Elizabeth Foster ?-1806?
Apparently there are four possible origins for this fairly common surname.
- From the old French - fustier, which refers to someone who made saddle trees, fustier deriving from fustre which mean a block of wood.
- May be a maker or user of forcetier - shears used widely in agruculture or the textile industry.
- Derived from Forester - the meaning of which is fairly obvious
- Old English cild-fostre - an occupational nickname for a foster parent or child
All of these, interestingly enough are occupational names. The only definite holder of the name in our family tree, seems to have sometimes had her name spelt (or interpreted) as Forster.
Forster, Forester, Forrester
In 1891 the name was very definitely centred in the northern counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire with the bordering counties of Durham, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire next most populous, and then spread out around the country.
Another place marking surname, as we do not definitely know about Elizabeth Foster’s origins. Increasingly though, it looks as if the home base was Derbyshire and the village of Swarkestone. I am tantalisingly close to determining Elizabeth’s parentage but cannot definitely confirm as yet.
So a country family who made the journey to the big smoke of London - no doubt with lots of hope, and if I am right about her parentage, with siblings who made their mark. But in Elizabeth’s case a life that was tragically shortlived.