Pierce family papers

Collection Type

  • Manuscripts


1652-1976, undated

Location Note

HGO-02-102-C-C-401; HGO-02-102-C-C-402; HGO-02-102-C-C-403; HGO-02-102-C-C-404; HGO-02-102-C-C-405; HGO-02-102-C-C-406




The Pierce family papers (MS023), reflect the personal, social, and professional lives of the Pierce family of Dorchester, Massachusetts. The collection is arranged in thirty-five series.

In 1968, Historic New England acquired the Pierce House in Dorchester, Massachusetts, from the Pierce family. Some papers within the house at the time of acquisition formed the bases of the collection: Pierce family papers (now MS023). Historic New England purchased a large collection of Pierce family papers from Anne Grenway (Pierce) Shaughnessey (born 1924) in 2003. In 2004, additional papers belonging to the Pierce family were acquired through a gift from Anne Grenway (Pierce) Shaughnessey (born 1924). Between 2004 and 2006 the collection was arranged according to family member and record type. The papers that had been acquired through the 2003 purchase had already been foldered and numbered; the 2004 gift of additional papers was been placed into acid-free folders and boxes, but the folders were never numbered.

Update: 2013-2014
In 2013-2014, through a National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13: “Family Manuscript Collections: Expanding Online Access to New England Heritage Project”), twenty-six Historic New England manuscript collections of family papers were re-evaluated and processed/reprocessed to meet current archival standards and “best practices;” corresponding finding aids were created/updated to be DACS-compliant and converted into electronic Microsoft Word document form; and the finding aids were made accessible/searchable online through the use of the Minisis M2A archival database of the Minisis Collections Management System. The Pierce family papers (MS023) was part of the grant project.

During the 2013-2014 collection reprocessing/updating, most of the original arrangement scheme was maintained; folders and boxes were numbered, labeled, barcoded, and stored accordingly; scope and content notes were created; brief research was engaged to create a biographical/ historical sketch; and related collections held by Historic New England and other repositories were researched and noted. A DACS-compliant, electronic 2010-2013 Microsoft Word document finding aid was created (with corresponding paper finding aid) and entered into the collection record in the Minisis M2A online database.


Descriptive Terms

account books
financial records
legal documents
family papers

Physical Description

Family papers: 6.0 linear ft. (6 cartons)

Finding Aid Info

An electronic finding aid is available through Historic New England's Collections Access Portal. A paper finding aid is available in the Library & Archives.

Custodial History

·1968: Purchase of Pierce House in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

·2003: Purchase of Pierce family papers from Anne Grenway (Pierce) Shaughnessey (born 1924)

2004: Gift of additional Pierce family papers from Anne Grenway (Pierce) Shaughnessey (born 1924)

Collection Code


Collection Name

Pierce family papers

Date of Acquisition


Reference Code



Account books, books, correspondence, diaries, deeds, ephemera, estate inventories, financial records, genealogy, legal documents, military commissions, municipal government records, muster rolls, newspapers, photographs, poems, programs, receipts, scrapbooks, and wills reflecting the everyday lives of members of the Pierce family in Dorchester, Massachusetts.


Dorchester (Boston, Suffolk county, Massachusetts) [neighborhood]
Haverstraw (Rockland county, New York state)
Morristown (Morris county, New Jersey)
Tiverton (Newport county, Rhode Island)

Record Details


Pierce family

Material Type

family papers

Other People

Gill, Benjamin
Hawes, Samuel P., 1799-1866
Hutchinson, Thomas, 1711-1780
Pierce, Abraham, 1769-1822
Pierce, Almira N., 1835-1919
Pierce, Antoinette E., 1827-1904
Pierce, Antoinette Louise, 1863-1937
Pierce, Edward, 1735-1818
Pierce, Frederick Leeds, 1829-1910
Pierce, George Francis, 1838-1919
Pierce, George Frederick, 1858-1934
Pierce, George P., 1827-1894
Pierce, James, 1786-1827
Pierce, John, 1668-1744
Pierce, Lewis, 1786-1874
Pierce, Lewis Francis, 1809-1888
Pierce, Melissa Withington, 1809-1887
Pierce, Phineas, 1794-1878
Pierce, Robert, ca. 1600-1664
Pierce, Roger Grenway, 1888-1962
Pierce, Samuel, 1702-1768
Pierce, Samuel, 1739-1815
Pierce, Sarah, 1788-1871
Pierce, Susanna
Pierce, Thomas, 1635-1706
Pierce, Thomas, 1790-1875
Pierce, William Augustus, 1827-1905

Other Organizations

Daughters of the American Revolution
Dorchester Historical Society (Dorchester, Boston, Mass.)
Society of California Pioneers of New England
Society of the War of 1812
Sons of the American Revolution


Money--Confederate States of America
Revolutionary War

Descriptive Terms

Boston Massacre (Mar. 5, 1770)
Boston Tea Party
Gold Rush (1849)


·This collection is available for research.
·Note: due to aging materials and condition of the materials, the whole of the collection requires handling with care.

Conservation Note

See Scope and Content note.

Description Level


Location Note

HGO-02-102-C-C-401; HGO-02-102-C-C-402; HGO-02-102-C-C-403; HGO-02-102-C-C-404; HGO-02-102-C-C-405; HGO-02-102-C-C-406

Accruals Note

Accruals are not expected.

Language Note

Materials in English

Preferred Citation

[Item identification.] Pierce family papers (MS023). Historic New England, Library and Archives.

Processing Information

·2014 August: Updated by Jennifer Pustz, museum historian, with assistance from Bridgette A. Woodall, project archivist

Rules and Conventions

This finding aid is DACS-compliant.

Historical/Biographical Note

Historical/Biographical Note

Robert Pierce (c. 1600-1664) and Ann Grenway (c. 1591-1695) settled in Dorchester in the first wave of seventeenth-century emigration from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Family legend suggests that the couple met on the Mary and John, a vessel in John Winthrop's fleet, but the passenger list for that 1630 voyage does not include a Robert Pierce. John Grenway, a millwright, his wife Mary, and their daughter Ann, however, were passengers on the Mary and John and the Grenways became active residents of the fledgling town. It is not known how and when Robert Pierce arrived in Dorchester, but genealogists have traced the family to Plymouth, England, where Robert was born around 1600. Genealogists use the year 1635 as the approximate date of Robert and Ann's marriage and the birth of their first child, Thomas Pierce (1635-1706).

Robert and Ann Pierce eventually moved to a house on a six-acre "home lott" of plowing land in the Eastern Great Lots. An unrecorded deed in the Pierce family papers indicates that Pierce acquired this property from John Smith in 1652, and he had apparently already built a house according to an earlier "verbal agremt" between them, on land which lay along the Lower Road, the "jogging" section of Adams Street that is now Gallivan Boulevard. Pierce owned other land in addition to this home lot. The 1664 inventory of his estate lists the home lot, with the house, barn, and surrounding six acres, twenty acres of land in Pine Neck, five acres of meadow, and thirty-six acres of common land. Two of Robert and Ann Pierce's three children, Thomas and Mary (dates unknown), survived into adulthood.

Thomas Pierce (1635-1706) inherited the Pierce lands when his father Robert died in 1664. He had been married for three years to Mary (Fry) Pierce (1641-1704), from Weymouth, and they and their son Thomas (1662-c.1730), may have lived with the senior Pierces. Thomas and Mary had seven more children. Although children frequently died in infancy or in early childhood in the seventeenth century, seven of the Pierce children lived into their early twenties, and the family household during those years was large and multi-generational.

Thomas Pierce become a freeman and was chosen constable in 1674. His other responsibilities within the town were typical of the seventeenth century. In 1667 he was appointed to view the fences in the Neponset area, and he also served as one of the "sup'visors of county and town highways," seeing to their upkeep and repair. In 1696 Thomas Pierce purchased from James Minot twenty acres of upland, "together with all and singular the housing Ediffices, buildings, and Fences standing thereon Yard Garden." This property, which included what is now known as the Pierce House, lay along the Lower Road not far from his father's house. With various additions and alterations over the years, it would be the Pierce family home for eight more generations.

John Pierce (1668-1744) was thirty-eight years old when he inherited the Pierce House and home lot after his father's death in 1706. He had married Abigail Thompson (dates unknown) of Braintree thirteen years earlier, and the couple had five surviving children. By the time of Thomas Pierce's death, John and Abigail were already well established with a family and a farm. The couple had two more children, John (1707-1778) and Hannah (1709-1757), and all seven children survived their father and inherited property themselves under the terms of John Pierce's will.

Samuel Pierce (1702-1769) was forty years old when he inherited the family home and approximately seventy acres of land and had been married to Abigail (Moseley) Pierce (1711-1776), also of Dorchester, for twelve years. The couple had four young children; two more daughters were born in the late 1740s. The family had been living in the Pierce house with Samuel's parents, John and Abigail, and the widowed Abigail continued to live with them until her own death in 1747. Over the next twenty-five years Samuel Pierce and his son, also named Samuel (1739-1815), made various additions and improvements to the family home and farm.

Samuel Pierce Sr.'s status in the community is reflected in the public offices which he held and in the value and productivity of his property. In the 1740s he served as a town constable, collecting taxes due the British treasury, and during the 1750s he served as a selectman, a position generally held by the more prosperous and respected men in the community. A 1768 Dorchester tax assessment, taken shortly before Pierce died, provides another indication of Pierce's relative status within the community. Among those who owned property in Dorchester, Samuel Pierce emerges as a man of standing. The total valuation of the Pierce House, the two thirds apportioned to Samuel Sr., and the one-third apportioned to Samuel Jr., was one of the highest for any single dwelling in the town, and the value of Pierce's other real estate put him in roughly the top ten percent of property holders.

Samuel Pierce, Jr. inherited the family home and houselot from his father in 1768, but he and his wife Elizabeth (Howe) Pierce (1744-1797) had lived there with his parents since their marriage in 1765, and they continued to share the home with other family members until 1778. Samuel and Elizabeth lived in the older middle section of the house, which Pierce also began to update, adding new Georgian style woodwork and a beaufat, or china cupboard, to display some of the family's finer goods.

Eighteenth-century yeomen like Colonel Samuel Pierce performed diverse tasks on their farms and developed complex relationships with the other members of their agricultural communities, which are revealed in his journal and account book. Primarily a farmer, Pierce produced diverse crops that he traded widely, and he assisted other Dorchester farmers with their agricultural tasks and relied on them for periodic help as well. Colonel Samuel also possessed a range of other skills that he employed both within his own household and farm and within the community network of exchange.

Although, like the records he left, Colonel Samuel Pierce's major concerns focused on the patterns of daily life, he was also deeply engaged by the world around him. Pierce was an astute observer whose commentary on the American Revolutionary era brings to life the events of this crucial period in American history. Participant as well as observer, Pierce made his political sympathies clear. An early supporter of the patriot cause, he resigned his commission in the King's militia to join the Massachusetts militia and took part in what Dorchester historians view as a crucial step in the United States' war for independence: the fortification of Dorchester Heights and the forced evacuation of the British troops from Boston in March of 1776. He led his regiment for the duration of the war.

From Dorchester, Col. Samuel reported his personal politics and involvement in the town's growing support for the patriot cause. All through New England the Sons of Liberty had formed in 1765 in opposition to the Stamp Act, and Col. Samuel recorded that they met in Dorchester at a "very Grand Entertainment at mr. Lemuel Robinson's" in August 1769. The Pierce family also held patriotic events at their home, including a "spining match" held "at our house" in June of 1769. Such gatherings were part of the colonists' campaign to produce and wear their own homespun clothing rather than rely on English imported goods.

Col. Samuel observed the unfolding of events in Boston. On March 6, 1770, the day following the Boston Massacre, he noted "four kild in boston by the Soldiers." He also recorded the growing support of the Dorchester citizenry for the colonial protest, as evidenced by a town meeting in December of 1772 "to Exclaim against the Duty being Laid upon us & Judges having their Saliry paid from England &c." Pierce also followed the controversy over the Tea Act of 1773 closely. England had granted what colonial merchants termed an unfair advantage to the East India Tea Company's virtual monopoly and the fact that Parliament had levied a tax on tea in the first place. Many colonists resolved to boycott tea, but a large supply arrived in Boston late in 1773. "Boston," observed Pierce in his journal on December 11, "is full of trouble about the tee. . .," and several days later Boston radicals orchestrated the Boston Tea Party.

By June of 1774, following the passage of the Intolerable Acts, tensions between the colonists and Great Britain had increased. Colonial self-government and the judiciary were reduced, more British troops and warships arrived, and "Boston [was] in a most Deplorible Condition." In the fall of 1774 Col. Samuel Pierce and others in the provincial militia had resigned their commissions under the crown and received new appointments as officers in the colonial militia. When actual conflict broke out at Lexington and Concord in April of 1775, Col. Pierce's loyalties were evident: "April 19. this Day there was a terible battle at Lexinton & Concord between our People and the Soldiers which marcht out of Boston the Soldiers fird on our people and then the Battle Began & there was about 40 of our People kild & 190 soldiers as near as could be Recolected."

Over the spring and summer of 1775 Pierce observed and recorded activity in Boston as some Tories from surrounding towns moved into the city and patriots fled. He lamented the "Terrable battle fout at CharlesTown"--the Battle of Bunker Hill--and noted various "scirmiges" with the British regulars, particularly on the Boston harbor islands, as each side sought to establish position and to cut off the other's supply of hay. General George Washington had set up headquarters in Cambridge, with his other troops camped in Roxbury, Somerville, and Dorchester, so that the city of Boston, though held by the British, was surrounded. When the patriot officer Col. Henry Knox arrived with guns and ammunition dragged on sledges from Ft. Ticonderoga, Washington and his advisors decided to act.

Washington's plan was to fortify Dorchester Heights, now South Boston, and therefore "command a great part of the town and almost the whole harbor." After careful preparation Colonel Samuel and his troops took part in the expedition that began on the night of March 4, 1776. About 5,000 men and over 380 wagons sneaked onto Dorchester Heights, placing straw along the road to muffle the sound; the men were under orders not to speak above a whisper. The troops carried the tools, materials, and arms for their defense, including bales of hay, barrels of stone and earth, and the heavy siege guns from Ticonderoga. It was, according to Pierce, "the most work Don that Ever was Don in one Night in New England." When the British commander, General Howe, realized his predicament, he sent word to Washington that if he and his troops were allowed to leave without being fired upon, he would refrain from destroying the city. On March 17, 1776 (still observed in Boston as Evacuation Day), Howe and his troops left, wrote Col. Samuel, "like so many frited Sheep." By March 28 patriots were able to "go into boston all freely," and in Dorchester town meeting pledged in May of 1776, "america Declard Independancy from Great britain."

Col. Pierce's oldest son Samuel (1766-1796) set up shop as a currier, a person who prepared tanned leather by scraping and stretching it into varying thicknesses to be used for shoes, gloves, harnesses, and other leather products. Eldest daughter Elizabeth Pierce (1771-1841) married Reuben Blake (1765-1825), who worked as a currier with her older brother Samuel. Second son Abraham (1769-1822) also became a tanner. George Pierce (1783-1826) followed a path that was different from his brothers but common for many other New England farmers' sons who moved west or to the nation's growing cities: he left Dorchester as a young man to be apprenticed in Boston and does not appear to have returned.

Lewis Pierce (1786-1874), the youngest son of Samuel and Elizabeth Pierce, inherited the family homestead at his father's death in 1815. At age twenty-nine, he had been working the farm with and for his father as Colonel Samuel aged. Lewis had started to take over the kinds of tasks his father had previously performed in the community: carting bricks, providing shingles and nails, supplying meat and vegetables. Lewis married a young Dorchester woman, Sarah Moseley (1788-1871), in February of 1809.

Lewis continued to live on the family farm and to cultivate at least some of the land until his death in 1874, but by the time he died, he and his sons had literally redrawn their expectations for land use; they had begun to divide the family farm into a subdivision with streets and small lots designed for suburban dwellers. By the 1870s they had sold off a number of lots and had built and sold homes on others. While they continued to depend on their land for family sustenance, they had begun to see land as a different kind of commodity. By mid-century, farmland was being sold and divided into varying sized house lots across the villages that constituted Dorchester in a process of urbanization that continued into the twentieth century.

By the late 1860s the Pierce family was involved in speculative development of the family's own properties, not merely the sale of their land to other builders. Between 1867 and 1872 nine houses were built on Lewis's fifteen-acre home lot. Although Lewis Pierce's name appears on all of the deeds and mortgages, his sons, Charles (1821-1897), William Augustus (1827-1905), and Lewis Francis (1809-1888), probably spearheaded the development, since Lewis was by this time in his eighties. Lewis financed his development and construction through a series of successive mortgages and property sales, following a pattern typical for small nineteenth-century builders. The proceeds of successive sales and mortgages provided the funds to construct the additional houses; Lewis either sold each newly built home outright or mortgaged it before it was sold. In either case, he then had new capital to finance construction on yet another of his lots, and the proceeds from that development helped to support yet another building project.

Lewis Pierce died in 1874 without a will. Although most of his houses had been sold and Lewis's debt on them cleared, Lewis owned one unsold house, at 28 Plain Street, with an outstanding mortgage, and he had mortgaged a number of undeveloped properties. He also had a mortgage on his own family house and some 50,000 square feet surrounding it. Lewis and his sons may have intended to begin another round of speculative building and development, as they had done in the late 1860s, but the lingering effects of the Panic of 1873 and then Lewis's death interrupted their plan. Because Lewis's primary asset was his undeveloped land and because he had so many outstanding mortgages, his four children could not pay his debts out of his estate. Lewis Francis, administrator for the estate, petitioned the probate court for permission to partition and sell the remaining property.

In preparation for selling the property and settling Lewis's debts, his heirs commissioned another land survey, which subdivided the land into forty separate lots, plus the eleven previously developed properties. This surveyor's plan of 1876 signals the end of the two hundred year history of the Pierce farm. The "Old House" was put up for public auction, but William Augustus Pierce (1827-1905), Lewis's youngest son, was able to keep it in the family by purchasing the 10,000 square foot lot "with the dwelling house thereon standing in which said Lewis Pierce resided and died."

Although William Augustus Pierce, like his father, grandfather, and brothers, settled in Dorchester into the family trade of masonry, he also explored other careers and even other parts of the country. At the age of twenty-two he became one of the original "forty-niners" who arrived in San Francisco in September of 1849 in the early wave of the California Gold Rush. William remained in California for six years, and although he did not make his fortune in gold, he returned with other souvenirs, including the rattles from the tail of a rattlesnake he had killed and the claw from a grizzly bear that he killed in the Sacramento Valley in 1850.

In 1860 Pierce married Antoinette Reed (1827-1904), whose family had moved from Maine to Boston; her father, Phillip Reed, was the inventor of a patented horseshoe. At the time of their marriage William Augustus was a mason, and after dabbling in other business ventures during the 1860s, he re-established himself as a mason by 1870. His account book from the 1880s offers both a record of his numerous projects and a general picture of the practice of masonry in the late nineteenth century. Pierce worked locally, chiefly in Dorchester, Milton, and Boston, and he generally engaged in residential construction, new buildings and also renovations and additions; his clients included architects, developers, and individual homeowners. He also worked on some institutional construction projects, including a library, factories, two Dorchester schools, St. Mary's Infant Asylum, and St. Ann's Parish in Neponset.

William and his wife Antoinette had two children; their son, William Alvin (1861), who died as a baby and Antoinette Louise (1863-1837). After her marriage in 1883 to George Frederick Pierce (1858-1934), the son of Frederick Leeds Pierce and a neighbor and distant cousin she had known all her life, Antoinette moved to a nearby but nonetheless separate household. By 1900 the senior Pierces, both aged seventy-three, were, unlike any previous generation, living alone in their ancestral home. When they died in 1904 and 1905, they left the Pierce House to Antoinette, but she and her husband chose to live in his parents' elegant Victorian home rather than her ancestral one. For the first time in more than two hundred years the Pierce House would, for the next two decades, not be occupied by lineal Pierce descendants.

Although Antoinette chose not to live in the Pierce House as an adult, she took great pride in its long history and in her family heritage and wanted to preserve and pass along both the house and family memories it held. She and George Frederick chose Grenway as their son Roger's (1888-1968) middle name, and Antoinette wrote an eighty-four stanza poem, "The Rhyme of the Old Pierce Tree," that traced each Pierce generation. In 1929, as regent of the Old Blake House Chapter of the D.A.R., Antoinette led a tour of the Pierce House, with chapter members attired in colonial dress. In 1933, although they had moved to Milton, Antoinette and George Frederick feted their fiftieth wedding anniversary at the Pierce House, where her son was then living, and the event was a celebration of the house, its history, and the family's history as well as the couple's own marriage.

Antoinette was determined to save the Old House as family property. To that end she bequeathed to Roger "the land and buildings located at 24 Oakton Avenue. . . , a property which has been owned and occupied by members of my family for about eight generations past, together with all articles of furniture, ornamentation, and personal property," items which included such treasured possessions as John Pierce's shaving mirror and the oak chest and piece of "Old Bread" said to have come from England on the "Mary and John."

Although he had never before lived in the ancestral home, Roger Pierce had grown up nearby, and his maternal grandparents, Antoinette and William Augustus Pierce, resided in the house during his childhood. Roger attended Mechanic Arts High School and Dartmouth College, from which he graduated in 1910. During the pre-war years Roger's brothers, who all became successful businessmen, were involved with the leather business, and through them Roger at some point became a leather buyer for Sears Roebuck.

After the United States entered World War I in 1917, Roger enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve Force, serving as an ensign. In spring 1918 he was posted to San Francisco and then assigned to the USS Edgecomb, stationed in Tacoma, Washington. The Armistice signed in November 1918 effectively ended the war, and by the next February Roger was re-assigned to shore duty on the east coast, first in Norfolk, Virginia, and then New York City. While working for Sears Roebuck he had made frequent trips to Maine to purchase leather and to check on shoe production. On visits to a mill in Sanford, Roger met Marjorie Curtis (1895-1941), a native of Richmond, Maine, whose family also had roots in Dorchester. An honor student at Nasson College, in Springvale, Marjorie boarded at a local home since the college had no dormitories, and Roger also stayed there when he was on the road. The couple was married in Marjorie's family church in Richmond on February 26, 1919, after Marjorie's graduation, and toward the end of Roger's active military service. After his discharge in April, Roger and Marjorie lived in Boston and then moved to Chicago for a brief period; by early 1921 they had returned to Boston, and Roger worked as a clerk and salesman, including another position with Sears. Roger and Marjorie's first child, Roger Curtis (1922-1990), known as Curt, was born in 1922, and their daughter, Anne Grenway Pierce (b. 1924), followed two years later.

By 1928, however, Roger had a job in Boston as an insurance adjuster, and he, Marjorie, and Curt joined Anne and his parents on Adams Street, and the next year the family moved into the Pierce House. Roger continued as a broker and later as a claims adjuster for Gordon Boyd, an insurance company in Boston. However, his real loves were his avocations-the water, his garden, and family history. Roger loved to sail and navigate, and he logged sailboat races for many years. In 1939 he joined the United States Power Squadrons, a community-based educational organization that offers boating safety courses at various levels. After completing the entrance exam in coastwise navigation and pilot rules, Roger went on to qualify for further positions as advanced pilot and navigator in the 1940s. During World War II he served as a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Temporary Reserve Unit, along with other members of Flotilla 152 of the South Boston Yacht Club. Roger Pierce also created a landscape around his home that was admired by the neighbors and by the teachers at the Kenny School across the street. After he retired 1961, Roger continued to devote himself to his garden.

Robert Shaughnessey (1920-1997), who lived around the corner on Glide Street, was one of Curt Pierce's many friends. The son and grandson of firefighters, Bob also lost his mother, a nurse and supervisor at the Catholic Carney Hospital in South Boston, at an early age. Anne had known Bob since childhood, but they reconnected after high school, and their relationship changed. Anne attended Nasson College in Maine, for one year, and then trained to be a nurse at Presbyterian Hospital in New Jersey. Bob was in the Navy and wrote Anne regularly, and he also visited her at nursing school when he had leave. Sometime after his discharge from the Navy, they became engaged. Ann's minister at the Second Church, Dr. Richards, performed the ceremony in her home, and, like many other generations of Pierces before her, Anne and Robert were married in June of 1948 in the middle parlor of the Pierce House.

By the late 1940s Roger Pierce, who had not remarried, was living alone in the Pierce House, but when he suffered a heart attack early in 1950, Anne and Robert Shaughnessey moved into the house so that Anne could care for him. Their son Robert (b. 1950) was born shortly after their move, followed by twin daughters Jean and Joan in 1956, and the three generations continued to live in the house together until Roger's death. In 1967 the aging Roger Pierce deeded his property to Anne and Curt, and when Roger died in 1968 the family chose to accede to the terms of Antoinette's will. They sold the Pierce House, along with some of the family's furniture, antiques, and memorabilia, to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, now Historic New England.


Susan Porter, Laura Driemeyer, Anne Grady, and Susan Walton, Pierce House Historic Property Report, Historic New England, 2005
Historic New England research files



The collection is arranged in thirty-five series: I.Robert Pierce (ca.1600-1664) papers; II. Thomas Pierce (1635-1706) papers; III. John Pierce (1668-1744) papers; IV. Samuel Pierce (1702-1768) papers; V. Edward Pierce (1735-1818) papers; VI. Colonel Samuel Pierce (1739-1815) papers; VII. Abraham Pierce (1769-1822) papers; VIII. James Pierce (1786-1827) papers; IX. Lewis Pierce (1786-1874) papers; X. Susanna Pierce (1786-1874) papers; XI. Jonathan Tallman (born 1789) papers; XII. Sarah Moseley Pierce (1788-1871) papers; XIII. Thomas Pierce (1790-1875) papers; XIV. Phineas Pierce (1794-1878) papers; XV. Samuel P. Hawes (1799-1866) papers; XVI. Lewis Francis Pierce (1809-1888) papers; XVII. Melissa (Withington) Pierce (1809-1887) papers; XVIII. Samuel H.L. Pierce (born 1826) papers; XIX. William Augustus Pierce (1827-1905) papers; XX. George P. Pierce (1827-1894) papers; XXI. Antoinette E. (Reed) Pierce (1827-1904) papers; XXII. Charles Henry Pierce (born 1829) papers; XXIII. Frederick Leeds Pierce (1829-1910) papers; XXIV. Almira N. (Haven) Pierce (1835-1919) papers; XXV. George Francis Pierce (1838-1919) papers; XXVI. George Frederick Pierce (1858-1934) papers; XXVII. Antoinette Louise Pierce (1863-1937) papers; XXVIII. Roger Grenway Pierce (1888-1962) papers; XXIX. Frederick William Pierce (1895-1951) papers; XXX. Marjorie Hazel (Curtis) Pierce (1895-1941) papers; XXXI. Anne Grenway (Pierce) Shaughnessey (born 1924) papers; XXXII. Mary Tansy Pierce (born 1925) papers; XXXIII. Pauline Cronk (dates unknown) papers; XXXIV. Other Pierce family papers; XXXV. Pierce family photographs

*Collection housing/storage code: #x.x=file box (i.e., #1.2= file box 1, folder 2); C=carton; FB=folio box; FF=fragile files; MB=multi-purpose box; OB=oversize box/folder; OV=oversize volume; VF=vertical files/flat files