Caroline (Shackford) Cushing’s March 14, 1910 Death Record in Litchfield, Maine is Actually Recording the Death of Emeline (Shackford) Cushing (Blog 478)

This death record showing that Caroline Cushing, daughter of Wm Shakford, mason of Boston, widow of Peter Cushing who died on March 14, 1910 in Litchfield, Massachusetts of a fractured femur had us puzzled for a long time as we did not know which Shackford this record belonged to.

Emeline (Shackford) Cushing Death RecordRECORD OF A DEATH
No. of Record, 1
Name, Caroline Cushing
Place of Death, Litchfield
Date of Death Year 1910 Month Mar Day 14
Age Years 80 Months 1 Days 7
Place of Birth, Boston, Mass
Sex F Color W Married, Single, Widowed, or Divorced W
Occupation Housewife
Name of Father Wm Shakford
Maiden Name of Mother don’t know
Birthplace of Father Boston
Birthplace of Mother Don’t Know
Occupation of Father Mason
Widow of Wm Shackford crossed off Peter Cushing in different writing
Cause of Death Result of Fracture of Femur
Name of Physician reporting said death
C M Randlett
P.O. Address Monmouth Me
Undertaker Ankling & Wakefield
PO Address Gardiner
Certified by W F Adams
Clerk of Litchfield

We did find a Caroline who was the daughter of a William Shackford, mason (my third great grandfather) but knew she’d died in November 1877.  Caroline did have two sisters, Louisa and Emeline who married Cushings.  Louisa who had married Edward Cushing died on March 9, 1882 but we did not have a death date for Emeline who had married a Peter Cushing.  This left us wondering if someone had mistakenly written Caroline on the death record instead of Emeline.

Further research showed that Emeline’s daughter Mary Emma Cushing who had married Wallace Herbert Allen was living in Litchfield, Maine in June 1900 and in April 1910 leaving us wondering if perhaps this record referred to her.

Our mystery was solved when we discovered that the death of Emeline Cushing,  was reported on March 18, 1810 in her daughter’s local newspaper,  The Reporter Journal.

Obiturary Emeline Shackford Cushing The Reporter Journal March 18, 1910
The Reporter Journal (Gardiner, Maine), 18 March 1910

The remains of Mrs. Emeline Cush-
ing, who died at the home of her
daughter, Mrs. Allen, at Litchfield,
Monday, aged 80 years, were taken to
Weymouth, Mass., Wednesday

We find it interesting that the newspaper correctly reported Emeline’s name and will probably never know why the death record incorrectly listed Emeline Shackford’s name as Caroline.  However we now feel comfortable that we’ve solved the mystery of Emeline’s death date and location and have successfully explained why we’ve connected this death record to Emeline (Shackford) Cushing.

Note:  I have a DNA match to one of Emeline’s descendants — my first DNA match with the shared ancestor WILLIAM SHACKFORD and MERCY ROSE, my third great grandparents!

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!


1900 United States Federal Census, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Weymouth, enumeration district (ED) 1083, Sheet No 16A, dwelling 355, family 371, Frederick Cushing; digital images, : accessed 21 July 2017).

1910 United States Federal Census, Kennebec County, Maine, population schedule, Litchfield, enumeration district (ED) 110, Sheet No 8A, dwelling 144, family 146, Wallace H Allen; digital images, : accessed 1 August 2018).

Maine, Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, , Caroline Cushing (believe this is actually Emeline (Shackford) Cushing, jsp), 14 March 1910; digital images, FamilySearch( : accessed 7 December 2017

Massachusetts, Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, p. 98, Louisa Cushing, 9 March 1882; digital images, : accessed 14 May 2013); Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records.

“Remains of Mrs Emeline Cushing,” The Reporter Journal (Gardiner, Maine), 18 March 1910; digital images, Digital Archives of the Gardiner Public Library( : accessed 31 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).

Treasure Chest Thursday – In 1874, Caroline E (Shackford) Palmer Must Obtain Her Husband’s Permission to Administer Her Brother’s (Thomas Shackford’s) Estate, (Blog 469)

Thomas Shackford, the son of William and Mercy (Rose) Shackford, my second great uncle was born on October 30, 1815 in Weymouth, Massachusetts.  Thomas was a very successful deaf-mute who received his early education at the American Asylum in Hartford, worked as a carpenter and became chairman and later treasurer of the Association of Deaf-Mutes. He was working on a petition for state funding when he died on his way home in Brookline on January 29, 1874 in Boston due to heart disease.  His last rites were held at his sister’s home (Caroline L Palmer) and he was buried in Weymouth, Massachusetts. 

Most likely the law required Thomas’ sister Caroline to first obtain permission from her husband, Charles L Palmer in order to be the administrator of her brother’s estate which is why a copy of this letter of permission was filed in Thomas’ probate records.

Charles L Palmer gives permission to Caroline E (Shackford) Palmer to Manager Sister's EstateI, Charles L Palmer, husband of Caroline E Palmer, hereby assent to the appointment of my said wife as administratrix of the estate of Thomas Shackford late of Brookline, Massachusetts, deceased.

               Brookline, Feby 10th 1874

               Charles E Palmer

The other treasure we find in the probate record is this listing of Thomas’ living siblings.  My second great grandfather, William Brown Shackford was not included as he had died in 1866 but the listing includes my third great grandmother Mercy (Rose) (Shackford) Newell.

Thomas Shackford Probate Heirs List16396:4

To the Honorable the Judge of the Probate Court in and for the Country of


Respectfully represents Caroline E Palmer, married woman

of Brookline in the County of Norfolk that Thomas Shackford who last dwelt in Brookline in said County of Norfolk, died on the twenty ninth day of January in the year of our Lord, died on the twenty ninth administered, leaving no widow, whose name is and as his only next of kin, the persons whose names, residence, and relationship to the deceased are as follows, viz:

  Mary Newell, of said Brookline, mother of deceased [Mercy (Rose) Shackford married Joseph Newell after the death of her husband William Shackford in 1831, jsp]

  Louisa Cushing, of Wymouth, Mass, sister of deceased [Louisa married Edward Cushing, tsp]

  Abner R. Shackford, of Boston, “, brother ” ”

  Emeline Cushing, of Weymouth, ” sister ” ” [Emeline married Peter Cushing — I have a DNA match with one of these descendants, jsp]

  Caroline E. Palmer  sister ” ” [Caroline married Charles Lewis Palmer, Lebbeus H Varney, and Joel Whittemore, jsp]

That your petitioner is entitled, as next of heirs of said deceased, to take such administration, and that the deceased, leaves no debts.

  Wherefore your petitioner prays that she may be appointed Administratix of the estate of said deceased.

   Dated this tenth day of February A.D. 1874.

          Caroline E. Palmer

  The undersigned, being all the parties interested in the foregoing Petition, desire the same may be granted, without further notice.

                       Mercy Newell

Louise Cushing

                       Abner R. Shackford

                       Emeline Cushing

                       Caroline E Palmer

Unfortunately the records that are available at this time don’t let us know what was included in Thomas’ estate.

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!!


“Norfolk County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1793-1877,” database with images, New England Historical Genealogical Society( : accessed 2 May 2018), Thomas Shackford; Norfolk Cases, Case 16396:1.

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