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Foster family page


Joseph William Foster

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Origins of surname

There are four suggested origins for this family name. The first is an occupational name for a saddle tree maker, a very important occupation in the Middle Ages. The derivation is from the Old French fustier, derived from fustre, meaning a block of wood.

The name may also be linked to an entirely different occupation, that of 'forcetier', a maker of steel shears used in both agriculture and textile production.

It is also suggested that Foster could be a variant of Forester, or linked to child fostering.

Early records

There have been several immigrant Fosters who established families in Jersey, and we suspect that the 12 households shown in the 2017 telephone directory are descended from a number of different lineages. The first Foster on record in Jersey was Francis, who was buried in Grouville in 1737, but we have no other information about him, or his family.

Thomas Foster married Marie Bree in St Helier in 1746, but they do not appear to have had any children in the island. Nor did Jean Foster, from Dorset, and Marie Chaffye from Plymouth, who married in St Martin in 1774.

There are only six Foster baptisms on record, involving five different couples between 1809 and 1895.


  • Foster

Family records


Church records


Family trees


Great War service

Sons of Thomas and Elizabeth Foster, of First Tower. Thomas was an Army Scripture Reader


Occupation records


Family histories


Family wills

These wills created by members of the Foster family are now held by Jersey Archive. By visiting the archive site and using the names, dates and reference numbers shown here, it is possible to view a copy of each will. You will have to subscribe to the Archive's online service to do this. To find out more about this collection, which covers the period from 1663 to 1980, and how to search for your family's wills there, visit our Jersey wills page

  • Robert Foster, 2 Bellegrève Villas, Dicq Road, St Saviours - 5 January 1940, D/Y/A/106
  • James Foster, 39 Parade - 8 April 1904, D/Y/A/63
  • Frank Foster, Gorselands, Rozel, St Martin - 14 June 1946, D/Y/A/116

Family album

Family gravestones

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