The Foster’s – The Illinois Years

As I have followed the Foster research over the years, I have always been perplexed by the Illinois connection. Each of the Foster lines seem to have spent a little time in Illinois. For example:

In the 1850 Census the following Illinois connections were found:

Burrell Foster was born there in 1830.

Samuel Foster was born there in 1832.

L. G. Foster was born there in 1830

James Allen Foster was born there in 1834

These names probably don’t jump out at you as being significant to your family history if you are working on the James Foster, Sr. line. But my theory is that two of them, Burrell and Samuel, were James’ sons, James Allen was his grandson and L.G. was a great niece.

It gets a little more interesting because I believe the evidence supports even more children for James & Rebecca. I believe we can add Robert Foster and Elijah Foster as well.

This could be a long message, but let’s get started:

There is evidence that James Foster, Sr. had more children than what has been documented. Alice Crandall Park stated that fact and further stated that one was called, perhaps, “Lige”.

There is also the question of where James Foster, Sr. was in 1830. We know that James traveled with a group of families, Anglins and Browns, that came from Bedford County, TN. If we check Bedford County in 1830, we can find those two families but no family that matches our James Foster.

Knowing that there was a connection between Illinois and our Foster’s and that the connection seemed close to 1830, I checked the census for any James Foster in Illinois in 1830. There were four of them.

Next, I knew for certain the dates of some of James & Rebecca’s children, so I checked these James’ to see if any of them could account for all of the known children. Only one fit the bill, James Foster of Morgan County, Il. Next I needed to make certain he, or his family, was not still in Morgan or surrounding Counties in 1840. I also checked to make certain that James was not found in Illinois in 1820. Either of those events would preclude this from being my James. In both cases this James and family appear to not be there. It looks like this family moved into Illinois after 1820 and left by 1840. so far so good.

Now it gets interesting.

The family in the 1830 Morgan County, Illinois and 1840 Benton County, Missouri Census looked like this:

Year

Family Head

under 5

5-10

10-14

15-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

under 5

5-10

10-14

15-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

1830

James Foster

1

3

2

1

1

2

1

1

1840

James Foster

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

Year

Family Head

under 5

5-10

10-14

15-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

under 5

5-10

10-14

15-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

1830

James Foster

1 – Burrell (1)

3 – Robert (14)

William (13)

Elijah (10)

2 – James, Jr. (19)

1 – James Sr.

1 – Mary Ellen (4)

2 -

Susan

???

1 – ???

1 Rebecca

1840

James Foster

1 – Samuel (8)

1 – Burrell (11)

2

1 – James Sr.

1 – Mary Ellen (14)

1 – ???

1 Rebecca

In 1830 we had James & Rebecca’s family as:

James Sr. – @49

Rebecca – @40

John – @21

James – @19

William – @13

Susan – @9

Mary Ellen – @4

A quick glance finds a slot for everyone except John. However, we find another enrty in Morgan County, IL that looks like this:

Page

Family Head

under 5

5-10

10-14

15-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

under 5

5-10

10-14

15-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

66

John Foster

1

1

This most certainly could be John and his young wife Matilda.

We also see several family members that we cannot account for. Specifically:

1 – boy under 5

2 – boys 10-14

1 – boy 15-19

1 – girl 5-10

1 – girl 15-19

So let’s leave it as this for now: this is a possibility to be our James Foster, Sr. Now let’s look for supporting evidence and see if we can find who these missing children are.

In the 1840 census our family looked like this:

Page

Family Head

under 5

5-10

10-14

15-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

under 5

5-10

10-14

15-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

1

James Foster

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

1

James Foster, Jr

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

John Foster

1

1

1

1

2

1

1

William Foster, Jr

1

1

1

These entries have always perplexed me. There are a couple of entries on James Foster, Jr. that defy explanation. James would have been 29 so who are the two males older than him that live with him? John and Matilda did not have any boys (his sons came from Lucinda whom he married later).

Perhaps we can unravel some of these mysteries.

First, let’s go back to the 1830 Morgan County, IL census. Directly above the James Foster entry was another Foster:

Page

Family Head

under 5

5-10

10-14

15-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

under 5

5-10

10-14

15-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

97

William Foster

1

1

2

1

1

2

1

1

By 1840 one could easily imagine all of the girls in this family had moved on. If this William Foster was still alive in 1840 and moved with the rest of the Foster’s, could he be to 60-69 year old living with James, Jr.?

Just another shot in the dark.

OK, now let’s look at James Foster, Sr’s family in 1840

James Sr. – @59

Rebecca – @50

John – @31

James – @29

William – @23

Susan – @19

Mary Ellen – @14

Since we have separate lines for John, James and William, who are these four other boys?

1 boy – 5-10

1 boy – 10-14

2 boys – 20-29

Allow me to introduce to you:

Elijah – 20

Daniel D. – 15

Burrell – 11

Samuel – 8

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