Richard James Foster (c.1619 - c.1681) MP

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Nicknames: "foster", "Forster"
Birthplace: County Durham, England
Death: Died in Gloucester, Virginia, United States
Managed by: Justin Swanström
Last Updated:

About Richard James Foster

#1

taken from: [http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~fosterfamily/foster2.html]

#2

taken from:  [http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~hutch/DABBS/FosterHaney.htm]

#1

"Richard Foster (b. 1619) immigrated to America. On August 10, 1635 he boarded the Safety in London and arrived soon thereafter in Virginia. He married (1) a woman named Ann and (2) Susannah Garnett. She was born 1620 in Virginia. Richard and Susannah had four sons: William. Robert, Richard, and John." 

#2

It has been particularly difficult to sort out the great deal of conflicting information regarding these Foster families.

Richard Foster arrived in America when he was just sixteen years old. Michael Motes states that Richard immigrated to Virginia in the ship Safety, which sailed on August 10, 1635. Richard settled first in Elizabeth Cittie [City] County, Virginia, where he married Sussan Garnett circa 1642. Sussan Garnett was born circa 1622 in Elizabeth City County, Virginia and died after 1660 in Gloucester County, Virginia. On November 26, 1653 Richard was granted 250 acres of land in Lynhaven Parish in Lower Norfolk County, Virginia. In 1655 he moved to Gloucester County, Virginia, where he received a grant of 200 acres for the transportation of four persons. More details on his life are to be found in Forster Foster and Their Royal Descendants from which the above information was taken. (1) Information on Richard Foster is controversial.

Researcher B. G. Foster provided interesting reading on Richard Foster: (2)

“In 1989 I published a book The Foster Family of Flanders, England, and America – all copies have long been sold – only a few remain for my grandchildren. However, I have kept and added to the genealogical portion of the Foster family. At the last count I had identified over 31,000 individuals directly kin or kin through marriage to the original Robert and Elizabeth Garnett Foster family. The name of our Foster immigrant came to me very early in my search – his name, Richard Foster.

“This Richard Foster came to American in 1635 on the ship Safety. He was the son of Sir Robert Foster and a wife identified as Miss Isham, daughter of John Isham. This information was given to me originally from Richard Foster of Alexandria, Virginia, a distant cousin whose wife was also a Foster. He had hired a professional genealogist from Atlanta, Georgia to help his wife obtain membership into the Colonial Dames. This genealogist, Mrs. Julian Lane, came up with this Richard Foster as her Foster Immigrant – then, of course, as ours.

“For a number of years I did not question nor ask for documentation of the status of Richard Foster as my immigrant. Many years ago I became acquainted with Captain Ed Dittmer, whose wife was a Foster descendant. Ed was in Navel Intelligence stationed at the pentagon and on several occasions had reasons to be in San Antonio. On two of these trips he gave me a call and came over to College Station for a visit. Ed was doing Foster, Garnett, and Golding research in the original colonial county records. It was he who we give credit for identifying the children of Robert and Elizabeth Garnett Foster of Gloucester and Essex Counties in Virginia. It was he who first made me stop and evaluate the records where Richard and his wife, Sussan Garnett, lived. I began to look for information that would substantiate Richard Foster’s status as the immigrant of the large and important southern Foster family. The more I examined the records the more confused I became.

“After reviewing extensively the records of Lower Norfolk County, Virginia from early 1600 to the 1700s looking for proof of our Foster immigrant, I am still not certain who he is. . . . Let us exam just what has been documented on Richard Foster, Immigrant. We know that he came to the Virginia Colonies in 1635 aboard the ship, Safety and on the same ship was his stepfather, Bartholomew Hoskins. Bartholomew had married his [Richard’s] mother, Mrs. Dorcas Foster on July 3, 1624 in St. Dunstan’s Church, in Tepney, London, England. The records show that she was a “widow with several children.” One of his siblings was a sister, Ann with a brother Robert as a possibility.

“We know that in Lower Norfolk County, Virginia there were at least three Richard Fosters in the same time span. One of these Richard Fosters was an attorney and would marry Dorcas Hoskins, daughter of Bartholomew and Mrs. Dorcas Foster Hoskins. It is this Richard Foster who was a member of the House of Burgess for Lower Norfolk County. It was this Richard Foster that was called Lieutenant, Captain and then Major. It was this Richard Foster who would move with his father-in-law, Bartholomew Hoskins, and brother-in-law, Richard Hoskins, to Albermarle, North Carolina. Consequently one Richard Foster was a son-in-law to Bartholomew Hoskins and another was a stepson. No wonder there was confusion. Both of these Richard Foster were literate. There is at least one other who was illiterate and used the (W) as his signature. One of the three Richard Fosters would marry Ann Jackson on November 16, 1640 and father a child conceived out of wedlock. It is difficult to tell which one of the Richards did the dirty deed. Regardless it has but little bearing on the identification of the true immigrant. These are just a few of the essential documented facts concerning the three Richard Fosters of Lower Norfolk County, Virginia.

“There are numerous citings of the marriage of Richard Foster to Sussan Garnett, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Garnett. I have found no documentation of this marriage nor has anyone else that I have been able to contact. This does not mean it did not happen it just means that we cannot prove or disprove it. We do know that her name was not Susanna, Susannah, or Susanna (Ann) as has been reported. Some have tried to make Ann and Sussan the same person by naming her Sussanah and calling her Ann. If you read the original muster roll taken after the great Indian massacre it is spelled, Sussan. Her name was probably Susanna but the roll taker spelled it phonetically, thus Sussan.

“The marriage date of Richard and Sussan has been reported to be in 1641 give or take a few years. As in most cases we could expect their first child in 1642 or 1643 and then a child thereafter every two years. However, it has been documented that this Richard Foster went to England in 1649 for a five-year period. He returned in 1654. Did he take his wife and family with him to England? There are no records that have been found to show that he did or did not. Did he have children before he left for England and while he was in England? These are just some of the things that we do not know about Richard Foster.

“There have been numerous reports as to the number and names of Richard and Sussan’s male children. They number range from two (Robert and John) to seven (Robert, John, Richard, James, George, Thomas, and William.) However, Robert and John are the only ones for which we have documentation. This does not mean that the others did not exist it only means that we have documentation for only two.”

The proposed children of Richard Foster and Sussan Garnett:

   *
     Richard Foster, born 1643 (undocumented). According to one researcher, there is some information on a Richard Foster: (3) Richard Foster, born 1710 in Surrey County, Virginia and died February 1795 in Surrey County. In 1743 in Virginia he married Susannah Rand, born about 1723 and died November 26, 1794 in Virginia. They had four children: Judith Foster who married James Clark; Ransom Foster, born about 1750 who married Elizabeth Coman; Peter G. Foster, born March 22, 1756 and was married to Ann Hall; Richard Foster, married to Elizabeth J. Hall. Richard, born 1710 was the son of Richard Foster, Jr. born 1643 and died 1715 in Abbington Parrish, Gloucester County, Virginia. This Richard was the son of Richard Forster, born 1619 in County Durham, England and Susannah “Anna” Garnett, born 1620. Richard Foster, born 1752 and son of William Foster and Ann Booker, was born in Amelia County, Virginia and died June 2, 1775 in Prince Edward County, Virginia. He was married to Judith Walker. Their child was Francis Foster (male or female).
     Another researcher gives this information. (4) Peter Ransome Foster is the son of Ransom Foster and Elizabeth Coman. Ransom was born about 1752, probably in Virginia, and died about 1804 in Brunswick County, Virginia. His will was made in November 1803 and proved October 1804. On September 5, 1772 he married Elizabeth Coman in York County, Virginia. She was born about 1754 and died about 1813 in Brunswick County. Together they had seven children: John Harwood (April 24, 1773 - September 28, 1850, married Sela Lightfoot and Sarah Braswell); William (October 27, 1776 - May 2, 1826, married Fannie Lucinda Ballew); Peter Ransome (1778 - ?, married Sara James); Susannah R. (circa 1780 - before 1840; married Richard Moore); Elizabeth H. (circa 1780 - circa 1857, married George Williams); Beverly (September 25, 1785 - May 1, 1873, married Nancy Ragsdale); and Samuel (June 1787 - September 1855, married Nancy James). John and William stayed in Virginia. Peter and Samuel moved to Tennessee, Beverly and Elizabeth moved to Missouri. Ransom’s parents were Richard Foster (circa 1725 - December 1794, Surry County, Virginia) and Susannah. It seems to be accepted that she was Susannah Rand, but no one has been able to prove this. She was probably a Ransom since this name is used for many generations and Rand is never used. So far, there is no proof for either version. Richard and Susannah had three children mentioned in Richard’s will: Ransom, Peter, and an unnamed daughter who had died and left a daughter named Susannah Clark. Other researchers have this family as descended from Richard and Sussan Foster’s son, John, not Richard.
   *
     James Foster, born 1645 (undocumented)
   *
     William Foster, born 1647 (undocumented)
   *
     Robert Foster, born 1651, see below.
   *
     Thomas Foster, born 1656 (undocumented)
   *
     John Foster, born 1660. According to B. G. Foster, John was born in 1665/66 in Gloucester County, and married Ruth (last name unknown). (5) Their known children were Robert, James, Ambrose, and Joseph.

Taken from: [http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~hutch/DABBS/FosterHaney.htm] -------------------- From rootsweb:

Richard Foster's father was Sir Robert Forster, who was born in 1587 Durham, England. Sir Robert Forster's only son was Richard Forster, born 1619. The surname of FORSTER was changed to FOSTER upon reaching America. Richard Foster immigrated to Virginia in the ship "Safety". The ship sailed from England on the 1st day of August 1635. He was 16 years old when he voyaged to Virginia. Susan Garnett, the future wife of Richard Foster, was probably born and raised at Elizabeth Cittie, in the Jamestown colony of Virginia. Her name is found recorded on the "Muster of Inhabitants" taken on the 16th day of February 1623, living with her parents, Thomas and Elizabeth Garnett. In 1624/25 a muster was taken of the Inhabitants of Virginia. In "Thomas Garnett and his Muster" show Thomas aged 40 and Immigrated to America in the "Swann" in 1610. His wife Elizabeth was aged 26 and came to America in the "Neptune" in 1618. Their daughter Susan was aged 3 and was born in Virginia. Ambrose Griffith and Joyce Griffith were on the muster with the Garnett Family. Ambrose Griffith was aged 33 and came to Virginia in the "Bona Nova" 1619 and Joyce Griffith aged 20 came in the "Jacob". Richard Foster settled in Elizabeth Cittie County, Virginia. He married Sussan Garnett there and was granted 250 acres of land in Lynhaven Parish in-Lower Norfolk Co., Va. on 26 Nov 1653 beginning at the neck of the broad Creek running South, South West near a swamp, thense West etc., for transport of Dorcas Foster Senr., and Dorcas Foster Junr., Richard Foster, Richard Street, and Henry Williams. Later in 1655 the family removed to Gloucester County, Virginia where Richard Foster received 200 more acres for transport of four more persons: Ellen Foster, Mary Foster, Sarah Davis , Robert Bynum, Fra. Bignall. This land was at the head of Southard Creek on the Severne, in Mackajack Bay, in Gloucester Co., Virginia. Robert Coleman was granted land that adjoined Richard Fosters land on 18 March, 1662. As the nation grew, the Foster descendants migrated south into the Carolinas, Alabama, Georgia, and finally Texas; as well as East into Tennessee, and from there, launching themselves to the wind.

The following information is based on research done by Dr. Bill Foster: It has been accepted for years by most Foster family researchers that the immigrant of the southern Fosters was a Richard Foster, son of Sir Robert Foster and Miss [Mira] Isham of England, who sailed from London on August 10, 1635 on the ship "Safety", arriving in Virginia in the fall. It is believed that he first married a woman named Ann, and then later a second wife named Sussan Garnett and became the father of two known sons, Robert and John of Gloucester and later Essex County. Later information shows that this Richard Foster's passage was paid by Bartholomew Hoskins, ancient planter, and both him and Richard migrated to Lower Norfolk County, Virginia where both became prominent members of the social and political society.

Captain Ed Dittmer, retired naval officer, was the first to cast doubts on Richard Foster being the first immigrant progenator of the Virginia FOSTER family line. Captain Dittmer placed James Foster of Gloucester County as the most likely immigrant forefather of the family. This revelation was met with little interest by most researchers since it broke the tie with English royalty. However, there were several researchers, including Miriam Wood Dye of Memphis, Tennessee, Gerneva Foster Dennis of Abilene, and Dr. Bill Foster who required more than "tradition" to accept the 1635 immigrant as our im migrant. They offered the following speculative history to explain the origins of the Foster family in America. Richard Fos

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=:2920998&id=I571922953

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Richard James Foster's Timeline

1619
1619
County Durham, England
1641
1641
Age 22
Hampton Co., Virginia
1645
1645
Age 26
Gloucester Co., Virginia
1648
1648
Age 29
Essex, Durham, England
1651
1651
Age 32
Kingston Parish, Gloucester, Virginia
1651
Age 32
VA, USA
1656
1656
Age 37
Gloucester County, Virginia
1659
1659
Age 40
1660
1660
Age 41
Gloucester Co., Virginia
1671
1671
Age 52
Gloucester, Gloucester, Virginia, United States