Mariner Monday – John L Shackford, Mariner, Leaves Family, Settles in St Thomas and May Have Remarried There (Blog 393)

John L Shackford, the son of John and Elizabeth (Batson) Shackford was born on April 20, 1819 in Eastport, Maine.  In Dec 1838 he married Elizabeth S Clark, the daughter of John and Abigail (Batson) Shackford.  John followed the occupation of his father and siblings, that of mariner and in 1847 we find him advertising freight and passage aboard the Brig Carryl which was traveling for St Marks & Newport, from Pennsylvania to the Isle of Lobos, and to Havana.  He also was reported as rescuing members of the crew of the Bark Cambria and bringing them back to New York.

In 1850 we find John listed in the Eastport census living with his parents, his wife Elizabeth, and three children Joshua C, Abby and Esther and in 1860 we find the family in Eastport living with Esther’s parents, John and Abagail Clark with children Esther and Jenny (Regina).

Sometime thereafter the family moved to New York as we find John living in Brooklyn at 111 Adelphi.  In 1863 John’s name is listed on the Brooklyn, New York civil war draft registration and in 1864 he is listed in Brooklyn living at Hamilton north of Fulton avenue.

Shortly before February 1871, John’s wife Elizabeth traveled to Eastport, Maine where she filed for divorce, dower and alimony asking for all right title & interest in any and all real estate John had in the County of Washington, Maine.

divorce-record-elizabeth-s-shackford-and-john-l-shackford-image-285-use-this-one                             State of Maine
To the Honorable the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court next to be Holden at Calais, within and for the County of Washington in said state on the fourth Tuesday of April A D 1871

Elizabeth S. Shackford of Eastport in said County, respectfully represents that she was married to John L.Shackford now of St Thomas, at Eastport in said County on the tenth day of December A D 1838 and had by him two children now living to wit; Joshua C Shackford & Regina T Shackford. That after her said marriage she cohabits with said Shackford in said State of Maine, and always conducted herself as a true and faithful wife.

That the said John L Shackford unmindful of his marriage vows and covenants, and the duty affection and respect he owed her, deserted her more than three years ago, and has not supported her for the last three years.
That he has been living with another woman to your Libelland Unknown in St Thomas.
That he has been married to

divorce-record-elizabeth-s-shackford-and-john-l-shackford-image-286said woman as he has declared in letters to others.
That he has a daughter by said woman and committed adultery with said woman.  Wherefore because a divorce from her said bonds of matrimony would be reasonable and proper, conducive to domestic harmony and consistent with the peace and morality of society she humbly prays your Honors such divorce accordingly – that your Honors will decree and give to her Dower and Alimonies and make such other decree as may be necessary in the exercise of a sound discretion Eastport February 13, 1871. Elizabeth S Shackford

Additional documents lists John L Shackford’s estate value at either five thousand dollars (the number is crossed out and rewritten).  The court ordered payment to Elizabeth and ensured that the United States Consul to St Thomas delivered a copy of the document to John L Shackford (misspelled Schackford on the document).  The court then allowed Elizabeth to sell land to include property at the corner of Water and Key Street (formerly Greenwich Street), land on the northerly side of Shackford’s Cove, along with other property valued at $1471.02.  We’ll transcribe more of Elizabeth’s divorce paperwork in the future.

It must have been very difficult for Elizabeth to make this statement about her husband’s relationships to the court – we think she may have had some support from her husband’s family as her brother in law, Benjamin B Batson did not complete the administration of her father in law’s estate until after  John L Shackford’s death -perhaps they knew he was ill.  John died in St Thomas on Dec 20th 1871.  This enabled Elizabeth to receive some of the land that was to have gone to her husband.


(with Elizabeth S Clark)

Joshua C Shackford (1840-1917) – served in the Navy, married Sadie Bartlett

Abby M Shackford (1843-1850) – died in Cuba age 7

Esther E Shackford (1843-1865) – died age 21 in Brooklyn

Fanny S Shackford (1845-1845)

Regina L Shackford (1851-????) – also went by Jenny, last record of is found in Brooklyn in 1875

(with unknown person in St Thomas)

Daughter???  (before 1871) – mentioned in Elizabeth’s divorce records — St Thomas was under Danish rule at this time and we’re hoping some record can be found of John in the 1870 St Thomas census records — perhaps this child is listed in the 1880 census.

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!

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!


1850 US Federal Census, Washington County, Maine, population schedule, Eastport, page 48? (penned), 244 (stamped), dwelling 272, family 360, John Shackford https:; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 December 2013).

1860 United States Federal Census, Washington County, Maine, population schedule, Eastport, Page No 72, dwelling 430, family 535, John Clark; digital images, ( : accessed 28 June 2014).

“DISASTERS,” Boston Post (Boston, Massachusetts), 29 April 1847; digital images, Access Newspaper Archive ( : accessed 22 September 2015).

“FOR St. MARKS & NEWPORT, DIRECT,” Morning Courier and New York Enquirer (New York, New York), ; digital images, Fulton History ( : accessed 9 September 2015).

Lain J., compiler, The Brooklyn City Directory for the Year Ending May 1st, 1862 (New York: J. Lain and Company, 1862), page 393; digital images, ( : accessed 28 June 2014.

Lain J., compiler, The Brooklyn City Directory for the Year Ending May 1st, 1864 (New York: J. Lain and Company, 1864), page 417; digital images, ( : accessed 9 September 2015.

Maine “Maine Marriages, 1771-1907,” database index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 November 2014), John L Shackford m Elizabeth S Clark.

Maine State of Maine, “Maine Births and Christenings, 1739-1900,” index,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 August 2013), John L Shackford b. 20 Apr 1819

Maine, Maine, State Archives Collections, 1718-1917, >Maine, Washington County>Court Records>Court of Common Pleas case files no 240-429 1871 Oct>Image 282-301, Elizabeth S Shackford vs John L Shackford 22-305, ; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 September 2015).

“MARINE JOURNAL. Arrived,” New York Tribune (New York, New York), 29 November 1847; digital images, Fulton History ( : accessed 25 June 2014).

“MARINE JOURNAL. PORT OF NEW YORK,” New York Tribune (New York, New York), about March 1847; digital images, Fulton History ( : accessed 25 June 2014).

Names of persons, enrolled as liable to military duty (under the act of Congress, approved March 3, 1863,) in the Third congressional district, New York. Eleventh ward (New York: Provost Marshal General’s Bureau. Board of Enrollment (New York, 3d district), 1863), page 124; digital images, My Heritage Library Edition ( : accessed 28 January 2015

Nobel Thomas H. House of Representatives, : LETTER From the THIRD AUDITOR OF THE TREASURY (14 December 1847), page 33; digital images, HathiTrust ( : accessed 21 September 2015.

“Virgin Islands US, Church Records, 1765-2010,” digital image, ( : accessed 14 September 2015), Image 112, Capt John L Shackford.

Wiley Kenneth L., editor, Vital Records from the Eastport Sentinel of Eastport, Maine 1818-1900: Note: Cover and title page of my hard copy edition are misspelled as “Eastport Sentinal” (Camden, Maine: Picton, Press, 1996), page 260.

Copyright 2017 Joanne Shackford Parkes  (sharing a link to this post is appreciated but please do not copy this material and paste it elsewhere)