Mystery Monday – Why Was Samuel Quimby Shackford Suing Ship Hermann in California in 1850? (Blog 416)

Samuel Quimby Shackford, the eighth child of Samuel and Hannah (Currier) Shackford was born in Chester, New Hampshire September 25, 1822.  When he was 19 years old, his father died and left everything to his mother Hannah and his brother Jonathan.  Samuel Q and his siblings  received $1 as a token of remembrances. On January 7, 1843, his brother, Richard Shackford of Boston assumed his guardianship.  Seven years later, on January 31, 1849, Samuel and two of his brothers John and Luther headed to California aboard the Steamer Corsair.

Sometime thereafter Samuel filed a lawsuit against Ship Hermann and Owners.  This is all we know about the lawsuit:

Samuel Q Shackford vs Ship Hermann DISTRICT COURT, Daily Alta California (San Francisco, California), 14 August 1850
Daily Alta California, Aug 14, 1850

DISTRICT COURT-Judge Parsons – Samuel Q Shackford vs Ship Hermann and Owners. – This was a motion to set aside writ of attachment. Motion argued and overruled.

Unfortunately Samuel died in Sacramento, California on Oct 9, 1850, 45 days after filing the lawsuit – he was only 28 years old.  Someday we hope to learn more about why Samuel sued the Ship Hermann

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!


“California Deaths and Burials, 1776-2000,” database with images, Ancestry ( : accessed 9 February 2020), Samuel L Shackford, d 19 Oct 1850.

Chase John Carroll, History of Chester New Hampshire Including Auburn A Supplement to the History of Old Chester Published in 1869 (Derry, New Hampshire: John Carroll Chase, 1926), page 357-358; digital image, ( : accessed 27 December 2016.

“DISTRICT COURT,” Daily Alta California (San Francisco, California), 14 August 1850; digital images, California Digital Newspaper Collection ( : accessed 11 March 2017).

Find A Grave, Find A Grave, digital images ( : accessed 5 April 2015), Samuel L Find A Grave Memorial# 140723334.

New Hampshire, New Hampshire, Birth Records, 1659-1900, , Samuel Quimby Shackford, 25 September 1822; digital images, ( : accessed 7 July 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.

“Suffolk County, MA: Probate File Papers,” index, American Ancestors ( : accessed 10 February 2020), Samuel Q Shackford Guardianship.

Copyright 2020 Joanne Shackford Parkes  (sharing a link to this post is appreciated but please do not copy this material and paste it elsewhere)

Updated 2020 to include reference to Samuel Q’s guardianship and a source regarding his death.