Some time ago, I wrote about, in my family history, briefly, Packard’s Progress, a family newsletter once issued by the Packard family, specifically talking about volumes 6 and 17, while adding that the “Packard’s Progress publication from 1987 to 1998, both of whom used certain primary sources.”  Starting in 2011, genealogist Dale H Cook began posting volumes of this publication online, even though he does not have the complete collection as of yet. In years since then, Cook proposed creating a new version of the publication, but, according to the message boards for the Packard surname, there has been no progress on this front. He has since, indexed all the available volumes of Packard’s Progress on his website.
Looking at this publication is important because it has been broadly cited, apart from its presence on Worldcat, the Southern California Genealogical Society, and Historical Society of Pennsylvania websites, by varied genealogies online.  As the late Richard Packard described it in 2009, on a link which is now dead, Packard’s Progress was a publication of the Packard and Allied Families Association (PAFA), noting that it was published from 1987 to 1998, with Cook, not surprisingly, as one of the editors. With the newsletter’s demise, the PAFA also well apart, as he writes:
In the spring of 1987, Mrs. Jeri Packard Schlerf began privately publishing “Packard’s Progress,” a family newsletter for anyone interested in Packard and allied family history, genealogy, and activity. She and interested readers organized a reunion at Eureka Springs, Missouri, to celebrate the 350th anniversary on Aug 10, 1988 of the arrival of Samuel Packard and his wife and one daughter. I attended with my brother and our wives and 100 or more others. The Packard and Allied Families Assoc. (PAFA) was formed, elected officers, and established by-laws. It was an informal organization and was not registered in any state…The editorship of “Packard’s Progress” was taken over by Alan D. Packard in 1991 until the fall of 1994 when Dale Cook became editor. I became editor in 1997 until September of 1999 when I announced my resignation and appealed for a volunteer to continue it. There were a few possible volunteers at the August 2000 reunion but medical problems occurred, no one took over the editorship and newsletter publication ended. Meanwhile, the popularity of the internet, especially for the exchange of genealogical information, has grown tremendously and supplanted much of the interest in a family newsletter. Without a newsletter the PAFA organization has in effect ceased to exist and no further reunions are being planned.
That brings us to the electronic copies posted by Cook, provided “for personal non-commercial use only.” He described the Packard’s Progress newsletter as containing “much useful information for Packard researchers” which is difficult “to find other than in some Massachusetts libraries and the Library of Congress,” posting the volumes, except for Volume 16. He further added that “the reliability of any article depends upon the person submitting it,” saying that the articles of Karle S. Packard and Alan D. Packard are of “high” or “excellent” quality. 
With this, it is worth looking at each Volume of Packard’s Progress. We’ll start with Volume II since that is the only version of Packard’s Progress available apart from Cook’s website. The 2nd page of this volume has a number of dated photographs of Packards and gives a summary of the family line from Samuel Packard onward, but provides no sources for this information. The next few pages focus on an immigration depot in America called Castle Garden. Past a host of pages outlining another family listing, there is an insert from Alan D. Packard. Apart from the letters, the next to last page has a map of the town of Easton, taking from an original drawn in 1750. And that’s about it.
With this, we can move back to Volume 1, with Jeri Packard as the editor. It begins with a similar front page to Volume II, but tried to get people involved in the PAFA, with later pages reprinting a Packard ancestry from the Library of Congress, and maps of Suffolk, England. Others summarize Packard genealogy from other books, include letters from Packard family members in California, Arizona, Ohio, along with a calendar. That’s about it.
As such, this comes onto Volume 3. The first page of this volume puts some doubt in who found and assigned the surname of “Stream” to Samuel Packard’s wife, Elizabeth, saying “cite your source and reference.” After telling a story of Amynander Packard, with another about the Packard Car (and Packard Brothers), another summary of the Packard family line, and an article about problems in copying photographs. The newsletter also lists varied other books on Packard genealogy, more summaries of listed family genealogy, noting that Packard is sometimes spelled Packer, a sketch of Coleman’s (home of George and Mary, Samuel Packard’s parents), and reprinting the passengers on The Diligent. There’s also a map of varied counties (Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex). That’s about it.
Following this is Volume 4. After messages from the editor, Jodi, some other Packards, summaries of Packard family lines, the effort of one Packard to find her roots, and varied letters. Other pages note the Packard coat of arms (with an article later on in the publication), photos of Coleman’s, more family charts and summaries, including one of the “Streame” family, a list of surnames, and a map of North Easton. There’s a bit more than this, but not much.
After this is Volume 5 of Packard’s Progress. There are summaries of related family records, a map of Yorkshire, England, more family charts, and summaries from past genealogies. After more family listings and letters from Packard relatives, the genealogy of Samuel and Abel Packard I wrote about and put on the Internet Archive! Then there was a summary of all the Packard generations from Samuel Packard who came on the Diligent to Deliverance Packard Washburn. Following some letters from more Packard relatives, there is an agenda for the upcoming Packard reunion, a map of Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts, and that’s about it!
The next issue is Volume 6. This volume begins with talk about David Packard, a new genealogy by Brigadier General John G. Packard, a Packard in Monterrey, California. Then there’s the rector of the Stonham Aspal Church signing a document saying that Samuel Packard is listed within church records, stories about Stonham Aspal, Packard family mentions from 1311 to 1612 which are mainly in Suffolk County, England, along with short stories about “troublesome” Packards in England in the 14th century. Other parts have family genealogical listings, stories about David Packard, corrections to past errors and letters from readers. This is also the volume with, I believe, the first article by Karle S. Packard, aiming to correct issues in the Packard family lineage.
Then there’s Volume 6, the annual reunion edition. It begins with photos of the recent Packard family reunion, focuses on the PAFA, and lists all those who tried to get Brigadier General John G. Packard’s recent genealogy. It also noted those who attended and other aspects of the reunion.
Following this is the next edition of Volume 7. Apart from scattered family stories, there’s an article by Brig. J. John Packard of London titled “Why Did Samuel Packard Emigrate in 1638?” He concludes that Samuel was like typical emigrants of the time, wanting land. Not much else to it. Other parts of the magazine again reprint family genealogical listings, getting a letter and photos from the occupants of the Red House Farm, even giving it address. There are also quotes from original documents, including Samuel Packard’s last will and testament (only extracts). Other sections note a John Bruce Packard who served in the Civil War, some articles about Packards, and a map showing colonial roads.
Afterwards is Volume 8, focusing on William Cullen Bryant (related to this Bryant), and his home in Cummington, with a number of pictures. Later pages have letters from readers, research into Samuel Packard’s parents, Packard books, a map of Connecticut and New Haven colonies, and a number of other holiday pleasantries.
Volume 9 is an interesting issue. After talking about Horatio Alger, they are summarizes of original records, family genealogical lines, and reprinting a biography of Samuel Ware Packard from The National Cyclopedia of American Biography. There’s also the history of the Packard House Bed & Breakfast Inn in Bath, Maine, a Civil War document for Edmund Packard, articles about Brockton, and the reprinting of an early New England map.
Volume 10 is a bit odd since “pages 41-42 are missing” and they “appear to have been omitted by Jeri and never published.” Apart from the letters from Brigadier J. John Packard, there’s a number of stories about other Packards, family genealogical listings, a map of Maine, a map showing areas of settlement from 1620-1770.
Volume 11 isn’t as odd, of course, as there are no missing pages. There is mention of the 351 years the Packards had been in America at that point (in 1989), letters from Brigadier J. John Packard in London, extracts from original documents, and letters from readers. There was also a short piece about Abigail Adams writing a Packard, collections of Packard family data, other reprinted articles about varied Packards, and a map of Cape Cod.
Volume 12 has a number of responses from Packard family members, winter greetings, a reprinted biography of Henry Kingman, and family genealogical charts. Later pages had a listing of Massachusetts Counties and Townships, along with photos of Jeri Packard Schlerf, still the editor, who died in 2009.
Volume 13 is similar to Volume 12. It begins with a poem about the Packards, which apparently makes all sorts of errors. One woman, named Sally Packard, in Huntington, NY, is listed as a Packard archivist. One article from Karle S. Packard talks about William Cullen Bryant, listing common names in 1638. Other parts of the publication reprint an article about Packards, family listings, reprint a map of New England in 1675, and note a “National Registry of Living Packards” published at the time (Spring 1990).
Volume 14 is a bit different. It doesn’t begin with a poem. Instead, it begins with an article about E.P.W. Packard, and says what they contribute to: Library of Congress, Family History Library in Utah, Old Bridgewater Historical Society, Packard House in Maine, Historical Society of Wisconsin, Red House Farm in England, General Library in Bennington, Vermont, and a few others. They also print a letter from Brig. John Packard, family listings, letter A of families allied by marriage to the Packards through the male line, and other materials. Upcoming, the newsletter reports, is a meeting in Bridgewater of cousins. The newsletter also mentions previous Packard publications (New Packard Commercial Arithmetic, Packard Commercial Arithmetic, Packard Method of Teaching Bookeeping, Packard’s Bookeeping, Packard’s Commission, Packard’s Progressive Business Practice, and Packard’s Lessons in Munson Photography), reprints letters from a Robert D. Packard in Pittsburgh, and a representative named Ron Packard. And there’s a lot of drawings of cats!
Volume 15 is a bit different. In talking about a group of cars, they call it a “Pack of Packards” which funny enough, is pretty close to the name of this website! After some beginning pleasantries, the newsletter reprints a passage by G. Bailey, Jr. about “Puritan Namegiving,” messages from Packard relatives, and a way of numbering Packard ancestors, with only two of the three Barnabases listed, weirdly. So, the listing of Packards is not complete. In this publication, all families allied by marriage to the Packards through the male line, with the letter B, are printed, family charts, and much more, like a map of Hingham Harbor.
Missing Volume 16. Cook says “according to the Preface to Photocopied Reprint of Packard’s Progress, Vols. 1-32, Volume 16 had limited distribution, and was apparently published much later than Volume 15 – it was not included in the reprint.” So, good luck finding that!
Volume 17 is the volume which some have cited as having an article by Karle S. Packard which some title “Samuel Packard and the English Origins of the Packard Family” and others erroneously title “Samuel Packard of Bridgewater, Massachusetts and His Family.” As such, this volume has a degree of importance. Beginning this newsletter is a photo of one Packard named Harding (born in 1892) and his ancestry back to Samuel. The first article is about Icabod Packard and his family. Then we get to Karle S. Packard’s article. She says that Samuel Packard has been long considered the progenitor of most Packards in the U.S., works to correct Mitchell’s errors in a History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater, builds upon Brig J. John Packard’s research, and says Samuel died in November 7, 1684 although the actual record, as noted on this blog, does not say this. She gives a number assumptions. She cites a number of sources:
- Stoham Aspal Parish Register Transcript, LDS film 991989
- “Daniel Cushing’s Record” NEHGR XV, p 25
- C.E. Banks, The Planters of the Commonwealth, 1930, p 194
- NEHGR XVI, 187
- E.W. Pierce’s Civil, Military and Professional Lists of Plymouth and Rhode Island Colonies, Boston, 40 et seq.
- Town Records Of Bridgewater, Massachusetts 1656-1683, 1988, p 31
- G.E. Bowman, “Samuel Packard’s Will,” The Mayflower Descendant, XV, p 253
- “The Hobart Journal,” NEHGR, CXXI, p 19, 24-25
- NEHGR, XII, p 349
- NEHGR, IX, p 314
- Vital Records of Taunton, Massachusetts to the year 1850, Boston, 1928-29, Vol. II, p 349, 356
- Nahum Mitchell, History of…Bridgewater…Massachusetts,…(1840), Baltimore, 1970, p 40
I’ve looked at most of these sources already. Other articles in this newsletter focus on early settlers in north Auburn, obituaries of varied Packards, Packards in Lenawee County, Michigan in 1897, Packards in Lucas County, Ohio marriage records from 1895 to 1928, and an another article from Karle S. Packard “solving” the mystery of Levi Packard. That’s it.
Volume 18 is a bit different, of course. Two photos of an 19th century Packard couple begins the newsletter. Following it is a family record, more photos, and other family records. Then there are reprinting of marriage indexes in Lenawee County, Michigan, abstracts of Packards buried in Tecumseh, Michigan’s Brookside Cemetery, and other Packards in Lenawee County, Michigan records. The publication also notes Packards in the records of the New Bedford, Massachusetts Whaling Museum, some more family records, more photos, obituaries, and material received.
Volume 19 is also a bit different. It begins with a photograph of the Benjamin F. Packard (a sailing ship) and the story of this boat. Then there is another article from Karle S. Packard, noting more errors in Mitchell’s 1840 History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater, when it comes to the Packards. There are more listings of Packards, allied families with similar surnames, death notices, ancestry of specific Packards (Hosea S. Packard), with Alan D. Packard either the editor at this point or within the publication’s high-level staff.
Volume 20 begins with photos of the three Packard brothers: Warren Packard, James Ward Packard, and William Doud Packard. Other varied articles, family record sheets, photos, biographies, and much more, are noted. There is another article of Karle S. Packard titled the “Diligent of Ipswitch.” It tries to arrive at some tentative conclusions, claims Samuel Packard was called Samuel Packer, but only has four sources:
- R.C. Anderson, “A Mayflower Model,” Mariner’s Mirror, Vol XII (1926), p 260
- Charles Edward Banks, The Planters of the Commonwealth, Boston, 1930, p 191-4
- Brian Dietz, “The Royal Bounty and English Merchant Shipping in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,” Mariner’s Mirror, Vol. 77, No. 1 (Feb. 1991), p. 19
- R.C. Anderson, Seventeenth Century Rigging, Hemel Hampstead, Hertfordshire: Model and Allied Publications, Ltd., 1955.
After this, in the publication, there were more family sheets, photographs, obituaries, articles, having a book review on The Private War of Mrs. Packard, and that’s about it!
Volume 21 of Packard’s Progress begins with a history of Tonto basin, Packards as ranchers, and family records. It also has instructions on where the 1992 Packard gathering will be held and some other messages.
Volume 22 is a bit different. It begins with a summary of Packardville, Lance Packard, and family charts. It also reprints a publication by the Packard Memorial Association in 1888, family charts, obituaries, and other news clippings.
Volume 23 starts with a summary of a Packard business (Shear, Packard & Co.) in Albany, New York, a number of family charts and old photographs. There were also newspaper clippings, family charts, obituaries, and messages from the PAFA leadership (President Karle S. Packard, First Vice President Norman A. Packard, Jr., Second Vice President Christine Y. Packard, Treasurer Charles Packard III, Secretary Barbara Millirons, Editor of Packard’s Progress and Trustee Alan D. Packard, Trustee Robert S. Johnson, and Trustee Richard F. Packard, Sr. And that’s it.
Volume 24 begins with a photo of a Packard family in Kansas, along with a story by a Kansas pioneer, with photos of related Packard ancestors. This issue also has Packard obituaries, family charts, and other information.
Volume 25 begins with a story of Benjamin Packard, M.D. who was one of Albion College’s founders. There are also family charts, photographs, other family stories, images, and obituaries. Apart from this, there are further family charts, family photographs, and a message from the PAFA officers.
Volume 26 begins with a photograph of varied Packards, followed by family charts, and a story about an Edmund Packard. After a number of family charts, there are varied obituaries, and other charts. There is also an article about a Packard car, along with messages from PAFA leadership.
Volume 27 begins with a story of civil war general Abner B. Packard. It is followed by family charts, a biography of Frank Packard, a letter, some articles, and obituaries. It ends with messages from from PAFA leadership.
Volume 28 begins with a newspaper page, followed by a family chart, and a biography of Arthur D. Packard. Following this is another family chart, memorial of Jasper Packard in 1900, and obituaries of varied Packards, including one of Brigadier J. John Packard whom contributed to Packard’s Progress information about the English origins of the Packard family. There was also a message from PAFA leadership once again.
Volume 29 begins with paintings (I think) of 18th century Packards such as Chester William Packard (1799-1863), John Chester Packard (1827-1905), and William John Packard (1822-1868), followed by the story of John Chester Packard as a “pill-pusher.” There were also stories about Chester W. Packard, recipes from varied Packards, a Packard family tree courtesy of C W (Cyrus Winfield?) Packard III, and a story of Col. Burdett A. Packard. Following it was a family chart, 1851 obituary of Ashley Burdett Packard, a family chart, and notations about the upcoming Packard reunion.
Volume 30 begins with a biography of Butler Packard who designed 19th century postage stamps. After this are family charts, a story about Charles G. Packard by Harry G. Woodworth, and some other related family stories. Alan Packard announced, on the last page, that this would be next-to-last issue.
Volume 31 begins with a photograph of the Jackson Farm in Spring Creek, Pennsylvania, circa 1889, along with photographs of a number of related Packards for pages upon pages. One of these is of a Packard family farm in Helena, Oklahoma in circa 1914. Apart from family charts is an article about Packards in New Hampshire, further photographs, obituaries, and other information. It is in this publication that Alan Packard says he is retiring as editor.
Volume 32 begins with a photo of the Isaac S. Packard homestead in Brockton, MA. The publication has a new look, much smoother. The first article is about the Packards of Cameron, Missouri by Lester O. Packard. The second article is reprinted from the Brockton newspaper, The Enterprise. Other articles are reprinted from varying newspapers across the country. It is also in this issue that we get the first article by Dale H. Cook, specifically focusing on the Packards in The Rich Men of Massachusetts book. Other articles focus on a Packard who served in a Confederate Prison. There are also family charts, a notation of Packards in the 1790 census of Bridgewater, a family album of Isaac S. Packard of Brockton, and the new desktop publishing format of the publication. This is all thanks to the new editor, Dale H. Cook, with Alan Packard now just the family historian. Also, “keeper cards” (or keeper kards) begin this issue, listing those descendants who have a certain genealogy so others can contact them.
Volume 33 begins with a postcard of Pike’s Peak Auto Highway with a Packard stamp. In this issue, Dale is no longer editor but Richard S. Packard, Sr. is, with emails for Richard, Peggy (coordinator of the 1997 Packard reunion), Charles (Treasurer) listed at the time. The main focus of this publication is the upcoming reunion, but there’s also an obituary of Vance Packard, the conclusion of a Packard account of a confederate prison, family charts, missing links in the Packard genealogy, and some corrections to Brig. J. John Packard’s 1987 book, The Packards in article by Karle S. Packard, described as a “long-time student and researcher of Packard genealogy.” There are also a family charts, and summaries of the publication in the past.
Volume 34 begins with a photograph of a 1908 Packard Roadster. There is promotion of the upcoming Packard reunion in Colorado Springs, a story about the architect Lambert Packard, a further note about Stephen Burnett Packard, further missing links in the Packard chain, family charts, and other information. There is even floated the idea of a Packard reunion in England in 2000.
Volume 35 begins with a photograph of whales. This connects to the first story about Packard whaling captains Alpheus and Prince. The next article focuses on the 1997 Packard reunion. Articles following were on Noah Packard II (1796-1859) of Plainfield, Massachusetts. There was another post about missing links in the Packard genealogy, family charts, and an update on the George and Mary Packard family. There is also an article on Rev. Abel Kingman Packard (1823-ca. 1903), and a number of obituaries, along with the idea floated for reunions in 2000 in the U.S. and England.
Volume 36 begins with a photo of Bill Packard’s go-kart, called the Diligent. The emails of Karle S. Packard, treasurer Charles E. Packard III, trustee Robert F. Bovee, and editor Richard F. Packard, Sr. are listed. First is an address before the Packard reunion in August 1997 (originally given in August 1938 in Warren, Ohio), second are historic and personal events in Samuel Packard, an article about the Joseph Packards, and an article about Frank Edward Packard (1872-1961). Another article is about William Dunlap Packard (b. 1861), along with scattered Packard news, more missing links in Packard genealogy, and varied obituaries.
Volume 37 begins with a departure of emigrants from Ispwitch Hamlet in Massachusetts for the Ohio in 1787. Then there are articles on the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, Ohio counties, Packard who are within Ohio county histories, Milton Packard, and more missing links in the Packard chain.There are also blank Packard chains as well.
Volume 38 begins with sketches from Winthrop Packard and his story, including stories about Packard bird houses. There were also printed letters from readers, along with varied obituaries, family charts, and other information.
Volume 39, the last issue, began with a photo of the Packard motor car company plant in Detroit. At this time, Richard “Dick” Packard was stepping aside as editor, but as we know, no one would take his place. It is the only issue to ever have a complete and total table of contents. There are stories about the Packard plant demolition in Detroit, usual references for Packard genealogy, a purposed trip to England in 2000 and a reunion in Massachusetts. There were also stories about women changing their names, a letter from a union soldier in the battle of Chancellorville in 1863, a Packard musician (Jimmie Packard), the story of Harvey Packard in Maine, the Packard family of Peru, Maine, and varied poems. There was also a story involving Silas Packard (and John Anderson Draper) going from Illinois to California’s gold fields, Edmund Packard and Susan McGovern whom were Decatur, Illinois pioneers, the Johnson Wax company, and Cyrus Snell Packard (1810-1891) of Maine which includes a letter to him. Additionally, there are family charts, a call for volunteers, varied obituaries. The editor, Dick Packard, was upbeat, but another issue would not happen.
To reprint what Dick Packard wrote, as quoted earlier in this article,
There were a few possible volunteers at the August 2000 reunion but medical problems occurred, no one took over the editorship and newsletter publication ended. Meanwhile, the popularity of the internet, especially for the exchange of genealogical information, has grown tremendously and supplanted much of the interest in a family newsletter. Without a newsletter the PAFA organization has in effect ceased to exist and no further reunions are being planned.
It is my hope that this blog serves as a sort of successor to Packard’s Progress. There seems to be some indications that could come in the future.
 This article fulfills my earlier promise on this blog, back in April of 2018, to write on this subject. In “Chapter I: The Packards in good ‘ole England” I wrote that “some say her name is Elizabeth, but Samuel and Elizabeth did not have a child of that name until 1664, with that date in question. The only person with a date before their arrival was Mary. There is a delayed baptismal certificate noted in one issue of Packard’s Progress which shows a “Samuel Packard” born in a Hingham church. However, this is indirect evidence as it was created many years after the event occurred. In another issue of Packard’s Progress, Karle Packard admits that saying that Samuel was born in Stonham Aspal, Suffolk, England is “presumptive” and is only a “probable” conclusion.” In “Chapter IV: Samuel, the Bridgewater yeoman” I wrote that “the current basis for Samuel Packard’s life, as manifested in this Find A Grave entry (for example) is shaky at best. This does not take away from the work done by Mr. Cook and by Karle S. Packard, who died two years ago, among others who wrote for the short-lived Packard’s Progress publication from 1987 to 1998, both of whom used certain primary sources. A lack of primary sources, rather relying with citations of transcriptions, abstracts, and other derivative documents, or those documents which are not in the original form they were created, creates a number of problems…Some chronicling the Packard genealogy cite an article titled “Samuel Packard and the English Origins of the Packard Family” by Karle S. Packard. However, no article of that name exists within the scanned issues by Packard’s Progress by Mr. Cook.”
 Ed Sanders, Sources, within “Descendants of John Sr. Johnson”; Art Packard on Ancestry.com forums in 2000; Wikitree entry for Samuel Packard; Samuel Packard, Find A Grave, accessed May 14, 2018; “Descendants of John Alden. Notes,” accessed May 14, 2018; “Packard, Jael,” Michael & Deborah’s Genealogy Pages, accessed May 14, 2018; “Samuel Packard,” Our Northern Roots, accessed May 14, 2018; “Ens. Samuel Packard,” geni.com, Apr 29, 2018; Margaret Odrowaz Sypniewski, “The Packard Family,” The New England Colonists Web, Oct 2005; “Samuel Packard,” MyAncestralLegacy, accessed May 14, 2018; V. W. Hartnett, Jr, “Deliverance Packard,” accessed May 14, 2018; “Mary Edson,” Genealogy Pages, accessed May 14, 2018; “Ancestors of EastMill,” accessed May 14, 2018; Elizabeth Washburn, Find A Grave, accessed May 14, 2018; Richard F. Packard, “Re: Gil(l)mores in NY,” Genealogy.com forums, Aug 22, 2018.
 One genealogist, Valerie A. Thomas, who wrote “Do You Own Old Family Photos?” in September 1987 in Published in Packard’s Progress, Vol. III, Autumn Issue 1987, p.39-40, is still a living and breathing genealogist.