster g

The Early Foresters 1 1

The Foresters of Bamuorouoh and Etherston 15

Bamborough Castle, English Home of Fosters 26

Farne Islands 40

A Visit to Bamborough Castle in i8g6 42

St. Aidan's Church, Bamuokough 44

Other English Fors'i er Branches 47

Foster Land Grants in Nova Scotia 58

Fosters IN America 59

College Graduates ny Name of Foster. .... 63

Fosters in the Various Wars 66

Revolutionary Pensioners 105

Connecticut Fosters in War of 1S12 109

Reginald Foster of Ipswich 110

The Dorchester Branch 485

The Salem Branch of Fosters 694

The Long Island Foster Family S77

The Foster Family of Scituate 920

The Chelmsford Branch 9S1

Descendants of John Foster of Kingsware. England 1015

Andrew Foster of Andover 1032

List of Illustrations.


Frederick C. Pierce Frontispiece

Foster Coat of Arms g

Autograph Prof. John Fiske ii

Foster Coat of Arms 1 1

Bamborough Castle, English Home

of the Fosters 27

Autograph Sophia Foster Symes. . , 44

St. Aidan's Church, Exterior 45

St. Aidan's Church, Interior 46

Foster Coat o£ Arras 56

Autograph Reginald Foster no

Views of Ipswich, Mass 112

Autograph Reginald Foster 114

Autograph Reginald Foster 116

Mrs. Sarah A. Sherwin 179

Charles M. French 180

David Starr Jordan, LL. D 182

Col. Joseph Foster 183

Col. Foster's Parole 185

Hon. Rufus Choate 191

Hon. Abiel Foster, M. C 198

Machias, Me., Bay and Island 205

Foster's Rubicon 206

East Machias, Me 207

Near Machias, Me 20S

Mrs. Fanny A. Elliott 238

Hon. Lafavette S. Foster 240

H. H. Rowe 262

Hon. Ira Colby 268

Eugene Denton Brooks 273

Hon. Lucien M. Kilburn 275

Mrs. Mary Foster Chamberlain .... 278

Hon, Henry Chamberlain 279

Paul Mellen Chamberlain 2S0

Hon. Mellen Chamberlain 281

Mrs. Maria Foster Wood 300

Deacon Stephen Wood 300

Nathan Lanesford Foster 321

Mrs. Elizabeth L. F. Mather 322

Mrs. Catherine L. T. King 324

Dr. John Wells Foster, LL. D 326

Mrs. Elizabeth F. Draper 328

Judge John Porter 329

Rev. William Foster Peirce 332

Deacon John E. Foster 337

Capt. Joseph Foster 348

Hon. George Foster 362

Mrs. G. Spencer Shimmin 367

Joseph Foster 368

Joseph A. Foster 369

Thomas Foster 372


Dr. E. J. Foster-Eddy 391

Cony Foster 393

Gen. John G. Foster 394

Edward D. Foster 397

Hon. David S. Foster 405

Gen. George P. Foster 407

Samuel K. Foster 413

Silas W. Foster 427

James W. Foster, Sr 427

Major Joseph Foster 429

Joseph Foster, Jr 431

Herman Foster 439

George Reginald Foster 439

Capt. Alfred H. Foster 442

David Skaats Foster 444

Edward C. Foster 445

Hon. James G. Foster 448

Nathan G, Foster, A. M 449

Col. Everett W. Foster 451

Hon. Addison G. Foster 453

Parker H. Foster 462

Sidney A. Foster 463

Rev. Elon Foster, D. D 465

Horatio A. Foster 477

John R. Foster 480

Frank H. Foster 483

Massachusetts Coat of Arms 505

Cover John Foster Almanack 506

Gravestone Capt. James Foster 508

Chillingsworth Foster Place 514

Foster Coat of Arms 516

Albert Arnold Sprague 543

Col. Perez Dickinson 547

Mrs. Deborah Cook 555

Mrs. Lydia Hyde 556

Mrs. Emily H. Gary 557

Edward H. Gary 557

Capt. Stephen Foster 583

Mrs. Mary King Foster 583

Mr. and :\Irs. Hopestill Foster 585

L. Foster Morse 593

Herbert Foster Gunnison 596

Rev. Amos Foster 608

R. G. Foster 610

John Foster 624

Hon. Stephen Foster 625

Hon. Henry D. Foster 626

Hon, Austin T. Foster 627

John Murray Foster 629

Mr. and Mrs. Volney Foster 631

Harvey Foster 632


Mrs. Rebecca Foster 632

Hon. Henry Lewis Foster 633

Mrs. Rebecca Foster 633

Mrs. Lafayette Smith 634

Mrs. Frances F. Sumner 634

Dr. Oilman Osgood 641

Franklin Elwell Foster O42

Louis Frederick Foster 647

Col. Theodore S. Foster 648

Rev. E. B. Foster. D. D 650

Dr. Wm. Davis Foster 657

Benjamin G. Foster 658

Hon. James H. Foster 661

Mrs. Richard Macauley 663

George T. Macauley 663

Hon. George E. Foster 664

Dr. Daniel Shays Foster 672

Volney William Foster, Esq 673

Rear of Volney W. Foster's Resi-
dence 675

Albert Volney Foster 676

Eva Cornelia Foster 677

Capt. Herbert G. Foster (.82

Rev. Addison P. Foster. D. D 684

Capt. William T. Foster 688

Henry M. Foster 6f)i

Sumner S. Foster 6q2

Mrs. E. B. Hutchins 715

Hon. Amos Gould 716

Mrs. Louisa Peck Gould 716

Rev, David P. French 751

Dr. George G. French 752

Lucile Foster French 753

James H. Bullard 756

Dr. Stephen Sewell Foster 759

Hon. Paul H. Sweetser 768

Rev. Edwin C. Sweetser 771

Major David Thwing 778

Charles G. Foster 788

Hon. George F. Davis 790

Stephen Foste' 794

Ephraim Foster 795

Deacon Joseph Foster 796

Prof. John H. Loomis 797

Hosea Foster 798

Charles W. Foster 8uo

Freeman R. Foster Soi

Judge Samuel Willard Foster 805


Autograph Hon. John B. Foster. ... 807

Gen. Charles H. Howard S08

Judge William Lawrence Foster. ... 811

Hon. Asa B. Foster 813

Rev. Aaron Foster 815

Rev. Samuel Fiske 816

Dr. George Foster Fiske 818

Foster Hall, Chicago University. . . . 819

Mrs. Nancy Foster 819

Dr. John H. Foster (steel plate in-
sert) 819

Perkins Bass, Esq 820

John Foster Bass S21

Rev. Edward Clark Porter 822

Hon. George E. Adams S23

Hon. Charles B. Foster S36

William Elmore Foster 840

Col. D. Jack Foster 850

Hon. Charles Foster 855

George G. Foster 859

Samuel B. Foster 860

Autograph Rev. John M. Foster. . . . 863

James Brown Foster S67

Foster Coat of Arms 878

Autograph Christopher Foster 880

Alonzo Foster 905

Richard V. Carpenter 1)13

Charles H. Walden 924

The Craigie House 937

Henry Norman Rice ()5i

Mrs. Lydia L. Pettibone 957

P. Foster Pettibone 958

Howard C. Pettibone 958

Rev. Luman A. Pettibone 959

Robert S. Pettibone 959

Moses Foster Sweetser g6o

Col. Calvin Foster 967

Rev. Charles F. Foster 976

Foster Coat of Arms 980

Dr. Heniy Foster (steel plate insert)


S. W. Foster loog

Hon. Charles D. Foster 1013

Dr. Hubbard A. Foster 1014

Hon. Henry A. Foster 1025

] udge Henry A. Foster 103c

Hon. O. H. Foster 1048


WHILE makiny historical investigations for Mr. Volney \V,
Foster, of Evanston. 111.. I found that no adequate geneal-
ogy of this very prominent and important family had ever
been compiled. In collecting data for his branch I secured much of
the other branches, and finally decided to compile this volume, which
was done after a year's work. A number of small pamphlets in rela-
tion to the various branches of the Fosters have been printed, and
have been available. Town, city, county, State, and probate records
have been examined, from which much valuable information has been
obtained, and many heretofore disputed points settled. The work
makes a volume nearly double the size of the one contemplated, and
includes all Fosters whose ancestors were in this country prior to
1700. The history of the English branch is intensely interesting, and
the Americans may well feel a pride in their ancestry.

The arrangement of the matter is the same style as in my former
publications; copied after the style in the New England Historical
and Genealogical Register, it is the simplest, best, and most compre-
hensive. My thanks are due to all those who have so generously aided
me in this compilation, and especially to Volney W. Foster, Evanston,
111.; Mrs. Silas A. Pierce, Grafton, Mass.; F. L. Ora, Esq., Chicago,
111. ; Frederick Foster, St. Paul, Minn. ; Seymour Morris, Chicago,
111. , and others. A'ery truly,

Frederick C. Pierce.
' Chicago, Oct. 9, 1899.


^^ 'npHE tirst that is known of the name Foster was about the year

^jtC I 1050, when Sir Richard Forester, called then by his Latinized

■"^ ^^ •*■ name, Forestarius, went over to England. He accompanied

^^ his brother-in-law, William the Conqueror, and his father, Bald-

^^^ win the IV, the forester, called "Le Debonaire," whose wife was

^iBi> ^ Adela, daughter of Robert, King of France, and participated in

the victorious battle at Hastings.

We find the name first Forrester, then Forester and now
Foster. In France it is Forestier; in low Latin, Forestarius, from
Forest a, a wood. In old German it is Forestari, Forstare and now
m Germany we find it Vorsta-re. The meaning is, one who has
charge of a forest or forests; one who has charge of growing tim-
ber on an estate, as in Gesta Romanorum, p. 206: "I am forester
of the Emperoures in this forest," Or one who lives in a forest
or wild wooded country.

"Where foresters and shepherdi dwell."— Wordsworth's White Doe of Rylstone.
Or, a forest tree as in Evelyn.Silva: "This niceness is more conspicuous in flowers
and the herbaceous offspring than in foresters." Or, a member of the benefit soci-
ety so called. It has within its pale some hundred thousand members.

The Encyclopedic Dictionary has this: Foster, v, t and i [a. s. fostrian from
fostor, fostur— nourishment ; from foda — food; cogn. with Dan., fostre — to bring up;
foster — offspring; Icel., fostr — nursing; fostra — to nurse; Sw., foster — Embryo;
fostra — to foster.]
A. — Transitive.

1. To feed, to nourish, to support, to bring up, to nurse.

"Some say that ravens foster forlorn children."— Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus.

2. To promote the growth of; to sustain and promote; to forward.
"Western winds do foster forth our flowers."— Gascoigne; Complaint of Philomerie.

3. To encourage, to pamper.

"A prince of great courage and beauty, but fostered up in blood by his naughty father."

4. To cherish, to harbor, to indulge; as to foster ill-feeling.
B. — Intrans: To be fostered or brought up together.

Crabb, in Eng. Synom thus discriminates between to foster, to cherish, to
harbor and to indulge: "To foster in the mind is to keep with care and
positive endeavors; as when one fosters prejudices by encouraging every-
thing which favors them ; to cherish in the mind is to hold dear or set a
value upon; as when one cherishes good sentiments, by dwelling upon them
with inward satisfaction ; to harbor is to allow harm in the mmd, and is gen-
erally taken in the worse sense, for giving admission to that which ought
to be excluded ; as when one harbors resentment by permitting it to have a
resting-place in the heart; to indulge in the mind, is to give the whole mind
to, to make it the chief source of pleasure."

Foster, fostre, fostra — a nurse or foster mother or father, a fosterer.
"God was mv foster,
He fostered me

Under the book of the Palm tree." —Longfellow.

Foster, forester. A contraction of forester in which form it still exists as a
proper name. It is several times used by Spenser, and is found in the
romance of Be vis of Hampton. Percy explains the word as; "Foresters of
the King's Demesne" (Nares).
"A foster was he sothely."— Chaucer.


Lower's Family Names. — Foster — sometimes a contraction of Forester; but

there is an origin at least equally probable; viz., fosterer, one who feeds and

has the charge of children instead of their parents. "When a gesithcund-

man left his land, he was at liberty to take away his Reeve, his smith and

his child's Fosterer." Laws of Ina', King of Wessex, Thrope, i, 145; Arch-

feologia, xxxiii, 277.

Prof. John Fiske, the most eminent historian in the country to-day, in writing

to the author in relation to the origin of names, says; T^e origin of surnames is

not perfectly clear. The largest and most familiar groups of surnames are either

(i) patronymics, such as Johnson, Jones, Wilson, etc. ; or (2) names of villages and

estates, such as Washington, Frothmgham (a corruption of Fotheringham), Green-

ough (green field). Holmes (meadowj, Etherston (Adder's Stone), Stanley (Ftony

pasture), etc. ; or (3) names descriptive of occupation or social position, such as

Mason, Carpenter, Franklin (country squire). Baker and its feminine Baxter,

Thatcher acd Thaxter, Weaver and' Webster, Draper, Smith, Fletcher (afrow-

maker). Chapman (merchant). Cooper, Butler, Cartwright, Sargent, Waterman,

Sawyer, Chandler, Bishop, Abbot, Clark, Constable, Spencer (steward), Grosvenor

(chief huntsman), Woodward (forest-keeper), Youmans (yeomanj, etc.

The earliest use of family names in England was about the beginning of the
eleventh century. Long before that time, indeed, clan names were common, and such
were always patronymics, e. g., Fotherings, the descendants of Fother; Beormings,
the descendants of Beovm; Icklings. the descendants of Ickel. At the time of the
Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain (fifth and sixth centuries) it was customary for a
clan to settle in a stockaded village by itself, and all English towns whose names
end in ham or ton, preceded by ing, were originally the abodes of single clans; e. g.,
Birmingham, home of the children of Beorm ; Icklington, town of the children
of Ickel. Besides these general clan names no others were in use except individ-
ual names, such as Alfred or Edith.

The use of family names, beginning in the eleventh century, increased slowly.
It was not until the fifteenth century that such names became nearly universal, and
also stationary. At first they were shifting in usage. Thus, the same man might
be called Henry Wilson, because his father was named William, or Henry Frothing-
ham, because he lived at the village of Fotheringham, or Henry Draper, because of
his occupation. If the son of this Henry were named Robert, and were any kind of
a worker in metals, from an armorer to a blacksmith, he might be known as Robert
Harrison or Robert Smith. Surnames had not ceased to fluctuate in this way until
the fifteenth century, and it was not until late in the sixteenth that more importance
began to be attached to the family surname than to the individual baptismal name.
It appears, therefore, that in tracing back the Foster genealogy into the ninth cen-
tury, we are approaching the time at which difficulty must arise from fluctuations of
surname. In the thirteenth century we should be quite likely to encounter such
confusion and to find the helpfulness of surnames in tracing genealogies vastly

Surnames derived from estates or localities seem to have been the first to be-
come stationary, and next after them the surnames derived from trade or ofiice,
since sons have so commonly followed their fathers in business.

We are at first struck with the fact that barbarians commonly use such names,
both for individuals and for clans. Such individual names as Grey Wolf or Yellow
Raccoon often owe their origin to some personal peculiarity or to some irrecoverable
incident. Among American Indians, and in general among barbarians all over the
world, the clans are apt to have such names as Wolf, Eagle, Salmon, Turtle, etc. ;
the totem, or symbol of the Wolf clan, the idol or image of its tutelar deity, is likely
to be a rude image of a wolf or wolf's head; and in many cases the clan is supposed
to have had a wolf for its first ancestor.

Shall we say, then, that animal surnames in modern English are sur\nvals of
ancient heathen clan-names? To this view there seems to be a serious objection.
The conversion of our Ecglish forefathers from heathenism to Christianity was
completed in the seventh centurv, at least four hundred j-ears before the earliest
use of surnames in England. The old clan system, moreover, had crumbled to
pieces long before the Norman Conquest. It is not likely, therefore, that habits of
naming characteristics of the old heathen clans could have persisted long enough to
give rise to a whole class of surnames so late as the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
Between the ancient systems of totem devices and the heraldry of the Middle
Ages there were many analogies and doubtless some points of connection ; though,
on the whole, the former must be regarded as the predecessor of the latter, not as


its ancestor. The medieval heraldry was growing up in England during the
eleventh and twelfth centuries, and it made an extensive use of conventionalized
heads of familiar animals, not merely lions, wolves, and bulls, but many kinds of
bird and fish, as well as such imaginary creatures as dragons, griffins, and cock-
atrices. For example, Lucy is the heraldic name for pike, and the shield of the De
Lucy family bears on a field gules three lucies or. From this emblem the family
surname is likely to have arisen, just as Geoffrey Plantagenet was so called from the
sprig of broom or genesta plant worn in his helmet. The familiar name of Pike, as
well as that of the Puritan magistrate. Sir Thomas Lucy, who arrested Shakespeare
for poaching, has probably come from the heraldic use of pikes or lucies.

The explanation which serves for one of this class of animal surnames might
perhaps serve for all ; but there is another point to be considered. Heraldic devices
were used not only upon banners and coat-of-arms, but also upon signboards, not
merely of inns but of other places of business. In days when reading and writing
were not common accomplishments, such devices were in general use, and they
survived down to a recent time. For tavern signs they are not yet extinct. In old
times, as often at the present day in Europe, the shop and the homestead were
usually contained in the same building. Thus in the seventeenth century the father
of John Milton, who was a solicitor, notary public, and law-stationer, had his office
and his home in a certain house known as the Spread Eagle, in Bread Street,
Cheapside. Over the front door was the figure of an eagle with outstretched wings.
For four or five centuries before Milton's time, in going through any town, you
would have passed by a succession of such signs of hawks, cranes, dolphins, salmon,
lambs, and bulls, thus finding your way to the particular shop and homestead'of
which you were in quest. The principle upon which the signs were chosen is not
always obvious. Sometimes a family name may have suggested the sign, as if a
man named Crow were to paint a black crow over his door; but in early times the
sign undoubtedly preceded and suggested the name. The family which dwelt at
the sign of the crow came to be called Crow, in the same way that a family which
dwelt at a country house called Greenough or Greenhalge (green field) came to be
called by the name of the house.


Below will be found the English and Flemish* ancestors of
Reginald Foster and undoubtedly of all the other emigrants to
JIassachusetts in an early day, and in fact every one now bearing
this name in the world. The first of the name was:

1. ANACHER GREAT FORESTER of Flanders died in
S37, had son.

2. BALDWIN I, OF FLANDERS (Anacher Great For-
ester), the Forester called "Iron Arm" on account of his great
strength, some say on account of his being constantly in armor.
He married the Princess Judith, daughter of Charles,' the Bald.f

King of Aguitenia and Neustria, or in other words the greater part of modem
France. He built castles at Bruges and Ghent to defend the country against the
Normans. He died at Arras in 877. and was succeeded by his son.

3, BALDWIN II, OF FLANDERS (Baldwin I, Anacher Great Forester),
the Forester, married the Princess Alfrith, daughter of Alfred the Great, King of
England. He made war against Endes, Count of Paris, who usurped the French
crown and defeated him. He died in 919 and was succeeded by his son, Arnulf of
Flanders, the Forester, who was succeeded in gSS by his son.

4. BALDWIN III, OF FLANDERS (Baldwin II, Baldwin I, Anacher Great
Forester), the Forester, called "of the handsome beard," married the daughter of

* See Galway, Ireland, "Vindicator" of Oct. 20, 1806, for genealogical chart of the Blake For-
ester branch.

t Charles II, the Bald, King of France,
was son of Charlemaene. Emperor of the We;
who was son of Charles I, King of France.


the Count of Luxemborg. He was a great warrior and defended his country against
the united forces of the Emperor Henry, King Robert of France and the Duke of
Normandy. He died in 1034 and was succeeded by his son.

5. BALDWIN IV (Baldwin III, Baldwin II, Baldwin I, Anacher Great For-
ester), the Fores'.er called "Le Debonaire," married the Princess Adela, daughter
of Robert, King of France, by whom he had issue.

6. i. BALDWIN V, the Forester,

7. ii. ROBERT FORESTER, surnamed ''the Frislander," from his having

conquered the Principality of Frisland. «

8. iii. MATILDA or Maud, m. William I, surnamed the Conqueror of Eng-

land. William, Duke of Normandy, was bom in 1024. He was sur-
named the Conqueror, from his triumph over Harold at Hastings, on
the 14th of October, 1066. and was crowned King of England by Al-
dred, Archbishop of York, at Westminster Abbey on the 2gth of De-
cember in the same year. His children were : i. Robert, surnamed
Courthouse, successor to the Duchy of Normandy, d. at Cardiff Castle,
Feb. 10,1134. 2. Richard, killed by a stag in the New Forest, and
d. a youth. 3. William Rufus, successor to the crown of England,
known as William II, d. Aug. 2, iioo. 4. Henry, successor to the
crown of England, after his brother, known as Henry I. He d. from
eating too freely of lampreys Dec. 2, 1135. 5. Cicelie, who took the
veil at the monastery of Fescamp, and was afterward abbess to the
Holy Trinity at Caen, where she d. in 1126. 6. Constantia. m. Alan
Fergant, Earl of Brittany, and d. Sept. in 1 1 26. 7. Alice, contracted
to Harold. S. Adela, m. Stephen, Earl of Blois, and had 5 ch. 9.
Agatha, d. unm., but betrothed to Alphonzo, King of Galicia. 10.
Gundred, m. William de Warren, Eaii of Surrey, and d. May 27, 1085.

9. iv. SIR RICHARD FORESTER, called in those days by his Latinized

name of Forestarius. Sir Richard and his father, Baldwin IV, passed
over to England with his brother-in-law, William the Conqueror, and
received the honor of knighthood after the decisive battle of Hastings,
being then in his sixteenth year, from whom sprung the Foresters of
Etherston and Bamborough Castle in Northumberland, and the Blake
Foresters of Ashfield and Knockmoy Abbey, County of Galway and
Inchorey Castle, County of Clare.

The Forester family were the principal chieftains in Northum-
berland and allied by marriage with all the eminent northern families,
viz., the Fetherstones, Grays of Chillingham, the Fenwicks, the Lord
Barons of Hilton, the Mittords. Barons of Mitford, from whom the
Earl of Redesdale, the CoUingswoods of Dislington, the Radcliffes,
Earls of Derwentwater, the Haggerstons of Haggerston ; the Russels
from whom the Duke of Bedford, and others too numerous to mention.
Many of the family were distinguished for their deeds of chivalry and
warlike actions, and at; the siege of Acre, A. D. 1191, a party of
Saracens, having sallied forth and surrounded King Richard, he
would have been overpowered and made prisoner had not Sir John
Forster, who seeing from a distance the danger in which the King
was placed, pushed forward with couched lance followed by his
retainers shouting, "To the rescue! a Forester! a Forester!" The
King then cut down the Saracen leader whose troops retreated before
Sir John, who for his bravery and timely assistance received from
King Richard a grant to bear a Chevron vert on his shield. There is
a monument to his memory in Bamborough Abbey bearing his effigy
in full armor. In a song on the battle of Otherbowine, in 1238, the
Foresters are placed first of the clans mentioned :

Online LibraryFrederick Clifton PierceFoster genealogy; → online text (page 1 of 167)