The Grant-Burr Families

About Dr. Daniel Tear

Dr. Daniel Tear came into possession of the Grant-Burr Family Papers when he inherited the home of his grandparents in Southfield, Massachusetts. It was in Southfield that Daniel and Caroline Grant spent the last years of their lives. Caroline had brought the papers with her when she moved from Colebroook. Dr. Tear's desire to make sure the papers would be available to interested persons led him to donate them to the American Antiquarian Society.

In his youth Dr. Tear often visited Cousin May and Cousin Janet (May Wallace and Janet Curtis) on the farm. It was here that he learned of his great grandfather Daniel's proclivity to get into mischief on purpose so to be sent to his Aunt Zilpah's room for punishment only to spend hours learning from her. He learned his lessons well but never lost the desire to seek new experiences.

May Wallace, too, was willing to explore. As a young girl her mother took her and the other children on a wagon train to join their father in Omaha. "One does not ride in a wagon train. After one day of bouncing you learn to stay on you two feet." After her sister, Janet, died May felt she could no longer keep the farm. In the late 1940's when she was well into her seventies she packed up her pre-war car, drove to California and checked herself into a retirement community.

From their beginnings as early comers to New England until recent times, the family members represented in these papers exhibited a love of learning, a seriousness of purpose, and a passion for exploration and reform.