Packard Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Packard Meaning
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
Select Packard Resources on The Internet

Packard Ancestry

is a Suffolk name and was first found in villages along the coastal plain of
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 1600’s. 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.

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
    and Emma Packard emigrated
    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 1800’s. He made his home at the Bear Hill Farm in
    Ruth Packard Bartlett’s 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.
    Packard, made his home at Brunswick and devoted 65 years of his life to
    at Bowdoin College there. His son Alpheus Jr. was a Professor of
    Zoology who unearthed more than 500 different species during his

Packard, a farmer, had come to Ohio from Pennsylvania in 1801.
His grandson Warren
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

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.


Packard Miscellany

Packard Towns and Villages in Suffolk.  Woodbridge
today is a town of 11,000.  It lies east of
Ipswich on the river Deben, approximately
eight miles from the coast.  Bramford
is a medium-sized village
three miles west of Ipswich.   Some
miles north of Ipswich is the small market town of Saxmundham,
set in the valley of the river Fromus.  Middleton
is situated eight miles northeast
of Saxmundham.

Also north and east of Ipswich is Framlingham,
commonly referred to by the locals as Fram.  This
ancient market town with its population of 3,000 was
mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and has a castle.
Stonham Aspal is near to Framlingham.

Grove House in Bramford, Suffolk.  Grove House
on Papermill Lane in Bramford was built in 1825 towards the end of the
period by Edward Packard who was Alderman and Mayor of Ipswich.  It was then occupied for 67 years by his son
Sir Edward Packard, his wife Ellen, their twelve children and five
servants. He
founded the business that eventually became Fisons and was a renowned
painter whose most famous work Battle of
St. Vincent
can be seen at the Ipswich Museum.

size and importance of the Packard family
led to the house being extended in 1895 with the addition of a ballroom
and two
further bedrooms.  The house was split in
about 1927 and The Grove was formed, being a third of the original
three story
house plus the two story extension.

house has a peace and calm that reflects its history and has retained
its rural
feel with a large garden teaming with wildlife. Watching the blue tits
nest by
the pond or the deer accompany their fawn, it is easy to forget that
the centre
of Ipswich is only three miles away.

Packard Family Associations.  On August 19, 1888 there was a grand gathering of
the descendants of Samuel and Elizabeth Packard at the Agricultural
Ground in
Brockton, Massachusetts.   The year
marked the 250th year anniversary of their arrival in America.  The local newspaper included
a Packard poem
relating to Samuel and his children and a long list of the attendees at
reunion.  They numbered 650.
What followed was the Packard Memorial

The Packard Association
became defunct around. 1946.  It was
revived in 1987 under the name of the Packard and Allied Families
(PAFA).  Packard’s Progress
was a family newsletter published for its members
from 1987 to 1998.  The best articles
were those supplied by PAFA President Karle Packard and its historian
Packard who died in 2004.

Alpheus Spring Packard at Bowdoin College.  Alpheus Spring Packard
may be the longest serving faculty member to
any American college through his 65 years of dedication to Bowdoin
College in
Brunswick, Maine.   Trained as a
minister, educator, librarian, he was acting President of Bowdoin
College for
the year before his death.

died in
fact away from home in Decatur, Illinois.
The Daily Republican reported
there on July 14, 1884:

Packard, Acting President of Bowdoin College, was found lying face
downward on
the beach at Squirrel Island yesterday noon, where he and his wife, his
daughter and niece were spending Sunday.
He was taken at once to the hotel.
He lived only forty-five minutes.
He was conscious at the time of his death. Heart
disease was the cause.  His age was eighty

remains were brought to the Bath by
special steamer and the party left at once for Brunswick, Maine.”

Warren Packard in Warren, Ohio.  Warren Packard
moved to Warren in 1846, carrying on his back, as one family history
“everything he owned in a cotton handkerchief.” A relative helped him
get a job
with Milton Graham who owned an iron and hardware business in Warren.  That first year it was said that he worked
long hours as a clerk. On Saturdays he would drive a team between
Niles, and Youngstown, buying nails and iron for Graham’s store.

In 1851 he started out on his own, forming the
Warren Packard Company.  His business
grew and by 1863 he was the owner and operator of the largest iron and
business between Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
He had begun to diversify by this time, adding a lumber business
expanding its operations into western Pennsylvania and New York.

had married his second wife Mary Doud in
1856 and she was the mother of the automobile pioneers William and

The Packard Car – from First to Last.  The last Packard car – the classic American luxury car with the enigmatic slogan Ask the Man who Owns One – rolled off the assembly lines in Detroit on June 25, 1956.

James Ward Packard and his brother William
Dowd Packard built their first automobile, a buggy type vehicle with a
cylinder engine, in Warren, Ohio in 1899.  The
Packard Motor Company earned fame early on for a four-cylinder
aluminium speedster called the Grey Wolf
released in 1904.  With the 1916 release
of the Twin Six with its
revolutionary V-12 engine, Packard established itself as America’s
luxury car manufacturer.

In the 1930’s
General Motors’ superior financial resources saw Cadillac overtake
Packard in
the luxury car stakes. Packard
diversified by producing a smaller more affordable model, the One Twenty, which increased the
company’s sales.

Packard struggled in
the post-war world.  The company merged
with the larger Studebaker Corporation in the hope of cutting its
costs.  But both companies were finding
the going difficult.  In 1956 the
decision was taken to end Packard auto production in Detroit.


Packard Names

  • 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 Packard Numbers Today

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


Select Packard and Like Surnames

Many surnames have come from East Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk) and surrounding areas in eastern England.  These are some of the noteworthy surnames that you can check out.




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