Last week was the anniversary of my 2nd Great Aunt Ethel Augusta Packer who died just short of her 23th birthday in September of 1900. She carried the name of her Grandmother Augusta (Cory) Massy and in turn is the person my Grandmother was named after. This picture might be her. Of the Packer kids she was the second child with Pearl coming next. Evelyn, the eldest died at 9 months. My Great Grand other Cora wasn’t born until 1892—the year they moved to the United States and this was taken in Woodstock, Ontario. So, I suspect that this is either Ethel or Pearl. Though, to confuse matters Photographers of Ontario notes that Alfred Spinks, the photographer, bought his brother out of the Woodstock Studio in 1894 after the family moved to the US. I may never know which Packer girl this is.

Happy hunting,


So it took years before I realized that the Salvation Army was a religious denomination… and I’d been driving by a church for years in Lansing, Michigan. The above photograph is from a photo postcard taken by William H. Spinks and currently held by my Great Aunt. It’s the Salvation Army Brass Band of Woodstock, Oxford County, Ontario, Canada. My Great Great Grandfather Cornelius Packer is in the front row, third man in from the left with, what I believe is, a euphonium. The photo was taken sometime between 1881—when the Packers previously identified as Primitive Methodists and 1892 when my Great Grandmother was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Just based on his age in this picture and another family shot by the same photographer, I suspect this is mid to late 1880s.