Tombstone Tuesday – Josiah Shackford’s Gravestone, Portsmouth, Ohio (Blog 365)

We stopped in Portsmouth Ohio to learn more about the adventuresome Josiah Shackford who is also described as “quaint,” “curious,”and someone with a “striking character.” We discovered that their wonderful library‘s History Section had microfilms of deeds showing the properties Josiah owned.  These included a few deeds showing the sale of land after he died which contains a list of his nieces and nephews to whom he left his assets in his will!  More about that later as we need to transcribe them and also want to create our own list of nieces and nephews to compare to the individuals listed in the deeds.

We also went to the Scotio County Courthouse in search of Josiah’s estate records.  We did find his name in the index and learned that his records were listed as case No 4870 but were disappointed to discover that the courthouse had microfilms for case No 4769 and 4771 but was missing Josiah’s case file.  The staff at the office said that years ago the microfilms were stored out in the front office and anyone could have walked off with a record.  Now you do have to sign in to access materials.  We have tried to contact a local genealogy organization which the courthouse said had some original documents but have not heard back from them yet.

Our next stop was the Greenlaw Cemetery where we found Josiah’s gravestone which is in beautiful condition.

img_6653IN MEMORY

who departed this life July 26th
1829 [9 is reversed]

in the 93 year of his

age [some sources list age as 82]

Of no distemper; of no blast herlied,

But fell like autumn frail, that mellowed long,

Even wondered at, because it fell in sooner.

Time seemed to wind him up, for fourscore years

Yet briskly ran he on, twelve winters more,

Till like a clock, worn out with eating time

The wheels of weary life, stood still.

We’re planning to notify the cemetery that he was a Revolutionary War veteran as he served aboard the Ship Raleigh in 1776.

Also, we recently discovered this portrait of Josiah.  We only collect digital images of Shackford items and certainly can’t afford the listed price of $3,000 but do hope that this historical painting finds a good home.

Lastly – if you ever travel to Portsmouth, Ohio, be sure to see their flood wall!

All posts on this website are a work in progress.  We’d love to learn of any corrections or additions to the information shared.  Also we’d love it if  you’d like the post here or at as that helps share the post with others. Thanks!


“An Odd Stick.,” Chicago eagle (Chicago, Illinois), 4 January 1890; digital images, Library of Congress Chronicling America ( : accessed 14 August 2014).

Bannon Henry Towne, Scioto Sketches An Account of Discovery and Settlement of Scioto County, Ohio (Chicago: A. C. McGlurg & Company, 1920), ; digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 16 May 2014.

History of the Lower Scioto Valley (Chicago: 1884), unsure; transcribed, Archives ( : accessed 16 May 2014

Willis Henry Auctions ( : accessed 8 September 2016), 18th C. Portrait of Josiah Shackford,

Copyright 2017 Joanne Shackford Parkes  (sharing a link to this post is appreciated but please do not just copy this material and paste it elsewhere)


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