Amasa W Shackford, Photographer, of Farmington, NH (1834-1913) (Blog 477)

Photographs and stereocards by Amasa W Shackford, also known as A W Shackford are featured on e-bay, at AbeBooks, in the New York Public Library, at the New Hampshire Historical Society, on Wikimedia, and at many other locations.  His exceptional photographs preserve the history of many people and towns of New Hampshire.

Normally we’ve written about Shackford’s but in this case we’ve chosen to share an exceptional biography and obituary about Amasa’ life.  The biography about Amasa was featured in the 1897 Biographical Review Volume XXI Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Belknap and Strafford Counties New Hampshire:

Amasa W Shackford Biographical Review Publishing, Biographical Review Volume XXI Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Strafford and Belknap Counties New Hampshire (Boston- Bi

Amasa W Shackford, a photographer, well versed in his art, and one of the foremost residents of Farmington, was born in Barnstead, this State, November 18, 1834. His grandfather Josiah Shackford, who was born and bred in Portsmouth, removed to Barnstead in the latter part of the past century. The father, Seth Shackford, spent the seventy-seven years of his life in Barnstead. Besides general farming he followed the occupation of cattle drover and general merchant. his reputation was that of a capable business man. A straightforward Democrat in politics, he was influential in local affairs, served in all the town offices and for a time in the respective capacities of County Commissioner and Representative to the General Court. His first wife, whose maiden name was Harriet Hill, died a few years after the marriage, leaving three children. These were: Horatio H., of Barnstead; Amasa W., the subject of this brief sketch; and Lydia A., the wife of Charles H. Dow. His second wife, Roxa A (Nute) Shackford, left no children at her death. He subsequently contracted a third marriage with Mrs. Pamelia Brown, of Barnstead.

Amasa W. Shackford received his education at Pittsfield and at the New London Literary Institute. He went soon after to Concord to learn photography, for a while being employed in the studio of Benjamin Carr. Having acquired a good knowledge of the business, he purchased and fitted up a photographer’s cart, with which he traveled for about six years. In 1886, or thereabouts, Mr. Shackford opened a gallery in Farmington, and has since continued in his chosen occupation in this town. For a score of years he taught school in Farmington, Barnstead, Northwood, and Gilmanton, including classes in penmanship in the public schools.  In 1884 he built the large block on Central Street in which his studio has since been located, his large and constantly increasing patronage having demanded more commodious quarters.  An artist of wide experience, and doing work that compares favorably with that of the leading photographers of the country, he has a large and constantly increasing patronage.  He is now assisted by his son, to whom he has relegated the larger part of the responsible work of the establishment.  In politics he acts with the Democratic party.  He served his fellow townsmen in the capacity of Town Clerk for five years and that of member of the School Board for three years.  He was made a Mason in Fraternal Lodge; is a member of Woodbine Lodge I.O.O.F.; and belongs to the Henry Wilson Colony of Pilgrim Fathers of Farmington.

  Mr. Shackford married Miss Clara A. Lougee, of Barnstead, a daughter of Simeon and Mary (Tibbetts) Lougee.  Mr. and Mrs. Shackford have but one child, John S., who has largely succeeded to the business of his father.  John S. Shackford competed the course of study at the Farmington High School, and was subsequently graduated from the Scientific and Literary Institute at New Hampton, N. H.  He is a man of good mental attainments, is gifted by nature with artistic ability, and has inherited his father’s skill in penmanship.  Mr. Amasa W. Shackford and his family are regular attendants of the Free Will Baptist church, and contribute their full share toward its maintenance.

Amasa’s life was further described in this obituary published in The Farmington News on February 7, 1913:

Obituary Amasa William Shackford In Memoriam. Mr Shackford, The Farmington News (Farmington, New Hampshire), 7 February 2018Amasa W Shackford died last Satur
day night at the home of his daughter-
in-law, Mrs. Adrian Hall of High street,
Rochester, after a long period of failing
heath from a slow form of paralysis
aged 78 years. Mr Shackford was a
native of Barnstead, the second son of
Seth and Harriet (Hill) Shackford of
that town. He received his early educa-
tion in the schools of Pittsfield, later
attending Wolfeboro academy and fin-
ishing at New London Seminary. He
taught school winters for twenty years
at Eliot, Me, Barnstead, Gilmanton,
New Durham and Farmington. He
was married in early life to Miss Clara
A Lougee of Barnstead and to them one
child was born, a son who died June
28, 1900, at the age of 25 years, leaving a
young widow, who, when failing health
made a change necessary, kindly opened
her home to Mr and Mrs Shackford
and with the help of her husband, made
“Pa’s last days pleasant and happy. Mr
Shackford was a photographer of promi-
nance, which profession he faollowed
during his 38 years as a resident of this
town. He was widely known and uni-
versally respected by a large number of
friends and acquaintenances. He had held
several town offices and for a number of
years was town clerk. He was a mem-
berof Woodblue lodge, I. I. O. F., of
this town. He is survived by his wife
and by one sister Mrs. Lydia Dow of
Barnstead. Funeral was held from the
home of Mrs Gall in Rochester last
Tuesday afternoon at on-o’clock, Rev.
T. H. Scammon of this town officiating,
with B. F. Perkins in charge. Singing
was by Rev. Wesley A. Paige. There
was a profusion of exquisite floral offer-
ings. The body was brought to Farm-
ington and internment made in the family
lot at Pine Grove cemetery.

Amasa Shackford Gravestone FindaGrave permission granted from Pittynh photographer
Photo of Amasa W Shackford’s gravestone taken by Pittnh who graciously gave permission for us to post it with this blog

The photographer of Amasa’s gravestone, Pittnh has graciously given permission to share a copy of the photograph of Amasa’s gravestone that he posted at FindAGrave here:

A reader of this blog informed me that a photo of Amasa can be found at the Farmington Historical Society’s WEB site which is from their February 1986 Mixed Photo Collection.

Note:  We had Amasa originally listed as Amasa William Shackford in the title of this blog after reviewing all the sources we have, we can’t find any reference to his middle name so have changed all references to his middle name to W.

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!


Biographical Review Publishing, Biographical Review Volume XXI Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Belknap and Strafford Counties New Hampshire(Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1897), page 79-80; digital images, Google Books( : accessed 7 October 2013.

Find A Grave, Find A Grave, digital images ( : accessed 17 July 2014), Amasa W Shackford, Find A Grave Memorial# 130232058.

“In Memoriam. Mr Shackford,” The Farmington News (Farmington, New Hampshire), 7 February 2018; digital images, Farmington Preservation( : accessed 14 July 2018).

Copyright 2018 Joanne Shackford Parkes  (sharing a link to this post is appreciated but please do not copy this material and paste it elsewhere).  Amasa is my fifth cousin three times removed.

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)

Captain Josiah Shackford Loses Three Crew to British in July 1803 Impressment (Blog 353)

On our journey of researching which ships belong to which Shackford sea captains, we found Captain Josiah Shackford mentioned in the American State Papers from 1803 where the senate and President are reviewing the issue of impressment of seamen by agents of foreign nations.  Wikipedia defines impressment as “the act of taking men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice.”  The papers show that 43 individuals were impressed in 1803.

The document lets us know that Josiah Shackford, the master of the Schooner Recovery was sailing off the coast of Holland in July 1803 near an island called Texel when three men who were native Americans and residents of New York, Joseph Simonds and Sylvester Pendleton and John Table, a black man were taken off his ship by the British Sloop Harpy and impressed into British service.

We’re confident that the Josiah Shackford referred to in this document was born 1747 to William and Susannah (Downing) Shackford, the only other Josiah who would have been of age to captain a ship was born in 1767 and remained in New Hampshire.  He had been a privateer in 1798 and continued to sail the Recovery, delivering gin from Amsterdam to New York harbor in October of 1803.

We don’t know what happened to Josiah’s crew members who were impressed


Josiah Shackford Capt of Sch Recovery Loses Men to British Impressment Lowrie Walter and Mathew St. Clair Clark, American State Paper. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States,
Impressment of American Seamen Communicated to Congress Dec 5, 1803


No. 186

Abstract of impressments of seamen belonging to American vessels, by the agents of foreign nations.

Joseph Simonds, and Sylvester Pendleton native Americans and residents of New York, and John Table, a black man, impressed about the 7th of July, off the Texel, from the American schooner Recovery, Josiah Shackford, master, into the British sloop of war Harpy, Edmund Heywood commander. Without protection.



“GIN,” Commercial Advertiser (New York, New York), 7 October 1803; digital images, America’s Historical Newspapers ( : accessed 11 March 2014).

Lowrie Walter and Mathew St. Clair Clark, American State Paper. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, From the First Session of the First to the Third Session of the Thirteenth Congress, Inclusive Volume II (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1832), page 594; digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 17 August 2016.


Mariner Monday – Josiah Shackford, Master and Commander of Brigantine Flying Fish, Authorized Privateer (Blog 311)

We’re always searching for documents that help us understand which Shackford was the Captain of which ship.  Therefore we were ecstatic to find this bond dated August 29, 1782 that formally authorizes Josiah Shackford, mariner, and Master and Commander of the Brigadine Flying Fish with six carriage guns and a crew of 25 men to “attack, subdue, seize, and take all ships, vessels, and goods belonging to the King or Crown of Great Britain or his subjects”  F

In essence, Josiah was an official Privateer!

From the American War of Independence Website we learn that Josiah sailed from Portsmouth to Montserrat, French West Indies in Sept 1782 and returned in Oct 1782.  We’re unsure where else he may have traveled under this official bond.

Josiah Shackford Commander of Brigadine The Flying Fish 29 Aug 1782 Library of Congress

Know all Men by thefe Prefents, That we Josiah Shackford
Mariner, Woodbury Langdon Merchant, and John
Parker Esq all of Portsmouth in the State of New Hampshire
are held and firmly bound to Michael Hillegas – Efqs
Trefurer of the United States of America in Congrefs affembled, in the penalty
of Twenty Thoufand Spanith milled Dollars, or other money equivalent thereto,
to be paid to the faid Michael Hillegas—Treafurere, as
aforefaid, or to his fucceffors in that office. To which payment well and truly
to be made and done, We bind ourfelves, our Heirs, Executors and Adminiftrat-
ors, jointly anf feverally, firmly by thefe Presents. Sealed with our feals, and
dated the Twenty Ninth day of August in the year of our Lord
One thousand feven hundred & Eighty Two and in the Seventh
year of the Independence of the United States.

The Condition of this Obligation is fuch, that whereas the above
bounden Josiah Shackford –
Mafter and Commander of the Brigantine called the Flying Fish
belonging to Woodbury Langdon of Portsmouth the State of New Hampshire
mounting six carriage guns, and navigated by twenty five
men, who hath applied for and received a commiffion, bearing date with
thefe prefents, licencing and authorizing him to fit out and fet forth the faid Brigantine
in a warlke manner, acd by and with the faid Brigantine
and the Officers and Crew thereof, by force of arms to attack, fubdue, feize and take all
fhips, veffels and goods, belonging to the King or Corwn of Great-Britain, or to his fub-
jects or others inhabiting within any of the territories or poffessions of the aforefaid King of
Great-Britain, and any other fhips or veffels, goods, wares and merchandizes, to whomfo-
ever blonging, which are or fhall be declared to be fubjects of capture, by an Ordiinance
of the United States in Congrefs affembled, or which are of deemed by the Law of Nati-
ons. If therefore the faid Josiah Shackford fhall not exceed
or tranfgrefs the powers and authorities given and granted to him in and by the faid com-
miffion, or which are or fhall be given and granted to him by an Ordinances, Acts or In-
ftructions of the United States in Congrefs affenbled, but fhall in all things govern and con-
duct himfelf as Mafter and Commander of the faid Brigadine
and the Officers and Crew belonging to the fame, by and according to the faid Commifi-
on, Ordinances, Acts and Inftrudtions, and any treaties fubfifting or which may fubfift be-
tween the United States in Conggrefs affembled, and any Prince, Power or Potenatate what-
ever; and fhall not violate the Law of Nations or the rights of Neutral Powers or any of
their fubjects, and fhall make reparation for all damages fuftained by any mifconduct or un-
warrantable proceedings of himfelf or the Officers or Crew of the faid Brigantine
then this obligation to be void, otherwife to remain in full force.
Signed, Sealed and Delivered
in the prefence of us,

Henry S Langdon, Josiah Shackford
Sally Langdon Wm Langdon
Jos Parker

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 War of Independence – At Sea ( : accessed 2 March 2014), Flying Fish – Commander Josiah Shackford.

“Know all men by these presents, that we are held and firmly bound to Esq; treasurer of the United States of America in Congress assembled, in the penalty of twenty thousand Spanish milled dollars, or other money equivalent thereto, to be paid to,” 1782,, Library of Congress, digital version

Copyright 2018 Joanne Shackford Parkes  (sharing a link to this post is appreciated but please do not copy this material and paste it elsewhere)