How to Research your
Foster Family


The Connecticut region was inhabited by the Mohegan tribe prior to European colonization. The first European explorer in Connecticut was the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block. After he explored this region in 1614, Dutch fur traders sailed up the Connecticut River (then known by the Dutch as Versche Rivier - " Fresh River") and built a fort at Dutch Point near present-day Hartford, which they called "House of Hope" (Dutch: Huis van Hoop).

John Winthrop, then of Massachusetts, received permission to create a new colony at Old Saybrook at the mouth of the Connecticut River in 1635. This was the first of three distinct colonies that later would be combined to make up Connecticut. Saybrook Colony was a direct challenge to Dutch claims. The colony was not more than a small outpost and never matured. In 1644, the Saybrook Colony merged itself into the Connecticut Colony.

The first English settlers came in 1633 and settled at Windsor and then Wethersfield in 1634. However, the main body of settlers came in one large group in 1636. The settlers were Puritans from Massachusetts, led by Thomas Hooker. Hooker had been prominent in England, and was a professor of theology at Cambridge. He was also an important political writer, and made a significant contribution to Constitutional theory. He broke with the political leadership in Massachusetts, and, just as Roger Williams created a new polity in Rhode Island, Hooker and his cohort did the same and established the Connecticut Colony at Hartford in 1636. This was the second of the three colonies.

In the 1637-38 bloody Pequot War the European settlers and allies officially destroyed the Pequot Indians.

The third colony was founded in March of 1638. New Haven Colony, (originally known as the Quinnipiack Colony), was established by John Davenport, Theophilus Eaton and others at New Haven. The New Haven Colony had its own Constitution, 'The Fundamental Agreement of the New Haven Colony' which was signed on 4 June 1639.

Because the Dutch were outnumbered by the flood of English settlers from Massachusetts, they left their fort in 1654.

Neither the establishment of the Connecticut Colony or the Quinnipiack Colony were done with the sanction of British imperial authorities, and were independent political entities. They naturally were presumptively English, but in a legal sense, they were only secessionist outposts of Massachusetts Bay. In 1662, Winthrop took advantage of this void in political affairs, and obtained in England the charter by which the colonies of Connecticut and Quinnipiack were united. Although Winthrop's charter favored the Connecticut colony, New Haven remained a seat of government with Hartford, until after the American Revolution.

Winthrop was very politically astute, and secured the charter from the newly restored Charles II; who granted the most liberal political terms.

Historically important colonial settlements included:

Windsor (1633),
Wethersfield (1634),
Saybrook (1635),
Hartford (1636),
New Haven (1638),
Fairfield (1639),
Stratford (1639),
Stamford (1640),
New London (1646),
Middletown (1647)

Its first constitution, the "Fundamental Orders", was adopted on January 14, 1639, while its current constitution, the third for Connecticut, was adopted in 1965. Connecticut is the fifth of the original thirteen states. The original constitutions influenced the US Constitution as one of the leading authors was Roger Sherman of New Haven.

The western boundaries of Connecticut have been subject to change over time. According to The Hartford Treaty with the Dutch, signed on 1650-09-19, but never ratified by the British, the western boundary of Connecticut ran north from Greenwich Bay for a distance of 20 Miles[15][16] "provided the said line come not within 10 miles (16 km) [16 km] of Hudson River. This agreement was observed by both sides until war erupted between England and The Netherlands in 1652. No other limits were specified. Conflict over uncertain colonial limits continued until the Duke of York captured New Netherland in 1664.  "... On the other hand, Connecticut's original Charter in 1662 granted it all the land to the "South Sea", i.e. the Pacific Ocean.  Most colonial royal grants were for long east-west strips. Connecticut took its grant seriously, and established a ninth county between the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers, named Westmoreland County. This resulted in the brief Pennamite Wars with Pennsylvania.

Connecticut's lands also extended across northern Ohio, called the Western Reserve lands. The Western Reserve section was settled largely by people from Connecticut, and they brought Connecticut place names to Ohio. Agreements with Pennsylvania and New York extinguished the land claims by Connecticut within its neighbors, and the Western Reserve lands were relinquished to the federal government, which brought the state to its present boundaries.

Join our Foster DNA Group to see if you are a genetic cousin sharing a common ancestor.

Brad Foster

Research coordinator
Brad Foster

Foster DNA Group 7
Participant # 223
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Descendants of
David Foster & Elizabeth Markham of Connecticut about 1700

Brad is a resident of Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He created a very successful business, Foster Electric Corporation, is a full service electrical contractor, serving the Commercial, Industrial, and Residential sectors, with Design/Build capabilities.

Brad's genealogy appears to follow the northern route of the United States and is currently being researched in Connecticut beginning with David Foster and Elizabeth Markham in about the early 1700's.  Click here for a look at a registry report of descendants from David and Elizabeth Foster of Connecticut.  See Fenner Foster Revolutionary War citation and Erastus Foster's grave marker (note wrong death date).

You can also see his genealogy as presently researched and posted on these websites:
RootsWeb and Familytreemaker.  A special thanks to researcher Debbie Kirkman for her excellent research and assistance in helping with this northern Foster branch of our family.  She is the researcher of Brad's registry report and continues to send him additional information when time permits.  Bless her for her efforts!

We need some suggestions on where to research on line for Foster names for including on this website.

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %
1790 237,946  
1800 251,002 5.5%
1810 261,942 4.4%
1820 275,248 5.1%
1830 297,675 8.1%
1840 309,978 4.1%
1850 370,792 19.6%
1860 460,147 24.1%
1870 537,454 16.8%
1880 622,700 15.9%
1890 746,258 19.8%
1900 908,420 21.7%
1910 1,114,756 22.7%
1920 1,380,631 23.9%
1930 1,606,903 16.4%
1940 1,709,242 6.4%
1950 2,007,280 17.4%
1960 2,535,234 26.3%
1970 3,031,709 19.6%
1980 3,107,576 2.5%
1990 3,287,116 5.8%
2000 3,405,565 3.6%
Est. 2006 3,504,809 2.9%

Click on these research tabs, use this map as a general guide, document what you find,
then share it with your family members.

Early Tax Lists  Census  Marriage  Wills / Land  Resources

Connecticut Road Map Connecticut Topo Map  
Click on Maps to ENLARGE
Return to Home Page