Tufts Family Collection, circa 0253 -- 0350, 1791 -- 2013

Overview

Title: Tufts Family Collection
Dates: circa 0253 -- 0350, 1791 -- 2013
Bulk Dates: 1930 -- 1980
Creator: Tufts, Charles
Call Number: MS050
Size: 7.5 Linear Feet, 8 boxes and 2 portraits
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10427/48180
Location:
    Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University
    archives@tufts.edu
    https://dca.tufts.edu/

Description

This collection contains materials relating to the Tufts family and consists of business and legal records; clippings; correspondence; genealogical materials such as family trees, family histories, and a family Bible; photographs and portraits; publications; slides; scrapbooks; subject files; and the Tufts Kinsmen newsletter. The bulk of this material dates from 1930 to 1980, with the business ledgers and many of the legal documents dating from 1791 to about 1920.

The majority of the collection consists of research files compiled by Jay F. Tufts in the course of research for his self-published book Tufts Family History (1963). These files consist of correspondence discussing the history and genealogy of various branches of the Tufts family, mainly focusing on the descendants of Peter Tufts, who came to Massachusetts from England in the 1600s. Genealogical materials also include the Tufts Kinsmen Newsletters, an approximately 10-page newsletter published quarterly by the Tufts Kinsmen Association from circa 1974 to circa 1992 relating Tufts family stories, histories, and genealogies.

Legal and financial records include ledgers and account books and mainly pertain to the Tufts family brickworks and tannery in Charlestown (now Somerville), Massachusetts, dating from 1797 – 1860. Subject files contain correspondence, clippings, and photographs relating to Tuft family members who were alumni, faculty, staff, or honorary degree recipients.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into 4 series: Portraits; Genealogical materials; Legal and financial records; and Subject files.

Biography/History

Biographical / Historical

Charles Tufts (1781-1876) donated the land on which Tufts College was founded in 1852. He was the son of Daniel and Abigail Tufts (also a Tufts descendent) and a direct descendent of Peter Tufts, an early colonist who settled in Malden in 1638.

Charles Tufts, a member of the First Universalist Church in Charlestown, donated the land on which the Universalist college, Tufts College, was founded in 1852. His donation of twenty acres was then valued at $20,000 and was located on one of the highest hills in the Boston area, called Walnut Hill (originally Walnut Tree Hill). The land was given to the Universalist Church on the condition that it be used for a college. With subsequent gifts and his estate, his donations of land to the college totaled more than 100 acres.

Charles Tufts was born on the north side of Broadway opposite the Powder House in Somerville (originally part of Charlestown, then Medford, now Somerville). Daniel Tufts (1753-1838), Charles's father, was the son of Nathaniel Tufts (1724-1771), who in turn was son of Peter Tufts (1697-1776), the third son of John Tufts (1665-1728). Daniel was a farmer and brickmaker and possibly engaged in slaughtering and tanning. Charles Tufts also worked in farming and brick manufacturing. He eventually owned substantial amounts of land in Medford and Somerville. He married Hannah Robinson (1795-1873) in 1821; the two had no children. Upon his marriage in 1821, Charles and Hannah Tufts moved to a house which they built at 141 Washington Street in Somerville. Now razed, the stones from the front steps of the house were moved to the campus and as of 1999 are located along the pathway leading from Professors Row to Tisch Library.

Jay Franklin Tufts (1885 -- 1984)

Jay Franklin Tufts (1885 – 1984) was the son of John William Tufts (1854 – 1935) and Emma Florence Tufts (1856 – 1943). He was born in Maineville, Ohio and married Ora Lind Anderson of Conneaut, Ohio on July 8th 1912. Jay Tufts opened a jewelry store with his father in Loveland, Ohio and had one child, Jane Elizabeth Tufts . In 1963 Tufts self-published Tufts Family History : a true account and history of our Tufts families – from and before – 1638-1963. He donated the source materials for the book to Tufts in several shipments from 1981 to 1983. He died in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1984.

Herbert Freedman Adams (1924 -- 2003)

Herbert Freedman Adams (1924 – 2003) was a New England genealogist who founded the Tufts Kinsmen Association, a group of people interested in Tufts heritage. He was born in Massachusetts in 1924 and was a skilled mechanic/repairman before entering the US Army as a private in 1943 where he served in the Engineer Corp. After leaving the military in 1946, he became a professional tax assessor and in 1953, Adams began specializing in land research for property surveys. Related to the Tufts family by marriage, and an amateur genealogist, Adams published The Compendium of Tufts Kinsmen: a substitutive genealogy in 1975 and Adams of Massachusetts: Herbert Freeman Adams collection in 1983. He founded the Tufts Kinsmen Association in 1974. The Association published a quarterly newsletter titled The Tufts Kinsmen. Tufts Kinsmen Association in the mid-1980s. A revised version of his first book was published in 2010 as Tufts Kinsmen. He died in 2003 and is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Mattapan, MA.

Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see "Reproductions and Use" on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Preferred Citation

Tufts Family Collection, circa 253 -- 350, 1791 -- 2013. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.

Collection History

Processing Notes

This collection is processed.

This collection was processed by Archives and Research Assistant Rose Koven under the supervision of Collections Management Archivist Adrienne Pruitt in 2018. Materials were placed in archival folders if the original folders were damaged. Much of the material in series 2 subseries 1 was originally wrapped in paper tape and organized in plastic bags. This material was removed from the original housing and placed in archival folders with the labels retained. Original folder titles were maintained where applicable, although some names were elaborated or clarified when it was deemed useful, as in the cases in which a married woman had previously been referred to only under her husband's name. Materials were mostly kept in the groupings and order they were received. Some objects, such as the Roman artifacts, were moved from folders into boxes to provide more stable housing. Subject files were alphabetized.

Acquisition

The Jay F. Tufts research files were donated in several shipments from 1981 – 1983. Subject files were previously transferred to this collection from the Vertical File Collection (UA073). Issues of the Tufts Kinsmen were collected via subscription. The majority of the legal and financial records were purchased by Tufts University from The Manuscripts Company of Springfield, Virginia in 1978.

Subjects and Genre Terms
Related Names
Related Material
  • Artifact Collection, circa 500 BC -- 1980. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.

Series Description

  1. Portraits, circa 1852 -- 1876

    This series contains portraits of Charles Tufts, donor of the land on which Tufts College was founded in 1852, and his wife, Hannah Tufts.

  2. Genealogical materials, circa 253 -- 350, 1817 -- 1992

    This series contains genealogical materials including clippings, correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, the Tufts Kinsmen newsletters, and legal documents such as marriage licenses, deeds, and wills. The bulk of this material dated from 1953 to 1992.

    The majority of this series consists of materials compiled by Jay F. Tufts as research for his book Tufts Family History: a true account and history of our Tufts families – from and before – 1638-1963, self-published in 1963. These files contain correspondence discussing the history and genealogy of various branches of the Tufts family, mainly focusing on the descendants of a Peter Tufts, who came to Massachusetts from England in the 1600s. Some of the correspondents also sent Jay F. Tufts family photographs, clippings, publications by and about family members, and family records, included here.

    The series also includes the Tufts Kinsmen newsletters, an approximately 10-page newsletter published quarterly by the Tufts Kinsmen Association from circa 1974 to circa 1992 relating Tufts family stories, histories, and genealogies. The Tufts Kinsmen Association was founded by Herbert F. Adams, a Tufts relative by marriage in 1974. Kinsmen materials include some correspondence and photographs along with the publications.

    There is also a Tufts family Bible (1843) belonging to Susan Adams Tufts.

    1. 2.1. Jay F. Tufts research files, circa 0253 -- 0350, 1817 -- 1982

      This sub-series contains Jay F. Tufts's research files, which consist of materials he collected on the Tufts family while writing his book Tufts Family History: a true account and history of our Tufts families – from and before – 1638-1963, (self-published,1963). These files consist largely of correspondence discussing family history and genealogy of various branches of the Tufts family, mainly focusing on the descendants of Peter Tufts (1617-1700), an English immigrant to Massachusetts.

      Family members and other correspondents enclosed many Tufts-related items along with their letters, including photographs, clippings, scrapbooks, music scores, and publications. Photographic formats include daguerreotypes, tintypes, slides, negatives, and cartes-de-visite. They also sent old family documents, including correspondence dating back to the early 1800s, wills, deeds, and marriage certificates. Occasionally they included something even more unusual: this sub-series also contains several artifacts such as a box of Roman brick and tile pieces sent by Jack Elsden Tuffs from England, and a copper printing plate.

    2. 2.2. Tufts Kinsmen, 1975 -- 1992

      This sub-series consists of the Tufts Kinsmen newsletters and correspondence dating from 1975 to 1992. The Tufts Kinsmen newsletters were published quarterly by the Tufts Kinsmen Association circa 1974 to circa 1992, and featured Tufts family stories, histories, and genealogies. This sub-series contains an almost complete run of the newsletter. The Tufts Kinsmen Association was founded by Herbert F. Adams in 1974 as a result of his Tufts Kinsmen Project, Adams' research into Tufts family genealogy. The Association was incorporated in the mid-1980s with David D. Tufts as its President; J. Arthur Tufts as its Vice President; Donald M. Tufts, William True, and Susan Tufts as its the Board of Directors; and Herbert F. Adams as the Family Historian.

      This sub-series includes Tufts Kinsmen correspondence and photographs in addition to the newsletters. Correspondence is mainly between Adams, the Tufts Kinsmen Association, and the Tufts archives, between 1970-1993. Topics include the newsletter, Tufts family reunions at Tufts University in 1980 and 1983, and Adams' research for the second edition of his book Tufts Kinsmen (published 2010). There is also correspondence discussing the creation of a Tufts Kinsmen Scholarship at Tufts University.

  3. Legal and financial records, 1791 -- 2009

    This series contains business ledgers, account books, cash receipts, correspondence, deeds, and wills of several members of the Tufts family of Charlestown, Massachusetts, dating mainly from 1797 to 1860. The majority of these records document the business activities of the Tufts family brickworks and tannery in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

    The Tufts family of Charlestown (later Somerville), Massachusetts, owned an extensive brickworks and tannery in the early nineteenth century. The family business was founded by Daniel Tufts (1753 – 1838), a farmer and descendant of the Peter Tufts who settled in Charlestown in the 1600s. He established the industries that, along with land, would later form the basis of his sons' considerable estates. The series includes the business records of Daniel Tufts and his sons Daniel Tufts (1776 – 1868), Charles Tufts (1781 – 1876), and Nathaniel Tufts (1786 – 1872). The majority of the records appear in the hand of Daniel Tufts II, the eldest son, who appears very early in the accounts as a partner of his father.

  4. Subject files, 1840 -- 2013

    This series contains subject files transferred from the Vertical Files Collection (UA073). They contain correspondence, clippings, publications, and photographs relating to Tuft family members who were alumni, faculty, staff, or honorary degree recipients at Tufts University. The bulk of the material in this series date from 1976 to 1993. Files of faculty and staff in the vertical files often contain correspondence with the president and upper administration of Tufts.