Monday, January 14, 2019


The exploration of my Packard family line begins with my 8x great grandfather and immigrant ancestor Samuel Packard. This is the entry about him and the origin of the family from the book Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts:

 PACKARD. The grant of the plantation of ancient Bridgewater was made in 1645, but the actual settlement was not commenced until after 1650, the first lots being taken up in West Bridgewater, and there the first house was built and the first improvements made. This was the first interior settlement of the Old Colony. Since the coming to this Bridgewater settlement of Samuel Packard, as early as 1664 (which was the year of the ordination of the first minister of the town,. Rev. James Keith), to the present time, for nearly two hundred and fifty years, the Packard family has been one prominent and influential in the region of the old town, out of which have since come a number of towns. And it has become a most numerous family, too, many of its members both at home and abroad having given a good account of themselves, their names being enrolled as distinguished educators, clergymen, physicians, authors, soldiers, merchants and manufacturers, all of whom descended from Samuel Packard. This article is to treat in main with the branch of the family which has continued its residence in the North Parish of ancient Bridgewater. a parish that so continued until 1821, when it became the town of North Bridgewater, the name of which in 1874 was changed to Brockton. There were no permanent settlements in the North Parish until after the year 1700, the first settlers being principally descendants of the first settlers of Bridgewater.

 (I) Samuel Packard, which name in the early records of both Hingham and Bridgewater was spelled "Packer," came from Windham, near Hingham, in England, with his wife and child, in the ship "Diligence," of Ipswich, in 1638, and settled in Hingham, Mass., where he was a proprietor in the same year. He later removed to West Bridgewater, where he was constable in 1664, and licensed to keep a tavern in 1670. From his will, probated March 3, 1684-85, it appears the Christian name of his wife was Elizabeth. His children were: Elizabeth, Samuel, Zaccheus, Thomas, John, Nathaniel, Mary, Hannah, Israel, Jael, Deborah and Deliverance.


Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts: Containing Historical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families .. Vol3  J.H. Beers & Company, Chicago, Il., 1912

I'm descended from Samuel's second son Zaccheus Packard

Friday, January 11, 2019


Here is the Perkins family line of my 4x great grandmother Cynthia (Packard) Dunham, daughter of Reuben Packard and Anne Perkins.  It goes back to immigrant ancestor John Perkins, but also includes the Conant, Long, Walton and Whipple families.

Thursday, January 10, 2019


Starting next week in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series I'll be writing about  the family of my 4x great grandmother Cynthia (Packard)Dunham, wife of James Thomas Dunham. Cynthia is one of my ancestors who has relatives from both Plymouth and Essex Counties. On her father Reuben Packard's side she is descended from some of the founders of all three Bridgewater towns:Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, and West Bridgewater. These are towns only about ten miles away from where I live. In fact, I graduated from Bridgewater State College nearly fifty years ago.

On her mother Anne Perkins' side she is descended from prominent citizens of Ipswich, Beverley, and Salem.

Here's Cynthia's Packard line

The associated families are Edson, Fobes, Hayward, Howard,  and Keith who arrived in Massachusetts after the Great Migration so the line isn't as long as some of my other families.

I'll discuss the Perkins line in the next post.

Monday, January 07, 2019


John Lazell's wife Elizabeth (Gates) Lazell was the daughter of my 10x great grandparents Stephen Gates and Anne Veare. Stephen seems to have around a bit after originally settling in Hingham, Ma.
Here's a brief biography from William Richard Cutter:

(I) Stephen Gates, the first of the name in New England was a native of England, born at Norwich, in the county of Norfolk, the son of Thomas Gates. Stephen Gates came to New England in the ship "Diligent," in 1638, from Hingham, England, and settled first at Hingham, Massachusetts. He was accompanied by his wife and children. In 1652 he located at Cambridge, and later at Lancaster, where he was one of the largest proprietors of the town, and was one of the petitioners for its incorporation in 1654; he was also constable there in 1657. Returning to Cambridge he spent the remainder of his life there where he died in 1662. His family consisted of seven children as follows: Elizabeth, born in England, was married in Hingham, in 1647, to John Lasell; Mary, who married at Hingham, in 1658, John Maynard, of Sudbury; Stephen, mentioned below; Simon, who was born in England and baptized in Hingham in 1646; Thomas, baptized in Hingham, May 3, 1646, married, in 1670, Elizabeth Freeman, of Sudbury; Isaac, baptized in Hingham, in 1646, died in 1651; Rebecca, baptized in 1646, died in 1650.-p1846

New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 4  Lewis historical publishing Company, NY, NY 1914

I've found Stephen's will and estate inventory. The latter is on two pages with two columns of possessions on each so he must have been very well off. Transcribing the will may be difficult because the handwriting is a bit hard to decipher.

Friday, January 04, 2019


 ((first posted on 4Jan 2009)

Today is the 354th anniversary of my ancestors Jonathan Barnes and his wife Elizabeth Hedges,
who did considerably better than their families at being respectful citizens of Plymouth Colony.

I've written before about Jonathan's father John Barnes who was a drunkard and appears in the court records numerous times. John came to an untimely end when (apparently while drunk) petting his bull which gored him. The wound proved fatal.

Elizabeth Hedge's father, Captain William Hedge, remarried after Elizabeth's mother died and his
marriage to Blanche Hull didn't last very long. While Blanche was herself a widow, she was much younger than Captain Hedge and deserted him not long after their marriage. This led to this bequest to Blanche in his will:

"And whereas Blanche my Wife hath dealt falsely with me in
the Covenant of Marriage in departing from me; therefore I
do in this my Last Will and Testament give her twelve pence..."

which someone commented was "full eleven pence more than she deserved" 

At any rate, Jonathan and Elizabeth's marriage seems to have prospered. Their daughter Mary Barnes married John Carver, and their granddaughter Mary Carver married Moses Barrows from whom I'm descended through my great grandmother Clara Ellingwood!

Wednesday, January 02, 2019


Information about my 9x great grandfather John Lazell has been a bit of a humt because of the various spellings of his family name. Three of them have been Lazell, Lasell, and Lassell. Finally I found this in History of the town of Hingham, Massachusetts on the Internet Archives:

LASELL (Lazell; Lassell).
1. John, an early settler, and the ancestor of all who have borne this surname by birth in Hing., m. Nov. 29, 1647, Elizabeth, dau. of  Stephen and Ann Gates. She was b. prob. in Eng., and d. in Hing.

3 Aug. 1704. He d. 21 Oct. 1700. In his will of 2 Sept. 1695, proved 16 Jan. 1700-1, mentions four sons living, besides grandchild Joshua, the s. of Joshua deceased (2, iii.) ;and the two ch. of Isaac and Abigail, "both the fathers, Joshua and  Isaac, being dead." Mentions also dau's Hannah Turner, Mary Burr, and Sarah Ripley. Constable  1677. " Freeman," 1678. Resided at Hing. Centre, " over the river."
Ch., all b. in Hing., were —
i. John, bt. Sept. 8, 1650, d. 14 May, 1665.
ii. Thomas, Sept. 15, 1652 ; prob. m. 1685, Mary Allen.
2. iii. Joshua, Nov. 17, 1654.
3. iv. Stephen, Oct. 6, 1656.
V. Elizabeth, Feb. 28, 1657-58, d. 7 Apr. 1676.
4. vi. Isaac, July 10, 1660.
vii. Hannah, Aug. 31, 1662. m. Turner.
viii. Mary, Sept. 2, 1664. m. Aug. 1690, Simon Burr, Jr.
ix. Sarah, Nov. 29, 1666. m. Apr. 17, 1693, Peter Ripley.
5. X. John, Apr. 25, 1669.
6. xi. Israel, Sept. 24, 1671.


I'm descended from John's son Joshua Lazell

Tuesday, January 01, 2019


Looking at the numbers for my 2018 genealogy activities I didn't do very well in blogging  or in my Find A Grave  efforts but had a good research year.

My research numbers as shown by RootsMagic7:
2018-32,385 people, 122,535 citations, 635 sources
2017-31,296 people, 112,296 citations, 589 sources
So I added 1089 people, 10,239 citations and 46 sources.

Find a Grave
2018-614 memorials, 1005 photos, 188 volunteer photos taken
2017-616 memorials, 1006 photos, 188 volunteer photos taken

2018 (143)

2017 (211)

2016 (237)

2015 (220)

2014 (199)

2013 (179)

2012 (170)

2011 (248)

2010 (196)

2009 (254)

2008 (214)

2007 (208)

On my Old Colony Graveyard Rabbit blog, I only posted 5 times for the third year in a row.

I'm adding a new category this year based on my DNA test results summary:
 240 Shared Ancestor Hints
 240 Starred matches
 919 4th cousins or closer
 21   DNA Circles


Given how poorly I did with my 2018 geneaplans,  I'm just going to recycle the 2018 list instead of writing a new one:

1.Continue adding more of my ancestors siblings and their lines to my database.

2. Get off my butt and actually visit the places my ancstors lived and are buried here in Massachusetts. I didn't do any road trips in 2018. Getting out of my apartment oncethe weather turns warm is better for my health, too.

3.This year I'm  going to set a more praactical goal for my blogging: to reach at least 200 posts in this blog and to post anything, anything at all, in my Graveyard Rabbits  blog.

4. Take and post more photos for Find A Grave. Another way toi get me off my butt and out of the apartment.

5. Continue to stay organized:  Keep putting images  I download into  the folder they belong in immediately,

6. Transcribe more of the wills and probate files I've downloaded already.

7. Find and download the wills and probate files of female ancestors.

8.  Keep working  on  the timeline for my ancestors who were involved in the Colonial New England Indian wars, including those who were captured.

9. Go back and finish the series about the "Hot Mess" probate file of ancestor Nathaniel Stowe which I forgot to finish in May 2015. (Probably because it's such a "hot mess").

10. Write more  about my ancestor Gov. John Endecott. I keep pushing it aside, I think, because he did somethings that were nasty.

11.Keep having fun with genealogy!

There they are. I hope I do better in 2019 than I did in 2018!