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Genealogy of the Shackelfords and Shacklefords

Editor: T. K. Jones, 251 Morgan St., Versailles, Ky

$1.00 a year. Published monthly. 10¢ a copy.

Versailles Ky. May 1954. Vol. 10. No. 1


Motto: A people which takes no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors, are not likely to achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by remote descendants.



In our April issue we closed with the statement that in the next issue we would tell you something about Colonial Records and where and how to find them. But that has been so long, and as we have been doing some thinking on the matter we see there are still several things that we should tell you before beginning with the Colonials.

Also in the April issue we made mention of the various court records, such as District, Circuit, and Superior Courts. But we failed to mention the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court Records. And in Kentucky in particular, we failed to mention a certain type of Circuit Court Records, which we shall discuss at this time.

As many of you, perhaps all of you know, the entire State of Kentucky was at one time part of the State of Virginia, also at one time the entire State of Kentucky was a part of one County in Va. Then a new County was organized and designated as Kentucky County. Then later Kentucky County was divided into three Counties, ie Jefferson, Lincoln and Fayette.

Numbers of people began to explore the new territory about 1775, and soon after the Revolutionary war even greater numbers began to drift over the mountains into what is now Kentucky. It was a very

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rugged experience for the hardy pioneers, for they had the mountains to cross, unfavorable weather conditions to face, and last but not least, the country was infested with hordes of wild savages and wild beasts. So the pioneers would come in caravans for safely, leaving their families behind. Those fortunate enough to get here would stake out their claims and then return for their families, often times requiring from one to five years for them to get enough money, or the necessary arrangements made to return to the new country.

In the mean time other caravans would arrive and they, too, would stake their claims, then return as did the others.

Then after the Revolution the State and Federal Governments were very liberal with the returned soldiers, and they too, were given large grants of land. So it was not infrequent for a man to come back and find another man living on his claim, or part of it. Therefore a law suit would ensue.

And as there were but three Counties the claims were in widely separated areas, and as the pioneers came in caravans there would be many witnesses on each case, representing each claimant, each making a deposition. And those depositions are of record in the various Circuit Court Offices.

These records are invaluable, since there are so many of them, as they tell us who came here, when he or they came, where they came from and the exact location of the lands they are laying claim to, and just who was in the caravan.

Then in many cases the loser in the Circuit Court would appeal the case, then more witnesses would be called, more depositions, so that it often becomes necessary to examine the records of the Supreme Court, and particularly The Court of Appeals.

These Court of Appeals Records are also invaluable, as they contain many wills and estate settlements, some of them that was originally recorded in Virginia Counties where fires and the wanton destruction of wars and/or the ravages of time have brought about their complete obliteration.

(continued next month)

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This month marks the beginning of our tenth year of publication. We had no idea that we would be doing this that long when we started. And it has been the help and co-operation of yours that has made it possible. We are grateful beyond words to express and wish to take this method and opportunity to again express our thanks to each of you.


"The average person is just as good as his word -- if he doesn't talk too much"--



According to our records the first Shackelford to settle in Richmond County, Va., was Richard, who first appears there, as far as we can determine, in 1772, when he is reported as of Lunenburg Parish, and purchased land from one Joseph Simmons, of Charles County, Maryland, September 9, 1772. See Deed Book 13, page 432, Richmond County, Virginia.

And according to records in our possession he was a son of Major Richard Shackelford and his wife - the widow Harwood, formerly Frances Lyne. He is said to have been born about 1735, and died in Richmond County, Va., the latter part of 1794.

He was married three times, his first wife being a Miss Redman, his second wife being Margaret Landman, (called Peggy) and his third wife was Joanna Lawson, daughter of Christopher Lawson.

Richard Shackelford had one son by his first wife, two sons and one daughter by his second wife, and one son by his third wife. Following we will give you a copy of his will.


In the name of God, Amen: I, Richard Shackelford, of the County of Richmond and Parish of Lunenburg, being very sick and weak, but in perfect senses, do make and declare this to be my last Will and Testament, hoping by the merits and meditation of Jesus Christ my Savior, to be made partaker of ever lasting life.

As to my estate which it hath pleased Almighty

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God to bless me with, I dispose of in the following manner.

Imprimis: I give and bequeath to my son -- William Shackelford, my land and plantation in the County of James City, also my negroes -- Jerry and Patt, with her increase, to him and his heirs forever.

I give and bequeath to my two sons -- Clement and Vincent the land that I purchased of Joseph Simmons, containing fifty acres; also the following negroes -- Sarah, Jacob, Dinah, little Sarah, Newman, Simon, little George, James, Joyce, Dick, Hannah, Peter, and Ned, and their future increase, to them and their heirs forever.

I give and bequeath to my son - Jack Shackelford the following negroes - Winny, Davey, Grace, George, Perunus, Nancy and her three children, ie Molly, Sam and Lewis; also negro Solomon, and the future increase of the females, to him and his heirs forever.

I give and bequeath to my grand children -- John, Nancy Lawson (or Nancy and Lawson. T. K. J.), and Vincent Shackelford, to be equally divided between them -- Sarah, Sylvia, and Abraham with their future increase, to them and their heirs forever.

I give and bequeath to my grand daughter - Peggy Shackelford Saunders, my negro wench - Fanny, and her child, to be hers and her heirs forever.

As my land and plantation whereon I now live came to me by my wife -- Peggy Landman, so that her three children -- Clement, Vincent and my grand daughter -- Peggy Saunders in right of her mother, will claim by law their equal proportion, it is my particular request that my son -- Clement shall remain on the plantation with his proportion of my estate given him, and that Miss Katie Allgood be maintained thereon and live with him as long as she remains unmarried, and that my son Jace be not taken from her.

All the remainder of my estate of what nature or kind soever, I desire may be equally divided between my three sons -- Clement, Vincent and Jack, or the survivor of them, and their heirs forever.

Lastly: I constitute and appoint my two sons -- Clement and Vincent, executors of this my last will

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and Testament, it witness whereof I have fixed my hand and seal this sixteenth day of July one thousand and seven hundred and ninety four. (July, 16, 1794.)

Signed --- Richard Shackelford

Charles T. McCarty, Henry Frank Pew and John Brockenbrough, Witnesses.

Will Book 9, page 15, Richmond County, Virginia.

Probated December, 1, 1794.


As will be seen by the will of Richard Shackelford, he had five children, ie William (by his first wife, and a son -- Jack by his third wife. Clement, Vincent and a daughter by the second wife.

We have given you a great deal of information of the above mentioned Jack Shackelford, as he was Captain Jack, of Texas fame. He was born 1790, and died in Courtland, Alabama, in 1857.

The daughter, mother of the afore mentioned granddaughter Peggy Saunders, was named Margaret, and was also called Peggy. She married Joseph Saunders, of whom we have some information, but would be grateful for anything addition that any one could or would pass along to us.

But of the son William, eldest son of Richard Shackelford and his first wife, we have only that which we could find among the official records of Richmond County, Virginia.

According to the will of his father Richard, he was give land -- a plantation, in James City County. But we find him in Richmond County later, when he purchased land from one Leroy Opie, November, 2nd, 1802. He was then of Lunenburg Parish. See Deed Book 18, page 91. Richmond County, Va.

In 1803 he was still in Richmond County and in Lunenburg Parish, when he and his wife -- Elizabeth sold land to John Taloe or John Taylor, Feb, 8th, 1803. See Deed Book 18, page 323.

He was still in Richmond County in 1809, when he sold a negro slave woman named Jenny, and her four children ie: Maria, Henry, Edmund and Lucy, to Reuben Beale. But in this transaction he, William

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Shackelford, was to retain possession of the said negroes as long as he himself and his wife -- Elizabeth Braeton Shackelford lived. This transaction dated June, 12, 1809. Deed Book 19, page 477.

William Shackelford was deceased and Richard L. Shackelford and Daniel Garland were appointed administrators of his estate February, 15, 1816. See Deed Book 20, page 55.

William Shackelford, Jr, with the consent of his father -- William Shackelford, Sr, apprenticed himself to one James Yeatman, December, 11, 1810, to learn the art and mystery of a carpenter, until the said William Shackelford, Jr, is twenty one years of age, which will be October, 12, 1814. This would place his birth date as October, 12, 1793.

But William Shackelford, Jr, evidently died young, as we find no mention of him in his mother's will, which see, as follows:


In the name of God, Amen: I, Elizabeth B. Shackelford, of the County of Richmond, being indisposed in health, but of perfect sense and memory, and considering the uncertainly of this mortal life, blessed by Almighty God for the same, do make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form as follows:

I give to my niece -- Elizabeth B. Ball, all my interest, rights and title in the estate of my husband William Shackelford, deceased, and by him made over to me in two deeds of gift, naming negroes, stock and sundry other property named in the afore said deeds. If my niece -- Elizabeth B. Ball should die without heirs, then it is my will and desire that the whole of my estate then be equally divided among my sister Katherine Northem's children. It is my will and desire that my niece -- Elizabeth B. Ball, shall have all of my wearing apparel, and for her to do with it as I have heretofore requested her.

I also appoint my niece -- Elizabeth B. Ball, whole and sole executrix of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made.

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In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this second day of February eighteen hundred and sixteen. (February, 2, 1816.)

Signed --- Elizabeth B. Shackelford

Thomas Y. Reynolds, G. Marren and Samuel B. Kelseck, Witnesses.

Will Book 9, page 513, Richmond County, Virginia.

Probated March, 8, 1816.


Captain Jack Shackelford raised a company of volunteers in Alabama and marched them to Texas to fight for Texas Independence in 1835. His entire command, except himself and one other man, were captured and slain by the Mexicans, including one of his own sons and a nephew listed as W. J. Shackelford.

It has been thought that the nephew was a son of his brother William, but by the will of Elizabeth, mother of William, Jr, we see that he evidently died between Dec, 11, 1810, and Feb, 2, 1816. For as we see, his mother mentioned no children or grand children, but gave her entire estate to the child or children of her sisters. Who then was W. J. Shackelford, nephew of Captain Jack, that was killed in the Texas war with Mexico? We will be grateful to any one that can help us out on this.

There is also another mystery concerning the family of Richard Shackelford, whom we shall designate now as Richard, Sr. It will be noted in his will that he made no mention of a son Richard, Jr. Yet there was one.

In the tax lists for Richmond County for 1784 we find Richard, Sr, with 5 tithes and 10 blacks. And this list shows a Richard, Jr, under 21 years of age. William is also shown in the home of Richard at that time, and he was over twenty one years of age Then in 1785, just one year later, William is not shown in the home of Richard, Sr, but there are 2 white tithes, and Richard, Jr, is now over 21 years of age. So Richard, Jr, arrived at the age of 21 in 1785, placing his birth in 1764. Yet his father did not mention him in his will. We wonder why?

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We could find nothing among the records of Richmond County concerning Richard Shackelford, Jr, except enough to prove that there was such a man.

Richard Shackelford, Sr, named his two sons -- Clement and Vincent, as executors. But Clement was deceased in 1818. Then we found the following record: Executrix, not named, of the estate of Richard Shackelford, Jr, filed a suit against the executor of the estate of Richard Shackelford, Sr. But the case was dismissed because of the death of the defendant, August 1818. Order Book 24, page 247.

Any help on this will be appreciated.


"There is something a bit human about some TV sets, they work one day and don't the next"--



Thanks to Mr and Mrs Charles D. and Edna W. Townsend, of West Hartford, Conn., for the nice plug they gave us in their own publications "Ancestral Notes" for January 1954.

Mrs and Mr Townsend now conduct what they have titled "Chedwato Service", and publish a small 16 page pamphlet bi-monthly, under the caption "Ancestral Notes", subscription price $2.00 a year. They publish records of any family, solicit records from any source, and will insert a fifty word advertisement free for subscribers. Their address -- Chedwato Service, Box 224, West Hartford, 7, Conn. Write to them, they may able to help you.

Our only living aunt -- Mrs Sally Shackelford, of Lexington, Tenn., celebrated her 95th birthday in April. We had intended making mention of it hen, and asking you to remember her with a card shower on the 11th, her 95th birthday, but let it slip our mind until it was too late to insert it.

She still gets around right well, and has promised her picture to the first person from each State that sends her a card. We wish you would surprise her with hundreds of them. Her address -- Rt 3, Lexington, Tennessee.

Until next month, Adios -- The Editor.

Transcribed by: Tee Forshaw June 12, 1998

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