Showing posts with label surnames. Show all posts
Showing posts with label surnames. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

SNGF -- REALLY late: Surname Distribution

I'm really late this week with Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, but it is getting toward the end of the term, and I have lots of reading to do (including the entirety of Boccacio's Decameron, which was considered terribly salacious in ages past, but is mild compared to what we see on television these days!) and papers to write and other stuff going on.

So here it is: This week, according to Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings, we are to look at the geographic distribution of one of our surnames.

1) Find out the geographical distribution of your surname - in the world, in your state or province, in your county or parish. I suggest that you use the Public Profiler site at, which seems to work quickly and easily. However, you cannot capture the image as a photo file - you have to capture the screen shot, save it and edit it.

2) Tell us about your surname distribution in a blog post of your own (with a screen shot if possible), in comments to this post, or in comments on a social networking site like Facebook and Twitter.

Searching on my paternal surname/maiden name of Packard at the website recommended by Randy in his instructions, reproduced above, I found that the worldwide distribution shows the surname mainly in Europe and North America, with a smattering in India, Australia, and a bit more densely in New Zealand. Europe shows the surname distributed thus:

What stuns me is that the name shows up in Spain and a tiny bit in Italy. What is even more surprising to me is that in Spain, the surname is present in Andalucia, which is where I was in the month of May a couple years ago, when I went to Seville to research at the General Archive of the Indies. If I'd known that, I would have grabbed the phone book and done some looking. It would have been big fun to have met my primos españoles (Spanish cousins).

Another stunning thing about the map is Great Britain, where my 8x great-grandfather was born. The concentration of the surname is shown as being very low in England except for the teal spot on the Channel coast. That is East Anglia, part of which is the county of Suffolk, where my ancestor Samuel Packard was born. He emigrated to Massachusetts in 1638, to join other separatists (which we call Puritans) who could no longer stand the Church of England. (And here's another irony -- I was raised in the Episcopal Church, a member of the Anglican -- that is, Church of England -- Communion.)

The next map has a lot to say about where the Packards are most heavily concentrated now:

On the world map, the most dense concentration of the Packard surname is in the United States. There are some also in Canada -- where my father's line spent three generations, in between being residents of Massachusetts and ending up in Illinois. In the U.S., we Packards are in every state except North Dakota. My own line went from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to Vermont, which was my 4x great-grandfather Richards Packard (yes, there is an "s" on his first name, which is from the maiden name of his mother, Mercy Richards) in an ever-northward quest for land after the American Revolution, in which he fought in two different Massachusetts regiments. This search for land ended him up in Canada. Not every American who went to Canada after the Revolution was a Tory -- many of them went because in Canada they were giving land away and they didn't much care who they were giving it to!

After a couple or three generations in Canada, my great-great grandfather and a fistful of his siblings came back to the U.S., some by way of Massachusetts, some (including my ggf) by way of New York (Chautauqua County), and some directly to end up all of them in Bloomington, Illinois. From there, my great-grandfather Oscar Packard, who was a real estate developer, went to California in the early 20th century, a great time to have been in real estate in California!

Me, I live in Florida, and here's where the surname occurs in the Sunshine State (which, with the remnants of Ida meandering around, is not experiencing much sunshine this week!)

There are some in the panhandle, and the rest distributed from northeast Florida, where I live, down the peninsula. See Jacksonville up in the upper right? See the county which is completely white -- completely devoid of the surname -- just below Jacksonville (which comprises nearly all of Duval County)? That blank county is Clay County, where I live. I don't count in this because my surname for the past 38 years has been Rhodes! By the way, the surname Rhodes is shown to be present in Clay County in moderate density -- including one reprobate listed just below us in the telephone book, who apparently did not pay his bills and for whom we were getting collection calls for a while. I had to resort to recommending that the caller employ a straight-edge when looking up numbers in the phone book!

I have to say I was unaware that there were any Packards in Bradford County, which is the little triangle just to the west of Clay County, but apparently there are. None of these Packards are close relations to me. But I suppose I should at least try to get in touch with them and see if any of them are interested in genealogy and share some ancestors with me.

Monday, August 10, 2009

SNGF - 16 great-grands

Randy Seaver, whose blog is Genea-Musings, has what he calls Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. I'm a little late on this one, but it's been a busy weekend. This weekend's "assignment" is to list your sixteen great-grandparents and figure out their ethnicity. The first part is a little bit of work. The second, for me, is easy. There isn't much variety in my genealogy until I get back to the sixth or seventh order of greatness in grandparents!

Let's see. I'm supposed to list them in pedigree-chart order with places and dates of birth and death. Now, it says that if you don't know all 16 of the great-greats, which I don't, to do this for the last full generation. But I think I'll deal with some of the 16 that I do know, then go for the 8 greats, which I do know all of. Let's pause while I fire up The Master Genealogist and take a look . . .

1. Matthew Hale Packard, born 1822 in Bolton, Stanstead County, Quebec, Canada; died 17 September 1881, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois.

2. Emily A. Hoyt, born circa 1823-24, in Bolton, Stanstead County, Quebec, Canada; died after 1881, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois.

3 and 4: Next pair unknown.

5. John Rector Reynolds, Sr., born ca. 1826 in Vermont.

6. Caroline Elizabeth [?-], born ca. 1836 in Connecticut.

7 and 8: Next pair unknown

9. Charles Reed, born 28 August 1840 in Gallia County, Ohio; died 26 January 1920 in Portland, Jay County, Indiana.

10. Clarissa Haney Wright, born 19 July 1844 probably in Xenia, Green County, Ohio; died 21 November 1908 probably in Portland, Jay County, Indiana.

11. Nelson Reed McKee, born 2 February 1837; died 6 May 1908 in Beloit, Wisconsin.

12. Sarah Ann Sunderland, born 2o June 1848.

13. John Teter Bowers Nave, born 21 October 1829 probably in Tennessee; died 17 March 1888, probably in Tennessee.

14. Lorena Jane Jones, born 15 February 1833 probably in Tennessee; died 3 December 1888.

15 and 16. Next pair unknown.

So there is a lot I don't know about my great-great grandparents. Most of them were from the midwest, around Ohio and Indiana. This is about as far back as I have gotten on many of these lines. As for ethnicity, the Naves were Swiss, the family name having originally been Näf. The name Teter Nave, reflected in my great-great grandfather's name, was originally Dieter Näf.

For the rest, pretty much English, though the name McKee hints at a Scots origin. The name Reed could be English, Irish, or Scots. My own unsubstantiated suspicion, based on some family behavior in that line, is that they may have been "lace-curtain" Irish. The Packard line is definitely English, Samuel Packard, Matthew Hale Packard's 4x-great-grandfather, emigrated from Suffolk, England to Hingham, Massachusetts in 1638. And I am happy to say that I am part Canadian!

As for the generation where I do know all or most of this information, my great-grandparents:

1. Oscar Merry Packard, son of Matthew Hale Packard and Emily Hoyt, born in 1848 probably in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; died after 1930 in Los Angeles County, California.

2. Augusta Hetherington, born circa 1851, in Ohio; died circa 1930 in Los Angeles County, California.

3. John Rector Reynolds, Jr., son of John Rector Reynolds, Sr., and Caroline Elizabeth [-?-], born April 1855 in Illinois.

4. Virginia Ferrier, born November 1858 in Missouri.

5. Francis Harvey "Frank" Reed, son of Charles Reed and Clarissa Haney Wright, born 17 November 1862 in Jay County, Indiana; died 26 February 1936 in Logansport, Cass County, Indiana.

6. Florence Elizabeth McKee, born 19 November 1862 in Indiana; died 9 November 1943 in Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California.

7. Teter Nave, son of John Teter Bowers Nave and Lorena Jane Jones, born 7 January 1854 in Tennessee; died 28 December 1909 in Logansport, Cass County, Indiana.

8. Elizabeth Taylor, born probably in Tennessee ca 1860, died after 1930 in Logansport, Cass County, Indiana.

The farther back one goes, the more difficult it is to find information, of course. Then there is the sad fact that most of these people were not well off by any stretch of the imagination. Charles Reed, a pensioned Civil War veteran, died in poverty. Many of these ancestors of mine apparently died intestate, not having much of anything to leave to anyone.

I did get a little farther, as I reported in another blog entry, with the family of great-great grandma Clarissa Haney Wright, tracking down her father, Francis Marion Wright, and his father, Merritt Wright. That was a nice breakthrough.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Now that you've got it, what are you going to do with it?

Ever wonder, after gathering all sorts of documentary evidence, what you really were going to do with it? Ever look at it and wonder, what does this all mean? That’s where analysis comes in. And there are various ways you can analyze documents.

Take census information – please. All right, that’s my Henny Youngman reference for the day (and if you don’t know who Henny Youngman was, you are post 20th century). You can file your census data on each family away on a census extract form and say, “All right, I have grandpa Jones and his family in Boise in the 1910 census.” Well, big deal.

What about grandpa Jones’s siblings? What about their kids? What can all that tell you? And where else might the census information you extract and analyze lead you?

I happen to have a group in my father’s line who all migrated out of Canada after the family spent two generations there. My fourth great-grandfather Richards Packard took the family line into Canada on an ever-northward peregrination from Massachusetts in search of land, which he found and settled near Lake Memphremagog (that’s a handful to type) in an area of Quebec known as the Eastern Townships. The family stayed there for a couple generations, then about three-fourths of the offspring of John Allen Packard, Richards Packard’s son, went back to the U.S. I call it a “retro-migration.” They spread out at first, but somehow, by about 1870, all ended up in Bloomington, Illinois.

What I did, to see if I could find out anything about this migration, was that I took the U.S. census data from 1850 through 1870 on the brothers and on brothers-in-law Joseph Monroe (married to Mary Frances Packard) and George Monroe (married to Emeline Packard). Joseph and George were brothers, who hailed from the same area in Canada as their wives and their brothers-in-law. The earliest any of these individuals show up in U.S. censuses is 1850.

One clue to where these folks had been prior to the 1870 census, by which time they had all made it to Bloomington, was children’s birthplaces. Thus I found out that before coming to Bloomington, Matthew Hale Packard, my great-great grandfather, had spent time in the state of New York, his daughter and his younger son having been born there. His older son, my great-grandfather Oscar Merry Packard, was born in Canada.

The 12-year-old daughter of Thaddeus Bullock Packard had been born in New York as well (the state, not the city, in all instances here). So he, too, had made another stop on the way from Canada to Illinois.

Francis A. (“Frank”) Packard possibly did not make another stop between Canada and Illinois, for both his children, ages 12 and 4, had been born in Illinois, as had the three children of William B. Packard (children aged 11, 8, and 1). Likewise, Major Wellman Packard (Major being his first name, not a military rank) shows children born in Illinois, ages 11 and 4, so possibly he, too, came directly to Illinois from Canada.

Charles R. Packard, a doctor by profession, was in Massachusetts prior to migrating to Illinois, as his 7-year-old daughter had been born there, according to the 1870 census.

As for the Monroe brothers, all of their children, ranging in age from 14 to 23, were born in Canada, indicating they may have come directly to Illinois. Indeed, George Monroe may have shown up in Illinois, in Pike County, prior to the Civil War, for he is enumerated there, alone, as a lodger in a boarding house, in the 1860 census. That may have been a scouting mission before bringing his family down from Canada.

This knowledge can lead to other documents. By knowing where these brothers were in which censuses, I tracked down Civil War service records from the states of New York and Illinois, producing muster lists and compiled records. Thaddeus Packard left New York earlier than Matthew Hale did. Matthew did his Civil War service in two different New York regiments of cavalry; Thaddeus served from Illinois, as did William B. Packard.

>Matthew arrived in Bloomington about 1867. Knowing he had been in New York possibly as early as 1860 or even 1850, I looked at New York censuses, and sure enough, he and his family were in Chautauqua County, and were enumerated there in Harmony Township in the 1850 U.S. census and in the 1855 state census. As my great-grandfather, his older son Oscar Merry Packard, was born in Canada (possibly in Hamilton, Ontario) in 1848, I can bracket when Matthew Hale Packard brought the family to New York, and I also know they left the state after the Civil War.

Charles R. Packard having spent time in Massachusetts, and being a doctor by profession, leads me to wonder if I should look in the records of the Harvard Medical School for the possibility that he attended there. That’s on the to-do list.

I suppose the most interesting document I have come across is a letter at the Library of Congress, which is digitized as part of the American Memory project at the Library. It is a letter from Major Wellman Packard, who was a lawyer, to a friend who was another Illinois lawyer – Abraham Lincoln. The letter is dated 22 February 1860, and in it Wellman Packard reports of endorsements of “Old Abe” for president. Therefore, I can be sure that M. Wellman Packard was in Illinois in February of 1860 and possibly quite earlier.

And that’s where some of the information you find in the census can lead you, if you sit down and look at it and think about it in new ways.


Richards Packard and Sarah Coats Packard, widow, Revolutionary War, Application for Pension, W21886, Records of the Veterans Administration, Record Group 15, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Matthew Hale Packard, Company L, 15th New York Cavalry, Service Record, New York State Archive Microfilm Roll 767, page 1199.

Matthew Hale Packard, Company L, 2nd New York Provisional Cavalry, Compiled Union Service Records, Civil War Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, Record Group 94, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

William B. Packard, Muster and Descriptive Roll of Company C, 5th Cavalry Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, RS201.020. Illinois State Archives, Springfield, Illinois.

Thadeus [sic] B. Packard, Muster and Descriptive Roll of Company C, 5th Cavalry Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, RS201.020. Illinois State Archives, Springfield, Illinois.

Major W. Packard to Abraham Lincoln, Wednesday, February 22, 1860 (Florville’s Taxes), The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, Series 1: General Correspondence, 1833-1916. Library of Congress.

William Gaston household, 1860 U.S. Census of Population, Barry Township, Pike County, Illinois, dwelling 395, family 395, National Archives Microfilm Publication M653, Roll 219, page 787. This was a hotel in which George Monroe was staying.

Matthew Packard household, 1850 U.S. Census of Population, Harmony Township, Chautauqua County, New York, dwelling 27, family 28, National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, Roll 484, page 229.

Anderson, Helen T., Chautuqua County 1855 Census index (and extracts; manuscript), LDS Family History Library Microfilm Number 1597653, Item 16: Harmony Township, page 60.

Matthew H. Packard household, 1860 U.S. Census of Population, Harmony Township, Chautauqua County, New York, dwelling 605, family 602, National Archives Microfilm Publication M653, Roll 731, page 71.

1870 Censuses:

Charles R. Packard household, 1870 U.S. Census of Population, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, dwelling 457, family 468, National Archives Microfilm Publication M593, Roll 258, page 98A.

Joseph Monroe Household, 1870 U.S. Census of Population, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, dwelling 1120, family 1170, National Archives Microfilm Publication M593, Roll 258, page 144B.

Major W. Packard household, 1870 U.S. Census of Population, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, dwelling 1119, family 1169, National Archives Microfilm Publication M593, Roll 258, page 157

George Monroe household, 1870 U.S. Census of Population, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, dwelling 1925, family 1984, National Archives Microfilm Publication M593, Roll 258, page 197A.

William B. Packard household, 1870 U.S. Census of Population, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, dwelling 1121, family 1171, National Archives Microfilm Publication M593, Roll 258, page 157/158.

Thaddeus Packard household, 1870 U.S. Census of Population, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, dwelling 1098, family 1124, National Archives Microfilm Publication M593, Roll 258, page 143.

Frank A. Packard household, 1870 U.S. Census of Population, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, dwelling 987, family 1016, National Archives Microfilm Publication M593, Roll 258, page 136.

Matthew Packard household, 1870 U.S. Census of Population, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, dwelling 1114, family 1164, National Archives Microfilm Publication M593, Roll 258, page 144/145.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Where are YOUR cousins?

I'm not talking about your first cousins, whose whereabouts you probably know. I'm talking about those distant cousins, descendants of your great-great (or further back) grandparents in one line or another. They pop up when you least expect it.

Like this:

As an exercise for a class in Canadian genealogy I took as part of my studies with the National Institute of Genealogical Studies/University of Toronto, I placed a query in a Canadian newspaper which had a genealogical column. This one was in Quebec, in the English-speaking enclave known as the Eastern Townships, where I have ancestral ties. Lo and behold, I got an answer, which led me to cousins there. They are descendants of my 4x great-grandfather Richards Packard, and they live on the same land he settled around 1798!

Or this:

As indicated in my "About Me" blurb to the left, I am, at the tender age of 62, a student at the University of North Florida. One day in the fall of 2007, as I sat in Spanish grammar class, we were discussing a phrase that does not literally translate from Spanish to English. Unfortunately, I do not remember the phrase, and I apparently did not make note of it. I had just figured out the English equivalent, a phrase my Appalachian-bred friend taught me, when a deep male voice off to my left said it first: "The apple don't fall far from the tree."

After class, I talked to the fellow, a big burly bear of a young man, probably in his 30s. I said, "You're from the Appalachians." He replied, "Yes, ma'am, I shore am," with a wink. Where was he from? East Tennessee. I asked him if he had any Carter relations -- the line of my friend who taught me that phrase, and who also hails from East Tennessee. He didn't think so, but he'd find out. Learning that his surname is Bowers, I asked my friend if she had any Bowers kin. She didn't think so.

During that time, I had done a little research on my mother's line, the Naves. It did not dawn on me that there might be a connection, for the Naves were also from East Tennessee. About two weeks after that event in class, having found out that young Mr. Bowers had no Carter connections, and my friend had no Bowers kin, I received a copy of a book I had ordered from its author. The book is Teter Nave: East Tennessee Pioneer -- His Ancestors and Descendants, by Robert T. Nave and Margaret W. Houghland. When I traced my mother's line back in the lineages in the book, I was stunned.

I had to go back to class the next session and let the young man know that it was not my friend to whom he was related. It was me. My great-great grandfather's name was John Teter Bowers Nave! Oh, yes, young Bowers told me, they had Naves all over the place in their line, too.

Now, that is an example of small world! So -- where are YOUR cousins?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Madness Monday: Samuel Rhodes/Rhoades

The individual seated in the photo to the left is Samuel Rhodes/Rhoades, my husband's great-grandfather. He is proving elusive, and driving me nuts with the fact that I haven't been able to pin him down. He and his unidentified companion are rather rough-looking characters, it seems to me, and I wonder just what the story is here, for a story there is.

Family legend is that Samuel's boys Andrew (my husband's grandfather, born in 1882) and Harley (born in 1885) were placed in an orphanage when they were young because their mother could not take proper care of them at the time. No information has been produced as to why she was in that predicament. Did Samuel run off? Did he die? Was he perhaps locked up? Is the light blotch on the hat of the standing man not a blotch at all, but a policeman's badge?

I have not been able to locate Samuel in the censuses, but I have found his wife Ida Mae Dewey, both before she married Samuel and after she had remarried on 9 February 1888. But I have not pinned him down yet, though I have found a few Samuel Rhodes/Rhoades entries in the area at the time. The spelling variation comes from another aspect of the same family legend, that is: the name Samuel was born with was Rhoades, or so Andrew had it in his Railroad Retirement papers. Andrew, when he was placed in the orphanage, so the family legend says, was a poor speller and left the "a" out of the name, coming up with Rhodes, the spelling our branch of the family uses to this day. Andrew's brother Harley spelled it Rhoades, the name under which he died in Lee County, Florida, in 1947, according to the Florida Death Index.

The way I understood the family legend, related by my father-in-law, was that when Ida Dewey Rhoades Shuster went back to the orphanage to reclaim her sons, Andrew had been adopted out and only Harley was there to be taken home. Ida had by that time married Andrew Shuster, and Harley appears with them in the 1900 census at the age of 15. Andrew was three years older.

I have not found Andrew in the 1900 census, but in 1910 he was in a Chicago boarding house, his profession listed as messenger. By 1920 he was in Tampa, Florida, married and with one son -- my husband's father.

One of the Samuel Rhoades entries in the 1900 census is Samuel J. Rhoades, age 38, an inmate at the Massilon State Hospital in Starke County, Ohio. Ida Dewey, by that time the wife of Andrew Schuster, was 35 in 1900. And Harley Rhoades's middle name was John; it's possible that the J. in this Samuel Rhoades's name stands for John. This is a possible avenue of further research, but it is by no means certain that this is the one I'm looking for.

Another possibility is Samuel H. Rhoades, found in the 1870 census in his father's household in Benton Township, Pike County, Ohio. This is a stronger possibility because the Rhoades clan at that time seems to have hung out in Pike County, where Andrew Rhodes was born. And it is in Benton Township, Pike County, Ohio, that Ida Dewey was enumerated in her parents' household in 1880.

So far I have been unable to locate either a marriage certificate for Samuel and Ida, or a death certificate for Samuel. I just have to keep looking.