Foster Families of Marion County, Alabama
By Gary D Duke .......... 12-10-2005
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Joel Foster is found on the 1790 Census of District 96, Abbeville, SC living next door to his father, with 1 male over 16 and 1 Female.

Pendleton Co, 1 Feb 1793 Joel Foster, Thomas Hamilton and William Hamilton were listed in the book of debts in the estate of Asa Tourtellot, along with many others.

In Pendleton Dist. Deeds:

Pages 446-447: "I, William McCaleb for $600 sold to John Baylis Earl 300 acres on W side of Keowee River, bd on S by land laid out to Maj. Saml. Taylor, being bounty tract granted Captn. Jess Baker." Date: 20 Jun 1798. Wit: D. McCaleb, Joel Foster. David McCaleb made oath to G. W. Earle, DCC, 5 Dec 1798. Rec: 12 Dec 1798

Page 447: "I, William McCaleb, planter, for $100 sold to John Baylis Earle, 359 acres on W side of Keowee River, bd NE & NW by bounty survey, NW & SW by Saml. Taylor, SW by Jesse Baker, NE & SE & SW by Banister Harper, surveyed by Thos. Loften, 24 Aug 1791, granted McCaleb by Arnoldus Vanderhorst, 4 Apr. 1796. Date: 20 Jun 1798. Wit: D. McCaleb, Joel Foster. David McCaleb made oath to G. W. Earle, DCC, 5 Dec 1798. Rec: 12 Dec 1798

Page 416-417: Samuel Robinson for $100 sold Joel Foster 171 acres, part of 198 acres granted Robinson 5 Feb 1798, on NW side of Seneca Crk., bd. SW by John Knox, NW by Robert Waugh and Colonel Earle, SE and SW by Robert Armour. Date: 15 Nov 1804. Wit: Robert Waugh, Edw. Adair. Robert Waugh made oath to Jno. Adair, J.P., 19 Apr 1806 (Plat.) Rec: 9 Jan 1807 (no record found yet where he sold this land prior to moving to TN)

Tradition states that Joel and Mary (Armstrong) Foster migrated to Bedford Co., TN between the birth of Mary Ann, b. 1 June 1807 in SC and the birth of son Thomas Jefferson, b 1809 TN. Lincoln County was formed from Bedford County in 1811 and it is thought that they wound up in the northern part of Lincoln County near Petersburg in an area known as Foster Hollow. The Foster Cemetery is found on Joel's land. Joel was on the 1820 Census of Lincoln County, TN and the 1830 Census of Marion County, AL. It is said that Joel followed his sons Ambrose and Benjamin to Marion County, AL 1823/24 with all of the family except his son James Littleton Foster, who with his brother-in-law Samuel Moore bought the Foster land. There was a Thomas Foster, born ca 1799 listed on the 1830 Marion County, AL census near Joel and is assumed to be the brother of Joel Lewis Foster.

[The above information is copied from a Family Tree report on the Internet - emphasis last line is mine. Other “Tree” reports give the following families:]

AMBROSE FOSTER ..................... born ca 1750 maybe Ireland. Wife Sarah Lewis. Speculated that his father was John Foster of Essex Co. Va. If so, prob. born in VA.


      1. Joel Lewis Foster 1766 SC

      2. Thomas Foster - reported to be father of Ambrose and Joel P. Foster

      3. John Foster

JOEL LEWIS FOSTER ................ born 1766 South Carolina Died 8-25-1834 Alabama

wife: Mary Jane Armstrong born 12-19-1770 Rowan Co, NC

Father: Ambrose Foster


  1. Ambrose 10-19-1792 SC

  2. Hannah 1794 m George Hamilton died Oktibbeha, MS

  3. Sarah 1795

  4. Benjamin *06-24-1796 SC

  5. Janet *07-17-1796 (*Something wrong with dates)

  6. Richard 12-25-1797

  7. Joel S. 11-14-1799 ........ died 1805

  8. John E. 1801 m Mary Nichols 1818. He died 1839

  9. James Littleton 1803 SC

  10. Joel J. 1805 SC

  11. Mary 1807

  12. Thomas Jefferson 1809 in Shelbyville, Tennessee

  13. Mahaly H. 1812 TN

  14. Matilda F. 1814 TN

AMBROSE FOSTER ............ born 10-19-1792 SC died 8-17-1848 Tarrant Co, Texas

wife: Susannah Medlin born 1796 SC

father: Joel Lewis Foster


      1. Lucinda 1814 Lincoln Co, TN

      2. Simpson 1816 “

      3. Seleta Hilda 1818 “

      4. Lewis M. 1820 “

      5. Mary Ann 1822 Marion County, Alabama

      6. Rachel 1824 “

      7. Benjamin Jackson 1830 “

      8. Jarrett L. 1832 Platte Co, Missouri

      9. Owen 1834 “

      10. James Littleton 1837 “

      11. Dezana 1839 “

BENJAMIN F. FOSTER*1 .......... born 6-24-1796 South Carolina died 10-6-1868 Caledonia, TX

wife: Apsilla Poore m 1806

wife 2: Jane Nichols m 1816 (Doubtful - see notes below*)

father: Joel Lewis Foster


      1. Sarah Ann 1832 AL

      2. James 1835 AL

      3. Caroline 1838 AL

      4. Martha 1840 AL

      5. Eleanor 1843 AL

      6. Ellen 1845 AL

      7. Benjamin Jr 1846 AL

Checking out this report....I find Ben Foster lived in 1850 Marion Co, Alabama and in 1860 he was in Rusk Co, Texas. The children names and dates are correct. In 1860, daughter Martha had married James Glover. ALL entries list the wife as “Apsilla” born 1806 Tennessee. After Benjamin died in Rusk in 1868, “Pucilla” Foster still lived there, 64f TN, who lived alone but next door to Taylor Stovall, 41m AL, and wife Caroline, 32f Mo. This is clearly “Apsilla” and Caroline is probably her daughter. If Benjamin ever married Jane Nichols, it was before his marriage to Apsilla Poore.

THOMAS JEFFERSON FOSTER .......... born 12-23-1809 Tennessee. Died 5-3-1901 Dallas,

Texas. Buried in town of Grapevine.

Wife #1: Drucilla Lucinda Holcomb m Jan 1827 Alabama

Wife #2: Elizabeth Beaty m 2-27-1843 Texas

Wife #3: Sarah Trimble m 1-27-1858 Texas

father: Joel Lewis Foster


by Drucilla Holcomb

1. Berry Anderson 11-25-1827 AL

2. Green Pharoah 03-24-1830 AL

3. Joel Lewis 10-11-1832 AL

4. Mary Jane 1834 AL

5. Hilda Isabelle 1836 AL

6. Robert Ethelbert 1839 AL

7. Lucratus Hodges 08-01-1842 TX Cass County

By Elizabeth Beaty

8. Sarah A. 1844 TX

9. Thomas Jefferson 05-11-1847 TX

10. James S. 1849 TX

11. Ellen 1851 TX

12. Franklin Pierce 03-24-1853 TX

13. William Hatley 04-12-1854 TX

14. John 1856 TX

By Sarah Trimble

15. Madison Oliver 07-20-1859 TX

16. Benjamin McCullough 02-27-1861 TX

17. Tryphena 04-20-1863 TX

18. Tryphosa 04-13-1865 TX

19. Drucilla 12-29-1866 TX

20. Robert Lee 03-23-1869 TX

21. Richard Ambrose 02-09-1871 TX

22. Theodore 11-12-1872 TX

23. Theodosia 11-12-1872 TX

24 Frederick Walter 05-20-1875 TX

Wow! 24 kids ! 1st wife Drucilla was born in 1809 so same age as T.J. She died 8-13-1842 in Cass, Texas. 2nd wife Elizabeth was 20 years younger than him. They married 2-27-1843 in Cass & she died during birth of son John 1856. 3rd wife Sarah was 23 years younger than him. They married 1-27-1858 in Cass. She outlived him - barely - as she died 1-20-1909 in Grapevine, Texas.

Per official records in the town of Linden in Cass County, Texas, Thomas Jefferson Foster is regarded as the “father” of Cass County. Sam Houston asked him to do a survey in 1830 to outline boundaries of a possible new county - it became Cass and the same boundaries still exist. Thomas J. moved his family there in 1842. In 1852 he assisted in organizing the town of Linden and he personally built the first Courthouse (he was a carpenter). He was the first Justice of the Peace in 1852. In 1853 he was selected to be a trustee for the first school, Linden Male & Female Academy. In 1855 he was a charter member of the first Baptist Church. In 1859 he purchased the old courthouse and donated it for use by the Baptist Church and Masons. He owned several hundred acres of land and had eighteen children while living there! No wonder they called him “father”!

As the work copied above states, in the 1820 census for Lincoln Co, TN there is:

Joel Foster 021101-21001 male & female 45+

Ambrose Foster 20001-201 male26-45 female 16-26

It is believed that Thomas Lloyd Foster, the suggested brother of Joel Lewis Foster was, in 1820, living in Alabama.....possibly even in Madison Co, Alabama which is only across the adjoining state line from Lincoln Co, Tennessee......but there is no census information available for Alabama in 1820. Thomas L. Foster, born SC 1780 - 1790 ... had sons Ambrose 1807, Moses D. 1812, Richard D. 1819, George W. 1821 and Andrew J. 1828 AL.

Land grant records for Marion County, Alabama contain:

06-15-1826 Thomas Foster NE1/4 t11s r15w s17 151acres

06-15-1826 Joel Foster SE1/4 t11s r15w s17 160a

10-02-1823 Ambrose Foster W1/2NW1/4 t11s r15w s26 80a

The comment copied from the “Tree” says Thomas and Joel Foster “lived near” each other in the 1830 census. These land records indicate they lived on adjoining property....VERY near each other

In 1830 Marion Co, Alabama there are:

a. Joel Foster male 60-70 & female 50-60 + 2 kids

b. Thomas Foster male 40-50 & female 50-60 + 5 kids

c. Ambrose Foster male 30-40 & female 30-40 + 8 kids

d. Benjamin Foster male 30-40 & female 30-40 + 4 kids

e. Ambrose Foster male 20-30 & female 15-20 + 1 kid

f. Joel J. Foster male 20-30 & female 20-30 & no kids

g. Thomas J. Foster male 20-30 & female 20-30 + 2 kids

In 1830 Monroe Co, Mississippi there is:

h. Joel Foster male 40-50 & female 40-50 + 7 kids

I think it is apparent that:

a. is Joel Lewis Foster

b. is Thomas Lloyd Foster

c. is the son of Joel Lewis Foster

d. is the son of Joel Lewis Foster

e. is the son of Thomas L. Foster

f. is the son of Joel Lewis Foster

g. is the son of Joel Lewis Foster

h. I’m not sure who he belongs to but Monroe, MS, is very close to Marion, AL

Ambrose Foster, son of Joel Lewis Foster, moved to Missouri in 1831.

More land grants are recorded in the next few years, but these are all about 25-30 miles to the south of the three originals, placing them in Fayette County (later split off to become Lamar), but we know that Joel Lewis Foster died in 1834.

03-03-1837 Ambrose Foster NE1/4SE1/4 t17s r16w s19 40a

04-01-1837 Richard Foster NW1/4 t17s r16w s17 160a

04-01-1837 Moses Foster W1/2SE1/4 t17s r16w s19 80a

04-01-1837 Thomas L. Foster NW1/4 t17s r16w s18 160a

“ “ NE1/4 t17s r16w s18 160a

“ “ E1/2SE1/4 t17s r16w s18 80a

09-02-1839 Jeremiah Foster W1/2SW1/4 t16s r16w s2 80a

09-02-1839 Moses Foster E1/2SW1/4 t17s r16w s2 80a

Along about the same times, there is action over into Mississippi, in Lowndes County, which adjoins Fayette County on the west side:

09-21-1835 Thomas S. Foster N1/2E1/2NW1/4 t17s r17w s29 40a

09-28-1835 Moses D. Foster N1/2E1/2SW1/4 t17s r17w s22 40a

02-01-1841 Ezekiel P. Foster N1/2W1/2SE1/4 t17s r17w s29 40a

“ ” N1/2E1/2SW1/4 t17s r17w s26 40a

02-01-1841 Ambrose Foster S1/2W1/2SE1/4 t17s r17w s23 40a

02-05-1841 Thomas L. Foster N1/2W1/2NW1/4 t17s r17w s27 40a

All of the 1837 grants are Thomas L. Foster and his sons Ambrose, Richard & Moses. The 1839 grant to Moses Foster is still the son of Thomas L. Jeremiah Foster, who got the other 9-2-1839 grant is Jeremiah Foster Jr born 1808 in South Carolina. His father was Jeremiah Foster Sr who was born 1770-1780 in South Carolina and who was living in Lowndes County, MS, in the 1830 census and selling land there in 1831. Jeremiah Sr was in the same age group, born in the same place, and moved to the Marion, Alabama, area about the same did Joel Lewis Foster and Thomas Lloyd Foster. I believe (unproven) him to be their brother.

The Ezekiel P. Foster in 1841 actually got that grant several years earlier as he sold that same land in 1835 to Jeremiah Foster Jr. Ezekiel P. is probably a brother to Jeremiah Jr although I have not established Ezekiel P’s age so cannot make a definite statement about him.

By 1840, the oldest Joel Foster is gone.....presume died.

In 1840 Marion, AL:

Benjamin Foster 1100101-12101 Male 40-50 & female 30-40

E. Foster 10001-10001 male & female both 20-30

Joel Foster 10001-11001 male & female both 20-30

In 1840 Fayette, AL;

Jeremiah Foster 000010001-00000001 male 60-70 & female 50-60

Jeremiah Foster 20001-01001 male 20-30 & female 20-30

M. D. Foster 01001-20001

Thomas Foster 00011001-000000001 male 50-60 & female 60-70

Edmond Foster 0101-012

Levi Foster 10001-01001

In 1840 Monroe, MS – none in Lowndes

Joseph Foster

Lewellen Foster

It is obvious who the older members of these families are.....the “new” ones are the younger generation growing up, except for the Lewellen Foster now in Monroe, Mississippi. From later information, we find this man is also known as “Lewis” Foster, was born 1813 in Virginia, and has been in Mississippi having children at least since 1837. In 1840 and 1850 he lived in Monroe County but shortly after 1850 he had moved, as did the rest of the families, west into Chickasaw County where he had a Buena Vista post office placing him very near several other of the subject Fosters. I think Lewis Lewellen Foster is a close relative.

Lewis Lewellen Foster 1813m VA

Mary 1818f Ireland

Frances E. 1837f MS

Mary 1839f MS

William Robert 1841m MS

Sarah 1844f MS

John 1845m MS

Louis Lewallen 1850m MS

Virginia 1853f MS

Leander 1855m MS

Benjamin 1858m MS

Margaret 1862f MS

Thomas Lloyd Foster died after the 1840 census and before 1850.

By the mid-1850's all of the Foster families had moved out of Marion & Fayette counties......they had died or gone father west.

By Gary D Duke .......... 12-10-2005