Sunday’s Obituary – Lucy Maria Shackford (1814-1840) (Blog 358)

Lucy Maria Shackford, the daughter of Samuel and Nancy (Buzzel) Shackford was born in 1814 in Barrington, New Hampshire and grew up in a large family, one of ten children. She was 18 when her father died and was mentioned in his will as one of the daughters who were able to remain in the east chamber of her father’s home with wood cut up as long as she remained unmarried and that she would receive $50 when she was married.

Sometime during 1840 Lucy moved from New Hampshire to Virginia to teach in a Virginia school and died in Great Bridge Virginia.  Her obituary was published in the New Hampshire Statesman and State Journal and the Newburyport Herald.

Obituary Lucy Maria Shackford Newburyport Herald (Newburyport, Massachusetts), 22 September 1840
Newburyport Herald, 22 Sept 1840


In Virginia, Norfolk County, at Great
Bridge, on the 14th Aug last, Miss Lucy Ma-
ria Shackford, aged 26 years, daughter of the
late Samuel Shackford, Esq. of Barrington.
Miss Shackford left New England but a few
months since for the purpose of teaching
school in Virginia.

We’re not sure what brought Lucy to Virginia but perhaps she was following her brother John William Shackford who had moved south around 1837.  We’re hoping someday to learn a bit more about this adventuresome young lady’s short life.

We’d like to thank the Newbury Public Library for scanning these newspapers which are allowing us to learn more about Shackford family history!


“DEATHS.,” New Hampshire Statesman and State Journal (Concord, New Hampshire), 19 September 1840; digital images, Godfrey Memorial ( : accessed 18 February 2014).

“DEATHS.,” Newburyport Herald (Newburyport, Massachusetts), 22 September 1840; digital images, Newburyport Public Library ( : accessed 27 August 2016).


Military Monday – Walter E Shackford, age 18, Mortally Wounded at Five Forks April 1, 1865, Eight Days Before Lee’s Surrender (Blog 343)

On this Memorial Day we remember 18 year old Walter E Shackford who was wounded  at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865 and was transported to the hospital at Farmville, Virginia where he died of his wounds.

Walter E Shackford, the son of Rev John William and Martha Cole (McLellan) Shackford was born about January 1847 most likely in Walkerton, Virginia, the location where his parents resided.  If there  was a record of Walter’s birth it was kept at the nearby King and Queen County Courthouse  which was destroyed when the courthouse  burned in a fire set by the Union on 10 March 1864.

Walter’s father had moved from New Hampshire to Virginia around 1837 at the age of eighteen and became a Methodist preacher and a farmer.  He must have been able to fund his son’s education and run their farm without his help which enabled Walter to attended a school at Chatham Hill in 1856 and  Walkerton Academy around age 13.  In April 1860, William’s relatives from New Hampshire visited his family farm and sang at the church where his father preached.  But about a year later the war started and Walter’s educational opportunities ended as there were no available teachers and children were needed to keep the farms going.  The November 1861 over a period of ten days, four of Walter’s siblings, Lela, Harvey, Mary, and Nannie ages 12 to age 4 died of diphtheria.

The impact of the war was close to home – diaries kept by neighbors during the war  describe “Yankees in large force crossing at Walkerton” on May 5, 1863, and on June 5, 1863 –  “Report comes this morning that the Yankees are in force at Walkerton, setting fire to houses, mills, etc.; could see smoke ascending from three or four different points. About two o’clock heard the booming of cannon, evidently from gunboats returning down the river.”.  On June 6, 1863, Dr B H. W. described “Yankees reached Walkerton Thursday night about one o’clock; landed four hundred infantry, seizing horses as they advanced by land toward Ayletts. At this place they burned foundry, store, dwelling, and granaries. An immense deal of property was destroyed, Negroes taken away, horses stolen.”  The King and Queen Courthouse was burned on June 25, 1864 and on July 25, 1864, V. D. C. reported in his diary “A day of distress. The enemy here doing all the damage they can, taking corn, meat, clothing of all kinds, etc.”

Walter observed the mayhem and impact of the war in his community and on April 15, 1864 at the age of 17, he enlisted in Fredericksburg, Virginia as a private in Company H of Virginia’s 5th Cavalry, also called the James City Cavalry.  He mustered in on the same day. Because he enlisted so far from home and not in a unit related to King and Queen County, we wonder if he told his parents he was joining the military.  He was issued his military uniform on July 27, 1864.

Walter probably participated in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign in Front Royal, Winchester, and Cedar Creek during 1864 and the Appomattox Campaign at Hanover Court House, Dinwiddie Court House in March 1865.  He fought at Five Forks where he was wounded on April 1, 1864 and was brought to the hospital at Farmville.

Seven days after Walter was injured the war ended with Lee surrendering at Appomattox, only 31 miles from Farmville.  Walter was probably alive on April 15, 1865 as he is listed as having been paroled in Farmville on that date.  His mother traveled from Walkerton to Farmville to see her injured son but unfortunately arrived after he had died.  We’re not sure if he was one of the many soldiers buried in the Farmville Confederate Cemetery or if his body was brought back to the farmhouse in Walkerton.  Because there is not a stone cemetery marker for Walter we’ve included a picture of the memorial to those who fought at the Battle of Five Forks.
It states”                                                                        Virginia - Battle of Five Forks

Battle of Five Forks’

Here at Five Forks on April 1, 1865 10,000 Confederates, commanded by General Pickett, were overwhelmed by about 50,000 Federal troops, led by General Sheridan, thereby opening the way to the Southside Railroad making further defense of Petersburg and Richmond impossible. Withdrawal to Appomattox followed.

Dedicated to the memory of the valiant Dinwiddie soldiers, as well as to all soldiers of the South and North, taking part in this encounter.

Presented by the Dinwiddie Confederate Memorial Association and erected by the Dinwiddie Civil War Centennial Commission April 1, 1965

In July 1868, about three years after the war ended, Walter’s parents sent his brother, Joseph Wesley Shackford, who had just turned 20 to New Hampshire to visit the northern relatives, one of whom was his 82 year old grandmother.  Joseph wrote about this visit in his diary describing his fear of how he would be seen by his northern relatives after the war —  it’s worth the time to read his diary which has more meaning after visiting these locations.

Someday we’re hoping to find a more about Walter — perhaps his compiled service record and possibly some information in the Farmville Hospital Records as these source documents may help us in our  attempt to honor this young man who only lived 18 years.

Note:  We just visited Appomattox, Farmville,  Five Forks, King and Queen County Courthouse, and Walkerton to learn more about Walter’s life, some of our own history (my mother lived at Appomattox during her youth), and the Civil War in general.  If you make it to Appomattox, we strongly recommend attending the  outstanding presentations “Emma Hix” and “The Last 50 Miles”

We’re now starting our journey north where we hope to learn more about northern Shackfords.   Next stop Saratoga Springs, NY where Seth R Shackford died in 1777.

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!


American Civil War Research Database ( : accessed 12 May 2016), Walter G Shackford

Bagby Rev Alfred, A. B,, D. D., King and Queen County, Virginia (New York and Washington: The Neale Publishing Company, 1908), page 137; digital images, HathiTrust ( : accessed 30 May 2016.

The Christian Advocate, Volume 81 (29 November 1906), page 8; digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 13 May 2016.

Johnston Joseph S, editor, The Diary of Joseph Wesley Shackford King and Queen County Virginia 1868-1893 (Library of Congress: Library of Congress, 1991).

Jones Reverend J., Ed, Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 24 (n.d.), page 1.62; digital transcription, Perseus Digital Library Tufts University ( : accessed 9 November 2015.

V. D. C., “More From The Diary Of John Walker Of Chatham Hill,” The Bulletin of the King and Queen County Historical Society of Virginia, July 1965, page 5, col 2, 1864.

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)





Tuesday’s Tip -King and Queen Courthouse Tavern Museum (Blog 340)

King and Queen Courthouse Museum (their photo)

King and Queen Courthouse Museum (photo from their WEBSite)


This week we had the opportunity to visit the King and Queen Courthouse Tavern Museum located in King and Queen Court House, Virginia.

We received excellent research assistance from Page with whom we corresponded before we arrived, Sharon who assisted us while we were at the site, and Biddie who left her contact information for us because her grandfather was a friend of John William Shackford  and his wife Martha Cole McLelland who we are researching!

As mentioned on their Website, the museum is definitely “out-of-the way”.  It was an hour’s drive from our campsite near Fredericksburg, Virginia but the drive was beautiful and well worth the trip as the museum has a fabulous collection of books, exceptional museum collection, excellently written historical bulletins, and very, very helpful staff!

Before we arrived, the staff had pulled information about John William Shackford from many sources.  While I could have taken pictures of the material, I chose to let Sharon take photocopies which we still haven’t finished reviewing.  Sharon also gave us fabulous directions to Walkerton where we visited the Mizpah Church which John Shackford helped found and then drove to the Sheppard Church where he preached.

Mizpah Church
Mizpah Church, Walkerton VA

We didn’t drive to the property where John lived and raised his family because this appeared to be private property but we recognized the long distances between locations described in many articles about this family.

A few tips regarding this great museum!

They are open on Friday and Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 1-5

If you write to the staff before your visit you may receive even more help from this fabulous staff.

If you are using a GPS to find this town, note that the town’s name is spelled King and Queen Court House, a GPS may not find the words King and Queen Courthouse

We wish to thank the wonderful staff at the King and Queen County Tavern Museum!


Sunday’s Obituary – Death of a Lady: Martha Cole McLelland Shackford (1820-1900) (Blog 327)

Martha Cole McLelland, the daughter of Rev Hezekiah and Mary (Temple) McLelland  was born about 1820 in Virginia, grew up the daughter of a well known Methodist minister who died when she was about 12 years old.  She married Rev John William Shackford, also a Methodist minister on February 10, 1846.  Her husband settled in Orange Grove, outside Walkerton, King and Queen County, Virginia.

Martha had seven children, four of whom (Lela, Mary Alice, Harvey Temple, and Nannie Lloyd) she tragically lost from diphtheria over eleven days 1862 and one of whom (Walter Emory) died at age 18 in at Five Forks Battle in April 1865.  Her son Joseph stated in his diary “he died about 2 days before my mother reached him.  She only reached the spot in time to see the earth fresh over the beloved remains of her first born.  She could never hear his voice here on the shores of time. Thus fufilled a remarkable dream which my Mother had about the time of my brother’s birth.  She dreamed that she had just been presented with a beautiful rosebud, and just as its petals were unfolding, they all suddenly withered away and fell to the ground.”

From census records, we know John and Martha remained at the farm in Orange Grove and from Joseph’s diary we know that following the war they sent him to see his relatives in New Hampshire and also traveled there themselves.

Rev John W Shackford died on July 10, 1900 followed shortly by Martha in November 15, 1900.

Her obituary is titled Death of a Lady:

Obituary of Martha Shackford Richmond dispatch., November 17, 1900, Page 7, Image 7
Obituary Martha Cole (McLelland) Shackford

Death of a Lady
WALKERTON, VA., November 16. – (Special.) Mrs Martha Shackford, widow of Rev. John W. Shackford, died yesterday morning at Orange Grove, the residence of her son, Dr. W. H. Shackford. two sons survive her-Rev. Joseph W. Shackford, of the Virginia Methodist Conference, and Dr. W. H. Shackford.

Updated 3/7/2016 to add the source for the obituary. [JSP]

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!


Bagby Rev Alfred, A. B,, D. D., King and Queen County, Virginia (New York and Washington: The Neale Publishing Company, 1908), page 108; digital images, HathiTrust ( : accessed 29 September 2013

“Death of a Lady,” Richmond (Virginia) Dispatch, 17 November 1900; digital images, Library of Congress Chronicling America ( : accessed 26 July 2013).

Johnston Joseph S, editor, The Diary of Joseph Wesley Shackford King and Queen County Virginia 1868-1893 (Library of Congress: Library of Congress, 1991),

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)