Sunday’s Obituary – The Late Thomas Shackford (1815-1874) – Resolutions by the Boston Deaf Mute Library Association (Blog 449)

Thomas Shackford, the son of William and Mercy (Rose) Shackford was born on October 30, 1815 in Weymouth, Massachusetts.  He received his education at the American Asylum for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb in Hartford, Connecticut and was identified as deaf & dumb in the 1850 census where he is shown as working in Nashville, New Hampshire.

By 1854 he was living in Dorchester, Massachusetts where he was elected Chairman of the Boston Society of Deaf Mutes and in 1855 he was living with his brother Abner R and his mother Mercy (Rose) (Shackford) Newell  in the same dwelling as his brother William B Shackford.

Thomas remained active in deaf-mute organizations becoming Treasurer of the Deaf-Mutes of Boston in 1872 and presenting a petition to the Massachusetts Senate on behalf of the Deaf-Mute Organization.


Thomas fell down dead on the sidewalk on his to his home in Brookline on January 29, 1874 in Boston.  The cause of death was heart disease.  His last rites were held at his sister’s home (Caroline L Palmer) and he was buried in Weymouth, Massachusetts.  The Boston Deaf Mute Library Association honored him with this beautiful tribute:

Resolution the Late Thomas Shackford Boston Daily Globe February 7, 1874
Boston Daily Globe, 7 Feb 1874

Thomas Shackford

Resolutions by the Boston Deaf Mute Library
The following resolutions have been passed
by the Boston Deaf Mute Library Association, realtive to the death of Mr. Thomas Shackford, late
their esteemed Treasurer:
Resolved, That in his death “The Boston Deaf
Mute Library Association” has occasion to mourn
the loss of a beloved member, a faithful officer and
a sincere friend.
Resolved, That we remember with gratitude his
many kindly acts, and while we shall miss from
amongst us his cheerful and winning face, we shall
ever cherish his memory, as one who, while here, did
what he could to serve the cause of humanity.
Resolved, That we heartily sympathize with his
widowed mother and other relatives in their loss, and
commend them all to the care of Him who doeth all
things well.
Resolved, that the charter of the association be
draped in mourning for the space of three months.
Resolved That these resolutions be published in
the Boston daily papers, in the Advance and the
Silent World, and a copy be sent to the mother of
the deceased.

Thomas was my second great granduncle.

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!


1850 United States Federal Census, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, population schedule, Town of Nashville, page 399 (penned), 200 (stamped), dwelling ???, family 147, Josiah Knowles; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 October 2013).

1855 Massachusetts State Census, Suffolk County, population schedule, Boston, Ward 10, page 30 (penned), dwelling 180, family 210, Abner Shackford; digital images, Family Search ( : accessed 23 October 2013).

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, The Journal of the Senate for the Year 1874 (Boston: Wright & Potter, n.d.), page 61; 1874, HathiTrust ( : accessed 3 August 2014.

Fourteenth Report of the Directors of the American Asylum, at Hartford for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb, Exhibited to the Asylum, May 8, 1830 (Hartford: Hudson and Skinner, 1830), page 4; digital images, Hathi Trust ( : accessed 3 August 2014.

“Letter from Abner R Shackford to Samuel Shackford,” (25 November 1888); folder: “Research on Shackford family genealogy, 1988.325.1,” Research on Shackford family genealogy; Winnetka Historical Society, Winnetka Illinois.

Massachusetts “Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 March 2014), Thomas Shackford b Oct 1814.

Massachusetts, Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915, DEATHS REGISTERED in the Town of Brookline for the Year eighteen hundred and seventy-four, page 230, Thomas Shackford, death, 29 January 1874; digital images, Family Search ( : accessed 10 August 2013).

N. E. Gallaudet Association of Deaf Mutes, The Proceedings of the Constitutional Committee, Convened at Henniker, New Hampshire, January 4, 1854 (Bradford, Vt: 1854), page 14, PROCEEDINGS of the MEETING of Deaf Mutes Held in Boston, on the Evening of March 9, 1854; digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 21 July 2017.

“Organization of the Boston Deaf and Dumb Library and Lyceum Association,” Mexico Independent and Deaf-Mutes’ Journal (Mexico, New York), 14 November 1872; digital images, NYS Historic Newspapers ( : accessed 21 July 2017).

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

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