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Stearns Family Papers

Identifier: Ms-1989-013

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of photocopies of transcripts and originals of correspondence, diaries, official documents, writings, and other genealogical documents (1714-1920) of the Stearns family. Several essays describing the genealogy of the family precede the transcripts of the family papers. An index to the transcripts is included. Included in the papers are the extensive Civil War correspondence of Orange Scott Stearns (1835-70) of the 29th Massachusetts Regiment, to his family, and the Civil War papers of Isaac Holden Stearns (1825-97), a surgeon in the 22nd Massachusetts Infantry. The papers also include the poems of Sally Stearns (1804-90), copies of the papers of Samuel Crocker Lovell (1840-?), and essays on the genealogy of the Stearns and other related families by Stuart H. Buck. Essays concerning specific family members are organized after the index, followed by information on Samuel Crocker Lovell, John Lee Holt, and Erie L. Ditty, Civil War soldiers.


  • 1714 - 1920


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

The Stearns is descended from Isaac Stearns (1600-71) Isaac Stearns, born in England in 1600, came to America in 1630. He landed in Salem, Massachusetts, and settled in nearby Watertown, where he became a town selectman. Most of the materials are concerned with the 7th Isaac Stearns (1790-1879), and his extended family and descendants. This branch of the Stearns family remained in or near Mansfield, Massachusetts, for 300 years, or seven generations, and saved thousands of papers concern most of the family members. Materials related to their history were later edited and transcribed by Stuart H. Buck, great-grandson of the 7th Isaac, of Lynchburg, Virgina.


1.4 Cubic Feet (4 boxes)


This collections is arranged by subject, then chronologically.

Source of Acquisition

The original papers and transcripts are in the possession of Stuart H. Buck of Lynchburg, Virginia, who edited and transcribed the papers. He loaned the transcripts to the Special Collections Department in January 1989. The transcripts were copied in February and March and returned to Mr. Buck in March 1989.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Stearns Family Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

A Guide to the Stearns Family Papers 1714-1920
2004 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Revision Statements

  • 2020-08-27: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US