The Move to Tennessee
John Foster was born in 1773 in Orange County, Virginia. John married
shortly before the death of his father. His bride was Sinah Lack (changed
from Lach/latchney) of Buncombe County, North Carolina. They had twelve children.
Eight boys and four girls. The boys were James Franklin, William Golden,
John W., Thomas N., Joel J., Edmond T., Anthony L., and Bluford T. R.
The girls were Lucinda, Elizabeth, Mary Ann, and Permelia.
James Franklin and Lucinda were born in South Carolina. The family then moved
to Madison County, Alabama where William Golden and John W. were born.
Some time around 1815 the family moved again. They moved to the Hannah's Branch area on Smith Fork Creek near Liberty, Tn. The rest of the children were born in that area which at that time was Smith County, since Dekalb County was not established until December 2, 1837.
John Foster was a short, stocky man, very athletic and quick. He loved his dram, and one night when drinking, he was exposed to the cold, contracted pneumonia and died. That was some time in 1832, after the last son Bluford was born. John and Sinah were saddle makers and after Johns death she had to raise the twelve children by herself. She taught the saddle making trade to all her sons.
Sinah seems to have been a very industrious woman. Some time in 1837 she contracted to build a section of the Turnpike up Snows Hill between Liberty and Smithville. With her sons and employees, she bossing the job, the section of the road was built that was probably unexcelled. She was a tall woman with a keen mind, a good cook, a gardener, (worked her garden at 90), bossed every thing about her, was gentle but commanding.
She bought and sold several large tracts of land on Smith Fork Creek and several lots in the town of Smithville. She also had a one third interest with two of her sons in a 750 acre tract of land in Cumberland County at Grassy Cove.
Even though Sinah seems to have been very smart and a good business woman, she could not read nor write. All the documents that have been found have had "Her X Mark" for her signature, and witnessed.
The following is Sinah's will.
DEKALB COUNTY TENNESSEE WILLS BOOK "B" 1854 -1900
Sinah Foster's WILL
I Sinah Foster, of Smithville, Dekalb County Tennessee, being far advanced in life and frail in body but in full possession of my mental faculties do hereby make, publish and
declare this my last will and testament.
1st, I give and devise to my son E. T. Foster, his heirs assignes, the house & lots
where I now live situate in Smithville, Dekalb County, Tennessee, an known in the town plan as lots No. 2 and No. 3, embrasing part of a street purchased from the cooperation of Smithville, lying between the said two lots.
2nd, I also give and devise to my said son E. T. Foster, his heirs and assigns the house & lot where A. L. Foster now lives, known in the plan of said town as lot No. 4, being the same I purchased of Jeremiah Coggin.
3rd, I do further give and devise to my said son E. T. Foster, his heirs and assigns all the right, title, claim and interest which I have into seven hundred & fifty (750) acres of land lying on the Cumberland Mountain in Cumberland County Tennessee, situate near
Grassy Cove, and known as the Dorton Land, being the same purchased by the firm of S. Foster & Sons when sold, as the lands of Moses H. Dorton, deceased.
4th, I give & devise to my said son E. T. Foster, his heirs and assigns, all the real estate, lands, houses & tenements, and all interest therein of which I may die seized.
5th, I do further give & bequeath to my said son E. T. Foster all the personal estate choses in action assents and so forth of every discription of which I may die possessed, or be intitled to at the time of my deth, out of the proceeds of which he shall pay all my just
debts and to each of my other children ( to wit ) James F. Foster, Wm. G. Foster, Elizabeth Fletcher, T. N. Foster, John W. Foster, Mary Ann Brown, A. L. Foster, B. T. R. Foster, and to the heirs of deceased daughter Lucinda Baker & my son J. J. Foster deceased and my daughter Permelia Brown deceased, the sum of five dollars each in money, making the aggregate sum of fifty five dollars, all the rest of my estate I will to my said son E. T. Foster for the reason he has remained with me in my old age having now been my only dependanse for may years, without which I must have been miserable, and having confidence to believe that he will continue to be the staff of my declining days, and do what he can to promote my happiness, I have as a mather of justice thus rewarded his kindness in the past and reassured to myself, his constant & faithful adherence in future. I appoint John B. Robinson Executor of this my last will & testament. In witness where of I have signed, sealed and published & declared this instrument as my will at Smithville Tennessee on the 21st day of September 1871.
Sinah X Foster
The said Sinah Foster at said Smithville on said 21st day of September 1871, signed
and sealed this instrument & published and declared the same as and for her last will and,
we at her request & in her presence & in the presence of each other have hereunto written
our names as subscribing witnesses.
J. B. Atwell
Sinah died abt. 1880. The burial site for her and her husband John, have not been found. It is probably on one of the farms on Smith Fork.
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