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John Foster . . . was born either about 1715 or 1735. (He) made his will in Abbeville County, South Carolina,
dated 1, July, 1785 and probated 2 May 1786. His wife was named Mary and he named nephews Alexander Foster
and Samuel Foster Sr., Samuel, Jr., and James Foster. His children were names:
We know from John’s will that he was a grandfather at the time of his death because he named his grandchildren:
John Foster, James Foster, Robert Foster and Samuel Foster were the sons of his son James, and Elizabeth Foster
was the daughter of the son James. The children of his son John were Robert Foster , Agness Foster and Mary Foster.
James Foster, son of John Foster, Junior, died in May, 1784 at his dwelling in the Long Cane Settlement
of Abbeville District, South Carolina.
We know only that James had four sons. His father named a daughter Elizabeth in his will.
According to payments made to the heirs of Robert Foster it has been determined that his heirs were besides his wife Hannah:
1. A daughter who married Thomas Nealey
2. Robert Foster
3. Samuel Foster
4. Elijah Foster
5. A daughter who married David Cochran
6. A daughter who married Robert Hearst
7. A daughter who married Andrew Crawford
8. Benjamin Foster, a minor
9. Joseph Foster, a minor
10. William Foster, a minor
11. Margaret Foster, a minor, later married a Jordan
12. Ebenezer Foster, a minor
13. James Foster, a minor
There is absolutely no doubt that Robert Foster who came to Maury County, Tennessee, was the son of Revolutionary
War Soldier Robert Foster of Abbeville District, South Carolina. He and his brothers and sisters were named in
the estate settlement, and Joseph kept old family papers which prove the descent from Robert.
We are fortunate to know more about the early FOSTERS from an account published in “Historic Maury”, the publication
of the Maury County Historical Society, in Volume XVII, pages 46-55. It is from the Gardner Family Records,
contributed by Thelma Benham Gardner in 1981. It had been written by Leona Gardner.
“My father J. M. Gardner was born in 1822 … He married in 1843. Her name was Martha S. Foster. She was born in 1825.
“Her father was Robert Foster. He with his wife and children moved from South Carolina to Tennessee in about 1830.
Grandmother Foster lived to be 91 years old. She died when I was a very small child.
“…Grandfather Foster’s children were Willison Foster, who died in Texas, Robert and Enos who lived and died in
West Tennessee, Sarah who married three times but left no children, Hannah who married Isaac Gillham who also left a
family in West Tennessee, and Martha who was my mother. Aunt Sarah’s last husband was named Ellis.”
Robert Foster was born 26 September 1782, in Abbeville District, South Carolina, and died in Maury County, Tennessee,
28 February 1855. He is buried in Jones Presbyterian Church Cemetery, which is located on Cathey’s Creek, on the
old Robinette farm. … Robert had married in South Carolina, Martha Crawford, the daughter of Enos Crawford, who was
a soldier of the American Revolution. Martha’s tombstone has not been located, but no doubt she is buried beside
her husband. … Mr. Gardner remembered that Martha lived to be 91, and that she died when he was a small boy.
He was born in 1867, so Martha likely died in the early 1870s. At this time the exact date is unknown. We know
that she was Martha Crawford because both she and her husband are named in the will of her father, Enos Crawford,
in Abbeville District.
Just recently an old FOSTER family bible has been located. It was in the possession of Miss Maggie Gillham of
Adamsville, Tennessee. Robert Foster’s great-great granddaughter. The bible had belonged to Robert Milton
Foster, son of Robert. Robert’s birthdate was the same as given on his tombstone, and it was noted that he was
born in Abbeville District, South Carolina and died in Maury County, Tennessee, February the 28th, 1855, of pneumonia
after an illness of nine days.
Martha H. Crawford, wife of Robert Foster, was born in Abbeville District, South Carolina May the 14th, 1783, and
married Robert Foster in Abbeville District, July the 4th, 1811. No death date was give in the bible for Martha,
but if her granddaughter remembered correctly, and she died at the age of 91, she must have died in 1874.
The Children of Robert and Martha Crawford Foster were:
1. Willison Foster, born July 2, 1812, Abbeville District, South Carolina, married in Maury County, Tennessee,
5 Oct 1841 Rebecca E. Harberson (probably Harbison). Children (from 1850 census):
a. Dorcas W. Foster, born about 1842
b. Martha P. Foster, born about 1844
c. Felix G. Foster, born about 1845
d. Roena S. Foster, born about 1848
2. Talitha Foster, born January 20, 1814, married in Maury County, Tennessee, January 3, 1837, Samuel D. Gardner.
a. Henry Gardner, born about 1838
b. Clarissa Gardner, born about 1840
c. Louisa Gardner, born about 1843
d. Martha Gardner, born about 1845
e. Edmond Gardner, born about 1846
f. Thomas Gardner, born about 1849
3. Robert Milton Foster, born December 29, 1815, Abbeville District, South Carolina, married Hannah Cochran
February 21, 1837 in Maury County, Tennessee, Hannah was born December 17, 1819 in Abbeville District, South Carolina
and was the daughter of Reuben and Hannah S. Maley (Molloy) Cochran, who also came to Maury County, and whose family
was first recorded in the bible which later belonged to Robert Milton Foster. This couple moved to Hardin County,
Tennessee, where Robert Milton died October 2, 1892. Children:
a. Enos Monroe Foster, born September 4, 1838
b. Robert William Foster, born October 3, 1840, Maury County, died Hardin County, Tennesse May 20, 1885
c. James Willison Foster, born December 6, 1842, Maury County, Tennessee, wounded in battle at Marietta, Georgia,
died June 27, 1864 at Atlanta, Georgia, buried there.
d. Nancy Eliza Jane Foster, born September 30, 1845, died 4 October 1845.
e. Reuben Cochran Foster, born November 9, 1847, Maury County, Tennessee, married Margaret A. Rushing December 26, 1869,
Hardin County, Tennessee. Reuben died March 24, 1918 Children:
I. James Ezra Foster, born October 16, 1870, Hardin County, Tennessee.
II. Talitha Jane Foster, born August 24, 1872, Hardin County, Tennessee, married William Amison Gillham.
III. There may have been other children. The way the births wee entered in the bible is confusing.
4. Sarah Foster, born December 5, 1817, married three times.
5. Hannah S. Foster, born September 22, 1819, Abbeville District, South Carolina, married in Maury County Tennessee,
Isaac A. Gilliam.
6. Enos Crawford Foster, born September 27, 1822, Abbeville District, South Carolina, was a Cumberland Presbyterian
minister, died in Hardin County Tennessee, August 4, 1890, and is buried in Bethlehem Cemetery, Hardin County.
7. Martha Samantha Foster, born June 29, 1825, Abbeville District, South Carolina, married in Maury County, Tennessee,
April 5, 1843, John M. Gardner. Martha died prior to 1887, at which time her husband remarried. He is buried in Goshen
Cemetery, but no tombstone for her has been located. They had ten children. Names known are:
a. Alice Gardner, born 5 January 1846, died 17 February 1880, married James Fox, lived in Williamson County, Tennessee.
b. Robert Green Gardner, married (1st) Leon Fox and (2nd) Margaret Fox
c. Zebulon Gardner, married (1st) Maggie Fitzpatrick and (2nd) Bettie Alloway.
d. William Gardner, married Eliza Collier, lived at the old homeplace.
e. Sarah Leona Gardner, a missionary to Central America. It was she who wrote the account of the Gardner and Foster
families. She was born about 1868.
Joseph Foster, the son of Robert, Revolutionary War Soldier, of Abbeville District, South Carolina, was born the
12 December, 1792, and died in Maury County, Tennessee 28 June, 1865. He married in Abbeville District Mary Anderson,
born 24 May, 1792, died 31 March, 1869 in Maury County. Joseph and his wife are supposedly buried in a small family
cemetery at the old homeplace, on what is now the Poplar Creek Road, leading from Cross Bridge to Williamsport.
In 1964 it was owned by Lewis Grimmett.
In 1969 Margaret Foster Fisher compiled a history of the descendants of Joseph Foster. His children were:
1. Hannah J. Foster, born 16 December 1816, married 13 September 1841, Samuel J. Strayhorn, died 21 January 1880.
2. Robert A. Foster, born 29 April 1818, died 7 July 1851
3. Benjamin Clark Foster, born 30 December 1819 married Fannie Goodrich Robinson 1 June 1846, died 28 July 1898.
Benjamin Clark was the grandfather of Miss Mary Alice Foster who has preserved the Foster papers. She and her sister,
the late Lois Foster Walters, kept them after the death of her father Robert Henry Foster.
4. John E. Foster, born 6 November 1824, married Elizabeth White 8 July 1851, died 28 July 1907
5. Margaret Lavinia (or Louvinda Ann) Foster, married Peter Robert Hamilton Joyce. She was born 12 December 1833
died 15 April 1881, buried in Concord Cemetery, on land owned by Monsanto Chemical Company, near Columbia, Tennessee.
COCHRAN-FOSTER FAMILY BIBLE
The New Testament of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Translated out of the Original Greek and with The Former
Translations Diligently Compared and Revised. Philadelphia. Published and for sale by Hogan & Thompson Printed
by Jesper harding, No. 74 South Second Street, 1839
(The Bible obviously belong frist to Reuben Cochran, then to his daughter, Hannah, who married Robert Milton Foster.
In January, 1987, owned by Miss Maggie Gillhan, Adamsville, Tennessee.)
Inside front cover: “This is Grandmother Foster’s Father’s bible. Grandmother’s name was Hannah F. Cochran Foster.
This Bible belonged to Robert M. Foster originally.”
First Page: Column 1
Reuben Cochran was born October 22 – 1790
Hannah S. Maley was born November 25, 1798
Reuben Cochran and Hannah S. Maley was married August 31st 1813
Eliza Ann Cochran was born February 23 – 1815 -
Jane M. Cochran was born August 30 – 1817 –
Hannah F. Cochran was born December the 17 – 1819 –
Nancy Amanda Cochran was born October 8th 1821 –
Hannah S. Cocoran died October 24, 1822
Reuben Cochran died the 29 March 1855 in Maury County and town of Columbia, Tennessee
First Page: Column 2
Robert Milton Foster and Hannah Cochran was married February 21, 1837
William McCree Cochras was born January the 8th, 1825
James T. L. Cochran was born July the 3d 1828
Jane Martha Cochran departed this life May the 5th 1822
Eliza Ann Cochran departed this life September 27th 1826
Nancy Amanda Cochran departed this life February 22d 1844
Second Page: Column 1
Enos Monroe Foster was born Sept 4, 1838
Robert William Foster was born Oct. 3, 1840
James Willison Foster was born December 6, 1842 in Maury County, Tenn
Nancy Eliza Jane Foster was born September the 30th 1845 in Maury County, Tenne.
Second Page – Column 2
Robert Milton Foster was born the 29 December 1815 in Abbeville District, South Carolina
Hannah Cochran was born on the 17 December 1819 in South Carolina Abbeville District
Reuben C. Foster, born November the 9, 1847 in Maury County, Tennessee
Third Page – Column 1
Hannah Talitha Christianna Foster born March the 28 in the year of our Lord 1854 at half past ten oclock A.M.
in Lewis County Tennessee
James Ezra Foster was born Oct 16th in the year of our Lord 1870 in Hardin County Tennessee
Talith Jane Foster was born Aug.24th 1872 in Hardin County Tennessee
Third page – Column 2
Robert Foster was born Sept. the 26th 1782
Martha H. Crawford was born May 14th 1783 in Abbeville District, South Carolina and was married July the 4th 1811.
Willison Foster born July the 2’s 1812
Talitha Foster born January 20, 1814
Robert M. Foster born Dec. the 29th 1815
Sarah Foster born Dec the 5th 1817
Hannah S. Foster born Sept the 22, 1819
Enos Crawford Foster born Sept 27, 1822
Martha Samantha Foster born June 29th 1825
All in South Carolina Abbeville Districk.
Fourth Page – Column 1
Nancy Eliza Jane Foster departed this life on 4 October 1845
James W. Foster was wounded in the battle-field of Marietta June the 22 1864 & departed this life June the 27, 1864
at Atlanta, Georgia. Buried at same place
Reuben Willison Foster was born Mar. 5, 1886
Maggie Christianna Foster was born Nov. 8, 1887
Eber Enos Foster was born July 15, 1890
Fourth Page - Column 2
Robert William Foster departed this life on May the 20th 1885 in Hardin County, Tenn.
Robert Milton Foster departed this life on Oct. the 2nd 1892 in Hardin Co. Tenn.
Margaret A. Foster, wife of R. C. Foster, departed this life on July the 21st 1901 in Hardin Co., Tenn.
Rhoda Ann Foster, wife of E. M. departed this life Mch. 12th 1905 in McNairy Co., Tenn
Reuben C. Foster died March 24, 1918
Robert Foster departed this life Feb. the 28 1855 in Maury County, Ten. Died of pneumonia illness 9 days
Leaves from another bible:
R. C. Foster and M.A. Rushing of Hardin County, Tenn. Were married on Dec. 26th 1869 at Hardin County, Tenn., by PJ Williams.
James E. Foster was born Oct. 16th 1870
Talitha J. Foster was born Aug. 24th 1872.
Thomas R.M. Foster was born Sept 2nd 1874
William G. H. Foster was born April 9th 1876
Reuben W. Foster was born Mar. 5th 1886.
Maggie C. Foster was born Nov. 8, 1887.
Eber E. Foster was born July 15, 1890.
(Stuck in the bible was an invitation to the burial of Mrs. Nancy A. Crawford, from the residence of Wm. Crawford.
February 22, 1844. Services at the Methodist Church this evening at 3 o’clock P.M. by the Rev. Mr. Scruggs.)
(Note: This woman is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Columbia, Tennessee)
Obituary of Enos Crawford Foster stuck in the bible. (Note: The name of Reuben Cochran’s wife, written Maley in
the bible, may have been Meloy in the 1790 census of Abbeville.)