Father: David SEARS
- BIRTH: 8 OCT 1787, Boston,,MA
- DEATH: 14 JAN 1871, Boston,,MA
- BURIAL: ,,,701
Mother: Ann WINTHROP
Miriam Clarke MASON
- MARRIAGE: 13 JUN 1809, Boston,By Rev Gardiner,MA
- David Mason SEARS
- Anna Powell SEARS
- Harriet E Dickason SEARS
- Cordelia Mason SEARS
- Ellen SEARS
- David SEARS
- Frederic Richard SEARS
- Winthrop SEARS
- Grace Winthrop SEARS
- Knyvet Winthrop SEARS
_Daniel SEARS _
_David SEARS __|
| |_Fear FREEMAN _
|_Ann WINTHROP _|
!BIRTH-FATHER-SPOUSE-CHILDREN-DEATH-BIOGRAPHY: Samuel Pearce May, THE
DESCENDANTS OF RICHARD SARES(SEARS) OF YARMOUTH,MASS; 1638-1888; Albany, Joel
Munsell's Sons, 1890; p 261; NEHGS Library, Boston, MA;
David Sears was educated in the best schools that Boston at that
time afforded, and after a preparatory course of study in the Latin School,
entered Harvard College in 1803, at the age of 16, taking his Bachelor's degree
in 1807. He read law for a time, and soon after his marriage in 1809, sailed for
Europe with his wife, and passed several years in foreign travel, at a most
interesting period in Continental history.
The sudden death of his father devolved on him the care of a large estate, and
before he was thirty years of age he was called to assume that responsible
position among the very richest men of Boston, which he continued to hold during
half a century.
Building for himself a costly and elegant mansion fit for the generous
hospitalities which belong to wealth, he began early to make plans for doing his
share in acts of public and private beneficience.
In 1820 he was actively associated with the erection of St Paul's church, on
Tremont street, and he subsequently gave that parish a fund which now exceeds
forty thousand dollars in value; this was followed in succeeding years by
various provisions for other religious, literary and charitable objects, which,
while accomplishing valuable purposes at once, may not exhibit their full fruit
for a long time to come.
The 'Sears Tower' of the Observatory at Cambridge, built at his cost, gave the
first encouragement to an establishment which has been munificently endowed by
others, and whose permanent fund he was also a handsome contributor.
About 1820, Mr Sears purchased some 200 acres of land in the suburbs of Boston
which has since become the beautiful village of Longwood, which he proceeded to
lay out and beautify at great expense, giving to many of the streets and squares
names which he believed to be identified with the family in this country and
A capacious stone chapel, built after the design of St Peter's Church in
Colchester, Eng., and to which he gave the name of 'Christ's Church in Longwood,
contains, in its basement, vaults constructed as a last resting-place for him-
self and those most dear to him. For this church he prepared a form of service
in accordance with his peculiar views, and which has been described as 'the Book
of Common Prayer, with any thing of the nature of Calvinism carefully weeded out
mildly tinctured with the writings of Channing, butmore strongly flavored with
Romanism, and stated service was maintained during the last eight years of his
life. A block of houses nearby, destined ultimately for the dwellings of such
as had seen better days, and to be known as 'The Scearstan Charter House,' and
an accumulating fund under the control of the Overseers of the Poor, Boston,
which has added not a little, year by year, to the comfort and support of a
large number of poor women, will bear testimony to his thoughtful and well-
After the death of Mr Sears, by an arrangement bewteen his heirs and the
city of Boston, his various endowments for the poor of his native place were
amalgamated under the comprehensive title of "The David Sears Charity."
In 1886 this fund amounted to near $280,000, and will be much further increas-
ed by the rise in real estate.
Mr Sears often enjoyed such public honors as he would accept, and served as a
Representative to the Mass Leg. in 1816-18, 1824-25 and 1828, and as a Senator
in 1826 and 1851. He was Presidential Elector in 1868, and invited his
colleagues of the State Electoral College to meet the President elect, General
Grant, at his house in Boston.
In early life he was a member of the Independant Corps of Cadets and Com'd
Ensign. In 1818 he presented the company with a new standard, and provided
for them an elegant entertainment.
He occasionally mingled in the public discussion of the day, and an elaborate
letter which he addressed to John Quincy Adams on the best method of abolishing
slavery, while that was still a living question, will be particularly remembered
among his contributions to the press.
In middle life Mr Sears became interested in the subject of family history and
genealogy, and employed the late Mr H G Somerby to make searches in England to
trace his ancestry, and expended a large sum in these researches. His kinsman,
Rev Edmund H Sears, undertook to edit the material collected, but he had no
practical acquaintance with genealogy, and allowed himself to become responsible
for a series of romantic legends under the title of "Pictures of the Olden
to which was added, in a private edition for the family, a genealogical account
of the English and American branches.
About the year 1848 Mr Saers erected monuments and mural tablets to various
members of the family in Yarmouth and Chatham, Mass., Newport, RI, and in St
Peter's Church, Colchester, Eng., to which church he presented in 1852 a flagon
and paten of elegant design and elaborate workmanship inclosed in a handsome
wainscot box. In 1855 he endowed the church with L100, in trust,for charitable
purposes, to which he added, in 1858, a further sum, now known as the "Sears
Dole." Mr Sears deposited with the NE Hist Gen Society, medals to be given
those of the name of Sears proving their descent from Richard and Dorothy Sares,
a description of which may be found in Gen Reg, vol 26, p.182.
Subsequent investigation has developed that Mr Sears was grossly deceived in
regard to many particulars of the pedigree and early history of his family, so
that monuments erected by him, and the genealogies he printed, now for the most
part only serve to perpetuate unfortunate delusions.
Mr Sears was one of the first to own and occupy a summer residence at Nahant,
but finding it too bleak for his own taste, and tempted by the softer atmosphere
of the Gulf Stream, he built, in 1845, a marine villa at Newport, to which he
gave the name of 'Red Cross.'
Its extensive grounds are built over, but the immediate neighborhood is still
pleasantly associated in many minds with the rembrance of his refined, graceful
and unostentious hospitality.
With his characteristic generosity, he conveyed to the municipality a fund of
five thousand dollars, the income to be applied to benevolent objects.
The summer of 1869 was his last at Newport; the next year his health became
seriously impaired , and he died in Boston, 14 Jan 1871, at the advanced age of
eighty-three, his wife, with whom he had lived near sixty-three years, having
preceded him by a few months.
He will long be remembered by all who have known him as one of the courteous
and dignified gentleman of the old school, of whom so few are now left to remind
us of the manners and bearing of other days.
!BIOGRAPHY: "The Sears Medals"; 1872-1954;THE NE Historic Genealogical Society
Register, Vol 26, Apr 1872; pp 182-3; NEHGS Library; At the request of the
president, Charles W Tuttle, Esq, secretary of the board of directors,
reported, that at the stated meeting of the board, held 2 Jan 1872, a sealed
box inscribed to the "President and Officers of the Historic, Genealogical
Society,Boaston, 1854," left in the custody of the society at that date, by the
late Hon David Sears, with directions that it be opened after his decease, was
unsealed in presence of the directors. It contained eighty bronze medals; also
a sealed package on which is written: "To be delivered to the eldest lineal
male descendant of David Sears and Ann Winthrop Sears in 1954."
Only two of the packages, which were seven in number, were opened. The
medals in these two packages, with a single exception to which I will presently
refer, were alike.
On the obverse of the medal is a monument surmounted by a creast on whose
main feature is an open ehlmet with the hilt of a dagger on its right. On the
left stands an American Indian, with his right hand resting on the monument,
with a bow in his left hand, a tomahawk slung at his side, and several arrows
on his back, the ends visible above the left shoulder. On the right is a
figure in mail, with left hand resting on the monument, a sword at his side,
holding a shield in his right hand charged with armorial bearings.
On the monumnent is this inscription: SCEARSTAN SAYER SEARS COLCHESTER Over
the whole is a scroll on which is inscribed, ST PETERS CHURCH In the exergue is
H DE LONGUEIL.
On the reverse, the field is left blank, while between a beaded circle and
the extreme edge, is this circumscription: DESCENDED FROM RICHARD SEARS THE
PILGRIM. *PLYMOUTH ROCK 1630.*
The exception, to which reference has been made, is a medal enclosed in a
wrapper, inscribed "Model. Richard Sears of Chatham, ... reverse engraving."
This medal is made from the same die as the others, but the following
inscription has been cut on the blank fieldof the reverse:
RICHARD SEARS OF CHATHAM SON OF DANIEL II OF CHATHAM BORN 1750 MARRIED
MEHITABLE MARSHALL DIED 1839 IN LINEAL DESCENT FROM KNYVET OF YARMOUTH ELDEST
SON OF THE PILGRIM
In case of the same size as the package to be delivered in 1954, are two
medals having the same obverse as that already described, but the reverse is
from a different die. One of them has the same circumscription as that before
described, with the following in the field:-
DAVID SEARS I OF BOSTON SON OF DANIEL II OF CHATHAM BORN 1752 MARRIED ANN
WINTHROP DIED 1816 IN LINEAL DESCENT FROM KNYVET OF YARMOUTH ELDEST SON OF THE
The other medal has in the field a shield on wich are various quarterings of
arms which we need not describe. On a circular band surrounding it is this
inscription: EXALTAT HUMILES On a scroll beneath is HONOR ET FIDES The whole
is surmounted by an eagle. The medal has this circumscription: PLY COL 1630
BOS MASS 1770
A paper fastened to the inside of the lid of the box, has the following
written on it:-- "Monuumental Memorials, Bronze Medals. To be given by the
President of the HIstoric, Genealogical Society to the members of the Sear
Family. Any individual of the name of Sears applying for a medal. must prove
his descent from Knyvet, Paul or Sylas Sears, the three sons of Richard Sears
the Pilgrim, and must promise to have engraved on the reverse the inscription
ordered by the President."
"Richard Sears landed at Plymouth on the 8th of May, 1630."
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