How to Research your
New York Foster Family

By Townsend (Tim) Foster, e-mail
DNA Group 7
Participant # 193
Tucson, Arizona


            Christopher Foster (chart 18) was born 17 Aug 1603 in Ewell, Surry, England.  He was styled as a farmer and embarked for America from London 17 Jun 1635 in the Abagail with wife Frances, age 25, and children, Rebecca 5, Nathaniel 2, and John 1.  He was 32 years of age.

            He was bonded and became a freeman at Boston 17 Apr 1637.  In the same year he was a resident of Lynn, where in 1638 sixty acres of land was allotted to him.   In 1651 he moved to Southampton, Long Island where it is believed he farmed with his brother.  He is the first of the Long Island Fosters 

            According to the book “Foster Genealogy” by John Fisher, the following are the descendants of Christopher who are the direct line to Albert Orson Foster.

            Joseph Foster born 1638, followed by Joseph Foster born 1665, followed by Josiah Foster born 1698 all continued to live in the family homestead in Southampton, Long Island.

            Jonah Foster born 7 Feb 1721 in Long Island by his marriage date of 15 Oct 1745 had moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut.  During the Revolutionary war he was in Captain Hart’s Company in 1776.  In July 1779 he was in Colonel Beardsley’s Regiment to repel Tryson’s invasion.  From that time on he was one of the recruiting officers for the State of Connecticut. 

            6 Jun 1743, Timothy Cooler of Ridgefield, Connecticut, for 300 lbs old tenor sold to Jonah and Timothy Foster, his son, land in New Patent, 77 acres.  21 Apr 1746 they purchased seven acres more in the New Patent of D. Olmstead and others.  This land and other purchased they subsequently divided.

            From the Colonial records of Connecticut is gleaned the following important item: “May 1761: Upon the memorial of Timothy Benedict, Samuel Gates, Jonah Foster and others, living in that part of the Town of Ridgefield, commonly called the New Patent, shewing to this Assembly that the memorialists live in the North part of said town, and very remote from the place of public worship to which they belong; therefore pr;aying to be made a distinct ecclesiastical Society, with the following limits &c: To begin at the S. W. corner at a place called the Two mile monument upon the Colony line, a little South of the horse pond; from thence a straight line to the mill bridge, near Isaac Keler’s dwelling house; and from thence a straight line to a chestnut-oak tree the outlet of Bennet’s pond, on of the perambulation between Danbury and Ridgefield; from thence a straight as the perambulation line runneth to a heap of stone upon a ledge of rocks near or upon Jacob Wilaman’s lot; South from his dwelling house, and thence a straight line to a large heap of stone in the perambulation line West of Samuel Benedick’s house; thence in the perambulation line North to the N. W. Corner of Danbury township; thence W. as New Fairfield line runs to the Colony line to first station.” It was granted October 1761.

            Timothy Foster born 1749 was the son of Jonah Foster.  His son was Nathaniel Foster born 1778 in Richfield, Connecticut.  He died 1813  in Litchfield, Connecticut, so he must have moved there during his lifetime.  Orson Foster born 1809 lived in several places during his life and died in Utica, New York.  Oscar Smith Foster was born 1842 in Chenango, New York, married in Macedon, New York and died in Macedon, New York.  He resided at 86 Lancing St. in Utica.  Oscar along with his brother, William S. Foster founded Foster Bros. Mfg.  Co. in Utica, New York.  The company until it was sold in the 1950’s made beds, springs, mattresses and studio couches.  It was noted in the industry for metal bedding.

             Albert Orson Foster, born 1875 in South Bay, New York, was known as Brownie because of his graduation from Brown University in 1897, Orrie by close friends, A.O. by many, and DuPa by his grandchildren.  He died Jan. 30, 1945 at the age of 69.  His cousin, W.B. Foster was president and A. O. was treasurer ran Foster Bros. Mfg. Co from 1900 until his death and W. B.’s retirement in 1945.  He was active in the community

and the furniture industry.  His activities included: 1919 & 1920 President of the Utica Chamber of Commerce; President of Utica Memorial Hospital Board for 30 years; Trustee and past treasurer of Hospital Plan Insurance; past trustee of the National Association of Furniture Manufacturers , and in 1933 named chairman of a committee to perfect a code in accordance with the National Industrial Recovery Act; and junior warden of Grace Episcopal Church.

             Townsend Foster born 1905 was known as Tee.  He graduated in engineering from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.  His first employment was in Detroit, Michigan.  He then moved to St Louis with his wife, Marjorie Ellis, and began working in the St Louis branch of Foster Bros Mfg Co.  In 1932 he returned to Utica and joined the family business.  He worked in various capacities with the Company until his father died and W.B. retired.  He then became Chief Operating Officer which continued until the company was sold in the early 1950’s.  During World War II he volunteered as a dollar a year man.  He spent the year in Washington D.C. and was in charge of  flying materials over the Hump in Burma.  He and Marjorie were divorced in 1956 and he subsequently married Elizabeth Smiley of St Louis.  In the latter part of the 1950’s they moved to St Louis where he founded and operated the Foster Driving School.  He was in poor health in the latter part of his life due to a childhood disease which weakened his heart.

             Townsend Foster Jr. also known as Tim, born 1931 attended Deerfield for one year and graduated from Proctor High School in Utica, New York.  He graduated from Colgate University, class of 1953, and then received his law degree from Cornell Law School.  After law school he entered the army and served in army intelligence spending 18 months in Japan.  Upon discharge, he moved to Troy, Ohio and practiced law there for 43 years.  His main areas of law were real estate, wills and probate estates, personal taxation and bankruptcy which included being appointed as a bankruptcy trustee.  His wife, Marilyn Friedly, died of cancer in 1962.  He later married Dorothy Finley, and upon retirement they moved to Tucson, Arizona.