Our connection to the Foster's is through Hannah Foster who married James Pocock, on 22 July 1812 at Hailsham Parish Church and was the grandmother of Charlotte Edith Veness nee Pocock.

I have done no more than trace her parentage and some possible detail about her brothers and sisters and their descendants, but as can be seen from below it is often uncertain whether I have made the correct connections. 

Thomas Foster and Elizabeth Dunk

Thomas Foster was born around 1749 and is understood to have married Elizabeth Dunk on 7 July 1777 at Hailsham. 

Thomas and Elizabeth appear to have had nine children, all baptised in Hailsham Parish Church.

  • Thomas Foster. Baptised 15 February 1778
  • John Foster. Baptised 6 March 1779 .John Foster, son of Thomas Foster by his wife Elizabeth  was buried on 6 May 1780 at Hailsham.
  • William Foster. Baptised 31 December 1780.
  • Henry Foster. Baptised 26 September 1784. Henry was buried on 16 April 1785 at Hailsham Parish Church.
  • Ann Foster. Baptised 19 October 1786.
  • Francis Foster. Baptised 21 August 1791.
  • James Foster. Baptised 31 December 1792 .
  • Hannah Foster. Baptised 4 May 1794.
  • Jame Foster (daughter). Baptised 9 August 1795. Followed by burial of Jane on 21 November 1795 at Hailsham Parish Church.

Elizabeth Foster died in 1813 and was buried on 4 August 1813 at Hailsham. 

Thomas may have remarried Mary Hall, widow on 27 June 1815 at Hailsham Parish Church. The witnesses were John Smith and Susanna Terry.

Our line continues through Hannah Foster and her life is detailed below. 

A little is known about their other remaining children. 

  • William Foster and Mary

William Foster was baptised on 31 December 1780 at Hailsham Parish Church.

It is possible that in 1841 William, a 60 year old labourer was living with his wife Mary, aged 45 at Frederick Gardens, Brighthelmstone. 

  • Thomas Foster and Mary King

Thomas Foster was baptised on 15 February 1778, at Hailsham Parish Church, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Foster.

He married Mary King on 12 July 1798 at Hailsham Parish Church.

Thomas and Mary had four children:

  • Nathan Foster. Born 11 August 1801 in Hailsham.
  • David Foster. Born 8 December 1803 in Herstmonceux.
  • Thomas Foster. Born 16 February 1806 in Hailsham.
  • Aaron Foster. Baptised on 17 May 1818 at the Baptist Chapel, Hailsham. 

The three eldest children were baptised on 19 April 1807 at Hailsham Parish Church.

I can find no further trace of Thomas and Mary, but it appears Thomas had died by the time his eldest son married in 1843. .A Thomas Foster of Hailsham died aged 55 and was buried on 24 May 1838 in Hailsham. The age is wrong, but this maybe Thomas? 

Thomas and Mary's son Nathan Foster may have married Harriett Miles on 28 December 1823 in St Nicholas, Brighton.  Both were only able to make their mark. The witnesses were Thomas Pocock and Mary Shelsey. Thomas Pocock had witnessed a number of other marriages in the parish around that time. 

They possibly had two sons 

  • Thomas Foster.. Baptised 24 October 1824, son of Thomss and Harriett of Woburn Place, Brighton. Nsthan was a porter 
  • Nathan John Foster. Baptised & January 1827., son of Thomas and Harriett of Sytteyne Gardens, Brighton. Nathan was a porter, 

It is possible Hatrriett died sand Nathan remarried. His second wife my have been Mary Ann Hassell on 3 April 1843 and they married at St Pancras. Nathan was the son of Thomas Foster, deceased. Mary Ann was the daughter of Jesse Hassell.  Both were of full age. Nathan was a widower and a greengrocer. . 

In 1851 Thomas and Mary Ann were living at Trafalgar Street, Brighton, where 49 year old Nathan was a fruiter and grocer. The census confirms that he had been born in Hailsham. Nothing more is known about the family. 

Nothing more is known about Thomas and Mary's son David Foster 

Thomas and Mary's son Thomas Foster of Hailsham died aged 9 years old and was buried on 20 March 1815 at Hailsham.  

Thomas and Mary's son Aaron Foster may have married Phillis Pearce on 18 February 1844 in Hailsham. They were both of full age. Aaron was a labourer. Strangely no father's details are given!! Phillis was the daughter of James Pierce, labourer

In 1851 they were living in Railway Cottages, Hailsham and Aaron was a porter to the rail road. The census confirms that he had been born in Hailsham. Their eldest four children would have been born, but Jane is not listed. In 1861 they were at Railway Cottages, Eastbourne and Aaron, aged 48 was a railway guard. They had five children;

  • Levi Nathan Foster. Baptised 10 February 1845 in Hailsham. In 1881 Levi, aged 35, a railway engine driver was visiting at 18 Park Grove, Battersea. In 1891 he was boarding with Sophie Hatt, a 64 year old widow at 18 Park Grove. he is now 45 and still a railway driver. In 1901 he is boarding with Thomas Purden, a 47 year old house painter and his family at 2 Taybridge Road, Battersea. By 1911 he had retired, and boarding, now with Francis William Gotch and his family at 26 Tregarvon Road, Clapham Common. Francis was also a railway engine driver. Levi Nathan Foster of 26 Tregarvon Road Northside, Clapham died on 20 July 1913. Probate was granted to James Aaron Foster, cab driver and Harry Foster, schoolmaster. 
  •  Mary Ann Foster. Born 1847 in Willingdon. Mary Ann appears to have had a daughter out of wedlock. Emily Louisa Foster had been born in 1870 (Reg Gen March Qtr 1870 Hailsham 2b 78) and was seemingly Mary Ann's daughter. Mary Ann married William Read Mockett in 1875 (Reg Gen March Qtr 1875 Eastbourne 2b 103). They had four children. In 1881 they were living at 92 Regency House, Eastbourne and 28 year old William was a smith.  In 1891 they were living at 122 Longley Road, Eastbourne. 38 year old William was a blacksmith, his wife Mary, aged 44 was a lodging house keeper. Three children remained at home. In 1901 they were at 102 Longley Road, son Harry was a bricklayers labourer and Edgar was a solicitors clerk. Their son Harry subsequently enlisted in the 3334 Lab Coy. In 1915 at the time he joined he was a 38 year old plumber living at 13 Springfield Road, Eastbourne. Mary Ann Mockett died in 1933. .William Read Mockett died in 1935.
  • Jane Foster. Baptised on 16 July 1848 in Hailsham.  Jane Foster of Polegate died aged 1 year old 11 months and was buried on 18 April 1850 in Hailsham. 
  • James Aaron Foster. Born 1850 in Polegate James Aaron Foster married Naomi Hudson on 11 September 1879 in Bramber. They were both of full age. James was a railway clerk. Naomi was the daughter of Richard Hudson, parish clerk. In 1881 they were living in New England Road, Brighton in the same house as Naomi's parents. James was a railway clerk. They had two children: In 1891 the family was at Wood Street, Brighton and James was a cab driver. In 1901 they were living at New England Road, Brighton. James, aged 52 was a self employed fly proprietor. Son Harry, aged 20 was a college student and 17 year Ada was a telegraphist. In 1911 they were still at New England Road, James was a 68 year old cabman. Both Harry and Ada were still at home. Harry, aged 30 was an assistant school master. Ada, aged 27 was a posting clerk and telephonist. Naomi Foster died in 1929. James Aaron Foster of 308 Ditchling Road, Brighton died on 10 June 1931. Probate was granted to Harry Foster, schoolmaster.  
  • Emily A Foster. Born 1853 in Eastbourne. In 1871  Emily was a 18 year old school mistress living with her parents at Railway Cottage, Eastbourne. nothing more is known about her.    

In 1871 Aaron and Phyliss were still at Railway Cottages, Eastbourne and Aaron was a railway guard, Their 26 year old son Levi was a railway fireman, their 24 year old daughter Mary was a governess, son James, aged 21 was a railway ticket collector and 18 year old Emily was a school mistress. Also at the address was their granddaughter Emily Foster, aged 1.  Phillis Foster died in 1877 aged 63 years old (Reg Gen Sept Qtr 1844 Brighton 2b 131). Aaron remarried on 10 April 1878 at St Nicholas, Brighton. His second wife was Anne Roberts. They were both of full age. Aaron was a railway guard, Anne was a widow, the daughter of John Dudman (deceased), builder.  

Ann Foster died in 1880. Aaron remarried on 7 May 1881 in St Nicholas, Brighton. He was a 63 year old railway inspector. His new bride was widow Jane Simmons, daughter of Thomas Smith (deceased), farmer. .

 In 1891 Aaron and Jane were living in Brighton at 12 Guildford Street, Aaron, aged 72, is described as "living on own means". Aaron Foster died in 1891 aged 73 years old (Reg Gen Dec Qtr 1891 Brighton 2b 139). In 1901, 82 year old Jane had fallen on hard times and was an inmate in Brighton workhouse . She died in 1908 aged 86 (Reg Gen June Qtr 1908 Lewes 2b 105).

  • Ann Swail nee Foster

Ann Foster was baptised on 19 October 1786 at Hailsham Parish Church, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Foster.

On 8 August 1804 she married William Swail of Eastbourne at Hailsham Parish Church.

Nothing more is known about the couple. 

  • Francis Foster and Jemima Mepham

Francis Foster was baptised on 21 August 1791 at Hailsham Parish Church, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Foster.

On 9 May 1814 he married Jemima Mepham, at Hailsham Parish Church. Francis signed the register whereas Jemima was only able to make her mark. The witnesses were James Foster and Jane Davey.

They had a son 

  • Thomas Foster. Baptised 26 November 1815 in Hailsham

Another interesting baptism is William Bonniface illegitimate son  Francis Bonniface by Jemima Foster baptised 13 September 1818 in Hailsham.. Is this anything to do with Francis's wife? 

Nothing further is known.

  • James Foster and Susannah Brook/Ruth 

James Foster was baptised on 30 December 1792 at Hailsham Parish Church, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Foster.

On 25 November 1814 James Foster married Susannah Brook at Hailsham Parish Church. They were married by banns with the consent of parents, presumably because one or both of them were under age. James would have been around 21 and Susannah around18 years old. The witnesses were Francis Foster and William Page. Given the witnesses included one of his siblings I had assumed that this is the son of Thomas Foster and Elizabeth Dunk and the brother of Hannah Foster who married James Pocock.  

Other researchers suggest that James had four children, however I am not entirely convinced this is correct :

  • Samuel Foster. Born 1817 in Hailsham
  • Caleb Foster. Born 1824 in Hailsham
  • Silas Foster. Born 1828 in Hailsham, but Silas Foster baptised in 1828 in Hailsham Baptist Church  was the son of James Foster and Ruth.  
  • Elizabeth Foster. Born 1833 in Hailsham, but Elizabeth Foster baptised 18 August 1832 was the daughter of James Foster and Ruth.    

In 1841 James, a 45 year old agricultural labourer was living in Hailsham with two children, Silas aged 12 and Elizabeth, aged 8. it is not clear where his wife was at the time.  

In 1851 James, a 60 year old agricultural labourer living with his wife "Ruth", aged 56 (born Warbleton)   at  "The Town", Hailsham  with their grandchildren Ann Foster, aged 10 and Elizabeth Foster, aged 1. These appear to be Samuel's daughters (see below).  Is this "our" James?   

In 1861 James, a 65 year old labourer was living at Summers Heath, Hailsham with his 65 year old wife "Susan", "a monthly nurse", their granddaughter Susan, aged 12 and lodger Lucy Head, a 75 year old widow. Susan appears to be the daughter of their son Caleb. 

Susannah Foster died aged 76 in Hailsham in 1871  (Reg Gen Sept 1871 Hailsham 2b 43)

James Foster died in 1886.

It is possible that James and Susannah's son Samuel Foster had married Jane Knight in 1839 (Reg Gen May 1839 Hailsham 7 455). In 1841, Samuel and Jane, both aged 20 were living at Hailsham. The census confirms Samuel was born in Hailsham. They had a one year old daughter:

  • "Mary" Ann Foster. Born 1839  

In 1851 Samuel was a 34 labourer living at 8 Cacklebury, Hailsham (next to his brother Caleb). He and his wife Jane, aged 33 had three children,    

  • Silas James Foster. Born 16 January 1843 at Hailsham. Baptised 12 January 1845 at Hailsham. Silas married Sarah Jane Ottaway on 22 April 1866 at St Nicholas, Sutton by Croydon. 
  • Mercy Ann Foster. Born August 1844 at Hailsham.  Baptised 12 January 1845 at Hailsham. Mercy Ann Foster may have married Edward Goldsmith on 16 October 1858 in Hailsham. Edward was of full age, a labourer, son of  Reuben Goldsmith, labourer. Mercy was 20 years old?? This is more in line with sister "Mary Ann's age. Was this one and the same person? 
  • Samuel Caleb Foster. Baptised 1 November 1846 in Hailsham. 

Their daughter Ann is not listed. Ann Foster, aged 10 and Elizabeth Foster, aged 1 were living with their grandparents, James Foster, aged 60 and Ruth Foster, aged 56. James is the wrong age to be "our" James, and it is also unclear what had happened to Susannah.  In 1861  Samuel and Jane, both aged 44 were living at Downash, Hailsham with the following children: 

  • Elizabeth Hannah Foster, aged 11. Born 1850 in Hailsham. Elizabeth married George Lavender on 25 December 1865 at Hailsham. They had three daughters. Other researchers have suggest that Elizabeth died on 8 May 1909 at George Street, Mount Rosskill, Auckland, but her husband George Lavender died in 1919 in Lewes. 
  • Stephen Frank Foster, aged  9. Born 1852 in Hailsham. Stephen is believed to have married Emily Alice Wenham on 23 August 1874 at St John the Evangelist at Walworth. They had four children. Emily Alice Foster died in 1887. Stephen is believed to have remarried in 1897.  
  • Mary Jane Foster, aged 3. Born 1858 in Hailsham. Mary married Alfred Kenyon on 25 December 1876 at Croydon. They had ten children. 
  • Ruth Naomi Foster, aged 2 months. Born 1861 in Hailsham. Ruth married George Brewer on 26 April 1886 at Sutton, Surrey. They had three children. Ruth died in 1960 in Hendon, Middlesex.

In 1871 Samuel and Jane were living  at Barrack Road Cottage, Sampsons Road, Hailsham. Only Stephen and Ruth were living at home. Samuel Foster died in 1873 in Hailsham. In 1881, Jane Foster was a 64 year old laundress living at Terminus Road, Hailsham. Jane Foster of Hailsham died aged 73 and was buried on 15 November 1890. As indicated above I do have concerns about whether all these entries relate to the same family and the correct family.  

James and Susannah's son Caleb Foster married Sophia Weller on 19 June 1849.  Caleb, a labourer "of full age" was the son of James Foster, labourer was only able to make his mark. Sophia Weller, a minor (i.e. under 21) was the daughter of William Weller, farmer.  

In 1851 they were living at 8 Cacklebury, Hailsham where 26 year old Caleb was a general labourer. In 1861 they were still at the same address and Caleb was described as an agricultural labourer. In 1871 they were living at 30 acres field, Tonbridge, where 47 year old Caleb was a carter. They had ten children:

  • Susan Foster. Born 1849 in Hendon
  • Caroline Foster. Born 1851 in Hailsham
  • Ellen Foster. Born 1853 in Middlesex
  • James Foster. Born 1856 in Hailsham. James may have died in 1892 in East Grinstead. 
  • Frederick Foster. Born 1857 in Hailsham. 
  • Thomas Foster. Born 1860 in Hailsham. 
  • Owen Foster. Born 1864 in Hailsham. Owen may have died in 1939 in Croydon. 
  • Charles Foster. Born 1866 in Brenchley. 
  • Louisa Foster. Born 1870 in Hadlow. 
  • Frank Foster. Born 1873 in Tonbridge 
  • Emily Foster. Born 1875 in Tonbridge. Emily married Charles Bradford on 25 June 1901 at Godstone. They had seven children, six girls and one boy. Charles died in 1916 leaving Emily with a young family to raise alone.  Emily died in 1931 in Sevenoaks.  

In 1881 the family were living at Lambert Farm Cottages, where 58 year old Caleb was a waggoner. Sons James, aged 25, Frederick, aged 23 and Thomas, aged 21 were farm labourers, Owen, aged 17 was a waggoners mate and Charles, aged 15 was a farm boy. the remaining children were scholars. In 1901 Caleb and Sophia were living at Tucker Plat, Lingfield, Caleb, aged 77 is described as a "normal agricultural labourer". Their sons Thomas, aged 41 and Frank, aged 28 were general labourers, Daughter Emily was also living at home, aged 25 she was a charwoman. A grandson Charles F Foster was 7 months old. Caleb Foster died on 2 June 1906 and was buried on 7 June 1906 at Lingfield. In 1911 Sophia Foster, a 79 year old widow was living at The Platt, Dormansland, East Grinstead.   

It is possible that in 1871 James and Susannah's son, Silas Foster (if indeed that's who he was) may have been a servant working for Daniel and Mary White at Rose Cottage, Bexhill. Nothing else is known with any certainty. 

It is possible that James and Susannah's daughter Elizabeth Foster (if indeed that's who she was) may have married David Vine in 1852 in Hailsham. They had at least three children, but because of the uncertainty over whether this is James and Susannah's daughter I have not recorded the detail here. 

Hannah Pocock nee Foster

Hannah Foster was baptised on 4 May 1794 at Hailsham Parish Church, the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Foster. The witnesses were William Jenner and Francis Foster.

Hannah married James Pocock, on 22 July 1812 at Hailsham Parish Church.

James and Hannah Pocock had eight children:

  • James Pocock. Baptised 31 October 1813 at Hailsham Parish Church. As a further son James was baptised in 1818 it seems likely that this son did not survive.
  • Thomas Pocock. Baptised 30 July 1815 at Hailsham Parish Church
  • William Pocock. Baptised 24 May 1817 at Westham Parish Church.
  • James Pocock. Baptised 13 September 1818 at Westham Parish Church.
  • Samuel Pocock. Baptised 24 June 1821 at Westham Parish Church.
  • Ruth Pocock. Baptised 8 June 1823 at Westham Parish Church.
  • Richard Pocock. Born 1826 in Westham.
  • Maria Pocock. Baptised 8 May 1832 at Hooe Parish Church. Buried 25 April 1832 (aged 3 weeks) at Hooe Parish Church.

Their lives together and that of their children are detailed in Appendix E

Click here to go to "Appendix G - Lewis"

Click here to go back to "Appendix E - Pocock"