We love Randy Seaver's Genea-Musing's blog! In his Oct 19, 2015 posting, titled New or Updated Record Collections at FamilySearch.org - October 11-17, 2015, he notified readers that FamilySearch had added or updated it's Louisiana, New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945. We searched this collection for Shackford and found seven matches. The first was J R Shackford, a miner born abt 1829 who we can't connect to an existing Shackford. The second was a Frank L Shackford born about 1848 who we also couldn't connect. However the third person was W. G. Shackford, master of the Juan G. Meiggs!
I, W. G. Shackford Master of S. S. Juan G. Meiggs do solemnly swear, to the best of my knowledge and belief, that this List contains a true account of the passengers taken on board the J. G. Meiggs.
at Port Limon and bound for New Orleans, together with their nationality, etc, as designated. So Help me God Sworn and subscribed before me, this 25th day of W. G. Shackford March 1873 T V Copland Deputy Collector The second page of this document provides more information about the steam ship: PORT AND LIST of Passengers taken on board the "John G. Meiggs" of Costa Rica. W G Shackford is Master, burthen 712 tons, bound from the Port of Colon and Lemon for New Orleans ... [list of passengers]
We've written five articles about William Gardner Shackford (1840-1907) and knew he was a sea captain of the Colima, the SS Acapulco, the Atalanta, and the Niagara but this is the first source mentioning that he was also Master of the Juan G. Meiggs! We then reviewed the information we had about W G Shackford and found an article about a reunion of the Sons of Portsmouth on July 4, 1873 which lists William G Shackford, age 29 living at 29 Carrondelet in New Olrleans. We then googled "Juan G Meiggs" "Shackford" and found that there are three newspaper articles available at newspapers.com. We can't access the actual articles but from the OCR text notice that between 24 April and 27 May there are articles advertising travel aboard the SS Juan G. Meigs under master Capt W G Shackford.
Further research on Chronicling America revealed a Sept 22, 1872 article in the New Orleans Republican stating that two first class steamships would be placed on the route between New Orleans and Aspinwall with Captain J. Stead, an article on Nov 3, 1872 in the same newspaper with a fabulous description of the South American ports stating that the steamer Juan G. Meiggs (sometimes spelled with on g) was "the pioneer of the line, strongly built in the noted ship yards of Glascow, an announcement on Nov 12, 1873 announcing the departure of the Juan G Meiggs under Capt Beckett, an announcement that the steamship was importing bananas, coconuts, hides, and copper. On May 28, 1873 the ship arrives in New Orleans from Port Lemon under Capt Shackford and is listed under him until Sept 3, 1873 when the New Orleans Republican publishes an announcement about a libel suit titled W. T. Beckett vs. Steamship Juan G. Meiggs asking anyone who has or is pretending to have a title to the ship to appear at District Court in New Orleans the third Monday of September 1873. An article in November 1873 states that the steamship Juan G. Meiggs, late of the Central American line, from New Orleans has had her name change to the Canima and is now under the British flag and is for sale.
We don't know William G Shackford's role or awareness of this ownership issue of this steamship, but find him next in Sept 1875 on the west coast as the Captain of the Pacific Mail Steamship Colima.
We thank Randy Seaver for pointing us to this FamilySearch update which helped us learn more about William G Shackford.
Brewster Charles W., Rambles about Portsmouth : first series : sketches of persons, localities, and incidents of two centuries : principally from tradition and unpublished documents 2nd ed, 2nd edition (Portsmouth. N. H.: L. W. Brewster, 1873), Appendix, pages 1-16; digital images, HathiTrust (http://www.hathitrust.com : accessed 25 March 2014
"Louisiana, New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945," digital image, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 6 November 2015), W G Shackford; https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QKNP-LSQC
Parkes Joanne Shackford, "Mariner Monday - Skilled Seamanship of Captain William G Shackford of the Steamer Newport Recognized by Passengers in Colon in 1891 (Blog 233)," Parkes, Joanne Shackford, SHACKFORD Family History Blog 233, 29 December 2014 (http://shackfordgenealogy.weebly.com/shackford-blog/mariner-monday-skilled-seamanship-of-captain-william-g-shackford-recognized-aboard-the-steamer-newport-blog : accessed 29 December 2014).