Getting the mystery Packard family history book and putting it online

From the beginning of Theophilus’s book.

After my post last week, I ordered an ebook from RootsPoint of the genealogy of Samuel Packard and Abel Packard and proceeded to put it online, as it is and should be publicly available. The below order receipt shows I did exactly what I promised to do in my last post (personally identifiable info and other content redacted):

Now, onto the book itself, which is now up on the Internet Archive for ALL to read. It first told me that:

“There Is No Preview Available For This Item. This item does not appear to have any files that can be experienced on 

A few hours later the publication fixed itself, with download options across the board. Now onto analyzing the book itself.

In the preface to the book, Theophilus writes about how he gathered his sources:

The following genealogies have been prepared more particularly for the gratification and convenience of those directly concerned…In the compilation of this work, the author would gratefully acknowledge the kind aid afforded him by numerous correspondents, and also his indebtedness to the History of Bridgewater, by Nahum Mitchell, in 1840, and the History of North Bridgewater, by Bradford Kingman, in 1867.

He then goes to “ascertain” facts about Samuel Packard, quoting from a source saying “Diligent, of Ipswich, 133 passengers, John Martin, master” and from Holmes’ American Annals says that “the settlement of Bridgewater was begun in the year 1651 by a very religious people.” He continues, after determining other facts, in his view, to say that

The plan adopted in this work is to give a brief statistical account of each descendant in the regular order of generations, and of families…This brief and imperfect account of 250 persons in four generations may, perhaps, aid in the future preparation of a more complete work brought down to the present time. The six generations of Abel Padcard, of Cumiuington, who was the great-grandson of Samuel Packard, include all his posterity, living or deceased- 352. Both genealogies include the descendants of these two ancestors, though they have by marriage merged the name of Packard in other names.

That already makes me a bit skeptical. He recounts, on page 5, some of Samuel’s supposed civil positions and claims that Samuel’s age, when he died in 1684, was “probably between seventy and eighty years.” He then engages in more speculation about the children of Elizabeth Packard (Samuel’s daughter) and Thomas Alger, saying that “He [Israel Alger?] lived a while in Easton, and probably had other children.” He adds that for Zaccheus, the son of Samuel, died “in Bridgewater, Aug. 3, 1723,” and was, he speculated, “aged probably about eighty years.” The same is the case for John, a son of Samuel, for which he says “his estate mas settled in 1741, and he probably died
just previously.” He also mentions that Samuel Washburn of Bridgewater, who married Deborah Packard (daughter of Samuel) was a “sergeant and soldier in King Philips’ war, and died in 1720, in Bridgewater aged sixty-nine. He also notes that Deliverance Packard, another daughter of Samuel, married Thomas Washburn (brother of Samuel Washburn) and died “probably about 1729,” before which he had  “three and four daughters” with Deliverance. He ends this section, which had a good amount of speculation within it (which makes me wary) by saying that:

All of the twelve persons of the second generation [children of Samuel Packard] had families and eight of them had forty-five, children, and it is not known but that the remaining four [of Samuel’s children] had equally numerous families. Three families having had greater number than has been reckoned. There is reason to believe that the children of the twelve families amounted to seventy-five. Some of them having removed from Bridgewater, nothing more is known respecting them.

Then we move onto the third generation out from Samuel Packard, specifically focusing on the children of Elizabeth Packard and Thomas Alger, Samuel Packard Jr.,  Zaccheus Packard, Thomas Packard, John Packard, and Nathaniel Packard. Unfortunately the pages concerning children of Elizabeth, Samuel, Zaccheus, Thomas, and John are hard to read. A few people I talked about in my family history are mentioned by Theophilus:

Zechariah [Zachariah], married Abigail, daughter of Richard Davenport, of South Bridgewater, in 1724, and he died probably about 1771. They had three sons and one daughter, viz: Elijah, Abigail, Nathaniel, and Nathan, all of whom had families.

After page 11, other families are mentioned by Theophilus as ones that which “marriage merged the name of Packard in other names,” as noted earlier:

  • Washburn (p. 11-14, 31-32, 34-37)
  • Hooper (p. 12, 32-33)
  • Mitchell (p. 12, 34)
  • Alger (p. 14)
  • Snell (p. 16-18)
  • Edson (p. 19-21) (also an Israel Packard on this page)
  • Leonard (p. 33-34)
  • Keith (p. 36-37)
  • Jennings (p. 38)
  • Conant (p. 38)

Packards re-emerge on pages 15-16 from families such as Samuel Packard III, Daniel Packard, Joseph Packard, Mary Packard, until some badly scanned pages come in the way (pages 17-18). But from that you can still discern some names. After that point, Packards reappear on pages:

  • 21 (Jonathan Packard and children)
  • 22-23 (David Packard and children)
  • 24-25 (Solomon Packard and children)
  • 25-26 (James Packard and children)
  • 26 (Zaccheus Packard, Jr and children)
  • 27-28 (Abiel Packard and children)
  • 29 (Joseph Packard II and children)
  • 30 (Samuel Packard and children)
  • 30-31 (Zechariah Packard and children)
  • 31- (George Packard and children)

Then there’s one child of John Packard (child of Samuel) was Barnabas  (page 27):

Barnabas born March 3, 1738, married Sarah Ford in 1764, and had sons and one daughter, viz.: Barnabas Jr. in 1764; Molly, in 1766; Polycarpus, in 1768; Bartimeus, in 1769; and Cyrus, in 1771. The family removed to Cummington, and tvo sons were born there, viz.: John and Philander.

He ends the section on Samuel Packard by saying, on page 38, that

The four generations of Samuel Packard here given, embracing 252 persons, have long since passed away. His posterity,as will be seen by the following genealogy; has now reached the tenth generation. The fourth generation contains the names of 194 persons, yet this is not the whole number. If the descendants of these 194 persons have become as numerous as those of Abel Packard, who is one of that fourth generation, and whose genealogy follows, and whose descendants are 352, then Samuel Packard’s posterity would now exceed 45,000.

From then on, he moves onto the second part of his book, recounting the genealogy of Abel Packard and his descendants. From pages 39-40 he has a whole long narrative about Abel Packard which cannot be independently verified but does tell a compelling story, to say the least about him and his siblings

Abel Packard was the son of John Packard, the grandson of Zaccheus Packard, and the great-grandson of Samuel Packard, who came from England to this country in 1638, and is the ancestor of the Packards in the United States. He was born in North Bridgewater, Mass., Sept. 8, 1729. At the age of sixteen he was appointed chorister, and long led the choir in the Congregational church. He became blind at about forty years In June, 1774, he removed with his widowed mother, wife and children, to what was then called No. 5; which was incorporated June 23, 1779, and called Cummington, in honor of Col John Cummings, of Concord, who had purchased the township of the government, June 2d, 1762. His residence was a little ” tavern sign ” still 1754, that was on the premises in 1774, are yet standing. The early town-meetings were held in his house. More or less he boarded the minister. He was an Ensign in militia, and tradition says whenever knew what fear is. He married Esther Porter, of Abington,
Jan. 24, 1751…Ensign Abel Packard’s brother, Barnabas, also removed to Cummington, and had seven children. His brother, John, settled in Plainfield. His sister, Lydia, married. Edward Southworth, and settled in Pelham, and has numerous posterity. Ensign Packard’s cousin, Sarah Packard: married Esq. Ebenezer Snell, and settled Cummington, and was the mother of Rev. Dr. Thomas Snell, and grandmother of
William Cullen Bryant, the poet, and of Prof. E. S. Snell, of Amherst College…Ensign Packard’s mother, Lidia (Thompson) Packard, lived with him in Cummington, and died there March 10, 1759, aged about 86. He had eleven children, all except the youngest of whom were  born in North Bridgwater, viz.: Abel Jr., Esther, Adam, Lydia, Abigail, Mary, Olive, Theophilus, Jacob, Noah, and Abigail 2d. The father [Abel Packard?] died in Cummington, March 4, 1804, aged 75. The mother [Esther Porter?] died there, May 30, 1812, aged 79.

From there, he describes the life of varying Packards and their families:

  1. Deacon Abel Packard Jr (1754-1832) (p. 40-41)
  2. Ester Packard (1756-1826) (p. 41)
  3. Adam Packard (1758-1829) (p. 41)
  4. Lydia Packard (1760-1836) (p. 41-42)
  5. Abigail Packard (died in childbirth, 1763) (p. 42)
  6. Mary Packard (1764-1860) (p. 42)
  7. Olive Packard (1767-1835) (p. 42)
  8. Rev. Theophilus Packard, D.D. (1769-1855) (p. 42-43) (the author’s father)
  9. Jacob Packard (died in childbirth, 1771) (p. 43)
  10. Noah Packard (died in childbirth, 1774) (p. 43)
  11. Abigail Packard (1779-1781) (p. 43)
  12. Eliphalet Packard (1784-1868) (p. 44)
  13. Chester Packard (b. 1816, still living by 1871 when book published) (p. 44)
  14. Betsey Packard (b. 1791, still living by 1871 when book published) (p. 44-45)
  15. Theophilus Packard 2d (1793-1866) (not the author of this book) (p. 45)
  16. William Packard (1791-1870) (p. 46)
  17. Olive Packard (1793-1870) (p. 46)
  18. Philo Packard (1795-1797) (p. 46)
  19. Philo Packard (1798-1870) (p. 46-47)
  20. Ruby Packard (1799-1837) (p. 47)
  21. Doctor Abel Packard (1802-1867) (p. 47)
  22. Polly Porter Packard (1806-1815) (p. 47)
  23. Abigail  Packard (1811-1835) (p. 47)

Other families are also listed as well, of course, connected to the Packard family:

  • Williams family (p. 45, 72)
  • Bates family (p. 47-48, 76)
  • Narramore family (p. 48-50, 56-57, 64, 80)
  • Whitmarsh family (p. 57-59, 75)
  • Porter family (p. 59, 62-63)
  • Phillips family (p. 59-60)
  • Bates family (p. 60-61, 74-75)
  • Allen family (p. 61-62, 77-78)
  • Hawks family (p. 63-64, 79)
  • Dawes family (p. 64, 80)
  • Briggs family (p. 65)
  • Parsons family (p. 65)
  • Norton family (p. 65)
  • Cooley family (p. 66)
  • Dole family (p. 66-67)
  • Richards family (p. 70-72)
  • Carpenter family (p. 70-71)
  • Stephenson family (p. 71-72)
  • Miles family (p. 72)
  • Bryant family (p. 72)
  • Page family (p. 72-73)
  • Stevens family (p. 73)
  • Cole family (p. 73-74)
  • Latham family (p. 74, 82)
  • Dyer family (p. 75)
  • Campbell family (p. 76)
  • Church family (p. 76)
  • Hazard family (p. 76-77)
  • French family (p. 78-79, 82)
  • Smith family (p. 79)
  • Bordwell family (p. 79)
  • Buffum family (p. 80)
  • Lyman family (p. 80)
  • Whitney family (p. 81)
  • Tillson family (p. 81)
  • Cooley family (p. 81)
  • Prindle family (p. 81)
  • Thompson family (p. 82)
  • Palmer family (p. 82)
  • Reed family (p. 82)
  • Luick family (p. 82)

At one point, we get to the siblings of the author. Of course he wrote a biography of himself (p. 50) but he did not talk about the case with his wife at all:

REV. THEOPHILUS PACKARD Jr., born in Shelburne, Feb. 1, 1802, and, May 21, 1839, married Elizabeth Parsons Ware, daughter of Rev. Samuel Ware, and who was born in Ware, Dec. 29, 1816. They had six children, five of them born in Shelburne, and the youngest in Manteno, Ill., viz.: Theophilus, Isaac Ware, Samuel, Elizabeth Ware, George Hastings, and Arthur Dwight. He graduated at Amherst College in 1823; was licensed to preach by Franklin Association, informally Aug. 5, 1826, and regularly Oct. 3, 1526; and ordained as colleague pastor in Shelburne, March 12, 1828; and was dismissed at his request, Dec. 6, 1553; preached in Lyme, Ohio, from 1854 to 1855, and in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, from 1855 to 1557, and lived in Manteno, Ill, from 1857 to 1864, and since then chiefly in South Deefield [after Elizabeth won the case against him), till Feb. 17, 1869, when he removed to Greenfield; and June 17, 1869, he removed to Chicago, Ill.; and April 8, 1870, he removed to Manteno, Ill.

He goes on to talk about his other siblings (p. 50-51), Packards of the next generation (p. 51-57, 59), the generation after that (p. 67-70, 76), and one after that (p. 82).

Within all of that he talked about his children:

  • Theophilus Packard, Jr (b. 1842) (p. 65-66)
  • Isaac Ware Packard (b. 1855) (p. 66)
  • Samuel W. Packard (b. 1847) (p. 66)
  • Elizabeth Ware Packard (b. 1850) (p. 66)
  • George Hastings Packard (b. 1853) (p. 66)
  • Arthur Dwight Packard (b. 1858) (p. 66)

He ends the section on the genealogy of Abel Packard and his descendants to say that on page 83:

Of Abel Packard’s posterity 118 have deceased, and 234 are living. But few of them now reside in Cummington. They living in various parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Tennessee, Arkansas, California, and District of Columbia.

He then lists the Packards who were college graduates on pages 84-85

Rev Elijah Packard, graduate of Harvard, 1750. Died in 1766.

Rev Winslow Packard, graduate of Dartmouth, Died in 1784, aged 33.

Rev Asa Packard, graduate of Harvard, 1783. Died 1843, aged 84.

Rev. Hezekiah Packard, D.D., graduate of Harvard, Died in 1849, aged 88.

Rev Theophils Packard, D.D., graduate of Dartmouth, 1796. Died in 1855, aged 86.

Frederic A. Packard, graduate of Harvard, 1814 [still living in 1871]

Rev. Alpheus Packard, D.D., graduate of Bowdoin, 1816 [still living in 1871]

Rev Charles Packard, graduate of Bowdoin, Died in 1864, aged 63.

Rev George Packard, graduate of Bowdoin, 1821. [still living in 1871]

Austin Packard, graduate of Brown, 1821. [still living in 1871]

Rev Levi Packard, graduate of Brown, 1821. Died in 1857, aged 63

Rev Theophilus Packard, graduate of Amherst, 1823  [still living in 1871]

Abel Packard, graduate of Amherst, 1824. Died in 1830, aged 28.

Hezekiah Packard, graduate of Bowdoin, 1825. Died in 1867, aged 62.

Rev Joseph Packad, D.D., graduate of Bowdoin, 1831.[still living in 1871]

George W. Packard, graduate of Brown, 1839. Died in 1842.

Cullen Packard, graduate of Yale, 1839. Died in 1853.

John H. Packard, graduate of Bowdoin, 1841. Died in 1845, aged 30.

Rev. Noah F. Packard, graduate of Brown, 1842. Died in 1847.

Rev. Charles Packard, graduate of Bowdoin, 1842. [still living in 1871]

Rev Abel K. Packard, graduate of Amherst, 1845. [still living in 1871]

Charles A. Packard, graduate of Bowdoin, 1848. [still living in 1871]

Frederic Packard, graduate of Yale, 1848. Died in 1862.

Rev. David T. Packard, graduate of Amherst, 1850. [still living in 1871]

William A. Packard, graduate of Bowdoin, 1851. [still living in 1871]

Levi S Packard, graduate of Amherst, 1855. [still living in 1871]

Lucius R. Packard, graduate of Yale, 1856. [still living in 1871]

Alpheus S. Packard, graduate of Bowdoin, 1861. [still living in 1871]

Rev Edward N. Packard, graduate of Bowdoin, 1862. [still living in 1871]

Rev George T. Packard, graduate of Bowdoin, 1866. [still living in 1871]

Robert L. Packard, graduate of Bowdoin, 1868. [still living in 1871]

31 Graduates, Clergymen, 4 Doctors of Divinity, 14 deceased.

The book ends there. I hope this post was helpful to those who are related to the Packard family either directly or indirectly. I look forward to your comments as always.

6 thoughts on “Getting the mystery Packard family history book and putting it online

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