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


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