Select Packard Surname Genealogy

The Packard surname originated in Suffolk in England.  There is uncertainty about its meaning.

One view is that Packard is someone who packs and hence might be an occupational name for a peddler.  Another view gives it a Norman French association, from the French word bacard, meaning "combat" or "strong."

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England.  Packard is a Suffolk name and was first found in villages along the coastal plain of Suffolk north and east of Ipswich.  Robert Packard was born in the village of Woodbridge around the year 1410 and the Packard name appeared in Stonham parish later in the century.  George Packard was a yeoman farmer at Stonham Aspal in the early 1600ís.  His son Samuel Packard emigrated to America in 1638.

The village of Bramford west of Ipswich supplied Suffolk's best-known Packard family.  Edward Packard, born there in the late 1700's, made his home at Grove House.  He was later Mayor of Ipswich. 

His son Edward, subsequently Sir Edward, was a chemist by background.  In 1872 he patented a new type of highly concentrated superphosphate and went on to develop Edward Packard & Co. as one of the leading fertilizer companies in England.  This company became Fisons in 1919 and he its Chairman.  Sir Edward was also an accomplished painter.  His son Captain Charles Packard distinguished himself in the fighting in World War One.  His daughter Sylvia was also a painter.

The largest number of Packards in the 1881 census were in Framlingham north of Ipswich:
  • Daniel Packard died there in 1682, evidently at a young age as he had only been married seven years. 
  • there was a widow Packard in the mid-1700's and a Rev. Daniel Packard in the mid-1800's.  A branch of the family had settled in nearby Middleton where the Rev. Harrison Packard was the rector in 1844.
  • while Joseph and Emma Packard emigrated from Framlingham to New Zealand on the Bernicia in 1848.
America.  Samuel and Elizabeth Packard from Suffolk came to America on the Diligent in 1638 and first settled in Hingham, Massachusetts.  Ten of their thirteen children were born there.  They moved with this large family to Bridgewater in 1664.  During the 1700's these Packards spread across Massachusetts and into Connecticut and New Hampshire.  After the Revolutionary War, Packards went north into Maine and also west and south.

There were three notable Packard lines in Maine:  
  • Daniel Packard had moved from New Hampshire to Camden in the early 1800ís.  He made his home at the Bear Hill Farm in Rockland.  Ruth Packard Bartlettís 1982 book The Ancestors and Descendants of Daniel Packard covered his line. 
  • Nathan Packard settled on the coast at Searspont.  His son Marlboro became a master shipbuilder there. 
  • while Alpheus Spring Packard, the son of the Rev. Hezekiah Packard, made his home at Brunswick and devoted 65 years of his life to teaching at Bowdoin College there.  His son Alpheus Jr. was a Professor of Zoology who unearthed more than 500 different species during his lifetime.
Thomas Packard, a farmer, had come to Ohio from Pennsylvania in 1801.  His grandson Warren Packard moved to Warren, Ohio in 1846 and became a successful businessman there.  His sons William and James Packard were the automobile pioneers who founded the Packard Motor Company.

Arthur Packard came out
west from Michigan to Modero, Dakota territory in 1883.  He was for a time a chief of the police there, dealing with local cattle rustlers.  He became known for his newspaper dispatches Badlands Cowboy.
It is thought that almost all of the Packards in America have desecended from the early arrivals Samuel and Elizabeth Packard.  A reunion of 650 descendants was held in Brockton, 1888.  What followed were some Packard family associations.

Australia.  There was one notable Packard migration to Australia.  The Rev. Daniel Packard came with his large family on the Asia to Adelaide in 1851.  He had been recruited to be chaplain to Bishop Short there.

Select Packard Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

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Samuel Packard who came to America in 1638 was probably the forebear of most Packards in America today.
Sir Edward Packard developed a large fertilizer manufacturing business in England in the 1880's which he later merged with Fisons. 
William and James Packard were the American automobile pioneers who founded the Packard Motor Car Company in 1900.  Packards were produced until 1958.
David Packard was the co-founder in 1939 of the computer giant Hewlett-Packard. 

Select Packards Today
  • 500 in the UK (most numerous in Suffolk)
  • 4,000 in America (most numerous in Texas) 
  • 200 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 1,000 surnames.

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