Christmas nuptials seem appropriate for a Frost ancestor, and thus we find that Charles Frost married Jane Elliot Pepperrell, widow of Andrew Pepperrell, on Saturday, December 25, 1717. A celebratory season for the family, the date of the marriage also happened to be the Christmas birthday of his aunt, Catherine Frost (Leighton), his father’s sister. His parents, my 10th great-grandparents, Maj. Charles Frost I( 1631-1697) and Mary Bolles (1641-1704), had married on Saturday, December 27, 1673.
Born on Wednesday, April 17, 1678, Lieut. Charles Frost, II was the brother of my 9th great-grandmother Lydia Frost Pierce Greenleaf. He served as a deacon and a judge. Both he and his father were important figures in Maine’s military history during the Indian wars and acquainted with the Pepperrell family on that account.
His wedding to Jane Elliot Pepperrell, daughter of Robert Elliot, Esquire, was his second marriage, the first being to Sarah Wainwright (1699-1714), daughter of John Wainwright of Haverhill, MA. Their match no doubt transpired through their family connections. Charles’ brother, Hon. John Frost, and Sarah’s sister, Mary (Pepperrell) had been married since 1702.
The wedding was held during the most popular wedding season (November through January) in colonial New England. The marriage ceremony was most likely performed by a civil magistrate, not a clergyman. Although marriage was believed to be ordained by God, it was not believed to be a sacrament as did the Church of England, and therefore it was defined as a civil contract. The brief ceremony would have involved no exchange of vows or wedding rings, nor would there would have been “kissing the bride”. The marriage was probably solemnized at the bride’s residence, or her father’s as she was a widow, and followed by a merry wedding feast lasting a few days. A special wedding cake would have been served, rich with spice, alcohol, dried fruit and nuts – much like a Christmas fruitcakes than the light cakes we are accustomed to. Although a Christmas wedding may sound romantic, the holiday was generally not celebrated in New England until about 1785. (Colonial America to 1763, Purvis, Balkin, Infobase Publishing, 1999)
I suspect that my great grandmother, Lydia Pierce Greenleaf, did not attend the wedding of her brother as she was living in Newbury, MA at the time. It was far to travel, especially in the winter, and she had a multitude of children, step-children, and a new grandchild in her midst (my 7th great grandfather, Robert Adams).
After their marriage the couple lived in wealth at Sturgeon Creek (formerly part of Kittery, now Eliot) at the inherited homestead of his father. They had three children, two daughters named Jane who died in infancy, and a son named Eliot Frost. Each of them had children from their previous marriages, she having two daughters and he having nine children, all but one at home (his wife had died three years previous following childbirth and the loss of their infant son). Later, Jane’s daughter Sarah Pepperrell married Charles’ son Charles Frost III in 1723. His daughter, Sarah, married his sister Lydia’s son, Charles Pierce. Charles Frost II and his wife, Jane, were married for seven brief years, as he died December 17, 1724 and mentions his wife and children in his will. Jane continued to live on the Frost homestead for the remainder of her life although she did marry again.