The Man and Family Behind "Shackelford Banks"

Moseley's 1733 Map noted "Shakelford" plantation 
on the west side of North River. 
Roger Shackelford, the immigrant, was born in 1629 in Old Alresford, Hampshire, South East England. He fled England in 1658 with French Huguenot Edward Palmer, who had received a headrights grant of 400 acres in the Virginia Colony. (In the headright system, one received 50 acres of land for every emigrant one sponsored to America.) Roger Shackelford married Mary Palmer about 1660; she was on the headrights grant.

Of the many sons of Roger and Mary Shackelford, John and Francis Shackelford, born in Essex County, Virginia, but made their way to Carteret County by 1708.

Francis Shackelford, born about 1675, married Sarah Virginia Lewis about 1700. They lived in Essex County, Virginia until they relocated to Carteret County, where he died about 1722.

John Shackelford was born about 1668 and died in August 1734 in Carteret County. John married Ann Livingston about 1695, at least the second marriage for him. 
In 1708 John and Francis Shackelford were granted land on the west side of North River.

John Shackelford and son-in-law Enoch Ward (married Elizabeth about 1719) acquired 7000 acres referred to as the “Sea Banks.”  The two men divided the property in 1723. Shackelford got Cape Lookout Bay to Beaufort Inlet, and Ward the remaining acreage. Shackelford’s western part was later noted on maps as “Shackleford Banks.” *

John Shackelford served in the Militia during from 1712-1733. He is recorded in the Colonial Records, January 9, 1712. "…in ye Garrison at Shackelfords plantation praying Liberty to plant Corne on ye said plantation. Ordered that ye afsd Garrison to have liberty to plant Tend & Gather Corn on ye Said plantation dureing the time they Keep Garrison there as afsd." John was appointed to see "Every ship drawing eight feet of water anchoring at the Banks and Shackelford Banks to charge three shillings six pence per foot."

Shackelford was recorded on the Vestry Book of St John's Parish Vestry Roll from April 1723 thru May 1733. His son, John Shackleford Jr., served in 1747 with the militia when the Spanish invaded the town of Beaufort. John Jr, had four sons to serve in the North Carolina Revolutionary forces.

John Shackelford's Last Will and Testament, dated March, 29, 1734, probated September 1734:

To daughters, Mary, Elizabeth and Ann, a gold ring each at the price of ten shillings. Daughter, Sarah, wife of Joseph Moss [Morse] four cows and calves, and liberty to my son-in-law to build a house and shop in the Island Land whereon I now live.

I give liberty to the aforesaid Joseph Moss to whaile off the Banks he paying yearly to My Beloved wife Ann Shackelford during her life and no longer the rent of two barrels of oil for his share of one half of one single boat and to have liberty of no more boats or part of my boats.

To Grandson, John Roberts, two Cows and Calves at the decease of my wife Ann. To grandson William Roberts two Cows and Calves. Daughter Hannah three Cows and Calves. The large Cedar Cubbard and round table in the outer room. Two pewter dishes, three pewter plates, one feather bead blanket and rug. One pair of cotton sheets, one small iron pot and iron skillet.

After the death of my beloved wife Ann I give my son John all the remainder of goods and

John Williams Shackelford
4th G-Grandson of
Francis Shackelford
Chattle both resale and personal provided my son John does not die without issue, in such case I bequest my estate to my son James and his heirs forever also Island called Carrot.
Witness: Samuel Chadwick, Ephraim Chadwick. Clerk of the Court: Jas. Winright. (Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. 4, by Beverly Fleet, Outer Banks of North Carolina by David Stick, UNC Press, page 33.)

The name Shackelford began to disappear from Carteret County after 1792. Many moved to Onslow and other counties.

US Senator John Williams Shackelford (1844-1883), above, of Richlands, Onslow County, was the 4th G-Grandson of John Shackelford’s brother Francis Shackelford (1665-1722).

Information gathered from various sources including Colonial Records and

* SEA BANKS: The account by Dr. Claiborne Smith in Historical Southern Families Vol. VIII pp. 138-144 about the Porters of VA and NC, includes no mention of any Sea Banks grant to a John Porter.  Hoffman's provincial NC patent abstracts, show a great deal of land going to one or more John Porters.  Nothing on the scale of 7000 acres worth of banks land was recorded by purchase patent.  Moreover, there is a patent by Thomas Davis 22 Feb 1714 for 180 acres "on the banks of Core Sound, joining Bartrams Creek and ye Sea Side" (book 2, p. 357).  I have to wonder how Thomas Davis managed to perfect a patent on land that is purported to have been granted to John Porter in 1713.  The story about Shackelford and Ward is that the banks didn't begin to get deeded off in parcels until their heirs sold.  How can they have divided the banks in 1723 when Thomas Davis held some title too?  At the very least, it seems they didn't control the whole expanse.  Furthermore the deeds whereby Shackelford and Ward give each other 1/2 or an equal moiety in this undivided tract of 7000 acres, only mention this was by patent without indicating John Porter (book B, pp. 54-58).  Neither man held an original patent for the banks land, and it appears that they managed to claim ownership by means of the novel idea of a mutual deed swap wherein no actual purchase is detailed. I'm forced to conclude that they basically deeded the land into their possession without clear title. (Thelma Pake Simpson mentions "a deed from Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort to John Porter for a "tract of land containing 7,000 acres; lying on the sand banks between Drum Inlet and Old Topsail Inlet." This deed was dated in 1713, registered in Bk. 63, pg. 171." -Andrew C. Wells