The Shirley Association has been a member of the Guild of One-Name Studies since 1988

Shirleys of Burnchurch and
Garnaman House, Kilkenny

Lineage Chart: Shirley of Kilkenny

   < Back to Thomas Shirley of Belmount

1(ii). Paul Shirley, gent. of Bellmaine, Kilkenny died 1794 - identified as the father of elder sons Thomas and John Shirley who in turn were grandchildren of Thomas Shirley of Belmount, Kilkenny

Dec 1 1794 Between Paul Shirley of Ballinkee Co Kilk. Farmer in whom all of the right and title of John Shirley his father late of Koan in Co Kilk. Farmer dec'd the lesser in the original lease came to and vested off of the one part, and John Shirley of Bellmount Killkenny farmer, Brother and administrator with the Will of Paul Shirley late of Bellmaine aforesaid farmer and trustee in deed of renewal for Thomas Shirley and John Shirley two elder sons of said Paul Shirley dec'd and devises in his said Will named minors under age of 21 in whom all the title and interest of their grandfather Thomas Shirley late of Bellmount said original lease of the other part. Said John Shirley the lessor in said original lease and said Pail Shirley father of said Thomas and John Shirley and that John Shirley in trust for his nephews said Thomas and John according to the tenor of said lease.

married ________


2(i). Thomas Shirley, esq of Garrynaman, Kells Parish, Kilkenny - identified as an elder son of Paul Shirley of Bellmaine in the above 1794 document; named as a cousin of John Shirley of Croan in his 1811 will

Garnamon House, Kells Parish, Kilkenny

married __________


3(i). James Shirley, esq. Coroner for the Southern Division of Kilkenny, born 1816 at Kilkenny; He died 13 February 1888 (death cert) at Garrynamann, Kilkenny. Roman Catholic.

[Burnchurch] To the memory of James Shirley coroner who departed in the genuine peace of the Roman Catholic Church on the 13th January 1888, he was ever a kind and faithful husband and a fond indulent father. At his door the poor ever met with charity and kindness and the troubled blessed him as the restorer of peace and the uniter of their families. Erected as a tribute of respectful love by his daughter Marion. His wife Elizabeth 1826-1912, sons and daughters. On the left side: Richard 1887-1962, Catherine O'Brien. Kells and late of Purfleet, Essex".

 James Shirley, esq, Coroner

 Elizabeth Shirley (nee Shirley)

married Elizabeth Shirley, identified as his cousin, daughter of John Shirley of Burnchurch. Born about 1837, age 74 in the 1911 census; She died in 1912, age 86 (obituary)

ESTATES OF 200-350 ACRES in 1850 - Twelve Iandlords longed to this category. Possessing 3226 acres between them!... Another landowner in this category was Thomas Shirley Esq. The Shirley family have a very interesting family history. Tom Shirley's mother (nee Shirley) was the lady proto-martyr of Agrarian agitation in Ireland. Her own family had held the fertile and extensive Floodhall Estate at Burnchurch. They were evicted and vehicles loaded with furniture, farm implements, straw, unthrashed Corn and Hay arrived at the Shirley farmhouse and a hostile crowd was attracted. All inflammable articles! Criminal proceedings were promptly taken by the authorities and at the ensuing Kilkenny assizes of the prisoners indicted Mrs Shirley, her brother James and Doran a ploughman, were convicted and sentenced to long terms of transportation to the Australian penal Colonies. However, Miss Shirley was detained in an Irish prison. Spike Island. After a year the Lord Lieutenant remitted her sentence. Holohan, the then occupier of Floodhall in fear, relinquished his claim on the Shirley farm. After her release from prison Miss Shirley married her namesake. The late Mr James Shirley of Garrynaman House Kells. He was for many years an active and useful member of the Callan Board of Guardian and was also prominent in every local movement. He was a charitable and philanthropic character. He was unopposed in his election to the Coronership of South Kilkenny. Mrs Shirley delighted in encouraging and promoting social festivities, such as athletics, sports, cricket and football, generously giving the use of ground for competitions, play and practice in all seasons of the year. (Sent by Liam Jan 2018 "From a thesis on land ownership in Kells Barony written in 1988")


4(i). Thomas J. Shirley born 1865; He was the informant "son" for the death certificate of his father; He was age 46 in 1911 family census, single, farmer; Roman Catholic

4(ii). William Shirley (went to USA)

4(iii). Henry Patrick Shirley he moved to Hobart Tasmania

The Mercury (Hobart) 22 March 1899. Marriages. SHIRLEY - SHIRLEY.- "On February 13. at St. Joseph's Church (Nuptial Mass), by the Rev. T. Kelsh, Harry, third son of the late James Shirley, Garnaman, Kilkenny, Ireland, to Anna, youngest daughter of the late Richard Shirley, Hobart."

married Anna Shirley, daughter of Richard Shirley of Hobart Tasmania who in turn was the son of John Shirley of Burnchurch, Kilkenny Ireland.

4(iv). Richard Shirley born 1876, age 35 in 1911 family census, single, farmer; Roman Catholic

4(v). John Shirley

4(vi). Francis Shirley

4(vii). James Shirley (had no family) (went to USA)

4(viii). Elizabeth Shirley. She married a Linkson

4(ix). Jennie (Jane) Shirley, born 1862; third daughter of James Shirley, esq of Garnaman House in Kilkenny Ireland

married James Shirley in 1886 at St Josephs Catholic Church, Hobart Tasmania. Son of Richard Shirley of Kilkenny who was evicted from his lands at Burnchurch and sentenced to transportation to Tasmania.

The Mercury (Hobart) 20 Mar 1886. Marriages SHIRLEY-SHIRLEY.--"On Wednesday, March 3, at St. Joseph's R.C. Church, Hobart, by the Rev. M. W. Gilloran, James, fourth son of R. Shirley, Kilkenny House, Hobart, to Jennie, third daughter of James Shirley, Esq., Garnaman House, County Kikenny, Ireland."


5(i). Henry Joseph Shirley born about 1889 in Tasmania

5(ii). Richard Francis Shirley born about 1887 in Tasmania

5(iii). James Thomas Shirley born about 1887 in Tasmania

5(iv). Mary Elizabeth Shirley born about 1890 in Tasmania

4(x). Marion Shirley

4(xi) Susan Shirley born about 1879, age 32 in 1911 family census, single

4(xii). Richard Joseph Shirley born Jan 19, 1862 Garnaman House, Kells, Kilkenny. Died 23 May 1935.

married Catherine Brennan


5(i). James Joseph Shirley born 30 May 1914 at Garnaman House, Kells, Kilkenny

3(ii). 2nd Son

3(iii). Paul Shirley 3rd son of Thomas Shirley of Garrynaman (source: marriage notice, Dublin Evening Mail)

married Ellen (Eleanor) Mary Mulhall in December 1840. She was the daughter of William Mulhall esq. of Coon Cottage, co Kilkenny

December 26, 1840 - Warder and Dublin Weekly Mail - December 13, Paul, third son of Thomas Shirley, of Garrynaman. Esq., to Ellen Mary, eldest daughter of the late William Mulhall, of Coon Cottage, Esq., county Kilkenny

3(iv). 4th son

3(v). William Shirley 5th son of Thomas Shirley of Garrynaman (source: lease)

3(vi). Jane Shirley daughter of Thomas Shirley of Garrynaman. She married James Walsh in 1839

1839 Jun 1 - Registry of Deeds Vol 12 No 121 - Marriage Arts (contract) - Between James Walsh of the City of Kilkenny merchant of 1st part, Thomas Shirley of Garrynaman of co Kilkenny gent of 2nd part, Jane Shirley spinster daughter of sd Thomas Shirley of 3rd part and John Shirley of the City of Kilkenny shop keeper and Jeremiah Kelly of Tullaroan gent (trustees for the purposes therein) of the 4th part. Marriage intended to be sd James Walsh and Jane Shirley with whom he was to receive L500 as a portion from sd Thos Shirley, Walsh to make provision for sd Jane in case of his death etc. It was thereby declared that...levy a sum of L600 [if death, insolvency etc, then interest to be paid to Jane Shirley for her natural life, other covenants] Wit: Peter Shorthall of City of Kilkenny apothecary and James Shirly of [blank]. Registered 17 June 1839

2(ii). John Shirley of Newlands (Burnchurch), Kilkenny - identified as an elder son of Paul Shirley of Bellmaine in the above 1794 document; named as a cousin of John Shirley of Croan in his 1811 will; identified his brother Thomas Shirley in his 1844 will. John was a Protestant of Burnchurch and wife Mary was a Catholic of Newlands.They had 3 sons and 5 daughters. Their sons who were baptised Protestants and the girls baptised Catholic. Due to the influence of the mother Mary, the father and sons became Catholics. They were evicted by their landlord, Lord Farmley. They resisted and James and Richard were sentenced to 21 years transportation to Van Dieman's Land. Elizabeth and Catherine were also sentenced to transportation. But while waiting ship were imprisoned on Spike Island in Cork harbour. After two years they were released.

Shirley House at Burnchurch, Kilkenny

In the name of God Amen. I John Shirley of Burnchurch being of sound mind memory and understanding blessed be God for it do hereby make this my last will and testament in manner and form following that is to say First leave and bequeath my soul to God and my body to be interred in my family burying place in Burnchurch at the discreation of my family and my Executors hereafter named - Secondly I leave to my son Richard all my right title and interest in my part of the lands of Bellmount forever. Subject to the following legacies and bequests. My son Richard is to pay my daughter Eliza ten pounds a year for ten years after my decease. But the first four years is to be kept by Richard and at the expiration of four years after my decease to pay Eliza the sum of forty pounds together and ten pound a year for six years after. And my son Richard is also to pay unto my grandaughter Maria Dow in fourteen years after my decease the sum of twenty pounds ster. and also to my granddaughter Agness Shirley the sum of twenty pounds ster. in seventeen years after my decease. Thirdly I leave and bequeath to my son Henry Shirley all my right title and interest in my farm in Burnchurch together will all my personal property. I mean all my stock of cattle, cows houses corn hay potatoes money and so forth. But Richard is to have his bed and bedding. But my son Henry is to pay and be subject ot the following legacies. He is to pay my daughter Maria one hundred pounds ster. in twelve months after my decease out of my property bequeathed him and also to pay my daughter Johanna one hundred pounds ster. in two years after my decease out of my property bequeathed him. And in order to enable Henry to pay my daughters Maria and Johanna the sums bequeathed them I will and bequeath my son Henry all my interest in part of the lands and houses in Kilbline being six pounds ten shillings by the year during the life of Philip Hayden and his wife Catherine and it is my further will and desire that my children herein named shall live together at Burnchurch as usual and assist each other until they get married, or otherwise find it their mutual interest to separate. And lastly I nominate constitute and appoint my brother Thomas Shirley and Thomas Way Bayley to be my executors to this my last will and testament in witness - where of I have put my name and seal this 27th day of December 1844 ----------John Shirley ----------- seal.

married Mary Rice of Newlands. She was the daughter of John Rice and Jane Murphy.

[Burnchurch]This stone placed here by Mr. John Shirley Burnchurch in memory of his dealy beloved spouse Mary Shriley (alias Rice) when God hath called from this frail and fallible world 27th July 1825 in her 39th year to partake of the blessing of celestial being so clearly purchased for her and all she was a treasure in her family as a wife and mother in piety in the love and will may she obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with everlasting glory amen.

"Mary Rice, a catholic and the daughter of a half sister to Edmund Rice, (the founder of the Christian Brothers), married John Shirley, a Protestant. As was usually agreed in those days of a mixed marriage, the sons of the marriage were to be brought up as Protestants and the girls in the religion of their mother, as Catholics. There were eight children of this marriage. It is said that Mary Rice requested Edmund Rice to pray for the conversion of her husband and sons to the Catholic faith and this duly happened."


3(i). James Shirley

3(ii). Richard Shirley - born 1817 at Kilkenny Ireland; Evicted from family land and sentenced to transportation to Tasmania; of Kilkenny House, Hobart Tasmania; born about 1817 in Kilkenny Ireland. Died 14 April 1898 at Hobart Tasmania. This family was Roman Catholic.

SHIRLEY, RICHARD; Sex: M; Age: 30; Trial place: Co. Kilkenny; Trial date: 25/07/1850; Crime desc: Unlawfully assembling and injuring property; Sentence: Transportation 10 yrs; Ship: LORD DALHOUSIE 00/04/1852; Document ref1: TR 10, p 126; Document ref2: CRF

3(iii). Henry Shirley lived in Rathclouch, Danesfort; 1849 Griffiths Valuation shows him at Burnchurch. And with 61 acres at Rathclough in 1871 and 1876.

1844 Will of John Shirley of Burnchurch. "...I leave and bequeath to my son Henry Shirley all my right title and interest in my farm in Burnchurch together will all my personal property. I mean all my stock of cattle, cows houses corn hay potatoes money and so forth...I will and bequeath my son Henry all my interest in part of the lands and houses in Kilbline being six pounds ten shillings by the year during the life of Philip Hayden and his wife Catherine..."

3(iv). Elizabeth Shirley

married her cousin, James Shirley the coroner for county Kilkenny (see photo and story above)

3(v). Catherine Shirley

3(vi). daughter #3 Shirley [Maria]

3(vii). daughter #4 Shirley [Joanna]

3(viii). daughter #5 Shirley


dateWed, Jun 25, 2008 at 2:02 PM
Hi Ken just to let you know what Ive discovered. I worked backwards from my grandad Henry Robinson born 1905 died 1987. His mum was Margaret Howe (not Hawe) born 1872 died 1962. Her mum was Margaret Hayden married to Matthew Howe. Her mum was Margaret Shirley married to Stephen Hayden. Apparently Margaret Shirley was the daughter of John Shirley of Burnchurch and Mary Rice, daughter of Jane Murphy (Edmund Ignatius Rice of the Christian Brothers Kilkenny) and John Rice of Newlands....Thanks again, Maria - Liverpool

John Rice m. Jane Murphy - Note: Jane was the half sister to the famous Edmund Ignatius Rice, founder of the Christian Brothers catholic religious order. Jane's mother Margaret Tierney Murphy later as a widow married Robert Rice, the father of Edmund I. Rice.

Mary Rice m. John Shirley of Burnchurch

(apparently) Margaret Shirley m. Stephen Hayden

Margaret Hayden m. Matthew Howe

Margaret Howe b 1872.

Henry Robinson b 1905


Family info provided by descendants.

We claim our Shirley line came from the dramatist, James Shirley 1596-1666 of England. Our James, the coroner, appears to us as an identical copy of the dramatist "MERMAID" . Our crest stamped on the silver tea spoons, etc... was always our mark of identity. Mermaid and JS.



Taken from a letter written in 1988 by a member of the Shirley Association.


"I felt I should have no trouble fitting the pieces into place. The more I read the more confusing it became.

KNOCKABRANNA I found was only 2miles from Coolcullen and John Shirley came to Burnchurch from there. I did not find the name PAUL in his family. After reading your Shirley NEWS, I took off on John Shirley of Croan who in 1761 lesed 398 acres in Bellmouth. I followed my imagination last Sunday and to my surprise, I discovered the headstone in a remote graveyard ACHAVILLAR in KNOCKTOPHER BARONY. A Shirley was known to have had land near KNOCKTOPHER and BELLMOUNT.

The headstone is in very bad shape and the writing is almost worn off. No year could be found there, just the words: ERRECTED BY PAUL SHIRLEY OF CROAN IN THE MEMORY OF HIS FATHER JOHN SHIRLEY, ESQ.

There are more Shirley names but the Christian names are missing from the rain, etc.

CROAN is in the Parish of DUNAMAGGIN.

I did meet a man who told me that Thomas Shirley was in Garnamon in 1830-1850 and he took for g ranted that James Shirley the coroner was his son.

The lands of Garnamon were 345 acres and April 25, 1860 James Shirley became legal owner. Some of this acreage was leased to tenants leaving 213 acres with Garnamon House.


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