FROST, John I - I30603

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The name is derived from the Welsh Ffrost, a brag; a popular Scandinavian name. Frost is a name very common in the north of Germany, and is thought to have been carried to England by the Angles. As early as 1042 Frosts held lands in England, as recorded in the Domesday Book of that period. Particularly many are the Frost names on the parish register of Binsted, County Hampshire, England. [1]

I. John FROST I, the first of this line, is thought to have been a relative of Elder Edmund FROST [2], early in Boston and in Cambridge 1635, and his older brother, Nicholas FROST, who arrived in this country in 1632, settled at Cambridge in 1635, and afterwards became a resident of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. [3]. They are supposed to be the sons of Reverend John Frost, born 17 November 1558, in Cornwall, England, and his wife, Anne HAMDEN, born 8 October 1565, also in Cornwall, and married 10 May 1582. Nicholas was born in Tiverton, Devonshire, England, in 1585 [4], and Edmund in 1610. The coat-of-arms shown in connection with this sketch is that ascribed to Edmund Frost, of Cambridge. [5]

It is possible John Frost was a widower when he followed his brothers and sons to New England, for we find no mention of wife. From Boston he went to Southold, Long Island, where at least two of his sons are early on record. He died there in 1635. [6]

Amoung his CHILDREN, born in England, were the two sons:

  1. John, married Abigail Whitfield.
  2. William, who, with his brother John was in Southold, Long Island, 1655.

John Frost II

II. John FROST II. born in England, with his brother William was among a number leaving Boston and vicinity about 1653. They went first to New Haven, Connecticut, and then to the Long Island shore, where thirteen men from the New Haven Colony had formed, in 1640, a settlement at Southold. John Frost was living there in 1655-56. [7]

Whether he married Abigail Whitfield, his wife, in England before emigrating with his father and relatives, or after he arrived in New England, is not clear. One writer [8] states that his son John was born in England in 1642, which, if true, would indicate the family had not been long in Boston before removing to other parts. He returned to New Haven a few years later, his son John married in 1664. He seems to have been a man of much enterprise, for he bought land and conducted business in several places. In 1672 he purchased land at Killingsworth (Oyster Bay), Long Island, from Robert Williams, his wife signing the document as Abigail FROST. [9]

In 1677 he was in business in Boston, Savage [10] calling him a merchant, with sons Thomas and John, and possibly the proprietor of New Haven in 1685. In 1679 he bought land opposite Thomas Youngs' in Oyster Bay Cove.

It is not clear just when he again became a resident of New Haven, nor do we know much about the number of children born to him. He died in New Haven "in 1700, leaving a large family." [11] Among his CHILDREN were:

  1. Thomas
  2. John, born 1642, married Mercy PAINE.

John Frost III

III. John FROST III. born 1642, "in England", was married in New Haven, Connecticut, by Mr. Gilbert, on June 1664 [12], to Mercy, daughter of William and Mary Edwards PAINE of that place. [13]

In 1679 William Payne deeds land to "John Frost, husband of his daughter Mercy". In December, 1680, John Frost owned land on the east side of town, with seven numbered in his family [14]. He died in the spring of 1707, his estate being inventoried on 4 April of that year [15].

Among his CHILDREN were: [16]

  1. A daughter, stillborn, 17 March 1665. [17]
  2. John, born 26 May 1668; married 20 August 1692, Abigail, daughter of Thomas Barnes, of New Haven. She was born 11 Jan. 1656. They were of Newark, New Jersey, in 1717, when he conveyed to his brother Ebenezer all his right in the home of his father and mother, John and Mercy FROST, of New Haven [18]
  3. Abigail, born 8 Oct. 1670; married (1). Thomas BARNES; married (2) Samuel TUTTLE.
  4. Elizabeth, born 1673; married (1) William Reynolds; married (2) William Headley [19]
  5. Sarah, born 3 Sept. 1675; died 8 Nov. 1727; married (1) Thomas Youngs, of Southold, Long Island; married (2) 28 May 1690, John Tuthill.
  6. Ebenezer, born 15 Aug. 1677, married (1) 4 Oct. 1704, Mary Tuttle born 31 Jan. 1684, died 22 Jun. 1733. They had eight daughters and three sons. He married (2) 19 Feb. 1734, Elizabeth Andrews, of Farmington, Connecticut, and had Lydia. His estate was administered in 1749.
  7. Mary, born 27 July 1679; died 31 May 1731; married (1) John Wheadon; married (2), as his second wife, 13 Feb. 1710, Henry Cook. After Mary's death he married (3) Sarah, daughter of Richard Towner, of Branford, Connecticut, and widow of Samuel Frost , mentioned below. [20]
  8. Samuel, born 8 Feb. 1681; married 8 Aug. 1706, Sarah, daughter of Richard Towner, ancestor of Emma Hale in another line. Samuel died in 1718, and his widow married, as his third wife, Henry Cook, whom she survived.
  9. Hannah, born 2 Feb. 1685.
  10. A writer (Ancestry of Arthur Orison Dillon, 26), also adds, as tenth child, Rebecca, baptized 1690. The New Haven Vital Records carry two entries, on page 70 of the printed volume [21]: "John Frost's Child died 1690"; and "John Frost's other child died 1690." These may have referred to the Rebecca mentioned. They could not be children of John Frost, jr., who was not married until the following year. See pedigree charts for listing of children.

Abigail Frost

IV. Abigail FROST, born 8 October 1670, at New Haven, married first about 1688, (as his second wife), Thomas BARNES, of North Haven, born 26 August 1653. She took upon herself the care of a number of the small children left by his first wife, and bore a large family of her own. After the death of her husband, in 1712, she remarried to Samuel TUTTLE, born 9 January 1659/60.

For continuation of this line see the BARNES biographical sketch.

  SOURCE:  The Ancestry & Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale by Audentia Smith Anderson (1926)


  1. (Frost Genealogy, Josephine C. Frost)
  2. (ibid. 16)
  3. (Directory of Ancestral Heads of New England Families, Holmes, lxxxviii)
  4. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 55:111)
  5. (Crozier's General Armory, 50).
  6. (Frost Genealogy, 16)
  7. (Frost Genealogy, 384)
  8. (Ancestry of Arthur Orison Dillon, 1927, 25)
  9. (Frost Genealogy, 384)
  10. (Genealogical Dictionary of New England 2:211)
  11. (Frost Genealogy, 19)
  12. (New Haven Vital Records, printed, 1:20)
  13. (New Haven Town Records, printed 2:131)
  14. (New Haven Vital Records, printed 2:406)
  15. (Frost Genealogy)
  16. (New Haven Vital Records, printed, vol. 1; Frost Genealogy.)
  17. (Some writers record this child as Daniel, but the New Haven records are clearly "daughter.")
  18. (In 1748 the estate of a John Frost, of Ipswich, was administered, four of five of whose daughters bore names like those of this John Frost's sisters - Sarah, Mary, Mehuitable, Rebeckah, Elizabeth, and Abigail.)
  19. (ancestry of Arthur Orison Dillon, 25.)
  20. (See Towner biographical sketch)
  21. (!:70)