John Foster 1745-1826
Elizabeth Foster ?1773-1806
meaning and origins
Apparently there are four possible origins for this fairly common surname.
- From the old French - fustier, which refers to someone who made saddle trees, fustier deriving from fustre which mean a block of wood.
- May be a maker or user of forcetier - shears used widely in agruculture or the textile industry.
- Derived from Forester - the meaning of which is fairly obvious
- Old English cild-fostre - an occupational nickname for a foster parent or child
All of these, interestingly enough are occupational names.
Forster, Forester, Forrester
distribution in England and Wales
In 1891 the name was very definitely centred in the northern counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire with the bordering counties of Durham, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire next most populous, and then spread out around the country.
Foster is a common name and it is very difficult to establish with absolute certainty that the Elizabeth who begins this line has the parents I have now decided she has. The evidence is pretty conclusive though. And if this is she the family is originally from Derbyshire, although I suspect that this line will very quickly come up against a brick wall.
So a country family who made the journey to the big smoke of London - no doubt with lots of hope, and if I am right about her parentage, with siblings who made their mark. But in Elizabeth’s case a life that was tragically shortlived.