An American Family History

Foster Family from Ipswich

The town of Ipswich was established on August 5, 1634, from common land called Agawam. On October 18, 1648, that portion called the "Village" at the New Meadows was set off as Topsfield. The boundary line between Ipswich and Topsfield was established, February 28, 1694.

Reginald Foster was born about 1595 in England.

His first wife was named Judith.

Mary Foster (1618, married Francis Peabody),
Sarah Foster (1620),
Abraham Foster (1622, married Lydia Burbank),
Isaac Foster (1630, married Mary Jackson and Martha Hale),
William Foster (1633),
Jacob Foster (1635), and
Reginald Foster, Jr. (1636, married Elizabeth Dane).

They came to America in 1636 and settled in Ipswich.

Judith died in October, 1664.

He married Sarah, widow of John Martin on September 20, 1665.

After Reginald died in 1681, Sarah married William White, of Haverhill.

Essex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643 by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when it ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires."

Abraham Foster was born about 1622 in England.

He married Lydia Burbank.

Ephraim Foster (1657),
Abraham Foster (1659, married Mary Robinson),
James Foster ( 1662),
Isaac Foster (1668),
Benjamin Foster (1672. married Mary Barman),
Mehitable Foster (1675, married Ebenezer Averill),
Caleb Foster (1677, married Mary Sherwin),
Ruth Foster (1702. Jeremiah Perley).

In 1651 Abraham Foster testified in a case against John Bradstreet in Ipswich.

In 1672, Abraham Foster witnessed a land deed for Michael Dwinnell.

Abraham died in Ipswich on January 25, 1710-11.


Abraham Foster was born on October 16, 1659 in Ipswich. He was the son of Abraham Foster.

He married Mary Robinson on November 15, 1693. She was the daughter of Robert Robinson of Newbury.

Abraham Foster (1696, married Sarah Dwinnell),
Nathan Foster (1700, married Hannah Standish),
Daniel Foster (1705, married Hannah Black and Elizabeth Davis).

Abraham died on May 23, 1741.


Any man entering a colony or becoming a a member the church, was not free. He was not forced to work, but his movements were carefully observed to see if they followed the Puritanical ideal. After this probationary period, he became a "freeman." Men then took the Oath of a Freeman where they vowed to defend the Commonwealth and not to overthrow the government.

Isaac Foster was born about 1630 in England.

He married Mary Jackson on May 5, 1658.

Jonathan Foster (1658-9, died young),
Mehitable Foster (1660, died young),
Jacob Foster (1662-3, married Sarah Wood and Mary Edwards)
Benjamin Foster (1665),
Elizabeth Foster (1667),
Mary Foster (1669, married Richard Grant)
Daniel Foster (1670, Katherine Freese and Mary Dresser),
Martha Foster (1672, married Thompson Wood),
Ruth Foster (1673-4, married Groue),
Prudence Foster (1675, married Joseph Borman),
Hannah Foster (1676, died young).

Hannah died on November 27, 1678.

He married Martha Hale on March 16, 1679.

Hannah Foster (1681),
Eleazer Foster (1684, married Elizabeth Fiske),
Sarah Foster (1687).

Isaac was made freeman on May 31, 1671 in Ipswich. He lived near Topsfield, at the east end of 'Symond's Farm," the town line dividing the farm.

Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.
  William Foster was born about 1633 in England

Mary Foster (1662, married Samuel Kilburn),
Judith Foster (1664, married John Platts),
Hannah Foster (1673, married Theophilus Rix)
Jonathan Foster (1667-8, married Abigail Kimball),
William Foster (1670, married Sarah Kimball and Margaret Gould),
Timothy Foster (1672, married Mary Dorman and Ruth Andrews),
David Foster (1679, married Mary Black),
Samuel Foster (1681, married Mary Macoon),
Joseph Foster (1682)

William died in 1713 in Boxford.




from New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Volume 4 edited by William Richard Cutter

Reginald Foster, the immigrant Foster ancestor, was born about 1595, in Barmton, England. He came to America about 1638 with his wife Judith, five sons and two daughters, and settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts, about 1638, near the East Bridge. His name wras often spelled Reynold.

He bought of John Tuttell, September 26, 1638, a house and lands in Ipswich. He had charge of the town herd of cattle on the south side of the river in 1643, the work to be done by permission of the authorities, by his son Abraham. In 1661 he was highway surveyor. He owned shares in both Plum and Hog Islands.

He died in 1681. His will, dated April 30, 1680, proved June 9, 1681, bequeathed to his wife Sarah what she brought at marriage, and other things; to sons Abraham, Renold, Isaac, William and Jacob; to daughters Sarah, wife of William Story, and Mary, wife of Francis Peabody; to grandchild Hannah Story, the balance of his estate.

He married (first) Judith , in England; she died October, 1664, at Ipswich. 

He married (second) September 20, 1665, Sarah, widow of John Martin, of Ipswich. She married (third) William White, of Haverhill, September 21, 1682. and died February 22, 1683.

Children, all by first wife:
Mary, born about 1618;
Sarah, 1620;
Isaac, 1630;
William, 1633;
Jacob, 1635;
Reginald, 1636.


Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts was first settled in 1639.

from Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts by William Richard Cutter, Lewis Historical Pub. Co., 1908

Abraham Foster, son of Reginald Foster (1), born in Exeter, Devonshire. England, in 1622, died at Ipswich, Massachusetts. January 25, 1710-11, aged about ninety years. He came with his father to New England, when his age was given as sixteen years. He lived at Ipswich and joined the church there in full communion April 12, 1674. He was called yeoman on the records. He left no will but distributed his property by deed December 21, 1698.

He married in 1655 Lydia Burbank. daughter of Caleb and Martha Burbank of Rowley, and granddaughter of John Burbank of Rowley.

1. Ephraim, born October 9, 1657.
2. Abraham, October 16. 1659
3. James, January 12, 1662.
4. Isaac, 1668. died February 13, 1717.
5. An infant, December 27. 1668.
6. Benjamin.15. 1672. married Mary Barman.
8. Mehitable, October 12, 1675, married Ebenezer Averill.
9. Caleb, November 9, 1677, married Mary Sherwin.
10. Ruth, married, April 16, 1702. Jeremiah Perley, of Boxford.


from Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts by William Richard Cutter, Lewis Historical Pub. Co., 1908

(III) Abraham Foster, son of Abraham Foster (2), born at Ipswich, October 16, 1659, died May 23, 1741. He was in the military

and was wounded in the public service and is to receive eight pounds out of the public money for smart money.

He resided at Ipswich and Topsfield, Massachusetts.

He married, November 15, 1693, Mary Robinson, daughter of Robert Robinson, of Newbury. Children:
1. Abraham, born June 12, 1696,
2. Nathan, May 17, 1700, married Hannah Standish.
3. Daniel, April 13. 1705, married, first, Hannah Black; second, Elizabeth Davis.



A militia is a military unit composed of citizens who are called up in time of need.

from Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts by William Richard Cutter, Lewis Historical Pub. Co., 1908

(V) Captain Thomas Foster, son of Abraham Foster (4), was born in Topsfield. Massachusetts. April 5. 1724.

He married, April 5, 1748. Mehitable Peabody, born December 24. 1728, daughter of Matthew and Mehitable Peabody, the marriage intention being recorded November 2, 1728. She was admitted to the church April 29. 1750. He was captain of the militia and resided at Ipswich. Administration was granted on his estate December 8, 1789.


The Essex Antiquarian: A Quarterly Magazine Devoted to the Biography, Genealogy, History and Antiquities of Essex County, Massachusetts by Sidney Perley published by The Essex Antiquarian., 1899

Selections from an account book that belonged to Abraham Foster of Topsfield, a descendant of Reginald Foster through three Abrahams. (Original spelling retained.)

Preceler foster wors born Jeneary 16, 1726.
Abner Todd was Born november 13 1737 and died october 12 in year 1749.
thay was mareded may 10 in year 1744.
Mehettebul foster wars born aprel 2, 1745.
Martha foster wars born September 15, 1746.
amos foster wors born august 28 1748.
we builed the Barn in June in year 1750
Maray foster wors born august 31, 1751.
priscilar foster wors born august 4, 1753.
Abraham foster wors born February 24 1755.
Rachel Foster wors born September 23, 1756.
october 4 wars the child born and octobur 21 the child died and buried 22 1758.
we builed the hous in Juen in year 1759
Abner Foster wors Born october 8 1760.
Abiger Foster wors Born September 12 1762.
Mother Foster Came to Live at my hous october 1762
Mother foster died the 10 day of april in 1762 in 66 year of hur age.
Sister hannar foster wars taken Sick in augest in ye 1764, and Cap hir beed 55 days
Amos Foster went to Squre Actkins November 25 ye 1765 to Live with him.
decken willyam fisk died Jenuery 23 1765 in the 77 year of his age

ye is an archaic spelling of "the."
Smallpox is caused by of two viruses: Variola major and Variola minor. Symptoms include a rash and blisters. The mortality rate for V. major is 30–35% and for V. minor is about 1%. Long-term complications include scars, blindness, and limb deformities.

Isaac Foster (Reginald), b. England 1630;
m. May 5, 1658, Mary Jackson. She d. Nov. 27 1677 [? that's after he married Hannah]
m. 2d. Nov. 25, 1668, Hannah Downing, who d. Nov. 27, 1678;
m. 3d, March 16, 1679, Martha Hale, who survived him.

He lived in Ipswich, near Topsfield, at the east end of "Symond's Farm," the town line dividing the farm. He was sixty-two years old when he made his will; proved March 29, 1692. Isaac Foster had fourteen children; eleven by his first wife, and three by the second: Jonathan, Mehitable, Jacob, Benjamin, Elizabeth, Mary. Daniel, Martha, Ruth, Prudence, Hannah.—second wife—Hannah. Elcazer and Sarah. He d. March, 1692. Res., Ipswich, Mass.

Jonathan b. 9 January, 1658-9; d. May 15, 1661; not mentioned in father's will.
Mehitable b. 19 September, 1660; d. February. 1660-1.
Jacob, b. 9 February, 1662-3; m. Sarah Wood and Mary Edwards.
Benjamin, b. June, 1665; m.
Elizabeth, b. 20 April. 1667.
Mary, b. 26 June, 1669; m. Richard Grant, 27 February, 1688.
Daniel, b. 14 November, 1670; m. Katherine Freese and Mary
Martha, b. 1 August, 1672; m. Thompson Wood, 8 December, 1691.
Ruth, b. 20 February, 1673-4; m. Groue.
Prudence, b. 23 May, 1675; m. Joseph Borman, 17 February,
Hannah, b. 24 October, 1676; d. before 1681.
Eleazer, b. April, 1684; m. Eliza Fiske.
Sarah, b. 19 March, 1687.
Hannah, b. February 16, 1681.
Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

The French and Indian War lasted from 1754 to 1763 and was the North American phase of the Seven Years' War.

In 1688, during the Glorious Revolution, the Protestant king and queen,William and Mary, took the English throne from Catholic King James II. The bloodless revolution profoundly impacted the American colonies.

from Foster Genealogy by Frederick Clifton Pierce
History of Boxford, Mass., says:

William Foster, from Ipswich, settled in Rowley Village in 1661. The old house that stood some years ago on the site of the late residence of Mr. Dean Andrews, deceased, was undoubtedly his residence. The first town meetings were held in his house; and in it was also kept for several years after the incorporation of the town, a kind of tavern called in the language of those days, an ordinary. Mr. Foster was one of the principal men in the Village, as the numerous offices of trust of all kinds held by him fully prove.

He d. May 17, 1713. Res., Boxford, Mass.

31. i. Mary [Foster], b. Nov. 16, 1662; m. Nov. 20, 1682, Samuel Kilburn, of Rowley.

32. ii. Judith [Foster], b. June 19, 1664; m. 13 April, 1693, John Platts. Five children:
1. Mary Platts.
2. James Platts.
3. John Platts [married Hannah Fiske].
4. Ebsaba Platts.
5. Jonathan Platts.

33. iii. Hannah, b. Nov. 23, 1673; m. May 11, 1709-10, Theophilus Rix, of Wenham, who died July 5, 1726. She was his second wife. Two children:
1. Samuel Rix, b. April 7. 1711.
2. Hannah Rix, b. May 4, 1717.

34. iv. Jonathan, b. 6 March, 1667-8; m. Abigail Kimball.

35. v. William, b. 1670; m. Sarah Kimball and Margaret Gould.

36. vi. Timothy, b. 1672; m. Mary Dorman and Ruth Andrews.

37. vii. David, b. 9 May, 1679; m. Mary Black.

38. viii. Samuel, b. 20 February, 1681; m. Mary Macoon.

39. ix. Joseph, b. 168—; bap. May 21, 1682; living in 1711, but probably never m. See his father's will.

In 1688, during the Glorious Revolution, the Protestant king and queen,William and Mary, took the English throne from Catholic King James II. The bloodless revolution profoundly impacted the American colonies.

An early American tavern (or ordinary) was an important meeting place and they were strictly supervised. Innkeepers were respectable members of the community. Taverns offered food and drink. An inn also offered accommodation.

from Foster Genealogy, Part 1 by Frederick Clifton Pierce

Dea. Moses Foster (John, Reginald, Reginald) b. Ipswich, Mass., in 1697; m. Jan. 18, 1732. Mary Rust; b. 17o2. She d. May 2, 1732; m. 2d, Jan. 18, 1733, Mary Blodgett; b. 17o2; d. Nov. 11, 1777, in Ashburnham; m. 3d, Mrs. Ann Varney; b. 170o; d. Feb. 21, 1787.

The first meeting of the proprietors of Dorchester, Canada (Ashburnham), was held Feb. 20, 1749. At this writing and mingling with them was Moses Foster, then about 60 years of age. For some years he had resided a portion of the time at least in that place. He brought them tidings of the wilderness, and gave an account of what had happened there. He had purchased one first and one second division lot, lying adjacent in the northeast part of the town now in Ashby. The title of one of these lots was in dispute, and the proprietors at this meeting made him a grant of fifty acres. Not content with this measure of kindness to their aged guest, the proprietors voted him £5 "for being one of the first settlers." There is no record of this payment, but a few years later a tract of about fifty acres was granted to "Mr. Moses Foster, one of the first settlers," on condition he "shall come personally and settle and inhabit there and continue there for several years, provided his life be spared him." This grant was located adjacent to and east of the common, and for many years was known as the Deacon Foster grant. Permission was also given Mr. Foster to throw up his house lot No. 51 and lay out another, which he did, selecting a tract extending north from the land granted to him, but not extending so far westward. He probably first resided in Ashburnham about 1750, the date, however, is not definately known, but in 1750 he moved to the common, and in 1751 was a licensed inholder, and for a number of years kept a public house. He was one of the original church members and the first deacon. His pew in. the meeting house in 176o was the one nearest the pulpit, which showed in "seating the meeting house" he was the most prominent resident in the place. In his extreme old age he returned to Ipswich.

He was a husbandman. His will was dated March 28, 1782. He died at Chebacco, Ipswich, Sept. 27, 1785. He married, first, Mary, daughter of Nathaniel Rust. He d. Sept . 27, 1785. Res., Ipswich, Ashburnham and Ipswich, Mass.

Miriam, bapt. Aug. 14, 1726.
Zebulon, bapt . Sept. 22, 1728; m. Anna Knowlton.
Moses, b. 1730; m. Mary .
Aaron, b. 1723; m. Ruth Lowe.
Jane, b. abt. 1731; m. June 3, 1756, in Ashburham, Zimri Haywood, of Lunenburg.


from History of Worcester County, Massachusetts, Volume 1 by Duane Hamilton Hurd

Deacon Moses Foster, of Chelmsford, and James Colman, of Ipswich, cleared land and built houses in the northeast part of Dorchester Canada previous to the permanent renewal of the settlement. The sites of these early homes are now in Ashby, having been included within the limits of that tow/n when incorporated in 1767.

In times of expected danger they removed their families to Lunenburg, and prosecuted their labor in this town with many interruptions. About 1750 Deacon Foster removed to the centre of the town, and subsequently was an inn-holder many years. He died October 17,1785, aged ninety-four years.

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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