Sunday, October 20, 2013

Left Behind

After Maria was widowed, her second cousin Joshua Holton and his wife, Betsy wanted to adopt one of her children.  They were wealthy and couldn't have children of their own.  Her third daughter, Frances, consented to live with them.  Maria never gave them permission to adopt her, but she took on the name of Holton and was never Frances Packe again.

Frances Packe (Holton) Barratt
As payment for letting Frances live with them, Joshua and Betsy set up a store for Maria so that she could sell second-hand and new items to make a small living.

By the time Maria and her children met the Mormon missionaries and joined the LDS church, Frances had become attached to her surrogate parents and didn't want to go to America.  Against Maria's better judgment, she let Frances stay behind in England.  

Eventually the letters became farther and farther and apart.  Until finally, she never heard from Frances again.

In 1891, George Godfrey, Eliza Pack's husband and Frances' brother-in-law was called to serve a mission in Great Britain. He traveled to Northampton and tried three times before the Holtons would permit him to see Frances.  

She was very afraid of him because he was a Mormon.  He was the last person in the family from America to see her alive.

Years later my husband's great grandfather wrote an ad in the Northampton local newspaper, The Chronicle & Echo, looking for Frances.  

She saw the ad and answered it.

She revealed that all letters from America had been kept from her and she had been forbidden to write them.  She began to correspond with her older sister Eliza.

She married Thomas William Barratt from the Channel Islands, had four children, and was widowed nine years later in 1908.  She died at the age of 87 in 1957.

Her obituary says that she was living at 162 Lutterworth Road, Northampton with her daughter Dorothy.

Picture captured from Google Maps

In 1965, Fred's daughter Letha and her husband were touring Europe and stopped by to see Dorothy.   Dorothy was startled to meet her cousins from America.  She let them in but was cool and aloof indicating that she was about to have tea with her friends.  She refused to have her picture taken and wouldn't show them any pictures of her family.  She said that it was her mother's wish not to give any information to family in America. 

As they were about to leave, Dorothy said that they could write her and she would respond.

Two years later, Fred's son Clarence (my husband's grandpa) went to England to visit Dorothy.  They learned she had died of a stroke the year before. 

Frances may have been left behind in England, but she is not forgotten.

This story was adapted from a story written by Eliza's granddaughter Florence G. Munson found in the book Descendants of Samuel Benjamin Pack and Maria Holton.

Frances Packe (Holton) Barratt (1870-1957)

My husband's second great aunt

Bradford William Pack --> Clarence (Bill) William Pack II --> Clarence William Pack --> Frederick John Samuel Pack --> brother to Frances Pack(e) Barratt


  1. I am descended from Samuel Benjamin Packe and Maria Holton through Fredrick John Samuel Pack and my grandfather Roland Samuel Pack. I want to thank you for sharing this story about Maria Holton and her daughter Frances.

  2. Do I have your permission to add this story to under Frances Mary Packe (LQ52-GYC) who was the daughter of Maria Holton and Samuel Benjamin Packe? I will not change anything and I will put your name as the author. Or if you'd prefer you can add it. Please let me know. My email is Thanks.