Last name: Foster

This very interesting English medieval surname, the family name of the Lords Oriel of Ireland, has at least four possible origins. The first is an occupational name for a saddle tree maker, a very important occupation seven hundred or more years ago. Here the derivation is from the Old French "fustier", itself originating from the word "fustre", meaning a block of wood. This term was introduced into Britain after the 1066 Norman French invasion. Secondly, and again occupational, the name may describe a maker or user of "forcetier", these being steel shears widely used in both agriculture and textile production. A third possibility is that Foster is a contracted or dialectal spelling of Forester, a term which described a civil officer in charge of a forest. John Forester, who was recorded in the 1183 Pipe Rolls of the county of Surrey, was the first recorded bearer of this name. The last possible origin is very unusual. Here the derivation is from a shortened spelling of the Olde English pre 7th Century compound "cild-fostre", and as such an occupational nickname for a foster parent or possibly a foster child. John Foster, who was recorded in the 1373 Court Roll of the borough of Colchester, Essex, was of this source. The surname was one of the very first into the New England colonies of America. John Foster, age unknown, being recorded as being "alive in Virginea, on February 18th 1623". The first recorded spelling of the family name is probably that of Durand le Fuster, which was dated circa 1179, in the "Register of St. Bartholomew's Hospital", London, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189.

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Kyle Foster

I live in Northern Ireland and I have always been told the name is not associated with the fostering of children but that is possibly an old English/scots name of another meaning or possibly of a norse influence from the Viking/Scandinavian settlers in Scotland in the 9th 10th and 11th centuries, my own family history can be traced back to the plantation of the north of Ireland by the Scottish and English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. later many peoples of the same origin (Ulster Scots) went further to seek new lands in the Americas particularly around the appalation areas of the United States and also many of the southern states, hence the popularity of the name and other Ulster Scot names in the United States.

Stephen Foster

Does anyone else use Foss as a nickname?

Kay Foster

Yes, my brother is a cricketer from Jamaica, Maurice Foster, and everyone calls him Fos.

Kylee Foster

From Havana , Illinois. If we have the same last name, when tracing it back aren't we all somehow or other related?




My Foster line in in Australia from England some time in the mid 1800s

Jo Ann Foster Daigle

My Foster side lived in Arkansas and Tennessee. Looking for their origin. William Alvin Foster

James Zachary Scott foster

My grandmother lived or lives in rogers arkansas Virginia foster she was married to James Sidney foster who died in sapalupa Oklahoma and my father James l foster who passed away in 1986 wondering if any of those names sound familiar


I'm black and jamaican too Camille Foster.

Carolyn (Staples) Walters
The Fosters I am related to are from Missouri---mostly Mexico, Mo.
My Great Grandfather was Joseph Foster and married Martha Elizabeth
(Green) Foster in Callaway Co., Mo. Their youngest daughter, Alice May
Foster/Staples/Armstrong was my grandmother on my Fathers side of the
family. I understand Joseph was Irish . I never knew him as he died before
I was born.


My mother's maiden name is Dorothy Foster, she lives in Missouri but most of her family lives in southern IL. She has red hair, fair skin with freckles and is about 5'11

Nicole Foster

My grandmother once told me my great grandparents were carnival workers and took a train to Louisiana to get married and start a family. .. my great grandfather is tall,with big ears, big nose and dark hair

Jo Ann Daigle

My grandmother, Helen Foster, always told us her family (descendants) were traveling gypsies. She never swayed from that. You never know...and it would explain a lot! ha!

Joseph Foster

wow this is crazy my name is Joseph Foster and my people are from the south, but I never knew whether or not my grandpa got his last name from the orphanage he grew up in as in "foster child" or if that was our original family name

Brandon Foster

My father (whom I never knew, due to his untimely death) originated from Louisiana, but I don't know anything about his side of the family beyond that. I'd always been curious about our origins, though, so I found this page. Hey there, family!

Rebecca Foster
Im from the south of England, i know very little about my dads side of the family. My Grandad lived some where near Birmingham, i think. Would be interesting to find out more.

Camille Foster
Damn.. .im black ...Jamaican. ..slavery is how I gt this name.

William Foster
Sorry that that was how you got it, but happy to have the name in common.

Wilbrennie Foster
Wow and im frenchmen and African American i guess someone was either tooken advantage of or married out side of their race...first choice is more accurate

xtopher foster
Xtopherfoster I gotta say WOW!!! It's been my life long calling to assist all people no matter who, what why or how and now I know why ! This goes way beyond coincidence and take no offense when I say my first name begins with "Christ" and middle name is also Celtic "alan" means "handsome"(debatable some might say) with "FOSTER" bringing up to the rear I'd say thats alot to live up. To !!! And I am humbly trying to live up to that responsibly ~ ~ ~ also to any "FOSTERS" in or around "Chattanooga" ? Im thinkin we're related and would love to compare notes

Tom Foster
as a bi-sexual convicted felon (drug-dealing, allegations of a lewd nature, etc.), I seem to have brought shame to the Foster name. But I've heard that, going back far enough, say a thousand years or so, there were a couple honourable Fosters.

Jane Foster
Hey Camille: I hear the Jamaican government has some very good records of slave purchases and you may very well be able to find your ancestor. If your ancestor had only a first name (African) you could go to court and for a reasonable fee have your last name changed to your ancestor's name as your new last name !!! Then you won't have that NASTY, HORRIBLE old slave name attached to you any longer, that is if you're not too LAZY to do so !!!

Lisa Foster

Having been adopted at two weeks of age, the state legally took away my identity and sealed it from me. Once adopted, My rights, even as an adult, are zero. It isn't slavery by any means, but it is part of me and it took me a lot of effort to find it. I claim Foster. It is mine, and I own it.

Nicole Foster

Well my name is Nicole Foster and in from south Louisiana. Around here not many foster's live in this area. I'm kind of looking for where I came from because my grandmother once told me a crazy story about how we came here. Lisa Foster is my mother and aunts name...crazy world

Jo Daigle

Well, welcome to the family

Shawn Pruitt Foster
Shawn Foster born in 1982 in Chattanooga, TN. Hello extended family! Fosterpower

So when its found in old Anglo Saxon regions its more than likely the Germanic version: kind of means Guy who Lives up on that Hill far away....or guy from a foreign or strange place.........

No, that's not what it means -- go read AGAIN !!!!

There is another definition of Foster: which is the German word FURST: meaning foreigner or someone from "over there yonder" or far away..........its also a common French name: De Forest: (not referring to trees) referring instead to far away or foreigner.........

Chadwik Foster

Kevin Foster
I speak with an Irish accent when I have a few drinks, and my beard gets red unlike the rest of my hair. I have an extreme liking to the movie Boondock Saints and the song The Blood of CuChulainn. (East Texas)

Josh foster
Ha I do too

Bob Foster
Myself and both my sons also have red beards with blonde / brown hair. We all seem to love the movie also and seem to have a leaning towards things celtic. My youngest son's beard is actually two tone, blonde in the middle, red on the sides.

Jazimine Foster
Wow... i had no clue.

Cory Foster
Our name really means block of wood... Dammit... Haha

Lisa Foster

Wood is good, wood is beautiful, wood is strong, and can be carved into amazing things both utilitarian and artistic. Wood bends and yields with the forces of the earth. Wood houses, wood serves, wood stands. I'll take a block of wood.

Kate Chandler
Are there any Fosters from around the Harrogate, North Yorkshire area? My grandfather (Albert Foster) died when my father was only 15, therefore I never knew him, and consequently don't know a great deal about the 'Foster' side of my family. I do not know of any siblings or what year he was born/died, and sadly its too late to ask my Grandmother now. If I had to guess I would say born around 1910 and died around 1962, I am also presuming he was from Harrogate as that is where he and my Grandmother married, although I know they lived in Tadcaster all their married life due to his job at the brewery. Would love to find out more! Thanks.

Hi Kate I am a Foster living in Leeds, but my parents and grandparents came from Harrogate. I am trying to trace my family tree through the findmypast website which i would recommend if you wish to find more about your family tree. My grandparent was Fred Foster born 1901 in Harrogate but i am trying to find my previous ancestors . So i dont think we are direcly related but i have there are many Fosters in the Harrogate Knaresborough area.

A Foster
I live in Saskatchewan, Canada. Grandparents were originally from Kelvington, SK, Canada. From what my grandfather has told me, his side of the family (Foster side) originated from Scotland or Ireland.

steve foster
Any foster from or around cincinnati ohio.grandpa born in moscow oh

Tina Foster
I was born in Cincinnati..but adopted Foster is my real name but raised under another.. never knew my mom a twin, twin died her name was Helen Foster

Lisa Foster

Tina, I am adopted and a foster. My mother was a twin from Louisville area. There was a second set of twins in her siblings!

Amelia Foster

I live half an hour away from there

Julie Gaskell
My great grandmothers name was Foster from Lancashire Parbold Burscough Wigan and Adlington, the family were boatmen I have done some research but would welcome any further information.

John Foster

My dad's grandfather came to America from Loch Ray, Ireland. He was a courier for the North during the civil war. Afterwards, he went to Alaska where he married a Klinket Indian. Illegal then. I'm sure glad they ended up in southern California

Richard Foster
I found that the name Foster is very old germanic and surrounding region and and means to guard or to be a guardian but does not specify what is being guarded

Ray Foster
I had read on a different website that the name came from Germany from foresters in the black forest region, do they make it up as they go along I wonder?

Laura Corkell
Vikings moved from Scandinavia to the UK, Ireland and what is now northern France bringing Old Norse to the indigenous languages. In 1066 the Normans arrived but the meaning of Normans is Norse Men so it was really the cousins of the first lot of Vikings arriving three or four generations late. Old Norse eventually became modern Norwegian, (Where the original Vikings fled from to escape a particularly mean ruler).), Danish, Swedish, Faroese, Islandic, English and German. If you want to see some fantastic names read the Icelandic founding and family sagas. Viking and Celtic story telling traditions, (Around 60% of the original women on Iceland were Scottish or Irish, some of whom were happy to go.), merged to create oral stories which told of the founding of Iceland in the late eight hundreds and were eventually written down medieval Icelandic monks.

The ER ending is used in both English and German of one who does. Foster and baker etc are English. Mueller etc are German. It is true that the Angles and the Saxons came from Germany. However that was about 2000 years ago and most of them have mixed with the celtic tribes that originally inhabited the British isles. My guess is the only Germans with the name Foster are ones who originally had another German name sounding similar to foster and changed it when they came to America. This was often done at one time hence mueller becomes miller often. Miller was an English name adopted by German Americans with the original name mueller. Foster is without question english.

Scott Foster
Well, now i believe the Foster, name has more to do with the last two letters "ER". You see most names with that "ER" last letters is English. However, England is really Anglo-land, land of the anglo saxons, there GERMANS. Further I believe in the kingdom of Saxony there was a town called URFURT, could this be the source of the "ER" last names, Foster, Slater, Hemmler, Hitler, Rosener, you see its the ER that is telling. And, rember Robin Hood was Anglo-Saxon not the dirty Normans. Oh, thats a different story.