Military Monday – Theodore Shackford, (1773-1809) signed the 1776 Association Test (Blog 395)

In April 1776 the Colony of New Hampshire Committee of Safety required all men over the age of twenty-one to pledge their allegiance and sign a document called the Association Test stating that they supported the cause of independence.  Each town submitted a list of signatures and a list of those who refused to sign and sent the lists to the Committee of Safety for the State of New Hampshire.

In 1881, the State of New Hampshire began hiring historians to publish important portions of documents pertaining to the American Revolution and share them with each city and town in the state, the public libraries, and the New Hampshire Historical Society. Fortunately today this allows us to search these documents for the word Shackford and from the State Papers published in 1910, we see that two Shackfords in the city of Chester, New Hampshire, signed the Association Test – Theodore Shackford who would have been 43 years old and his John Shackford, Jr  who we believe is his brother.  Their father, John was still living but resided in Andover, Massachusetts.

Theodore’s two daughters Sarah and Susannah had married David Richardson and Nathan Knowles respectively, both of whom had also signed the document.

theodore-shackford-association-batchellor-albert-stillman-itt-d-editor-of-state-papers-miscellaneous-revolutionary-documents-of-new-hampshire-including-the-association-test-vol-30-state-papeASSOCIATION TEST
April 12th, 1776
In Order to carry the underwritten RESOLVE of the Hon’ble Continental CONGRESS into Execution, You are requested to desire all Males above Twenty One Years of Age (Lunaticks, Idiots,
and Negroes excepted) to sign the DECLARATION on this
Paper; and when so done, to make Return hereof, together with the Name or Names of all who shall refuse to sign the same, to the GENERAL-ASSEMBLY, or Committee of Safety of this Colony.
M. Weare, Chairman.
In CONGRESS, March 14th, 1776
Resolve, That it be recommended to the several Assemblies,
Conventions, and Councils, or Committees of Safety of the United
Colonies, and Councils, or Committees of Safety of the United
Colonies, immediately to cause all Persons to be disarmed within
their Respective Colonies, who are notoriously disaffected to the
Cause of AMERICA, Or who have not associated, and refuse to
associate, to defend by ARMS, the United Colonies, against the
Hostile Attempts of the British Fleets and Armies.
(COPY) Extract from the Minutes.
Charles Thompson, Sec’ry.
In Consequence of the above Resolution, of the Hon. Continental
CONGRESS, and to show our Determination in joining our Amer-
ican Brethern, in defending the Lives, Liberties, and Properties of
the Inhabitants of the UNITED COLONIES.
WE, the Subscribers, do hereby solemnly engage, and promise,
that we will, to the utmost of our Power, at the Risque of our
Lives and Fortunes, with ARMS, oppose the Hostile Proceedings
of the British Fleets, and Armies, against the United American


David Richardson [husband of Theodore’s daughter Sarah]

Nathan knowles [husband of Theodore’s daughter Susannah]

John Shackford jnr [probably Theodore’s brother, 1735-1779]
Theodr Shackford [1773-1809]
Moses Richardson [David Richardson’s father]

All posts on this website are a work in progress.  We’d love to learn of any corrections or additions to the information shared here as we are hoping to learn more of these Shackford families.  Also – if you liked this blog, please like the post here or at as that helps share the post with others. Thanks!


Batchellor Albert Stillman, Litt. D., Editor of State Papers, Miscellaneous Revolutionary Documents of New Hampshire Including the Association Test, the Pension Rolls, and Other Important Papers Vol. 30 State Papers Series (Manchester, N. H.: The John B. Clarke Co, 1910), page 1, 2, 28; digital images, Google Book ( : accessed 18 December 2016.

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)


Sibling Saturday – Paul and Rebecca (Hudson) Shackford’s Children born 1728-1743 (Blog 319)

Fortunately we have very good birth records from Newbury, Massachusetts from the mid 1700s which give us the names of five children of Paul and Rebecca (Hudson) Shackford.  These siblings are:

Sarah Shackford (1728 – 1814) – married a Mr Pearson, mention the following people in her will:  grandson William Smith, Mary Jane Brown, daughter of Else Smith, Amelia (Moore) Shackford, Mary Richards, James Prince, administrator of her estate.  She was buried in the Old Hill Burying Ground in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Deborah Shackford (Libbey) Currier (1731 – abt 1800 or 1801) – married first Mr Libbey, then Caleb Currier. Her will mentions William Currier, her husband’s son, Caleb Currier, her husband’s grandson, her son John Libbey, a daughter Mary Mushaway, Mary’s husband John Mushaway, granddaughters Catherine Currier, Rebecca M, Hannah Libbey, and Deborah Libbey

John Shackford (1735 – 1764) – married Deborah Seaward, mariner who died at sea, estate granted to his widow Deborah (Seaward) Shackford

Sumner Shackford (1737- ????) –  Sumner was born Jan 29, 1737 and served as a Private in Captain Beniah Young’s Company on the late Crown Expedition from Feb 18, 1756 to December 20th. He also served in his Majesties Service in the Second Regiment of the Militia marching to Worchester.  We find no further information about Sumner.

Rebecca Shackford (1743-????) – All we find for Rebecca is a birth record – December 2, 1743.


Currier John J, History of Newbury, Mass. 1635-1902 (Boston: Damrell & Upham, 1902), page 563; digital images, HathiTrust ( : accessed 6 January 2016

Historical Collections of the Essex Institute July 1899 (July 1899), page 219; digital images, HathiTrust ( : accessed 25 March 2014

Massachusetts “Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 March 2015), Sumner Shackford, b. 29 Jan 1737

Massachusetts, Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, , Rebeccah Shackford, 2 December 1743; digital images, ( : accessed 15 January 2016); Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records

Wednesday Wedding – Who did Sarah Shackford Pearson (1728-1814) Marry – We Only Know his last Name was Pearson. (Blog 312)

In an effort to learn who Sarah (Shackford) Pearson, daughter of Paul and Rebecca (Hudson) Shackford married, we are listing the information that we do know about Sarah and a list of possible next steps in our search for information about Mr Pearson.

  1. Sarah Shackford was born in Newbury, Massachusetts February 1st, 1728.  Her parents were Paul Shackford and his wife Rebecca.

Birth Record Sarah Shackford

Anno 1728
Sarah Shackford ye daughter of Paul Shackford and
Rebecca his wife was born February 1st.

2. Sarah is listed as Sarah Pearson in her father’s Jan 29, 1787 probate records. This indicates that she married a Mr Pearson before 1787.  Mr Pearson may or may not have been her first husband.

3. Sarah would have most likely been married around the age of 20-30 i.e. 1748-1758. We’ve reviewed every record of a Sarah Shackford FamilySearch and Ancestry can not find any marriages of a Sarah Shackford in that timeframe that do not connect to another Shackford.

4. Sarah’s will and codicil tell us:

a) She was a widow living in Haverhill when she wrote her will on March 6, 1811 but died in Newburyport.  The probate record expenses show she was cared for through Aug 15, 1814 which is most likely her death date.

b.) She had a grandchild William Smith to whom she left $100 but because her estate was less than her legacies, he may have received $28.89.  She might not have been close to him – her codicil stated that if he had died before his legacy was received, she left this $100 to Mary Jane Brown.

c. She left $100 to Amelia (Moore) Shackford, wife of her deceased nephew John Shackford but but because her estate was less than her legacies, Amelia may have received $28.89 She also left Amelia her gold necklace.

d. She left Mary Richards of Boston her gold ring.

e. She left $50 to James Prince who was also appointed administrator.  He received $14 because the estate was less than her legacies.  She also appointed him as guardian of Mary Jane Brown the daughter of Else Smith of Boston to whom she left the remainder of her estate. Mary would have received nothing as there was no remainder to the estate.

5. Sarah is buried in the Old Hill Burying Ground, Newburyport, Massachusetts.


Review the other Pearson’s and Smith’s buried in the Old Hill Burying Ground to see if her husband and/or children are buried there. (thanks to Bonnie, a descendant of one of Paul’s other daughters for this idea!)

See if we can find find out more information about William Smith, Mary Richards, Else Smith, or Mary Jane Brown who are mentioned in Sarah’s will (not as easy as looking for information about Shackfords!)

Research Haverhill records to see if we find any land records for Sarah Pearson.

Continue to follow land records from Paul Shackford’s probate to learn what happened to the portion left to Sarah.

Search for newspaper articles that mention Sarah Pearson.

Continue to search for a marriage record for Sarah and for a Mr Hudson who married a Sarah – perhaps she had a middle name which was used as her primary name when she was married?

Look for the administration portion of Sarah’s probate record, the details of the disbursements of her estate may help us find her grandchild, his parents, and thus her husband.

Search for records of her siblings which may have additional information about Sarah’s family.

Review probate records of male Pearsons in Essex County born abt 1728 who died before 1814 (this presumes Sarah married someone who died in Essex County)

Does anyone else have any additional ideas?


“Essex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1638-1881,” digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 8 January 2016), Sarah Pearson, Case No 21033

“Find A Grave Index,” Index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 13 January 2016), Mrs Sarah Pearson, Find A Grave Memorial# 86522518

Massachusetts, Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, , Sarah Shackford, birth, 1 February 1728; digital images, ( : accessed 25 August 2013); Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records.


Sunday’s Obituary – Paul Shackford (abt 1702-1786) (Blog 310)

Paul Shackford, the son of John and Sarah (Hudson) Shackford was born about 1702. In 1726 he owned land in Newbury on Fish Street next to the ten rods of land that Samuel Greenleaf was purchasing from Jonathan Dole.

The next year, on Dec 9th, 1727 he married Rebecca Hudson.

In 1732 Paul purchased land in Newbury from John Dole for the sum of 78 pounds and 5 shillings.  He attended Newbury’s Third Parish where he and three other gentlemen would council some “Youes that Play at meeting.”  In 1757 when he was 55 years old he was on the Larrum List of the Fifth Company which was under the command of Capt Richard Greenleaf and according to Currier, was most likely the  keeper of the powder and ammunition from April 4, 1771 through the end March 1779.

Paul’s death announcement was published in multiple newspapers – we know of The Essex Journal, the Salem Mercury, the Centurion, and the Massachusetts Gazette. This is the announcement from The Essex Journal.

Died Paul Shackford The Essex Journal and New Hampshire Packet, 20 December 1786

‘Died’ on the 4th inftant, Mr. Paul
Shackford, of this town, in the 84th
year of his age.  He was buried in the Old Hill Burying Ground and his probate file which listed his heirs was started on Jan 29, 1787.


Sarah Shackford (1728-1814) married ?????? Pearson

Deborah Shackford (1731-????) married Caleb Currier

John Shackford (1735-1764) – married Deborah Seward

Sumner Shackford (1737-????) – served in Second Regiment of Militia in the County of Essex and Capt Beniah Young’s Company on Crown Point Expedition

Rebecca Shackford (1743-????)

We’re hoping that when we learn more about Paul’s children, we may learn more about Paul.

Updated 1/12/2016 – Thanks to input from one of Paul’s descendants, have corrected name of Sarah’s husband to Pearson.


“At Newburyport,” Salem Mercury (Salem, Massachusetts), 23 December 1786, Paul Shackford; digital images, ( : accessed 10 January 2016).

“At Newburyport,” Massachusetts Gazette, 22 December 1786, Paul Shackford; digital images, ( : accessed 10 January 2016); Date 1786-12-22; Vol VI; Iss: 289; Page 3.

Currier John J, Ould Newbury, Historical and Biographical Sketches (Boston: Damrell and Upham, 1896), pages 105-6, 437 and 492; digital images, Hathi Trust ( : accessed 12 July 2014.

“Died.,” The Essex Journal and New Hampshire Packet, 20 December 1786; digital images, Godfred Memorial Library ( : accessed 25 September 2013). Died, on the 4th instant, Mr. Paul Shackford, of this town, in the 84th year of his age.

Find A Grave, Find A Grave, digital images ( : accessed 1 August 2014), Paul Shackford, Find A Grave Memorial # 86619212.

“U.S., Newspaper Extractions from the Northeast, 1704-1930,” Images, ( : accessed 17 January 2015), Paul Shackford.

Treasure Chest Thursday – The Heirs of Paul Shackford (1702-1786) (Blog 309)

Paul Shackford’s heirs are listed on a piece of paper in his probate records  because the heirs asked the Probate Judge, Benjamin Greenleaf, to assign a committee to divide Paul’s real estate for them – we have added their birth dates and Paul’s other children based on the birth records listed in the Vital Records of Newbury Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 Volume I.-Births. Heirs of Paul Shackford - from Probate Records




His two children:

     Sarah Pearson (born Feb 1, 1728)

     Deborah Currier (born May 24, 1731)

and the

Heirs of his son John Shackford (born Sept 16, 1735)

  John Shackford

  Deborah Shackford

  Child of Mary Shackford, deceased – Joshua Chace


The book Vital Records of Newbury Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 Volume I.-Births lists two other children who probably died before 1786 and left no heirs:

Sumner Shackford (born 19 Jan 1737)

Rebecca Shackford (born 2 Dec 1743)



“Essex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1638-1881,” digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 1 July 2015), Paul Shackford, Case 25092

Vital Records of Newbury Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 Volume I.-Births (Salem, Mass.: The Essex Institute, 1911), page 472; digital images, Essex County Ma ( : accessed 12 July 2014