Foster History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Foster family

The surname Foster was first found in Northumberland where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Foster family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Foster research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1589, 1663, 1648, 1681, 1617, 1692, 1635, 1698 and are included under the topic Early Foster History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Foster Spelling Variations

Although the name, Foster, appeared in many references, from time to time, the surname was shown with the spellings Forrester, Forester, Forrest, Forster, Foster, Forrestor and many more.

Early Notables of the Foster family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Sir John Forster; Sir Robert Foster (1589-1663), an English judge and Chief Justice of the King’s Bench; John Foster (1648-1681), the earliest American engraver and the first Boston...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Foster Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Foster World Ranking

In the United States, the name Foster is the 93rd most popular surname with an estimated 226,317 people with that name. [1] However, in Canada, the name Foster is ranked the 160th most popular surname with an estimated 21,790 people with that name. [2] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Foster is the 542nd popular surname with an estimated 85 people with that name. [3] Australia ranks Foster as 113rd with 23,738 people. [4] New Zealand ranks Foster as 108th with 3,923 people. [5] The United Kingdom ranks Foster as 76th with 59,483 people. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Foster family to Ireland

Some of the Foster family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 93 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Foster migration to the United States +

Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of cholera, typhoid, dysentery or small pox. In North America, some of the first immigrants who could be considered kinsmen of the Foster family name Foster, or who bore a variation of the surname were

Foster Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Samuel Foster, who arrived in New England in 1619 [7]
  • John Foster, to Virginia in 1623
  • John Foster, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1624 [7]
  • Thomas Foster, who arrived in America in 1634 [7]
  • Sylas Foster, aged 22, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Foster Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Daniel] Foster, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [7]
  • Thomas Foster, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [7]
  • Phillis Foster, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [7]
  • Julian Foster, who arrived in Virginia in 1717 [7]
  • Sam Foster, who landed in South Carolina in 1728 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Foster Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Martha Foster, aged 22, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803 [7]
  • Charles Foster, who arrived in America in 1805 [7]
  • Alex Foster, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [7]
  • Arthur Foster, aged 22, who landed in New York in 1812 [7]
  • George S Foster, aged 27, who arrived in New York in 1812 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Foster Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Chamberlain Burke Foster, aged 25, who landed in Mississippi in 1907 [7]
  • Louis Samuel Foster, who arrived in Alabama in 1912 [7]
  • Lee Peter Foster, who landed in Alabama in 1921 [7]
  • Alfred Scott Foster, who landed in Alabama in 1921 [7]
  • Edward Augustus Foster, who landed in Alabama in 1926 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Foster migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Foster Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Bennet Foster, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Edward Foster, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Patrick Foster, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Foster, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Asa Foster, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Foster Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Asher M Foster, who landed in Canada in 1828
  • Jude Foster, who landed in Canada in 1829
  • James Foster, who landed in Canada in 1830
  • Robert Foster, who landed in Quebec in 1831
  • Nathaniel Foster, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Foster Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • H Foster, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Foster migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Foster Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Foster, (b. 1791), aged 28, English bricklayer who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1859 [8]
  • Miss Susan Foster who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 20th November 1823, arriving in New South Wales, Australia and Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Mr. William Foster, British Convict who was convicted in South Holland (Parts of Holland), Lincolnshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Commodore Hayes" in April 1823, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • William Foster, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [11]
  • Mr. William Foster, (b. 1797), aged 30, English farm labourer who was convicted in Hertford, Hertfordshire, England for life for highway robbery, transported aboard the "Champion" on 24th May 1827, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1847 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Foster migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Foster Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Foster, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • James Ramsay Foster, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Coromandel
  • James Ramsay Foster, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Coromandel" in 1840
  • Mr. John Foster, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Bee" arriving in New Zealand in 1840 [13]
  • James Foster, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Foster migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [14]
Foster Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Alice Foster, who arrived in Barbados, as a bonded passenger in 1671

Contemporary Notables of the name Foster (post 1700) +

  • Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster (b. 1962), American actress, film director and producer with two Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a People's Choice Award
  • Reginald Thomas Foster OCD (1939-2020), American Catholic priest and friar of the Order of Discalced Carmelites
  • Murphy James "Mike" Foster Jr. (1930-2020), American businessman and politician, 53rd Governor of Louisiana from January 1996 until January 2004
  • Daniel Foster (d. 2020), known as "the Big Dawg" and "Top Dawg", an American radio personality based in Nigeria
  • Fred Luther Foster (1931-2019), American Hall of Fame record producer and songwriter, known for "Me and Bobby McGee", founder of Monument Records
  • Daniel Willett Foster M.D., M.A.C.P. (1930-2018), American John Denis McGarry Distinguished Chair in Diabetes and Metabolic Research and Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • William Edwin "Bill" Foster (1929-2016), American head men's basketball coach, NABC Co-Coach of the Year (1978)
  • Bill Foster (1930-2016), American head men's basketball coach, Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1978
  • Robert Lloyd "Bob" Foster (1938-2015), American light heavyweight and heavyweight professional boxer, World light-heavyweight Champion (1968-1974)
  • Abby Kelley Foster (1811-1887), American abolitionist and radical social reformer
  • ... (Another 28 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Bradford City stadium fire
  • Nellie Foster (1921-1985), from Bradford who attended the Bradford City and Lincoln City Third Division match on 11th May 1985 when the Bradford City stadium fire occurred and she died in the fire she did manage to save her Grandson who was with her
Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Ernest Foster, British Trimmer from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [15]
Flight TWA 800
  • Mr. Charles Roderick Foster (1935-1996), aged 61, from Sherman, Connecticut, USA, American pilot for Dassault Falcon Jet Co. flying aboard flight TWA 800 from J.F.K. Airport, New York to Leonardo da Vinci Airport, Rome when the plane crashed after takeoff ; he died in the crash [16]
Frank Rock Slide
  • Mr. T. Foster, Canadian resident of Frank, Alberta who was buried in the Frank Rock Slide on 29th April 1903 [17]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. William  Foster (1880-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [18]
Hillcrest Coal Mine
  • Mr. John Foster (1891-1914), English Bucker from Page Bank, Durham, England, United Kingdom who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse [19]
HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Norman Douglas Foster (1913-1941), Australian Engine Room Artificer 4th Class from Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [20]
  • Mr. Roy Ebenezer Foster (1905-1941), Australian Corporal from Ipswich, Queensland, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [20]
HMS Cornwall
  • George Foster (d. 1942), British Able Seaman aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [21]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Lloyd Robert Raymond Foster, British Midshipman aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [22]
  • Williams Foster, British aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [22]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Reginald Foster (b. 1921), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Kemsworth, Yorkshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [23]
  • Mr. Ralph Foster (b. 1917), Canadian Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Kings Point, Newfoundland, Canada, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [23]
  • Mr. Kenneth J Foster (b. 1921), Welsh Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [23]
  • Mr. Colin E Foster (b. 1923), English Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Cresswell, Norpeth, Northumberlandshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [23]
  • Mr. Algernon T Foster (b. 1916), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Hastings, Sussex, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [23]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Samuel M.C. Foster, British Leading Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [24]
  • Mr. S Foster, British Leading Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [24]
  • Mr. Leonard Nelson Foster, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [24]
  • Mr. George Foster, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, also sailed aboard the HMS Cornwall and was lost in 1942 [24]
  • Mr. George Foster (1923-1942), English Able Seaman from England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, also sailed aboard the HMS Cornwall and was lost in 1942 [24]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Walter F Foster, British Shipwright 4th Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [25]
  • Mr. Albert E D Foster, British Stoker 2ne Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [25]
  • Mr. Henry Charles Arthur Foster, British Plumber 3rd Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [25]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Thomas J. Foster, British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [26]
  • George William Foster (1908-1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [26]
  • Donald Charles Denton Foster (1911-1939), British Leading Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [26]
Lady of the Lake
  • Mr. James Foster, Irish traveller from Antrim, Northern Ireland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and he survived the sinking
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. John Foster, English First Waiter from Totnes, Devon, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [27]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Albert C Foster (d. 1912), aged 37, English Engineering Storekeeper from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [28]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. James P. Foster Jr., American Seaman First Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [29]


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  3. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  4. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  6. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  7. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/brothers
  10. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 4th March 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/commodore-hayes)
  11. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  12. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 18th January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/champion)
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  15. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  16. ^ The Washington Post Passenger List TWA Flight 800. (Retrieved 2018, February 15th). Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/twa800/list01.htm
  17. ^ Calgary Herald news article retrieved 11th August 2021. (Retrieved from https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Calgary_Herald_Thu__Apr_30__1903_-copy-scaled.jpg).
  18. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  19. ^ List Of Miners - Hillcrest Mine Disaster Data. (Retrieved 2014, June 24) . Retrieved from http://www.hillcrestminedisaster.com/data/index.php?title=List_Of_Miners
  20. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  21. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  22. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  23. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  24. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  25. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  26. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  27. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 10) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  28. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  29. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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