Tufts Family Collection
Scope and Contents
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.
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1930 -- 1980
- Creation: circa 0253 -- 0350, 1791 -- 2013
- Tufts, Charles (Person)
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
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.
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.
15.5 Linear Feet (16 boxes and 2 portraits )
Language of Materials
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; 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.
This collection is arranged into 4 series: Portraits; Genealogical materials; Legal and financial records; and Subject files.
Boxes with the barcodes 39090017670866 and 39090017670874 are stored in location 39090015755016g.
Immediate Source of 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. The Herbert F. Adams research files and correspondence was transferred by the Tufts Kinsmen Association and the Estate of Herbert Freeman Adams in 2019, and the Shirley Tufts Lane research files and correspondence was transferred by Tom Tufts on behalf of the Tufts Kinsmen Association in 2021.
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. Material in series 2 subseries 3 and 4 were processed by Records and Accessioning Archivist, Jane Kelly, in 2021. Original order was maintained.