The Packards in Tennessee and a research bust

On July 3rd, I noted on Twitter that I had found a number of Packards “on the indexes of the Tennessee State Library and Archives website.”

The Tennessee State Library & Archives lists four entries for the Packards.  The first of these is Noah S. Packard, with the record of his death found within the W. R. Cornelius Burial Records, noting his death in 1865 in Indiana, part of Company D, Regiment/Unit/Line 151. So, I dug a little further to learn more about this Noah Packard and T.E. Packard, who died the same year but in Wisconsin, and was in Company A and Regiment/Unit/Line 18.

Finding information about Noah was tough, because the only entry for a Noah, who died in 1865, was someone buried in Tennessee. For T.E. Packard, nothing turned up on Find A Grave either. I couldn’t find any obits for either of them, unfortunately. There was just a bunch of false drops. Searches on Family Search were also fruitless, for both of these Packards.

The next person, chronologically, was Thomas Packard. He died in 1916, as noted in the Tennessee Death Records 1914-1933 (specifically vol. 30, record #363), in Knox County, Tennessee. No results could be found on Find A Grave, sadly. He also seemed strangely mysterious, like the other Packards I had mentioned, since I couldn’t find anything on him either! I found two results for Thomas Packards, one who died in Lawrence, Tennessee and another who died in Chattanooga. Neither seemed to be the same as this man. Sadly, all that could be found was a “Thomas Parker” who died in 1916, no Thomas Packard…

Then there was Lethe Packard who died in 1928, whose record also could be found in the Tennessee Death Records 1914-1933 collection (specifically Record #: 22500), dying in Shelby County. There were no results whatsoever on newspapers.com when looking up his name. Results on Family Search seemed to lead to nothing until I stumbled upon a Tennessee Death certificate! [1] It named his parents and everything. What a great find! It could lead to further answers to who this man was.

It showed his father was E.E. Packard, who was born in Georgia and his mother was Mary Bond, although her birthplace was not known.  Although his date of birth was wrong (it shouldn’t have been 1928 but should have been 1872), it did note he was born in Arkansas and that he was single, even though he was age 56.

Until next time!


Notes

[1] “Tennessee Deaths, 1914-1966,” database with images, FamilySearch, Lethe Packard, 29 Sep 1928; Death, Memphis, Shelby, Tennessee, United States, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville.

The Nebraskan Man of Mystery: The Story of Joseph Winfield Packard

Close up of an 1897 map of Nebraska on the website of Hall County, Nebraska

On the morning of Sunday, March 13, 1910, three boys from South Sioux City, Nebraska, who were on a duck hunt, found a horrifying sight near Coburn Junction. [1] A man, said to be 27 years old, was lying beside a train track, his body mangled with a deep gash in his forehead, a broken hip, and numerous contusions and bruises across his body. He had been dead for several hours. On his person was five dollars of change, a “quart bottle of whiskey” (a fifth of a gallon or about 26 ounces), a raffle ticket, and a receipt belonging to a saloon (Duggan and Heffernan) in nearby Hubbard, Nebraska. He also had a letter on him, dated at West Cummington, Massachusetts, on an inside coat pocket addressed to “B.F. Packard” (likely an error) and signed “father.” He was, as local papers reported, killed instantly by a passing freight train that morning by accident and was dragged by the train, furthering his injuries. These same papers said he was suspected of robbery at the Duggan and Heffernan saloon on Saturday night, not an uncommon occurrence for the saloon (which had been robbed and burglarized in 1902, 1904, and 1906). [2] They also supposed that he walked down the Omaha railroad northeast toward the Coburn Junction, on his way to Sioux City, Iowa, across the Missouri River, but was overtaken by a train. His body was held “awaiting some word from his relatives.” This man was named Joseph Winfield Packard.

Joseph was the third child of Cyrus Winfield Packard (1852-1924) and Dorothy “Dora” Ann Mills (1849-1895). He was born on June 17, 1885 in the small town of Plainfield, Massachusetts. [3] His fellow siblings included 3 brothers, John Henry (1882-1950), and Charles Edward (1887-1960), Robert (1891-1956) [adopted in 1895 by the Mills family], and 3 sisters, Margaret (1884-1976), Marion Estelle (1889-1965), and Mabel Hattie (1892-1961).

Little is known about his life, how he got out to Nebraska, what his occupation was, or where he lived. He may have been a boarder with the locally-known Streeter family in Cummington, Massachusetts in 1900 due the fact that it correctly lists his father’s birth place (Massachusetts) and mother’s birthplace (New York), while saying he was born in May 1885. [4] However, since census record lists a “Joseph M Packard” rather than a “Joseph W Packard,” it cannot be confirmed that they are the same person.

Further complicating matters is his gravestone in Plainfield’s West Hill Cemetery, which his father Cyrus once oversaw. It correctly notes his dates of birth and death (1885-1910). However, it also states that he was “buried at Sioux City Nebraska” even though no such place exists! On his Find A Grave page, a family bible entry, sent to me by second cousin once removed, is attached, stating that his death date was March 10th even though it was actually March 13th. This raises the question of who provided this faulty information, which went into the family bible, and who provided the incorrect burial place which was carved into the stone.

We know from local newspaper reports that Joseph was buried in a cemetery in Dakota City on March 19, 1910. Unfortunately searches on the page for Dakota City Cemetery, the only cemetery listed for this town on Find A Grave, have been fruitless. Joseph’s remains were taken there by coroner B.F Sawyer. The county paid the funeral expenses as his father, Cyrus, said he was a “poor man” but he would like to know “the particulars of his son[’]s death.” This charge may have had some validity. The 1910 U.S. Federal census, enumerated about a month after Joseph’s death, showed Cyrus as a farmer who mortgaged a farm in Plainfield, married to his third wife, Clementina Cheney, and having five children in the household (Olive, Herbert, Rachel, Thomas, and Harold), none of whom had any occupation listing. [5]

Despite the lingering mystery of many of the particulars of Joseph’s life beyond his birth and death, there is something we can say for certain: Joseph lived in a small town environment, with Hubbard numbering in the hundreds of people, tied into the train system to nearby towns like South Sioux City and Dakota City, which are four miles apart, both to the Northeast of the town itself. [6] When authorities attempted to bring law and order to the Dakota County, ordering the closing of “remaining gambling houses,” there is no doubt that they were thinking of places like Hubbard, which had at least one saloon. These areas, within Dakota County, were also highly influenced by the railroad and agriculture, the latter due to the fact that the county was “originally vegetated with oak prairie savannas” and lies within confluence of the major rivers draining from Minnesota (Missouri, Minnesota, Mississippi, and St. Croix). [7]

The horrific death of Joseph was not unusual for those times. During the 19th century, railroads in the U.S. were “comparatively dangerous” to workers and their passengers, especially for freight trains. [8] In 1910, Joseph was one of the 314 people killed in railroad-related deaths and over 12,000 were injured, which was even a decrease from previous years.

In the end, while there are many remaining questions about Joseph’s life, there is no question that he was, to put it mildly, the Nebraskan Man of Mystery.


Editor’s Note: This article was originally slated to be published in an upcoming issue of Packard’s Progress, led by Dale Cook and pushed by others, which I submitted for consideration back in January of this year. I felt that it was wrong to let this article linger without further publication, so it seemed right to publish it at this time.

Notes

[1] “Mangled Body of Man Found Near Coburn Junction,” Norfolk Weekly News-Journal, Mar 18, 1910, p 8, Death of Joseph W. Packard, Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times, 16 Mar 1910, p. 1; “The body of a man…,” Dakota County Herald, Mar 18, 1910, p 5; “Joseph Packard, the man who…,” Dakota County Herald, Mar 25, 1910, p 5; “B F Sawyer took the remains…,” Dakota County Herald, Mar 25, 1910, p 5; “Surviving Nebraska Railroad Stations,” American-Rails.com; M.M. Warner, Warner’s History of Dakota County, Nebraska: From the Days of the Pioneers and First Settlers to the Present Time, with Biograpical Sketches, and Anecdotes of Ye Olden Times, (Dakota City, Neb.: Lyons Mirror Job Office, 1893), p 97. A 1915 railroad map assists in locating where Coburn Junction was at the time. Coburn Junction is near South Sioux City, Nebraska and is “five miles due west of Dakota City…there is neither a settlement nor post office at this point” as M.M. Warner put it in 1893.

[2] “Hold Up [at] Hubbard Saloon,” Omaha Daily Bee, Dec 24, 1902, p 1; “Nels Anderson Disappeared,” The Lincoln Star, Dec. 15, 1902, p 3; “Notorious Robber is Convicted of Murder,” Lincoln Journal Star, Feb. 22, 1904, p 7; “U S Senator Norris Brown on County Option,” Dakota County Herald, Oct 14, 1910, p 4; “Former Negro Politician Dies in Insane Hospital,” Lincoln Journal Star, Nov 5, 1907, p 1; F.B. Tipton, “Anti-Saloon Legislation,” Nebraska State Journal, Jan 4, 1907, p 8; “A Question of Point of View,” Beatrice Daily Express, Apr 2, 1903, p 1; “Law and Order League,” Lincoln Journal Star, Apr 20, 1904, p 5; “Changes in the Mulct Law,” Omaha Daily Bee, Oct 18, 1903, p 6; “The Duggan and Heffernan saloon…,” Dakota County Herald, Apr 23, 1909, p 4; “The Dugan and Heffernan saloon…,” Dakota County Herald, Nov 30, 1906, p 4. The saloon was part of the local community, like other saloons in the area, leading to debates as to whether saloons should lawfully exist in the county. This was manifested by one writer in 1903 saying saloons “serve the devil,” F.B Tipton calling for limits on Saloons in Jan 1907, Norris Brown writing in October 1910 that “the county government polices and protects the saloons,” and a Law and Order League established in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1904, calling for “the union of all temperance people, the proper enforcement of the laws and the abolition of the saloon.”

[3] “Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch, Packard, 17 Jun 1885, Windsor, Berkshire, Massachusetts; citing reference ID #90, Massachusetts Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 1,428,207. His Family Search page, which I have contributed to, like other ancestral pages, is a work in progress like all good family history. It is used for rough information on his fellow siblings, the accuracy of which I can vouch for.

[4] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, accessed 4 January 2019, Joseph M Packard in household of Edward B Streeter, Cummington Town, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 618, sheet 2A, family 31, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,653.

[5] “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch, Cyrus W Packard, Plainfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 712, sheet 1A, family 20, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 594; FHL microfilm 1,374,607.

[6] Charlene Jenson, “Hubbard,” Virtual Nebraska, 2005; Lori Steenhoven, “South Sioux City,” Virtual Nebraska, 2005; Shirley Sides, “Dakota City,” Virtual Nebraska, 2005; “Trains,” Sioux City History, accessed Jan 4, 2019.

[7] “A Premier County,” Dakota County Historical Society, accessed Jan 4, 2019; “Hastings Downtown District Added to National Register of Historic Places,” History Nebraska, Jan 3, 2019.

[8] Charles W. McDonald, “100 Years of Safer Railroads,” Aug 1993, p 14; March Aldrich, “History of Workplace Safety in the United States, 1880-1970,” accessed Jan 4, 2019.

An addendum unfinished: Bob’s “sentimental journey to Massachusetts”

Bob Mills’s caption: This was Uncle Tom Packard’s home in Plainfield on Maple Street. It is a shingled shack on a deserted gravel road in the country. The barn has been converted to a modernistic solar home by a young couple. West Hill Cemetery is adjoining.

Editor’s note: This  is an essay, titled “Addenum” at the end of Bob’s original version of his family history booklet, seemingly written in a tone that it was meant to be read by his siblings (Helen and Carol), along with other relatives perhaps, The Packard/Mills Family History, which was sent to relatives in December 1979 as a Christmas present. However, this essay was likely written in July or August 1980. This text, in this post was assembled by this editor almost 38 years after Bob went there, as an interest coincidence. The text is printed below, with only additions of the photos he mentions. My family history trip is recounted  at the end of this post.

In July, 1980 I made a sentimental journey to Massachusetts to visit the grave-sites described in this book, and to learn more about the family. In the Berkshires, I visited West Cummington, Cummington, and Plainfield. I did not visit Shelburne Falls, or Heath. South of Boston, I visited Hingham, drove along Hingham Bay, and visited West Bridgewater and Bridgewater. I will report these adventures in the order in which they occurred. The Berkshires are extremely beautiful, and I had lunch in Pittsfield, a busy town which hosts the Tanglewood Musical Festival nearby. However, all the little towns in which the Packards have lived are nothing more than wide spots in the road. Everybody is friendly, and almost anyone I  asked knew about the Packard family in astonishing detail. Considering the exotic nature of my purpose, I was quite dependent upon asking directions to the obscure little cemeteries scattered around on the hillsides, and got good information from passerby and general stores.

Having found a few recent Packard graves at a roadside cemetery in West Cummington, I drove a few miles further to a general store which marked the center of Cummington. Incidentally, West Cummington boasts the Berkshire Snow Basin, which is ski tow alongside the main highway. It looks about 1000′ feet through wooded slopes. Anyway, a pleasant lady gave me some rather complex instructions to the Dawes Cemetery, and to ask for a Rev. McEwen. Apparently, almost nothing in New England has proper signs, so that one proceeds carefully searching for local landmarks described by residents.  I found Rev. McEwen cutting the grass, and he allowed as he didn’t know the cemetery well enough to point out Packard markers, but there was an old lady next door to the cemetery, etc. Again, I found this several times, there is usually an elderly woman living next to the cemetery who knows the place, and is a kind of guide and carekeeper. There was one row of Packards. Families are usually planned in rows, with plots running either East or West, or North and South. Often later residents are uniformly buried in a given direction, with the early gravesites running at 90 degrees contrary to the rest of the cemetery. It turned out that William Henry Packard and Rachel Bartlett Tilson, and some of their children, are buried here, a fact which had not been discovered by Tommy Adkins, who had compiled much of the family history. Since this couple’s third child was Cyrus Winfield Packard (our grandfather), much more information was added to the family history.

I then went over a gravel road which was quite hilly, strewn with rocks and ferns. This is Packard Road, the original connection between Cummington and Plainfield, about five miles apart. Plainfield is basically an intersection with a few old houses and a few rundown businesses. Everything else is widely scattered and one-family farms marked by stone walls and trees which are beginning to reclaim the whole place. So-called Maple Street, my own guidepost, is not a street at all, but an unpaved dirt road between rural mailboxes and farms. Without a lot of persistence and the extremely solicitous assistance of neighbors who seemed to know everything about Tom Packard and the West Hill Cemetery, I would have missed the place entirely. So far as I could tell, the local population is either retired gentleman farmers or young couples who work in the cities, with occasional vegetable gardens in the side yards. By Midwestern standards, the soil looks terrible for farming.

I finally found Tom Packard’s farm, which is now owned by a young couple whose Italian name escapes me. They weren’t home, so after snooping around I went next door to an ultra-modern solar-type house which it turns out had been constructed from Tom Packard’s former barn. There an extremely pleasant woman, whose name I never learned,  told me of the subdivision of the farm by Atty. Doris Alden from Springfield, and directed me to the West Hill Cemetery next door. Incidentally, Tom Packard’s house is little more than a tar shingle shack without central heating, and was constructed in 1946 after the old home much further up the hill had burned to the ground. The main product of the farm  appears to be maple syrup.

West Hill Cemetery must have originally been a family-owned cemetery, since it seems to contain virtually nothing but Packard names. It was tended throughout Tom  Packard’s life by him personally, and a $30,000 bequest was used to maintain the cemetery, which appeared to be well-kept. Uncle Tom is buried here, and he was 73 at the time of his death in 1975. Bert’s father, Cyrus Winfield Packard, was buried here with Clementina Cheney, his 3rd wife. Also there is a marker for Joseph Winfield Packard, who was said to be killed while “working on the railroad” in 1910. The grave of Bert’s younger sister, Mabel Hattie Packard Whitley Landstrom, is also here, as shown in the photo.

Reposted from Find A Grave, where I uploaded Bob’s photo.

While I was photographing these stones, a battered van drove up, disgorging a middle-aged woman, a somewhat larger man with a huge beer belly, and rather impassive son. I was never introduced to the men, but she turned out to be Mabel Landstrom‘s daughter, Frances M. Rae, who lives in Shelburne Falls nearby. She was rather surprised to discover who I was (Does that make her my cousin?), and regaled me with tales about Uncle Rob, who seems to be the reigning success figure in the family. She was bitter about not getting part of “Uncle Rob’s” estate, and also bitter about not getting a bigger share of “Tom’s” estate. She was bitter about Douglas Packard getting 20%, claiming he was adopted, and not entitled to such a large share. She also noted that she had been married twice, “but never again”. In the midst of this harangue, which was carried out in front of her beer-bellied boyfriend, who offered me a beer from a case in the van, a 4th figure suddenly emerged from the van, almost knocking me down in the process. He was introduced as her mentally retarded son, almost 30 years of age, and after shaking hands, he retired again to the van.

I excused myself from this scene, and sped on to Boston. The next day I went to Hingham, seeking information about Samuel and Elizabeth Stream Packard, the original settlers. Hingham is a rather exclusive little town, with large houses set back from the street, and it proved impossible to locate anything easily there in the general rush through Hingham to get to the beaches beyond Hingham Bay. I drove to the beaches and Hull, and had a delightful lunch on top of an abandoned artillery form which had a splendid view of the whole bay. Afterward, I took the Interstate down to West Bridgewater, and searched through three graveyards in this busy little community without success, except that I found a clutch of Haywards in a very old pioneer cemetery. However, driving five miles into Bridgewater, which is a really charming  old community, I found the old cemetery in the heart of town which contained most of  the original Packards. The oldest was the gravestone of Judith Willis Packard, married to the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Packard, whose name was John Packard. She was born in 1681, and died in 1761 at the age of 90. Most fascinating was Deliverance Packard, whose second marriage was to Capt. Abiel Packard after her first husband, Capt. Joseph Washburn, died. However, she was buried with her first husband! I noted three marriages between the Washburns and the Packards in those early days, as well as a possible marriage between Abigail Hayward, as the second wife of Jonathan Packard. Abigail died in 1760. The Bridgewater Cemetery is well-tended, and is a fascinating treasure trove of the old families of Massachusetts.


Some of Bob’s other photos in July 1980:

Dividing town line between Cummington and Plainfield

Presumably Maple Street, or another wooded street.

Bob’s caption: Packard Road connects Cummington to Plainfield over steep hills. It is mostly a gravel road with lots of ferns, rocks, and trees, but nothing else but a few random farmhouses. Only Plainfield has a few restored old homes – the area is rather poverty-stricken.

West Cummington, Mass. A ski tow (Berkshire Snow Basin) is located here. The mountains and streams are beautiful, but the soil, rocks, and growing conditions seem very marginal for farming.

West Cummington

Gravestones of Barnabas I and Mary his wife in West Hill Cemetery. As Bob writes, the cemetery was tended by Tom Packard “until his death in 1975, and actually on his property, now sold and subdivided.”

Packard gravestones in West Hill Cemetery

Dawes Cemetery, Cummington. “A row of Packards” as Bob described it. It is not like Bridgewater’s First Cemetery where “most of the early Packards are buried” as Bob wrote in his book

Dawes Cemetery, Cummington. Wm. Henry Packard (father of Cyrus Winfield Packard) died on Aug 21, 1898, at the age of 74 years. His wife, Rachel, nee Tilson, died Jan. 30, 1881, at age 56. This marriage produced 10 children.


My August 2017 family history tour

Plainfield Town Hall, photo  taken in August 2017. Originally posted in my “From Samuel to Cyrus: A fresh look at the History of the Packard Family” post.

This expands on what I wrote in my ““Introduction” to my Packard family history“, while also drawing from “Chapter IX: Barnabas, Mary, and Plainfield.” [1] These are my reflections almost a year after this trip occurred.

In August 2017, like Bob, me, my dad, and my mom went on a family history trip across Massachusetts. I will tell this story in the order in which it occurred. Unlike him, since he was driving from Cincinnati, we started in the eastern part of the state, after staying in Cape Cod for a few days, hitting Hingham first. While there, I talked to the archivist of the Hingham Historical Society Michael Achille, which Bob, according  to his above story, did not get to do at the time. While he was not able to find anything about the Packards in their database, except for some tangential connections, he was very nice, friendly, and was about my age, going to graduate school which was a bit of an inspiration for me to pursue the same path. We also walked around one of the worst parks in the world, World’s End. The scenery was nice, but there were passenger jetliners flying above almost all the time. Despite this, I did take a few pictures which I used to represent Bear’s Cove, where the first settlers of Hingham landed. The town of Hingham was relatively well-off, with many small shops and was bustling, filled with history. It would be different from what was to come.

Mapping places visited in Hingham. 1.3 miles  between the two locations.

From Hingham, we went to Bridgewater. The town itself was a little-run down and not as well-off as Hingham. While there, we didn’t visit the historical society but we went to the First Cemetery and took some photos. Looking around, we counted how many Packard graves there were in this cemetery, which sat behind a Unitarian church. Some gravestones were sinking into the ground more than others. Others were leaned up against a fence. No person who would tend the grave was there. The gravesite sits near the corner of two streets. However, it was, if I remember correctly, protected by a sort of stone wall around it. Oh, I almost forgot. Later on that day we ate in a restaurant and I told the waitress what I was doing in Bridgewater and she said she knew a friend whose last name was Packard! So the Packards are everywhere!

Hingham Historical Society to Bridgewater’s First Cemetery, 18.4 miles away from each other

Moving on from Bridgewater, we went to Western Massachusetts, where Cummington and Plainfield resided. Before going into Plainfield, I went into a local post office in Cummington, where I asked a postal worker to help us find the Dawes Cemetery. I don’t think I asked for the Dawes Cemetery exactly, but maybe for a local landmark, but regardless she gave directions to the cemetery. It is at the top of a hill, where people zoom along in their cars since its some type of thoroughfare. There’s only a few nearby houses. There’s a nearby creamery nearby called Grace Hill Dairy, which sits at, as I looked up later, on 47 Potash Hill Road. This may help those who read this find it in the future. While there, we took some pictures, and my mom drove the car through a path going through the cemetery, something Bob seems to have done as well. We did not meet any overseer of the cemetery or anything, but it seemed somewhat well-tended, much more than the cemetery in Bridgewater! There was a marker across the street where someone was buried, but I’m not exactly recalling who it was exactly.

Cummington locations visited are mapped above. The Kingman Tavern Museum will be talked about later in this story, for obvious reasons as you’ll see later

After visiting that cemetery, we went back down the road and stopped at the Old Creamery Grocery which has a big cow on top if my memory serves me right. They had some local music act playing a guitar. It seemed like a bit of a community meeting area. We ate our packed lunch there at some picnic tables they had set up and then moved on to another cemetery: West Hill Cemetery. Like Dawes, this cemetery has a sign, and even though it has less Packards than Dawes (20  in West Hill, 33 or 34 in Dawes). While there, we put some flowers in front of graves of Packards and looked at the Packards as a whole. There were a few houses around, but its generally wooded there, with not much activity around.

Locations in Plainfield visited. The Plainfield Historical Society does not have a fixed location, but this is about where I met Matthew Stowell

With that, Plainfield was the next stop. I was set for a meeting with the archivist Matthew Stowell of the Plainfield Historical Society. He was not a permanent resident of the area, working and living somewhere else during the year and was a teacher. I won’t go into his political affiliation here, but he was very friendly, as he met us on the street, walking his dog, before my appointment was set to occur. His house was a bit of a mess inside because of renovations. His dog kept trying to lick me, as dogs always go to those who dislike them the most! Anyway, he had some local history books such as Only One Cummington (vol 1 and 2), and Vital Records of Cummington. He also had a genealogy of someone related to the Packards which had been recently given to the Plainfield Historical Society. I looked through that and found many photographs, pictures, and other documents I hadn’t seen previously! After talking to him, we walked around a bit more of Plainfield. The town almost seemed deserted. There seemed to be no visible industry in Plainfield. There are historic houses, sure, but its basically a one street town, at a crossroads, literally. They were debating medical marijuana in the town hall from what I could see.

Courtesy of the Town of Cummington

Mr. Stowell recommended that we visit Cummington to find out more. We went into Cummington and lo and behold, a place called the Kingman Tavern Museum was open, which is run by the Cummington Historical Society. People were dressed in period costumes of the 19th century, I believe. One local girl, whose ancestors were a wealthy family known as Tillsons (Rachel Bartlett Tillson, the wife of William Henry Packard, was part of this family) if I remember correctly, was a tour guide inside the museum, dressed in clothing that  women would have worn at the time, showing visitors around. Everything inside could be photographed. My phone wasn’t working that well at the time, but I still got to take photographs. Most amazing of all was a room in the tavern called the “Packard room.” I was so overjoyed by this as I wasn’t expecting it whatsoever. Later on, an older man who seemed to know Tom Packard showed me to their family files,which were in a building across the street, one of which, of course, they had on the Packards. I took some photographs and notes, but felt a bit shortchanged. We had to go onto another destination and I had to say goodbye. Still, it was worth it.

It was then that the family history tour ended. After staying at a friend’s house for the night, we went into a bit of Western New York, visiting Olana and other sites along the Hudson River. We then took Interstate 90 back home, back into Maryland.

While this family history trip was great, after doing much research since then, I know so much more than I knew then. Sometime in the future I’d like to go back and visit Hingham, Plainfield, and Cummington once again. Until next time!


Notes

[1] In the first post I added a family story: “as the story goes, he [Bob] entered a store in Plainfield, and friendly town residents asked him why he was there. He said he was researching family genealogy of the Packard family. One person responded saying “I’m a Packard, he’s a Packard, she’s a Packard, we’re all Packards here.” Another one of his cousins had a similar experience but slightly different in Pittsfield, asking about the Packards at a local library and they had a whole section dedicated to the family.”

The family tree of David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard (HP)

Photograph of David Packard, used under fair use exemption to copyright law.

On January 1, 1939, David Packard and his business partner, and friend, William Redington Hewlett formed their company in a Palto Alto garage, that would become Hewlett-Packard or HP. Eventually the company would become a well-known computer and IT company in Silicon Valley, splitting off into HP Inc. (for personal computers and printers) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (enterprise and services business) in November 2015. But who was David Packard, and who were his parents?

According to his obituary, he was born to an attorney and a “Pueblo high school teacher” in Pueblo, Colorado on September 7, 1912. Other summaries of his life also do not name his parents, only making a reference to his father being a bankruptcy referee during the Great Depression, allowing him to pay for tuition for his son at Stanford University. [1] Even the Packard Humanities Institute, founded by David, has nothing to say about his early life. His last will and testament makes clear he not only had a foundation but was married to Luclle Salter and had four children (also see here).

In order to determine the names of his parents, I turned to Family Search. Of course their were entries in the United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014, California Death Index, 1940-1997, and United States Public Records, 1970-2009, but these didn’t help. An entry on a Family Tree, on Family Search, claimed his parents were Sperry Sidney Packard and Ella Loona Garber. Further sourcing showed this to be the case, and be correct.

The 1910 U.S. Federal Census, shows a woman named Anna Garber in the household of Sperry and Ella, making it clear that Sperry’s wife (and David’s mother) has the surname of Garber. [2] At the time of the census, the Packard family is living in Pueblo Ward 1, Pueblo, Colorado:

See yellow outlining of the Packard family by this author. Robert died in 1911, one year later.

By 1920, the family is still living in Pueblo, Pueblo, Colorado. However, at this time, David Packard, later the co-founder of Hewlett Packard is in the household. [3] This proves that his parents are Sperry Sidney Packard and Ella Loona Garber. He also has a sister named Anna Louise (who lived until 1935) in the household:

See yellow outlining of the Packard family by this author.

Ten years later, in 1930, David was still living in the household. [4] He was with his sister Anna and parents in Pueblo, Pueblo, Colorado, United States.

See yellow outlining of the Packard family by this author.

As for his David’s mother, Ella Graber, we have a marriage index showing that she married Sperry Sidney Packard on 25 Jun 1909. [5] Other records, on this page,  indicate she was born in Mt. Eaton, Wayne County, Ohio.

More important is his father, Sperry Sidney Packard, in order to determine the Packard family lineage. We know, from Sperry’s WWI draft card, that he was born on February 26, 1880, somewhere in the U.S. [6] From the above censuses, that somewhere is apparently Illinois, as he says his father was born in Illinois and mother in Ohio. A clue to his parentage is not in the 1900 census which lists two men named Sperry Packard in Pueblo, Colorado (but in different wards) and born in February 1880, but the 1880 U.S. Federal Census itself. [7]

While he is called “Perry S” in the Family Search transcription of the census, it is clear it is him. The Packard family is living in Ashkum, Iroquois, Illinois, with his parents as his father Sidney Packard (said to be born in New York) and mother, Jenny. He also has a brother George E. and another named Henry F.

With yellow outlining of the Packard family by this author.

His Find A Grave memorial confirms this, saying his parents are Sidney Malcolm Packard (1845-1927) and Mary Jane Hayden (1849-1905). The only record I can find earlier than the 1880 census is marriage record of Sidney and Mary in Iroquois, Illinois, United States. [8] Due to the amount of media in this post already, I’m not going to thumb through the film to find it at this point.

Going even further, the entry for Sidney says his father is Malcolm Packard, who lived from 1818 to 1903.  We know, from an Illinois marriage record, that Malcolm was married to a woman named Nancy Seaton, although the date of their marriage is unclear.  [9] Still, this confirms that Sidney’s father is Malcolm, along with the 1880 census noted above.

Then, we come to the entry for Malcolm, in Find A Grave. It says says his father is Rev Jonas Fuller Packard, who lived from 1786 to 1859. Now, we know that the Packard family is living in Parishville, St. Lawrence, New York in 1850. [10] The household is headed by Jonas F (undeniably Fuller) Packard and his wife Prudence, both of whom are born in Vermont, with seven children. Sadly, Malcolm is not in the household. Perhaps this is because he would have been 32 in 1850, and the oldest person in the household is 28.

Yellow outlining of the Packard family by this author

Beyond this, the 1855 Illinois State Census notes that a Malcolm is living in West Chicago, Ward 05, Cook, Illinois (possibly the same as the Malcolm in New York in 1850). [11] We also know that the 82-year-old Malcolm Packard was living in Overton, Pueblo, Colorado in 1900, noting that he was born in September 1818, living with another Packard family, with the census saying that Malcolm is a “cousin.” Also, it is known that twenty years earlier Malcolm is living in Seward, Winnebago, Illinois with the Seaton family, the family of his wife, Nancy. [12]

The question remains: are Jonas Fuller Packard and Prudence (reportedly has maiden name of Jaeger) the parents of Malcolm Packard? Sadly, we cannot tell without further research, as censuses for the siblings of Malcolm do not mention him in the household at all, from what we can find. [13] However, we can find him in the 1850 census. In that census, he is married to a woman  named Nancy and a son named Sidney is in the household, living in Seward, Winnebago, Illinois. [14] This is a confirmation that Sidney Malcolm Packard is a son of Malcolm and Nancy without a doubt. It also confirms that Nancy’s maiden name is Seaton as the Packards are living in the Seaton household.

Yellow outlining was put in by this author

For the sake of argument (since I can’t find any records within the New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999 database for Jonas or within the Illinois, Wills and Probate Records, 1772-1999 for Prudence since she died in Illinois in the 1880s), lets say that Jonas Fuller Packard and Prudence were Malcolm’s father. We know that Jonas was living in Keene, Essex, New York in 1820 and in Parishville, St Lawrence, New York in 1840. [15] Now, the Find A Grave entry for Jonas says his father is Pvt. Abisha Packard, who lived from 1761 to 1836.

There are some records for Abisha Packard. We know that he died in July 1836 (from his Find A Grave entry), and that he served in Massachusetts as a private during the Revolutionary War, with his father asserted as Eleazer Packard. [16] Additionally, we know that Abisha was in Charlotte, Chittenden, Vermont in 1810, and Madrid, Saint Lawrence, New York in 1820, receiving a pension in Vermont, for his previous military service, as late as May 1818. It is clear that he received a federal pension as his name is within the “U.S., Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900” collection on Ancestry.

The pension itself, classified as a Widow’s Pension Application File by Ancestry, notes his military service as a private (since he applied before his death) and that his wife re-applied after his death in 1843. [17] As required, Abisha outlines his military service, that he moved from Vermont to New York by the time he applied, in 1832, In his wife’s statement, she notes that Abisha died on July 20, 1836, and outlined that, yes, Jonas F. Packard is a son of Abisha and his 1st wife! It mainly talks about Jonas getting the old bible while they bought a replacement bible to store family info:

So, that generational linkage of Abisha and Jonas is solid. Next pages just say that Abisha married Rebecca. Another Packard, a son of Abisha and Rebecca, confirms the story about the family bible from his memory:

Then we get the actual pages from the bible itself! They show that Jonas F. was undoubtedly the son of Abisha and his wife Esther:

Finally, this is all confirmed by the letter from the commissioner of pensions in 1929, noting that Abisha married Esther, who lived from 1767 to 1790, then in Charlotte, a second time (in 1793) to Rebecca or Rebekah, born in 1774. It also notes that with Esther he had three children: Jonas F. (b. Sept 10, 1786), Mary (1788), and Abisha (b. Jun 28, 1789). With his second wife, Rebecca, he had six children: Allen (b. 1794), Truman (b. 1797), Esther (b. 1799), Daniel (b. 1802), Gerge (b. 1803), and Hiram (b. 1807). All of these are noted in the above page from the family bible.

Now, Abisha’s Find A Grave entry says that his father is Eleazer Packard (1727-1803) and Mercy Richards, even as Abisha’s federal pension does not mention his father. We know that Eleazer is noted as the father in the Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915 database on Family Search. [18] We also know that  Eleazer died in February 1803. Unfortunately, this is where, like the father of Malcolm Packard, the records are thin. There is a Eleazer Packard probate in Franklin County, with an administration bond in 1815 listing the children. However, he died in Plainfield, a town then in Hampshire County, Massachusetts. [19] So, this is likely not our Eleazer. One note, on Eleazer’s entry on Family Search says “Parentage for Eleazer found on WFT CD # 5, Pedigree # 2126.” Basically, they are depending on a family tree, which is always risky and not worth it to do.

However, once again, for the sake of argument, lets say that his parents are who it says on Find A Grave. From there, we move onto Eleazer’s entry. His entry asserts that his parents are Zaccheus Packard II (1693-1775) and Mercy Alden (1697-1777). Unfortunately, Zaccheus did not appear within the “Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991” database. Of course, his wife isn’t either, with a Mercy H Packard in probate in Franklin, Massachusetts but that’s it. So, this is again, shaky. I looked through the index of probates for Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991 on Ancestry and found the following results for Packards:

And there was a result for a Zaccheus, the father of Zaccheus II. I get this from the fact that on Find A Grave Zaccheus II’s parents are noted as Zaccheus Packard I (1651-1723) and Sarah Howard (1648-1703).

So I was going to look at book 5, pages 72-75. Unfortunately it wasn’t on the version of Ancestry I was using. So, I looked on Family Search, of course, for these probate records. I did try to look at Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686-1915 but this was just a bunch of case files. I finally found it in another collection.

At last but not least, was Zaccheus’s probate. It noted that a Jonathan Packard was the son of Zaccheus, and that Isaac Winslow was the judge of probate, including of Zaccheus’s inventory. [19] Most importantly, however, was the page which listed Zaccheus’s son of the same name, in the distribution of the estate since his father died intestate (without a will):

I mean, we even have a page with Zaccheus’s signature (or his mark noted above), so he is definitely a son. Hence, the connection of the two Zaccheus individuals. I know, if I remember correctly, from the Packard family history I wrote and my own research, that Zaccheus had a son of the same name. From there, it is clear that the well-known Samuel Packard, Sr. and Elizabeth X (X used as a stand-in for her actual maiden name) are his parents because Zaccheus I is mentioned in Samuel’s will.

So, more research could be done on his lineage, but you could say that it is a strong likelihood that David Packard is the descendant of Samuel Packard, Sr., along with certain generations definitely connected, while others are only weakly connected.

Notes

[1] Also see this summary, this page on his life, this page, obit in the New York Times, Encyclopaedia Brittanica entry, a page on the MBARI website, article in a Palto Alto newspaper, obit in the Independent, another Times article, and summary on the Edison Tech Center website.

[2] “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MK4N-P45 : accessed 6 January 2018), Sperry S Packard, Pueblo Ward 1, Pueblo, Colorado, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 153, sheet 7A, family 153, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 124; FHL microfilm 1,374,137.

[3] “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXLC-DSL : accessed 6 January 2018), Ann Louise Packard in household of Sperry S Packard, Pueblo, Pueblo, Colorado, United States; citing ED 204, sheet 5A, line 31, family 111, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 170; FHL microfilm 1,820,170.

[4] “United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X74V-KVS : accessed 6 January 2018), Anne L Packard in household of Sperry S Packard, Pueblo, Pueblo, Colorado, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 1, sheet 5A, line 42, family 134, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 249; FHL microfilm 2,339,984.

[5] “Colorado Statewide Marriage Index, 1853-2006,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KNQJ-4SV : 10 December 2017), Sperry Sidney Packard and Ella Loona Graber, 25 Jun 1909, Colorado Springs, El Paso, Colorado, United States; citing no. 5232, State Archives, Denver; FHL microfilm 1,690,117; “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VRMB-854 : 22 December 2016), Ella Graber, 13 Sep 1880; citing Birth, Mt. Eaton, Wayne, Ohio, United States, county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 475,466; “Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X6YJ-8G6 : 8 December 2014), Ella Graber, 13 Sep 1880; citing , WAYNE, OHIO, reference 2:GPLMSJ; FHL microfilm 475,466.

[6] “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZKD-8WS : 12 December 2014), Sperry Sidney Packard, 1917-1918; citing Pueblo City no 1, Colorado, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,561,788.

[7] “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXJR-Q2R : 22 August 2017), Perry S Packard in household of Sidney Packard, Ashkum, Iroquois, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district ED 122, sheet 56A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0213; FHL microfilm 1,254,213.

[8] “Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KF2M-XNY : 27 September 2017), Sidney M. Packard and Mary J. Hayden, 12 Nov 1872; citing Iroquois, Illinois, United States, county offices, Illinois; FHL microfilm 1,321,548.

[9] “Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QK9L-K4YZ : 17 October 2017), Malcom Packard in entry for Dell Gallino and Nelia Seaton, 24 Nov 1903; citing Winnebago, Illinois, United States, county offices, Illinois; FHL microfilm 1,914,051.

[10] “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MC1F-93J : 12 April 2016), Jonas F Packard, Parishville, St. Lawrence, New York, United States; citing family 72, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[11] “Illinois State Census, 1855,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:61SD-FT2 : 8 November 2014), Malcolm Packard, West Chicago, Ward 05, Cook, Illinois; citing p. 11, State Archives, Springville; FHL microfilm 976,180; “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQMV-958 : accessed 6 January 2018), Malcom Packard in household of Phineas Packard, Precincts 41-49, 2 (part) Overton, Pueblo, Colorado, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 112, sheet 11A, family 175, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,128.

[12] “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MX23-L2Y : 14 August 2017), Malcom Packard in household of William Seaton, Seward, Winnebago, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district ED 234, sheet 313B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0262; FHL microfilm 1,254,262.

[13]  “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MDL5-LLQ : 14 August 2017), Lafayette Packard in household of Lafayette Packard, Frankville, Winneshiek, Iowa, United States; citing enumeration district ED 344, sheet 120B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0370; FHL microfilm 1,254,370; “Iowa State Census, 1895,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VTQ1-XX4 : 30 June 2016), Layfayett Packard, Winnesheik, Iowa, United States; citing p. 408, 1895, State Historical Society, Des Moines; FHL microfilm 1,022,196; “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MDVB-W2P : 12 April 2016), Lafayette Parker, Iowa, United States; citing p. 55, family 442, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 545,917; “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MC41-FLL : 13 December 2017), Jonas F Packard, 1860.

[14]”United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M854-LX4 : 12 April 2016), Malcolm Packard, Seward, Winnebago, Illinois, United States; citing family 23, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[15] “United States Census, 1820,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHLB-VDL : accessed 6 January 2018), Jonas F Packard, Keene, Essex, New York, United States; citing p. 429, NARA microfilm publication M33, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 69; FHL microfilm 193,724; “United States Census, 1840,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHTH-4KN : 16 August 2017), Jonas Packard, Parishville, St Lawrence, New York, United States; citing p. 278, NARA microfilm publication M704, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 335; FHL microfilm 17,204.

[16] “United States Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2DG-LZYJ : 21 December 2016), Abisha Packard, 1775-1783; citing 1775-1783, Massachusetts, United States, citing NARA microfilm publication M246. Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Services, 1980. FHL microfilm 830,316; “United States Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2DG-LD1Z : 21 December 2016), Abisha Packard, 15 May 1777; citing 15 May 1777, Massachusetts, United States, citing NARA microfilm publication M246. Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Services, 1980. FHL microfilm 830,316; “Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FZKX-8Q5 : 4 December 2014), Abisha Packard, ; citing , ; FHL microfilm 0873755 IT 2; “United States Census, 1810,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHLM-QBH : accessed 6 January 2018), Abisha Packard, Charlotte, Chittenden, Vermont, United States; citing p. 217A, NARA microfilm publication M252 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 64; FHL microfilm 218,668; “United States Revolutionary War Pension Payment Ledgers, 1818-1872,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24Q-V6JT : accessed 6 January 2018), Abisha Packard, 08 May 1818; citing Vermont, United States, NARA microfilm publication T718 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1962), roll 1; FHL microfilm 1,319,381; “United States Census, 1820,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHG8-85C : accessed 6 January 2018), Abisha Packard, Madrid, Saint Lawrence, New York, United States; citing p. 47, NARA microfilm publication M33, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 79; FHL microfilm 193,734.

[17] Pension of Abisha Packard, *W26813, Widow’s Pension Application File by his wife Rebecca, 1833, New York, National Archives, NARA M804, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, Record Group 15, National Archives, Ancestry.com.

[18] “Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FZKX-8QR : 4 December 2014), Eleazer Packard in entry for Abisha Packard, ; citing , ; FHL microfilm 0873755 IT 2; “Massachusetts Deaths and Burials, 1795-1910,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FHDR-DQ5 : 10 December 2014), Eleazer Packard, 13 Feb 1803; citing , reference item 1 p 517; FHL microfilm 1,871,835.

[19] Probate of Zaccheus Packard, “Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1633-1967,” images, FamilySearch), Probate records 1724-1731 and 1838-1842 vol 5-5T, images 66, 67, and 68, of 596; State Archives, Boston.

The Packard Car Company and Samuel Packard, Sr.

1916 Packard car, via Old Cars Report.

In 1899, James Ward Packard and William Doud Packard, two brothers, founded the Packard Motor Car Company (and later Packard Electric Company) and for the next 55 years, this luxury car was on American Roads.

When James died on March 21, 1928, his obituary described him as a 64 year-old man who lived out his last years in Warren, Ohio after his retirement as the president of the Packard Motor Company, which he founded with his brother William in 1906, having a background as a mechanical engineer. All that was said about his personal life was that he had a widow (unnamed), three sisters (one married to Guy S. Gardner in Cleveland, another married to James B. Davidson in Accotink, and Charlotta Packard in New York), and one nephew names Warren Packard II in Detroit. His brother, William, was not mentioned. From this, you can say he was born circa 1864. In fact, his gravestone says he was born in 1863, apparently in Warren, Ohio. His Find A Grave entry gives a summary of his life, which cannot be vouched for accuracy:

Automotive Manufacturer. He was regarded as one of the finest auto engineering industrialist and was the founder of the Packard Motor Car Company. Before building his first automobile in 1899, he successfully operated his own business, Packard Electric, in Warren, Ohio. In 1900, he applied for a patent for a new innovative car design, which included a flexible shaft drive that could be used in place of the chain drive and the Packard Motor Car Company, was formed in 1902. Together with his brother William Doud Packard, they went on to pioneer early automotive history with many industry standards still in use to date. Following the company relocation to Detroit, Michigan, in 1903, General Motors acquired the company in 1932. The company manufactured thousands of vehicles, merged with the Studebaker Corporation [i]n 1954 and the last production line Packard was made in 1958. The Delphi Packard Electric Systems Company spun off and became independent of General Motors in 1999. Packard died at age 64 in Cleveland, Ohio and is member of the Automotive Hall of Fame.

Sadly, other obituaries in Virginia’s Daily Press, South Carolina’s The Greenville News, and Illinois’ The Pentagraph, do not give any new information. One does say he had been sick for two years and that his estate was worth $7 million. Some older articles give information when it comes to his past activities, business history (including a response to customers), and  early Packard company history. James may have been married in Montana in 1904, as noted by the Great Falls Tribune, although I cannot fully confirm that as of yet.

James’s death certificate, courtesy of “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch, James Ward Packard, 20 Mar 1928; citing Cleveland City, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, reference fn 14681; FHL microfilm 1,991,204. This document lists his parents and his wife, Elizabeth.

What is not mentioned on Find A Grave or in James’s obituaries is his marriage in 1904 to Elizabeth A. Gillmer of Warren, Ohio, daughter of Hellen Earle and T.I. Gilmer.

Image is courtesy of “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch, James Ward Packard and Elizabeth A. Gillmer, 31 Aug 1904; citing Trumbull, Ohio, United States, reference Marp579; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 905,553.

Then we get to James’s brother, William Doud Packard. We already know from his gravestone that he was born on November 3, 1861 and died on November 11, 1923. His Find A Grave entry is simple. It states that he is the “brother of James Ward Packard and co-founder of the Packard Motor Car Company,” adding that his “grave is not easily seen from the road. When entering the cemetery, drive straight until you get to the hill. It is on the hill up on the right.” Sadly, his obituaries in The Pittsburgh Press and Honolulu Star-Bulletin only say he was 63 years old, dying in Warren, Ohio, focus on his business experience, but give no other details about his early life. [1] However, an obituary, in The Times Herald, does note he had a son named Warren Packard, and another, in the Star Tribune, says he had been “blind for the last ten years” (since 1913)! Also,  an obituary in The Record-Argus says that William was a nephew of “the late John R. Packard.” One article, on February 12, 1940, notes his widow: Kathryn Bruder, who died from a sickness, living in Warren, Ohio.

There are some interesting results for William Packard, including a passport application in 1899, which is reprinted below:

Courtesy of “United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925,” database with images, FamilySearch, William D Packard, 1899; citing Passport Application, New York, United States, source certificate #3259, Passport Applications, 1795-1905., 520, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Apart from the passport application is an even more poignant article, in The Allentown Leader in 1916, later reprinted in other papers (also see here and here), noting his father and the Packard family estate:

The first really pretentious country estate to be built on Chautauqua Lake has been laid out. by Mr, William D. Packard of Warren, O., a member of the Packard Car Company, on a large tract adjoining the Institution grounds on the north. Landscape work has been under way all winter. Mr. Packard is the son of the late Warren D. Packard, one of the pioneer summer residents of Chautauqua Lake and one of those influential in the development of Lakewood several years ago. The property which Mr. Packard has bought lies between the Chautauqua Traction Company’s line and the lake and along the north boundary of the Chautauqua Institution enclosure. From this particular point there there is an unexcelled view from Mayville on the north to Long Point on the south, and it is undoubtedly one of the most desirable residence sites of the entire lake region. The house is to be three stories high, of brick, stone and steel construction, red tile roof, absolutely fireproof. It is set in a grove of elms, which surround it on all sides but one, that facing the lake. Directly to the south of the residence gardens are planned, terminating in a wild growth cf shrubbery, threaded with trails leading to the docks and boathouse. to an artificial waterfall, a lily pond, tennis courts and vegetable gardens. A cottage for the gatekeeper and tenants tenants is now under construction, and other buildings will adjoin this cottage. The landscape work has been done under the direction of Mr. H. L. Avery of Cleveland. Eighty-four  full grown trees, mostly elms, have been transplanted transplanted by Mr. Herbert L. Hyatt of Cleveland, forester, who has transformed an uninteresting, bare hillside Into a well  wooded slope. A great quantity of small planting is also being done. The Packard residence when completed completed will probably represent an expenditure expenditure close to $175,000.

Since William was the brother of James, that means that this article, by extension, confirms that “the late Warren D. Packard, one of the pioneer summer residents of Chautauqua Lake” was James’s father as well. This is before the full success of their business, beginning with fights with the Edison Electric Company, to give an example, so such an article is undoubtedly important. The same is the case of a death notice in 1940 noting that Carlotta Packard, age 71 (meaning she was born in 1869), died in Chicago, and was previously a classic New Yorker. Another article, in 1928, talking about William’s $1 million estate, said that William’s wife was named Katherine (very close to Kathryn) and that  he built a home along the same lines as the one in Chautauqua in Warren, Ohio.

In order to further support this post, I’m including the 1870 census, showing James, his brother William,  his sisters Alaska and Carlotta, and their parents (William and Mary), living in Warren, Ohio. [2]

Warren is described as a hardware merchant. Mary Oliver and Lydia  Shaw are listed as “domestic servants,” possibly indicating a level of wealth.

With this, we move onto Warren D. Packard, the father of James and William. His gravestone says he was born on June 1, 1828 and dying on July 28, 1897. One of the photos on Find A Grave seems to say his father was William, as does the entry itself, for which I cannot vouch for:

Born on 1 Jun 1828 to father: William Packard (Born in Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1804 to Packard and Ann Berry. He passed away on Dec. 11, 1877 in Kern, California, USA), and mother: Julia Ann Leach (Born in Mendham Morris, New Jersey, on 2 Nov 1806 to Benjamin Leach and Diana Brown. She passed away on 1891 in Warren, Ohio, USA). He passed away on 28 Jul 1897 in Warren, Trumbull, Ohio, USA.

Newspaper clippings show him as in Warren, Ohio from 1850s onward, including being possibly involved with railroads,  along with other tasks, including running a business called Packard & Co. Apart from being related to John R. Packard, his obituary in 1897, in The Akron Beacon Journal listed his children and unnamed wife:

Mr. Warren Packard, father of Mrs. E. B. McCrum of Akron and for nearly half a century prominent in business circles in Warren, died at his home Wednesday. Mr. Packard did much to aid in the advancement of Warren. He was about 70 years old and leaves a wife and five children, J. W. and W. D. Packard, who are well-known businessmen; Mrs. E. B. McCrum of Akron, and Misses Charlotta and Olive, who reside at home.

This aligns with Find A Grave, listing  William Doud Packard (1861-1923), James Ward Packard (1863-1928), Alaska Packard Davidson (1868-1934), Carlotta Packard (1869-1940), and Cornelia Olive Packard Gardner (1882-1966) as his (and his wife’s) children. There is another obituary in The Buffalo Commercial about Warren as a hotel proprietor, but nothing about his parents. We know that his wife is Mary Elizabeth Doud based on her tombstone, which also says she lived from 1838 to 1903. Her Find A Grave isn’t much help here at all. I found an obituary in The Record-Argus, which follows, but without that tombstone, we’d never know what her real name was!

Mrs. Warren Packard died at her home in Warren, O., Friday. While attending a church supper she was stricken with apoplexy and died shortly after having been conveyed to her home. Her husband, Warren Packard, a brother of John R. Packard, died in 1897. Mrs. Packard was one of the society leaders of Warren. The funeral which was held at Christ church, Warren, Sunday afternoon, afternoon, at 1:30 o’clock, was one of the largest funerals held in that city for some time, the church being tested to its capacity. The pulpit, litany, and reading desk, chancel and altar, as well as the pew so long occupied by Mrs. Packard, were covered with floral offerings from the family, business associates of the Packard boys, and friends. The full vested choir officiated in the singing of the hymns, while Rev. H. E. Cooke, the rector, read the service. Friends from Buffalo, Sharon, Greenville, Pittsburg[h] and Youngstown were in attendance. The burial was private at the Paltzgroff cemetery in Lordstown.

We can find even more information from the 1900 census, which lists Mary as the head of household and all her children, still living in Warren, Ohio:

Courtesy of “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, William Packard in household of Mary Packard, Warren Township Warren city Ward 1, Trumbull, Ohio, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 120, sheet 13A, family 297, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,325.

Courtesy of the same resource as the other picture, above.

Looking on Find A Grave, it is clear that John R. Packard was John Randolph Packard, living from 1836 to 1900.  We can also see, from Find A Grave that Warren Packard married Sylvia Ann Camp, with her gravestone saying she lived from 1834 to 1856, and reporting having two children with Warren: “Rolla Packard” (1854-1855) and Harry Packard (1856-1858). As such, Sylvia was Warren’s first wife and Mary was his second wife. Coming back to Find A Grave, there is only one parent listed for him, his brother John R., and sister Ellen D.: Julia Ann Leach. Luckily, in our case, John’s obituary on January 6, 1922, not the one the day before, is the key in that it names both parents!It is reprinted below:

John R. Packard died at his home, 28 South Mercer street, Thursday morning at 8:30. Death came quickly and, apparently, easily. Mr. Packard had walked to the bath room and was returning when he suddenly became faint and was soon gone from this life. He had been taken ill with lumbago the middle of November but was not considered seriously 111 until pleurisy set in a few days ago. Even then his condition was not believed to be alarming. John R. Packard, who had been identified With the hardware business of Greenville for more than a half century, and said to be the oldest hardware merchant in America, was a native native of Lordstown, Trumbull Co., O., born Jan. 31, 1836. His parents were William and Julia A. (Leach) Packard. The father was a native of Washington county,, Pennsylvania, and the mother of Mendham, Morris County, New Jersey. Both the Packard and Leach families migrated to what is now Mahoning County, Ohio. In the early part of the nineteenth century. William Packard, the father, spent his boyhood days at the parental homestead in Ohio, and in 1849 became a member of a overland party which made the weary trip across the plains to California. He himself located located at Kernvillle, where he engaged both in the mining business and in the erection of stamp mills. He not only became prosperous and respected in that field but acquired such influence in tho locality that he was chosen one of tho associate justices of the peace. In politics he was a Democrat. William Packard died at Kernville, California. Of the thirteen children born to, him three are living are follows: John R. Packard [not living anymore] who was the seventh child of the family: The paternal grandparents [of John R. Packard] were Thomas and Nancy Packard, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Delaware. John R. Packard, was reared in Lordstown,, his birthplace, and educated in its common schools and at a select academy conducted by Rev Joseph King of the Disciples church. Mr. Packard afterward taught school himself in that vicinity, but in 1852 he entered business in the capacity of a clerk in his brother’s hardware store at Warren, Ohio. Two years afterward he located at Greenville and entered into partnership with his uncle, D.B. Packard, and his brother, Warren, the three forming the firm of Packard & Company. In 1857 Warren Packard sold his interest to the other partners, who continued in the business until 1870 when Dr. Packard retired and John R. Packard became the head of the firm. He was president of the Packard Hardware company which became the largest wholesale establishment between Cleveland and Pittsburgh and maintained a large retail store in connection. In 1913 it was decided to liquidate the corporation and three years later this was an accomplished fact, whereupon Mr. Packard opened an extensive retail establishment and gave it active management until his death. Mr. [John R.] Packard was married to Miss Augusta Buck, of Westfield, N. Y., [born] September 26th, 1859. Her father was a prominent merchant and manufacturer and a ship owner, his interests in the latter line being confined to Lake Erie. Mrs. John R. Packard died on April 29, 1897. She was the mother of eight children, three of whom died in infancy. The five who survive are: Clara, who married Lester D. Leech; Cora, Mrs. Fred A. Mallery, of Passaic, N. J.; Edwin Buck Packard, Greenville; Celeste, now Mrs C.B. Rice, Pittsburgh, Pa. and Sylvia, now Mrs. Paul H. Graff. Grand-children left are as follows: Josephine Packard Leech, now wife of Dr. Harry S. Stone, Franklin; Mrs. Pauline Mallery Packard, New York City,, and Miss Sylvia Packard Mallery, Passaic, N.J.; John R. Packard and Miss Louise Packard in Penn High school, Greenville; Caroline Packard Packard Rice, now Mrs. Wallace Downs, of Northern India and Randolph Packard Packard Rice, a Harvard student; John Packard Graff, ensign U. S. N., stationed at Dantzig, Thomas J. Graff, a student at Valparaiso, Indiana, and Miss Augusta Packard Graft, Greenville. There are two great grand-children: Fred Mallery Packard, New York, and Celestia Mary Downs, of India. Mr. [John R.] Packard twice encircled the globe and travelled extensively in the Western Hemisphere. Practically every state in the Union was familiar to and his motoring trips to the Atlantic Coast states and Canada were many. He was a prominent Democrat but never aspired to office or practical politics. He was a life-long Mason and a member of St. Clement’s Episcopal church. He was one of the earliest and most enthusiastic members of the Round Table and with Dr. John Peate, Dr. Henry Warren Roth, Major Harry Watson and Dr. D. O. McKay, a distinguished and valued member.

This really gives a whole and great history! It is clear now that William Packard and Julia A. Leach were the parents not only of John R. Packard, but also of Ellen and Warren. Now we know that William Packard was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania.

It is not very hard to find the 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses which mention John R. Packard. In the first of these, in 1850, it is clear that the Julianna mentioned in the census is Julia A. Leach, because it says her birthplace is New Jersey. Her husband, William, is not there because, as noted above, “in 1849 became a member of a overland party which made the weary trip across the plains to California.” So, he was in California at the time, as part of the “Gold Rush.”

Courtesy of “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch, John Packard in household of Juliann Packard, Lordstown, Trumbull, Ohio, United States; citing family 34, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). Other children included Ella D. Packard, Mary P. Packard, and Milton Packard.

By 1860, John R. is married to Augusta, whom he had been with for only one year, and living in West Greenville Borough, Mercer, Pennsylvania, in a mixed household of varied surnames. Hence, John is not in the household with his siblings.

Courtesy of “United States Census, 1860“, database with images, FamilySearch, John R Packard in entry for William Stoughton, 1860.

By 1870, John R. is in Pennsylvania, is the head of the household and has four children, whom he had with Augusta: Clara, Cora, Edwin, and Celestia, along with a house servant named Eva Davidson.

Courtesy of “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch, J R Packard, Pennsylvania, United States; citing p. 17, family 130, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,872.

There’s some other information about John R. Packard, including an entry in the 1900 census, and passport applications for varied years (1900, 1906, 1908, 1911, and 1913), but those don’t help us move forward.

This is where we run into problems. I tried to look for an obituary of William Packard on newspapers.com since he reportedly died on December 11, 1877 in Kernville, California, but to no avail, and was born in 1803 in Washington, Pennsylvania. I can find a William Packard in the 1830 and 1840 censuses, but that is the wrong individual, as he is living in Canton Township, Bradford, Pennsylvania. There are reports on Find A Grave  that his parents were a man with the last name of Packard and Ann Berry. All the entries on Family Search list William’s parents as Thomas Packard and Nancy Ann Berry. [3] Of course, the entries there cite no sources or bad sources (i.e. SAR application member number 91685 and Ancestry.com trees), some saying he died in 1879, and no agreement on when he married (June 26, 1824 or June 26, 1826?). Even some claim he became a captain, going to California to look for gold. I had no luck otherwise. I found a William Packard in 1850 in Tuolumne county, California, one in Mariposa, California in 1852 and another in Petersburg Township 3, Tulare, California in 1860. But, none of these individuals are born in Pennsylvania!

To summarize, the people on Family Search say that Thomas Packard was born in 1778 in Washington, Pennsylvania and died in 1851 in Marshall, Indiana. As for Nancy, they say she was born on October 15, 1780 in Washington, Ohio and died in  Greenville Cemetery in Greenville, PA on Apr 13, 1870. Now,  I can find a 72-year-old Thomas and 67-year-old Nancy (undoubtedly our Thomas and Nancy) together in 1850 in Marshall, Marshall County, Indiana with two children: Newton and Jasper. Their places of birth are misstated, but this happens in census documents from time to time. The census document is as follows:

Courtesy of “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch, Nancy Packard in household of Thos Packard, Marshall county, part of, Marshall, Indiana, United States; citing family 378, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Through this searching I discovered Nancy and Thomas’s gravestone. As luck would have it, Newton (1833-1900) and Jasper (1832-1899) as listed on Find A Grave as children along with two others: Daniel Berry (1817-1873) and Thomas Alfred (1809-1872). One obituary for Newton (often called “N.R. Packard” in the papers) says he was born in Indiana, with another just calling in an “old and respected citizen of Bakersfield.” Other articles make it clear that he was involved in a state court case (for which he was exonerated), was a member of California’s state Democratic committee, ran a factory, and was county clerk. As a last ditch effort I looked into Jasper Packard (also seemingly supported by a Republican paper, the same paper for which he was once an editor!), a well-known general in the Civil War and a lawyer. Low and behold the obituary, upon his death in 1899 stated:

Jasper Packard, son of Thomas and Mary Ann (Berry) Packard, was born in Mahoning, formerly Turnbull County, Ohio, Feb. 1, 1832.

Considering that Jasper, a stout Republican whom has advice on “soldiering,” [4] is the son of Nancy and Thomas, we can say that by deduction, William must be the son as well! This is only circumstantial evidence, but considering that William died in 1877, he obviously isn’t going to be mentioned in the obituary. Sadly, another obit of Jasper I found  doesn’t mention William either, but does tell about the Packards living in Marshall County, Indiana, and another has a drawing of him in 1899. For Daniel B. Packard, I was able to find he owned a stable in the Pittsburgh area. I looked for Thomas Alfred Packard but wasn’t able to find anything. So this circumstantial evidence will have to be good enough for now!

Courtesy of the Library of Congress. Photo of Jasper Packard.

I did find the gravestone of Nancy, which lists her death date (April 13, 1870), says she was 89 years old (born in 1781) and that Thomas died on November 25, 1851 and was 73 years old (born in 1778). Thomas was buried in Marshall County, Indiana (where he also died) and Nancy was buried in Greenville, Mercer County, Pennsylvania (where she also died).

Courtesy of Find A Grave. Since Thomas was buried in a different place, this makes sense why he is on the monument, even though he is NOT buried there.

Courtesy of Find A Grave. Using the tombstone calendar it is clear that he was born on March 13, 1778.

I have not found a “Nancy A. Packard” in Pennsylvania yet, but I found a Jasper Packard listed as an Indian Congressman in 1870. While I wasn’t successful there, I did find an executors notice for Thomas’s estate in December 1851 signed by Ann Packard (likely Nancy Ann) and Newton R. Packard, the executors. Most fascinating of all was a summary of Thomas’s life in the Plymouth Pilot of Plymouth, Indiana:

Permit me to announce through the Pilot, the death of Brother Thomas Packard. He was born March 16th, 1778, in Kent county, Delaware–two years after his father [John?] moved to Washington county Penn. He was married [to Nancy Ann Berry] January 28th 1802, and settled in Trumble county Ohio, where he lived until the year 1835, when he moved to this county [Marshall]. He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1811, and remained a member of that Church until the Weslyean’s connection connection in America was organized, he then joined that Church, in view of its government and Anti-slavery position. He was a worthy member until he departed this life on the 23d of Nov [1851]. He was a good man, a worthy citizen, a kind father, and an affectionate companion. The Church has lost a worthy member and a devoted friend, but our loss is his gain. He died as he lived, in hope of a blest immortality. A. F.

So, he was born in Delaware after all! The 1850 census wasn’t wrong! Using newspapers.com I was able to find that Newton R. Packard was a clerk in Marshall through the 1850s (specifically in 1856, 1857, 1858),  even having a building which was burned partially (or wholly) in 1857 fire. Some Packard seems to have run for office in 1860, likely Newton himself. Interestingly, in 1860, a local paper defended Newton from criticism (see here, here, and here) by another local paper of Republican affiliation. Newton was clearly a Democrat, enduring some personal attacks.This may have been important personally since he had a business of some kind, at least in 1854.

Going from here, Thomas Packard is said to have John Harris Packard as his father (it says the same on Find A Grave) and mother as Mary. Sadly, this can’t even by proven with Family Search records, as of yet. The Austintown Log House (photos here) wikipedia entry uses one source [3], and within it, the last will and testament, in 1826, of John Packard is quoted:

Knowing that in the course of nature, I must go the way of all the earth, I John Packard of Miander Township County [currently Mahoning] & State of Ohio, I being of good health and sound mind do think it my duty as well as my privilege to make my last will and testament in the following manner. 1st—I will that after my death my body shall be decently buried beside my wife, likewise my funeral expenses and all just debts shall all be paid. 2ed—I will that the property that I do not will be sold as soon as is convinient after my death. 3ed—I will that my daughter Mary take the rent that is due me on that farm which she had of me in Washington County (6 or more?) years at sixty dollars per year. 4th-I will that my son Thomas Packard have five hundred dollars 5th—I will that my daughter Rachel shall have one hundred and fifty dollars. 6th—I will Rebecca shall have one hundred and fifty dollars. 7th—I will my daughter Catherine’s children shall have thirty dollars each. 8th—I will that my son William Packard shall have all that farm which I now live on in Millander Township, Trumbull County, State of Ohio, containing one hundred and 20 acres (81,000 m2), to have and enjoy for ever. 9th—I will that my daughter Nancy shall have one hundred and fifty dollars and my bed and bedding. 10th—I will that my son Garret‘s children shall have fifty dollars equally divided, each their equal proportion. 11th—I will my son William Packard and John Dowlur, my son-in-law, shall be my Exentors [sic], this my last will and testament in which I set my hand and seal this 29 day of April, 1826. John Packard

This ties John Harris Packard to Thomas, solving another piece of the puzzle. Then, using Geni.com again, one can say John’s mother is Abigail Harris and father is Abiel Packard, Jr. However, to make this connection stronger, there must be more proof. Find A Grave gives us the connection of Abiel to his father, Abiel Packard, Sr (and his wife Sarah Ames by extension) as his gravestone says:

Erected

in memory of

Mr. Abiel Packard d[ie]d

Jun [.] the Son of Capt.

Abiel Packard[.] he [the son]

Died Jan[uar]y the 18th

1759 in 31st

Year of his Age

This is great because he is not mentioned in his father’s 1774 will. Still, the connection of the generation of Abiel Packard Jr. to that of John Packard is not strong at all.

This is where my family tree on Ancestry.com comes in, so I don’t need to use Geni.com and its flimsy sourcing anymore. For Abiel Packard Sr., according to his father’s probate, his parents were Zaccheus Packard (1651-1723) and Sarah Howard (1648-1703). From there, for Abiel’s father, Zaccheus, his father is Samuel Packard, Sr. (1612-1684) and mother is Elizabeth X (supposedly 1614 until at least 1702), as noted in his father’s will in Oct. 1684.

From all of this, you can make the following family genealogy chart, from Samuel Packard, Sr., who came over to the Americas in 1638 on the HMS Diligent, to James Ward Packard and William Doud Packard, the co-founders of the Packard Car Company. The chart connecting the generations:

To conclude, more research could be done to confirm this lineage, but it it within the realm of possibility that Samuel Packard, Sr.’s descendants were those who formed the Packard Car Company, although connections from generation to generation could have been different. Perhaps I’ll do more research on this in the future, but for now, this will stand as a first attempt.


Notes

[1] For an obituary with similar information, see a two page obituary in the Los Angeles Times for William here  and here. The same is the case for obituaries in The Pantagraph, The Times Recorder, and The Miami News.

[2] “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch, James W Packard in household of Warren Packard, Ohio, United States; citing p. 21, family 5, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,771.

[3] Harke, M. Rootsweb entry 13209 Pogany, J. (2007). Images of Austintown. Arcadia Publishing. White, J. R. (1976). The archaeology of the Austin Log House Site. Austintown, OH: Austintown Historical Society. Zinz, K. R. Focus on Austintown: In the Spirit of Our ’76 Heritage. Also see here.

[4] Jasper also wrote a local history of La Porte County, Indiana (among other books), was active in veteran events and served in Congress. Unfortunately the official Congressional biography, even one at the time, and another online do not talk about his siblings! He was also an Indiana State Representative (also see here), a pioneer perhaps, and was married to Harriet.

The story of three death certificates: what can they tell us?

There were three death certificates of Packards I found on the Missouri government’s site for death records when doing my research. For this I do not need to refer to my family history. Each of them has their own story.

Martha was buried at the Packard Cemetery in Cameron Missouri, sitting outside the town still to this day. Born to Charles E. Packard and Araminta Utter on February 5, 1880, she lived to age 77, dying on April 12, 1957, and would have been among some of those mentioned in the Packard family photo in the 1870s, a version of which was posted in one of my previous posts. According to the death certificate below, she was living in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, where she had lived for the past forty years (since 1917), at 4212 Windsor Avenue, a small rancher if it still looks as it did in 1957 (more about the house will be noted later in this post). She was an accountant for Yards Loan Company and died of hypostatic pneumonia or

pneumonia resulting from infection developing in the dependent portions of the lungs due to decreased ventilation of those areas, with resulting failure to drain bronchial secretions; occurs primarily in old people or those debilitated by disease who remain recumbent in the same position for long periods.

Nothing else is known other than what is noted below:

The next certificate to analyze is that of her father, Charles Edwin Packard.

Charles had died 24 years before on October 4, 1933. Born on March 19, 1838 in Massachusetts to Barnabas Packard and Ruth Snow, he lived at the same residence as Martha, and was a banker. He was widowed as his wife was dead at the time. Still, he lived to 95 years, 6 months, and 15 days old. He died due, in part, to his senility. What else is to be said is on the certificate below:

His wife, Araminta Utter, has a bit more of an interesting story from her birth certificate. Dying on January 4, 1926, she had been living in Kansas City at the same address as Charles for ten years. This seems to say that she had been in the city since 1916, aligning with what Martha said (that she had lived there since 1917). She died of chronic bronchitis at age 83, 9 months, 20 days with senility as a contributing factor. This certificate also shows that she was born in Dupont, Indiana to William Vanderwort Utter of Pennsylvania and Elvira Rogers of Kentucky. Like all the other certificates, Eva L. Packard is an informant, likely their daughter or a cousin, living at the same address! What else is to be said about her is contained in the certificate below:

From all of this, it seems evident that 4212 Windsor was a family residence and that Eva L. Packard had a connection to all of these individuals. Otherwise nothing much else is known at this time. An ad on hotpads (and on zillow) in 2016 describes the house and provides a photograph:

Spacious 1909 Shirtwaist style home offering historic charm and exceptional modern updates. The thoughtful redesign includes a first floor powder room, bedroom level laundry and stunning new kitchen with granite surfaces, stainless appliances and crisp white cabinetry. You’ll love the original woodwork, fireplace, window bench, bay window and beautiful refinished hardwood floors. Third floor is superbly finished with two bedrooms plus bonus space. Updated electric, plumbing and HVAC. New off-street parking for two. Great location just minutes outside of downtown. Walk to schools, parks and historic Cliff Drive. Just blocks from the magnificent Kansas City Museum. Good commute to anywhere in the metro.

One gives a photograph of the house:

It is apparently higher priced than other houses in the area as a single-family home. Apparently eight people are living there if spokeo is right and seems to be (or was) a rental property. It cannot be determined if this was the case when the Packards lived there but it may have still been a “spacious Shirtwaist style home offering rich historic charm and exceptional modern updates” when they were there from 1916 until at least the 1950s. I end with a quote from Martha’s obit in the Kansas City Times, showing Eva to be her sister:

MISS MARTHA PACKARD. She Formerly Was a Secretary for a Loan Firm. Miss Martha Elvira Packard. 4212 Windsor avenue, died yesterday at the home after a lengthy illness. She was born in Cameron, Mo., and had lived here 48 years. Miss Packard formerly was a Secretary for the Stock Yards Loan company here more than 20 years. She was a member of the independence Boulevard Christian church. Surviving are three sisters, Mrs. Laura Carey, Piatte City, and Miss Eva L. Packard and Dr. Elizabeth Marshall of the home, and a brother, Clark S. Packard, Dallas. o’clock Sunday at the Booth Funeral home in Rich Hill.