Saturday, July 5, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ FOSTER of Ipswich, Massachusetts

The Preston-Foster House, Ipswich, Massachusetts


Reginald Foster brought his wife, Judith and his children from England, and was one of the first inhabitants of Ipswich.  The Foster homestead was near where you can find today’s Stone Bridge.  He had other land in Ipswich, and by 11 March 1657/8 he bought a lot on “the High Street” from Roger Preston.  Judith died in 1664, and Reginald remarried in 1665 to Sarah, the widow of John Martin.  She outlived Reginald and became the second wife of William White of Haverhill.   The date of Reginald’s death is unknown, and his will was proved on 9 June 1681.

My line daughters out right away with Reginald’s daughter, Sarah, marrying William Story about 1638. 

The Preston Foster House still stands in Ipswich at 6 Water Street.  Although the house has been dated to about 1690, the deed dates from 1657/8.  You can see photos and more information at this link:

“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 my 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.”

For more information:

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

Foster Genealogy: 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.,  by Frederick Clifton Pierce, 1899.

Davis, Walter Goodwin, "Renold Foster," The American Genealogist 18, 1941, 13-15.

Forster, Edward Jacob, "Genealogy of the Fo(r)ster Family: Descendants of Reginald Fo(r)ster of Ipswich, Mass.," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 30, 1876, 83-102.

Scott, Henry Edwards, "Fanny Foster," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 90, 1936, 307-311.

My Foster genealogy:

Generation 1: Reginald Foster: born about 1595, died before 30 May 1681 in Ipswich, Massachusetts; married on 28 September 1619 in Theydon Gamon, Essex, England to Judith Wignall, daughter of Alexander Wignall. She died in October 1664 in Ipswich, Massachusetts.  He married second to Sarah Martin.

Generation 2: Sarah Foster, born 15 October 1620 in Exeter, Devonshire, England, died 1681 in Ipswich; married about 1638 in Ipswich to William Story.  He was born about 1614 in Old Norwich, Norfolk, England and died 20 January 1702/3 in Ipswich. Eight children.

Generation 3. Seth story m. Elizabeth Cross

Lineage A:

Generation 4: Zachariah Story m. Rachel Andrews
Generation 5: Deborah Story m. Westley Burnham

Lineage A1:

Generation 6: Westley Burnham m. Molly Woodbury

Lineage A1a:

Generation 7: Asa Burnham m. Polly Bray
Generation 8: Lydia W. Burnham m. Samuel Mears
Generation 9: Sarah Burnham Mears m. Joseph Gilman Allen
Generation 10: Joseph Elmer Allen m. Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

Lineage A1b:

Generation 7: Henry Burnham m. Sally Poland
Generation 8: Sarah Ann Burnham m. Samuel Mears
Generation 9: Sarah Burnham Mears m. Joseph Gilman Allen (see above)

Lineage A2:

Generation 6: Sarah Burnham m. Abner Poland
Generation 7: Sally Poland m. Henry Burnham (see above)

Lineage B:

Generation 4: Elizabeth Story m. John Andrews
Generation 5: Abigail Andrews m. Jeremiah Burnham
Generation 6: Abigail Burnham m. Isaac Allen
Generation 7: Joseph Allen m. Judith Burnham
Generation 8: Joseph Allen m. Orpha Andrews
Generation 9: Joseph Gilman Allen m. Sarah Burnham Mears (see above)


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ FOSTER of Ipswich, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 5, 2014, ( accessed [access date]). 


  1. Heather I have this family also!!!! Reginald to Isaac & Mary Jackson Foster to Benjamin and Mary Johnson Foster to Benjamin I and Wilmot Griffith Foster to Joseph and Sarah Foster Milliken and on and on and on!!! :)

  2. Two things:

    This house looks almost exactly like the Waterman Tavern in Coventry, RI down the street from my house.

    Also, My last name is Burnham. Just stumbled across this photos after searching for the Patton Homestead in MA. There's a bunch of Burnham's all over this page, wonder if Im related! Ive been told that Im related to Gen. Nathaniel Greene in some way.

    1. Just correcting, I am connected to Greene through the surname Craig, not Burnham.