Emails from two former Packard researchers

In an attempt to get some others writing for this blog, I emailed a number of individuals who have put up sites about Packard genealogy. I wrote them something like this:

[name of person]

Good afternoon. A while back I found your genealogy website where you write [link], referring to the Packards. You also have a page on the Packard family line.I thought it would be best to email you. I am emailing you today because as a Packard descendant, I have a blog I’ve put together called Packed with Packards! And if you are willing, you can make submissions to it. It doesn’t have to be grand, or much at all. It would just be better if more people could contribute to it. If not, that’s ok as well.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Burkely Hermann

Packard descendant via Samuel-Zaccheus-John-Barnabas I-Barnabas II-Barnabas III-William Henry-Cyrus, then the Mills family from there

I sent a number of emails out. Sadly, one to Don, who wrote that the Packard family branch “very likely extends to early colonial times but needs further study for confirmation” and a page on the Packard family line, bounced back (i.e. the email is no longer valid). The same was the case for Mr. Butler, whom had a page on Ensign Samuel Packard. However, Mr. Butler, emailed me back through another email, writing that


I indeed have listed amount my ancestors Samuel Packard, though the Ensign’s father rather than the ensign himself.  I descended, twice,  through the daughter – sister Mary Packard.  (I found a surprising number of people twice on my family tree, Mary included.)

I was very much into both genealogy and the web once upon a time.  My favored software was and remains MacFamilyTree, which automatically generated the page in question.  Although my interest in genealogy has faded, the web pages remain up, thus I get occasional e-mails from people who share a distant ancestor.

A few remain favorite stories.  One person wanted to know how I learned the date of death of a War of 1812 veteran.  It turned out a letter had been written from his ancestor to a sister who was my ancestor saying father had died.  That letter had been kept in the family.

I’m afraid I have no similar interesting information about any Packards.  It seems my father was related to much of old Hingham.  The Butlers seem to have moved from Hingham to Brockton to Abington to Rockland.  I’m now in Plymouth.  My father chased genealogy the old fashioned way, through legwork and old paper.  I used my computer, chasing trees through the internet.  I got lots of names and way back, but I had more enthusiasm than accurate double checking.  My trees spread wide, but should be taken with a grain of salt.

I have visited your blog and may visit again, but I have nothing to contribute at this point.

Bob Butler

After a quick reply, which I won’t reprint here, I wrote him back, leaving the door open:

Considering that you spent some more time on this email, it is only proper to send a fuller response. You are right that you have listed your ancestors there. Sometimes that happens that you have double listings. I’ve had to pull all sorts of people off my family tree so it was overly accurate. I haven’t heard of MacFamilyTree before. I use from time to time, and FamilySearch’s tree. I understand that you get occasional emails from people such as me. Interesting story about the date of death of a War of 1812 veteran. Well, that’s fine that you don’t have any other interesting information about the Packards. I visited Hingham last summer on a road trip, following the Packard line into Western Massachusetts. My grandfather [Robert B. Mills] chased genealogy just like your father. I still have his book on my shelf, the Mills/Packard Family History [I meant to call it The Packard/Mills Family History, but misremembered the name], written in 1979, only a few years before he died. I understand that your trees have spread wide and that they should be “taken with a grain of salt” as you put it.

I am glad you visited the blog I put together. But, if you ever want to talk about how you went about your research, that would be welcome as well. I haven’t really explored that much on this blog, but hope to do more in the future.

Best regards,


Then there was Ms. Lenker, who wrote me that she is not working on her genealogical file anymore. She makes a good offer:

Thank you for contacting me. Unfortunately, I am not working on my genealogy file anymore. I posted my file and Ancestry put it on-line in their new format, unbeknownst to me, and too many people have made changes to it that are incorrect, including in my own family. However, I can send you what I have, about 259 pages of different Packard lines to use as you wish. Moses Packard was my 10th great grandfather. I have Zaccheus in my file and he was my 7th great grand uncle. I only have John’s name connected to his family, but no info about him. I don’t have William or Henry, or Barnabus !,!!!. Or Cyrus I don’t have any Mills family either.

I started this project about 30 years ago with Family Tree Maker 2004 which was a very good program. It has been changed too much to be the quality program it once was. I can’t even create the reports that I once could in the new 2014 program. However, FTM 3005 still works on my computer, so I can send you the 200+ pages of info if you would like.

I no longer post anything on the various website forums. But thanks for the invitation. Let me know if you want a copy of what I have.

Barbara Lenker

After a short reply, I sent a longer reply, writing:


Building upon what I sent in my last email, thank you for replying with this much depth. I received some information from a Packard descendant as well, but sadly his email bounced back the last time I tried to send him an email. That’s fine that you don’t have a William or Barnabas or Cyrus or even the Mills. Not everyone goes through the same line. And that’s ok. I’ve heard of Family Tree Maker before. Thanks again for the offer. Even if you’d like to talk about how you conducted your research, over 30 years, using Family Tree Maker, that would be fine. I know the programs are different now, but its always nice to hear a story like that. I wish I’d know how my grandfather [Robert B. Mills], who wrote a family genealogy which he released as a Christmas present in 1979, The Packard/Mills Family History, did his research. I know some snippets from my mom that he gathered a lot of information, but that’s about it.

Thanks again for such a kind email.

– Burkely

I also sent a number of other emails to the following individuals

  • A Packard descendant, listed in the 1997 newsletter of the Genealogical Society of Vermont
  • Cathi Clore Frost whom hosted an old genealogical website with a page about the Packard family.
  • A blog written by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewski, B.F.A., one page about the Packards generally and another about the Packard family line.
  • Sharon, a person who commented about the Packards on now-defunct rootsweb back in 2003.
  • Scott White, whom had a blog about the Packard family.

And that’s it. So far, I have not received a response from any of the others listed above.

One thought on “Emails from two former Packard researchers

  1. Pingback: Packed with Packards and existing social hierarchies | Packed with Packards!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.