We'd thought that John's wife had deceased before 1872 but after reading this document we're not sure because the document states that the real estate inventory shall not include any real estate assigned to the widow of the said estate for her dower.
This document also mentions that those appointed to inventory the real estate shall give notice to Guardians of minors, persons non compos mentis, or anyone otherwise incapable of taking care of an estate. We're not sure why this statement is included; we may learn as we find and transcribe more records - perhaps this comment relates to the need for those completing the inventory to be discrete.
Washington ss: To Winslow Bates, Joseph M Livermore and John W M Mahon of
Eastport in said County. Three disinterested discreet persons - Greetings.
Pursuant to the laws of the State. You are hereby appointed and authorized to
appraise all the real estate of which John Shackford late of Eastport in said
County of Washington deceased, died seized and possessed in said State, each piece
and parcels by itself at the present value thereof. m money all in words at ;
(excepting, however any part of said real estate, which is assigned to the widow of
said estate for her dower) And if said real estate, or any part thereof, which may
have been sold for the payment of the debts of said deceased. And if said real estate
or any part thereof, lie in common or undivided with that of any other person or persons.
You are first to sever and divide the estate of the deceased from that of such other person
or persons; first giving timely notice to all persons interested in said estates, that
they may be present, if they see fit, at the making of such divisions. You are first
to be sworn to the fortified and impartial performance of your trust and to give
timely notice to the Guardians of minors, persons non compos mentus, or other
wise incapable of taking care of these estates, and to all others interested in
said estate, if living within the State, and the Attorney or Attornies [sic] of such
as are absent from the State, if any they have, to be present, if they see fit,
at such appraisement, and at the making of such division.
When you have perfected your inventory, you are to divide the estate therein
appraised, among all the heirs of said deceased, pursuant to the laws requi-
lating the descent and distribution of intestate estates; provided the same
can, in your opinion, be so divided without prejudice to, or spoiling the
whole; and if it cannot be so divided, you are to certify the same to me.
and make return of your appraisement into the Probate Office.
If it shall appear that any message, or tract of land, or other tenement, is
of greater value than the share of either party in said estate, and cannot
be divided without great inconvenience, you may assign the same to one of
the parties only; and award to the sum or sums of money, which the party to
whom you shall assign the same, shall pay to the other parties, who in con
sequence thereof, may have less than their share of said estate; the time
and manner of such payment, to be determined by the Judge of Probate.
If any dispute aside? as to the quantity of any parcel of land, you may
procure an artist? for the survey thereof; and if all the parties be satis-
fied with your proceedings, let them signify it by countersigning.
When you shall have completed the service, hereby assigned, you are to make
return of this warrant and of your doings thereon, in to the Probate Office of
said County. Given under my hand and said office, at a Court of Probate
held at Machias within and for said County of Washington on the seventh day of
May in this year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy two.
Jotham Lippencott. Judge
Maine, Washington County, Probate Case Files, John Shackford; "Maine, Washington County Courthouse Records, 1795-1950," digital images, FamilySearch (FamilySearch.org: accessed 12 June 2014); Probate Records, Probate records, 1872-1874, v. 25 pt. 1, page 34-40 , image 37-43.
Note: This blog was corrected on June 18, 2014 to correctly reflect the date that the three disinterested persons were appointed to inventory John Shackford's estate.