The “Hingham Community Band” and Samuel Packard

Recently, the Hingham Heritage Museum wrote about the Hingham Community Band which had prominence in the community in the 20th century. By that time, the Packard family that is covered on this blog was long gone. Undoubtedly there were some Packards remaining. Still, it is worth recounting the story of Samuel Packard in Hingham itself. After all, there is no doubt the Packards are in varied histories and records of Hingham, specifically genealogies and transcriptions of original records. In the Genealogies of Samuel Packard and Abel Packard it was written that

Samuel Packard and his wife and one child came from Windham, near Hingham, Norfolk County, England, to Hingham, in Plymouth colony, in 1638. He removed thence to Bridgewater about 1660. His sons, and probably he himself, were soldiers under Capt. Benjamin Church, in the Indian war with the famous King Philip, in 1675 and 1676. He had six sons and six daughters, viz.: Elizabeth, Samuel Jr., Zaccheus, Thomas, John, Nathanie l, Mary, Hannah, Israel, Jael, Deborah, and Deliverance. All his children Had families. He was appointed to office in Bridgewater in 1664, was licensed to keep an Ordinary in 1670, his will was dated in 1684, and it is supposed he died not long afterwards. His age was probably between seventy and eighty years.

Generally, this has been the accepted narrative. We know that Elizabeth’s surname cannot be confirmed, that their marriage date is a guess, and that Samuel Packard died by November 7th, 1684, not that he died on that day. But, the last sentence is the only one that is mostly accurate. Dale Cook adds to this that “the birth date of Samuel is unknown – the date given in that statement is the date of his baptism in Stonham Aspal, which fact was not discovered until about a century after the book was published and is found nowhere in the book” and that the surname of Stream “was an undocumented and unsupported assertion made about a century after the book was published and is found nowhere in the book,” adding that this book “leaves out the residence of Samuel Packard and his family in Weymouth.” That is all valid, but it seems wrong to completely disregard the book because it does have accurate information about those living at the time that Theophilus Packard would have known when he assembled the book. Otherwise, sure, it is garbage that could be ripped apart into tiny shreds and thrown into a garbage compactor, never to be seen again.

This reminds me of the Packard poem where they say that

The second child, in Hingham born,

Was for father named [Samuel],

And as ensign he held rank

Is by records claimed.

The third son, Zaccheus, too we find

In Hingham woods was born,

And doubtless with his father wrought

In raising Indian corn

As I wrote in my family history,  the Packards were not only part of a society in Hingham but part of the growing colony in New England.

One thought on “The “Hingham Community Band” and Samuel Packard

  1. Pingback: The first in a line of Packards: the story of Elizabeth | Packed with Packards!

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