John Foster, Sr., of Salem

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John Foster, Sr., of Salem

Also Known As: "Had 13 children"
Birthdate: (61)
Birthplace: Edlesborough, Buckinghamshire, England
Death: November 16, 1687 (61)
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
Place of Burial: some genealogies say John was born in Ipswich
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Foster, of Wendover and Kathlene Foster
Husband of Mary Tompkins; Mary (Marie) Foster and Martha Foster
Father of Capt. Thomas Foster; Bartholomew Foster; Mary Jones; Edward Foster; Samuel Foster and 9 others
Half brother of Susanna White; Thomas Foster; Christian Foster and Susanna Foster

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Foster, Sr., of Salem

John Foster came to America in 1635. In mid September, the ship the Hopewell left England and brought him to the US by late November.


5983. JOHN FOSTER, SENIOR, was born in England, in 1626; m. in Salem, Mass., probably in 1649, Martha Tompkins, dau. of Ralph and Katharine (Aborn). She wa< b. abt. 163o.

His birth is determined by a deposition recorded in the Essex Land Grants, vol. iii, p. 99. He resided in Salem. He was the owner of considerable property in the North Fields, though, curiously enough, the Land Grants of Salem and the Record of Deeds of Essex County show no lands of which he was the grantee, but by deeds given by htm we learn that he was possessed of upland, swamp and salt marsh on the north side of the North Field, which formerly belonged to Thomas Scudder, Sen.—Essex Deeds iv. p. 79; also thirty acres "near unto Ipswich river," within the limits of Salem, formerly granted him by the town—Essex Deeds, iii. p. 56; also salt marshes at Royal Side, and at the East Cove in the North Field— Essex Deeds, ix, p. 36.

Preceding the settlement at Naumkeag (Salem), in 1628, the north shore of Cape Cod Bay had been for a long time the rendezvous of English fishermen.

A number of men belonging to Devonshire united in a planting, fishing and trading enterprise at Cape Ann, which proved a failure.

Roger Conant came over with a company, including John Foster, Christopher Foster and others, who landed first at Weymouth, but soon after he removed to the north shore. In 1628 a grant was obtained from the council at Plymouth, in Devon, which. March 19, 1627 8, conveyed the soil extending three miles to the northward of Merrimack River, and three miles southward of Charles River, and in length within the prescribed breadth from the Atlantic Ocean to the South Sea.

Capt. John Endicott arrived on Sept . 6, 1628, accompanied by one hundred adventurers.

First mention found of John Foster on town records, Salem (11, Essex, 185), 1657. He was paid £$ for work on the bridge.

"The land of John Foster—two acres and a half, first given to John Taylor, bounded on the east side with land of William Weedon, on the west with land of Nicholas Bryan, on the north with the sea, south with the land of Mr. Glover."

Essex Deeds, vol. iii, p. 187: John Foster to Nathaniel Putnam. Thirty acres of land, "formerly granted to me by the town of Salem, to be laid out within the limits of Salem, near to Ipswich river." Dated April 14, 1669.

Essex Deeds, vol. iii, folio 99: The deposition of John Foster, Sr., aged about fifty-two years, saith that being with'Aron Read, a little before he died, when Samuel Eborne asked him whether Joseph Small and he did not go forth as two brothers, he answered yea, yea. Samuel Eborne asked him again whether there were at any time any private grudge between Joseph Small and himself, or whether the said Joseph did not shoot him willfully or not, he answered with great affection, oh no, no, no, which were some of the last words he spoke. Taken upon oath 11: 9: 7o. Signed Wm. Hathorne, assistant.

John Tompkins, Jr., ae. twenty-five; Samuel Eborne, ae. fifty-eight; Robert Pease, ae. forty-one; Martha Foster, ae. about forty-three; each deposed in same manner. Evidently a case "he did not know that it was loaded."

Essex Deeds, vol. iv, p. 155: Be it known, etc., that I, John Foster, Sr., of Salem, sc., for divers good causes, especially the natural affection and fatherly care and love to my son John Foster, a parcel of upland, swamp and salt marsh, north side of the north field, having the land of Thomas Robins on the west, down to the river, that is, on the north side of said field. Martha, wife of John, Sr., yields her dower. Dated April i8, 1672.

Essex Deeds, vol. iv, pp. 61o-11-12: John Foster, Sr., husbandman, of Salem, to my son, Samuel, three acres in North Field, on north neck, as by some so called. part of land bought of Thomas Scudder, bounded by lands of my son John, upon the western side by Thomas Robbins. Witnesses: John Waters, John Foster, John Foster. Martha Foster, Richd Croad. March 25, 1678.

Essex Deeds, vol. viii, pp. 18 19: John Foster, of Salem, husbandman, eldest son and heir of John Foster, deceased, late senior, for £12, paid by Martha Foster, widow, and David Foster, husbandman, both of Salem, quit claim two-thirds of an acre of salt marsh at the great cove, in the north field, to said Martha, David, Samuel, Joseph, Jonathan and Ebenezer, excepting sc. (in accordance with my said father's will, bearing date Nov. 16, 1687).

The last will and testament of John Foster, Sr., of Salem; dated Nov. 16, 1687; probated at Boston, March 14, 1688:

I, John Foster Senior, of Salem, etc.,—make this my last will and Testament, I give unto my eldest son John Foster ye land where he now d welleth which formerly I gave him I give him forty shillings to be paid by my Executor within seven years after my decease. Unto my son Samuel the piece of land which lies before his door containing about an acre and a half bounded with a path on one side and a swamp on ye other and (John?) Waters and said Samuel's land on ye other two sides.

Unto David Foster my son, all that my homestead viz: my dwelling house and about five acre of land more or less. Unto my other three sons, viz: Joseph, Jonathan and Ebenezer all ye rest of my land in ye north field and marshes and meadow in ye same with ye marsh at Royal side after my wife's decease or after her marriage provided they pay unto their three sisters Mary Elizabeth and Martha four pounds in pay apiece in five years after they come to enjoy the above sd. land which is to be equally divided both as to quantity and quality, all wares excepting ye third of ye two pieces of marsh at ye great cove given my son by his Grandfather which I hereby confirm. To my said three daughters twenty shillings apiece. To my wife all my movables and stock and what shall remain att her decease shall be equally divided among the children. I appoint my wife and son David Executors.

In presence of us Signed John Foster Senior.

Steph Sewall )

James Seymonds t who made oath at Ipswich March 14, 1687-8. Steven Small ) Inventory of the estate of John Foster, Sen'r late deceased. Taken Jan'y 19, 1687-8 by Isaac Cooke and Steven Small. Amount, 136: 18: o. Debts due said estate, 12: 11: 2. This inventory exhibited by Martha Foster ye widdow of ye said John Foster and David Foster his some Executors of his Will ye 4th day of April 1688. Suffolk County file No. 1625.

Essex Deeds, vol. viii, p. 715: Indenture, Richard Adams, of Salem, yeoman, and Martha Foster, relict widow of John, lately deceased. Nov. 16, 1688, in consideration of a covenant and contract of marriage, etc., gives her his whole estate, real, personal, etc., providing, if she shall have issue by him, his estate shall revert to bis offspring, otherwise to her children.

The will of John Foster was dated Nov. 16, 1687, and proved in the court at Ipswich, March 14, 1688, and on file in the Boston Probate Court—Wills 1o, p. 266, file 1625. By it he confirms to his son, John, "the land where he now dwelleth, which formerly I gave him." To son Samuel, he gives "the piece of land wch Lyes before his Doore." To son David his dwelling-house and about five acres of land. To his sons Joseph, Jonathan and Ebenezer, "all the rest of my lands in the North fields and marshes and meadows in the same, with the marsh at Royal Side, after my wife's decease or after her marriage, provided they pay unto their three sisters, Mary, Elizabeth and Martha, four pounds in pay, a part in five years after they come to enjoy the said land. It is to be divided equally by Indifferent men, both as to quantity and quality, always excepting the third of the two pieces of marsh at the Great Cove, given to my son John by his grandfather, which I hereby confirm." He gives also to his three daughters twenty shillings apiece in current pay, to be paid by his executors in seven years after his decease. To his wife is given all the "moveables" and stock, to be divided equally among the children at her death, and his wife and son David are appointed executors. The inventory of his estate disclosed a value of .£136.18, of which £83 was in land, £19.8 in live stock, and £34.4 in household and personal effects. (Suffolk Probate, vi, 145.) His wife survived him and may have married for her second husband Richard Adams, who by an instrument dated Nov. 16, 1688, conveyed land to "Martha, relict of John Foster, decased, my intended wife."

Persons admitted to freedom ys court. [24 May 1682] Jno Foster. (Mass. Records, vol. v, p. 1682.)

Historical Collections, Essex Institute, vol. ii, p. 55: Summons to witnesses vs. Geo. Jacobs, Sr. . . . We command you to warn and give notice unto . . . Corporal John Foster . . . that they and every of them be and appear forthwith at the court of Oyen and Gerwiner, etc.

Dated Salem (Aug. 4, 1692.) Stephen Sewell, Clerk.

Thomas Aborne was living in Salem in 1642, at which time he was an old man, according to the record. He had been made freeman May 14, 1634, and by trade was a tanner. Feb. 20, 1636, it is recorded in the Land Grants of Salem that "Thomas Eaborne may have three acres next to Ensign davenport tenn acre lbtt laid out w1thout warrant." In 1642, "ould Thomas Eaborne" was "presented for wronging the country by insufficient tanning. His answer was acceptable, but he was admonished and is only to pay ye witness It is not proved that he was

the father of Katharine, but no reasonable doubt of the fact exists.

He d. in March, 1688. Res., Salem, Mass.

5984. i. MARY, bapt. March 29. 1649-50; m., Dec. 31, 1672, Hugh Jones, as

his second wife. In 1695-6 she was a widow.

5985. ii. SAMUEL, bapt . March 7, 1651-2. Husbandman; lived in Salem.

He m., May 14, 1676, Sarah Stuard, perhaps sister of his brother

John's wife; m.. 2d, Margaret . HN, bapt. June 3, 1655; d. 1714. His will was dated Jan. 30, 1706-7. and proved in July, 1714. He lived in Salem. He m., March 18. 1672. Mary Stuard; she d. about 1690, and he m., 2d, July 12, 1692, Mary (Cowes), w1dow of John Pomeroy. She was received into the First Church of Salem, June 1, 1707, "by letter from Chebacco." 5987. iv. BENJAMIN, b. July 3, 1658; not mentioned in his father's will.

5988. v. JONATHAN, b. Dec. 20, 1660; d. March 28, 1662.

5989. vi. JONATHAN, b. Nov. 22, 1662: d. Nov. 6, 1667.

5990 . vi1. JOSEPH, b. in 1664; bapt. in July, 1667. Lived in Salem until about 1704, when he removed to Dorchester. He m., Nov. 21, 1683, Anna, dau. of Henry and Mary (Southwick?) Trask, who was b. Apr1l 14, 1654. She was the widow of Robert Wilson.

5991. viii. DAVID, b. Oct. 16, 1665; d. in 1748. His will was dated May 10,

1743, and proved Oct. 24, 1748. He lived 1n Salem. He m., Jan. 13, 1686-7, Hannah, dau. of Anthonv and Elizabeth Buxton, who was b. in Salem, Jan. 27, 1665. He m., 2d, in December, 1732, Elizabeth Herbut. (Pub. Nov. 18, 1732.)

5992. ix. ELIZABETH, b. Nov. 22, 1667.

5993. x. JONATHAN, bapt. June 12, 1670. He was a cordwainer, and was

living in Boston in 1725.

5994. xi. HANNAH, bapt. July 21, 1672; not mentioned in her father's will.

Admitted to church Jan. 30, 1703.

5995. xii. MARTHA, bapt. September, 1674; m., Oct. 25, 1698, John Derrick.

5996. xii. EBENEZER, b. Aug. 5, 1677; m. Anna Wilkins.

5985. SAMUEL FOSTER (John), bapt. March 7, 1652, Salem; m., May 14, 1676, at Salem, to Sarah Stuard. He was bapt. March 7, 1652, at First Church, Salem; m., 2d, Margaret . Issue b. there:

5997. i. SAMUEL, b. May 18, 1677; d. there Feb. 16, 1678.

5998. ii. JOHN, b. Nov. 30, 1678; m. Margaret Jacobs.

5999. Hi. SAMUEL, b. July 26, 1680; m. Sarah Roberts.

6000. iv. ANNA, b. July 26, 1683; m., March 8, 1714, John Osmand, of


6001. v. SARAH, b. Oct. 9, 1685; m.(?) Toleration Harris. He was b. June

10, 1685; d. April, 1767. She d. 1766. Many of the best families in Rhode Island were descended from th1s pair (they had ten children): 1. Anne, b. Dec. 31, 1709; m. Col. Christopher Harris, of Nicholas and Ann Harris. 2. William, b. July 2, 1711. 3. Joseph, b. June 15, 1713; m. Susanna Bates. The1r son, Elisha, b. June 29, 1744; m., 1768. Freelove Dyer. Their son, Joseph, b. June 15, 1770; m., 1790, Catherine Green. Their son, Elisha, b. Sept. 9, 1791, was a manufacturer and governor of Rhode Island; d., Coventry, R. I., Feb. 1, 1861. 4. Andrew, b. Nov. 18, 1715. 5. Mary, b. Dec. 18, 1718; m. Obediah Brown (see

Chad Brown Memorial). 6. Sarah, b. June 9, 1722; m.

Kilton. 7. John, b. Aug. 19, 1724; d. young. 8. John (twin), b. Sept. 7, 1726; m. Elizabeth Bennet. 9. Phebe (tw1n), b. Sept.

7, 1726; m. Philip Arnold. 10. Lydia, b. ; m. Capt. George

Jackson. The Harrises and Browns intermarried here, and when the "Chad Brown Memorial" was published this Sarah Foster was hunted for high and low. Mr. Austin evidently could not rind Toleration's wife when he published his Rhode Island dictionary. "Some time ago I* had access to some old family papers (Harris) and found two letters from a John Foster, of Attleborough, R. I., addressed to Toleration Harris, but they gave me no clue to Sarah's parentage. The letters were dated May 6, 1734, and May 25, 1734, and they related to money, which John Foster owed to Toleration Harris."

6002. vi. JOSEPH, b March 11, 1687; m. Mrs. Rebecca (Wallis) Groves.

6003. vii. BENJAMIN, b. March 24. 1689.

6004. viii. RICHARD, b. Dec. 19. 1693.

6005. ix. MARY, b. Nov. 8. 169^.

6006. x. MARGARET, b. Feb. 3, 1697.

6007. xi. JONATHAN, b. 1699.

6008. xii. BARTHOLOMEW, b. Feb. 23, 1701-2. 6oo8X-xiii. WlLLIAMf. b. Aug. 18, 1703. 6oo%,/}. xiv. MARGERY, b. Feb. 4. 1705. 6008 >£. xv. LYDIA. b. Aug. 24, 1709. 6oo8^. xvi. HANNAH, b. April 7, 1712. 6008^. xvii. TIMOTHY, b. Aug. 18, 1714.

From Kingware, RI.

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John Foster, Sr., of Salem's Timeline

Edlesborough, Buckinghamshire, England
Age 16
Kingswear, Devon, England
Age 20
Kingswear, Devonshire, England
March 24, 1650
Age 24
Town of Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
Age 25
Kingswear, Devon, England
March 7, 1652
Age 26
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
June 3, 1655
Age 29
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
July 3, 1658
Age 32
December 20, 1660
Age 34
Salem, Essex, MA