- From someone who was a foster parent or foster child
- Keeper of the forest or of a wooded land
- Maker of wooden saddle frames
- Commonly used as a last name/surname
- Famous for actress Jodie Foster, and Foster Grant sunglasses
More history of the name Foster
There are three origins for this name, but it is impossible now to tell from which of these three sources any given Foster family derived its name.
In Middle English, “foster” was commonly used to designate a foster father or foster children. It is known that in some cases, the surname was derived in this way.
The maker of wooden frames for saddles was known as a Folster, or Foyster, and this gave Fewster, Fuster and sometimes Foster. More often it is a shortening of Forester. It is from this source that one of the American families claims descent.
According to their story, Sir Richard Forrester went from Normandy to England, with William the Conqueror, his brother-in-law, and with him took part in the Battle of Hastings.
This Sir Richard, we are told, was official keeper of the “wild land” for William, and hence acquired his surname, which was first Forrester, then Forester, then Forster, and finally Foster.
It is said that all of the name to this day possess a keen love of the woods and desire to be in the open. The descendants of Sir Richard Forrester are said to have lived in the northern counties of England, and to have taken part in many of the encounters with the Scotch.