img-shacklefordWhen I was a kid I used to be embarrassed about my surname.  I suppose being called ‘Shackleshit’ by school friends didn’t help. It is an unusual name so, why bother with it in this web site?

I have a fascination for history, especially as it applies to my family. My father is an ardent genealogist and has some amazing research successes that predated the modern fascination with genealogy and sites such as Ancestry.com. Through his diligence and hard work, Dad has documented our heritage back to the 1400’s when a few knights and Lords do make an appearance.

Poor Mum, a McGillycuddy,  hasn’t even been able to go any farther than three generations due to the destruction of records in Ireland.

So what do we know about the name Shackleford?

What is surprising is that much sounds like speculation.

Perhaps we were named after a ford at a river or creek

or

We are simply named after the charming village of Shackleford in Surrey – England

or

We are named after the heroic knight Jacques leFort who joined the invader, William the Conqueror, in the Battle of Hastings in 1066 that heralded in the Norman rule of old Aengland.

Truth be told I always suspect the more fantastic story to be the imagination of a genealogist who wanted his client to think he had a glorious ancestry, but I welcome any proof in regard to any of these explanations and more.

I do know that my father is about 2 generations from proving an ancestral link to most of the Shacklefords in the USA as it seems the name is from one family line. Our family line comes from the same small area as the US family line, so who knows?

I have always been more interested in the historical aspects of our family rather than the almost biblical ‘so-and-so begat so-and-so’ and hope that, in a small way, this also explains my interest in the historical nature of some of my books.

Rob