Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Bar Room Brawl

[This is Part 4 in a series of posts about how I was able to use Twitter and genealogy resources to reunite a baby book from 1926 with the original owner's family]

Previous posts:

Search For The Living - Honing Your Research Skills

The Search for Marjorie Pauline Frost

So Many Questions - Whither Marjorie Pauline Frost?

Continued posts:

A Tripple Play

Do's and Don'ts When Researching the Living

Interview with Forgotten Bookmarks

Well in the words of Kylie from those annoying Windows 7 commercials on television, "This is getting good!"

When we last left our search to reunite Marjorie Pauline Frost with her baby book from 1926, I had come upon a series of newspaper articles which taken as a whole left more questions unanswered than answered:
  • did Pauline Frost really marry and have a child at age 17?
  • were Devere and Marjorie Frost divorced or separated (based on her name appearing as "Mrs. Marjorie Frost" instead of "Mrs. Devere Frost")?
  • if Pauline Frost's married name is Tripple, is it possible to locate her or a living relative to contact about the book?
* * *

I thought I had exhausted all my available newspaper resources, having worked with Ancestry, footnote, and GenealogyBank since I have purchased subscriptions to all these online databases.

Somehow, I forgot that I also had access to Newspaper Archive but not directly.  This was a benefit of my membership with the Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS).  Even though I have no California ancestry, I wanted a way to support a great genealogy society even from afar in Chicago.  One benefit was being able to access SCGS databases onlne from my home, including Newspaper Archive.  So for $30 a year vs. $9.99 a month directly through Newspaper Archive, membership was a "no-brainer."

* * *

And what did I find?  That Devere Frost, Pauline's father, was killed in a bar room brawl.  And my connection to this story gets more bizarre - Devere died in the same hospital where I was born in Liberty, New York

From the Middletown Times Herald (which would later merge with The Record to become the Times-Herald Record, the local hometown paper I grew up with), Friday, December 26, 1947:

"A first degree murder charge was lodged against Miss Anna Ackerly, thirty-seven, of White Sulphur Springs today as a result of the death in Maimonides Hospital, Liberty, Wednesday evening of Devere Frost."

"Victim of Knifing Dies; Woman Is Held for Murder," Middletown Times Herald, 26 December 1947, online archives ( accessed 25 October 2009), col. 4, citing original p. 12.

The last paragraph of the article is key to all the pieces of the Frost family and their story coming together:

"Frost who was born at Springfield, Otsego County, was the son of Otis Frost.  He was a veteran of World Wars One and Two and was forty-eight years old.  Survivors include a brother Kenneth, a daughter, Mrs. Pauline Triple, and his wife from whom he was reportedly separated.  The body was taken to Cherry Valley yesterday for services and burial."


And a check of the 1910 US Federal Census (keeping in mind that if Devere Frost fought in World War I, he would not likely be living with his parents for the 1920 US Federal Census), confirms this information as to Devere and his father and brother.

The census page shows Devere living in Springfield, Otsego County, New York with his father Otis and brother Kenneth.

* * *

So I've got confirmation that Marjorie Frost was separated from her husband - when this began I'm not sure - but it explains the use of Mrs. Marjorie Frost in newspaper articles. In fact, later articles about the murder trial of Miss Anna Ackerly would describe her as Devere's common law wife.  And confirmation that Pauline's married name is or was Triple/Tripple.

* * *

In the meantime, is Michael at Forgotten Bookmarks making any progress with the links I had sent earlier?  Well not really:

Using the obituary for Pauline's grandfather and possible married names of Petriski and Pullman, he was unable to find any definitive contact information for Pauline or her relatives.

The next step was to send him information confirming Pauline's married name as Triple or Tripple.

Stay tuned - for the final chapter of this series.  More amazing newspaper stories and finally contact with someone related to Pauline.

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

1 comment:

Missy Corley/Bayside Research Services said...

This is so fascinating -- thanks for sharing this story and your research trail with us!