Mary McElfresh Foster

Born: Probably Maryland 1752
Died: After 1832 Union County South Carolina

John FosterNancy Foster HamesMcElfreshHagerstown MD
Jeremiah Foster
Frederick Foster
John M. Foster
Jared or Jarrett Foster
Thomas Foster
Un-known daughters

Mary McElfresh was born in Maryland, possibly Washington (Frederick) or Baltimore County in about 1754.  Not enough looking has yet been done to confirm much about the family.  Her father was possibly  Thomas McElfresh and she had several siblings.

Because of the arrival of a crop of new children, shortly after the family’s settling at Grindal Shoals, I wonder if Mary McElfresh is the biological mother of Nancy and any other children who seem to have been born in Virginia or Maryland.

If she is the mother of all John Foster’s children perhaps time spent active in the War of Revolution explains the gap in children, either way, there does seem to be a gap in their birth dates creating an older group and a younger group so common among pioneer families where life often wore women out and it was quite common for a man’s family to consist of children born of a second wife following the passing of his first.  If there was a Mrs. John Foster, before Mary McElfresh we have no name for her.

It seems imagineable that the course of events that brought John Foster to the Pacolet River began the moment he married Mary McElfresh.

Mary’s sister Susannah or Suky, married into the Jasper family back in Virginia.  The Jasper family had married into the McWhorter family and the McWhorters had secured a land grant from the Governor of the province of North Carolina in 1771.  The region was resurvey in 1772 and redesignated part of South Carolina.  Enterprizing members of the McWhorter and Jasper families had begun to migrate.  When John and Mary Foster arrived along the Pacolet they rented land from John Portman.  The Portmans had also married into the McWhorter family.  Eventually another sister Massey would arrive along with her husband Daniel Fitch.  This was very much a family operation.

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