Spelling Assistant - Fredrick R. Forster (Foster)

Fredrick R. Forster (Foster)


Fredrick R. Forster (1857-1936)

Fredrick Ryder Foster was born on 17 June 1857, son of George Forster and Juliana Ryder. His parents were married on 23 December 1841 and they had 8 children, of whom Frederick was the youngest.

Fredrick’s older siblings were: Juliana Elizabeth (b.31 Oct 1842), Caroline Mary (b.6 Mar 1844), George Henry (b.21 Mar 1846), Elizabeth R. (b.8 Mar 1848), Emily Sarah (b.25 Dec 1849), Arthur (b.30 Nov 1851), and Clara (b.27 Mar 1855).

Fredrick was baptised at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Charlottetown PEI on 1 January 1859.

When Fred was two, his sixteen year old sister Elizabeth died on 6 January 1859. He never met his sister Clara who was born two years before him and died before her second month of life, on 12 Mary 1855.

Sometime around the 1880’s the family made a name change from Forster to Foster. They are listed as Foster in the 1881 Census, but the baptism of Fred’s nephew Alfred, in 1885 lists him as Alfred Forster. All written documents that we found after this date seem to use the name Foster.

Fredrick’s father, George, was a blacksmith. By 1881 Fredrick and his older brother Arthur also worked as blacksmiths. At that time Fred was still living at home with his parents, his sister Caroline, his brother Arthur, Arthur’s wife, Lucy, and Arthur’s 2 year old son, Alfred E. [Ernest] Foster.

Two years later Fredrick’s father died on 4 April 1883. In the 1891 Census Frederick was living with his widowed mother, Juliana, and his older sister Caroline. In February 1894 Fredrick’s mother, Juliana, passed away.

Fred built his blacksmith business in Charlottetown which included making buggies and carriages. In 1901 he put an announcement in the paper:

Buggies and Carriages- I will sell the balance of my stock at the lowest possible prices to clear, for cash or approved notes. The above includes new and second-hand buggies, jump seats, expresses, truck-waggons, cart wheels, etc- our own to make. Fred R. Foster, Upper Queen Street. (Charlottetown Guardian, 26 June 1901, page 4).

Fredrick’s occupation also put him in some interesting situations. In 1903 he was hired by the local jail to adjust a cell that housed a man awaiting trial for murder:

Yesterday Fred Foster, blacksmith, was engaged at the jail making the cell occupied by Joseph Carver safer in order that all possibility of suicide should be removed. The opening at the top of the doorway through which McLeod placed the slat of the bedstead has been closed up and an opening made in the middle of the door through which the prisoner can be watched as he sleeps. (Charlottetown Guardian, 15 April 1903, page 5).

Joseph Carver had been found guilty of murdering Alexander Stewart, of Lot 48, PEI, and was scheduled to be executed on 1 October 1903. Eleven days before the execution date, the Governor General sent word that Carver’s sentence was to be lessened to life imprisonment.

After the death of his parents, Fred shared a home with his older sister Caroline. In the 1921 census they were living at 89 Euston Street in Charlottetown, PEI. He would have been almost 64 years old at the time and, according to the census, still working as a carriage builder.

Fredrick died on 17 October 1936 at the PEI hospital. His body went to his niece’s home (Bessie Foster, daughter of Fred’s brother Arthur) before going to St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral in Charlottetown for the funeral. At the time of his death Fred’s home was located at 59 Cumberland Street, Charlottetown. In his will he left money to St. Peter’s Cathedral. It was noted in the 4 December 1936 issue of the Charlottetown Guardian.

RECEIVE LEGACY- The St. Peter’s Cathedral Monthly says: “We are to receive a legacy of $500.00 from the estate of the late Mr. Frederick Foster. For this we are very grateful and hope that members of St. Peter’s when they make their wills will always make provision for bequests to the church.”

Within the BookLives collection is a copy of the book, “Carpenter’s Scholars’ Spelling Assistant”. Inside are numerous inscriptions of the name Fredrick R. Forster and the date Dec. 10th 1868. Fred would have been eleven years old when the inscription was dated. The name “Arthur”, Fred’s older brother, is also written on the last page.


1881 Census of Canada. Census Place: Charlottetown Royalty, Queens, Prince Edward Island; Roll: C_13163; Page: 66; Family No: 311

1891 Census of Canada. Census Place: Charlottetown Royalty, Queens, Prince Edward Island; Roll: T-6383; Family No: 471

1921 Census of Canada. Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 105; Census Place: Charlottetown (City), Queens, Prince Edward Island; Page Number: 34

Charlottetown Guardian. “All News of Local Interest.” 15 April 1903, p.5.

Charlottetown Guardian. “Buggies and Carriages.” 26 June 1901, p.4.

Charlottetown Guardian. “Carver Hears the Message that Sentence has been Commuted.” 21 September 1903, p.1

Charlottetown Guardian. “Funeral Services.” 22 October 1936, p.3.

Charlottetown Guardian. “Receive Legacy.” 4 December 1936, p.3.

Charlottetown Guardian. “Terrible Murder Committed Near Southport.” 13 Apri 1903, p.1.

Death Record for Frederick Ryder Foster. Government of Prince Edward Island. RG19/s2/ss6: Death registration books, 1936, entry #927.

Death Record for George Foster, pre-1906 Death Index. St. Peters Cathedral, Charlottetown, Book 2.

Death Record for Juliana Foster, pre-1906 Death Index. St. Peters Cathedral, Charlottetown, Book 2.

Microtech Supply and Services; Cemetery, Rent, Account, Pledge, Minute, Contract; Charlottetown; 1828-1906, 1910-7; Author: Prince Edward Island Public Archives; St. Paul Anglican Church of Canada (Charlottetown); FHL Roll: 1630133

Patriot Newspaper. 31 December 1936. Death announcement for Frederick R. Foster

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