The Fosters

Descendants of Samuel Foster

butcher from St. Andrew

By

Denis Foster

 

  

SAMUEL FOSTER

Butcher & Planter from St. Andrew.

 

St. Andrew Parish Church

Samuel Foster and Elisabeth (?) had a son, Samuel James, who was baptized on the 19th, December, 1825, in the parish of St. Andrew. Samuel’s occupation at the time was listed as “butcher”. This information is seen on Page 3 of the church register of BAPTISMS solemnized in the Parish of SAINT ANDREW, in the Island of BARBADOS in the year 1825 and 1826.

  Unfortunately, there are no records for the parish of St. Andrew prior to 1825. Apparently, the registers were taken to England by Rev. John Brome, the incumbent of the parish. He died in 1828 in London, however, and the registers have never been recovered.

Although there is plenty of evidence of Fo(r)sters living in Barbados from as early as 1628, it has proven impossible to trace our family history with any certainty beyond Samuel Foster, the butcher from St. Andrew, circa 1800.

Common sense, however, suggests that a butcher from St. Andrew, whose son was born in 1825 in that parish, would himself have been born in Barbados of parents that were likely to have been Barbadian as well. Further, we can assume that the parents of a butcher from St. Andrew were not substantial land owners, or owned land at all. All of these assumptions point to a family of “poor whites”, or, perhaps, a branch of a Foster family that had once been land owners, but which, through the years, had lost their land and their wealth and had, therefore, been marginalized to the parish of St. Andrew. The Foster surname is still very prevalent in the Chalky Mount/Cambridge area.

The first Forster that was connected to Barbados was Edmund Forster. He was a merchant in London who was contracted by the Earl of Carlisle, along with other London merchants, to finance an expedition to colonize the island in 1628 under the command of Charles Wolferstone. The merchants who backed the venture were granted 10,000 acres between them. Edmund’s wife was Elizabeth Rawdon, the daughter of Marmaduke Rawdon, another of the London merchants who financed the venture.

“Wolferstone, accompanied by sixty four persons, arrived in Carlisle Bay, and landed on the twenty fifth day of July, one thousand six hundred and twenty eight. Each of the settlers was entitled, on his arrival, to one hundred acres of land.” (John Poyer, History of Barbados from the First Discovery of the Island in the year 1605…”)

Among the colonists was John Forster, one of Wolverstone’s captains. He married Elizabeth, the widow of Col. William Sandiford.

 

While it is unlikely that Edmund Forster ever set foot on Barbadian soil, there is a Rev. John Forster who is recorded as owning 100 acres in 1640. When Ligon’s map of Barbados was published in 1657, he recorded the name Foster as owning 100 acres in St. Peters.

 

 

 

Section of Ligon’s map published in 1657 showing that “Foster” owned 100 acres or more in St. Peters, close to All Saints Church.

This property was known as Ellis Castle. It was situated close to All Saints Church and on Richard Ford’s map of the island, dated 1674, Rev.  John Foster’s neighbors were the Sandifords, Gays, Yeamans and Berringers. It is more than likely that Captain John Forster and Rev. John Forster is the same person. Rev. John Forster’s daughter, the infamous Margaret, is alleged to have conspired with her lover, Col. John Yeamans, in the murder of her husband, Col. Benjamin Berringer, in 1661.

Margaret subsequently married Col. Yeamans and they immigrated to South Carolina where he became governor.

 

 

 

 

Section of Richard Ford’s map of 1674 showing “Foster” owning land in St. Peters

Richard Ford’s map of 1674 also confirms that two Foster’s owned large tracts of land “Belowe the Cliffe” in St. Joseph and St. John.

These Foster’s were cousins, Thomas and George. In George’s will dated 1670 he mentions “land bounding cousin Thomas Foster”. George’s wife was Hester (nee Smith?) Foster. In 1680 Thomas owned 188 acres in St. Joseph, while Hester owned 133 1/3 acres in St. John.

These Foster’s were Quakers. Hester is listed as a Quakeress in Barbados in 1677. She attended meetings at Thicketts and Clift. (The Journal of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society, Vol. IX, pg 195-197.)

Her husband, George, who converted to the faith in 1660, was a known activist in the cause of the Quakers. “Foster was one of five Quakers who sent a lengthy letter to Governor William Lord Willoughby, the Council, and Assembly in 1669 detailing the “sufferings of some of us People called Quakers in this island”. He was described as “a prosperous sugar planter in St. John parish who also had property in Bridgetown.” (The Quaker Community in Barbados: challenging the culture of the planter class” by Larry Dale Gragg)

By 1721, Thomas’ grandson, the Hon. George Foster, a member of the House of Assembly for St. Joseph from 1721-1724, owned Belowe the Cliff plantation and it remained in the Foster family until the mid 1700’s when it became the property of the Hon. Henry Evans Holder who had married Elizabeth Foster, a grand daughter of the Hon. George Forster.  When it was sold to Benjamin Alleyne Cox in 1781, the name Belowe the Cliff had already been changed to Foster Hall plantation.

Is it possible that these Fo(r)ster families were connected? Which branch does Samuel come from? These are questions that we do not have the answers for. However, it is not unreasonable to assume that our Samuel Foster is a descendant of a long line of Foster’s that lived in the St. Andrew/St. Joseph area for generations.

We must also remember that the first laborers on these developing sugar plantations were indentured servants imported from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. There were certainly Fosters among them. In 1658, for instance, one Thomas Foster sailed to Barbados from Bristol as an indentured servant. In 1659, Edward Foster from Dorsetshire followed, and in 1669, another Thomas Foster left Bristol to work as an indentured servant on the island. (Centre for Barbados Studies in History and Genealogy)

So, all of the early Fosters in Barbados were not necessarily prosperous land owners. Maybe, Samuel was a descendant of one of these “poor whites”. One thing is certain, the Fo(r)ster name in Barbados dates back to Carlysle’s expedition in 1628. Hopefully, the missing link between Samuel, the butcher from St. Andrew, and his ancestors will be discovered one day.

Note: This is part 1 of a 4 part series which chronicles  the descendants of Samuel Foster, the butcher from St. Andrews, Barbados.  The articles were researched and written by Dennis "Denny" Foster  who lives in Barbados.  

 

Comments  

Matthew Foster
# Matthew Foster 2011-12-22 16:45
Hi Cliff.....this is extremely interesting. I can't wait to read the next installments.
Kind regards
Matthew
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Cliff Gittens
# Cliff Gittens 2011-12-22 22:03
Matthew, glad you enjoyed it I will pass along your comments to Denny who wrote it.
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Celia Vaughn
# Celia Vaughn 2011-12-23 14:03
I have a Col. Wm SANDIFORD in my file who married Cornelia WALROND, the daughter of Sir Alexander Walrond & Mary CORNELIUS. Alexander died & Mary re-married Philip PRICE from whom I am descended.
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Cliff Gittens
# Cliff Gittens 2011-12-23 19:40
Celia, I will pass your comments along to Denny Foster who wrote the piece.
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S Peeling
# S Peeling 2011-12-24 01:23
thank you for posting this, my mother will be very pleased to read this.
regards,
sarah
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Nina Forrester Ford
# Nina Forrester Ford 2013-10-23 09:31
Hello and greetings to all!
I am keenly interested in this...fortunat ely we have a group of Forresters( and all variations) via Clan Forrester Society who are helping us by dna to untangle all these lines. There have been a few interesting developments. My interest comes because my Dad's dna via y-search matched someone with a Barbados connection and we are very close to solving this mystery. He was tested to 67 markers and the subclade. The period we are looking for the Barbados connection is well before 1800 ...try 1640-to perhaps 1680ish. We have no pre suppositions as we are trying to use the document trail supported by the dna trail. If you are interested in our findings and want to help us out, you can get in touch with me via Clan Forrester Society. :roll: :roll:
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Denis Foster
# Denis Foster 2013-12-26 03:49
Nina,
I am interested to know where the DNA testing leads. How does this work?
Denis Foster
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Celine Foster Walker
# Celine Foster Walker 2016-05-12 11:57
My father Ernest Foster whose father was born in Barbados always told me that the name was originally Forster. Could this be the same family?
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Celine Foster Walker
# Celine Foster Walker 2016-05-12 12:02
My late father Ernest Foster whose father was born in Barbados always said that our name was originally Forster. My father was born in 1910
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Cliff Gittens
# Cliff Gittens 2016-05-12 15:59
Hi Celine,
What was your grandfather's name?
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Richard L Foster
# Richard L Foster 2016-12-26 12:25
My grand father was Neville Foster married to ruby who had four sons Vere who lived in USA, Lisle my father, Caesar who lived in Barbados and Leon who livede in Barbados and retired to Australia and one daughter Cecily. My children are Carla, Andrew, Rachel, Jennifer and David. Caesar;s children were Leary and Ray,we alol live in Canada, Leons daughter is Barrie an lives in New Zealand Cicely no children Like Dennie and Paul I do research into our family. I enjoyed reading your research on theb Foster or Forster clan.
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Richard L Foster
# Richard L Foster 2016-12-26 12:28
I sent you some info on my family connections to Samuel Foster don't know if you got it let me know thanks
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