We want to thank Jim for sending in this wonderful question because it forced us to review and organize the information we had about Josiah!
Captain Josiah Shackford, the son of William Shackford and Susanna Downing was born about 1747 and became a sailor. (We're still trying to learn about his early sailing career). According to Brewster's Rambles of Portsmouth, Josiah returned to Portsmouth after being on the sea and went to visit his father who had remarried and moved into his new wife's home. When Josiah arrived at his father's new home, he met his father's step daughter, Deborah Marshall (the daughter of William's wife Eleanor Mendum and her first husband Samuel Marshall) and fell in love. He pursued Deborah and on February 21, 1771, they married.
Two years later, Josiah's father William died and left Josiah (and Josiah's brother Samuel) real estate in Portsmouth and Newington. Josiah also received some of the personal estate, 1/2 of 1/2 of a Pew, rights in Nottingham, his best bed & bedding, furniture, a looking glass, large black walnut table, a tea table, a silver tak & silver pepper, a kettle and some irons. The inventory documents show that he also received a case of Deawery?, and the Negro Bess.
We find documentation that Josiah Shackford was the Master of the ship Squirrel which arrived in Nova Scotia in 1775. The next document about Josiah shows him being appointed as the 3rd Lieutenant aboard the Continental Frigate Raleigh where he served a part of the American Revolutionary Naval Service. In 1780 we find Josiah as the Commander of the Privateer Diana with a crew of 30 men. Records show that his ship captured the Adventure in 1781. In 1782, we find Josiah as the Commander of the Flying Fish which sailed to the West Indies. Apparently extracts of his trip which we have not yet found, were published in a local newspaper. We have however found advertisements for Josiah's freight trips to the West Indies when he became master of the Brig Betsy.
Josiah was most likely have been captain or crew of many other ships but as there were many Captain Shackford's, it is difficult to trace each ship to the correct Shackford. We do find many published stories but no actual source information indicating that this Josiah Shackford sailed alone three thousand miles over about 80 days (or 35 days) from Cadiz to Demerara or Bordeaux to Surinam depending on which story you read. There are also stories describing a meeting that Josiah had with Sir Joseph Banks after this trip.
We do however find source information showing that the State of New Hampshire passed an act on June 18,1795 authorizing and empowering Josiah's wife Deborah to lease lands of Josiah Shackford who had been long absent. She was given permission to collect the debts of her husband who had been "long absent in a disordered, deranged State of mind" and also had permission to sell certain lands of his.
Josiah may have been perceived as being deranged in his personal affairs but he was still professionally active as seen by his submission of a patent request in 1799 for an improvement in propelling boats and as master of the ship Recovery which transported gin from Amsterdam to New York.
Sometime around 1807 we find Josiah in what was later to become the new town of Portsmouth, Scioto, Ohio. Documents show him purchasing lot No 17 on Front Street from Henry Massie. We haven't yet found the source documents but in the History of the Lower Scioto Valley it is mentioned that he may have also had land conveyed to him by the United States government in 1812. We do know that Josiah was a member of the first Common Council of the new town of Portsmouth, Scioto, Ohio when the town was incorporated in 1814 and that he started the town's new flour mill in 1815. He was also a commissioner of the town's Commercial Bank and is found in Scioto in the 1820 census. Josiah died in Scotio in 1829 and was buried in the Greenlaw Cemetery. A picture of his gravestone can be found at FindAGrave. We have not yet found his will or probate in Ohio but do find newspaper articles published in 1831 and 1831 documenting that a William H Y Hackett petitioner is asking for permission to sell land at the Point of Graves and a parcel of land in Newington called the Shackford farm which were owned by Josiah Shackford formerly of Portsmouth.
American War of Independence - At Sea (http://www.awiatsea.com/ : accessed 2 March 2014),
American War of Independence - At Sea (http://www.awiatsea.com/ : accessed 2 March 2014), Flying Fish - Commander Josiah Shackford
"Boats on the Ocean," Green-Mountain Freeman (Montpelier, Vermont), 3 November 1875; digital image, Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ : accessed 26 April 2014).
Brewster Charles W, Rambles About Portsmouth Second Series. Sketches of Persons, Localities and Incidents of Two Centuries (Portsmouth, N. H.: Lewis W. Brewster, 1869), page 219; digital images, Hathi Trust (http://babel.hathitrust.org : accessed 16 May 2014
Fessenden Thomas Green, The Register of Arts, or a Compendious View of Some of the Most Useful Mondern Discoveries and Inventions (Norfolk: C. and A. Conrad, 1808), 384-388; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 16 May 2014
Find A Grave, Find A Grave, digital images (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 14 June 2013), Josiah Shackford, Find A Grave Memorial# 58659630
"For Freight or Charter to the West Indies," Dunlap's American Daily Advertiser (Philadelphia, Pennslyvania), 13 October 1791; digital images, America's Historical Newspapers (info.newsbank.com : accessed 11 March 2014
"GIN," Commercial Advertiser (New York, New York), 7 October 1803; digital images, America's Historical Newspapers (infoweb.newsbank.com : accessed 11 March 2014
History of the Lower Scioto Valley (Chicago: 1884), unsure; transcribed, Archives (http://files.usgwarchives.net/oh/history/1884/chapt11.txt : accessed 16 May 2014
"Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild," transcriptions, Immigrant Ships Transcriber's Guild (http://www.immigrantships.net/v13/1800v13/pioneer18670902.html : access 16 September 2013), Squirrel, Departing Poole for Nova Scotia Josiah Shackford, mariner
New Hampshire, County Probate Estate Files, William Shackford Case 3981; "New Hampshire, County Probate Estate Files, 1769-1936," digital images, Family Search (http://www.familysearch.org: accessed 25 April 2014); Rockingham, Case no 3836-3988 1771-1773, Image 1460-1474
New Hampshire, New Hampshire, Marriage Records, 1637-1947, , Josiah Shackford m Deborah Marshall, 21 February 1771; digital records, Family Search (http://familysearch.org : accessed 20 February 2014).
Secretary of State, Laws of New Hampshire Including Public and Private Acts, Resolves, Votes, Etc., Volume Six Second Constitutional Period 1792-1801 (Concord, N. H.: Evans Publishing Co, 1917), page 259; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 16 May 2014
Tibbetts Charles W. Editor and Publisher, The New Hampshire Genealogical Record. An Illustrated Quarterly Magazine Devoted to Genealogy, History and Biography. Vol. II. July 1904-April 1905 (Dover, N. H.: Charles W. Tibbetts, 1905), page 180; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 1 May 2014
"To the Hon. Judge of Probate for the County of Rockingham," The Portsmouth Journal and Rockingham Gazette (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), 12 November 1831, Probate of Josiah Shackford; digital images, America's Historical Newspapers via Godfrey Memorial (http://infoweb.newsbank.com : accessed 29 April 2014)
Copyright 2014 Joanne Shackford Parkes