AN ASTRONOMER'S LIFE

CHAPTER I
GRANDFATHERS AND GRANDMOTHERS

IN ATTEMPTING to make a record of some of the events of a human life, whether of oneself or of someone else, we naturally look back to the line of ancestry to which we owe our being. It is remarkable by how slender a thread this existence has been maintained, especially for those of us whose forbears took part in the reclaiming of a continent for civilization. We often attribute an importance to that line which carries the family name, although in fact the dilution of blood has been so great with eight or ten generations that the actual impress of many other names of the good mothers, who bore more than their share in the struggle for existence, is quite as great as that of the line carrying the name.

My first Frost ancestor to come to America was Edmund, who was born about 1600 in Suffolk County, England. He set sail with his wife Thomasine and their son John on the ship Great Hope from the port of Ipswich, England, on October 16, 1634, in order 'to escape the more savage oppression of England.' The ship was wrecked off Yarmouth, but fortunately all the passengers were saved. The determination to seek liberty in the new colonies across the Atlantic was not thwarted by this misadventure, for we have the record that in the next year, August 10, 1635, they again embarked, this time in the ship Defense, and from the port of Gravesend, Kent County, for the Massachusetts Bay colony at Boston. After fifty-three days of sailing they reached their destination on October 2, 1635. The family settled in Cambridge, and Edmund Frost was allotted land on the westerly side of what is still known as Dunster Street between Harvard Square and Mount Auburn Street. He is said to have been a godly man, an Elder in the church, and greatly respected. That he had an interest in education is

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