Climbing My Family Tree, Part 22

Immigrants Samuel and Elizabeth Packard

On August 10, 1888, a large family gathering of Packard descendants met in Brockton, Massachusetts to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Samuel Packard’s (my eight times great-grandfather) arrival in Boston Harbor.

Now, 129 years after that reunion, and a total of 379 years since Samuel’s landing in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, I learned I, too, am a descendant of Samuel Packard.

Packard Reunion

Grand Gathering of the Descendants of Samuel Packard, held in Brockton, Mass., Friday, August 10, 1888

Samuel Packard, his wife, Elizabeth (maiden name unknown), and their eldest child, (perhaps named Mary), immigrated to Massachusetts in 1638. They sailed on the Diligent from Ipswich, England, arriving in Boston after a two-month journey across the ocean. Samuel was 25 at the time.

The Packards resided in Hingham and Weymouth, before settling in Bridgewater, Massachusetts in 1664. They raised fourteen children, including Zaccheus (my seven times great-grandfather). Zaccheus was born in Hingham in 1650.

In addition to farming, Samuel was a Selectman, a Constable, and collector of “Minister’s Rates” (a tax collector). In 1667 he served on the committee to lay out streets in Bridgewater.

In 1671, Samuel was licensed to keep an “ordinary” (a tavern). He was assessed a fine for selling liquor to Indians, but was later freed from that fine. [Although I have come across multiple sources that state Samuel operated a tavern, I have yet to corroborate this claim with an original source.]

Samuel was the sixth child of George and Mary (Wyther) Packard. With two older surviving brothers, it was unlikely he would inherit any land back in England, and presumptively immigrated to America seeking greater opportunities.

Although almost everyone living in the United States of America today has similar stories of immigrant ancestors, we, as a nation, are all too quick to condemn others who would come here today, yearning to live out the very same dream.


Has your family benefited from immigration to America? Do you believe our diverse population makes us stronger? Do you want to be part of the solution?

In Climbing My Family Tree, Parts 8-18, I highlight eleven different charities that support immigrants and children. Every charity listed boasts the highest rating possible as designated by Charity Navigator. Please consider pledging your support to these important organizations who are working so hard to make a positive change in our world.

Please go out of your way to be kind to immigrants and refugees.


Did you enjoy this post? Please like and share. I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!



My Family Tree

  1. George Packard


  1. Samuel Packard


  1. Zaccheus Packard


  1. Abiel Packard


  1. Josiah Packard


  1. Susannah Packard Sturtevant


  1. Eliphalet Sturtevant


  1. William Pratt Sturtevant


  1. Pliny Wyman Sturtevant


  1. Electra Wyman Sturtevant


  1. Patricia Louise King


  1. Me (Alan deMeurers)


Running count of family immigrants = 64


Reference Links:


4 thoughts on “Climbing My Family Tree, Part 22

  1. Pingback: The Packard family reunion in 1888: what was it all about? | Packed with Packards!

  2. Alan, thanks for this post. I am also related to Samuel Packard and also go through Zaccheus! (called Zacheas in some records). I have even written about that same Packard family reunion in 1888 ( I would say it wasn’t “Samuel Parker” though. I’ve seen Samuel Peckerd and Samuel Packer, but not Parker as many times. I would also say that the name of the child of Samuel and Elizabeth is not known, but could have been Mary. I have read the same about the Diligent as well. Now, I know they resided in Hingham, but haven’t found any original records they lived in Weymouth other than copies of records many years later. But there is strong evidence they lived in Bridgewater. That’s where the most records are, from what I’ve found. On the topic of Samuel as a “Selectman, a Constable, and collector of “Minister’s Rates” (a tax collector)” so far I’ve only found ( that he is a constable, but nothing proving he was a selectman or a tavern owner. Additionally, when we get back to Samuel’s parents, we do find that his parents were George and Mary ( but the records of him in England otherwise are pretty spotty or non-existent. We can guess why he immigrated, but we honestly don’t know for sure. Perhaps it was “greater opportunities” but perhaps it was something else like religious persecution. We also don’t know if he “sacrificed all he had and all he knew in the old country,” as it seems he was a farmer in Massachusetts just like in England, living in “New” Hingham in Massachusetts, transplanting ideas, culture, and much else from “Old” Hingham. I will agree with you on the point that “almost everyone living in the United States of America today has similar stories of immigrant ancestors,” and that “we, as a nation, are all too quick to condemn others who would come here today, yearning to live out the very same dream.” But I would say the stories are not always the same. Those in human bondage had a totally different experience than Samuel Packard. In fact, some Packards were slaveowners, but that’s a whole other story. Anyway, long story short, I have a blog called Packed with Packards and if you are interested in submitting anything about the Packards or Packard-related families, then you can read the submission guidelines I put together today:

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    • Cousin Burkely,

      Thank you so much for your response to my post. After reflecting on your words, I have gone back and made some changes to my original publication. I appreciate you helping me make my work both stronger and more accurate.

      “Parker” vs. “Packer” was nothing more than a careless typo (or perhaps I could blame it on autocorrect).

      I updated the post to reflect we are not certain the name of Samuel and Elizabeth’s first child was Mary.

      I have visited your Packed with Packards site and found it most impressive. I certainly defer to your research on Samuel’s profession(s). As I find time, I would like to do further research, but I have a hunch you have probably uncovered all the family leaves there are to discover.

      You are entirely correct in pointing out my omission of including the perspective of unwilling immigrants to this country. Throughout our history there have been many who have come here, not of their own free will, and their stories are very different and compelling from that of Samuel and Elizabeth. One of the books I am writing covers this topic, and I freely admit I was remiss in not including the viewpoint of slavery in my essay.


      • Cousin Alan, if I can call you thank. Thank for for the response to my response. I am glad to hear there are changes. None of us is perfect. I wrote a long Packard history myself and kick myself when I spot errors. Interestingly, I have seen some mistranscribe Packer as “Parker” although I’d think that if it said Parker then it would be a different person. Thanks for the updates to the post. Yes, the Packed with Packards site is impressive, sure. I would not say my research on Samuel’s profession(s) is done, but its a start. While you say that I have “probably uncovered all the family leaves there are to discover,” I hope not! I say that because I find new things every day. Much of my research has been online, which I was able to find a lot, but as one blog I read often ( says, at the end of every post “its not all online, contact or visit an archive today!” I have visited the Hingham Historical Society, Cummington Historical Society, and Plainfield Historical Society, along with a few cemeteries in Bridgewater and Plainfield. But, otherwise, I haven’t done much on-the-ground research as I would have wanted. I still want to go to the Packard Cemetery in Cameron, Missouri (where Barnabas III died), but haven’t got a chance yet.

        I agree that there have “been many who have come here, not of their own free will, and their stories are very different and compelling from that of Samuel and Elizabeth.” I’d love to read that book when it comes out. I’ll also note here that Theophilus Packard was strongly anti-slavery. There’s been a book and play on one Packard, Elizabeth Parsons Ware (E.P.W.) Packard, which you might want to check out as well (this post sort of introduced the topic: I’ve been meaning to read her books, but haven’t done so yet.

        So, there’s still a lot out there.

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