Posts Tagged ‘Packett’

Zola Packett O’Neal’s Death Cert

October 1, 2012

Zola Packett O’Neal, died in 1924.

We looked at this death certificate a few days ago.  Most of the Packett people have heart-related deaths.  In this one for Zola, the cause of death is “Result of anesthetic”, then on the next line in different ink, “operation to relieve ankalosed knees”.

Sugar and I finally deciphered the hand-writing to come up with the cause of death.  Unlike me, Sugar needed to know what ankylosis meant.

You can read more about it here.

I almost wish he hadn’t told me.

Millie Brewer Packett, 1834-1918

September 30, 2012

I like to say that I prefer dead people to living ones.  After all, the dead ones don’t hurt your feelings, steal your money, or lie to your mama.  I especially like Millie Brewer Packett, and not because she’s deader than the others.  Millie Brewer lived a long time, and saw many changes in her life and in the life of her country.  She might have been about 83 years old, or at least that’s what was guessed by the informant, her daughter Sarah Catherine (Mrs. J. E. Lively), on her death certificate, because her true date of birth was not known.

Millie married James Packet(t), and they had seven children.  The oldest was John William Packett who married Hester Delila Lillie/Lula/Lila/Lillie Rogers, and that was a whole big bunch of crazy (more on that later).

Millie and James set up housekeeping about July 2, 1859.  The scholars among you will know that their world was about to explode into the Civil War.

BigBroBob provided this widow’s pension about 13 years ago.  It was a bit complicated to scan so that it shows to its best advantage, but only the second page has been broken into three parts for better viewing.  The remaining pages all fit onto the scanner, although some of the pages are a bit cramped.  Remember to left-click once, then again, on the image to enlarge.  Someday I’ll come back to this post and transcribe them, but for now I won’t take away your fun in trying to read this.  Click away!

The cover page with her name and the file number.

The top of the first true page.

The bottom of the first true page.

Perhaps I didn’t mention that I don’t have any magical software to blend the two images together.

Next, here’s the little bit of script from the left side of the above image.

Now comes the true pages.  Let me say that the top of one page that has a child’s name and date of birth, etc. etc., is exactly as it was sent to me.  I imagine it must be a boring job to make copies of historical documents in a historical archives setting, but I’d say that I’d like a crack at that job.  Maybe the image was taken from a microfilm and so it’s recorded that way for posterity.

The name that is cut off at the top of the page is Mary E. Packett. She’s the one that married Hugh Blair Simpson. Their granddaughter was Lavona Simpson, my elementary school librarian.

This is the order that I received these pages.  I’ve noticed there’s a seemingly random number on the bottom left corner of the pages, like it’s number 5 in the page above.  Out of order?  Possible.  Any comments and suggestions are welcome.

Good night, Millie.  We’re thinking about you.

More Dead Packetts

September 29, 2012

Clever reader Leo and I had an email discussion about Lillie Rogers Packett, and the fact that she has no early existence, at least not that we can prove.  Tim Packett, now deceased, couldn’t prove it, and I’m afraid that I can’t either.  Where in North Carolina did she come from?  Who were her folks?  Which leads us to the question:  What if she wasn’t a Rogers?  So maybe we’re just looking for someone who doesn’t exist.

Her son James Packett thought her maiden name was Rogers, and told his wife so, because it’s his wife Ruth that provides the information on James’s death certificate.  What if Grandma got it wrong?

Oops, didn’t.

Here are the death certificates that I can find for James Packett’s siblings.  They all list the mother as a Rogers.

Here’s the 1st child, Joseph Lafayette Packett.

Joseph Lafayette “Fate”, the oldest., 21 Oct 1884 – 10 Jul 1950.

This is the second child, Amanda, who married first one Richard Underwood.  I had a hard time finding her marriage certificate because the magical program that translates old handwriting into legible English translated a sloppily written “Packett” as “Pochliztgh”.  I love this stuff.

Amanda Packett Dell, 2nd of 6, 5 Mar 1887 – 21 Oct 1952.

Next child was John William Packett, who was born 14 Oct 1889 and died in February 1966.  The state stopped these handy death certificates in 1958, and went to the Social Security record system which does not show this info unless you send off for a copy of the original, and that costs money. I actually clicked through about a dozen screens in the process right up to ordering it, and I stopped at that part where it said it would cost $25.00.  You know that feeling, right?  Naw, stopping here and backing this horse up.  But you can’t actually back up until you get back to the screen.  Because the screen stops at the ordering screen, even though you left-click, oh, a half-a-dozen times in an effort to get back before you catch on that you have to go back to the home page.  Bastards.

The fourth child was my grandfather, James A. Packett, and you saw his delayed birth certificate and his death certificate from the past few posts.

The fifth child was Belle, born about 1892.  She’s another mystery woman.  I can’t locate her past the 1910 census, but I’m working on that, so just give me a minute.

And here’s the sixth child, Zola Packett O’Neal, who was ill for a year before passing away.

Zola Packett O’Neal, 11 Jun 1896 – 22 Jul 1924.

I also have the added bonus of Zola’s obituary, brown from age.

This leads me to believe that Belle Packett was already deceased because she is not mentioned in this obituary for Zola Packett in 1924.

I wouldn’t have found that Amanda Packett married Richard Underwood without this obituary.  I certainly wouldn’t have found her listed as “Manda Pochliztgh”.

And, just for fun, I’m throwing in none other than Hester Delilah Lily Lila Lula Lillie Rogers Packett’s death certificate.

Daughter of Jim Rogers from NC. That’s all I’ve got. Y’all take it and run with it.

Rogers, over and out.

James Packett’s Certificate of Death

September 25, 2012

My grandparents were married for less than 30 years when he died.  None of the grandchildren knew him, for the oldest one was my BigSis, and she was about two years old when he died.

My grandmother lived about another 50 years as a widow.  She had a dream once that she told me about when I was a little girl.

There was a knock at the door.  When she went to answer it, it was her husband.  He had a knife, and he was trying to come through the screen door to hurt her.  She asked him, “Why are you trying to hurt me?”  I remember that when she described the dream to me, her voice was her sweet little-old-lady voice, desolate and pleading.

I don’t remember anything else about the dream, if indeed there was more.  I suppose she woke up when her husband was trying to force his way through the door, and take it from me, when your husband tries to force his way through the door, you’d want to wake up, too.

I don’t know very much about my grandfather, just the bits that a few people who knew him have told me, and now the things I find on the internet.  He was in World War I, and was ill from being generally run down and having lung problems, I suppose from effects of mustard gas, but I’m only supposing.  I do know that he also worked in textile mills, and probably had fiber in his respiratory system.

Therefore, I was surprised today when I found his death certificate.  His primary cause of death is haematuria, which is blood in the urine, and his secondary causes of death are a general run-down condition and a duodenal ulcer.   I was also surprised to see that he was a construction foreman on a housing project.

He died on his birthday, but whoever filled out the death certificate put down the wrong month of birth, and I know, from working in many office settings, that it’s so easy to mis-state somehing.  My BigBroBob would have been less than a week old when James Packett died.  In those days, would my mother and the BigBro still have been in the hospital?  I’ve heard that the mother and baby stayed 10 days during those times.  Whatever the circumstances, it sounds like a very stressful time for the family.

Good night, James Packett.  I’m sorry I never knew you.

You can click on this image, then click again, to enlarge.

It Was the Best of Fams, It Was the Worst of Fams

May 2, 2012

About a month ago, the vet’s office where I work received a fax from the regional animal emergency clinic about one of our patients.  It seems that our patient, a young cat about one year old, had been attacked by a dog and had ended up in the emergency clinic.  In the morning when I get to work, there might be paperwork on the fax machine from the emergency clinic regarding a patient that had a visit there.  Most times, the emergency clinic opens at 6PM, and closes the following morning at 8, unless it’s a weekend, and then it’s open just about all weekend.

This particular morning, there was a fax regarding the extensive injuries to this nice cat.  By the time we opened, the owners were there with the cat for a follow-up exam.  The owners ended up leaving her with us for observation for the rest of the day.  When the woman came in to pick up, she commented that her partner had told her the evening before that the cat had been attacked, but that it wasn’t very bad, and he thought the cat would be fine.  She had been driving home from her job as a nurse, and when she arrived home, and saw the cat, she knew that the cat needed immediate attention.  There were large tears and puncture wounds on the body of the near-lifeless cat, and she couldn’t believe that her partner thought the cat would be okay without treatment.  I asked her, “Did something bad happen to him when he was young?”  She replied that his father had died of cancer when her partner was in early elementary school, and that he himself had been in an accident that led to a coma, and then she stopped herself, and looked me in the eye and said, “Why would you ask me that?”  And I told her about something that happened to me when I was young, and how it shaped my life, and how I’m good in a crisis, and how I tend to gloss over stuff and say, well, that’s not so bad.


You know what I’m talking about.


And into every fam, some rain must fall.  I thought that my family had a little bit of bad luck, but I didn’t know until I was an adult, like last year or so, that my family had issues.  When I was about eight years old, my mother broke her hip.  She was at the beauty shop on a Saturday when my dad took the phone call that she had been hurt. 

My mother was thirty-eight when I was born, and I wasn’t even the youngest child.  Almost, but not quite, the youngest.  My dad was almost forty-three when I was born four days before his birthday.  My mom was a stay-at-home mother who felt sorry for herself.  She had a wicked good sense of humor, but most of the time she was depressed.  When she broke her hip and spent a lot of time in the hospital, she was put on prescription pain-relievers, like Darvon.  I spent my childhood being quiet because mom was resting, not talking back because mom got upset, and just generally being good so that I wouldn’t be a disappointment. 

I thought that her bad times began when she broke her hip, and things didn’t heal right.  I said that to my BigBroBob once, and he said that she had problems years before when it was her back.  Apparently she was needier than I knew, but my vision of my family was from inside my bubble, not outside.

My mother was gloom-and-doom, and I knew I didn’t want to be that way.  I also knew that I didn’t want to take medicine.  Even today I don’t take any meds.  I’m a great believer in mind over matter, but then I don’t have anything seriously wrong with me, certainly nothing that a big dose of Ex-lax won’t cure. 


The cat had to have several Penrose drains inserted when she was stitched up, and there was a worry that one of the puncture wounds had nicked her intestines, and that her intestines might start to spill out contamination into the body cavity.  Fortunately, for the cat and the owners’s pocketbook, the intestines were fine, she began to heal, and she recuperated. 

So, if you’ve had a life-altering experience and it has warped your perspective, don’t fail to get a second opinion.  Hey, leave a comment, even if it’s late at night.  I’ll probably be up, spilling my guts on the internet.

Old Letter from Ruth Packett to Ruth Rawls, July 1976

June 9, 2011

I attended college from 1974-1978.  The school was about 1 ½ hours from where I was born and grew up.  I was one of those odd birds who didn’t want to spend the rest of their life in the town they were born in.  My goal in high school was to live in a big city and work for a big corporation.  I imagined that I would have a position of importance, and that people would come to me with a dilemma, and I would resolve the issue, and everyone would live happily ever after.  I even knew what I would be wearing in my imaginary problem-solving world.  I’d have on a crisp, white long-sleeved blouse with the sleeves turned up at the cuffs in order to better expose my golden bangle bracelets, in addition to my crisp tailored trousers.  I had curly shoulder-length hair with a left-hand part, and I’d push back my hair behind my ears.  So you can understand that I didn’t particularly want to go home at school breaks since I was planning on becoming a business professional, and basically I was bored in my small-town home.

I spent the summer of 1976 at college taking classes and working for the university in the housing department.  I received this letter from my mother’s mother, who at the time was still living in her own home at the unbelievable age of 82.  Within a few short years after writing this letter to me, she would be in a nursing home.


(July 1976)

Dear Ruth,

Thanks for my letter it was real good (to) get it.  I hope you are alright and doing well in school.  I am much better now but I have had a ruff time  Oh boy is it hot here.  I have not heard from your mother this morning but I guess she is alright I hope so any way.  I am not doing much work in the house now  Just what I have to.  Well honey I must close  My hands are not doing to good  I hope you can read this.  Thanks again for my letter  I was so glad to get it.  Maby next time I can right more. 

Much love,

Nanny P.

James Packett at the Providence Association of Baptists Fifty-Ninth Annual Session

April 9, 2011

BigBroBob is really good about digging up stuff, genealogy-wise.  He found James Packett’s name in the booklet about the Providence Association of Baptists Fifty-Ninth Annual Session.  Look on the second page.  He’s the next to the last name.

To see this image enlarged, left-clicky once on the image, then left-clicky one more time. I did not compress this image so it should be nice and large after the second left-clicky thingy.

Lillie Rogers Packett, DOD 3/21/1937

April 9, 2011

Lillie is holding her grandson, Arthur Cecil Packett wearing the family christening gown.

This image is not compressed. To enlarge, left-click on the image, then left-click again for viewing in more detail.

Here’s the death certificate for my great-grandmother, Esther Lillie Rogers Packett.

Ruth Webb Packett and Baby Evelyn at Old Gray Cemetery, Knoxville, TN

April 6, 2011

My grandmother Ruth with her first-born Evelyn Ruth


This photo was taken after May 31, 1918.  I know this for a fact because the baby in the photo in my mother, and her birthday is May 31, 1918. Her father, James Packett, had probably returned to France where he served in WWI by the time this photo was taken. I can see the shadows of two people in the foreground, and I suspect that the shadow on your left is probably the photographer. He/she appears bent over, and this was the stance that you had to take when using that particular box-style of Kodak camera that had to be held waist-high so that you could look through the viewfinder on the top of the camera.

Old Gray Cemetery began in the mid-1800’s.  It became a popular place to go on an outing because of the beautiful grounds and park-like setting.  That notion seemed bizarre to me when I first heard about it, but when I saw pictures of Old Gray Cemetery, I was convinced that the notion wasn’t as bizarre as it seemed.

You can read more about Old Gray Cemetery by left-clicking here.

For Tim Packett

January 11, 2011

By way of introduction, Tim is one of my cousins, not one of my dogs.  He’s a world-famous genealogist, at least in my world.  I’ve known Timmy since middle school, and we graduated from the same high school.  I asked my mother once how Timmy and I were related, and she wasn’t really sure. 

I haven’t seen Tim since high school, but I have been in touch with him for at least ten years by email since I started working on my family tree.  He’s been an invaluable source of information, and has been an active researcher in spite of an enlarged heart and congestive heart failure. 

More recently I’ve been in contact with Tim and his wife via Facebook.  Earlier this year, which was only last week, I posted a picture on FB of one of the waterways here in my little county that is a large percentage of water involving rivers, creeks, swamps, and marshes.  Tim commented that the photo “made his day”.  I leaped right out there by replying that, if that’s all it took to make his day, I would post a photo a day.  You see, Tim is pretty much an invalid.  He hasn’t walked for almost three years, and can only stand for a few minutes a day.  He has spinal stenosis.  I quote here from an email from him:

I have severe spinal stenosis, which is a thickening of my spinal cord. As the discs grow, the space needed for the spinal cord is lessened and the spinal cord can become completely cut off, leading to total body paralysis.

Now my cervical spine is getting worse and the range of motion is low. Like say brushing my hair and teeth are impossible to do, as is buttoning a shirt. There are surgeries they can do to slow this down and help ease the pain, but because of my enlarged heart and congestive heart failure none of the neurosurgeons will do it. They say that they can do a surgery that would use only 3 holes and minimal risk and ease some pain, but as far as they have to go with a couple of years it would crash down on itself requiring major surgery requiring my back be opened from the base of my neck all the way down and my heart would not stand it. I asked all of them if what they were telling me was that I was screwed. All of them said yeah.


So today at lunchtime I went out and about taking pictures of local color and such niceties, and I still made it back to work on time.  There was a brief moment when I stopped the car to take a photo on a bridge overlooking a marsh.  It was perfectly safe.  There was no traffic in sight.  Behind me the view of the road stretched for about 1/2 mile.  I looked into the rear view mirror, saw a sedan coming along, and I moved along myself, albeit a bit slowly.  The horn of a logging truck blasted, I looked in the rear view mirror, and saw him barreling along, coming closer and closer to the car behind me, and I put a little pep in my step and stepped on the gas. 

So here’s a little installment of make-my-day photos for Tim Packett.  Y’all feel free to make Tim your friend on Facebook and send him some of your photos.

The view of the marsh from behind the Old House Restaurant. The restaurant is only open in the evenings, so no one came out to arrest me for trespassing.


This particular stretch of road on Highway 462 has many, many ancient live oaks. Here behind the Old House Restaurant, Old Yeller provides scale to this huge tree. The brown beer bottle at the base of the tree. Is. Not. Mine.


Betcha didn't know this. A signer of the Declaration of Independence lived RIGHT HERE.


Thomas Heyward lived here so long ago that his house was the only house. It was an OLD HOUSE. (Did you get it?) Things can really be simple sometimes.


The bridge (where I almost got killed in the name of art) overlooks the marsh by Tom Heyward's place. This photo was taken thru the passenger window. Those specks you see are possibly a year's worth of car grime, although there were some white birds wheeling around in the marsh. I'm glad I didn't take time to roll down the passenger window while the car was blocking traffic on this little two-lane bridge. Small favors and tender mercies.

So if any of you have any positive, happy thoughts to spare, send some over Tim Packett’s way.  And his wife.  God bless her, she needs them as much as he does.