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I have been doing genealogy for 30 years. My Great Aunt Ella introduced me to this fascinating adventure when I was a teenager and boy did I get hooked. She inspired me and taught me the importance of my roots and where I came from.

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Harriet Lorraine Fraser : Does Time Twice

Harriet Lorraine Fraser was born 1 Apr 1873 in New York, she married Robert G Devine 10 May 1898 in Ohio, they had a son Robert G Devine born and died 31 Dec 1899 in Ohio.

By 1910 the couple moved to California and were living in San Francisco, Robert was working as a Compositor (Printing, a person who arranges type for printing or keys text into a composing machine).

By 1912 she was in trouble:






Inmate #25667 San Quentin
Rec: 19 Apr 1912 from Alemeda County, CA
Crime: Forgery
Term: 10 yrs
Paroled 19 Oct 1915
Discharged: 19 Oct 1918





Texted of above newspaper: 

Clipped from The Los Angeles Times, 17 Feb 1912, Sat, Page 1



Autobiography. CONFESSED WILL FORGER IS WRITING OF HER LIFE. 
Mrs. Harriet Lorraine Frazer De Vine, Who Admitted Fabricating Spurious Instrument by Means of Which She Hoped to Receive Large Estate, Is Engaged in Literary Work in County Jail at Oakland.

{BY DIRECT WIRE To The Times]
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb,, 18 Exclusive Dispatch. 
Mrs. Harriet Lorraine Frazer De Vine of Berkeley, confessed will forger, is occupying her time in the Alameda County Jail, where she is awaiting sentence, in writing the story of her life. She says she has ample material for a "thriller," and is going to write, a book.
 Following a complete confession of her crime to Chief of Police August Vollmer in her cell at the County Jail last Thursday, the day after the Alameda County grand jury indicted her, Mrs, De Vine appeared before Judge John Ellsworth of the Superior Court in Oakland and pleaded guilty to forging a will of the late Mary Lloyd Swain of the university city, by the terms of which she was residuary heir of the deceased and entitled to about  $43,000 of the aged lady's estate. j
After making her plea, Mrs. De Vine applied to be released on parole. The court ordered the probation officer to investigate the plea and make a report In two weeks. Meantime Mrs. De Vine remains in the County Jail.
 Tho Swain will case has for several weeks been one of the spectacular suits which have occupied the attention of detectives and the Berkeley police department, and the denouement proves Mrs. De Vine one of the boldest forgers of the epoch.
 Mrs. Mary L. Swain died in Berkeley last December. Her real will was duly filed for probate. Then came Mrs. De Vine, who claimed that she had been adopted by Mrs. Swain and that the aged widow had, in a mysterious will, given her wealth to her adopted daughter. This will was challenged and a rigid investigation followed. Mrs, De Vine was indicted last Wednesday.
 Mrs. Swain was tho widow of Capt. William R. Swain, the pioneer capitalist and real estate man of San Francisco. She died at her home, No. 1505 Melvla street, aged 8I years. On her death bed she called her nephew, Arthur D. LIoyd,  a Mendocino lumberman, and whispered to him with almost her last breath. "Arthur, look for th white envelope in the box, It is back of my trunk.".
  A last will and testament dated on. June 22, 1911, was found, deeding the estate, consisting of real estate in Los Angeles, Berkeley, San Francisco and San Jose, to her immediate relatives, with minor bequests to distinct connections. 
The chief heirs named, besides Lloyd, are Mrs. Julia L. Colegrove of Berkeley, a sister: Mrs. Lucy E. Lloyd and Harry R. Lloyd of Springfield. Mass.; Mrs. Mabel W. Reeves of Rochester, N.Y. and Mrs. Gertrude Austin of Redlands. 
This will was for probate in Oakland on December 27. by Hillyer, Stringltam & O'Brien; , attorneys for Lloyd. On January 15, when It was to come up for probate before Judge Ogden, the De Vine will was filed by Justice of the Peace Edgar of Berkeley, acting as attorney for the De Vines. 
Basis was laid for the neglect of blood relatives and the award of most of the estate to Mrs. De Vine had been adopted daughter of Mrs. Swain in October.






Robert G Devine Divorces Harriet while she is in San Quentin and gets hitched to Margaret E Clark on 10 Jan 1914. 


The women whom Harriet forged her will and said she was her long lost adopted daughter.


In 1932 Harret was a 62 year old seamstress Living in Sacramento, CA with a lodger. In the 1930 census she states she is a widow but is using her maiden name.


She is again arrested:

Inmate #53005 San Quentin
Crime: Petty Larceny
Rec: 19 Oct 1932
Term: 0-5 yrs

She was transferred to Techachapi Women's Prison when it opened, 1 Jan 1933, finally being discharged 19 May 1936.




I had to hold back the tears when I saw her face. The pain she feels in this photo is so raw, I wanted to hug her.




The above says she was in jail for petty larceny in 1930 and received 30 days.





I did not find a newspaper article about her petty larceny.

Harriet died alone 10 Jan 1949 in Kern County, CA.




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