Our Packard Family Mystery

The World of Grandpa Don

Our Family Mysteries

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The Shepard L Packard Mystery

The Eliza S Hunt Mystery

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"The American Dark Ages".

I have given that name to the period between 1800 and 1849 because the records of the US Census only gives the name of the head of the household and the number of people, male or female, free or slave, in various age groups. The names of wives and children were not recorded. There were no civil birth records or death records. This dearth of information makes research into the lives of people who lived in this era very difficult, if not impossible. Both Shepard L Packard, on my mother's side, and Eliza S Hunt, on my Father's side were born and led their early lives during these "Dark Ages".


We have a copy of military records which tells us Shepard was born in Easton, MA. The mystery is in his parentage. We do not know their names or anything about them.

He listed his occupation as Foundry worker, most likely employed at the Ames shovel factory located in Easton, Ma. He was 22 years old when he enlisted in the 1st US infantry, 17 Co.  in New YorkTypical Infantry of the period under Captain Bainbridge in 1839. 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 (1818 - 1883) 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.

Henery Shepard Packard, (1851 - 1906) my great grandfather, married Amanda M. Milns (1856 - 1937). They had seven children; Dewit Talamage, James Garfield, Clara Florence, Jennie Duty, Paul Henry, Leroy "Roy" Dwight and Silas.

Clara Florence Packard (1882 - 1957) married Richard William Lossner (1880 - 1944) in Cleveland on the 25th of June, 1903. They were my grandparents. They were the parents of four children; Florence Lucille "Lucie" or "Tootsie", Richard Wilber Henry, Kenneth Edward, and Chester Adelbert.

Florence Lucille Lossner (1904 - 2001) was my mother.

But ...who are Shepard Packard's parents?

Some of the information we do know about Shepard was gleaned from the census records of 1850, 1860, 1870 and beyond as well as his military record.

For the story of Packard genealogy see Packard Family.

For more information see Shepard L Packard Research.

We are grateful for the information provided as well as
proofreading and corrections by Peggy Cecora.


The Eliza S Hunt Mystery

My sister Marilyn has been researching the family of our 3rd great grandfather, Cyrus Carpenter  who lived between 1798 and 1868. He had three four marriages during his lifetime. Marilyn has been concentrating on the second wife, Elvira and her family. Her maiden name is unknown but she had a previous marriage to Jesse D. Hunter. There is an error of some sort in that he is reported to have died in April of 1850 but his widow married our Cyrus in March of 1850.  Elvira and her four children are all listed with the surname Carpenter in the 1850 census, the first American census to record all names. In subsequent census reports the children are listed correctly with the surname Hunter.

 Be that as it may, I am more interested in the first wife, Eliza, who is the mother of our 2nd great grandmother, Harriet Carpenter. From her marriage record ... she and Cyrus were married 22 Feb 1824 by his father, Justice of the Peace Rubin Carpenter ... She was Eliza S Hunt, born about 1800. But her parents and place of birth are unknown to us.


We not only found her parents but discovered that they led us to 6 additional ancestors who arrived in America as Mayflower passengers. This mystery resolved in April of 2015.

For the story of the Carpenter genealogy see Carpenter Family.


Grandpa Don Plefka
aka Harry Ronald Cecora
Rev. 09/18/2013
Rev. 04/18/2015


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