Foster #2576

Reginald Foster (1595-1681)

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts about 1635 and

Judith Wignall (1597-1664)

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts about 1635.

Foster 2576

According to most sources, Reginald Foster, immigrant ancestor of our Foster line in America, was born about 1595.  He was probably in Harlow, Essex, England, although details of his early life, English origins and parentage are unclear[1].  Edward Jacob Forster’s genealogy[2] states: “By a tradition which exists in different branches of the family, Reginald Foster, the first of the name, is reputed to have come to this country from Exeter, Devonshire, England and to have crossed the water in one of the ships embargoed by King Charles the First: but of this, nothing certain is as yet known.  He came to America about 1635 with his wife, Judith, five sons and two daughters, and settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts, about 1638 and was one of the earliest inhabitants of that town.”

Theydon Garnon is a village and a civil parish in the Epping Forest District, in the county of Essex, England. The Anglican parish church is dedicated to All Saints. (photo credit: John Salmon; camera location 51° 40′ 26.74″ N, 0° 7′ 37.67″ E)

Theydon Garnon is a village and a civil parish in the Epping Forest District, in the county of Essex, England. The Anglican parish church is dedicated to All Saints. (photo credit: John Salmon; camera location 51° 40′ 26.74″ N, 0° 7′ 37.67″ E)

On 28 Sep 1619 at Theydon Garnon, Essex, England, Reginald Foster married (1st) Judith Wignall.  She is the daughter of Alexander Wignall, who was probably born and died in England.  Judith was probably born about 1597 in Essex, England and died 16 Oct 1664 at Ipswich, Massachusetts.  After the death of Judith, his first wife, on 20 Sep 1665 Reginald married (2nd) Sarah[3], the widow of John Martin of Ipswich.

Davis[4] notes that:

“Theydon Garnon is a parish in the western part of the county of Essex.  About eight miles to the north lies the parish of Harlow, where at the beginning of the seventeen century lived a Foster family which commonly used the Christian name ‘Renald’ [a variation of Reginald’s name that also appears in the records of New England[5]] to which it is highly probable that our Ipswich Reginald Foster belonged.  Two miles southeast of Harlow village there is a hamlet still called Foster Street.”

Harlow, is a village, a parish, a sub-district, and a hundred in Essex. The village stands adjacent to the Eastern Counties railway, near the river Stort and the boundary with Hertfordshire. It is 6 miles SSW of Bishop-Stortford. The parish contains also the hamlet of Potterstreet. St. Mary's church stands about 2 miles S of the parish church. (photo credit: Peter Stack)

Harlow, is a village, a parish, a sub-district, and a hundred in Essex. The village stands adjacent to the Eastern Counties railway, near the river Stort and the boundary with Hertfordshire. It is 6 miles SSW of Bishop-Stortford. The parish contains also the hamlet of Potterstreet. St. Mary’s church stands about 2 miles S of the parish church. (photo credit: Peter Stack)

The parents of Reginald Foster are not known with certainty, but there are clues in the English records, which Davis discusses (see previous citation).  There was a John Foster of Harlow, who made his will on 10 Dec 1601, and it was proved 7 Jan 1601/2.  After making provision for his wife Agnes, he left my mansion house where I now dwell and half the barn… half the stable… the south part of the orchard from the corner of the house to the Arber, 2 parcels of land called Pond Crofts, a parcel of land called Broad Crofts, meadow called Great Mead to his son Reynold, who was to make payment of £4 year to the testator’s wife Agnes, £20 to his son Bennett and £10 to his daughter Elizabeth.  To his son William he left the kitchen of the said house and the residue of the houses and lands thereto belonging, William to make payments to Agnes, Bennett and Elizabeth of sums one-half of those to be made by their brother Reynold.  His son John received a small legacy and was to be overseer of the will, sons Reynald and William to be executors.  Witnesses: Edward Kinge, George Harrison and John Foster, Jr.[6]  Obviously John was the oldest son who had already been provided for.

Reynald Foster of Harlow, whose will was made 18 Sep 1622 and proved 7 Jan 1622/3[7], mentions therein the Great Mead which proves him to be the son of John whose will is abstracted above.  He left to his wife Margaret and son William the messuage where I dwell in Harlow with the free and copy lands there for ten years, thereafter to wife Margaret and son Reynold for Margaret’s life.  If Margaret remarried, the ten years occupancy was to go to his son William with a remainder to Reynold forever, but subject to a payment of £40 to his son Peter.  Otherwise Peter was to have the Great Mead and the Little Mead.  To his daughter [torn – Elizabeth?], £20.  He left all movables to his wife Margaret, but, if she remarry, two-thirds of them to his youngest children, Elizabeth, William and Peter.  To Jane and Sara, daughters of his daughter Jane, 40s. To son-in-law John Clay, his best wearing apparel.  Executors: wife Margaret, son William. Witnesses: George Parker, George Harrison, Reynold Foster Jr.[8]  It would seem that Margaret Foster was Renald Foster’s second wife and mother of the youngest children, and probably she was that Margaret Humphrey who married “Renold Foster” in 1608 in Thaxted, County Essex, some fifteen miles north of Harlow.

At this point it may be well to issue a warning.  While it is highly probable that Renald Foster, after his wedding at Theydon Garnon, took his bride to Harlow and lived there until he emigrated with his wife and children, and that he was the son of the Renald Foster and grandson of the John Foster whose wills are quoted above, it is not proven, and the parish register of Harlow for the seventeenth century, which would have provided the positive or negative answer to the problem, is missing.  Also, there were other Renald Fosters in this Essex neighborhood.  A Dennis [Denise] Foster of Moreton, County Essex, widow, in her will of 1601 left her property to her sons Robert, Thomas and Reynold, her daughters Denise and Margaret and various grandchildren.  It is perhaps more likely that this Renald Foster was the man who married Mary Kinge in Moreton in 1575 than Renald Foster of Harlow.  Also in the parish of White Roding, six miles east of Harlow, a Renold Foster married Mary Horwood in 1630, and a Renold Foster, perhaps the same man, married Mary Waterman in 1640.  They are too late to interest us except as they show that the name “Renald” (and its variants) was not uncommon among the Fosters of Essex.

Ipswich / Topsfield town line sign (photo credit: jimboyle93/flickr, May 2011)

Reginald Foster, the immigrant, is first mentioned in the records of Ipswich in 1635.  On 26 Sep 1638, he bought a house and a large lot on the north side of Ipswich river, described as lying near the great Cove beneath the Falls of the Town River.  The house had been built by Richard Brown who had moved to Newbury and sold to Richard Saltonstall.  It must have changed hands rapidly as Saltonstall sold it to Richard Lumpkin and Lumpkin to John Tuttell from whom Reginald bought it.  Also on the north side of the river was a house and lot which Reginald Foster bought on 11 Mar 1657/8 from Roger Preston, who had been granted it by John Gage, the original owner[9].  This house was the one later occupied by Reginald Foster‘s son Jacob.  Reginald Foster also had various town grants.

The “Preston-Foster House” (6 Water Street) is described on the website of the Historical Ipswich (Massachusetts) Historical Commission as having a typical original first-period floor plan in the original front structure. In the right half are two massive quarter-round chamfered summer beams typical of the late seventeenth century, which would date the house to 1690. The very sharp-pitched roof and purlins add additional evidence of the early date. In the first-floor right side room is fine rich-hued and unpainted horizontal feather-edged paneling, whereas later Federal style features are seen in the central hall and upstairs fireplace. The house currently standing on the site, therefore, was possibly constructed after (and replaced) the home where Reginald Foster dwelt during his lifetime. The Ipswich Historical Commission would welcome more information about the date, for according to the Essex Registry of Deeds, in 1658 Roger Preston sold his holdings in Ipswich as recorded below:

Be it known to all men whom it may concern that I Roger Preston of Ipswich in New England in the county of Essex planter, and Martha may wife for divers considerations me thereunto moving but especially in consideration of the full and just sum of one and fifty pounds of current country pay to be paid to me or my assigns at two several payments, viz: thirty pounds at Christide next following the date of these presents and the remainder by that time twelve months in current English corn sweet dry and merchantable by Reginald Foster of Ipswich aforsaid. husbandman all that my dwelling house and house lot with the barns, cow-houses and other buildings thereunto belonging and also my other house lot, both which house lots contain two acres, more or less with the gardens orchards and fences and other privileges thereunto belonging which I purchased of Robert Wallis of Ipswich aforesaid as they be situated and inclosed on the north side of the river of Ipswich having the highway next the river toward the South and Thomas Knowlton’s land and Robert Pierce’s toward the North. The lane next Thomas Clark’s East and another lane West and also one other planting lot of three acres be it more or less on the North side of the town hill abutting on ye land of Rose Whipple, widow, toward the West, Andrew Hodges land East, upon ye marsh of John Morse toward the North, and land of Thomas Treadwell toward the South and in the town of Ipswich aforesaid, to have and to hold and to quietly possess and enjoy the aforesaid with the commonage and all other privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging, unto the said Reginald Foster his heirs and assigns forever and the said Roger and Martha his wife do covenant and promise to warrant this sale of the premises and every part thereof to be free from time to time and at all times henceforth use, occupy possess and enjoy the same and every part thereof to the proper use and behoof of the said Reginald Foster his heirs and assigns forever from all molestation or interruption of the said Roger and Martha, my wife, our heirs executors and assigns or any other person having any just claim thereto in by from or under us or any or either of us our heirs executors or assigns in witness whereof I the said Roger and Martha my wife have hereunto set our hand and seal dated the 11 day of March A.D. 1657/8. Subscribed sealed etc.

The "Preston-Foster House", 6 Water Street, Ipswich, Massachusetts

The “Preston-Foster House”, 6 Water Street, Ipswich, Massachusetts

Reginald is seldom mentioned in the records of Ipswich, Massachusetts.  Edward Jacob Forster (cited above) notes:

“The danger from Indians in those early times was such that in the year 1645 a law was passed requiring the youth from ten to sixteen years to be exercised with small guns, half pikes, bows and arrows, and also that every town is to have a guard set a half hour after sunset, to consist of a pikeman and musketeer, and to prepare for any sudden attack from the Indians.  My ancestor, on 19 Dec 1745, subscribed with others his proportion of 3s towards the sum of £24 7s to pay their leader Major Dennison, who then commanded the military forces of Essex and Norfolk Counties.”

Reginald Foster was released from military training in 1667 but was to pay a bushel of Indian corn annually for the company’s support.  In 1674 he was relieved of this payment.

The Ipswich records also record that Reginald was a member of trial juries in 1651, 1655 and 1658, of grand juries in 1659, 1665 and 1668, and Constable of Ipswich in 1661.

Reginald Foster died between 30 Apr 1680 (the date of his will) and 9 Jun 1681 (the date his will was proved) in Ipswich, Massachusetts.  In his will, he mentions his (2nd) wife, Sarah; sons Abraham, Reynold, Isaac Foster, William and Jacob; daughters Sarah (wife of William Story), Mary (wife of Francis Peabody) and grandchild Hannah Story.   The inventory of the estate was taken 30 May 1681, by John Whipple and Simon Stace.  It was in the large sum of £744 16s.  He had a corselet, two pikes and a rapier, sparse furniture but much bed and table linen. The bulk of his estate consisted of his homestead, the house occupied by his son Jacob and the many acres of meadow, pasture and marsh[10].

In his will, Reginald made the following bequests:

  • To his wife Sarah, he left the use of the house he then dwelt in, the orchards and gardens, £5 yearly, two cows which she should choose out of his stock and the keeping of them, along with three sheep to be kept winter and summer, two pigs and various household items.
  • To his son Abraham, after his wife’s decease, he left the dwelling house, orchard and ground about it (three acres more or less), half the barn and half of the land in the field lying between the land of John Denison and Philip Fowlers, ten acres on this syde the River caled mudy River by Major Denison’s and John Edwards’ land and six acres of salt marsh, four acres of marsh at Plum Island and six acres at Hog Island.
  • To his son “Renold” he left all the land which he possesses of myne at the Falls that he bath built a house upon (fifty acres more or less), and he to pay out of it to Sarah my daughter Story the sum that he gives her except what the sheets and pillowbeers amounts to.
  • To his son Isaac Foster, he left eight acres of fresh meadow at the west meadows and four acres of salt marsh at Hog Island, Jacob to have the use of the salt till the decease of my wife.
  • To his son William, he left six acres of land he had of Thomas Smith and six acres of marsh at Hog Island, [the use of] the marsh to Jacob until his wife’s decease.
  • To his son Jacob, he left the house he [Jacob] lives in and the ground about it, two lots beyond Muddy River (ten acres more or less), and the remainder of salt marsh at Hog Island.  He also left to Jacob my land at home and barne dureing my wives naturall life, the pasture on the south side of the river by Simeon Thompson’s, the pasture by Caleb Kimball’s, a featherbed, he to pay what he [the testator] had given his wife and to keep in repair what he had given her in his will.  He also left to Jacob the instruments of husbandry.
  • To his daughter Sarah, William Story’s wife, £10 and miscellaneous items.
  • To his daughter Mary, the wife of Francis Peabody, he left £10 and miscellaneous items.
  • To his grandchild Hannah Story he left £6, including a bed, bolster, pillow and a pair of sheets and blankets which are of my now wives making, the rest to be paid by my executors, if she carry it well to my wife while she lives with her as she hath done to us hitherto.

Reginald Foster named sons Abraham and Jacob as Executors. Overseers were friends Simon Stace and Nehemiah Jewett, and if any difference arise amongst my wife and children, or amongst them, about any perticuler in my will . . . my two overseers shall end it, and if they two differ, then as a third may, who they shall choose, joining with either of them.  Witnesses were John Starkweather, Nehemiah Jewett.  The testator and the same witnesses signed a “Memorandum” dated 5 Mar 1680/1, by which his wife’s life estate was soe except she marry againe what she earned by her labor should be for her sole benefit, the repairs to the house should be out of her own estate during her abode in it, and she should have liberty to cut what wood she needed from the land at Muddy river.

Some have suggested that the Mr. William Foster who was in Ipswich in 1635 was a brother of Reginald Foster. If Reginald is the son of Renald Foster, the Harlow testator of 1622, he would have had a brother William, but, as Foster is not an uncommon name, and the Ipswich William was given “the prefix of respect”, while Reginald was not, the identification is dubious.  Mr. William, who disappears from Ipswich, was possibly the William Foster who was disarmed as a follower of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson[11] in 1637 and ordered to leave the jurisdiction of the Bay in 1638.  We conceive him not fit to live with us, the theocracy pronounced.  He was probably the Mr. William Foster who was living in the more tolerant atmosphere of Newport, Rhode Island in 1639.

The children of Reginald Foster and Judith Wignall (all born in England) are listed as follows:

  1. Mary, born about 1618 and married (1st) Daniel Wood and (2nd) Lt. Francis Peabody[12] (1614-1698).  She died 9 Apr 1705 at Topsfield, Massachusetts.
  2. Sarah, born about 1620[13] and married William Story of Norwich, England about 1640.  She died about 1681, and he died about 1703.
  3. Abraham, born about 1622[14].  In 1655 he married Lydia Burbank, the daughter of Caleb and Martha Burbank of Rowley, Massachusetts.  He died at Ipswich, Massachusetts on 15 Jan 1710/11 in about his 90th year.  He had distributed his estate by deed on 21 Dec 1698[15].
  4. Reginald, born about 1628[16] and married Elizabeth Dane.  He died about 1707.
  5. Isaac Foster, see below
  6. William, born 1633.  He became an early settler and prominent citizen of Rowley, Massachusetts (afterwards incorporated as the Town of Boxford).  On 15 May 1661 he married Mary (Jackson?, the daughter of William and Joanna Jackson of Rowley).  He died 17 May 1713 at Boxford, Massachusetts.
  7. Jacob, born about 1635 and died in Ipswich on 9 Jul 1710, in his 75th year.  On 12 Jan 1658, he married (1st) Martha Kinsman, who died 15 Oct 1666.  On 26 Feb 166/7 he married (2nd) Abigail Lord, who died 4 Jun 1729.

The children of Reginald Foster have interesting connections to the famous “Salem Witch Trials” of 1692.  Reginald’s daughter-in-law Elizabeth Dane (wife of Reginald’s son, Reginald) is a niece of Rev. Francis Dane (1615-1697), a minister at Andover, Massachusetts.  In 1658 when the subject of witchcraft first came to his attention, he came down decidedly against the concept.  When John Godfrey was charged with injuring the wife of Job Tyler by Satanic acts, Francis Dane judged against the probability.   Francis Dane was seventy-six years old when the Salem Witch Trials began.  In 1692, he boldly denounced the witchcraft delusion at Salem, and subsequently, many members of his family were arrested on suspicion of being witches.

On 18 Oct 1692, Francis Dane wrote a petition to the governor and to the General Court, which was signed by twenty-four others, and it was the first public condemnation of the witch trials.  By being so outspoken, Dane put himself in danger.  Even his pulpit offered no protection: another minister, George Burroughs, had already been hanged.  Half a dozen of his relatives were ultimately accused as witches and arrested, including two daughters (Elizabeth Johnson and Abigail Faulkner) and his daughter-in-law (Deliverance Dane) were all arrested.  Abigail was convicted and condemned in September 1692, but given a temporary stay of execution because she was pregnant.  Although his extended family had the most accused of any other family, in the end, none of his family members were executed.

Also in 1692, during the trial of John and Elizabeth Procter, accused of witchcraft, Reginald’s son Isaac Foster signed an undated petition on their behalf, drawn up by the Rev. John Wise and signed by about twenty-nine others, including William Story (husband of Reginald’s daughter, Sarah), John Cogswell[17] (1650-1724) and four other members[18] of the Cogswell family.  The petition reads in part as follows:

…We must not Trouble y’r Honr’s by Being Tedious, Therefore we being Smitten with the Notice of what hath happened, we Recoon it w’thin the Duties of o’r Charitie, That Teacheth us to do, as we would be done by; to offer thus much for the Clearing of o’r Neighb’rs Inocencie; viz: That we never had the Least Knowledge of such a Nefarious wickedness in o’r said Neighbours, since they have been w’thin our acquaintance; Neither doe we remember — any such Thoughts in us Concerning them; or any Action by them or either of them Directly tending that way; no more than might be in the lives of any other p’rsons of the Clearest Reputation as to Any such Evills. What God may have Left them to, we Cannot Go into Gods pavillions Cloathed w’th Cloudes of Darknesse Round About.

But as to what we have ever seen, or heard of them — upon o’r Consciences we Judge them Innocent of the crime objected.

His Breading hath been Amongst us; and was of Religious Parents in o’r place; & by Reason of Relations, & Proprties w’thin o’r Towne hath had Constant Intercourse w’th us

We speak upon o’r p’rsonall acquaintance, & observations: & so Leave our Neighbours, & this our Testimonie on their Behalfe to the wise Thoughts of y’r Honours, & Subscribe &c…[19]

Petition of John Wise re: Elizabeth Proctor, 1692 (Essex County Archives, Salem – Witchcraft, Volume I, Page 17, copyright 2002 by Benjamin Ray and The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia):

John and Elizabeth Proctor were found guilty of witchcraft and were sentenced to death on 5 Aug 1692.  Elizabeth, who was pregnant at the time, was granted a stay of execution until after the birth of the baby.  John tried to postpone his execution, but failed.  On 19 Aug 1692, John was executed by hanging.  Elizabeth remained in jail, giving birth to a son on 27 Jan 1693.  She was released in May 1693, and before she was released, her family was required to pay her prison fees.  At this time, families were required to pay for their family members room and board while in jail, as well as the cost of their executions.

(I have not, however, found any connection between this Foster family and Ann Foster [1617-1692], an Andover widow accused and convicted of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials.  Her mother, Ann Hooker, was a sister of Rev. Thomas Hooker, and her father was Deacon George Alcock.  She married Andrew Foster and settled in Andover, Massachusetts.  In 1692, when a woman named Elizabeth Ballard came down with a fever that baffled doctors, witchcraft was suspected, and a search for the responsible witch began.  Two afflicted girls from Salem village, Ann Putnam and Mary Walcott, were taken to Andover to seek out the witch, and fell into fits at the sight of Ann Foster.  Ann, 72, a widow of seven years, was arrested and taken to Salem prison.  A careful reading of the trial transcripts reveals that Ann resisted confessing to the crimes she was accused of, despite being put to the question multiple times over a period of days.  However, her resolve broke when her daughter, Mary Lacey, similarly accused of witchcraft, accused her own mother of the crime in order to save herself and her child.  The transcripts reveal the anguish of a mother attempting to shield her child and grandchild by taking the burden of guilt upon herself.  Convicted, Ann died in the Salem jail after 21 weeks on 3 Dec 1692, before the trials were discredited and ended.  Ann’s son, Abraham, later petitioned the authorities to clear her name and reimburse the family for the expenses associated with her incarceration and burial.)

The son of Reginald Foster and Judith Wignall is Isaac Foster, born about 1630[20] and died 6 Feb 1691/2 at Ipswich, Massachusetts.  He was married (1st) on 5 May 1658 to Mary Jackson, daughter of John Jackson and his wife KatheryneMary was born 8 Dec 1639 and died 27 Nov 1677 at Ipswich.  Isaac was married (2nd) on 25 Nov 1678 to Hannah Downing, who died 27 Nov 1678 and (3rd) on 16 Mar 1679 to Martha Hale, who survived him.  His undated will was proved on 29 Mar 1692.  To his wife Martha he left the bedding and other things she brought with her and £12 in corn (one-half in English corn and one-half in Indian corn), to be paid when she leaves his house or within four years.  If she were to die before payment, his sons Jacob and Daniel were to make payment to her children.  She was to have the use of the lower room at the east end of his house, a cow, firewood and £5 a year.  To his three sons Jacob, Daniel and Eleazer (under age), he left all of his lands.  To each of his seven daughters, he left £20 at the age of eighteen.  His three little children were to be brought up by his executors, sons Jacob and Daniel.  When he signed his will, he stated that the house where Jacob lived was his own, but that the house where he [the testator] lived was the one given to Daniel[21].

The son of Isaac Foster and Mary Jackson is Jacob Foster, born 9 Feb 1662 in Ipswich, Massachusetts and died about 1745 in Topsfield, Massachusetts.  On 12 Sep 1688, he was married (1st) to Sarah Wood (1665-1697), and on 20 May 1700 he was married (2nd) to Mary Edwards, who was born about 1667 in Ipswich and died about 1742 at Lebanon, Connecticut.

The son of Jacob Foster and Mary Edwards is David Foster, born about 1711 in Topsfield, Massachusetts and died about 1793 at Sharon, Connecticut.  On 23 Mar 1731 at Lebanon, Connecticut, he married Althea Cogswell, who was born about 1715 at Lebanon, Connecticut and died sometime after 1748, when her youngest known child was born.

Sharon CT map

The daughter of David Foster and Althea Cogswell is Lucy Foster, born 14 Sep 1740 at Lebanon, Connecticut and died 5 Jan 1785 at Sharon, Connecticut.  About 1764 at Sharon, Connecticut, she married Nathaniel Hamlin, born 7 Jun 1738 in Agawam, Massachusetts and died at Sharon, Connecticut on 27 Dec 1818.  In 1786, Nathaniel married (2nd) Deborah St. John (1763-1817) and had several more children with her.

The lineage of Lucy Foster and Nathaniel Hamlin is continued under the heading of James Hamlin (Hamblen) (1606-1690).


[1] Of course, we cannot trace his ancestry without knowing the identity of his parents with certainty.  In 1899, Frederick Clifton Pierce wrote Foster Geneology, being the record of the posterity of Reginald Foster, an early inhabitant of Ipswich, in New England, whose genealogy is traced back to Anacher, Great Forrester of Flanders, who died in 837 A.D., with wills, inventories, biographical sketches, etc., also the record of all other American Fosters (Chicago, Illinois: W.B. Conkey Company).  According to Pierce, Reginald Foster is from the Foster family of Bamborough (Bamburgh) and Etherstone Castle, Northumberland, England.  His supposed first English ancestor, Sir Richard Forester of Flanders, was knighted at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  Obviously, there is serious doubt as to whether Pierce’s information about these early Fosters is accurate.  It is quite likely that Reginald came from common stock, as aristocratic families wouldn’t have much reason to leave everything behind as our real yeoman ancestors did.  Regarding Pierce’s work, Walter Goodwin Davis concludes sarcastically as follows in Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis, Vol. I – Allanson-French (Genealogical Publishing Company, originally published 1916-1963; reprinted 1996): “In dealing with the English origin of emigrants to America many genealogists have discarded all inhibitions and respect for evidence and have produced fantastic pedigrees. It must be said that the English practitioners of Victorian days were not behind our own in perpetuating this form of family fiction, some of which still remains to be corrected. The chapter of the English Fosters in the American Foster Genealogy is nothing short of ridiculous, so much so, in fact, that few, if any, others of its kind surpass it in this quality. Except for very few statements it can be discarded as of no value except as a horrible example.”

[2] Edward Jacob Forster. A Genealogy of the Fo(r)ster Family: Descendants of Reginald Foster who settled in Ipswich, Essex County, Mass. A.D. 1638 (Boston, Massachusetts: David Clapp & Son) 1876, p. 3.

[3] Sarah married (3rd) William White of Haverhill on 21 Sep 1682 and died 22 Feb 1682/3. Her surname may have been Larefet (or Larriford) as John Martin’s will named as executors his widow and brother “Larefet”.

[4] Walter Goodwin Davis. Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis, Vol. I – Allanson-French (Genealogical Publishing Co., originally published 1916-1963; reprinted 1996)

[5] When he signed his will, my Ipswich ancestor wrote his name as Renold.  Of course, consistency of spelling, even of proper names, was not considered important in seventeenth century England or colonial America. In the eight volumes of Records and Files of the County Courts of Essex County Foster is mentioned forty-eight times. In nineteen instances his name is Renold, in four Reienalld, three Reienald, in two each Reinold, Reynold and Reinald, and in one each Reienold, Reonall, Reanalld, Rainold and Renall. In two instances each he is Regnald and Reg. and in one Regnell, but, needless to say, gn is commonly sounded as n. This leaves three cases of Reginall, two of Reginald and one of Reginold, and very possibly a re-examination of the manuscript record would eliminate the i in each of these readings.

[6] Archdeaconry of Middlesex (Essex and Herts), Register Grove, fo. 187.

[7] Davis reports the date as “January 7, 1722/3”, but surely this is a typo.

[8] Archdeaconry of Middlesex (Essex and Herts), Register Bushew, fo. 8.

[9] Ipswich Deeds, I: 211. This house still stands and is the property of The Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities.

[10] Probate Records of Essex County, III: 419-422

[11] My 10th g-grandmother, discussed under her own heading.

[12] Francis is the son of John Pabodie (1590-1667) and Isabel Harper (1594-1664), my 10th g-grandparents, discussed under their own heading.  He was from St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England and came to New England in the Planter in 1635, being then twenty-one years of age. He was one of the original settlers of Hampton, New Hampshire.

[13] She deposed that she was about 48 years of age in 1668.

[14] He deposed that he was about 76 years of age in 1698.

[15] Probate Records of Essex County, III: 419-422

[16] He was aged about 40 in 1676 but probably nearer 50, according to Davis.

[17] My 8th g-grand uncle, the son of my 9th g-grandfather John Cogswell (1622-1653), discussed under the heading of John Cogswell (1592-1669).

[18] William Cogswell, William Cogswell Sen, Jonathan Cogswell, John Cogswell Ju

[19] Essex County Archives, Salem – Witchcraft, Vol. 1, Page 17

[20] He was about 62 years of age in 1692.

[21] Essex Probate, 304: 420

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