The surname Packard is French. It
means the descendant of Bacard (combat, strong).(Source: New Dictionary of
American Family Names by Elsdon C. Smith. New York: Gramercy Publishing
Company, 1988). The name Packard appears in English records as early as the
beginning of the fourteenth century. The name was well established in East
Anglia long before Samuel's birth.
My grandmother was a Packard. No, she wasn't a car. Richard G. Packard of Mesa, AZ, said "Almost all of the Packards in America descend from Samuel and Elizabeth Packard who came to America in 1638" Based on this assumption, we believe there is a connection from my grandmother (on my mother's side) Clara Florence Packard (1882 - 1957) in an unbroken line to Samuel Packard (1612-1684) and his wife Elizabeth (1614 - 1694) who arrived in America in 1638 and even further back in England.
The Packard Line
The Packard line in England according to One World Tree on Geneology.com can be traced back to the early 13 century. We assume the following to be reasonably correct.
George Packard Married Mary Wither (1574 - 1652) and were the parents of Samuel Packard.
(1579?-1623) was a yeoman farmer. He had a farm called "Colman's" in
Whitsungrene (Whitsun Green), England. Colmans is now called "Red House."
George Packard married Mary Wyther, daughter of Thomas Wither (d. 1595) and
Margaret --- his wife. Mary Wither was baptized in 1574 in Woolpit, and died
August 19, 1652.
In February of 2007 contact was made with by Richard G. Packard of Mesa, AZ. who provided the following information:
"Almost all of the Packards in America descend from Samuel and Elizabeth Packard who came to America in 1638 on the ship Diligent from Ipswich, England. Attached to this email are some files and pictures you might find interesting. The pictures are of the old Packard homestead in Stonham Aspal, Suffolk, England. This is the house where Samuel and his father George were both born. The original front part of the house was probably built around 1550, but it has been added on to in the rear over the years by subsequent owners of the property."
Richard Packard has given permission for me to publish these photos There is substantial documentation of the Packard Families of Massachusetts. The book "Mayflower Families - Through Five Generations" lists many of them but does not go beyond the mid 1700's. US census reports do not list individual family members by name until the mid 1800's.
The Document "Early English Packards" lists records of wills and court documents and parish records back to the year 1311. In his document titled "Samuel Packard 1612 - 1684" Richard states that Samuel was the fourth son and as such would not have inherited land. That was rectified by going to the American colonies where land was there for the taking,
The Packard American genealogy:
1st Generation -Samuel Packard
Samuel Packard (1612-1684) married Elizabeth (Family unknown) (1614 - 1694) in about 1635 at Stonham, Aspal Parish, Suffolk, England. With their two year old daughter Mary they emigrated to Plymouth Massachusetts Colony in 1638 on the ship Diligent from Ipswich, England, where, according to an article by Karle S. Packard, they were the parents of 13 additional children. 11 were born in Hingham, Mass. and 2 in Weymouth, Mass. before they relocated to Bridgewater, Mass. According to Karl S. Packard ...
"He was an active member of the town, being Collector of Minister's Rates in 1670, Surveyor of Highways in 1672, and Constable again in 1674. He was licensed to keep an 'ordinary' (tavern) in 1671. He died there 7 November 1684, and his will, dated 29 October 1684, was signed by mark, helping to explain why the common mispelling of his name as Packer was not corrected earlier"
Samuel and his sons were soldiers in King Philip's War, a bloody conflict with the native Americans, under Captain Benjamin Church. (see War )
Based on the fact that several (6+) people who are known descendants of Samuel Packard have been matched to Donald J Plefka in the Ancestry.com DNA project and the fact that Donald's 2nd great grandfather was Sheperd L Packard, we take the liberty to asume that Donald J Plefka is a direct decedent of said Samuel Packard. If our generation calculations are correct Samuel would be Donald's 9th great granfather.
We do not at this time know the parents of Shepard Packard, born in
Easton, Ma in 1818. (see below) Therefore the line to Samuel and
Elizabeth can not be determined.
See Our Family Mysteries for details of our search for information.
The 7th generation and all subsequent generations are verifiable through the records of the US Census and other sources.
We have a copy of military records which tells us Shepard was born in Easton, MA. He listed his occupation as Foundry worker, most likely employed at the Ames shovel factory located in Easton, Ma. He was 23 years old when he enlisted in the 1st US infantry, 17 Co. in New York under Captain Bainbridge in 1840. He served at Ft Winnebago in what is now Wisconsin Their mission was to keep the peace with the Indians of the area after the recently negotiated treaty. He was discharged there on the 29th of April in 1845. We also know from these same records that Shepard had blue eyes, brown hair, dark complexion and was 5'-5" tall. I invite you to read "Early Times at Ft Winnebago" The typical dress uniform for the US Infantry of the period is shown at the right.
Shepard Packard (b Abt1818) married Martha Clay of New Jersey (b 1829) Shepard and Martha were married in Vermillion, Ohio by J. C. Angel, Minister of God on 26 Jun 1847. Shepard was employed as a mold maker for iron castings. They were the parents of eight children; Charles Thomas, Henry Shepard, Martha, Melvin, John W, Emily, Minnie, and Edward.
8th Generation - Henry Shepard Packard
Henry Shepard Packard (1851 - 1906) married Amanda M. Milns (1856 - 1937) Amanda was born in London, England and came to Cleveland with her parents. They had seven children; Dewit Talamage, James Garfield, Clara Florence, Jennie Duty, Paul Henry, Leroy "Roy" Dwight and Silas. Henry and his brother John followed in their father's footsteps as mold makers. Amanda's brother George Milns was president and General Manager of Cleveland Facing Mills Co in 1895 - 96 a metal castings plant located on the "flats" of the Cuyahoga River valley according to the city directory. In the 1897 - 98 directory lists the George P. Millns Foundry Facing Co.
The above was published in "The Foundry", Detroit, MI, 1896.
Photos provided by Peggy Cecora - Used with permission
This generation included a celebrity (of sorts). Henry Shepard's sister Minnie was "the actress of the family". This, in the 1880's, was not received as an acceptable profession for a proper young woman in some families. Minnie was part of the cast of the following shows of some note:
The photo at the left, as a young girl, may have had an influence on her choice of careers and the center photo is apparently in costume. She was the subject of a "Newsboy Cabinet" card. Unfortunately we do not have a copy. Newsboy cabinets were given away as ‘premiums’, in tobacco or drug stores, for purchases of plug tobacco of the National Tobacco Works of New York. You can learn more of them and see some samples of the cards on the web site of Mike Reeve at http://www.newsboys.co.uk/ . These cards are still traded, like baseball cards, and can be worth considerable sums of money at this time. Minnie Packard also went by the name of Maud and was known in the family as "Aunt Tood". She was believed to have married Ernest Sherman and died sometime after 1941.
9th Generation - Clara Florence Packard
Clara Florence Packard (1882 - 1957) married Richard William Lossner (1880 - 1944) in Cleveland on the 25th of June, 1903. Richard worked in retail shoe sales and became the store manager. They were the parents of four children; Florence Lucille "Lucie" or "Tootsie", Richard Wilber Henry, Kenneth Edward, and Chester Adelbert.
10th Generation - Florence Lucille Lossner
Florence Lucille Lossner (1904 - 2001) married Daniel Cecora (1898 - 1973) in 1923. Living in Cleveland, they were the parents of James and Kenneth Cecora. "Lucie" & Dan divorced in 1930. Lucie was seeing Alden J Copeland and became pregnant. She went to live with relatives (probably the Milns family) in Chicago and gave birth to Harry Ronald Cecora in May of 1931. He was adopted and given the name Donald James Plefka, aka Grandpa Don. Thus begins the 11th and subsequent generations.
The information for the 7th through 10 generation was provided by Peggy Cecora wife of Jim Cecora who's parents were Florence Lucille (Lossner) and Dan Cecora. Additional information was gleaned from census records and other sources.
The following is from Dale H. Cook regarding the Shepard Packard of the 8th generation.
This must be the Shepard Packard
found in the 1880 census in Cleveland. I do not know his origin, but will
share some thought on the subject.
Mr. Cook's assumptions however are very much in doubt with the discovery of our Shepard Packard's military record stating that he was born in Easton, Ma. The mystery is still unresolved.
A Multi-generation family photo.
The generations represented in the above photo are:
It is quite possible that the Harry Millns pictured here is the relative with whom my mother stayed in Chicago while she was pregnant with me. He may also have been my manes sake ie Harry Ronald Cecora. (We have no idea where "Ronald" came from but I like to think I benefited from the 1920's popularity of actor Ronald Coleman.)
Amanda's sister Emma was living in the Packard home as a boarder at the time of the 1880 census and probably until her marriage a year after this photo was taken.
There was also Henry Packard’s sister Emily. (Emma Packard Shirley) who was the daughter of Shepard & Martha. Amanda’s sister married Fred Schoppe. Peggy has not completed this research at this time.
Clara Packard would later marry Richard William Lossner and is my grandmother. Amanda (Milns) Packard is my great-grandmother and Martha (Clay) Packard my g-g grandmother.
The names of the people were written on the back possibly by Amanda (Millns) Packard.
At various times this family name has been recorded as Milns, Millns and Mills. This has caused confusion in tracing family members and identifying relationships.
The following web pages either contributed information for this page or belong to people who did or are noteworthy in connection to the Packard line of families.
The Packard Family ... Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.
Early Bridgewater Families ... Dale H. Cook.
Gregory Packard ... Fine Art ... Creativity
Packard Poem ... Poem by Mrs. Nethiah Hayward Thayer
© Grandpa Don
respect the right of ownership of this page.