Foster will transcripts

Recently I went to the National Archives in Kew and looked up various wills on the microfilms owned by the Family History Center in Exhibition Road, which is based in Kew while their building is being renovated.

One of the branches of my family tree are Fosters from Darlaston in Staffordshire.  Darlaston seems to have been a bit of a hub for the Foster surname especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries so last year I tried to group the various families together and put a tree on Ancestry.

As part of my efforts I looked up several of the Foster wills and here are some of the details of the ones I found.  If you are interested in having a copy of the transcript of any of these, let me know and I will send it to you.

Humphrey Foster, nailer of Darlaston – will made 1737, probate 1739; Mentions wife Eliz., daughter Martha and son Jose. (presumably Joseph)

witnesses George Plant, George Wilks, Thomas Forshaw?


Aaron Foster, chasse forger of Darlaston  – will made 1763, probate 1764; mentions wife Anne, son John

sons in law Walter and Thomas Lunn, daughters in law (?) Elizabeth widow of William Ford, Anne wife of John Platt, Mary wife of James Taylor

Other people mentioned – Joseph Dangerfield, Matthias Bayley

witnesses Squire Foster, Richard Spink and Samuel Spink


John Foster, farmer of Darlaston – will made 1811, probate 1822.  Mentions nieces Mary and Nancy Foster, daughters of brother Josiah Foster; sister Sarah, nephew Moses Horton, niece Mary Horton (children of sister Sarah).  By the time probate was granted, his niece Mary was Mary Adams, wife of Charles Adams, gentleman.

witnesses : John Hughes Glazier Darlaston, John Sansom Shoemaker Darlaston


Nancy Foster, spinster, Darlaston, will made 1819, probate 1823.  This is the Nancy Foster mentioned in the above will made by John Foster as she mentions his legacy in a codicil.  Mentions friends Edward Crowther and Stephen Falkinor or Halkinor Crowther, both of Wednesbury, Gentlemen, her sister Mary wife of Charles Adams (see above),

witnesses: Jas Hunt Surry Street Strand, E.M. Hunt Clerk to Messrs Crowther Sols Wednesbury, ? Horton of Darlaston Shoemaker


Job Foster, gunlock forger of Darlaston – will made 1820, probate 1822; mentions wife Eleanor, sons Stephen, Job, Moses, daughter Hannah, son in law Thomas Butler

witnesses Stephen Foster, Joseph Woodward, D Slater

If anyone is researching any Foster families from Darlaston do let me know – I would love to swap information!


  1. Benedicte Goalard-Foster

    Hello Liz,
    I’ve just come across your website which is really interesting! I’ve been looking into the Fosters from Darlaston for a while now and am copletely stuck. Maybe you could help? My line is:
    John Foster and Ann ? must have been living in Darlaston in 1782 because their son was christened there.
    Thomas Foster christened 29/09/1782 in Darlaston. I think he married Jane Slater on Aston juxta Birmingham on the 26th May 1804. He was a wood screw maker.
    Samuel Slater Foster on 02/08/1812 in Darlaston. He married Mary Warrender from Darlaston on 24/08/1839 in St Lawrence Church, Darlaston. He was also a wood screw maker and I presume he worked with his father since the company was called Thomas Foster and son. He had at least one sister, Elizabeth.
    John Slater Foster born 1845, baptized 30/11/1845 at St Lawrence Church in Darlaston. He married Kate Critchley from Gloucestershire. He was an employer and manufactured brake fittings for railways. He had 2 brothers and a sister; Thomas, Samuel and Jane. Kate died and John got remarried to Elizabeth Waugh.
    Lionel Fred Foster born 1877 Bloomsbury, Warwickshire, married in June 1906 to Ethel Maud Walker born 1878 Gravelly Hill, Warwickshire. He had 2 sisters, Mary Ellen and Irene, 2 brothers Carl and Allan and a half-sister, Dorothy.
    They were my great grand-parents. My search is with regards to John and Ann Foster and were they from Darlaston? Would you have come accross his family in your research? Aaron Foster seems like a maybe but not really sure. Any help would be most appreciated!
    Best regards, Benedicte Goalard-Foster

  2. Hi I may have some information regarding the foster family from darlaston I was christened at st Lawrence’s and my grand farther was Edward foster I have quite a bit of info please feel free to contact me

    Regards mike lowe

    • Benedicte Goalard-Foster

      Hello Mike,

      I’ve only just come accross your message so rather late! I would be delighted to have any information regarding the Foster family in Darlaston. You have all my information up here so anything else would be fantastic. Hopefully you’ll get this message!
      Best regards,

      benedicte Goalard-Foster

  3. Hi Liz, I am Paul Foster from Brisbane Australia. My grandfather,Alfred Foster, born 1906, came from Sheffield. His father, Samuel Foster, also born Sheffield around 1882, on the 1891 census shows his father name as James Foster born around 1848 in what looks on the original digitised record as Darlaston, Staffordshire. He married an Elizabeth and had other sons named, Thomas, William, Joseph &James, all born Sheffield.
    On 1881 census, same family, same wife’s name and birth place (Manchester) and same children and relative ages (except of course Samuel not yet born), has James Foster as Head (same relative birthdate).
    As I have found out, there appear many Foster’s in Darlaston, and would appreciate any help to find more details,
    Paul Foster

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