James Packett’s Delayed Birth Certificate

Today’s post will be about going, or coming, full circle.  As usual, I’m doing things in a bit of a backward fashion, but usually it’s because things present themselves in a backward fashion.

Yesterday I found James Packett’s death certificate.  Then later in the day, I found his birth certificate.

More properly, back in the day, there were no birth certificates.  The basic record for recording a birth was in the family Bible.  Those not in the know might guess that a birth record in the family Bible could be forged, but I believe that would be inviting hellfire and the wrath of damnation upon one’s head from messing with God’s playbook.  Not that I personally believe that, but rather I believe that the folks back in the day would believe that, and they would certainly not forge a birth record in a Bible.

And if you left click, and left click again, on the image, you will get a magically enlarged version of James Packett’s delayed certificate of birth.

I see that a family Bible record was presented as proof that James Packett was born.  Good enough for God, and apparently good enough for the state.

What I did not know (and yes, indeed, what I don’t know can fill a universe), and what I latched onto was that James Packett had an aunt Mary Simpson.  I had to decide which parent was Mary’s sibling, and I chose Lillie Rogers Packett.  Lillie is our mystery woman.  Apparently she was hatched from an egg somewhere in North Carolina, and just showed up one day and married John William Packett.

As luck would have it, she was the wrong parent.  John William had a sister Mary who married Hugh Blair Simpson.


When I was growing up, we would have library time when our class would go to the library to check out books and to hear stories read aloud by our librarian, Miss Lavona Simpson.

Miss Simpson was referred to as an old maid, although never to her face.  My mother seemed to know Miss Simpson, and really?  Why wouldn’t she?  Mom seemed to know something about everyone, and if I had been paying attention, this could have been a far more interesting blog.

Miss Simpson seemed stern and sweet, and when she smiled, she gave a tight little pursed smile, never showing her teeth.  It was hard to tell if you were getting approval or merely tolerance.

Who’s got the stinkin’ family Bible?

And now after searching around a bit in www.ancestry.com, I know that Miss Simpson’s grandmother was Mary Packett Simpson, the sister to my great-grandfather, John William Packett.  Writing that made me squirm a little in my seat, like I just got caught talking in the library.

How about that, LilSis?

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5 Responses to “James Packett’s Delayed Birth Certificate”

  1. Becky Says:

    Woooooowwwwwww. This is ginormous information. The bibliophile in me loves it, as well!! ~ Our publishing connection continues. 😉 Plus I had forgotten the librarian’s name; so thanks for that.


    • ruthrawls Says:

      I found the delayed birth certs for his two brothers as well. Good ole Mary Packett Simpson certified that she knew them as well. Boggles the mind. I posted it on FaceBook on the Girls of LCHS ’74 page, and K. Parris said that she is also related to “Aunt Lavona”.


  2. TheBarnTales Says:

    I know that squirmy feeling!! My grandparents know EVERYBODY in our small town, and I still get that squirmy feeling when I realize how people are connected. haha


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