Thursday, October 20, 2011

Herbert Pack (Part 2 of Conversation With Vernon Pack)

Vernon and I spoke at length about his father, Herbert Pack, over the phone.

Me: What was your dad like?

Vernon: He had a sense humor - he had a way of getting people laughing.... He had a bad leg. He was a barber in the community.... He charged 10 cents sometimes.

This man would always go to sleep while dad would speak. Dad told me 'go bring my shaver and soap. I'll fix him good.' He shaved him bald!

'Herb, you cut me bald head!' said the man.

'It been a good haircut if I hadn't run out of hair,' his father replied.

Another story:

Lewis Harvey came in. He let everyone know he was 50 years old.

His dad: ' Lewis, congratulations, but you say you're 50. How does that compare to a half century?'

'Bout 20 years difference,' said Lewis.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Graves Packe

My comments in bold.

image: will of Graves Packe, 1731, via Library of Virginia Online

The following is taken from The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 4, by the Virginia Historical Society, 1897:

"Graves Packe, was a justice of York [York Co, VA] from 1719 and high sheriff 1726 and 1727. From the William and Mary Quaterly, Vol. II (quoting the Maryland Gazette), it appears that in May, 1765, a schooner going from York river up the bay, was lost, and that among the passengers who perished was, "Mr. Graves, son of Mrs. Sarah Packe of Williamsburg, a very hopeful youth, of about 18 years of age." Mary, daughter of Stephens Thompson, Attorney-General of Virginia, and sister of Mrs. Ann (Thompson) Mason, married first, Robert Booth, and secondly, Captain Graves Packe. She had one child by her second husband, who died in infancy. Captain Packe married secondly, Sarah -. Under date, Feb. 16, 1740, is referred to a legacy to Edward Randolph, of London, merchant ("now residing in Virginia"), under the will of Graves Pack, late of London, mariner, [pound sign] 25 virginia money. Doubtless Captain Packe, like many masters of ships, had an estate in Virginia, and
occassionally lived here."

What I can't understand is if this is the Graves Packe purportedly the father of Samuel Pack, Sr.
1. The dates I run across are that Graves was born in 1680 and died in 1723. Either these people are wrong about the dates or this isn't the same man.

2. The will states that he leaves 50 pounds to his godson Graves, son of Richard Packe

So, is this Graves the father of Samuel Pack, Sr. or is this Graves great uncle to Samuel Pack, Sr. ?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Conversation With Vernon Pack

I had a great conversation the other day with Vernon Pack, age 82 of Indiana. He grew up in Streeter. For a time he lived at the A.B. Pack (sometimes referred to as "Bum" Pack) cabin that my grandfather later bought from Jim Pack.

Vernon is the son of Herbert Pack (son of George Washington Pack and grandson to Rhoda Anne Cooper Pack and Samuel Pack) and Ethel Cooper Pack.

I asked him what it was like growing up in Streeter. "I have a lot of wonderful memories," replied Vernon, "times were very tough... but people shared."

I asked him about John Wesley Alexander Basham (son of Alexander Basham and Mary Jane Pack). "He was very well known and respected in the entire county," said Vernon. "He was a shop owner, farmer, educator, post master."

He added a story involving his father Herbert and J.W. Basham:

"My father and John Wesley were good friends. John Wesley was also his uncle. He spoke in a very proper voice (Wesley). One day he came by and said, 'I want to catch a mink that's eating my chickens,' said Vernon, in an enunciated, proper tone.

'How you plan to do that, Uncle Wesley,' replied his Father.

'By setting a deadfall,' replied J.W. (a deadfall trap is usually set using sticks, and a weight such as a rock).

Herbert went with J.W. to set the trap. ' That's not gonna work,' mused Herbert, watching the way J.W. set the trap.

'I know what I am doing. Now, let it down.' Once he let the trap down the heavy rock fell on J.W.'s Hand.

"He didn't bother to take off his gloves," said Vernon. "He just licked the wound."

Pack Family History, Part 2

Part 1 was posted 1/12/2011

My comments in the following post are in bold:


1. Dictionary Of The Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, Sir Bernard Burke. London. 14th edition, 1863.

2. The History, Architecture And Antiquities Of The Cathedral Of Church of St. Canice, Kilkenny, by Rev. James Graves, A.B. and John G. Augustus Prim. Hodges, Smith & Co. Dublin, 1857.

3. City of (list of Mayors of London, 1189 - present)
4. Wikipedia, List of Mayors of London

5. British History Online, created and maintained by the Institute of Historical Research and History of Parliament Trust.

"One of the Lord Mayor's family is stated to have gone to Ireland, a major in Cromwell's Army, and to have been the ancestor of the Very Rev. Thomas Pack, dean of Ossory, and of the Packs of Kilkenny" (Burke).

The Lord Mayor Burke refers to is Christopher Pack. He served as Lord Mayor in 1654 (see List of Lord Mayors of London, Wikipedia).

"The Pack family was originally seated in Leicestershire. Simon, son of Christopher Pack, settled in London at the end of the sixteeth century, and became Lord Mayor of that city..." (The writers are incorrect. Christopher Pack was Lord Mayor in 1654. There are numerous sources, including the City of London's own history sites that show this information is incorrect. Simon was never a Lord Mayor. "The Irish branch of the family claims to be derived from a younger son of this gentleman, who, having been engaged in the Wars of the Commonwealth, came over and settled in the Queen's County, and his descendant, Thomas Pack, of Ballinakill, married a Miss Kiley, and had three sons, of whom the eldest was the Very Rev. Thomas Pack, Dean of Ossory; the second was the Rev. Richard Pack, Pincipal of Kilkenny College; and the third, Samuel Pack, Esquire, of Dublin, emigrated to America. This is the family tradition." (Graves and Prim). Graves and Prim further state that they can not verify that Sir Christopher was in fact the forefather to the Packs of Kilkenny (Ireland).

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Josiah Francis Meadows 1735-1798?

For in-depth research into your own branch of the Meadows/Meadors I suggest the following user's information on 'lively roots'. I found it the most accurate and reliable source:

Along with the Lillys, Packs, Ellisons, Walkers, Coopers, etc., the Meadows/Meador family make up a large group of descendants with a common ancestor in the southern part of West Virginia.

I am going to exclusively cover two forefathers of the Meadows/Meador family: the brothers Joel (1725-abt. 1788) and Josiah Francis (1736-1798).

Both Joel and Josiah Francis were sons of Jonas Meador (Meadows) Sr. and Frances Hudgens born in Essex, VA and Franklin Co. respectively.

First, what's up with the different spellings of the last name? There are different theories.
There is a story that Josiah Francis was guilty of an act of treason and absconded to the Blue Ridge mountains around 1760 (hence the change from 'Meadows' to 'Meador'). There is also a story that one of the meadows/meadors had a disagreement with a family member and decided to change the spelling of the last name. I can not substantiate these claims with primary source material, so these remain just stories. My own theory is that, not unlike other names, the name may have changed because of pronunciation-spelling issues. After all, old documents sometimes spell the name Farley as 'Farlor', Basham as 'Bassham', and Halstead as "Holsted". These were the days before ID cards and digital records.

I do know that Josiah Meadows spelled his name "meadows" at least in records that I came across. One record was a 1844 declined war bounty for the Revolutionary War. I'll try to include the record here (it's pretty long).

Anyway, Josiah married twice. First to Lavina Moody, then to Mary Kesiah Bell. Mary and Josiah had a daughter named Edith (1775-1860)* who married Edmund Lilly (1772-1832)**. And one of their sons was John "Snakebite" Lilly - grandfather to Ida Jane Lilly (and this is one way my branch connects to the Meadows).

My family connects also to Joel Meadow/Meador (brother to Josiah). Joel married Susannah Clark in 1748. Margaret Meador (born Oct 11, 1794) married Andrew Lewis Lilly (born 1817) and I believe she is a grand daughter to Joel and Susannah. I am not sure though and I am still working to verify that.

Another connection: Jesse (son of Joel and Susannah) had two daughters (maybe three IF Margaret was a daughter): Ama and Frances. Both married Bashams: Ama to William Lloyd Basham (born abt 1797) and Frances to John Basham. My family descends from Ama and William Lloyd Basham (parents of Meador Basham, grandparents of Alexander Basham, and great grandparents of John Wesley Alexander Basham).

When researching your connection to the Meadows family I advise several things. One, be careful about not getting confused over names. There were many Francis/Frances and Josiahs...sometimes in the same generation. Also, the last name spellings can throw you off. Another frustrating factor is that people would sometimes use their nicknames/middle names as their first name... Francis instead of Josiah.

*Edith Meador Lilly is buried at the "Dr. Bills" Cemetery on Mount View Road (photo)

**Edmund Lilly is buried at the Lilly-Crews Cemetery at Nimitz.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Basham Family Stories

Acknowledgement: Thank you to my cousin, John Basham, for the following stories. These are special memories that deserve to be shared and help us connect with the family's past.

Youngsters Run Amok

Life was hard during the Great Depression, but as boys Uncle Jim (Halstead), Elden Estridge, and John Basham made the best of it.

"We would run around naked all summer long, even if it rained," John recounted. "When company came we would put on clothes." He added that they never had tan lines.

Great Grandpa Basham's House At Streeter

It's hard to picture it now, but Streeter was a busy little town years ago. According to John, J. W. Basham's building was located on the right side of the road after you crossed the bridge (in the corner). It was his store, post office, and where he lived part of the time.

"The house went almost the same angle as the bridge - from the road almost to the creek," said John. In behind the store/house was an added on bedroom called "The Parlor" where boys and girls would go to court each other.

Alec Pack (related to Vernon Pack) had a house next to Basham's store and then came the old mill.

Lucy Basham Story

Lucy Basham (our great grandfather's second wife) was rocking a little girl to sleep who was very sick.
"Around sundown the little girl said 'mommy, do you hear them?' 'Here what?' asked Lucy. 'the angels,' responded the little girl. 'they're singing very pretty'. The little girl died shortly afterwards.

Great Uncle Ray - Sharpshooter

U.S.-Dominican relations between 1916 and 1924 were complicated. After I did a close reading on Wikipedia, I decided to just skip the history backdrop for this story. Otherwise, if the reader is interested, it is worth reading about the events that led up to the American occupation.

Ray Basham was a marine during this time. According to John, his father Ray (and this blogger's great uncle) was stationed in the Dominican Republic and was considered an excellent sharp shooter.

"There was a sniper's nest about 700 yards away [from him and the other marines]," said John. "He cleaned the sniper nest out. But, when they went down there they [discovered] it was boys 10 and 12 years old."

John said that for many years after his service Uncle Ray could not bother to hunt any animal.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Update on James Ellison, Samuel Pack, et al for Dunmore's War!

I found 1775 Veteran's Compensation Lists that include Samuel Pack and James Ellison for Dunmore's War (please see my earlier Post for the full story on the Pack, Farley, Swope, Ellison involvment in the war).

Just today I came across a typed transcription of Michael Woods' letter to Colonel William Preston (via a book titled "Dunmore's War" Library of Wisconsin Historical Society). The Farleys are spelled "Farlor". My hunch is that either Woods spelled their names the way they were spoken to him (in an accent), or the transcriber spelled the names wrong. Either way, presently, I can't track down the original letter. As I mentioned in the earlier post, Michael Woods lived on the New River and was responsible for mustering men in present day Southern West Virginia for the war.
Taken from the book "Dunmore's War" by the Wisconsin Historical Society (a part of the "Draper Manuscripts"):

"Also there is a few men that lives in a String on the other side of the River that ever will be unconvenient to any other place to Muster at for they would not have above 7 or 8 Miles to a Muster here; and if they must go Elsewhere they Most of them Must Go 15 or 20 Miles to Muster and the names of these is

Charles Cavanough

Charles hays

Philimon Cavanough

Tho. Farlor

James Odear

Francis Farlor

Wm. Cavanough Sen'.

John Farlor

Samuel pack

Mitchle Clay

George pack

and some others that I do not know their names. Also I must acquaint you that the most of these men is bad off for arms and ammunition and I believe Cannot get them. All from yr. Servant at Command"

I could not find any Swope on the list (the veteran's compensation list), but I will continue to look.

Note: The Packs were in Robertson's Company, Ellison was in Henderson's Company.

Click on the images to enlarge