Sunday’s Obituary – George Shackford of East Boston (1818-1888) “Life’s Contract Fulfilled” (Blog 457)

We love the title of George Shackford’s obituary – “LIFE’S CONTRACT FILLED”

George Shackford, the seventh child of Samuel and Hannah (Currier) Shackford was born on August 6, 1818 in Chester, New Hampshire.  When he was 23, his father died and left him $1 as a token of remembrance – the homestead in Chester given to George’s older brother Jonathan.

According to William Cutter’s Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs relating to the Families of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Volume 4, George moved to Boston at a young age beginning his profession as a wharf and bridge builder.  We find him in Boston by 1845 living at 7 Gouch St.  He was listed as wharf builder at the age of 33 on April 13, 1853 when he married Rutha Elizabeth Crosby, the daughter of Alonzo and Rutha (Bemis) Crosby.  The next year, he and his brother Richard were formally authorized to build a wharf in East Boston.  According to Cutter he was responsible for repairing wharfs along Atlantic Avenue in Boston and in East Boston and rebuilt the Meridian Street Bridge in Chelsea.  George continued with his occupation of wharf building and bridge contractor living at 98 Decatur, Boston, 69 Saratoga St, and eventually 76 Saratoga St where he died.  George died of complications of Bright’s Disease in Boston at the age of 70 on December 30, 1888. This obituary was published in the Boston Globe the next day:

Obituary George Shackford 1818-1888 Boston Daily Globe December 31, 1889
Boston Daily Globe, 31 Dec 1888


Death of George Shackford of East Boston

George Shackford, one of the oldest and
most prominent citizens of East Boston,
died at his home, 76 Saratoga street, yester-
day after a lingering illness, of
Bright’s disease. Mr. Shackford was 70
years of age and resided nearly all his life
in East Boston. He carried on a very suc-
cessful business as a bridge contractor until
two years ago when he was stricken down
with the disease which caused his death.
He was a most interesting companion and
was universally respected. The date of the
funeral has not yet been settled upon. Mr
Shackford leaves a widow, one son and a
daughter, both of whom are married and
reside in East Boston.

George’s wife Rutha died at the age of 84 on June 13, 1914 in Boston.  They were both buried at the Mt Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge.


George Alonzo Shackford (1854-1942) – worked with his father in the bridge and wharf building business – married  Mary Pinkham and Alice Blaker Pote.

Hannah Elizabeth Shackford (1856-1907) – married William G Grady

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!


Cutter William Richard, A. M , editor, Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs relating to the Families of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Volume 4 (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1908), page 1804; digital images, Google E-Books ( : accessed 13 September 2013.

“LIFE’S CONTRACT FILLED Death of George Shackford of East Boston,” Boston Daily Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), 31 December 1888; digital images, Access Newspaper Archives ( : accessed 19 September 2017).

Massachusetts, Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915, , George Shackford m Ruth E Crosby, 13 April 1853; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 March 2014).

Massachusetts, Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915, DEATHS REGISTERED in the City of Boston for the Year eighteen hundred and eighty-eight, page 438, George Shackford, death, 30 December 1888; digital images, Family Search ( : accessed 11 August 2013).

Massachusetts, Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915, , Rutha E Shackford, 13 June 1914; digital images, Family Search ( : accessed 15 August 2015).

New Hampshire, New Hampshire, Birth Records, 1659-1900, , George Shackford, 6 August 1818; digital images, ( : accessed 2 September 2013); “New Hampshire, Birth Records, through 1900.” Online index and digital images. New England Historical Genealogical Society. Citing New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records, Concord, New Hampshire.

Secretary of the Commonwealth, Acts and Resolves Passed By the General Court of Massachusetts in the Year 1854 Together With the Rolls and Messages (Boston: William White, Printer to the State, n.d.), Page 81; 1854, Google eBooks ( : accessed 12 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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