Foster Family History
The ancient origin of the name Foster was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Foster is an occupational name meaning 'forest guardian' from a person who looked after a forest. Variants include Forster, Forrest, Forester, Forest and Forrester. This name is of Anglo-Saxon descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout these countries. Examples of such are a Benedictus Foster who was recorded in the 'Poll Tax' of the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, in the year 1379. A Patrick Foster, Scotland, witnessed an instrument of sasine in the year 1488. One of the families called Forester or Forster held the title of 'Hereditary Master of the Game and Chief Forester' to the Bishop of Durham. A Jordan le Forester, County Berkshire, was recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', in 1273. In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into the Province of Ulster by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century.The Foster family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Foster descendants.