Benjamin Foster


Benjamin Foster (March 17, 1759 - April 17, 1804) was born on March 17, 1759 in New Jersey, United States.

He was the youngest son of Martha Sutton (1719-1802), a native of Piscataway and Benjamin Foster (1725-1780), a New Jersey landowner who sold land with his brother-in-law Henry Sutton (1724-1806), and Azariah Dunahms (1718-1790), a lieutenant colonel and American revolutionary leader who later became mayor of New Brunswick, New Jersey.

It should be noted that during the American Revolutionary War, which began in 1775, more of the battles took place in New Jersey than in any other colony with a record of 296 engagements between opposing forces. These battles included the Battle of Trenton (1776), the Battle of Princeton (1777), and the Battle of Monmouth (1778).

The revolution scored some of it's most desperately needed victories during this time.

Benjamin's parents were married on July 8, 1751 in Piscataway, Middlesex when she was 31 and he was 26, and together they had 4 children: Priscilla Foster (1751-1787), Johannah Foster (1753-?), Sarah Foster (1754-1809) and Benjamin Foster (1759-1804).

One of the daughters, Priscilla, married Elisha South (1749-1811), great-great-grandson of Edward Fuller (1575-1621), a passenger on the historic 1620 voyage of the Mayflower ship and a signatory to the Mayflower Compact, who died with his wife shortly after making landfall in their new settlement in Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.

Johanna married Jonathan Clawson and her older sister, Sarah, married her first cousin, Captain Daniel Turner (1750-1837), who served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.

Benjamin Foster was the grandson of Johanna Van Imbroch (1699-1748), of German descent, and Benjamin Foster (1695-1736), who emigrated to America around 1718 from Ossett, West Yorkshire, England and once in New York was a tanner and administrator in the lands of his mother-in-law, Jannetie Mesier (1671-1728).

Johanna Van Imbroch was a native of New York and, in turn, great-great-granddaughter of Jessé de Forest (1576-1624), a prominent explorer and colonizer, leader of a group of Walloon Huguenots who fled Europe due to religious persecution and emigrated to the Nuevo Mundo, where he planned to found New-Amsterdam, which is now New York City.

Marriage in New Jersey

Benjamin Foster had 2 natural children between 1781 and 1784, Susannah Foster (1781-1865) and Benjamin Foster (1783-1819).

He then married Mary Welsh (1766-1814), around 1788 in Piscataway, Middlesex, United States, and together they had 10 children: Catherine W. Foster (1787-1872), Archer Gifford Foster (1790-1812), John Foster (1792-1803), Anna Maria Foster (1792-1837), Alexander Foster (1794-1819), Sarah Foster (1796-1823), William Turner Foster (1798-1805), Louisa Foster (1800-1819), Eliza Manning Foster (1802-1891) and Julia Ann Foster (1804-1884).

Mary Welsh was born on January 28, 1766 in Piscataway, Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States and died at the age of 48, on December 27, 1814 in the same city. She was buried in the cemetery of Saint James's Episcopal Church, also known as Piscatawaytown Burial Ground in Edison, Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States.

It should be noted that the eldest daughter of Benjamin's first marriage, Susannah Foster, married Cleaveland Alexander Forbes (1780-1857), a captain in the United States navy who sailed during the War of 1812 as a privateer and commanded the Francis Depau between New York and Havre, France, from 1833 to 1836.


Benjamin Foster died on April 17, 1804 at the age of 45, and his remains rest in the cemetery of Saint James's Episcopal Church, also known as Piscatawaytown Burial Ground in Edison, Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States.