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Fayette County, Alabama

~ Family of Archilles K. Foster ~

Generously contributed by
Cecil W. Hannaford

"The trail of the Foster Family in America is recorded eloquently in two publications: (1) The Foster Family in Flanders, England and America, by Dr. Billy Glen Foster [2130 Santa Fe Trail, Tyler, Texas 75703], and (2) Forster-Foster and Their Royal Descendants, compiled by Gerneva Foster Dennis [2625 N. Sixth Street, Abilene, Texas 79603].  The Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) of Salt Lake City, Utah, has on their Ancestral File records of family members very similar to the above books mentioned.

"The roots go back to around 1000 A.D.  It is a fascinating story to study the migration from Flanders, through England, and on to America when Richard Forster (b) 1619 arrived aboard the ship 'Safety.'

"Dr. Billy Glen Foster devotes 49 pages to the early history and the Royal ancestry connections.

"Records of Fosters can be found in the Essex County Court House in Tappahannoch, Virginia.  Somewhere along the way the name became Foster rather than Forster after arriving in America.

"The will of Robert Foster was executed in 1715, and probated in 1719 in Essex County, Va.

"Anthony Foster's will was probated in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, in 1763.  He had a son named John Foster.

"John Foster had a son named Anthony Foster (b) 1727 (d) 1805 in Cross Anchor, S.C., where he is buried along with his wife Sarah and brother-in-law, Fielding Tinsley, on the north side of the S.C. Highway #49 right-of-way between Cross Anchor and I-26 some one-half to one mile west of Cross Anchor.  His burial site is in all likelihood on his place at the time of his death.

"Anthony had a son named Archilles [...]"

(Excerpted from "Foster Trails," unpublished article by Cecil W. Hannaford, 11 Sep 2000.)

Descendants of Archilles K. Foster

1. Archilles K. FOSTER b. (1780/1784), Spotsylvania Co., VA, m. ca 1811, in SC, Jane BLACKSTOCK, b. 11 Jul 1794, SC, (dau. of William Berry BLACKSTOCK Jr. and Mary BOBO) d. 12 Dec 1860, Fayette Co., AL.  Archilles died 1845, Fayette Co., AL.

       i  William E. FOSTER b. 10 Dec 1812, SC.
2.   ii  (Rev.) Anthony Edward FOSTER b. 18 Nov 1814, Spartanburg Co., SC.
     iii  Polly G. FOSTER b. 2 Jul 1818.
     iv  Isaac T. FOSTER b. 17 Sep 1820, Hall Co., GA.
      v  James Franklin FOSTER b. 7 Feb 1823.
     vi  Riley Bedemus FOSTER b. 20 Feb 1825, Hall Co., GA.
    vii  Edmond Bobo FOSTER b. 3 Mar 1827, Hall Co., GA.
   viii  Joel M. FOSTER b. 15 May 1829, Hall Co., GA.
     ix  H.I. FOSTER (m) b. 8 May 1831, Hall Co., GA.
      x  Simpson Caswell FOSTER b. 16 Jun 1834, Hall Co., GA.
Archilles K. Foster, father of Anthony Edward Foster, is believed to have been born in Spotsylvania, Virginia, and migrated to Spartanburg Co., South Carolina, with his parents, Anthony and Sarah Golding Foster.  His parents are buried in Cross Anchor, Spartanburg County, South Carolina.

Archilles and his wife, Jane Blackstock Foster, sold property in Union District, Spartanburg Co., SC, to son Joel Foster on 26 March 1811 for $700 (Deed Book K, pp. 298-299).

In 1828, Archilles Foster and son Edmund Foster of Union District, South Carolina, purchased land in Hall Co., Georgia, which was sold prior to his going to Fayette Co., Alabama, in his later years.

In 1835, he sold 50 acres of land in Hall County, Georgia, to William Reid for $750.

His burial place is undetermined.  His son Anthony Edward Foster is buried in the Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Alabama, and it is possible that Archilles is buried somewhere in that vicinity.

Second Generation

2. (Rev.) Anthony Edward FOSTER b. 18 Nov 1814, Spartanburg Co., SC, m. (1) 28 Feb 1834, Mary A. KING, b. 22 Jan 1813, d. 8 Dec 1872, Fayette Co., AL, bur. Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Fayette Co., AL, m. (2) 28 Nov 1872, in Fayette Co., AL, Laneza J. EDWARDS.  Anthony died 7 Oct 1885, Fayette, Fayette Co., AL, bur. Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church Cemetery.

Children by Mary A. King:

Anthony Edward FOSTER Jr. b./d. 9 May 1835, Fayette Co., AL.

ii  Sarah M. FOSTER b. 11 Aug 1836, d. 8 Jan 1891.

iii  Nancy M. FOSTER b. 2 Jul 1838, m. 1 Feb 1855, in Fayette Co., AL, John BUCKNER.  Nancy died 17 Sep 1869. [Note 1]

iv  John W. FOSTER b. 14 Mar 1840, d. 6 May 1841.

Ellen FOSTER b. 25 Feb 1842, d. 20 Feb 1933.

vi  Mary M. FOSTER b. 1 Oct 1843, m. 1860, in AL, (Rev.) Wiley L. MILES.  Mary d. 6 Jul 1866.
3. vii  James Monroe FOSTER b. 20 Jul 1845.

 viii  William Arkillis FOSTER b. 18 Oct 1847, Fayette Co., AL, m. Nancy WALDEN.  William died 29 Nov 1922, Fayette Co., AL, bur. Meadow Branch Cemetery, Kennedy, Lamar Co., AL. [Note 2]

ix  Rachel Jane FOSTER b. 4 Jan 1851, d. 11 Aug 1897.

Francis Narcissis FOSTER b. 28 Dec 1852, d. 30 May 1928.

xi  Vienna Termelsa FOSTER b. 1 Dec 1856, Fayette, Fayette Co., AL, d. 3 May 1888.

xii  Simpson Bobo FOSTER b. 5 Mar 1858, Fayette Co., AL, d. 28 Jun 1858, Fayette Co., AL.

Anthony Edward Foster, the second son and second child of Archilles K. and Jane Blackstock Foster, was born in 1814, when James Madison was president of the United States, the year that the British burned Washington, D.C., and The Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key.

He was a Circuit Rider Methodist Minister in the Fayette County, Alabama,* area.  He would ride his horse with his Bible in the saddle bag to rural churches to preach on weekends.  The Methodist Library at Birmingham Southern College, Birmingham, Alabama, was researched for information about his ministry.  No records were found of Anthony Edward Foster; however, there were no records of any Circuit Rider Ministers.  It is assumed that Circuit Riders were not included in the Methodist Church District proceedings in those days.

Anthony Edward Foster's name appears in several records in Fayette County.  In 1850, he was listed in the census as head of household (Volume II, p. 14).  The 1860 census lists Anthony Foster, age 45, born in South Carolina, occupation "Hatter" with a personal estate valued at $400.  The 1870 census shows his occupation as farmer; his real estate was valued at $600 and his personal property valued at $400.  The Fayette County, Alabama, History, Part IV — "Churches and Ministers, 1866-1883" — listed him as a Minister.  Page 197 of the Fayette County history shows A.E. Foster was paid $2 in 1874 as Clerk of Elections, Collins Beat.  Page 25 of the Fayette County history, 1821-1969, lists his and other's occupation as "Hatter" or "Hat Maker."  During the Civil War, many young men wrote home for wool hats, and this group of men made them for the soldiers.

The Marriage Records of Fayette County shows the second marriage of Anthony Edward Foster was to Louisa (Laneza) Edwards, 28 November 1872.  Obviously, the date of his second marriage and the death of his first wife, Mary A. King, 8 December 1872, are strange indeed.  The theory is there was some error in the county records in the years involved.  Record keeping in those days was obviously not as accurate as current times.

*Fayette County, Alabama, was created 20 December 1824.  It was originally part of Tuscaloosa and Marion counties.  Fayette was the 33rd county created after Alabama was admitted to the Union in 1819.

Third Generation

3. James Monroe FOSTER b. 20 Jul 1845, Fayette Co., AL, m. 6 Feb 1868, in Fayette Co., AL, Mary Louiza THOMPSON, b. 25 Jan 1848, Fayette Co., AL, (dau. of John M. THOMPSON and Nancy JEFFERSON) d. 23 Aug 1933, Reid, Calhoun Co., MS, bur. Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery, Reid, MS.  James died 5 Nov 1907, Thorn, Chickasaw Co., MS, bur. Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery.

Orlando Jefferson FOSTER b. 8 Dec 1868, Fayette Co., AL, m. Alice KENDRICK, b. 3 Apr 1872, Union Co., SC, (daughter of William M.R. Kendrick and Mary Frances Gordan) d. 26 Feb 1946, bur. Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery, Calhoun Co., MS.  Orlando died 2 Jul 1951, Eupora, Webster Co., MS, bur. Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery.
ii  Ella Colysto FOSTER b. 13 Oct 1870, Fayette Co., AL, m. (1) ca 1895, in Chickasaw Co., MS, Solomon Isaiah "Sol" ANDERSON, b. 1842, d. 1910, m. (2) ca 1912, Alfred Kinerd MIXON, b. 1885, d. 1965.  Ella died 27 Oct 1953, Thorn, Chickasaw Co., MS, bur. Elzey Cemetery, Vardaman, Calhoun Co., MS.
iii  Mary Myrtle "Molly" FOSTER b. 18 Dec 1872, Fayette Co., AL, m. 26 Apr 1899, in Chickasaw Co., MS, Bolin Commodore LANCASTER, b. 24 Jul 1856, d. 19 Jul 1934, Chickasaw Co., MS.  Mary died 26 May 1918, Anchor, Chickasaw Co., MS, bur. Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, Woodland, Chickasaw Co., MS.
iv  John Anthony FOSTER b. 1 Aug 1876, Fayette Co., AL, m. 18 Oct 1903, in MS, Annie Josephine VAUGHN.  John died 5 Apr 1936, Reid, Calhoun Co., MS, bur. Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery, Reid, MS.
Maggie FOSTER b. 04 Mar 1880, Fayette Co., AL, d. 21 Apr 1898, Thorn, Chickasaw Co., MS, bur. Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery, Calhoun Co., MS.
vi  Mattie Tierce FOSTER b. 30 Jan 1883, Fayette Co., AL, m. ca 1903, in MS, David Clark "Dave" KELLUM, b. 1 Dec 1880, d. 11 Sep 1931, bur. Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery, Reid, Calhoun Co., MS.  Mattie died 9 Feb 1946, Reid, MS, bur. Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery.
vii  Dora ALICE FOSTER b. 15 Sep 1885, Fayette Court House, Fayette Co., AL, m. 17 Dec 1913, in Thorn, Chickasaw Co., MS, James Thomas HANNAFORD, b. 31 Jul 1875, d. 23 Dec 1950, bur. Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery, Reid, Calhoun Co., MS.  Alice died 21 Sep 1953, Reid, MS, bur. Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery.
viii  Zada FOSTER b. 12 Sep 1888, Fayette Co., AL, d. 17 Jul 1898, Thorn, Chickasaw Co., MS, bur. Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery, Reid, Calhoun Co., MS.

James Monroe Foster, the seventh child and third son of Anthony Edward and Mary A. King Foster, was born in 1845, when James K. Polk was president of the United States.  The Alabama census of 1860 lists James M. Foster, age 14, born in Alabama.

James Monroe Foster was a Confederate States Army veteran.  During his military service, he was in the Battle of Shiloh; otherwise, very little is known of his whereabouts and service during the Civil War.

He married Martha Louiza Thompson of Fayette County in 1868.  The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Wiley Miles, pastor of the Mt. Vernon Methodist Church.

The History of Fayette County, Alabama, Volume II, 1821-1970, lists James M. Foster in several places:
• In 1860 the Commissioners of the Court passed an order granting the sum of $20 to James M. Foster and brother for erecting a gallows and furnishing a coffin for William Kirby, who was hanged for the murders of his father and brother.  Sheriff J.N. Horton was allowed $10 as Executor, and John C. Robertson was allowed $9.50 for shrouding and trimmings for the coffin in which William Kirby was buried (p. 3);
• James M. Foster served on the Petit Jury (first week) in 1887 (p. 30).

He moved his family to Chickasaw County, Mississippi, in 1889.  Chickasaw County records show that he purchased land on 20 January 1891 in NE¼ Sec. 20, Twp. 13, Range _ E (Deed Book H-8, p. 315).  Having settled at Thorn, he was engaged in farming and served as the third Post Master of Thorn from November 1895 through June 1902.  Family records indicate that James M. Foster donated the land for the location of the Thorn United Methodist Church.  He and his family were valued members of that congregation the remainder of his life.  James died in 1907 during the presidency of Teddy Roosevelt.

Please send additions/corrections to
Cecil W. Hannaford


Generously contributed by
Donna Willis Brown

[1] Nancy M. Foster, the second daughter and third child of Anthony Edward Foster and Mary A. King, married John Buckner Feb 1, 1855 in Blount County, Alabama.  A county map showed the Foster family farm abutted the Buckner family farm on the northeast corner.  I found Anthony Edward Foster’s 1853 ordination by the Methodist Episcopal Church and authorization to perform marriages in the state of Alabama.  The majority of the Fosters and the Buckners moved to Fayette County in time for the 1860 census.  John and Nancy and three children are listed in the 1860 census.  However, the rest of the story differs from here.

John Buckner died Sep 12 1862 in Charleston, Tennessee, as a Confederate soldier and his widow, Nancy M. Buckner, filed a claim as his widow.  The 1866 Fayette County census lists Mrs. Nancy Buckner and her four children living near (same census page or next page) her father Anthony Foster, brother Anthony Foster, Joshua Watson (whom she later married), and Amy Willis (whose son Nancy’s daughter married).

Some of the confusion regarding Nancy’s death in 1869 must have centered around the presumed remarriage of John Buckner after her death, even though they don’t seem to account for why the remarriage took place before Nancy’s supposed death.  I have no idea who the 1869 death date refers to, but it is clearly not the Nancy Foster who married John Buckner.  From looking carefully at the documents at the Blount County Courthouse, I was able to determine the John Buckner who married Nancy M. Foster in 1855 was able to write – his marriage license has his signature; his father, John Buckner, also had to agree to the marriage and his consent is noted by ‘his mark.’  The father, John Buckner, and his wife, Rachel, had moved to Fayette County where Rachel died shortly after the 1860 census.  The 1862 remarriage was of John Buckner, Sr., to Mary Savage – that remarriage was by a man who could not write because it was done with his ‘mark.’

The Fayette County marriage listing shows Nancy Buckner married Joshua Watson Jan 12, 1868.  The 1870 census lists Joshua & Nancy Watson with son, John B. Watson (1 yr) and the four Buckner children.  Daughter, M.J. (Mary Jane – my great-grandmother) Buckner, married J.F. Willis July 14, 1872, at the home of Joshua Watson.  The 1880 census lists Joshua & Nancy Watson plus four additional Watson children and three of the Buckner children living in West Holly Springs, Marshall County, Mississippi.  The marriage of daughter Sarah Buckner to William Newman Aug 26, 1890, took place at the home of Mrs. N. Watson in Fayette County, Alabama.

I had tracked William Rufus Buckner and Nedora Buckner Barnett as moving to Wise County, Texas, by the 1900 census but had been unable to locate Nancy.  Daughter Sarah Buckner Newman remained in Fayette County and is buried at the Wesley Chapel Cemetery.  Son, John B. Watson, also remained in Fayette County and is buried in the Mount Vernon Cemetery.  Through a great-grandson of William Rkeles (sic) Foster, I now know she married a third time to James S. Sailing on Aug 22 1897, in Slidell, Wise County, Texas.  She is in the 1900 census living with Mr. Sailing and her last child, Cameron Watson.  Mr. Sailing died before the 1910 census; in that census, Nancy Sailing is listed as a widow living with son, James E. Watson in Wise County, Texas.

Nancy Foster Buckner Watson Sailing died Dec 18, 1917, in Wise County, Texas, and is buried at the Oaklawn Cemetery in Decatur, Wise County, Texas – headstone photo is available at the Wise County website.

[2] William Rkeles Foster was the eighth child and fourth son of Anthony Edward Foster and Mary A. King.  According to his great-grandson, Alton Cook: "William R. Foster was born October 18, 1847 in Alabama.  His middle name was Rkeles, a phonetic spelling of the mispronunciation of the classical name Achilles that doesn’t have an R in it any where."  The Foster genealogy lists William Arkillis Foster as marrying Nancy Walden, but I find no documentation listed for any information found regarding him.  Nancy Walden married a Kelsey Foster in 1867 in Fayette County.  William R. Foster married Rebecca Melissa Moore in 1866.  They, too, moved to Wise County, Texas, and are fully trackable in every census up through 1920 in Oklahoma and includes their marriage and burials in El Reno Cemetery in El Reno, Cleveland County, Oklahoma.  A photo of his headstone is there listing the birth date attributed to William Arkillis Foster, October 18, 1847, and with his death date of Nov 29, 1922.  The headstone is shared with his wife Rebecca M. Moore Foster (Jan 2, 1847 – August 10, 1912).  The information regarding the time in Wise County, Texas, and Oklahoma was related to me by email by Mr. Cook who got his information directly and personally from his grandmother, Virginia Idella Foster Cook, as she related personal stories, including those of her recollection of ‘Aunt Nan’ (Nancy Foster Buckner Watson Sailing).

Please send additions/corrections to

Donna Willis Brown

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22 Jun 2003  |  11 Nov 2010