Wills provide great source documentation about family relationships! John Shackford's will tells us that:
John was the son of John Shackford who was still alive in 1779.
John lived in Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire and was a miller
John was married to Sarah
John owned land in Chester, Deering, and Raymond
John's oldest son Samuel hadn't turned 21 yet.
(It's not obvious from the will but Samuel became the father of the three sons who went to California mentioned in a blog published on 7/9/13 blog.
He had two other sons Jonathan and Richard
He had two daughters, Betty (listed as Betsy elsewhere) and Sarah
Will of John Shackford Junr
In the Name of God Amen I John Shackford Junr of Chester in the County of Rockingham in the state of New Hampshire Miller being very Lame week [sic, jsp] and indisposed to manage my temporal affairs, but yet of a Sound Disposing mind & memory Thanks be given to God for the same this fifteenth Day of March Anno Domini 1779 calling to mind the frailty & mortality of my body & knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die do make this my last will & testament & principally & first of all I recommend my soul into the hands of God who gave my body to the Earth to be decently buryed [sic, jsp] at the discretion of my Executrix hereafter named is to that worldy Estate which it hath pleased God to bless me with in this Life. I give demise & dispose of the same in the following manner and form.
Imprimis I give to Sarah my well beloved wife the whole of my personal estate of every kind for her to use improve & dispose of as she judges right and just amongst my children not hindering or debaring her from her third of my real estate during life a the law directs [sic, jsp] & she to have the improvement of what estate I have given to my son Saml till he shall arrive to the age of twenty one years old. ____________
Item I give & bequeath to my son Samuel Shackford his heirs & assigns my homestead whereon I now live containing fifty acres more or less with the buildings that are on the same I also give him my fifteen acres of land more or less which I purchased from Isaac Hills he to come to the Polsesscon?. Improvement of the same when he shall arrive to the age of twenty one years old.
Item I give & bequeath to my two sons viz Jonathan Shackford & Richard Shackford their heirs & assigns in equal shares to be divided between them my hundred acre lot No 4 laying in Dearing in the County of Hillsborough be the same more or less________________
Item I give & bequeath to my two daughters their heirs & assigns viz my daughter Betty Shackford & Sarah Shackford my hundred acre lot in the town of Dearing in the County of Hillsborough No 12 in equal shares to be divided between them be the same more or less.
Item it is my will that my land laying in Raymond Deering or Else where here in particularly given away & disposed of shall be sold if there be occasion or need of the same to pay any debts or charges that has or may arise for the support or maintenance of my father or family and that my executrix hereafter named shall have full power & authority to sell the same if she judges it needful as above said but if the above mentioned lands are not sold for the ends aforesaid and not needed for that use then it is my will that my son Sam Shackford shall have my twenty acres laying in Raymond adjoining to Mattias Haines and & my son Jonathan Shackford shall have my half lot in the fifth division in Chester laid out to the right of Saml Shackford be the same more or less that my son Richard Shackford shall have what Town in Dearing that lays undivided between Col Webster Deacon Forsaith and others be the same more or less.
Item and I do appoint Sarah Shackford my well beloved wife to be my Executrix to this my last will & testament she to receive & pay all just debts due to and from my estate & my funeral charges & provide for my father agreeable to my obligations to him & see that my last will and testament be fulfilled in every particular. Renouncing all other and former wills bequests and executors by me named whatsoever ratifying & confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament.
In witness to all before written & here in contained I have hereunto set in my hand & affixed my seal this fifteenth day of march Anno Domini 1779 first above written signed John Shackford
Signed sealed published Pronounced and declared by the said John Shackford Junr to be his last will & testament in presence of us witnesses
New Hampshire, New Hampshire, County Probate Records, 1660-1973, John Shackford of Chester miller; "digital images," digital images, FamilySearch, http://www.familysearch.org (: accessed 22 July 2013); Probate records 1779-1784 vol 25-27 Image 90.