Treasure Chest Thursday – The Will of Joshua Shackford (abt 1716-1772) (Blog 336)

We don’t know much about Joshua Shackford, the son of Samuel and Abigail (Richards) Shackford.  We believe he and his brothers William and John were baptized in Portsmouth on September, 1716 which puts his birth before that date.  He’s listed in his father’s will which was proved on March 11, 1731 and while he received Chester and Barrington rights, he married Lydia Lovejoy of Andover where the birth of two children, Samuel (who died young) and Lydia (who married Alexander Hodgdon) are recorded.

From his will, we learn that Joshua was a yeoman from Rochester, New Hampshire who now resided in Andover, Massachusetts Bay, left his wife Lydia his two cows, all his money, household goods, and furniture except his brass ketle, warming pan, & two chests which he left his daughter Lydia Hodgdon. He also mentioned a grandson Joshua Hodgdon of Rochester and appointed John Abbott of Andover to administrate his will.


Will of Joshua Shackford Essex County, MA Probate File Papers, 1638-1881, digital images, American Ancestors

In the Name of God. Amen I Joshua Shackford of Rochester in the Province of New Hampshire (now present in Andover in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, Yeoman, Being Gifted with such bodily infirmities as gives me reason to think the time of my continuance in this life is but short and having some goods of Estate which I think ought to be disposed of in a different manner from what the Law will do in case I should die intestate, have thought fit while I am favored with the due exercise of my reason to make this my last will and Testament, whereby according to the Dictates of my confines I give and Dispose of the Same in the following manner, viz

1. ly
I Will that my Executor hereafter named give me a Decent Burial out of my Estate (at my Decease) and pay all my just Debts that may be Due, out of the same. I give to Lydia my Wife, my two Cows & all my money, notes of hand Book Accounts, household goods & furniture, all of  every Denomination, to be for her life and improvement & comfortable, Support, for and During the Term of her Natural Life, all the afore said Articles of every Denomination as above said I give to my said Wife as above Except & Excepting my Brass Kettle Warming Pan & Two Chests, which I give to my daughter Lydia Hodgdon of said Rochester.
3: ly It is my Will and I Do hereby Order, that if anything should remain which I have herein given to my afore said Wife after her Decease & her funeral charges paid, that the same be given to my Grandson Joshua Hodgdon of Rochester above said.
Lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint John Abbott the third of Andover afore said Yeoman the Executor of this my last Will and Testament.

Testament allowing this and no other to be so. In
Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal the
Thirty-first Day of July in the Eleventh Year of the Reigh
of our Sovereign Lord George the third of great Britain
France & Ireland King &c. Anno que Domini One Thousand
Seven hundred & seventy one.
Signed, Sealed and Declared by the
said Joshua Shackford to be his last
Will and Testament in Presence of
Asa Carlton
Peter Stewwing???
Benjamin Stevenson
Joshua Shackford



Libby Charles T., Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, Vol 5 (n.d.), page 622; digital image, ( : accessed 10 January 2016.

Tibbetts Charles W. Editor and Publisher, The New Hampshire Genealogical Record. An Illustrated Quarterly Magazine Devoted to Genealogy, History and Biography Vol III, July 1905-April 1906 (Dover, N. H.: Charles W. Tibbetts, 1906), page 100; digital images, Google Books ( com : accessed 26 April 2014.

Topsfield Historical Society, Vital Records of Andover Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 Volume I. BIRTHS (Topsfield, Mass.: Topsfield Historical Society, 1912), page 329; digital images, HathiTrust ( : accessed 31 March 2016.