Vikings, Redcoats, and the Frost Legacy
By Clare Coppa
The Frosts are always in the thick of things, laughs ASTM member
Stephen Frost, who says his ancestors are linked to Viking invasions,
Mayflower crossings, and kings tax rebellions.
Frost says the American Revolutions Battle of Bunker Hill took
place on his forefathers land: The revolting colonists were
trying to find a defensive position to threaten the British. They
came to Breeds Hill next to Bunker Hill, and said, This is easier
to defend, whose is it? The drummer, David Frost, said, Its
mine, you can use it. He was a grandfather, many generations
back. Misnamed, Breeds was the site of the 1775 revolt.
His older brother John Frost was an aide to George Washington
for two years, he continues. He was an attorney and was strongly
opinionated, like all the Frosts. His diary shows that he greatly
influenced Thomas Paines pamphlet, Common Sense [Philadelphia,
1776] that chastised the British government. The pamphlet provoked
debate that resulted in the Declaration of Independence. Frost
says the diary is being investigated.
A project engineer with Jacobs Engineering Group, Houston, Texas,
Frost is researching ancestors David, John, and their brother,
Elijah who was a catcher of spies. Their grandparents were
Elizabeth Gray and William, the son of Edmund Frost. Edmund came
to America on either the Great Hope or the Defense in 1635. His
son William married Elizabeth Gray who came over as a child on
the Mayflower. When the Mayflower sailed, three boats started
to go out. Edmund and his son were on one, but it sank before
it got out of London harbor. So they had to wait until the next
year to come over, he laughs.
Our name, we discovered, was used in ancient form in Denmark
as early as the fifth century. It was brought to England in approximately
the eighth century during the period of resettlement, or what
is known in the U.S. as the Viking Invasions. My grandchildren
have the white blond hair and blue eyes of the Vikings, he adds,
saying the English surname Frost stems from the old English term
meaning one with white hair. The earliest recording that we have
is in the Doomsday Book of England of 1086 of a man named Aluuin
Frost. And later, the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, England, notes
Lefstan Frost residing in Suffolk in 1095. We know they were farmers
and landowners with tenants.
Like his ancestors, Frost fought in armed combat. A retired U.S.
Marine colonel, he is one of three survivors in a reconnaissance
class of 186 marines who fought in Vietnam. That was a very tough
war. Based on that experience, Im going to make my life count
for something. Today he supervises 80 employees who build oil
refineries and chemical plants for Jacobs.
In ASTM Committee E48 on Biotechnology, he chairs Subcommittee
E48.04 on Environmental Issues. My involvement at ASTM is to
be part of an activity that helps society along. You have a lot
of benefits and education; dont be selfish, share it.
Frost and his wife, Tommie, an executive assistant, have six children.
Their large, extended family is globally-based. One of the things
that weve always been taught is families last longer than nations,
so we better build on them, he concludes. Family relationships
are very precious. Youve got a commonality of heritage and thought
pattern that you want to carry forward.