Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Family Sketches Part I
BY THOMAS BOYD FOSTER, OF STEVENSON, ALA. IN THE 83RD YEAR OF HIS LIFE, AT THE REQUEST AND GRATIFICATION OF HIS CHILDREN AND RELATIVES SCATTERED ABROAD.
So begins 46 pages in which Thomas tells of his life and times.
The drawing is on page one, possibly a self portrait?
I feel obligated to remind us how we are related to the Fosters. My Grandma Bagley was the daughter of Sallie (Foster) Roe. Her father was Andrew Boyd Foster, and his father was Thomas Boyd Foster. So, Thomas was the Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather of Colter Glenn, the newest member of our branch.
In the small book he entitled "Family Sketches", Thomas starts by telling of his ancestry, of which he did not know much. He thought his father's parents came from "the Emerald Isle" [Ireland], and his mother's parents came from "that old and historic country designated on the map of the world as Scotland". At this time it looks like thier families were from these two locals, but at least a couple of the grandparents were born in America, possible the children of immigrants.
Both sets of his grandparents had settled in Virginia "long before the war of the revolution."
His father, William Foster, was born on July 30, 1774 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. His mother, Sally B. Boyd, was born on February 12, 1779. In William's Will he refers to his wife as "Sarah". I have written elsewhere that 'Sallie' or 'Sally' was a common nickname for the given name 'Sarah'. I have to wonder if this was the original 'Grandma Sally' in our family!?
His parents were married on June 28, 1804 and had a farm for a few years in Wythe County Virginia. This is where Thomas was born. When he was five years old they left Virginia with two wagons and a carriage, on the way their new home in Tennessee. In 1815, this had to be a trip of at least 400 miles, as it is 350 miles on todays highways.
His father became quite ill on the journey, so much so that the mother was reluctant to have the wagons unloaded until it was determined if he would die or not. For if he died, she intended to return to Virginia! He recovered and they stayed in Tennessee.
78 years after the trip, Thomas recalled one incident with vivid detail, I will quote it here:
"near the end of our journey, through the overkindness of Cousin William Foster, who was driving one of the teams, I was permitted to ride what was then known as the off-wheel horse, that is the horse on the right at the rear of the team. While going down a slant in the road I fell from the horse. A negro woman sitting in the front part of the wagon, seeing me fall, jumped out over the horse from which I had fallen. This frightened the team, and they turned suddenly to the left. This saved me from being crushed. One wheel passed over one of my legs. I had to be hauled to our new home."