The first in a line of Packards: the story of Elizabeth

Building off the last post in this blog, where I pledged to write about more female ancestors, countering past gender imbalances, I’d like to focus on Elizabeth, the wife of Samuel Packard, who came over with a child, likely Mary, in 1638 from Hingham, a town in Norfolk County, England, to Hingham, a settlement in Plymouth County, Massachusetts. Many aspects of her life are an utter mystery. Her surname, long speculated to be Stream, is unknown, and is often given second billing, when it comes to efforts by Packard descendants to remember the past, elevating Samuel Packard above her, even by those than communicated with my grandfather, Bob Mills, or those that communicated with me in the past. The same is the case in contemporary records during the time her husband, Samuel, was alive, already implying was a second-class citizen. But, who was she, and why does she matter?

As I’ve written in the past, Elizabeth seems to have met Samuel when he moved to Norfolk County, which was north of Suffolk County, where he was born, reportedly in the Red House Farm. I am, to be clear, indirectly descended from both people. Apart from that, she had, at least nine children with Samuel, along with five grandchildren. [1] I tied to break this down into a listing so its much easier for you (and me) to understand those mentioned in Samuel’s will:

  1. Elizabeth X, wife of Samuel
  2. Samuel, son of Samuel and Elizabeth, eldest son
  3. Zaccheus, son of Samuel and Elizabeth
  4. John, son of Samuel and Elizabeth
  5. Nathaniel, son of Samuel and Elizabeth
  6. Mary, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth, wife of Richard Phillips
  7. Hannah, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Randall
  8. Jaell, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth, wife of John Smith
  9. Deborah, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Washburn
  10. Grandchild Israel Augur, son of ???
  11. Grandchild Caleb Philips, son of Richard? Phillips
  12. Grandchild Israel Packard, son of Zaccheus
  13. Grandchild Samuel Packard, son of Samuel
  14. Grandchild Daniel Packard, son of Samuel

In his will on October 29, 1684, Elizabeth received some money from her husband and much, much more. This included gobs and jobs of land, including:

  • his farm in the town of Bridgewater (36 acres), along with lands and meadows connected to the farm
  • share of meadow called Bullshole for life
  • all his goods and cattle
  • 40 pounds for life
  • 20 acres of land lying in Bridgewater between lands owned by James Keith and Joseph Hayward near Satuckett Pond
  • all money and chattle shall be divided equally among his children and grandchildren after she dies
  • a feather bed, which shall be given to his grandchild Deliverance Augur after her death
  • one of the joint executors of his estate along with her son Samuel

That’s a sizable amount!

After Samuel died, she married a man, likely in late 1684 or perhaps in early 1685, by the name of John Washburn, a long-time Bridgewater resident. He would die sometime after October 30, 1686, outlining the following in his will [2]:

to my Wife Elizabeth Washbourne one Bed one Boulster one Pillow two pair of sheets one Blanket one Coverlet two chests Six bushels of Indian Corne one bushell of Barley. ffarther with Respect to money which was my wives part whereof I have already laid out for her we are agreed that I should Returne to her two pounds and ten shillings which I have already done.

Of course, she is not mentioned at all in his inventory. [3]

Over ten years after Samuel’s death, on October 27, 1694, Elizabeth sold land given to her by Samuel: a 20-acre tract called “Satuckett Pond” or “Sehucket Pond,” selling the  the land to “an Indian” living in Bridgewater named Sam James for five pounds. [4] This agreement would be signed by Samuel’s son of the same name, Samuel Packard, Jr., along with two others, while identifying her as “Elizabeth Washburn Widow of the Town of Bridgewater”:

Most importantly, in this agreement she explicitly noted herself as married to Samuel, calling him her “first husband”:

“…by these presents convent with the said Sam James his heirs & assigners I…at the lime of making over and passing away said Land unto the said Sam James stood truley & lawfully peired and processed with the same & every part and parcel thereof of a good lure, lawfully & absolute Estate of Inheritance, by virtual of my first Husband, vis: Samuel Packard his will, and therefor, I have full power to Bargain, Sell, Grant, alienate, and pass away the piece onto said Sam James.

It goes on from there in legalise, basically saying she has the right to give Sam James the land. This transcription may not be completely correct, so I’d recommend you read the full page below, as I could have made errors:

Many years later, in April 1702, Elizabeth, still a “widow,” would sign a document about John Washburn’s heirs, receiving some rights. I came to the conclusion this is her as she is called “Elizabeth Solo” (widow):

“Massachusetts Land Records, 1620-1986,” images, FamilySearch, Bristol, Deeds 1699-1709 vol 3-5, image 304 of 806, page 83, county courthouses and offices, Massachusetts.

That is the last record we have of her. What I have posed here goes far beyond what I wrote in the past. Further recommendations for how I can find more about Elizabeth are appreciated, as I’m planning to focus on later Packard ancestors in the future.


Notes

[1] Last Will and Testament of Samuell Packer, Oct. 29, 1684, Plymouth Colony Records, Wills Vol. 3, Part 2, Plymouth Registry of Deeds, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, Plymouth, p. 96-98, images 585586 of 616.

[2] “Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1633-1967,” images, FamilySearch, Probate records 1686-1702 and 1849-1867 vol 1-1F, image 49 of 490, pages 84-85; State Archives, Boston.

[3] “Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1633-1967,” images, FamilySearch, Probate records 1686-1702 and 1849-1867 vol 1-1F, image 50 of 490, pages 86; State Archives, Boston.

[4] “Massachusetts Land Records, 1620-1986,” images, FamilySearch, Plymouth, Deeds 1712-1714 vol 10, images 183-184 of 651, page 333, 334-5; county courthouses and offices, Massachusetts.

Emails from two former Packard researchers

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

[name of person]

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

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Burkely Hermann

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

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

Burkely,

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Butler

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

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

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

Best regards,

Burkely

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

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

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

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

Barbara Lenker

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

Barbara,

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

Thanks again for such a kind email.

– Burkely

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

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

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

Chapter V: The children of Samuel and Elizabeth

This is the 7th in a series of articles which serializes my family history, which I wrote in November 2017, titled “From Samuel to Cyrus: A fresh look at the History of the Packard Family.” Minor corrections in spelling. Below is the 5th chapter of that history:

In order to wrap up the story of Samuel and Elizabeth, it is vital to focus on their children as a launching pad for further investigation. While some genealogical sources, from Ancestry biographies of these individuals, are cited, the best information possible is used in this chapter. [62] Likely in late 1684, Samuel’s wife, Elizabeth, would marry a man named John Washburn Jr. who had been living in Bridgewater for years. The only mention of this in The Packard/Mills Family History is the following statement: “following her husband’s death in 1684, Elizabeth Stream Packard was said to have married John Washburn. Information is rather sketchy.” As this chapter will show, there is no reason to say that information like that is “sketchy” anymore, as it is proven they married.

In following years, Samuel and Elizabeth’s children would be determining their own destiny. In 1685, John may have signed (likely not him) an agreement about township boundaries of the town named Rowley and village of the same name and would be recorded as a “proprietor” in Bridgewater. [63]

On October 30, 1686, John Washburn, Jr. would write his will. Other than grants to his children, undoubtedly from a previous marriage, he would give Elizabeth one bed, one booster, one pillow, one pair of sheets, and one blanket for starters.  [64] He would also give her one coverlet, two chests, six baskets of Indian corn, one bushel of barley, and two pounds, two shillings, which he had already given to her at the time. Like Samuel, John Washburn owned numerous farm tools and supplies, such as Indian corn, rye, scythes, iron wedges, chains, hoes, pitchforks, cart, wheels, whip, and saws. [65] He also mirrored Samuel in his show of status not with brass, iron, and pewter spoons, his bees wax or ammunition, but through table cloths, napkins, and five beds, to name a few possessions.

Two final records would prove that Elizabeth married John Washburn once and for all. On October 27, 1694, almost eight years after John’s death, she would sell land given to her by Samuel. [66] It would be a 20-acre tract called “Satuckett Pond” or “Sehucket Pond” given to her by Samuel in his will, as noted in chapter 4, saying explicitly that Samuel was her first husband as she sold the land to “an Indian” living in Bridgewater named Sam James. The land agreement would be signed by Samuel’s son of the same name, Samuel Packard, Jr., along with Thomas Washburn and Edward Fobes. It is not  a coincidence that this Samuel Packard and Thomas Washburn were executors of Samuel Packard, Sr.’s estate. Years later, in April 1702, Elizabeth, again a “widow,” would sign a document about John Washburn’s heirs, receiving some rights. [67] What happened to her after this is not known.

As the years passed, Samuel Packard Jr., John, and Nathaniel would blaze their own paths. In  February 1689, Samuel Jr. would purchase land. This record specifically called him an ensign. Hence, it could be said, that this record is indirect evidence that he served in Bridgewater’s first militia company. [68] For the rest of his life he would be called an ensign, sometimes only as “Ensign Packard.” As the years passed, John, Samuel, and Nathaniel would own land in Bridgewater. [69] Samuel would gain a level of prominence in local government. Apart from paying to enlarge the meeting house in 1695, he would be chosen as a selectman in March 1695 and March 1696, along with serving as a juror for the  towns court the same year, and owning land within the town. [70] The others would not fair the same way. In 1696, John would assert his ownership to 70 acres in Bridgewater; Israel Augur/Augor would be given 15 acres, and Nathaniel would have acres laid out for him. [71] From 1705 to 1731, varying acres would be laid out for members of the Packard family. This included 2 ½ acres laid out for David Packard, seven acres laid out for John Packard, and four acres for Daniel Packard over this time span. [72] Such surveying, often by Josiah Edson, and buying of land, shows that steady social standing. On June 7, 1697, living a little less than 13 years after his father, Samuel Packard Jr., would die in Bridgewater. His probate, which would be reviewed in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 2000s by varying family researchers, would include an administrative bond of his wife Elizabeth Lathrop (administrator of his estate) and Thomas Washburn with a man named William Bradford in July 1698, along with another administrative bond between this Elizabeth and Thomas Snell in November 1697. [73] Then there’s his inventory. It shows him as a person who owns linen (and wearing) clothes, chairs, wheels, carts, blankets, woolen cloth, books & table, and arms and ammunition. [74] It also shows him as the owner of iron tools, saddles and bridles, flax, bags of linen, woolen clothes, leather boots, hogs, improved land, and plows, in keeping with the agricultural lifestyle of Packards. It would not be until 1699 than his probate would be finally settled as his lands would be divided up between his immediate and extended family, with guardians appointed for his children. [75]

Before moving onto the other Packards, it is worth mentioning the three children Samuel Packard Jr. had with his wife Elizabeth Lathrop (d. 1716): Samuel Packard III (1680-1749), Daniel Packard (1682-1731), and Joseph Packard (1684-1760). [76] Daniel Packard, Samuel Packard Jr.’s son, is worth covering since his story is intertwined with that of Samuel Packard III. On March 16, 1731, Daniel would sign a will dividing his estate between his four daughters  (Sarah, Mary, Susanna, and Martha), and doling out other lands to his sons Isaac (48 acres) and Daniel.  [77] Samuel Packard III would be his will’s executor. Daniel died five days after writing his will. He would have a wide-ranging inventory. [78] His possessions included 117 acres of “improved” land, 10  acres of land by a river, five cows, heifer (with a calf), large & small swine, a gun, a mare, and a colt. [79] The life of Daniel’s children cannot be fully determined. While existing records do not provide much information, it is clear that Job Packard would help administer Daniel’s estate in November 1745 and be the guardian to Nehemiah, one of Daniel’s sons, in the autumn of 1746 as he helped divide up the estate. [80] Adding to this, Daniel’s son, of the same name would manage his brother Nehemiah’s land the same year that he would be released from the guardianship of Samuel Packard III.

Samuel Packard III would marry a woman named Elizabeth Edson, possibly in 1705. They would have four children: Job (1716-1805), Paul, Bethiah (d. 1750) and Samuel Packard IV (d. 1774). [81] They would live in Bridgewater for years to come. Samuel Packard III, and his son of the same name, would be recorded as living in the town in 1704/1705. The former would be more in the business of purchasing a lot of meadow from the Leach family, 10 undivided acres from the Willis family, and a tract of land known as Costers Kitchen from the Leach family, which was a meadow lot near land which was owned by, you guessed it, Thomas Washburn. [82] In 1748, Samuel Packard III would die. In his will, written in November of the same year, he would show he is a Christian, like the other Packards before him, but would show he owned at least 140 acres, along with right to a lot in Cedar Swamp, land near West Meadow, along with certain amounts of pounds he gave to his immediate family, for the most part. [83] In April 1749, his administrators would list his inventory. He would own buildings and rights on land (consisting of most of the property value in his inventory), three swine, two beds and furniture, and books and apparel. [84] He would also own hogs, a head of cider, chains & old iron, barrels, tub & chests, an iron crow bar, guns and swords, a churner, a table, and a cord. While Job Packard would be his executor, no papers from his estate would survive, with only a sheet saying “see records” within the probate records of the state of the Massachusetts which are currently scanned and online. [85]

In August 1774, Samuel Packard’s son of the same name, Samuel Packard IV, would die. His estate files, which would be examined in 1978, by varying researchers, show he had an insolent estate managed by Adam Bailey, who distributed the estate funds and divided up the estate. [86] There was also his inventory. It would show that he owned, like the other Packards, wearing apparel, horse and cow, one feather bed, table lining, two swords, chests and boxes, glass bottles, chairs, pewter & earthen dishes and spoons, and iron kettles. [87]


Notes

[62] The sources range from “Millennium file[s]”; “U.S. and International Marriage Records 1560-1900”; “North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000”; “Family Data Collection – Births”; “Family Data Collection – Individual Records”; Even the Find A Grave entries are iffy as they include no gravestones. This means that the marriages of Hannah Packard to Thomas Randall (1671) and Clement Briggs (1669) cannot be proven other than the slight mention in Samuel Packard Sr.’s will. This also means we can’t confirm if Deliverance Packard, who married Thomas Washburn, had four children or the details of John Packard’s life, for example. Some sources say she married John Holbrook, based on a Find A Grave entry for “Elizabeth Stream Holbrook” (died in 1688) but this not the same as Samuel’s wife, Elizabeth, or that she married Thomas Auger in 1665. The only marriage that is confirmed is to John Washburn. It seems evident that Elizabeth and Samuel’s daughter, Elizabeth, was married to Thomas Augur and had a child named Israel who is mentioned in the last chapter.

[63] Agreement between the town of Rowley and the Village of Rowley (Boxford) regarding the boundaries between the two, 1685, Massachusetts Archives, Archives Collection, Series 2043, Vol. 112, p. 410, 412; Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 161, image 71 of 654. The next page shows Serjeant Packard, who was a proprietor, was part of committee to divide land.

[64] George Ernest Bowman, “Washburn Notes,” The Mayflower Descendant, no. 15, 1913, p. 247, 248, 249, 250; Will of John Washburn, Oct. 30, 1686, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records vol. 1-1F, p. 84, image 49 of 490.

[65] Inventory of John Washburn, Nov. 12, 1686, MA, Plymouth County, Probate Records vol. 1-1F, p. 86, image 50 of 490.

[66] George Ernest Bowman, “Washburn Notes,” The Mayflower Descendant, no. 15, 1913, p. 251; Land transaction by Elizabeth Washburn, Massachusetts Land Records, Plymouth, Deeds Vol. 10, p. 333-335, images 183 and 184 of 651 Courtesy of Family Search; Mary paid her fair share from her father’s estate, May 22, 1697,  Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, p. 304, image 161 of 490. Courtesy of Family Search. She would also pay Mary, her daughter, the money which was owed to her from Samuel Packard, Sr.’s will, in May 1697.

[67] Heirs of John Washburn, Apr. 15, 1702, Massachusetts Land Records, Bristol, Deeds vol 3-5, p. 83, image 304 of 806. Courtesy of Family Search; George Ernest Bowman, “Washburn Notes,” The Mayflower Descendant, no. 15, 1913, p. 252, 253. Her Find A Grave entry is no help here.

[68] Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 110, image 43 of 654.

[69] Town Records Vol. 1, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 136, image 73 of 94; Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 90, 128, 136-137, images 3352, 56, 57, 60 of 654. The latter record, in 1695, may say “four late of the Peckers” which could refer to the Packard family. On the next page, a “G. Pecker”mentioned. In 1702, Nathaniel Packard says he will help maintain bridge & other aspects for Courthouse. This is the “Packard Bridge” as some have noted in family histories.

[70] Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 119, 137-138 images 48 and 74 of 654; Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 120, image 48 of 92; Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 121, image 49 of 654; Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 142, image 59 of 654.; Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 147, image 63  of 654; Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 173, image 77 of 654. Years later, on March 22, 1702, Nathaniel Packard will serve on a jury for a local trial.

[71] Plymouth, Bridgewater, Land Records, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Town and Vital Records, p. 254, image 147 of 767; Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 171, image 76 of 654; Town Records Vol. 1, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 171-172, images 91 of 92. On March 13, 1701, Nathaniel Packard and Israel Augor became surveyors of highways.

[72] Plymouth, Bridgewater, Land Recs, MA, Town Clerk, Town and Vital Records, p. 257-260, images 149 and 150 of 767.

[73] Probate of Samuel Packard of Bridgewater, 1697, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Estate Files, images 1304, 1305, 1306, 1307, and 1311 of 1365.

[74] Probate of Samuel Packard of Bridgewater, 1697, images 1309  and 1310 of 1365; Probate of Samuel Packard of Bridgewater, 1697, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, vol 1-1F, p. 277-278, image 148 of 490.

[75] Probate of Samuel Packard of Bridgewater, 1699, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, Probate records vol 1-1F, p. 305, image 162 of 490; Guardians appointed, Nov. 25, 1697, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, p. 278, image 148 of 490. On 25 Nov 1697 Guardians are appointed for Joseph and Daniel Packard, Samuel Packard Jr.’s children; for Joseph (7 and ½ years old) it is Thomas Snell and for Daniel [15 years old] it is Nathaniel Bratt.

[76] See the Find A Grave records for Elizabeth Lathrop, Samuel Packard III, Joseph Packard (the only three here with a picture of a gravestone), and Daniel Packard.

[77] Will of Daniel Packard, Mar. 16, 1731, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records vol 6-6U, p. 172-174, images 99 and 100 of 589. Also see Daniel Packard and Nehemiah within Liber 10, 35 in Oct. 1745, notes payments to Daniel, his son, that his son Isaac is dead, and to his son Nehemiah, with Samuel Packard III affirming this as the reality.

[78] Inventory of Daniel Packard, April 28, 1732, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records vol 6-6U, p. 182-182a, images 103 and 104 of 589.

[79] He would also own four steers; four yearlings and a two year old;a cart, plow, and other team tackling; forks, shovels, hoes, and more; a crow bar and wedges; scythes; books & apparell; beds, bedstands, coverlids, and other bed furniture; sheets, pillowcases, blankets, table clothes and napkins; new cloth; chairs and tables; reel cords, wheels and wooden material; pewter dishes, spoons, and plates; Barrells, tubs, and other copper work; meal, houghs, corn and flax; metal pots and kettle; dogs; iron plates and glass vessels; panel, saw, and other house furniture; some old iron; Bogs and yarn; stone and earthen vessels; pan simmer knives and forks; two pots of fat; and a razor candlestick. Samuel Packard III would be named executor of the estate, finally probated on July 3, 1732.

[80] See the Find A Grave entries for Daniel, his wife Mary Harris, his daughter Sarah (alt. Entry), and Martha. Also see the Records of Daniel Packard, 1745-1746, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1633-1967, Probate Records 1745-1749 and 1836-1849 vol. 10-10A, p. 51-52, 345-347, images 37, 38, 190, and  191, of 611. Courtesy of Family Search; Managing land, June 4, 1744, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1633-1967, Probate records 1742-1745 and 1844-1856 vol 9-9M, p. 242, image 132 of 583. Courtesy of Family Search; Freed from Guardianship, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1633-1967, Probate records 1742-1745 and 1844-1856 vol 9-9M, p. 325-326, image 174 of 583. Courtesy of Family Search. Job would die in 1805 ultimately at the age of 88 years old. The notes on his guardianship: Samuel Packard III acts as guardian of Daniel (1732), goes to Marshfield; Samuel keeps Daniel from 1 1/2 until 11 1/2 years old; In 1739, Samuel mends part of Daniel’s house; In 1740 and 1741, he pays “his rate”; In 1742, he pays Daniel in cash; In April 1743, he enters a bond with Daniel for rent; In October 1743 he gives Daniel one ox and a heifer; In 1744, he gives him one cow and calf; Daniel, Nehemiah, and Isaac [all sons of Daniel who died 1731] pay 182 pounds in rent for a ten year period going forward; Samuel is also the guardian of Isaac, keeps him from seven until age 17; Isaac gives his part in lending a man and house when he and his brother ran away; Says Isaac paid him rent for eleven years, same as for Daniel; Samuel is also the guardian of Nehemiah from ages 5 to 10. Sometime before January 8, 1753 he would die as noted here, here, and here, with an inventory including a panel of old wood and a dwelling house.

[81] These dates come from their Find A Grave entries or other information posted on their profiles on the Mills Family Tree on Ancestry.com. Bethiah would later marry a man named Wright Bartlett and have one child named Samuel (1736-1827) who would later marry to someone named Susanna Dunbar. He would have three children with her named Susanna, Lucy, and Susanna (again). This is only mentioned to give more context to the family.

[82] Town records vol 1-2, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 131, image 58 of 285; Land transaction between Samuel Packard, John Leach and Thomas Lack, Mar 12, 1714, Massachusetts Land Records, Plymouth, Deeds vol. 13-14, p. 221-222, image 490 of 545; Land transaction between Samuel Packard and Thomas Leach, Mar 9, 1718, Massachusetts Land Records, Plymouth, Deeds vol. 13-14, p. 222-223, image 491 of 545; Land transaction between Samuel Packard and David Leach, Jan. 26, 1719, Massachusetts Land Records, Plymouth, Deeds vol. 15-17, p. 230-231, image 274 of 709; Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 163, image 72 of 654; Plymouth, Bridgewater, Land Records, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Town and Vital Records, p. 259, image 150 of 767; Plymouth, Bridgewater, Land Records, 1672-1834, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Town and Vital Records, p. 260, image 150 of 767. On August 15, 1699, it was reported that two Packards were landowners in Bridgewater, one named S. Packard S. (referring to a Samuel Packard, Sr.?) and another just named Packard Se [possibly meaning Senior]. He also possibly had eight acres laid out to him January 1730, some of which was near Samuel Lathrop’s house.

[83] Will of Samuel Packard III, Nov. 17, 1748, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records vol 12-12C, p. 63-65, images 45 and 46 of 596. The probate was ultimately settled in 1749.

[84] Inventory of Samuel Packard III, Apr. 7, 1749, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records vol 11-11B, p. 244, image 135 of 642.

[85] Probate of Samuel Packard of Bridgewater, 1749, Case no. 15170, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, Plymouth, images 1313 and 1314 of 1362. The other records available just relate to guardianship of one of his children by Samuel Packard III. The estate was not settled until January 1776.

[86] Probate of Samuel Packard IV of Bridgewater, 1775, no. 15171, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686-1915, Plymouth, images 1315, 1316, 1317, 1318, 1319, 1320, 1322, 1323, 1324, 1325, 1326, 1327, 1328, 1329, 1332, 1333 of 1362. One document in February 6, 1775 would say he died six months prior, which would mean that he died in or near August 6, 1774.

[87] Probate of Samuel Packard IV of Bridgewater, 1775, no. 15171, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686-1915, Plymouth, images 1329 and 1331, of 1362; Probate of Samuel Packard IV of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, vol 24-25, p. 37-38, images 46 and 47 of 568, courtesy of Family Search.

Chapter III: The Packards in Bridgewater

This is the 5th in a series of articles which serializes my family history, which I wrote in November 2017, titled “From Samuel to Cyrus: A fresh look at the History of the Packard Family.” Below is the 3rd chapter of that history.

The story of the Packard family in Bridgewater, specifically that of Samuel, Elizabeth, and their children, has many primary sources to support it. [31] Only one of their children would have been, seemingly, born in Bridgewater: Elizabeth Packard (d. 1729). She reportedly married Thomas Place of Boston on November 14, 1665, a fact which cannot be confirmed within available online town records. A major genealogical question is: why did the Packards move to Bridgewater? Assuming they lived in Weymouth, a stone’s throw away from Hingham, this would be a journey of about 17 to 20 miles. By the 1660s, colonists purchased land from indigenous people and Bridgewater had been incorporated by the legislature of the Massachusetts Bay Colony with a town meeting in 1656. [32] The town was “well watered by brooks and streams,” wooded, and agricultural like Hingham or Weymouth, with few hills and plenty of fruit trees. It was the “first interior settlement” of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, making the Packards some of the first settlers in an area 20 miles south of Boston. [33]

The Packards were buying and selling land, especially when it came to Samuel. On December 4, 1662, he was noted as a purchaser of land and landowner in Bridgewater, the twelve-year-old township. [34] A few years later, in 1665, “Samuell Packer” as he was called, he would acquire additional land. Along with John Hayward, Sr., and John Cary (then the town clerk), he would help layout ten “upland” acres in Bridgewater. In October 1666, he would again help lay out land. This land would sit on the Johns and Satuckett Rivers. He would receive money, like others helping lay out the 20 acre lot of land in that area. [35] This role in land laying out land would lead to an evident position in the town’s governmental structure. In 1668, he would be part of a jury that would determine land distributions within the town of Bridgewater, which would affect his own personal self-interest, since he owned tens, if not hundreds of acres in the town as discussed in the next chapter. [36]

In the 1670s, Samuel continued to expand his land holdings. In 1675, 69 acres would be laid out for him, and he would agree to help survey a tract of land called “Common Meddow” in February of the same year. [37] Later that year, Samuel’s son, Zaccheus, would be married to a woman named Sarah Howard, if unsubstantiated genealogical sources have any merit. Zaccheus was living in the town, as where two of Samuel’s sons: John and Nathaniel. [38] Some records point to a “John Pickard” taking political action the same year by signing a petition to the Massachusetts General Court (the name for the legislature) seeking to appeal the decision of a court in Rowley, Massachusetts. [39]

In the years before Samuel’s death in 1684, he continued to acquire land as his children went their separate ways. In May 1681, Samuel and his son of the same name were listed as those who purchased land in the town of Bridgewater. [40] The following year, Nathaniel, one of Samuel’s sons, would marry a woman named Lydia Smith, if existing genealogical records are right. Nathaniel and Lydia would have two children before each of them died in the 18th century: Zachariah (1697-1771) and Mary (1695-1770). [41] Mary would marry into the Leonard family. Nothing else is known about her.

As for Zachariah, he would marry a woman named Abigail Davenport, and have four children: Elijah (b. 1725), Nathan (1733-1798) who was a captain in the Revolutionary War, Abigail (1728-1768) and Nathaniel (1730-1814). [42] When Zachariah died in 1771, he would have a will and inventory that were in keeping with the agricultural lifestyle of many of the Packards. Within his will, he would give his sons Nathan and Nathaniel a “servant” named Peter, his daughter Abigail a “servant boy” named America, and said that a “servant maid” named Ann would be given to his wife Abigail, only set free after her death. [43] The reality of this will seems evident: he is a Christian with “sound and deposing mind” who divides his “quick stock” between his wife and two sons which are above mentioned, along with giving his son Nathaniel his “Smith’s shop” with related tools, cider mill, and his gun, and his wife Abigail his personal estate after debt with funeral charges and legacies subtracted. In his inventory, he is listed as owning 214 pounds, 17 shillings, 2 pence of property, which includes a bed & furniture, roundtable, a wooden box, six chairs, warming pan, 3 wash tubs, 12 tinning sheets, old casks, a cheese press, 13 barrels and two hogshead. [44] He also owns an iron kettle, skillet, eight swine (pigs), nine sheep, three cows, tobacco, Indian corn, a gun, cart rope, old scythes, side saddle, and hand saw. This seems to be “normal” by the standards of the Packard family until you get to the last three items:

As Michael added, as quoted on a previous post, “cursive writing style of the time, which wrote lower-case “s” almost the way we would today write “f” except in the final position or after another “s.” Hence “history” would look a bit like “hiftory” and “mistress” would look a bit like “miftrefs.” Compare the German letter “ß” (Eszett), which is a ligature double “s.” The line reads, “The Service of the Negro woman Ann during her Mistress [sic, should be Mistress’s] Life.” The names of Peter and America are cut off because of some weird feature in PDFs which enlarges pictures. A better picture shall be posted later on this blog.

Hence, he is clearly a slaveowner which was not explicitly stated in his will, except for calling the enslaved people listed above “servants” who are “worth” to him (as “quick stock”) a total of 69 pounds, 4 shillings, 9 pence. Using this measurement, it means that these people constitute almost 33% or one-third of his total property! Through his distribution of enslaved people to his sons Nathan and Nathaniel, daughter Abigail, and wife of the same name, it makes all of these individuals slaveowners as well. No other enslaved people are believed to be owned by other members of the Packard family. It is worth discussing this issue at length since stands against the religious convictions which brought over the Packards to New England in the first place. [45]

In 1700, the first enslaved peoples had been brought into Massachusetts, with some Puritans likely finding slavery of Black Africans repugnant, which may have included Samuel Packard and his children, with bond slavery, captivity, and other forms of bondage outlawed in 1641. [46] While these types of servitude were prohibited, Massachusetts White settlers were involved in “kidnapping, transporting and selling of black Africans.” This was especially the case among merchants in New England, with the region being the most active slave-trading area in the colonies by the 1700s. In some cases, enslavement was even a punishment for a crime, and indigenous people were enslaved as well, with “racial and culture prejudices” never explicitly cited although it evidently the reason. Saying this, it hard to determine why slavery of enslaved Blacks developed in New England at all since there were less than thousand enslaved peoples in 1700, with no staple crop, no necessity for a “large labor force,” and indentured servants sufficed better for many farmers. Still, New England White colonists preferred enslaved peoples to White indentured servants, such as the brother-in-law of Governor Winthrop. Some enslaved Blacks were in perpetual slavery, with the status transmitted to their children. By the 1770s, there was a movement for abolition in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The British government stood behind slaveowners, like Zachariah Packard, refusing to engage in any measures that would impede the slave trade, while courts slowly moved toward granting freedom to enslaved laborers. By 1783, there was a court case involving a Black man named Quock Walker, in which it was asserted that slavery in Massachusetts had been abolished in 1781. Even after this case, slavery continued in the state, but it was clear that the state would “no longer protect the legality of slavery.” [47]

To sum up this information, with Zachariah as a slaveowner, he was part of a well-off White minority that owned human beings in Massachusetts. In order to continue the story of the Packards, it is worth going back to 1683. This year, Samuel Packard Sr. owned land in varied parts of the town, like his son Nathaniel. [48] Later that year, Samuel would make an agreement with Goodman Washburn, helping divide up and survey a 50 acre lot that laid on a meadow. This shows his social standing.


Notes

[31] These include the records of John Cary, Bridgewater town clerk. You can also request original records from the current town clerk, see the Packards in a cemetery within Bridgewater here and here. One source (page 10 of this PDF) even shows that on the “north side of the river” Samuel and Zaccheus Packard were living, another indication of their residence. For more information, see “Finding Primary Sources about Bridgewater” on Ancestry.com (need to login to access). He is even indexed within the town records as certain pages show.

[32] “Bridgewater Timeline,” Old Bridgewater Historical Society, accessed August 1, 2017. A meeting house was built in 1661, a grist mill established by Samuel Edson in 1662, and establishment of the town’s First Parish Church two years later.

[33] Nahum Mitchell, History of Bridgewater, Massachusetts (Boston: Kidder & Wright, 1897), 9, 12-17, 21, 25, 27, 30, 32-33; Bradford Kingman, Chapter I, History of North Bridgewater, 1866, accessed August 1, 2017.

[34] Town records 1656-1701 Vol. 1, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 17, image 12 of 92. Courtesy of Family Search. Would likely be listed here; Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 17, 35, images 22 and 23 of 654; Town records vol 1-2, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 34-35, image 14 of 285. He was called “Samuel Packer” and “Samuel Peckar” in other records. Even with the different spellings this is undoubtedly the same person.

[35] Town records vol 1-2, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 47, image 18 of 285; Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 48, image 25 of 654. Both are courtesy of Family Search.

[36] Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 54, image 25 of 654; Town records vol 1-2, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 54, image 21 of 285.

[37] Plymouth, Bridgewater, Land Records, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Town and Vital Records, Proprietors Records, p. 2, image 23 of 767. A “Georg Packard” is listed; Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 158, image 69 of 654. To name a few sources.

[38] Town Records 1656-1808 Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 21, image 23 of 654.

[39] Petition Submitted to the General Court, May 30, 1679, Series 2043, Massachusetts Archives, Archives Collection 1629-1799, Vol. 10, p. 67; Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, Vol. V 1674-1686 (ed. Nicholas B. Shurtluff, Boston: William White, 1854), 233. His name is spelled “John Pickard.” He would have also been part of a petition in 1681 and may be the same as the man mentioned here, here, and here. Since Rowley is 56-59 miles from Bridgewater, it is unlikely this is the same person as John Packard.

[40] Town Records Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 131, image 54 of 654.

[41] Find A Grave records indicate that Lydia died in 1720 and that Nathaniel died in 1736. Also see the entries for Mary and Zachariah, the latter of which has a photo of a gravestone which has been added to the entry.

[42] See the Find A Grave entries for Abigail Davenport, and Nathan Packard. Nathan would marry to a woman named Lydia Jackson in 1758 and have at least two children named Abigail Packard (1763-1828) and Elijah Packard (1766-1832).

[43] Will of Zachariah Packard, Apr. 17, 1771, Probate Records 1771-1778 vol. 21-23, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1663-1967, p. 200-201, image 130 of 627. Courtesy of Family Search. This means she did not die in 1758 as her Find A Grave entry, cited in the previous footnote, asserts. He gives his grandchildren, the children of his son Elijah, named Abigail, Benjamin, Elijah, and Mary four shillings a piece. John Washburn, Josiah Edson, Jr., and William Hooper are witnesses. They note in a letter in Nov. 1772 that Nathaniel is executor of the estate, with further accounts. His estate is not settled until June 6, 1774 as noted by other documents.

[44] Inventory of Zachariah Packard, Dec. 17, 1772, Probate Records 1771-1778 vol. 21-23, Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1663-1967, p. 621-622, image 298 of 627. Courtesy of Family Search.

[45] Since this was in 1771, Edward Baptist’s tome, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism is not useful since his book begins analysis in 1783.

[46] A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., In the Matter of Color: Race & The American Legal Process: the Colonial Period (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 61-62.

[47] Ibid, 62-72, 82-88, 91-95, 98-99. These are the pages cited in this paragraph.

[48] Plymouth, Bridgewater, Land Records, 1672-1834, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Town records 1656-1701 Vol. 1, p. 82, 83, images 46, 47 of 92. Courtesy of Family Search; Town Records 1656-1808 Vol. 1-4, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, p. 81, 83, images 28, 30 of 654. Related to page 82, the next page; There is also a man named Goodman Peckerd/Pecker mentioned again and again (see here, here, here, here, here, herehere, and here) whose relation to the Packard family is not known. Also see Plymouth, Bridgewater, Land Records, MA, Town Clerk, Town & Vital Records, Proprietors Records, p. 254, image 147 of 767.

Was Samuel Packard a tavern owner or constable?

Varying biographies say that Samuel Packard was a constable or tavern owner. [1] Looking through the “Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001” database on Family Search, I found a listing of the births of Abel and Sarah Packard. More importantly however, I found the following from the transcript and original record for Bridgewater:

  • p 17: Samuel Packer owns land in Bridgewater by dec 1662 (noted on p 16)
  • p 33: Samuell Packer helps divide up land with others (John Hayward, Sey Hayward Snell, Samuel Edson
    in July 1668
  • p 35: helps lay out lots in bridgewater in Feb. 1665
  • p 40: Helps lay out land in 1665.
  • p 47: Samuel Packer granted certain lands in Bridgewater in Oct 1666
  • P 48: helps lay out 20 acres of land with Samuel Edson and John Cary in early 1667
  • p 54: part of jury in bridgewater in 1668
  • p 81: purchase of land by december 1683 as one f the “men the east [of bridgewater]”
  • p 82: purchase of land by Nathaniel Packard for John Kingman, and Samuel “Peckerd” in the same region (“Third Division”) along with the “Sixth Edition.”
  • p 83: Goodman Washburn and Samuel Packard divide a 50 acre lot in dec 1683
  • p 119: “Ensigne Samuel Peckerd” listed as paying dues for meeting house in 1694
  • p 120: Same year, ensign samuel Packard is a selectman
  • p 131: two samuel packards in birgdewater in 1703/1704, owning land
  • p 137: “senior packer” mentioned as is a Samuel Packer seemingly in February 1682
  • p 144: Helps lay out lots with Samuel Edson, John Cary, and William Breet in 1666.
  • p 144: Samuel Packard, on 16 May 1674, chosen as a constable.
  • p 145: lots of land laid out by individuals such as Samuel in 1666
  • p 158: Samuel Packard among those to “look out the common meadows that? are not yet set out”
  • P 163: A samuel Packard is a juror of the court in 1699

It is the original record (on the right side)which is shown below:

And the transcribed version (on the left side):

In sum, Samuel Packer/Packar (sr) is owning land in 1662, along with another Packer. Other Packers (Nathaniel and John) owning land in Bridgewater. He helped put up a meeting house on Bridgewater in July 1668 along with other folks. Helps to lay out ten acres in 1665. Land in Bridgewater chosen, with Samuel Pecker as part of that. Samuel Peckar, Samuel Edson, and John Cary lay out land for Thomas Snell in late 1666 or early 1667. He was also part of a jury for a court in the area, as “Samuel Peckar,” in 1668. A Samuel Peckerd owned land in Bridgewater in 1683.

There no mention of him owning a tavern. Where did this come from? I know that a book I talked about in a recent post reviewing Dale Cook’s sources mentioned this, but I do not know where they got their sources. So, in sum, we can say that Samuel Packard was a constable in Bridgewater but cannot say, with certainty, that he was a tavern owner. That is stretching the reality too far.


Notes

[1] See geni.com, this page on rootsweb, ournorthernroots.com, a page on angelfire.com, a page on genealogy.com, another two pages here and here on rootsweb, along with a page on myancestrallegacy.com. Additionally, pages of Mitchell’s book on Bridgewater (esp p 60 and 264), along with Dale Cook’s page on Samuel Packard’s family makes the same claim.

Mrs. Nethiah Thayer’s “Packard Poem”

At a “past Packard Celebration,” as recounted in a Geni.com biography of Samuel Packard, one Mrs. Nethiah Hayward Thayer read a poem about the Packards. This was not the gathering in 1888 but was another one. The poem is as follows:

The Packards have gathered from near and far.

Father and mother and dear grandmama. [sic]

From Samuel we came, his name honored be.

A more goodly race not often you’ll see.

The lineal descent oft puzzled us sore.

For Packards and Howards were mixed o’er and o’er.

Now ’tis not Howard, Packard, and Jones.

But Packards with Porter, Glover, and Holmes

Goodly the race is that answers the call

To the name of Packard. B.W. and all.

We honor the fathers who fought, bled, and died.

No less, we honor these here by our side.

Davis and Moses and Winslow, we know.

Direct are from Samuel, who faced the foe;

Liberty, Wallace, Fred, and Josiah.

Martin and Robert. Ben and Uriah.

George A. — from the Heights all ready for fun.

Andrew and Elmer, we know every one;

They are here from the East, here from the West:

They are known unto us as good, better, and best.

And DeWitt is here, and Caleb near by;

They are Brockton’s jewels, we all testify;

Horace the doctor, and Ransom the strong.

Henry B. and Fred come marching along.

Simeon the aged, and Franklin his son.

Willard and Edmund — but we are done.

Name after name comes to mind.

To speak of them all no space we could find.

One word for the girls, the good Packard girls;

We seem them to-day with crimps and with curls.

The name they have lost, but loyal are still,

And never were known to do what was ill.

Adaline is here, well known to the fold

As our sweetest singer in times now old:

Josiah’s daughter we see here to-day.

Her pills and her pellets all cast away.

Our history fails to mention the name

Of Samuel’s wife, who has little fame;

We honor her too. She clothed and she fed.

Twelve children to her their daily prayers said.

Their old-fashioned names not all of us know,

But they were trained the right way to go.

Years passed away, the race multipled,

From coast to coast the Packards abide.

Our fathers are gone, their places we fill.

The acres they left we have them to till.

They left us the school, gave us Church and State;

These we will cherish, whatever our fate.

We bless our dear fathers, yes, every one;

Filial the heart of each daughter and son

We meet here to-day glad praises to sing–

Praises to God, our Maker and King!

This poem shows how the story of Samuel stayed within the Packard descendants for years. Again. I cannot vouch for the historical veracity of this poem since it is hearsay and is seemingly based on stories down through generations. But it probably has, at least, some basis in reality. As P.K. Magruder told me on Find A Grave, “The Packards were a prolific family; they probably are directly related to half of Hampshire County and indirectly related to the other half.” There’s nothing much more to say about this poem. As such, I welcome comments from readers.

The mystery book on Packard family genealogy: where can it be found?

The apparent original cover as asserted by Amazon.

The Old Bridgewater Historical Society, has, on its website, a book for $10.00 titled “The Genealogies of Samuel Packard of Bridgewater, Massachusetts and Abel Packard of Cummington, Mass.” and it is by Theophilus Packard who claimed his wife was “insane” (see our previous post). This book may have the same content as something like Nahum Mitchell’s 1840 History of the early settlement of Bridgewater in Plymouth County, Massachusetts. As Dale Cook noted below, he warns that this “is not a sound reference. It is in part cribbed from Mitchell’s “History of the early Settlement of Bridgewater,” a work that has repeatedly been shown to be unreliable concerning the 17th and early 18th century families of Bridgewater, [and] It is also partly cribbed from Kingman’s “History of North Bridgewater,” which itself was partly cribbed from Mitchell and so suffers the same faults.” Even so, it would be wrong to not write a post on this book, exposing such a horrid source.

We can say, based on the fact that it is in varying places, such as here, here, here, and here, that the book indeed exists, even within a searchable database put up by Ancestry and has been mentioned on Ancestry.com forums. But, NO ONE seems to have uploaded a copy of this book, not even on Internet Archive.

This mystery book seems to be, according to WorldCat here and here, in libraries in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, and Utah. It was also reprinted by the Old Bridgewater Historical Society in 1986 apparently and again in 2016 (also reprinted in 1977) This same society has some mentions of the Packards:

“Thomas Alger came from England to the American Colonies in approximately 1665. He settled in Taunton, Massachusetts and married Elizabeth Packard, daughter of Samuel Packard. They later moved with their children to the area of Bridgewater, Mass.”- here

“Born in England, John Howard came early to Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and began his family. This genealogical register details three generations of his descendants, with birth and death dates, and a complete index of individuals. Affiliated families include Alden, Ames, Conant, Edson, Field, Fobes, Howard, Keith, Kingman, Packard, Perkins, Pratt, Snell, Washburn, Williams, and many more.”- here

“Written in 1871, this book by Rev. Theophilus Packard details generations of the following two Packard families of Massachusetts: Samuel Packard, who immigrated from England in 1638 and settled early in Bridgewater, where he was licensed to keep a tavern, and Abel Packard, his greatgrandson. Abel Packard was born in North Bridgewater (now Brockton) in 1729 and removed to Cummington, where his family lived for many generations. Included are a list of college graduates bearing the Packard name, and a full index.” – here

It is viewable through Family Search but you need to either: Access the site at a family history center or access the site at a FamilySearch affiliate library. A search for the book on Abebooks turned up no results, sadly, which is deeply unfortunate to say the least. The same is the case for Google Books. Apparently, the DAR’s library has the book, but it is currently in the poor condition section perhaps because it was one of the original copies printed in 1871. Reportedly the original edition was only 85 pages long. There is apparently an eBook version (also here).

I end this post with the following extract from the book, which has been updated with the transcription of information from the book itself which I added to the Internet Archive, as talked about more in detail in a post the following week where I talk about my quest to attain this book. I worked to acquire this book not because I agree with its content, but rather to make more information available, so it can be more easily criticized. The information written about those living at the time the book was written (1871) is more accurate than any other generations, so that should be kept in mind. The extract, from pages 5-6, 40-41, 44, 52, 53 is as follows:

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

Zaccheus, bom in Hingham, married Sarah, daughter of John Howard, of West Bridgewater, had eight sons and one daughter, viz.: Israel^Sarah, Jonathan, David, Solomon, James. Zaccheus Jr., John, and Abiel. All of his children had families His six youngest sons removed to North Bridgewater some year?subsequent to 1700, and their descendants now constitute i large portion of the population of that place. The father died in Bridgewater, Aug. 3, 1723, aged probably about eighty years.

Dea. Abel Packard Jr., born in North Bridgewater, April 16, 1754, went with his brother Adam to Cummington, April 20, 1774, two months previous to the removal of his father’s family, to make preparation. He married Mary, daughter of Ebenezer Bisbee, Sept. 20, 1783. She was bora in East Bridgewater, Nov. 30, 1759, and had removed to Cummington, and died in Cummington, Sept. 1, 1807, aged 48. He married his second wife, Rachel Porter, daughter of Jacob Porter, Oct., 1808, who was bora in Abington, Nov. 17, 1765, and had removed to Worthington, and died in Cummington, Aug. 31, 1851, aged 86. She was a sister of the wife of Adam Packard, who was a brother of her husband. His four children were by his first wife, viz.: Eliphalet, Chester, Betsey, and Theophilus 2d. He long officiated as a Deacon in the Congregational church, and died in Cummington, April 30, 1832, aged 78.

Chester Packard, born in Cummington, June 6, 1788, and married, July 4, 1816, Eunice Sadler, who was born in Williamsburg in 1797, and died in Cummington, July 25, 1830, aged 33. In 1851, Sept. 17, he married Anne Bates, of Cummington, who was born there in 1796. By his first wife he had six children, born in Cummington, viz.: Ira, Edwin Chester, Edwin Chester 2d, Sumner, Silas Sadler, and William Dwight. He removed to McKean, Ohio, in 1833, and then in 1852 to Dayton, Waupacca Co., Wisconsin, where he now lives. Crystal Lake is a post office address in Dayton.

Ira Packard, born in Cummington, Oct. 28, 1817, and married, March 12, 1840, Eliza J. Bryant, of Fredonia, Ohio, who was born June 15, 1821. He removed from Cummington to Fredonia, Licking Co., Ohio, in 1833, and in 1842 removed to Allen township, Miami Co., Indiana, (post office address, Five Corners,) where he still lives. He has had ten children, the two’ oldest of whom were born in Fredonia, Ohio, and the others in Allen township, Indiana, viz.: Charles Chester, Thomas Jefferson, Nancy Eunice, William Bryant, Noah Sangston, Franklin Pierce, Silas Edwin, Ira, Laura Jane, and Nelson Sigel.

Edwin Chester Packard 2d, born in Cummington, May 9, 1822, and, March 12, 1844, married Caroline Bailey, who was born in Wilmington, N. Y., Jan. 7, 1824, and who removed to Granville, Ohio, in 1834. He removed from Cum¬ mington to Fredonia, Ohio, in 1833; to Dayton, Waupacca Co., Wisconsin, in 1852; and in 1864 to Hancock Co., Iowa, where he still lives. The township, not organized or named, is No. 94, North Range, 24 West, His present post office address is Belmond, Wright Co., Iowa. He has had seven children, three of whom were horn in Fredonia, Ohio, two in Waupacca Co., Wisconsin, one in Winneconne, Wis., and one in Hancock Co., Iowa, viz.: Ellen Caroline, Alice Agnes, Dighton Edwin, Albert Bailey, Alma Cora, Clara Marion, and Bertha May.

Sumner Packard, born in Cummington, April 6, 1824, and, Nov. 14, 1850, married Elmira Jane Eaton, in Fredonia, Ohio. She was horn in Chesterfield, N. H., May, 1834, and died in Dayton, Waupacca Co., Wisconsin, March 6, 1856, aged 22. He married, May 31, 1860, Juliet Didama Ham, in Waupacca Co., Wis., who was born in Truxton, N. Y., Nov. 25, 1834. He removed from Cummington to Fredonia, Ohio, in 1833, and in 1852 to Dayton, Waupacca Co., Wis., where he now lives. He had two children by his first wife, born in Dayton, Waupacca Co., Wisconsin, viz.: William Sumner and Marion Helena; and two children by his second wife, born in Dayton, Wisconsin, viz.: Esther Belle and Katie E.

Silas Sadler Packard, born in Cummington, April 28, 1826, and, March 6, 1850, married Marion Helena Crocker, in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was born in New York city, Sept. 23, 1828. He removed to Granville, 0., in 1833; to Fredonia, 0., in 1834; taught in Ohio from 1843 to 1845; taught in Kentucky from 1845 to 1848; taught in Cincinnati from 1848 to 1850; re-moved to Adrian, Mich., in 1850; to Lockport, N. Y., in 1851; to Tonawanda, N. Y., in 1853; to Albany, N. Y., in 1857; and in 1858 to New York city, where he now lives. He established the New York Business College there; has been an editor and author. He has had two children, Lida Emma and William Henry.

William Dwight Packard, born in Cummington, Aug. 23, 1828, and, Nov. 2, 1848, married Catherine Stinemates, of Burlington, Knox Co., Ohio. He removed to Licking Co., Ohio, in 1833, and now resides in Frazersburg, Muskingum Co., Ohio. His two children were born, Emma Angelinein Burlington, Ohio, and William Franklin in Dayton, Waupacca Co., Wis. He has lived in Burlington, Knox Co., Ohio, Weyauwega, Wis., and Davton, Wis.