FOSTER of Launceston, Australia, Chapter 8.

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Continuing story of Thomas & his family (from Chapter 5)

Pioneers in Taree, NSW.

This introduction focusses on property locations and how the lives of four pioneering families were inter-twined… the WYNTER, McLEAN, McNEIL & FOSTER families. The subsequent sections of this chapter detail the lives of our FOSTERS who originated in Taree.

Image of Delamore WYNTER.Delamore WYNTER: step-father of Grace McNEIL. Grace married Thomas FOSTER in 1879.
Photo: Kind permission of Lindsay SPRATT.

On 1 Jan 1831, William WYNTER received approval to take up his land grant of 4 square miles (2,560ac) on the Manning River, which became known as the "Tarree Grant". William mortgaged Tarree in 1840 for £700 and failed to make principal and interest repayments.The mortgagor foreclosed on 28 May 1845. i), xv).

William's daughter Mary Stimpson WYNTER married Henry FLETT in 1841. Henry then came to the rescue and bought Tarree from William's mortgagor for £1,100 on 30 Jun 1846 xv). Henry FLETT then in 1854 offered a subdivision (Taree Plain land sale) for auction i). At this auction were significant people in our family… John McLEAN, Samuel GIBSON & Archibald CAMERON. On 12 Dec 1854 John McLEAN bought land in this land sale.There were 18 initial purchasers in the sale, which directly led to the establishment of the Taree township v).

William built the grand home “Taree House” on the river bank, near the intersection of Victoria & Fotheringham Streets. He lived there until his death in 1853 ii). “Taree House” was also near the later home of George FOSTER in Fotheringham St (see beneath).

My question was “why didn't William's eldest son Delamore WYNTER inherit his father's wealth” (right of primogeniture)? Ian McDonell showed that William had lost his fortune well before he had the chance of passing it on to Delamore xv).

William's eldest son Delamore WYNTER became the first chemist in Taree, and “built a pharmacy and residence on the block facing Victoria Street and between Fotheringham Park and Commerce Street. This was Taree's first Pharmacy and for many years they regarded him as a doctor… since he was an ex-medical student. He took a special interest in children's ailments” ii). His shop was “facing Victoria St, about three allotments east of the Commerce / Victoria Streets intersection” iv), and thus between Commerce and Pulteney Streets.

In 1878, Delamore was the medical attendant at the death of Priscilla, the daughter of Janet McNEIL (neé McLEAN)vii). Janet was the wife of John McNEIL and the daughter of John McLEAN mentioned above. John McNEIL died on 19 Apr 1882 and Janet married Delamore the same year on 22 Dec 1882. There were no children to this marriage, but Delamore acquired 10 McNEIL step-children to add to the children from his first marriage to Mary TILNEY. At least one step-child (Eliza) was married “in the house of Delamore WYNTER”.

Delamore died on 28 May 1894 and Janet WYNTER left Taree 12 years later to live with her married daughter Elizabeth Sarah THOMSON in Moruya in 1906 viii).

Janet's first born daughter Grace married Thomas FOSTER on 9 Aug 1879 at Little Tinonee, Manning River xi). Her first child George was born in Victoria St Taree in 1980. It would be tempting to think that they lived in the WYNTER family home / pharmacy. However, the 1901 Census Collector's Book xii) showed a Victoria St house with T. FOSTER as the “head of house”, with 6 males and 3 females… the correct number for Grace, Thomas and their children. To complicate things, in the same Census in Victoria St, there was a household with “head of house” D. WYNTER, with 3 males and 4 females, also a household with “head of house” A.M. WYNTER, with 2 males and 2 females. Which house was the WYNTER family home / pharmacy?

Neil FOSTER remembers visiting his grandmother Grace FOSTER (step daughter of Delamore WYNTER) at their Victoria St family home in the late 1930's when his father Thomas Oswald FOSTER was painting the house etc. He recalls the house being weatherboard, single storey, and only occupied by his grandmother… “a little old lady who was a good cook”! While Thomas was helping Grace, Neil sat out the back near the river, and watched the construction of the Martin Bridge over the Manning River.

Image of 21 Fotheringham Street.21 Fotheringham Street, home of George & Annie FOSTER,
for over 50 years.

This construction started early 1938, and the bridge opened on 18 May, 1940. Neil was about 10 at that time, and describes the house being subsequently used as the CWA Baby Health Centre. Grace's granddaughter, Connie FOSTER, confirms the CWA Baby Health Centre subsequent use.

Google satellite and street views as well as the phone book, show 4 allotments along Victoria St from Commerce St, east to Fotheringham Park. These are in order, west to east: Taree Discount Tyres on the corner of Commerce St (#260 Victoria St); then Rivers Clearance Centre (#258); Dentist (#254); and finally the one-time baby health centre (#250), next to Fotheringham Park. One of the present tenants tells me the tenant history of #250 is that it is currently occupied by the Taree Veterans' Association, the Community Soup Kitchen, Aged Care and Department of Community Service. Also… before 2002 the tenant was the Australian Electoral Commission, and then before 1998 it was the “Gertrude Richardson Memorial Baby Health Centre” (established 1952) x). It would appear that the original weather board home on this site which was occupied by Grace FOSTER in 1940 was demolished between 1940 and 1952, making way for the typical baby health centre building.

On the other hand, the information from relatives about the Baby Health Centre site could be wrong? Electoral Rolls show that Grace lived at 256 Victoria St in 1943 with her son Sidney Herman FOSTER, and Sid remained in the house at least until 1949 xiii) after Grace died in 1944 xiv). Present-day #256 is used by Rivers Clearance Centre as their customer parking, with an extension from their shop at #258 across at the rear of #256.

I am trying to locate pre-1940 photos of this section of Victoria St before modern development. Can you help?

Grace FOSTER's son George married Annie McFADYEN. Early in their marriage they lived at Albert Lane, at least until all their children were born by 1910. Then for most of their married life they lived at 21 Fotheringham St vi), which was owned initially by an Angus McFADYEN, probably either Annie's father or younger brother. Angus sold the property on 25 Oct 1926, and the FOSTERs continued in the home as renters… shown by details of owners in subsequent property transfers ix). My wife and I remember this house as a large comfortable home with many old photos and family memorabilia. However, at Annie's death, her son Eric took most of her goods to charity shops or the tip without much thought to the historical value… a common story!

Sources: relating to "Pioneers in Taree, NSW":
      i) Natthews, G. Compiled histories of William Wynter and Henry Flett. c1956.
      ii) William Wynter & Henry Flett… pioneers. Northern Champion, 24 Jun 1955.
      iii) Death of Mr Delamore Wynter. Manning River Independent, 29 May 1894.
      iv) Connors, Wilf. Pioneering days around Taree. Self published,1985; 17.
     v) Ramsland, John. The struggle against isolation: a history of the Manning Valley.
      Library of Australian History; 1987; 47-48.
      vi) Obituary. Mr George FOSTER. Manning River Times, 14 Aug 1933.
      vii) Death of Priscilla Harriet McNeil. Reg# 1878/7108. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      viii) Obituary: Janet WYNTER. Moruya Examiner, Moruya, NSW; 10 Jul, 1915; 2.
      ix) Deeds to 21 Fotheringham St Taree.
      x) E-mail from Geoff Hodgen, President of the Vietnam Veterans' Association, Taree.
      xi) Marriage of Thomas Foster & Grace McNeil, Reg# 1879/3733.
      xii) Collector’s Book: 1901 NSW Census for Victoria St, Taree, NSW. State Archives NSW:
        NRS 685, book 5, Item [2/8451], Fiche 1091-1095.
      xiii) Various electoral rolls.
      xiv) Obituary. Mrs Grace FOSTER. Northern Champion, 6 Dec 1944.
      xv) Ian McDonell. The days of Wynter : a summary of the life of William Wynter, settler of Taree. Self published, Gisborne Vic; 1989: 18-19.
Acknowledgement: Thanks to Anne Calvert, Sephi Kemp, Michael Mina, Lindsay Spratt, Neil Foster, Geoff Hodgen and the present owner of 21 Fotheringham Street. Note that Anne, Sephi, Lindsay and Michael are WYNTER descendants. Their correspondence and assistance is gratefully acknowledged… particular thanks to Lindsay for Delamore WYNTER's photo and the copy of Ian McDonell's paper.



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 iii). 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.

Image of Thomas FOSTER.Thomas FOSTER (b1842).

Thomas and John both left Tasmania for NSW where Thomas married in 1879 at the age of 37 to Grace McNEIL (daughter of John McNEIL and Jessie McLEAN) in the Presbyterian Manse, Little Tinonee, near Taree, NSW iv). This chapter describes details of Thomas and Grace FOSTER (née McNEIL), and their children. Details of Grace’s McNEIL family are in chapter 9; and details of Jessie McLEAN’s family are in chapter 10.

Connie FOSTER said: "Thomas spent about 30 years as baker, in the employ of Mrs. C. Thomson, of Taree, and lived in what is now known as the Baby Health Centre in Taree. Thomas had a serious accident in the bakery and then retired". v) The story of his serious accident seems confirmed by hospital records: vi) Thomas was admitted to hospital with a hernia on 19 Dec 1905 and discharged a little over 3 weeks later on 12 Jan 1906. The dates all match and the length of hospital stay indicates a serious incident. Sixteen years later the hospital records vi) show that Thomas was admitted to the hospital again on 6 Jan 1922, and his obituary vii) says that he remained there for four months, where he died on 15 April 1922 ii) .

See the above section "Pioneers of Taree" for more information about the relationship of Thomas FOSTER with other pioneering families and also where Thomas lived.

Also see the Photo Gallery for a photo of Thomas with his eldest son George, as well as a photo of Thomas with George’s son Eric as a baby.

When Thomas died on 15 Apr 1922 at the age of 80 , his obituary said:

Obituary. Mr Thomas Foster, Senr.
The death occurred in the Manning River District Hospital on Easter Saturday, of Mr. Thomas Foster, senr. who had been an inmate of that institution for some four months. The late Mr. Foster was 83 years of age and was born at Launceston. He spent about 30 years as baker, in the employ of Mrs. C. Thomson, when her bakehouse was on the present site now occupied by Thomsons Ltd.
After retiring from service as a baker he occupied his leisure time up till a few years ago in looking after the Government wharf (as a tally clerk), and had many friends among those who frequented that wharf. In the death of Mr. Foster Taree loses one of its best citizens, and his friends lose a man who was always ready to give good advice. The deceased leaves a widow and grown-up family who mourn the loss of a good husband and father. The children are: Messrs. George and Syd, (Taree); William, (Ballina); Thomas, (Kempsey); Jack (Sydney); Mrs. E. J. Spratt, (Taree); and Miss Janet Foster, (Moree).
The remains were interred at the Dawson cemetery in the presence of a large number of sympathisers. The graveside service was conducted by Canon Phillips." vii)

Grace continued living in the family home in Victoria Street. Electoral rolls showed that she lived there with her youngest surviving son Sidney Herman FOSTER at least from 1930 to 1943. Sid was an unmarried coach driver at that time. The rolls identify their street number as #256 in 1943. Sidney continued living in the family home #256 at least until 1949 ix).

When Thomas’ wife Grace died on 1 Dec 1944 at age 88, her obituary said:

Taree lost one of its oldest residents on Friday when Mrs Grace Foster passed away. She was a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. McNeil, of Krambach, and was born on the Manning. Had she lived until February she would have been 89 years of age. Following her marriage to Mr. Thomas Foster, deceased spent the remainder of her life in Taree. For many years her late husband was employed as a baker by Thomsons Ltd. The late Mrs. Foster is kindly remembered by older residents of the town. She was a lady of generous disposition, and her home was always noted for its hospitality, and every worthy cause won her practical support. She is survived by three sons and one daughter, namely Messrs. Sid Foster (Taree); Thomas Foster (Kempsey); John Foster (Waverley) and Mrs. E. A. J. Spratt (Taree). Two sons, George (Taree) and William (Casino) predeceased her. She has one brother, Mr. Alex McNeil of Chatham, and two sisters, Mrs. Thomson (Mayfield) and Mrs. J. Lang (Albury). One sister, Mrs. Bell, of Laurieton, predeceased her. On Saturday morning the funeral moved from Mr. W. T. Howard’s parlours for the Dawson cemetery. Rev. Walter Latham officiated at the graveside." viii)


Sources relating to Thomas FOSTER:
      i) Birth of Thomas FOSTER. Reg# 1842- 927. Tasmanian Archives. See here.
      ii) Death of Thomas FOSTER. Reg# 1922/9132. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      iii) Will: George Foster, 1900. Reference# AD960/22, page 466, Will# 5534. Tasmanian Archives.
      iv) Marriage of Thomas FOSTER & Grace McNEIL. Reg# 1879/3733. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      v) Information from Constance May (Connie) FOSTER.
      vi) Manning District Hospital records. Held by the Manning River Historical Society.
      vii) Obituary. Mr Thomas Foster, Senr. Northern Champion, 26 Apr 1922.
      viii) Obituary. Mrs Grace FOSTER. Northern Champion, 6 Dec 1944.
      ix) Various electoral rolls.


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.


Children of Thomas FOSTER

Image of George Foster b. 1880Early photo of George FOSTER (b. 1880).
Name on back Mrs G. FOSTER.
Address: Albert Lane Taree.

George was born on 31 Jan 1880 in Victoria St., Taree i). He was an apprentice at the Manning River Independent Newspaper (1892-1893?), painter, then painting contractor. His particular interests were the Brass Band, and football v), vi). On 16 Aug 1905 when George was 25, he married John Ann (Annie / Johnann) McFADYEN, daughter of Angus McFADYEN & Mary Anne CAMERON iii). Annie was born on 10 Nov 1883 at Red Bank, Taree vii).

Our family almost never happened, due to a childhood accident when George was aged 7:

…shortly after twelve o'clock, a little boy named George Foster mounted a horse in Mr. Anderson's paddock, Pultney-street, Taree, unknown to his mother. The horse appears to have taken fright at some clothes which were hanging out, and bolted through the open site with the child on its back. After going a short distance, the little fellow slipped down from his seat on the horse, but unfortunately one of his feet was caught in the stirrup leather. The horse dragged the boy against a stump, by which his foot was set at liberty, or the result would most likely have ended in his death. Dr. Curtayne was sent for, and the child is now under his care, suffering from concussion of the brain, but it is hoped he may soon recover. iv)

Image of Annie Foster b. 1880Annie FOSTER (née McFADYEN), b. 1883.

George died early on 12 Aug 1933, from lead poisoning resulting from his trade as a painter ii). His obituary said:

The many friends of Mr George Foster, of Fotheringham Street, Taree, will hear with great regret that he passed away about noon on Saturday last at his home, after a comparatively short serious illness. While he had not been in good health for the last three years, it was only a month to the day before his death that he had a seizure on the Taree showground while watching the football match between Kempsey and Taree cup teams, a sport in which he was always very much interested. He was at once taken to his home, but apart from being able to sit out in the sunshine now and then he never improved and last week his condition became very serious, and it was felt that the end was near. He was 53 years of age. The late Mr Foster was a son of Mrs Foster, of Victoria Street, Taree, and the late Mr Tom Foster, who was a baker for Thomsons Ltd in the old days. He was born in Taree and resided there during the whole of his life. He commenced work as an apprentice in the office of the now defunct Manning River "Independent" newspaper, and on the closing down of that business he turned his hand to the painter’s art which he followed until sickness prevented him from continuing.
He was married to Miss Johnann McFadyen, daughter of Mr Angus McFadyen, of Taree, and the late Mrs McFadyen, by whom he is survived, together with Messrs. Thomas Foster (Taree) and Eric Foster (E.S. & A. Bank Byron Bay) and Mrs Allan Robinson (Taree), sons and daughter. Sisters and brothers are: Mrs EAJ Spratt (Taree), Mrs J Lange (Sydney), Messrs. Jack Foster (Sydney), William (Grafton), Thomas (Kempsey), and Sidney (Taree). The whole of the family of brothers and sisters (except Mrs Lange) were here for the funeral. The late Mr Foster was one who made many friends, to keep them. He lived the quiet, industrious and peaceable life and was most conscientious in all his actions. In years gone past he took an interest in band matters, and he was always keenly interested in football, from the first day a jersey was donned in Taree. Many old Tareeites will deeply regret the passing of a staunch friend. The funeral on Sunday afternoon was one of the largest seen in Taree for many years. Rev. Walter Latham conducted a short service at the home at 3.30 and then the cortege moved to the Dawson cemetery, where the interment took place, the Rev. Latham completing the service. Mr W.T. Howard conducted the funeral." v)

Another obituary said:

Mr. Geo Foster. After a lengthy and trying illness Mr Geo. Foster passed away in his home in Fotheringham Street, Taree, at noon on Saturday. Until about three years ago the late Mr. Foster was able to follow his occupation as a painter, but he contracted blood poisoning, which was followed by blood pressure and rheumatism. Some four weeks before his death, while watching a cup football match, he had a stroke, and thereafter he gradually weakened until the end came. Deceased was the eldest son of Mrs Foster of Taree and the late Thos. Foster. He was born at Taree 53 years ago, and except for a short period spent in Sydney before his marriage, he lived in the town all his life. He was a man who did not take any great part in public affairs, but he was always keenly interested in the Town Band, for which he played the bass drum in years gone by, and was also a great supporter of football. Personally, he was a man of cheerful demeanour, and friendly by nature. He was essentialy a home lover, and his death is a serious loss to his widow (née Miss Annie McFadyen, daughter of Mr Angus McFadyen, of Taree). and his three children. Messrs. Tom (Taree), Eric (ESA Bank, at Byron Bay, and until recently of the Taree branch), and Mrs Allan Robinson, of Taree. Brothers are Messrs. William Foster (Casino), John Foster (Sydney), Tom Foster (Kempsey) and Sid Foster (Taree), and the sisters are Mrs E.A.J. Spratt (Taree), and Mrs Lang (Sydney). The funeral, which was one of the largest seen in Taree for some time, moved from his late home at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday for the Dawson Cemetery. In the presence of a large and representative gathering which was an eloquent tribute to the popularity of the deceased, Rev. Walter Latham conducted a solemn service at the graveside. The casket was literally covered with many beautiful floral tokens. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr W.T. Howard." vi)

I could not find an obituary for John Ann (Annie / Johnann) who died in Fotheringham St Taree on 8 Oct 1967 viii). However, her grand-daughter Lyn remembers her Nanna Foster as always being warm and loving and very happy to see her family. Lyn says: "The pudding 'in a cloth' and mulberry jam were made especially for our visits… which I'm sorry to say were fairly infrequent." Lyn never saw her grandfather, since he had died before she was born.

George and Annie had the following children:
i. Thelma May (24 Feb 1906-4 Jun 1954), ii. Thomas Allan (10 Apr 1907-15 Jul 1945), iii. Eric George (23 Mar 1910-15 May 1980).
See chapter 13 for “George FOSTER of Taree: his children.”

Sources relating to George FOSTER:
      i) Birth of George FOSTER. Reg# 1880/17839. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      ii) Death of George FOSTER. Reg# 1933/16915. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
     iii) Marriage: George Foster & John Ann McFadyen. Minister’s Register. # A 61915.
      iv) Accident to George FOSTER. Manning River Times, 4 Aug, 1888.
      v) Obituary. Mr George Foster. Manning River Times, 14 Aug, 1933.
      vi) Obituary. Mr Geo FOSTER. Northern Champion, 16 Aug, 1933.
      vii) Birth of John Ann McFADYEN. Reg# 1883/20069. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      viii) Death of John Ann FOSTER. Reg# 1967/41750. Registrar of BDM, NSW.

William Manning FOSTER

Under construction…

Under construction.… can you help?

Not much was found… and this account is a work in progress. William Manning FOSTER was born 24 Apr 1881 and was registered at Wingham NSW i). William was best man at his brother George’s marriage on Aug 16, 1905 in Taree iv). Family obituaries tell us that he was living in Ballina at the time of his father’s death in 1922 v), attended his brother George’s funeral in 1933, and lived in Casino in 1933 vi). The Casino Electoral Roll records him living in Casino: 1930 at Casino, 1933 to 1935 at Centre St Casino; 1936 to 1937 at the South Casino Hotel, each time with the occupation "Clerk" vii). Finally, he died on 29 Oct 1942, Casino NSW ii).

An obituary said:

Obituary: Mr William Foster. Following a protracted illness, the death occurred in Casino Memorial Hospital yesterday of Mr William Foster, aged 60. Born at Taree, the deceased in his younger days was in the grocery business & for a greater part of his life was closely associated with the turf. He was a well-known figure on the Northern Rivers Racecourses as a bookmaker’s clerk to Mr Frank Hughes & the late Mr Tim Jordan. For a short period the late Mr Foster conducted a tobacconist business in Casino and was a popular member of the local bowling club.
The funeral moved to the Church of England portion of the Casino Cemetery this afternoon, the arrangements being in the hands of Mr Trevor D. Bevan." iii)

No record of William's marriage has yet been confirmed, and there was no mention of a wife or children in his obituary or in his death certificate… there is an indistinct notation on the certificate which could be “never married”. A registration at Wallsend NSW of a William M. FOSTER marrying an Ann H. MORROW… proved a "red-herring", since it was an unrelated William Mcquarie FOSTER, b. 1875 viii, ix. No record could be found of William’s life in Grafton… no mention of William in the Clarence Valley Historical Society files or in the Northern Rivers Racing records concerning his occupation as a bookmaker's clerk. Strangely, there were no electoral records of William found through AncestryCom apart from the Casino records!

Sources relating to William Manning FOSTER:
      i) Birth of William Manning FOSTER. Reg# 1881/17700. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      ii) Death of William Manning FOSTER. Reg# 1942/25621. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      iii) Obituary. Mr William Foster. Richmond River Express Examiner, 30 Oct 1942.
      iv) Marriage: George Foster & John Ann McFadyen. 16 Aug 1905. Certificate in Minister’s Register. # A 61915.
      v) Obituary of Thomas FOSTER. Northern Champion, 26 Apr 1922.
      vi) Obituary of George FOSTER. Manning River Times, 14 Aug 1933.
      vii) Australian Electoral Records of Casino NSW. 1930 to 1937.
          …the records below have not yet sighted:
      viii) Marriage of William M FOSTER & Ann H. MORROW. Reg# 1904/2330. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      ix) Pers. comm. Kathy Curryer: re William Mcquarie FOSTER.

John Delamore (Jack) FOSTER
Under construction.… can you help?

Under construction…

John Delamore (Jack) FOSTER was born on 13 Mar 1884 in Wingham NSW i). Jack died in Newtown, Sydney, NSW on 20 May 1966; he was 82 ii). He drove Mail Coaches known as “Whisky Travellers” in his youth. He also worked as a milkman, baker and barman. He ran a bakery business in Gloucester and also in Sydney iv). The electoral rolls show that he lived at 42 Belgrave St Waverley from at least 1930 to 1954, and his occupation was a barman during this period vi). He worked at the hotel at the top of Bronte Rd Sydney v. He was a gambler, a runner and a champion swimmer, He won a prize (not first) in the Sta’well Gift running race one year iv).

On 10 May 1910 when Jack was 26, he married Florence May MIDDLETON, daughter of James Alexander MIDDLETON & Christiana Alice UNNAMED, in Gloucester, NSW iii). Florence was born in 1895 in Paterson, NSW vii), and died in Sydney, NSW, in 1963 at the age of 68 viii).

Family obituaries show that Jack was living in Sydney in 1922 ix), 1933 x); in Waverley in 1944 xi). Electoral rolls were more use, giving his address as 42 Belgrave St Waverley from 1930 to 1963 inclusive. In each case (7) Jack described himself as a barman.

Jack & Florence had the following children: i. Sydney James (20 Sep 1912 - 16 Sep 1992), ii. Constance May (Connie) (21 Jul 1914 - 5 Aug 1989), iii. John Thomas (Jack) (17 Jul 1916 - 18 Aug 1981), iv. Kenneth Delmore (7 Dec 1918 - 7 Sep 1985).

Sources relating to John Delamore (Jack) FOSTER and his family:
      i) Birth of John Delamore (Jack) FOSTER. Reg# 1884/21537. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      ii) Death of John Delamore (Jack) FOSTER. Reg# 1966/2865. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
    iii) Marriage of John Delamore (Jack) FOSTER & Florence May MIDDLETON.
      Reg# 1911/7142. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
     iv) Pers. comm. Lorraine FOSTER.
      v) Pers. comm. Neil FOSTER.
      vi) Australian Electoral Records. 1930 to 1954.
      vii) Birth of Florence May MIDDLETON. Reg# 1895/25716. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      viii) Death of Florence May FOSTER. Reg# 1963/8383. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      ix) Obituary of Thomas FOSTER. Northern Champion, 26 Apr 1922.
      x) Obituary of George FOSTER. Manning River Times, 14 Aug 1933.
      xi) Obituary. Mrs Grace FOSTER. Northern Champion, 6 Dec 1944.
      xii) Pers. comm. Barry Roby; 2012.

Thomas Oswald FOSTER

Thomas Oswald FOSTER was born in Sept 1886 in Taree i) and died at home in 6 Cooks Lane, West Kempsey, NSW, on 1 Dec 1964 at the age of 78. Thomas was buried on 2 Dec 1964 in the West Kempsey Cemetery ii). On 12 Aug 1925 when Thomas Oswald was 38, he married Agnes Winifred SIMON, daughter of William SIMON & Hanora/ Hannah/ Nora DANIHER, at the Roman Catholic Presbytery, West Kempsey iv) xv. Agnes was born on 13 Jul 1894 at Dungay Creek, near West Kempsey, NSW viii), xv), and died at home in 6 Cooks Lane, West Kempsey on 2 Jul 1990 at the age of 96 and was buried in the West Kempsey Cemetery on 6 Jul 1990 ix), xv). Thomas and Agnes were buried together in the Kempsey Cemetery, Catholic section in row B, graves 22 and 21 respectively xvi).

Image of Thomas O. FOSTER, b. 1886Tom FOSTER b. 1886, in army uniform.
Photo: Courtesy of the Macleay River Historical Society. Ref# AMN 2268.

Thomas enlisted in the 15/2nd Machine Gun Reinforcements in WW1 in 10 Jan 1917 at Kempsey, NSW. At that time his particulars were: height 5’5”, weight 130 lbs, eyes blue, hair dark brown, complexion reddish, age 28 years and 4 months. Thomas lived at Taree at the time of enlistment and left for overseas on 26 Nov 1917. He finished his service in the 1st Machine Gun Battalion with the rank of Private and returned to Taree about 20 Aug 1919 xii). Family obituaries showed he lived in Kempsey in 1922 v), 1933 vi), 1944 xiii).

Rod & Wendy Gow published a collection of newspaper articles, some of which mentioned Thomas’ military service x) :

Thomas Oswald was a cordial maker ii), iii). He had been apprenticed to W. Sloman, Taree for 3 years at time of enlistment xii). When he returned from military service he was a cordial manufacturer until he retired from the George A. Coleman cordial firm.

Rod & Wendy Gow's published collection of newspaper articles which referred to W. Sloman’s cordial factory are xi) :

Image of Thomas O. FOSTER, cornet player.Thomas O. FOSTER (back row), leading cornet player in Kempsey Silver Band.
Photo: courtesy of Neil Foster.

After the War, Thomas made his mark as an instrumentalist. He was described as: “Mr Tom Foster, a well-known Taree native, and an instrumental and vocal performer of some note, is now acting bandmaster at Kempsey, in which town he now resides.” xiv) On the left you see Thomas holding his cornet in a section of a photo of the Kempsey Silver Band about 1920 or 1921.

Thomas’ obituary said:

Obituary: Mr. Tom Foster passed on: Mr. Thomas Oswald Foster, of River Street, West Kempsey, who passed away on Tuesday, was one of Kempsey’s best known and most popular identities over a long period of years. In business he was a member of the George A. Coleman cordial firm, and he was a good townsman and a good neighbour. A fine musician, he was for many years a leading cornet player in Kempsey Silver Band. Much sympathy is extended to Mrs Foster and family in their bereavement. The funeral, under conduct of Messrs. H. B. Walker and Sons, took place to West Kempsey Cemetery on Wednesday, after a service at All Saints Catholic Church. Members of Macleay R.S.L. Sub-Branch formed a guard of honour. iii)

Thomas and Agnes had one child Neil Simon FOSTER (1929-26 Apr 2015) who married Marjorie Harriott JUDD (7 Sep 1927-24 Mar 2017).

Sources relating to Thomas Oswald FOSTER:
      i) Birth of Thomas Oswald FOSTER. Reg# 1886/23262. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      ii) Death of Thomas Oswald FOSTER. Reg# 1964/35245. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      iii) Obituary. Mr. Tom Foster passed on. Macleay Argus; 3 Dec 1964.
      iv) Marriage: Thomas Oswald FOSTER & Agnes Winifred SIMON. Reg# 1925/12497. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      v) Obituary of Thomas FOSTER. Northern Champion; 26 Apr 1922.
     vi) Obituary of George FOSTER. Manning River Times; 14 Aug 1933.
    vii) Australian Electoral Records. 1930 to 1937.
   viii) Birth of Agnes Winifred SIMON. Reg# 17424/1894. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
     ix) Funeral notice of Agnes Winifred SIMON. Macleay Argus; 5 July 1990.
      x) Rod & Wendy Gow. World War 1 North Coast Anzacs. Volumes 1 & 2.
     xi) Rod & Wendy Gow. Past times column- 100 years ago.
     xii) Military record: Thomas Oswald FOSTER, serial# 795. Series# B2455, item barcode# 4023577. National Archives Australia.
     xiii) Obituary. Mrs Grace FOSTER. Northern Champion; 6 Dec 1944.
     xiv) Mr Tom Foster… instrumental performer. Manning River Times; 18 May 1921.
     xv) Dick Adams. Simons on the Macleay: Pioneer settlers on the Macleay and Nambucca rivers of New South Wales 1855 to 1950. Springwood Printing, Faulconbridge NSW; 2011; 217-220.
    xvi) Judy Hoole. Macleay River Cemetery. Volume 3 (West Kempsey). J. Hoole, Cundletown NSW; 1996-2003.


Image of Lucy SPRATT née FOSTER.Lucy May (May) SPRATT née FOSTER.
Photo: Courtesy of Barbara Ashwood.

Lucy May (May) was born in 1889 in Taree …vii). In 1910 when May was 21, she married Edwin Alfred John "Jack" SPRATT (b. 1887) …x), son of Edwin SPRATT, in Taree …ix). Jack had moved to Taree the previous year (1909) when he was 22. …i). Shortly after, over the next 40 years, Jack managed “Connell’s Emporium” in Victoria Street Taree until he retired in 1958. …i)

On 27 Sep 1917 Jack and May were part of a consortium which registered a company (Parker Connell Limited) owning "Connell's". Their objects were to acquire and take over as a going concern the business now carried on at Taree by Murdoch Parker under the name of M. Parker and Co., general storekeepers, colonial wine vendor, &c. The signatories to the memorandum were: Mark Connell, Murdoch Parker, Rose Lilian Peel, Chas. Henry Peel, Lucy May Spratt, Edwin Alfred Jno. Spratt and Ethel Louise Parker. The first directors were: Murdoch Parker, Mark Connell, Edwin Alfred Jno. Spratt and Chas. Henry Peel. Registered office: Taree. …xiii)

“Connell's” was a true department store in every sense". …v) It was burnt down in in 1924, iv) and the re-built store had a very impressive front with a "colonnade… which has long disappeared. Connell's was often described as the hub of commerce in Taree". …v) In 1946 the Commonwealth Prices Commissioner made an example of Connell's. The visiting inspector said: "This is the main store in the town from which a lead should be expected. Passing through Taree early in November 1945 the omission to display price tickets was so noticeable that I was prompted to make this test (examine pricing and ticketing)." (Recommendation): "Prosecute both the Company and the Manager (Jack SPRATT)." The prosecution succeeded and a fine imposed at the Taree Court of Petty Sessions, even though there had been no prior prosecutions or warnings. The conviction was later quashed at the Taree Quarter Sessions. …vi)

Jack was a well known bowler. He died in Taree on 1 Jan 1968 at the age of 81 …xi). Legal notices relating to Jack’s Probate gave his occupation as "Retired Store Manager deceased". …ii) May died on 27 Feb 1962; she was 73 …viii). Jack and May were buried in the same grave in the Dawson Cemetery Taree. Their family home was at 48 Wynter St Taree in 1968, …iii) and in 2009 is part of a car park and "Hungry Jack’s". …iv)

May and Jack had 2 boys and 2 girls. These were John Sydney (Syd) SPRATT (b. 12 Oct 1912 - d 1 Mar 1994, late of Port Macquarie); Edwin Maxwell (Max) SPRATT (b. 28 Mar 1911 - d. 22 Jul 1990, late of Kingscliff and formerly of Quirindi); Marjorie June LAMB (née SPRATT) (b. abt 1922 - d. 23 Jul 2003, late of Kingscliff NSW); Norma May MACKINTOSH (née SPRATT) (b. abt 1926 - d. 9 Sep 2019, late of Kingscliff NSW.

Image of Connells StoreConnells Store,1929. "Jack" SPRATT managed this for 40 years.
Photo: From "Past Days around the Manning" v)
Courtesy of the author John Doust.

Sources relating to Lucy May FOSTER and Edwin Alfred John SPRATT:
      i) Death of two former managers. Manning River Times, Taree; 11 Jan 1968.
      ii) Legal notices relating to the Probate of E J Spratt. Manning River Times, Taree; 9 &15 Nov 1968.
      iii) Death Notice. SPRATT, Edwin Alfred John. Manning River Times, Taree; 3 Jan 1968.
      iv) Local Taree sources… thanks to Gloria Toohey.
      v) Doust, John. Past Days Around the Manning. Manning River Times, Taree; 1994 (vol I), 2004 (vol II).
      vi) DC NSW v Estate McConnell and EJ Spratt trading as Connells Taree — towels and millinery — outerwear.
        National Archives of Australia. Series CP376; item P1946/1592 (30325306).
      vii) Birth of Lucy M FOSTER. Reg# 1889/23100. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      viii) Death of Lucy May SPRATT. Reg# 1962/35245. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      ix) Marriage: Lucy M FOSTER & Edwin AJ SPRATT. Reg# 1910/13621. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      x) Birth of Edwin A J SPRATT. Reg# 1886/15663. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      xi) Death of Edwin Alfred J SPRATT. Reg# 1968/12278. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      xii) Pers. comm. Barbara Ashwood; 2011.
      xiii) New companies. Sunday Times; 30 Sept 1917: 10.


Janet Elizabeth Grace FOSTER
Image of Janet Foster.Elderly Janet Foster (R), with unnamed friends.
Sent by Janet Lange to Hilda Ford xv).
Photo: Courtesy of Deann O’Donoghue.

Janet was born on 9 Feb 1892 at Taree, Manning River, NSW i). On 21 Sept 1925 when Janet was 33, she married 43 year old Albury farmer John LANGE at St Matthew's Church of England, Albury, NSW iii). John LANGE (b. 6 May 1884 Moorwatha (near Albury) NSW) was the son of Johan Carl Wilhelm Louis (William Charles) LANGE (1852-1940) and Wilhelmina LANGE née SCHLINCKER (1852-1913) x), xi). Family obituaries show Janet living in Moree in 1922 iv), Sydney in 1933 v), Albury in 1944 vi). Janet died in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Sydney on 23 May 1980, at the age of 88. No children were recorded. At the time of her death she lived at 4/19 McDougall St, Milsons Point, and was described as a widow ii).

John (aka Jack) LANGE’s life has been a mystery until recently, when digitising of directories and newspapers etc enabled the breakthroughs.

A newspaper article about an accident in Albury just after John and Janet’s marriage, involved Janet, her husband and her father. Significantly, this told us what John and Janet did in Albury:

Car falls 35 feet. Albury, Friday
Early this morning a car, driven by John Lange, proprietor of the Albury Hotel, and occupied by his wife and R. Polkinghorne, M. Thompson, and T. Foster, broke through the fencing which protects Howlong road at the western entrance to the town, and carrying away five panels, the car and its occupants fell 35 feet on to the river flat. The party was returning from a dance at Brocklesby, and it is believed that the steering gear became locked. Lange sustained leg injuries, and was taken to hospital. Mrs. Lange suffered from shock and minor injuries; but the others escaped injury. viii)


Image of Janet Foster.Jack Lange at “Euloma”.
Photo: Courtesy of Deann O’Donoghue.

The Sands Directories show John Lange (farmer) living at Bectric (40km WSW of Temora) from 1921 to 1925. When he married in 1925 he was described as a farmer in his marriage certificate. After he married the 1926 Directory recorded him as a farmer at Bectric AND also at the Albury Hotel. Then in 1927 his only entry in the Directory was the Albury Hotel at Albury vii).

Jack then appeared to leave no further records in the Albury area, or anywhere else! Janet’s movements were traced by family obituaries… Janet lived in Moree in 1922 iv), she was mentioned in her brother George’s obituary in 1933 as Mrs J. Lange (Sydney) v). Then a sister to Grace Foster… a J. Lang (Albury) was mentioned in her mother’s obituary in 1944 vi). Janet then turned up in the Milsons Point electoral roll with the occupation of chef xx).

The big breakthrough was finding John's obit relating to his death on 10 Oct 1973:

LANGE, John, — October 10, 1973, at hospital, of “Euloma”, Goondiwindi, Queensland and formerly of Albury, N.S.W. Funeral from St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Goondiwindi, today (Friday), at 11 a.m., for the Goondiwindi Cemetery, G.G & C.J. Huckel, Funeral Directors, Callandoon Street, Goondiwindi, Phone 37B. ix)

The above obit led me to contact the Goondiwindi & District Family History Society, who were aware of John LANGE’s story. They kindly put me in touch with the FORD family who had employed John at “Euloma”… see the mention of the FORDs on John’s headstone.

The Fords’ recollection was that around 1930-32 Jack moved to the Goondiwindi area. “He worked for Ted Ford who was a timber getter and saw miller, firstly at Bungunya then Goondiwindi. Jack was in charge of the bullock teams that hauled the logs out of the scrub.” xii)

Ted Ford's son Henry “Denny” Ford then employed Jack at "Euloma" as a right hand man and often property manager from 1933 until Jack died. “He was devoted to the Ford family and was an integral and well-loved part of it.” When Jack became older the later owner of “Euloma”, Hilda Ford, “asked him on numerous occasions if there was any one she should contact about his ill health or death but he always said no one, perhaps his siblings had died and he had not had contact with any of their families for years.” xii) At the time of Jack's death in 1973 there was only one sibling out of 11 others who survived him… Esther Maude HALL née LANGE, d.21 Dec 1978 at Granville NSW xvi).

When Jack died, Hilda “felt that there might be someone from his family who would like to know he had passed on, so she placed a death notice in the Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney Daily Telegraph, and the Melbourne Age, under John Lange of “Euloma” Goondiwindi and late of Albury.” xii) Hilda was also the informant for Jack's death certificate xiii).

“A week later she received a letter xiv) from a Mrs John Lange of Milsons Point, Sydney enquiring if the death notice referred to her husband. Hilda was amazed and disbelieving. She had lived beside and shared every meal with Jack for close on 40 years but had no inkling that he had ever been married.”xii) Janet's next letter to Hilda gave details of her life with Jack, together with a photo of herself xv) (see above).

Janet's letters had an interesting style: no punctuation, probably written as she spoke and as the thoughts came to her, with capitals where emphasis was required. She described herself as very aged, 81 years old, on the pension and “the last of her folk living”… the last of her brothers and sisters died in 1966. She said she had a stroke the previous year and had willed her body to Sydney University. It sounded as if she had had a hard life... she had worked as a chef and ceased work 2 years ago at the age of 79, even though she could have had the pension when she was 65 xiv), xv).

A letter said that Jack “was never afraid to work” and “a very honest man”. She explained her separation from Jack: “I lost the man I really loved in the War, and I proved to myself you can only love once in your lifetime, so we agreed our marriage was a mistake... but there has been nobody else in my life... I think that would go for him too... I never saw him from the day we separated.” xv)

Janet described Jack's life: “his father (William) was a hard man... he never gave (Jack) any schooling, only hard work”. This left Jack unable to read or write… “could only write his signature to cheques." William then sold Jack “the old original homestead at Bectric” (Temora) xv). Janet's Bectric story is confirmed by the Narraburra Shire Council Rate Books. Jack's father William's name appeared on the 1917 and 1919 Rate Books for Portion 36 and one other xvii). Portion 36 was 600ac, and had at its NW boundary the Bectric Public School xviii). It was the subject of a letter in 1915 from the Bectric teacher to the Department of Education, complaining about the the lack of as boundary fence between the school and the Lange property. He said: “traffic is at present diverted across the playground, a very undesirable state of affairs” xix).

William's Portions were then recorded in 1920 to 1922 with John Lange's name (Portion 36) and his brother Frederick's name with the other portion xvii). Frederick Lange called his property “Glen Idyll”, and raised 6 children there, with his wife Winifred. He sold his farm in 1948 and moved to Sydney xix). On the other hand, his brother Jack Lange did not keep his farm very long and sold his property in either late 1926 or early 1927 to H.J.E.Breust xvi), xvii). The timing of these events suggests that Jack owned this farm when he married, and thus described himself as a farmer on his marriage certificate... and also suggests that he may have subsequently sold this farm to finance his Albury Hotel purchase. Jack's property was originally selected by John Mills on 15 Mar 1883 (CP 83.153) and then passed to the Union Bank of Australia as the mortgagor xviii). There is still a road named Lange's Road in Bectric… someone might know the reason for the name?

Jack's family were described as “not a close family, never bothered with each other”. Janet said she had met Jack's father William, and “knew his brothers Fred and Alick” xv). Perhaps Janet met Fred at his Bectric property? She also said that she: "visited a sister (Jack's) once when we were in Sydney" xv). She would be Esther Maude, the last surviving sibling mentioned above.

Jack's background did not fit him for his hotel venture. Even though Jack “was very popular in Albury”, Janet said “we should never have gone into the hotel game and we were not very successful... trusted too many” xv). Underlying this statement would be Jack's illiteracy and consequent inability to supervise his financial affairs. Adding to his supervision problems, would be his stay in hospital with leg injuries from his car accident.. see above account. Even though Janet was literate, she may have just involved herself in the hotel kitchen and not the finances. She said: “what happened to his money I will never know... something must have gone very wrong” xv).

This was the time of the Great Depression. Janet appeared to refer to suicide as an effect of financial collapse. “I have known (Jack) to bury an old friend of his in Albury.” xv) She did not seem to recognise the other effect of financial collapse in marriage breakdown, reflected in the old saying: “when poverty comes in the door, love flies out the window!”

Image of John LANGE’s grave.John LANGE’s grave.
Goondiwindi Cemetery, Qld, sect F5 grave 30. Photo: courtesy of Diane Cairns & Goondiwindi & District Family History Society.

How did Jack end up near Goondiwindi? Was he one of the tramps on the northern road from Albury up to Queensland and the Darling Downs? The climate was not too harsh on this road and the farms were not too far apart. Men who had lost their money, their marriage or lacked support from their family took this route, and Jack fitted all these categories. However, his broad skills as a farmer and his capacity for hard work would have gained him employment on the way.

Finally, Janet's letters gave an indication of Jack's end. Her first letter asked: “I would like to know how (Jack) passed on” xiv). Hilda must have given these details, since Janet thanked her in her second letter: “you were wonderful to do all the things you must have done... he had a long illness and must have suffered greatly.” xv) Probably his final illness was related to his throat cancer which he developed around 1954-55… in spite of this he lived another 19 years, refusing to give up smoking xii).

A story with some sadness for Jack and Janet? Jack certainly found happiness in “Euloma”.


Sources relating to Janet Elizabeth Grace FOSTER:
      i) Birth of Janet Elizabeth Grace FOSTER. Reg# 1892/34534. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      ii) Death of Janet Elizabeth LANGE. Reg# 1980/11763. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      Address: 4/49 McDougall Street, Milsons Point, Sydney.
      iii) Marriage: Janet E & John Ann LANGE. Reg# 1925/13022. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      iv) Obituary of Thomas FOSTER. Northern Champion, 26 Apr 1922.
      v) Obituary of George FOSTER. Manning River Times, 14 Aug 1933.
      vi) Obituary. Mrs Grace FOSTER. Northern Champion, 6 Dec 1944.
      vii) Sands Directories: Sydney and New South Wales, Australia. 1921 to 1927.
      viii) Car falls 35 feet. Sydney Morning Herald; 10 Apr 1926:16
      ix) Death notice: John LANGE. Sydney Morning Herald; 12 Oct 1973.
      x) Sandra Grintell. Website: Gould, Grintell, Lemon, Sherwill, O'Connell, Worner, Bower, James Family Trees. See here for details of the LANGE family.
      xi) Dorothy A Fellowes, H Perry, R Perry. Spengler Schlincker Breust : from Augusta to us : the story of Augusta Spengler, Schlincker, Breust and her descendants, 1832-2007. Slinger/Breust Book Committee, Temora NSW; 2007:269.
    xii) Deann O'Donoghue (née Ford) and Pat Ford. John Lange- “Old Jack”: My childhood memories of Old Jack. Copy lodged with the Goondiwindi & District Family History Society.
      xiii) Informant’s proforma for Death Certificate for Jack LANGE. Completed by Hilda Ford; 11 Oct 1973.
      xiv) Janet Lange. First Letter to Hilda Ford. Oct 1973. (Held by the FORD family.)
      xv) Janet Lange.Second Letter to Hilda Ford. 28 Oct 1973.
      Address: 4/49 McDougall Street, Milsons Point, Sydney. (Letter Held by the FORD family.)
      xvi) Heather Perry. Pers. com. 2011.
      xvii) Narraburra Shire Council Rate Books: “A” Riding. Lodged at the Temora Community Archive, Temora Rural Museum, Temora. Note: Narraburra Shire Council (1906-1980) & Temora Municipality merged in 1981 to form Temora Shire Council.
      xviii) Trickett Parish Map, County Bourke. Parish Map Preservation Project; Land and Property: Authority. See John LANGE's portion 36 here. Note: this area was previously known as Mimosa Holding.… see 1889 & 1918 maps.
      xix) Tracey Robinson (compiler). Back to Bectric : a collection of stories to celebrate the centenary of the Bectric Hall, 1904-2004. Temora Shire Heritage Committee, Temora NSW; 2004: 68, 125-126.
      xx) NSW electoral rolls (1963). Janet Elizabeth Grace Lange, 6A Cliff Street, Milson's Point, North Sydney, NSW, occupation chef.
Many thanks to the following people who have kindly corresponded with me: Sandra Grintell directed me to the great reference Spengler Schlincker Breust : from Augusta to us. Heather Perry, an author of that publication sent me copy of the relevant page and has researched Jack LANGE's land in the Bectric Rate Book. Diane Cains of the Goondiwindi & District Family History Society contacted the Ford family on my behalf as well as photographed John Lange's grave. Pat Ford kindly sent me a copy of John Lange- “Old Jack”: My childhood memories of Old Jack, and gave me permission to quote from it. Especial thanks to Deann O'Donoghue for permission to use her family records, photos and personal research into Jack LANGE. Once again the FORD family has been kind to the FOSTER family!
      Further research:
This account is still a work in progress.


Sydney Herman (Sid) FOSTER

Sid was born in Taree in 1894 i) and died in Taree on 15 Dec 1959 at the age of 65. He was buried on 16 Dec 1959 in the Church of England section of the Dawson Cemetery Taree, row N, plot 10 ii), iii), viii). There are family records of Sid living in Taree on 1922 v), 1933 vi), 1944 vii). His 1959 obit said he lived in Tinonee, near Taree iii). There was no mention of a wife in his obituary iii) or his burial records viii). His obituary said:

The death occurred in the Manning River District Hospital, Taree on Tuesday of Mr Sidney Herman Foster, aged 65 years, late of Tinonee. Following a 2 pm service at Mr W. Howard’s Chapel on Wednesday the funeral moved to the Anglican portion of the Dawson cemetery iii).

A marriage of Sydney H. FOSTER to Margaret CLARK in 1930, registered in Sydney NSW… needed investigation. However, this "Sydney H." was an unrelated Sydney Hercules FOSTER, b. 1875, St Kilda, Vic. iv).

Electoral rolls have provided the only real clues on Sid’s life. Initially electoral roll searches were unsuccessful, until it was realised that Sid had modified his second name Herman. This may have been due to the unpopular German association, or to electoral officers’ difficulties in spelling? He may have been named after his uncle Hermann Rupp LAKIN of Tasmania.

In 1930, 1936, 1937 he was known as Sidney Erwin FOSTER, Victoria St, Taree, coach driver. He lived with his mother Grace in Victoria St… it is assumed that it was the same address as his mother, since the same street number as his mother (256 Victoria St) was given in the later records 1943 & 1949 ix). Sid drove coaches as did his older brother John Delamore FOSTER who drove Mail Coaches known as “Whisky Travellers” in his youth x). Grace and her son Sid were the only members of the family living in #256 at the times recorded ix).

Sid's mother Grace died in 1944 and Sid Erwin FOSTER continued living in the family home in 1949, still with the occupation of coach driver ix).

Sid then was recorded 1954, 1958, with no occupation, and his second name was now Ermin… a phonetic spelling of his name. He now lived at 18 Alban Street Taree in both years, though later in 1958 he changed his address to Tinonee (near Taree) ix), where he died in 1959 iii).

Sources relating to Sydney Herman (Sid) FOSTER:
      i) Birth of Sydney Herman (Sid) FOSTER. Reg# 1894/33162. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      ii) Death of Sydney Herman (Sid) FOSTER. Reg# 1959/31585. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      iii) Obituary. Mr S.H.FOSTER. Northern Champion, 18 Dec, 1959.
      iv) Marriage: Sydney H. FOSTER & Margaret CLARK. Reg# 1930/5085. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      v) Obituary of Thomas FOSTER. Northern Champion, 26 Apr 1922.
      vi) Obituary of George FOSTER. Manning River Times, 14 Aug 1933.
      vii) Obituary. Mrs Grace FOSTER. Northern Champion, 6 Dec 1944.
      viii) Burial records: Sydney Herman (Sid) FOSTER. Dawson River (Taree) General Cemetery.
      ix) NSW electoral rolls (various).
     x) Pers. comm. Lorraine FOSTER.

Edward Foster

Edward (b. 1897 — d. 1897). Edward was born and died in Taree.

Sources relating to Edward FOSTER:
      i) Birth of Edward FOSTER. Reg# 1897/16858. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      ii) Death of Edward FOSTER. Reg# 1997/6492. Registrar of BDM, NSW.


General acknowledgements

I am grateful to the following societies for obtaining copies of sources: Macleay River Historical Society, Manning River Historical Society and the Manning Wallamba Family History Society.


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. Please see here for a full descendant report to see how you are related.

The Story Continues