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Hon. Ira Colby..
Eugene Denton Brooks
Rev. William Foster Peirce.
Massachusetts Coat of Arms.. Cover John Foster Almanack Gravestone Capt. James Foster.. Chillingsworth Foster Place.. Foster Coat of Arms.. 278 Albert Arnold Sprague.. 279 Col. Perez Dickinson. 280 Mrs. Deborah Cook. 281 Mrs. Lydia Hyde. Mrs. Emily H. Cary Edward H. Cary... Capt. Stephen Foster Mrs. Mary King Foster
Mr. and Mrs. Hopestill Foster.
L. Foster Morse
Herbert Foster Gunnison
Dr. E. J. Foster-Eddy
Gen. John G. Foster.
Silas W. Foster. James W. Foster, Sr. Major Joseph Foster. Joseph Foster, Jr.. Herman Foster..
George Reginald Foster. Capt. Alfred H. Foster.. David Skaats Foster.. Edward C. Foster.... Hon. James G. Foster. Nathan G. Foster, A. M.. Col. Everett W. Foster..
Hon. Addison G. Foster.
Sidney A. Foster.
John R. Foster. Frank H. Foster.
Rev. Amos Foster.
R. G. Foster.
Hon. Stephen Foster.
Mr. and Mrs. Volney Foster.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Albert Volney Foster. Eva Cornelia Foster
Mrs. Rebecca Foster..
Capt. Herbert G. Foster
Rev. Addison P. Foster. D. D..
Capt. William T. Foster
Deacon Joseph Foster.
Charles W. Foster.
Freeman R. Foster
Judge Samuel Willard Foster
S. W. Foster.
Hon. Charles D. Foster.
Dr. Hubbard A. Foster. Hon. Henry A. Foster. Judge Henry A. Foster Hon. O. H. Foster.
HILE making historical investigations for Mr. Volney W. Foster, of Evanston, Ill., I found that no adequate genealogy 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 comprehensive. My thanks are due to all those who have so generously aided me in this compilation, and especially to Volney W. Foster, Evanston, Ill.; Mrs. Silas A. Pierce, Grafton, Mass.; F. L. Ora, Esq., Chicago, Ill.; Frederick Foster, St. Paul, Minn.; Seymour Morris, Chicago, Ill., and others. Very truly,
Chicago, Oct. 9, 1899.
FREDERICK C. PIERCE.
ORIGIN OF THE NAME FOSTER.
HE first that is known of the name Foster was about the year 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, Baldwin the IV, the forester, called "Le Debonaire," whose wife was 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 Foresta, a wood. In old German it is Forestari, Forstare and now in Germany we find it Vorstære. The meaning is, one who has charge of a forest or forests; one who has charge of growing timber 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 shepherds 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 society 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.
I. 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.
"A prince of great courage and beauty, but fostered up in blood by his naughty father." -Sidney.
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 everything 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 mind, and is generally 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 my foster,
He fostered me
Under the book of the Palm tree."
Foster, forester. A contraction of forester in which form it still exists as a
"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 gesithcundman 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; Archæologia, 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: The origin of surnames is not perfectly clear. The largest and most familiar groups of surnames are either (1) patronymics, such as Johnson, Jones, Wilson, etc.; or (2) names of villages and estates, such as Washington, Frothingham (a corruption of Fotheringham), Greenough (green field), Holmes (meadow), Etherston (Adder's Stone). Stanley (stony pasture), etc.; or (3) names descriptive of occupation or social position, such as Mason, Carpenter, Franklin (country squire), Baker and its feminine Baxter, Thatcher and Thaxter, Weaver and Webster, Draper, Smith, Fletcher (arrowmaker), Chapman (merchant), Cooper, Butler, Cartwright, Sargent, Waterman, Sawyer, Chandler, Bishop, Abbot, Clark, Constable, Spencer (steward), Grosvenor (chief huntsman), Woodward (forest-keeper), Youmans (yeoman), 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 Beorm; 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; Ícklington, town of the children of Ickel. Besides these general clan names no others were in use except individual 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 Frothingham, 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 century, 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 diminished.
Surnames derived from estates or localities seem to have been the first to become stationary, and next after them the surnames derived from trade or office, 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 survivals of ancient heathen clan-names? To this view there seems to be a serious objection. The conversion of our English forefathers from heathenism to Christianity was completed in the seventh century, at least four hundred years 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