FOSTER of Launceston, Australia, Chapter 5.

The "FOSTER Family" section of this site is divided into 13 chapters and 8 sets of appendices. Please read in sequence by following the links at the bottom of each page or use the "Quick Nav" at top right. If you wish to select individual chapters, please click on the top left link to the Sitemap page. Citation of sources is shown as …ix) , referring to the list at the end of each section.

Do you have information, opinion or a question relating to either this site’s contents or its copyright? Please use the e-mail link available at the bottom of each page. I look forward to corresponding with you.

This chapter describes George FOSTER’s children:

Introduction: George’s Children & Photos

Family PhotographFOSTER Family, 1879(?)
Courtesy: Jill Gooden

After reading this page please also take the time to look at the FOSTER Photo Gallery. The FOSTER gallery contains the outstanding photos originating from Annie STEVENS (née FOSTER), which are kindly shared by Jill Gooden, together with my photos from Thomas FOSTER etc, and Alice Martyn’s photo of her grandfather William McCLURE. Note that Alice died on 26 May 2004 at age 98.

Have a look at one of Jill Gooden’s photos (right), which is included in the photo gallery. This is probably at the time of George’s retirement from the pilot service in 1879, and you will see most of George and Lucy’s family. A detailed caption is included separately in the photo gallery. This is a most important photo for the FOSTER family!

Until April 2006, the only photos found of George’s children were of Thomas. Then in April I received this e-mail from Murray Barclay, which I quote:

I am writing to you on behalf of my mother (Lorna Barclay) who is the granddaughter of Annie Foster who was married to Sydney Pope Stevens. Sydney and Annie had two sons Sydney Foster Stevens and Wyon Vickers Stevens. She is the daughter of Wyon, which of course makes Annie her Grandmother. We were having lunch today and discussing family background and Mum mentioned that her Grandmother was born in Tasmania but she knew little more than that so we decided to look up George Foster on the net and we were absolutely blown away to discover such a detailed site on the Foster family. (You have made an 83 year olds day!). Mum would love to contact you by phone and have a chat.

What marvellous feedback, which makes it all worthwhile!! Lorna then contacted her cousin Jill Gooden who enabled our most significant recent breakthroughs. Now we have photos of George FOSTER, his wife Lucy and most of their children, together with important information. Unbelievable!!

Descendancy Report

The descendancy report below gives an overview of George FOSTER and his children.

Descendancy report for George FOSTER



Jane was born at Low Head Tasmania (near Launceston), on 23 Apr 1841, and baptised at Launceston by the Presbyterian Minister John Anderson, on 9 Jun 1841.…i) According to the 1842, 1843 and 1848 Censuses she did not live with her parents and thus may have lived with another family in Low Head? See here.

On 6 Dec 1859 when Jane was 18, she married James FRANCIS who was a 24-year-old Assistant Light House Keeper at Low Head.…ii) See the engraving of the Low Head Light House and Tamar Heads in the FOSTER photo gallery.

The continuing story of Jane and her FRANCIS family can be seen in Chapter 7: Jane FOSTER. James continued as Keeper at Low Head until at least 1864. His later jobs were Assistant Light House Keeper Swan Island abt 1871-73 and Porter in Hobart in 1878 when the family lived at Molle St Hobart. Surprising information and outstanding photos are here. Please see the appendix for a full descendant report.

It would be great if descendants of Jane and James FRANCIS, or people with knowledge of this family, could make contact with me. See the e-mail link at the bottom of this page.

Sources for Jane FOSTER—
i) Baptism of Jane FOSTER, 9 Jun1841. Births in the district of Launceston. Reg# 1841/1544. Libraries Tasmania. See here.
ii) Marriage of Jane FOSTER & James FRANCIS. Marriages in the district of George Town. Reg#1859/396. Libraries Tasmania. See here.



Thomas FOSTER was born on 24 Mar 1842 at Low Head, Tasmania…i).

George’s will made on 10 Apr 1863 referred to his son Thomas as a baker of Launceston. Perhaps Thomas may have worked as a baker, together with his brother John, for his grandfather John HAMMOND and then for Murdock Munro who rented a bakery from the FOSTERs from about 1865 until at least 1892. See Chapter 3.

The story of Thomas and his family is taken up in Chapter 8 when Thomas left Tasmania for NSW. Please see the appendix for a Thomas' descendant report.

It would be great if descendants of Thomas FOSTER, or people with knowledge of his family, could make contact with me. See the e-mail link at the bottom of this page.

Sources for Thomas FOSTER—
i) Birth of Thomas FOSTER, 24 Mar 1842. Births in the district of Launceston. Reg# 1842/927. Libraries Tasmania. See here.



George was born on 18 Jun 1843 George Town Tasmania, which was the main centre nearest to Low Head. He was a seaman. He was accidentally drowned at sea at the age of 18 on 5 Aug 1861 and his death was registered in Launceston Tasmania.…i)

He was engaged as a seaman on the ship 'Lucknow' on 15 May 1861. Almost 3 months later he drowned. His effects were delivered to his father at Launceston. The value of his wages and effects was listed at only 4 pence!…ii)

Sources for George FOSTER—
i) Birth of George FOSTER, 18 Jun 1843. Births in the district of George Town. Reg# 1843- 1532. Libraries Tasmania. See here.
i) Death of George FOSTER, 5 Aug 1861. Deaths in the district of Launceston. Reg# 1861/216. Libraries Tasmania. See here.
ii) Death of George FOSTER. The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Registers of Wages & Effects of Deceased Seamen; Class: BT 153; Piece: 5. UK, Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths at Sea, 1844-1890.



John was born on 3 Dec 1845 at Low Head Tasmania…r/i). He may have worked as a baker together with his brother Thomas for his grandfather John HAMMOND and then for Murdock Munro who rented a bakery from the FOSTERs from about 1865 until at least 1892 (see here). John is in the FOSTER photogallery with his Tasmanian family here and here.

Image of John FOSTER & his Newtown family home.1881(?): From L to R: Margaret b. 1876, John FOSTER b. 1845,
Mary Jane FOSTER (née HELLMRICH) b. 1852, Annie b. 1879.
Photo: Kind permission of Jill Gooden.

John left Tasmania for NSW in 1869…w/ii). The first record of his arrival in the Newtown Sydney area was his mention in a fire inquest in Dec 1874 when a police constable said: "he was on duty in Newtown Rd. (now King St) when he saw smoke which appeared to him to be blowing from the direction of Mr Donohoe's bake house; a baker named John Foster was going to his work at Mr Donohoe's and he (Constable Lee) asked him if he thought the smoke came from there…".…n/vii) He was not mentioned in the Sands Directory at that time since he probably lived as a lodger in someone else's house. However, we know where John worked, since 1871 Sands located John Donohoe (Baker)'s house on the E side of Newtown Rd (now Kings St), 3 houses S of the railway bridge.…w/ii)

On 4 Nov 1875 he married Mary Jane HELLMRICH at the age of 29…n/i) r/ii). Mary Jane was the daughter of John HELLMRICH… a mason who had died 5 years earlier…n/iii).This was announced as:

FOSTER—HELLMRICH.—November 4, at Paddington, by the Rev. P. F. Mackenzie, John, second son of Mr. George Foster, senior pilot, Tamar Heads, Tasmania, to Mary J., youngest  daughter of the late Mr. John Hellmrich, builder.…n/i)

Image of John FOSTER & his Newtown family home.John FOSTER & his home at 83 Lennox-street Newtown NSW. His terrace house is the middle of the three houses. The original house would have had a wrought iron front fence & an open verandah with a wrought iron "lace work" balustrade. His land measures about 5m X 24m.

Sands also located John's house (a rental?) in 1877: "Foster, John, baker Regent St" (now named Probert St). On the same directory page in 1877 there was a "Foster, Mrs Mary Jane, grocer, 74 Forbes st" (Woolloomooloo?) abt 6km away from John's Regent St. Sands then recorded Mary Jane as a grocer and greengrocer at 74 Forbes st in 1880.…w/ii)

Then it is possible that John bought his house in Lennox-street in 1879 which he named after the river near where he was born: "Foster, John, baker. Tamar house Lennox St". He remained in the same house in Lennox-street Newtown from 1879 until he died, taking into account changes in house numbers.…r/vii), n/v). His street number in Lennox-street was not given in each directory, but he lived in #28 from 1889 - 1893, #81 from 1897 - 1900, #83 from 1903 to 1915. After John's death in 1915 there was a new occupant of #83 in 1917, indicating that his wife Mary Jane had left the family home…w/ii). It is probable that Mary Jane's mother lived with the FOSTERs in her old age. A death notice said: "HELLMRICH.—March 14, at her residence, Lennox-street, Newtown, Margaret, relict of the late John Hellmrich, Aberdeen, Scotland, in her 83rd year."

John FOSTER’s 1915 obit said:

FOSTER.—November 28, at his residence, 83 Lennox-street, Newtown, John Foster, in hls 70th year. Interred 28th, C. of E. Cemetery. Rookwood…n/v).

, Family PhotographJohn FOSTER grave. Photo: Terri Napier.
Rookwood Cemetery, Old C of E Section F, grave #’s 659 and 660.

John & Mary Jane had the following children:

  1. Margaret (b. 1876 — d. 12 Mar 1969)…r/iii), r/xv), n/vi)
  2. Annie Constance (b. Jun 1879 — d. 8 Oct 1880) …r/iv), r/vi)
  3. Lucy Ida (b. 1891 — d. 15 Nov 1980)…r/v), n/iv) w/iii).

A transcription of their grave pictured on right is:

Sacred to the memory of Annie Constance, beloved daughter of John and Mary Foster, who died on the 8th day of October 1880, aged 1 year and 4 months. Also John Foster, father of the above, who died 26th November 1915 aged 70 years. Mary Jane Foster, wife of the above, who died 23rd June 1930, aged 78 years……fb/ii).

Also, not picked up by my transcriber on site, but on a transcriber fiche… PL Jones, died 10 September 1937, aged 60 years…fb/ii). “PL JONES” was Philip ap Lewis JONES who married John FOSTER’S daughter Margaret in 1900…r/ix). Terri Napier had difficulty in reporting on this site since it was greatly over-grown. She suggested that the “PL JONES” inscription may have been on a plaque under the plants, or at the bottom of the gravestone and covered by the plants. Terri also obtained printouts…r/xiii)relating to the grave from the Rookwood Anglican office…w/i). These gave the funeral director, place of death, burial date and age at death on each burial…fb/ii).

John FOSTER’S daughter Margaret JONES was the informant of her father’s death in 1915. At that time her address was 81 Metropolitan Rd Enmore…r/vii). John FOSTER’s wife Mary Jane died in 1930. Her 28 Jun 1930 obit said:

DEATHS: FOSTER.—June 23, suddenly, at her residence, 40 Audley-street Petersham Mary Jane Foster, beloved mother of Mr and Mrs Philip Jones of Stanmore and Miss Lucy Foster and Mina Weekes, aged 78 years…n/ii).

, Image of Margaret JONES (née FOSTER) with children Philip & Mary Florence (Molly).Margaret JONES (née FOSTER) b. 1876,
with children Philip & Mary Florence (Molly).
Photo: abt 1908, courtesy of Bruce Jones fb/v).
Note similarity with Margaret’s aunt Emily FOSTER.

Electoral rolls…r/xiv) show that Margaret (see photo on left) and Philip ap Lewis JONES, mentioned in this obit, lived at 76 Northumberland Ave Stanmore in 1930-35, then at 126 Albany Rd Stanmore in 1936-37. Philip’s occupation was given as an engine fitter. His daughter Mary Florence, b. 1901…r/xi) was variously described as a teacher and then a civil servant. His son Philip Gwilym JONES, b. 1907…r/xii) was an electrical mechanic…r/xiv). The 1935 roll showed the JONES family were the only occupants of their home. Margaret JONES (née FOSTER) died 32 years after her husband in 1969 and her death was registered in Newtown…r/xv). Margaret's obit gives us details of her family:

JONES, Margaret.—March 12, 1969, widow of the late P.L. Jones and loved mother of Molly Brown (Melbourne), Philip Gwilym Jones (deceased Newcastle), Patricia Lynch (Wingham), and sister of Lucy Foster and Nina Weekes. Privately cremated Northern Suburbs…n/vi).

John FOSTER’S other daughter Lucy Ida FOSTER, needle woman…r/xvii), also mentioned in the obits above…n/ii), remained unmarried. She lived a contrasted life, staying either with family or probably moving from lodging to lodging. Electoral rolls showed that in the year of her mother Mary Jane’s death in 1930, Lucy lived with her mother at 40 Audley St Petersham, together with her (foster?) sister, Nydia Lucy WEEKES… the Mina / Nina in the above obits…n/ii), n/vi). After Mary Jane's death, Lucy & Nydia lived in lodgings at 28 Brighton St, Petersham in 1933 to 1935 and then both moved in with sister Margaret at 126 Albany Road, Stanmore in 1937. After Philip’s death, Lucy & Nydia lived at 32 Bruce St, Stanmore (1943), 6 Owen St, Bondi (1949) and “Fairlie” Craigend St, Leura (1954) r/xvi). Lucy Ida died on 15 Nov 1980 when she lived at 40 Audley St Petersham…w/iii), r/xvii),at the good age of 89. Where were Lucy and Nydia between 1954 and 1980? It is possible that the three sisters, Margaret, Lucy and Nydia lived together at 40 Audley St… Margaret's grandson and his wife remember visiting all three living together in a house which looked like 40 Audley St during this period…fb/v). As yet, there is no subsequent record of what happened to Nydia.

Lucy Ida was a beneficiary of her aunt Emily FOSTER’s will…fb/iii) and received all her personal effects, which could mean she may have received the family photos (of historical interest) etc passed on from her grandfather George FOSTER’s estate? At the same time, Lucy’s sister Margaret JONES received a bequest of £100. Emily was the unmarried aunt who probably lived at home with her parents George and Lucy until they died. This suggestion is supported by the terms of George’s Will…fb/iv), which left everything in trust to George’s wife Lucy and then, on her death, to his daughter Emily, should she be unmarried, the income from £500 plus the use of household furniture and effects in trust.

The published obit concerning Lucy Ida's death did not give any information about her close living relations:

FOSTER, Lucy Ida, — November 15, 1980. Privately cremated at Northern Suburbs…n/iv).

The question remains: who were the beneficiaries of Lucy's estate who might have received personal effects (photos etc) originally derived from George FOSTER of Launceston? The beneficiary could have been the informant for Lucy's death certificate… Patricia Lynch of Wingham…r/xvii) (d. 2005…fb/v)) who was mentioned as Lucy's niece in her Lucy's sister Margaret's obituary…n/vi).

Lucy died in Lewisham Hospital, and her usual residence was given at that time as 40 Audley St Petersham…r/xvii)… the house where she lived with her mother in 1930 and where her mother died at that time. See the photo beneath, where the assumption is made that the street numbers have remained unchanged.

Image of 40 Audley St.jpg40 Audley St Petersham. Boarding house? (1930 & 1980)… Lucy Ida FOSTER & Mary Jane FOSTER lived here (1930); Lucy lived here (1980) when she died at Lewisham Hospital. Sold $480K(1999), $880K(2008), $1.11M(2010). Estimated value $2,94M (2022).
4 b/rms, 3 with fireplaces, 2 bathrooms. See here. Click on target image for tour of house.

Sources for John FOSTER—
      Newspapers and Periodicals.
n/i)   Marriage of John FOSTER & Mary Jane HELLMRICH. Sydney Morning Herald; 20 Nov 1875.
n/ii)   Obit of Mary Jane FOSTER. Sydney Morning Herald; 24 & 28 June 1930.
n/iii)  Obit of John HELLMRICH. Sydney Morning Herald; 18 May 1870: 14.
n/iv)  Obit of Lucy Ida FOSTER. Sydney Morning Herald; 22 Nov 1980: 142.
n/v)   Obit of John FOSTER. Sydney Morning Herald; 6 Dec 1915: 8.
n/vi)  Death notice of Margaret JONES. Sydney Morning Herald; 19 Mar 1969: 58.
n/vii)  Coroners Court: the late fire at Newtown. Sydney Morning Herald; 24 Dec 1874: 5. See here.
n/vii)  Obit of Margaret HELLMRICH. Sydney Morning Herald; 16 Mar 1898: 1.
      Registrations and Lists:
r/i)     Birth of John FOSTER. Reg# 1845/1960, Launceston Tas. Libraries Tasmania. See here.
r/ii)    Marriage of John FOSTER & Mary Jane HELLMRICH. Reg# 1875/1487.
r/iii)   Birth of Margaret FOSTER. Reg# 1876/4503.
r/iv)   Birth of Annie Constance FOSTER. Reg# 1879/5282.
r/v)    Birth of Lucy I. FOSTER. Reg# 1891/25787.
r/vi)   Death of Annie Constance FOSTER. Reg# 1880/3696.
r/vii)  Death of John FOSTER. Reg# 1915/17354.
r/viii)   Death of Mary Jane FOSTER. Reg# 1930/8775.
r/ix)   Marriage of Philip ap Lewis JONES & Margaret FOSTER. Reg# 1900/4414.
r/x)    Death of Philip ap Lewis JONES. Reg# 1937/17308.
r/xi)   Birth of Mary Florence JONES. Reg# 1901/15176.
r/xii)   Birth of Philip Gwylim JONES. Reg# 1907/38236.
r/xiii)  Burial records kept by the Rookwood Cemetery Anglican & General Cemeteries Trust.
r/xiv)  Electoral Rolls of the Subdivision of Annandale South, NSW. a) 1930; b) 1933; c) 1933 ;d) 1936; e) 1937.
r/xv)   Death of Margaret JONES (née FOSTER). Reg# 1969/14139.
r/xvi)  Various Electoral Rolls.
r/xvii)  Death of Lucy Ida FOSTER). Reg# 1980/26493.
      Family Bibles, Wills & papers, Correspondence, Grave Stones, Archived documents:
fb/i)  Gravestone inscription on John FOSTER’s family grave.
fb/ii)  Pers. comm: Terri Napier "Cemetery Searches"; Dec 2000.
fb/iii)Last Will and Testament for Emily FOSTER. Tasmanian Archives. Probate file# 1916 AD 960/37 No 10001. Documents relating to the granting of probate (Emily FOSTER 1916 Probate file# AE242/149).
fb/iv)Probate of the Last Will and Testament and related documents for George FOSTER. Tasmanian Archives: Probate file# AD 960/22 No 5534.
fb/v)  Pers. comm: Jennifer Jones. 2011.
w/i)    Rookwood Cemetery Anglican & General Cemeteries Trust. See here.
w/ii)   Sands Directories: Newtown project, created by the City of Sydney Archives. See here.
w/iii)  Ryerson Index. See here.
Thanks to Terri Napier of “Cemetery Searches”… she provided a great paid professional service in photographing the John FOSTER grave, transcribing the somewhat illegible inscription and obtaining burial record printouts.


William FOSTER

William FOSTER was born on 1 May 1847 in Low Head, Tasmania.…i) He accidentally drowned on 1 Mar 1856 at the age of 8 years and 11 months.…ii), iii) The "Examiner" describes a "melancholy accident" in 1856 when George’s 8-year-old son William accidentally fell off the Launceston wharf, and was drowned. A little boy said he was playing with William and saw him in the water holding up his hands a few feet from the wharf. His friend ran for help, but by that stage William had disappeared. The tide was running out at the time, and the water was about twelve feet below the wharf. Another witness said: "it was impossible to save the boy, as he sank immediately - he could not swim".The inquest was held in the hotel next door to George’s home.…iv) Sadly, 5 years later, George lost another son - "drowned at sea". These two drownings and George’s dangerous job as Senior Pilot must have had a lasting effect on the family. In younger sister Annie’s scrap book there was a handwritten piece of paper with a harrowing extract from a poem about drowning at sea.

Why are thy billows still rolling on
          With that wild and sad, and musical tone?
Why is there never repose for thee?
      Why slumberest thou not, O mighty sea?
    Then the ocean’s voice I seemed to hear,
    Mournfully, solemnly sounding near,
     Like a wail sent up from the caves below,
      Fraught with dark memories of human woe,
Telling of loved ones buried there,
          Of the dying shriek and the dying prayer;
    Telling of hearts still watching in vain
      For those who shall never come again;
   Of the widow’s groan, the orphan’s cry
      And the mother’s speechless agony

The full poem as well as details about the author can be seen in this section of the Appendix. The poem was initially published in the Naval and Military Gazette, and as such would have possibly been routinely sent to the Low Head Pilot Station, and read by the FOSTER family. Annie was a 5 year-old when William drowned and may have even been playing with him on the wharf at the time. She was aged 10 when George drowned.

Sources for William FOSTER—
i) Birth of William FOSTER, 1 May 1847. Births in the district of Launceston. Reg# 1847/1662. Libraries Tasmania. See here.
ii) Death of William FOSTER, 1 Mar 1856. Deaths in the district of Launceston. Reg# 1856/42.Libraries Tasmania. See here.
iii) Inquest into Death of William FOSTER. Ref# SC195-1-38-3707. Libraries Tasmania. See here.
iv) Coroner's Inquest. Launceston Examiner; 4 Mar 4 1856.


Catherine (Katharine) FOSTER

Catherine was born on 25 Jan 1849 in Tamar Heads (Low Head), Tasmania.…i)

Catherine and her husband's story will be told in a further chapter. She married 40-year-old Dr. William George McCLURE in Melbourne, Victoria in 1872 at the age of 23. William was a medical practitioner in New Zealand, and this was his second marriage. The family lived in NZ until 1885. They subsequently settled in Sydney NSW, where William registered to practise Medicine. He continued his practice in Sydney to a good age. Catherine died in Stanley St., Randwick, NSW, on 20 Jul 1913 at the age of 64, and William died later on 3 Dec 1920 at the age of 88. They had the following children:

  1. Beatrice Emily Kate (b. 31 Mar 1873 — d. 25 Jan 1947)
  2. Gwendoline Lucy Harrison (b. 5 Apr 1875 — d. 4 Mar 1919)
  3. Alexander William (b. 8 Sep 1876 — d. 27 Apr 1968)
  4. James Moreland (b. 8 Sep 1876 — d. 29 May 1955)
  5. Constance Georgina Annie (b. 3 Aug 1878 — d. 22 May 1974)
  6. Sidney Robert Le Messurier (b. Jun 1880 — d. 7 Aug 1915)
  7. Arthur John Harold (b. 6 Dec 1884 — d. 1941)
  8. Charles G. (b. 16 Sep 1887 — d. 21 Feb 1907)

Please see here for a full descendant report.

Sources for Catherine FOSTER—
i) Birth of Catherine FOSTER, 25 Jan 1849. Births in the district of Launceston. Reg# 1849- 2368. Tas Archives. See here.


Ann (Annie) FOSTER

Ann (Annie) was born on 10 Nov 1850 in the District of George Town, probably at Low Head, Tasmania.…i)

Annie and her husband's story will be told in Chapter 6: Annie FOSTER. In 1876 when she was aged 25, she married 29 year old Sydney Pope STEVENS at Invercargill NZ. Sydney was the son of Francis Worrell / Worrall STEVENS (1805 - 1890) and Barbara VICKERS (1807 - 1887). Sydney was born about 1847 at Croydon, UK. A marriage notice in the Launceston Examiner said: MARRIAGES. STEVENS - FOSTER— On the 1st March (1876), at St. Johns Church (Invercargill, New Zealand), by the Rev. W.F. Tanner, Sydney Pope, youngest son of Francis W Stevens of Dunedin, to Annie, second daughter of George Foster of Tamar Heads, Tasmania.

We have been fortunate in photos and information about with this section of our family. This is due to three reasons. Annie collected family photos and kept a scrapbook. Annie’s husband Sydney Pope STEVENS held public positions, which were a matter of public record. Finally, Annie’s grandchildren Lorna Barclay and Jill Gooden have kindly shared Annie’s information and photos, assisted by Lorna’s son Murray. In addition, Lynette Hill has kindly photographed Annie’s grave. Please browse some of these photographs in the Annie STEVENS (née FOSTER) Photo Gallery.

There is much information about Annie FOSTER’S father-in-law Francis Worrell STEVENS and his family which is available on Google. Search for "Francis Worrell STEVENS", then try all the variants of spelling for Worrell, Worell, Worrall, Worall, etc. Some of these references have been collated by Jan Kosniowski here in a most interesting and surprising story, which is beyond the scope of this website.

Please see here for a full descendant report of Annie FOSTER’s family.

Sources for Ann / Annie FOSTER—
i) Birth of Ann FOSTER, 10 Nov 1850. Births in the district of Launceston. Reg#1850/2914, Libraries Tasmania. See here.


Harriet FOSTER

Image of 40 Audley St.jpgHarriet FOSTER's headstone.

Harriet was born on 6 May 1854 in William St., Launceston…i) and died in Low Head on 14 Oct 1861 from diphtheria at the age of 7.…ii) I photographed her grave, with a brass plaque embedded in a concrete block, Plot A3, George Town General Cemetery in Apr 1999.

Sources for Harriet FOSTER—
i) Birth of Harriet FOSTER, 6 May 1854. Births in the district of Launceston. Reg# 1854/4389, Libraries Tasmania. See here.
ii) Death of Harriet FOSTER, 14 Oct 1861. Deaths in the district of George Town. Reg#1861/514, Libraries Tasmania. See here


William Wood FOSTER

William was born on 27 Jul 1856 in William St., Launceston Tasmania…r/1). The Cyclopedia of Tasmania (1900) contains a 337 word article about William (see below), with a photo of his foundry (see the FOSTER photogallery):

"Mr. W. FOSTER, Brassfounder and Finisher, (136) Cimitiere Street, Launceston. This old established firm was started by Mr. (Robert) Ikin, who came from Sydney, and carried it on for eighteen months, when Mr. FOSTER became a partner in the business. On the death of Mr. Ikin, Messrs. Bond and Carr managed the business for the trustees to the estate, and finally in 1893 Mr. FOSTER purchased it. The business is in a very flourishing condition, and a large increase of accommodation and an extensive addition to the plant have been necessary in order to meet the wants of customers. Mr. FOSTER has erected new premises close to the old ones in Cimitiere Street, at a cost of about £800, and has laid out £200 in additional machinery, including a new Otto gas engine working up to 3 ½ horsepower. Six hands are constantly employed, but as the business is still increasing, more assistance will be necessary in the immediate future. The firm supplies the fittings, main water cocks, etc., for the Government, Gas Company, Corporation of Launceston, and the Electric Light Company, and is now supplying one ton of bolts for the new steel yacht being built for Messrs. Gunn and Stephenson, while an order has just been completed for Mr. G. Harrap for bolts, port lights, and all fittings connected with ship work and engineering of a new steamer built by Mr. Moore. The firm also manufactures engineers’’ and plumbers’ fittings for steam and water of every description to order; also sluice nozzles for mines, etc. Mr. FOSTER’s endeavour is, by constant attention to customers and turning out good work, to compete with foreign markets. He has followed this rule successfully in the past, and there is every reason to believe that even more satisfactory results will be obtained in the future. Mr. FOSTER is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He has little time for pleasure, his business occupying the greater part of his time: but he has been fond of the gun as well as hunting."…b/i) .
Note: ‡ Bond & Carr traded under their own name during this period…n/ix)

William's foundry was taken over by C.T. Stephenson about 1908, retaining the FOSTER name of the firm in promotions and advertising. A 1908 photo of Stephenson's display at the Second Exhibition of the Tasmanian Native's Association, Albert Hall, shows their banner with the top line "C.T. Stephenson & Co" and then the second line "Foster's Foundry Launceston" beneath it…n/i). Stephenson advertising of spray pumps used the same format n/ii). Perhaps William retired from ill-health diagnosed in 1905, sold to Stephenson, though retaining an interest in the company, and moved to Tennyson St Sandringham Vic where he died in 1909…fb/i)? Perhaps William's foundry manager lost his job in the take-over, since ex-manager Alex Rankin opened his own foundry at Tamar-street Launceston in 1907…n/iii)… note that Rankin later returned to own FOSTER's foundry! An old lady who recalled her childhood for Veda Veale, said that “Mr. Rankin and Mr. Bond worked at Foster's Brassworks and later took over the firm which now bears their names”…b/iii).

Stephenson then sold the Cimitiere St business to Rankin & Bond on 10 Jul 1912…n/iv) and accordingly Rankin & Bond moved out of theIr Tamar St foundry location…n/v). The Weekly Courier described in much detail a sensational burglary in 1914 at Rankin and Bond's Brass Foundry, Cimitiere St, Launceston. One policeman was shot by the burglars!…n/vi) It is reported that eventually, due to cheap mass-produced imports, Rankin & Bond was rendered uncompetitive, and this historic business closed in 2008…w/i). Their shopfront and name remains today and that view can be seen on Google Maps, which shows the 1923 extension…b/ii) to their building on the right. The Rankin & Bond Foundry was placed on the permanent list of the Tasmanian Heritage Register in 2009-2010…b/iv).

Nunn & Tassell (1982)…b/ii) quote an edited version of the 1900 Cyclopedia article…b/i)(see above). However, their subsequent details of the history of the foundry are inaccurate…b/ii).

On 16 Jul 1901 when William Wood was 44, he married Elizabeth Barbara ANNEAR, in Launceston Tasmania…r/iii). The following newspaper accounts of their wedding are worth reading:

Yesterday at 1 o’clock a quiet wedding took place at the residence of the Rev. D. Annear, Brisbane-street, when his daughter, Miss E. Barbara (Lizzie) Annear, was married to Mr W. Foster, son of the late Captain Foster, of William-street. Only the families were present. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore her travelling dress—a fawn coat and skirt, with vest of ivory, tucked silk, and point lace collar. Her toque was of panne velvet, in two shades of heliotrope, with paste buckles. The bridegroom’s gifts were a lovely bouquet of choice white flowers and asparagus fern, tied with white satin ribbon, and a gold watch and chain. Miss Jeannie Annear was bridesmaid, and wore a navy gown, the bodice being of tucked silk; large black hat, with plumes and buckle. She carried a basket of cream roses and wore the bridegroom’s gift—a gold and opal bangle. Mr. D. Milton Annear supported the bridegroom as best man. Mr. and Mrs. Foster left by the afternoon train for Devonport for the wedding trip.…n/viii)

FOSTER—ANNEAR.—on the 16th of July, 1901, at the bride’s residence, Brisbane Road, by the Rev. James Haslam, Wesleyan minister, William Wood Foster, son of the late Captain Foster, to Elizabeth Barbara (“Lizzie”) Annear, daughter of Rev. D. Annear.…n/viii)

William lived at Tennyson St, Sandringham Victoria when he died on 24 Mar 1909 at age 52.The value of William’s estate in Tasmania was £2,138, which was all bequeathed to his wife Elizabeth. His assets included property at No. 55 High St Launceston £880. Since the foundry was not mentioned in his assets, it was probably sold prior to his death for health reasons. In 1905 he was diagnosed with disseminated sclerosis and then in the final year of his life he contracted Addison’s disease with heart disease. Did his occupation cause any of these health problems?…r/ii), fb/i).

They had one child:

  1. Winifred Jean (b. Jul 1902 — d. 16 May 1903)…r/iv), r/v)

Winifred's death notice read:

FOSTER.—On the 16th May, suddenly at Mayne-street, Invermay, Winifred Jean, the dearly-beloved daughter of William and Lizzie Foster, aged 10 months.…n/viii)

Sources for William Wood FOSTER—
      Newspapers and Periodicals.
n/i)   Photo of Stephenson’s display at the Second Exhibition. Weekly Courier; 26 Mar 1908.
n/ii)   Stephenson advertising of spray pumps. Launceston Examiner; 25 Oct 1909.
n/iii)  Alex Rankin opened his own foundry at Tamar-street. Launceston Examiner; 17 Dec 1907.
n/iv)  Stephenson then sold the Cimitiere St business. Launceston Examiner; 11 Jul 1912.
n/v)   Rankin & Bond moved out of theIr Tamar St foundry location. Launceston Examiner; 30 Nov 1912.
n/vi)   Burglary in 1914 at Rankin & Bond's Brass Foundry. Weekly Courier; 6 Aug 1914, p. 8.
n/vii)  Wedding Bells for FOSTER - ANNEAR Unknown newspaper clippings.
      From the scrapbook of Annie STEVENS (née FOSTER), kept by Jill Gooden.
n/viii) Death of Winifred Jean FOSTER. Launceston Examiner; 18 May 1903.
n/ix)  Business directory listing of Bond & Carr, brass founders and finishers, Cimitiere St.
      Launceston Examiner; 14 Jul 1890.
      Registrations and Lists:
r/i)     Birth of Unnamed (William Wood) FOSTER. Births in the district of Launceston. Reg# 1856/5426, Libraries Tasmania. See here.
r/ii)     Death of William Wood FOSTER. Reg# 1909/3113, Vic.
r/iii)    Marriage of William Wood FOSTER to Elizabeth Barbara ANNEAR. Reg# 1901/0654, Launceston Tas.
r/iv)     Birth of Winifred Jean FOSTER. Reg# 1902/0421, Launceston Tas.
r/v)     Death of Winifred Jean FOSTER. Reg# 1903/0162, Launceston Tas.
      Family Bibles, Wills & papers, Correspondence, Grave Stones, Archived documents:
fb/i)   Last Will and Testament for William Wood Foster (Archives Office of Tasmania: 1909 AD960/30 Page 190, Will No. 7745). Also Affidavit of Assets and Liabilities for William Wood Foster (1909 AE241/96 No. 7745). See here.
     Books, Reports:
b/i)  Mr. W. Foster, brassfounder. Cyclopedia of Tasmania. 1900; 2:120-121.
b/ii)  Miranda Morris-Nunn and C.B.Tassell. Launceston's industrial heritage: a survey.
   Australian Heritage Commission and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery; 1982: 374, 396, 399, 438.
    (Download here).
b/iii)   Veda Veale. Making of Memories: Memories of Launceston. Regal Press; Launceston; 1988: 22.
b/iv)   Tasmanian Heritage Council: Heritage Tasmania. Annual Reports. Download here.
w/i)    Model of Rankin & Bond Foundry by Wriekhathaar. See here.
      Jai Patterson kindly pointed me in the direction of several of the refererences. Jai is a doctoral student with especial interest in Launceston local history, and our correspondence about the FOSTERs has been greatly appreciated.



Emily was born on 16 Feb 1862 and her birth was registered in George Town.…i) She died in Launceston, Tasmania on 21 Nov 1915 at the age of 53.…ii) Her father’s Will left everything in trust to his wife Lucy and then, on her death, to his daughter Emily, should she be unmarried, the income from £500 plus the use of household furniture and effects in trust. The special provisions for Emily were introduced in a third codicil dated 3 Sep 1892, which suggested that she lived with George and Lucy and looked after them when they were old.…iv) See the photo used to validate Emily’s season ticket to the Tasmanian International Exhibition, which opened in Nov 1891. Emily was an alto in the Tasmanian Exhibition Choir of 1891-92.

Electoral rolls show that Emily lived with her sister Fanny in 1914 at 82 Arthur street, Launceston as a "lady help".…v) She may have been looking after Fanny who died in 1914, even though Emily herself died the following year. Emily was unmarried and left a net estate of £1,282.17.00, mostly in shares. The beneficiaries of her Estate were: "To my niece Gwendolin L.H. McClure £100 To my niece- Margaret Jones- £100 To the President of the Launceston Theosophical Lodge to be used for the benefit of the Lodge in Launceston in any way- he or she and the Committee may choose- £50 The rest of my estate to be equally divided between my two nephews- Sydney Foster Stevens, Wyon Vickers Stevens- , my niece Lucy Foster excepting All my personal possession, furniture etc to my niece Lucy Foster."…iii)

Sources for Emily FOSTER—
i) Birth of Emily FOSTER, 16 Feb 1862. Births in the district of George Town. Reg#1862/570. Libraries Tasmania. See here.
ii) Death of Emily FOSTER, 21 Nov 1915. Deaths in the district of Launceston. Reg# 1915/580. Libraries Tasmania.
iii) Will of Emily FOSTER. Reg# AD960-1-37 [Will No. 10001]. Libraries Tasmania. See here.
iv) Probate of the Last Will and Testament and related documents for George FOSTER. Tas Archives: Probate file# AD 960/22 No 5534.
(v) Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1954. AncestryCom.



Image Lakin Foster graveLakin -Foster grave at Carr Villa Memorial Park, Launceston City, Tasmania.
Monumental section, Location site B1, Grave numbers 151-152. Photo: Maureen Martin.
Transcription top to bottom: (Cross) Sacred to the Memory of→ (Stone 1) Fanny Beloved wife of →(2) Hermann R Lakin Died 27th June 1914. Hermann R. Lakin. Died 3rd August 1954 →(3) Also Emily Foster Died 21st November 1915 J. Dunn (monumental mason)

Fanny was born on 8 Jan 1864 and her birth was registered in George Town.…i) She married an accountant, Hermann Rupp LAKIN on 16 Nov 1889 when she was aged 25.…ii) Fanny died intestate at her home at 82 Arthur Street in Launceston, Tasmania on 27 Jun 1914 at the age of 50.…iii), iv) She had no children. In 1891 Hermann was listed as Chief Clerk Launceston Gas Company, with a private address of Arthur St Launceston.…v) Electoral rolls show that Hermann lived at the family home until his death in 1954.…vi) The Mercury printed this obituary:

Helped dedicate day to mother.
The man responsible for organising Mother's Day in Tasmania died yesterday. He was Mr. Hermann Rupp, Late of Arthur St., Launceston He was 91. He organised Mother's Day in Tasmania many years ago and saw it grow to its present popularity. To encourage people to wear a white flower in honour of their mother Mr. Lakin grew and distributed white flowers to people who did not have them in their garden. For years he took white flowers to hospitals on Mother's Day. He wrote to the Press each Mother's Day urging people to wear a white flower. He was noted for his charity, and for many years regularly visited inmates at the Old People's Home in Mulgrave St. Mr. Lakin was an active member of St: John's Church and Sunday school. In his younger days he was a keen sportsman, and played cricket with the Nils, a cricket club of many years ago. He also played bowls with the Launceston and East Launceston Bowling Clubs. Mr. Lakin was born at East Launceston and spent all his life in the same district. His wife died 40 years ago and there were no children. For many years he was manager of the Launceston Gas Company, where he worked from boyhood. The funeral will take place this afternoon.…vii)

Sources for Fanny FOSTER—
i) Birth of Fanny FOSTER 8 Jan 1864. Births in the district of George Town. Reg# 1864/782. Libraries Tasmania. See here.
ii) Marriage of Fanny FOSTER & Hermann Rupp LAKIN, 16 Nov 1889. Marriages in the district of Launceston. Reg# 1889/892. Libraries Tasmania. See here.
iii) Death of Fanny LAKIN, 27 Jun 1914. Deaths in the district of Launceston. Reg# 1914/1745. Libraries Tasmania.
iv) Will of Fanny LAKIN. Reg# AD961-1-11[Will No. 3093]-SAKIN, Fanny Images 1-4. Libraries Tasmania. See here.
(v) Tasmanian Post office Directory 1890-91. See here.
(vi) Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1954. AncestryCom.
(viI) Obituary of Hermann Rupp LAKIN: Helped dedicate day to mother. Mercury; 4 Aug 1954: 19.


The Story Continues