Who was the father of Malvina Frost?  We know that Malvina Frost was the fifth of at least six siblings born between about 1832 and 1847. We also know that based on the places of birth which the census lists for the siblings that the family must have moved from Vermont to New York between about 1836 and 1838. By 1850 when the children are listed by name in the census, Rachel is listed as the head of household in Rushford, Allegany Co., NY. (See my map). One therefore assumes Malvina’s father should be listed in the 1840 census somewhere in New York with the older children and his wife.

In an 1855 probate document, Rachel Frost is given guradianship for two of the children, Emaline (16) and Amon (19)….their father listed as, “(illegible) FROST, late of Town of Rushford.”  The spacing of the births would certainly have allowed for Rachel to perhaps have been a second wife, but I am unsure of the significance of the probate document.

I recently discovered the death certificate of Hiram Frost, Malvina’s youngest brother.  In it, his parents names are listed as Hiram Frost and Rachael Toll.  This is certainly the best lead so far as to the mystery of Malvina’s parents.  Mistakes are often made on death records so I am looking for more evidence…but in the mean time this seems like the most logical assumption.

From the census we know the following about the Frost family:  Jeremiah Frost (a.k.a. Jerry) was born in Vermont in 1832.  Jesse and Amon were born about 1834 and 1836 also in Vermont, but by the time Emaline was born in 1838 the family was living in New York.  Many families were leaving New England during the early 19th century and moving west.  The Frosts must have been one such family.   See my Ferguson facts page for some of the context behind this migration.

In 1840, if indeed this is the family of Hiram Frost, they are listed in Orange, Steuben Co., NY.  His household includes 1m<5, 1m5-10, 1m30-40, 1f<5, 1f5-10, 1f10-15, 1f20-30.  The female 10-15 obviously can’t be the daughter of Rachael Frost, only 10-15 years older.  So either Rachael was a second wife, or the oldest female child in the household wasn’t their daughter.  The household is also missing one boy child…so it doesn’t quite fit.  There is a Jacob Frost only two doors households from Hiram in the town of Orange in 1840.  Jacob is easy to follow as he keeps his family in Orange.  From the following years’ census records we learn that he was born in NY and was about 10 years older than Hiram.  I do not know if he was related.

1850:  We next find Rachel as head of household in Rushford, Allegany Co., NY.  She is age 38, born in Vermont.  If she is the mother of all six children she would have married in Vermont about 1830/1831, but that is speculation.   In any case, Rachel is listed as the head of household in 1850 with the children as follows: Jerry, 18, Jesse, 16, Amon, 14, Emaline, 12, Melvina, 7, and Hiram, 3. None of the children attended school that year. Jerry and Jesse are working as farmers. We assume that the father of the children died between the birth of Hiram about 1847 and the census taking in the summer of 1850.

In 1855 the family was still in Rushford where there is a probate document in which Amon and Emaline request that Rachel be made their official guardian. The name of their former guardian, deceased, is listed, but illegible. See separate post.

1860:  Rachael, now 48, and her son Hiram, now 13, are living in West Springfield, Erie Co., PA in the household of William S. Foot, age 47 and his daughters Adaline, 13, and Ida, 8. Hiram is attending school. We cannot find Malvina in the census that year, but she must have been somewhere near her family in 1860.  Her oldest brother Jerry married Sarah Ferguson and their oldest daughter, Amanda was born in Pennsylvania about 1857 so the famiily may have moved from New York in the mid-1850s. He is listed, age 27, in Conneaut, also in Erie Co., PA in 1860 with wife Sarah, age 23, and their two daughters, Amanda, 3, and Ada, 1. He is a laborer.  Malvina’s brother Amon is also living in Erie Co., PA in 1860. He is age 25 and living in the household of Jonas Wood in Springfield where he works as one of four laborers on the family farm.  I have not been able to locate Jesse or Emaline in the census.

1861:  Malvina marries Albert Ferguson, brother of Malvina’s sister in law Sarah Frost.  They marry in East Springfield, Erie Co., PA.

1870:  Malvina and her husband Albert Ferguson, Rachel and Hiram in the Foot household, and Jerry with his family have all moved further west to Ottawa Co., OH. For details about Albert Ferguson and family please see my Ferguson pages. Jeremiah is listed in Ellnor, Carroll Twp., age 37, with wife Sarah, 33, Amanda, 13, Ada, 10, Melony, age 2, and Wilbur, 7 months. Melony and Wilbur were both born in Ohio which places the family in OH by about 1868. William L. Foot has also brought his household to Ellnor. Rachel, age 59, is listed as a housekeeper. Hiram, age 23, is also in the household and working as a farmer.  I could not find Amon Frost in 1870 or with any certainty in future census records.

1880: Hiram must have married by about 1875 and in 1880 he is listed as head of household, age 30, in Oak Harbor, Ottawa Co., OH with wife Maria, age 25, and daughters Gertrude, 4, and Betze M. ??, age 2. Rachel, age 70, is living with them. He is listed as a common laborer and was unemployed for three months during the census year. Jeremiah, 46, is living next door to his brother with wife Sarah J., 43, and children Ada, 20, and Wilbur, 10 and his brother-in-law Harry Ferguson. Jeremiah and Harry are also common laborers and were unemployed 4 months during the census year.

1900 and beyond:  Some time before 1900 Jeremiah, 66, and Sarah, 63, moved to Norwich, MI. She is listed as mother of four children, two of which are living as of the 1900 census. they rent their house. And by the 1910 census Sarah, still in Norwich, has been widowed. Hiram remains in Ottawa Co., OH through the 1920 census. His wife, listed as Matilda, is living with him in 1900 along with a daughter Martha, age 8. By 1910 he is widowed. He was married for 19 years. His daughter in 1910 is called Viola, age 18. In 1920 he is 72 years old and laboring in a coal yard. He dies in 1922 in Carroll, Ottawa Co., OH and his death record is on file there.

Regarding Malvina’s other siblings, we cannot find Jesse or Emaline for certain again. Without knowing who Emaline married it is virtually impossible to track her in the census.  Looking at the index on there are 35 Emalines in Allegany Co., NY in 1860 and 19 in Erie Co., PA.

It is possible (and perhaps even probable) that Jesse is the Jesse Frost, age 28,b. VT in Farmersville, Cattaraugus Co., NY in 1860. He is a sawyer and is listed in the census with his wife Mary, 21, and children Rosetta, 4, William H., 2, and Mary S., 5 months. He and his family appear in the census in Farmersville again in 1870 and his children are there with their families in 1880 and in 1900 Jesse is listed in the household of his son Frank in Franklinville Village, b September 1830 in New York.