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Special Collections: Guide to the Williamson Family Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
March 2010

Collection title: Williamson Family Papers
Collection number: MS 1586
Provenance: Gift of Robert B. Williamson, Jr. in April 2004
Dates of collection: 1849-1977 (inclusive) 
Size of collection: 1 document box (9 folders)
Restrictions on access and use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval


Ada H. Peirce Williamson, the daughter of Waldo T. and Hannah Jane Hills Peirce, was born in 1834. She married Joseph Williamson, a lawyer and author from Belfast, Maine, in 1857 and they had three children: Joseph Williamson (born 1869), Ada C. Williamson (born 1858) and Frances Williamson Peirce (born 1860). Ada H. Peirce Williamson died in 1872.

Joseph Williamson, son of Ada and Joseph Williamson, married Vallie Burleigh, the daughter of Maine governor Edwin C. Burleigh, and they had two children: Robert B. Williamson (born 1892) and William Williamson (born 1899). Ada Williamson never married. Frances Peirce married and had four children; she lived the latter part of her life in California.

Ada Peirce McCormick was the daughter of Mellen C. Peirce and Anna Hayford Peirce. She was a social activist, author, and editor of the magazine Letter, a national publication promoting better relations among individuals and nations. She spent the latter part of her life in Tucson, Arizona.

Robert B. Williamson, the son of Joseph and Vallie Williamson, was born in 1892. He was a member of the Maine Supreme Court from 1949-1970 and served as chief justice from 1956-1970.

Scope and Content Note

This small collection contains papers of various members of the Peirce and Williamson families of Maine. Included are materials belonging to Ada H. Williamson including a photograph album, her copybook of poetry and a typescript of a journal she kept while at boarding school, 1851-1853. The journal was edited by her niece Ada Peirce McCormick.

The collection also contains a few letters written to Ada C. Williamson and Frances Williamson Peirce by their parents as well as a typescript of reminiscences of Frances Peirce that includes information about her family.

Also included are materials gathered by Robert B. Williamson concerning the Peirce family genealogy as well as items belonging to Ada Peirce McCormick that he received after her death in 1974.

Box List

Box 1


1 Photograph album of Ada H. (Mrs. Joseph) Williamson containing photos of Peirce family members

2 Papers of Ada H. Peirce Williamson: Copybook of poetry, etc., 1849; typescript: Innocent and eager maiden, being the journal of a young lady at boarding school, 1851- 1853, edited by Ada McCormick

3 Papers of Ada C. Williamson: Letters, 1865, 1866, from her parents Joseph and Ada Peirce Williamson

4 Papers of Frances W. Peirce: Letter from Ada H. Williamson, 1867; letter to Robert, 1944; Reminiscences of Francis [sic] W. Peirce [photocopy of typescript]

5 Papers of Robert B. Williamson re Peirce family genealogy, 1946, 1971?

6 Letters to Robert B. Williamson re Ada Peirce McCormick, 1975, 1977

7 Articles, etc. by Ada Peirce McCormick

8 Peirce-Treat genealogy

9 Item documenting bolos presented to Hon. Edwin C. Burleigh, 1901?


Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/31/2015
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