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What does the name Foster mean?

The Foster surname is predominantly English, where it has been recorded in use from the 1100s onwards. Foster derives as an occupational surname from a number of sources. Firstly it comes from a 'forester', the name for a forest warden or gamekeeper. Secondly the surname Foster is believed to derive from the Old English 'Forseter' (shearer), given to those who shear sheep and their descendants. Most rarely Foster has been hypothesised to relate to a 'fosterer', someone who feeds and looks after children in place of their parents.

The earliest occurrence of the Foster surname in our family history documents is from 1406, and we currently have 2,384,892 records where Foster appears.

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