The pages in this section contain the origin of our name, and some historical background of the family during the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Of necessity there is a brief introduction to the South Wales mining industry as mining was the main occupation of our Fosters during this period. There are also descriptions of some of the towns and villages in which they and other antecedents lived, in order to give a sense of time and place.

A number of locations have played a part in our family’s history. London and its environs has, of course, been home to many of our ancestors, but other lesser known locations have also been prominent. Amongst them are:

Merthyr Tydfil - Glamorgan
This is where many of the first Fosters we are able to trace, lived and worked. Their lives were inextricably linked with the life of the town, and the iron and coal-mining industries which brought it prosperity.

Pontlottyn – Glamorgan
In the next valley to Merthyr, this is where Tom Foster, husband of Pearl, and Father of Ivor (Bill), Michael, Jill and Ray Foster, was born. As such, he is also Grandfather to some, and Great-grandfather or Great-Uncle to others.
Many of our Foster ancestors lived and worked in and around Pontlottyn.

Catmore – Berkshire
This is where Kezia Hughes was born and lived before moving to London and marrying William Holliday. One of their subsequent children was Lydia Holliday, Pearl’s Mother - and the first common ancestor that almost everyone visiting this site shares with each other. Kezia’s bloodline stretches back an indeterminate number of generations in and around Catmore and nearby villages, providing deep roots in that part of England.

It is hoped that the following pages will provide a brief backdrop against which the lives of our ancestors can be seen in their proper context.