Thursday, January 31, 2019


Just a few quick thoughts about James Packard's will:

The document appears to be a copy of the original. It's part of a book and the handwriting is the same as on other wills. I wonder when the copy was made and what happened to the original?

I'm puzzled by the use of the name "Packard" as a place name. I wonder why it would be used that way. Does it refer to the original family farm?

I live right next to Brockton and never heard of the Salisbury Plain River before. Looking at a map, the river runs through the heart of the city parallel to Belmont St, a busy road. I suspect much is it is enclosed.

Finally, with a sawmill, grist mill and forge James was a wealthy man by the standard of his times. I wish I could find the estate inventory, 


I was so wrapped up in doing research last week I missed my 12th blogiversary! Time flies when you're having fun! So this is where it stands as of 31Jan 2019{

A few stats: This is post 2485. I've had 1,064,815 pageviews (most of which were likely by webcrawler bots) and  I have 278 followers. So I've lost 2 of the 280 followers I had last year!

These were my All Time Top Ten Posts on last year on 23Jan:

And this is the list as of today:

The post on Malden where I lived as a child still tops the list. The two 52 Ancestor posts are for Caleb Benson and John Benson.

Thanks again to cousins Tim Abbott, Chris Dunham, and Randy Seaver whose geneablogs inspired me to start one of my own.

And as always, a big thank you to those who read my blog and to those who leave comments

I've found a bunch of new relatives to write about, so I'll keep on blogging!


Wednesday, January 30, 2019


I found my 6x great grandfather James Packard's probate file and will on the FamilySearch website. Here's  my transcription:

In The Nname of God Amen.
The twentyfourth day of September in the year of our Lord one thous
-and , seven hundred & sixtyfive; I Jjames Packard of Bridgewater in the
colony of Plimouth & Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England
yeoman, being in declining state of bodily health, but of perfect mind
& memory thanks be to God therefor, and calling to mind the mort
-ality of my body, knowing that it is appointed to all men once to
die, do make & ordain this my last will & testament, that is to say,
principally & first of all, I give & recommend my soul into the hands
of God that gave it, and my body I recomend to the earth to be bury,
in decent christian burial., at the discretion of my executor hereaft
-er named, nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall
receive the same again by the mighty power of God; And as touching
such worldly estate wherein with it hath pleased God to bless me in this
life, I give, demise & dispose of the same in the followg of manner of (?)
Imprus I give to my welbeloved son James one eighth part of a sawmill
standing a few rods from Packard, & forge, so called, in Bridgewater &
one half of my right & interest in the old cedar swamp (so called) in
in Bridgewater, and a certain piece of meadow lying on the west side
of Salisbury Plain River, between meadow of Lieut. Henry Kingman,
& meadow formerly belonging to my brother John Packard dec'd. & all
my right in the common or undivided lands in Bridgewater aforesd,
all that is before demised to my said son James I give to him, his
heirs and asigns forever, also I give to my said son James one half
of my wearing apparel, one half of my husbandry tools, & implements,
& one half of my great iron kettle, to be at his dispose.

Item. I give to my well beloved son Reuben (I likewise cons
-spire(?), make & ordain sole executor of this my last will & testament)
one eighth part of a sawmill standing a few rods from Packard, & forge
abovesd, & all my right in the Grist mill standing on or near Salisbury
Plain River abovsd, together with my privileges belonging to said
right. Also I give to my sd son Reuben one half of my right & interest
in the old cedar swamp abovesd & all my right in Packard, & forge
aforesd with my privileges belonging to sd right,  also my dwelling ho
-use & other buildings not otherwise herein disposed off. All the est
-ate that is afore demised to my sd son Reuben, I give to him his heirs &
assigns forever. Also I give to my sd son Reuben, all my quick stock of every
kind, & one half of my wearing apparel, & one half of my husbandry tools
& implements, & all my household goods & indoor moveables (excepting what
I have herein bequeathed to my son James before named). Also all my estate
whatever, not in this my last will & testament otherwise disposed off I
give to my sd son Reuben, his heirs & asigns forever.

Page 2:
Item I give to my three wellloved daughters Kezia, Jemima and
Rebecca twenty four pounds, five shillings  and four pence to be
paid to them in cattle or barr iron at the market price in cash, by my
aforenamed executor in four years next after my decease at four equal
payments. That is to say, to each & every of my sd three daughters the
value of six punds one shilling & four pense in cattle or barr iron
at cash price annually during the said term of four years.---
Also I give to my aforenamed three daughters all the money due
to me from Luke Perkins on his note of hand, also all the money
due to me from Nehemiah Lincoln on his note of hand to be equally
divided between them --- It is also my will that my just
debts be paid, & my funeral charges defrayed by my aforenamed
executor out of the estate I have given him, & I do hereby utterly
disallow, revoke & (?) all & every other former testaments,
wills, legacies, bequests & executors by one in any ways before unamd,
willed & Bequeathed, ratifying & confirming this & no other to be ny
last will & testament. For witness thereof I have hereunto set my
hand & seal the day & year first aforewritten.

Signed, sealed  & declared by the
sd James Packard as his last will &
testament in presense of us the subs.
Constant Southworth. Josiah Snell Junr. Shepard Fisk

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


My 6x great grandfather James Packard came from a family that was very active in the local church. Several of  his brothers were ministers while James was a deacon and is usually referred to as Deacon James.He owned several mills and a farm.

Here's his entry in  Bradford Kingman's History of North Bridgewater...":

55 JAMEs (son of Zaccheus 14) married Jemima, daughter of Joseph Keith, June 7, 1722; lived on the place now occupied by Marcus Holmes. Children : —
56 James, b. Sept. 23, 1724 [169]; m. Mary Thayer, of Braintree, 1747. 57 Keziah, b. Oct. 29, 1727; married Nehemiah Lincoln, Nov. 24, 1748. 58 Jemima, b. Aug. 8, 1729; married Ichabod Edson, July 19, 1759. 59 Rebecca, b. July 1, 1732; married Luke Perkins, Aug. 24, 1749. 60 Reuben, b. Nov. 8, 1737 £) ; married Anne Perkins, Oct. 3, 1759. The wife died Dec. 8, 1763. The father died Nov. 24, 1765. He was one of the first deacons in the North Parish

History of North Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts: From Its First Settlement to the Present Time, with Family Registers Self-Published, Boston, Ma 1866

As i said James was active in church life. He and other Packard relatives helped in the building of the first church. Many of the men listed in the following excerpt from Kingman's book are related to me:

At the time of the incorporation of the parish the house was “Erected and Inclosed,” but not finished. At a meeting held March 12th, 1739, “Timothy Keith, Benjamin Edson, David Packard, Daniel Howard, Edward Curtis, were chosen a committee for the finishing the meeting house in sq Precinct,” also “voted to raise two Hundred and fifty pounds for the finishing of the same, to be paid by the last of August,” chose Abiel Packard, “Recever of stuf and meterels,” March 26th, 1739. “The committee appointed to finish the meeting-house made demand of the several inhabitants how they would pay their Reats, or what they could percure tords the prosecution of the work of finishing the meeting-house. In order to pay their Raits Whare upon a number subscribed what they would percure, as first:” –

James Packard to do the Glazing of the House, and what it amounts to more than his Reats Come to, to take his pay at the forge, In Iron ore or Cole next fall Insewing. John Johnson and John Kingman, to do the masing work, and nails, and to take his pay over and Abuv, his Raits at the formes or forge, In Labour, or Cole, or Iron ore the next fall Insewing. David Packard, Solomon Packard, and Jacob Allen, to find Lime.
Robert Haward, to find one thousand of pine Bords,
Zacheus Packard, to find one thousand of oak Bords,
Solomon Packard, to find one thousand of pine Bords,
Benjamin Edson, to find one thousand of pine Bords,
Abiel Packard, to find one thousand of pine Bords,
Timothy Keith, to find one thousand of oak Bords,
Daniel Haward, to find one thousand of pine Bords,
Theofilus Curtis, to find five hundred of pine Bords,
Edward Curtis, to find five hundred of pine Bords,
James Barret, to find one thousand of pine Bords,
Joshua Warren, to find Henges,
Timothy Keith, David Packard, Solomon Packard, Jacob Allen, Benjamin Edson, Daniel Haward, to find all the sheet work.-
p85 ibid

 He was on the commitee that hired the first minister for a new church in North Bridgewater:

Aug. 25, 1740, “voted to chuse Samuel Kingman, David Packard, and James Packard, a committee to Give Mr. Porter a Call in behalf of the precinct;” also voted that the 18th of September should be kept as a day of fasting and prayer, before the ordaining of Mr. John Porter.  -p21 ibid

I've found James Packard's will and will transcribe it/.
James' son Reuben Packard is my 5x great grandfather


 I received this email Friday morning:

Findmypast publishes 700,000 new Scottish records in celebration of Burns Night 2019

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019


The subject this week is my 7x great grandfather Zaccheus Packard. He was a farmer but six of his sons were were very active in church affairs in North Bridgewater (now Brockton) Ma. Here's a short biography by William Richard Cutter:

II) Zaccheus Packard, son of Samuel Packard (r), was born in Hingham, and died in Bridgewater, August 3, 1723. He married Sarah, daughter of John Howard, of West Bridgewater. Children, born in Bridgewater: 1. Israel, mentioned below. 2. Sarah, born August 19. 1682: married. July 27, 1704, Captain Josiah Edson : died 1754. 3. Jonathan, born December 7, 1684; married first, December 24, 1719. Susanna Hayward; second, Abigail. 4. David, born February 11, 1687;married, December 17, 1712, Hannah Ames; died November 3, 1755. 5. Solomon, born March 20, 1689; married, November 16, 1715, Sarah Lathrop; second, Susanna Kingman; third, October 5, 1760, Dorothy, widow of Mark Perkins. 6. Deacon James, born June 2, 1691 ; married, June 7, 1722, Jemima Kieth; died November 24, 1765. 7. Zaccheus, Jr., born September 4, 1693: married, October 21, 1725. Mercy Alden; died 1775. 8. John, born October 8, 1695; married, 1726, Lydia Thomson ; died June 3, 1738. 9. Captain Abiel, born April 29, 1699; married January 11, 1723, Sarah Ames; died 1776.

Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 4 Lewis historical Publishing Company,  New York, NY      1908

I've found Zaccheus' probate file at
His son James is my 6x great grandfather,

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!