John Shirley                                         
born between 1744 and 1749 (source: 1765 PWVa tax list). He lived in Prince William Co Virginia. Died 1808 in Anderson Co SC, about age 60

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This Lineage Page Last Updated November 2019
John Shirley of Virginia and Anderson Co SC
born about 1746, between 1744 and 1749 in Virginia was likely the son of an elder John Shirley Sr who appeared in early records of Prince William County Virginia. In 1765, John's (probable) father, John Shirley, the elder was enumerated in the extant Prince William County tax list of that year. The family household identified two sons specifically by name, John Shirley Jr and Thomas Shirley who were both tithable due to their age. John Shirley Jr. and his presumed brother Thomas Shirley were thus between the ages of 16 and 21 in that year, born 1744-1749.

In 1770, John Shirley Jr (thus John Shirley the elder still living) first appeared independently in legal documents as a witness to a pre-nuptual agreement bettween Chichester Curtis and Lettice Thorton in Prince William County. On 11 July 1773, John Shirley (i.e. Junior) was baptised at the Broad Run Baptist Church in neighboring Fauquier County VA. He would have been approximately 24 to 29 years old in that year and likely married. His wife Elizabeth Shirley, the daughter of George Barmore, was baptised at Broad Run Church a month later on 13 August 1773. John and Elizabeth's precise date of marriage is unknown, however, their first child John Shirley Jr was born about 1767. The couple would ultimately have 12 children, with the last child Polly being born in South Carolina on 14 August 1789.

John Shirley (the younger) moved to neighboring Fauquier County in the early 1770s. On 3 May 1771, John Shirley "of Fauquier County" purchased 160 acres [sic] of land in that county from the executors of the estate of Charles Carter, esq. The land was located in the Kettle Run tract in Hamilton Parish, "near the road at the end of Neavils old meadow in George Steels line" (Fau. Co DB 4 pg 36). John Shirley next appeared on the county's rent roll as well as a list of tithables in 1777. He was taxed owning 150 acres of land in that county. The 1778 rent roll for Fauquier County showed that John Shirley was employed as an overseer on a plantation owned by John Green. John Green's property was also taxed for 9 slaves. John Shirley was once again taxed in 1780 for 150 acres. The 'tax after quit rent' was 0/14/3. In the Fauquier County Tax List for 1782, he was tithable for himself alone, owning 4 horses, 13 cattle and 1 slave. In the 1783 tax list, he owned one more horse and one more cow than the year before. In 1784, he was still only tithable for 1 free white male (thus his eldest son John Jr was not yet age 16), 6 horses, 18 cattle and 1 slave. His quit rent tax for his 150 acres that year was 0/19/3. In 1784, John Shirley and his wife Elizabeth sold their 150 acres of land in Fauquier County Virginia to Samuel Steel. Several members of the extended Shirley family were noted in the Broad Run Baptist Church minutes as having "moved South" in October 1783. Although no similar notation is made next to John Shirley's name in the members' roll, it is likely he and his wife Elizabeth departed for South Carolina at about the same time. The 1785 Fauquier Co VA tax list does not show John Shirley tithable or taxable, thus the family likely immediately departed for South Carolina.

The many related Shirley families began arriving in Northwest South Carolina about 1783-1784 when numerous land patents and land surveys were issued for them in that year. John Shirley entered 200 acres of land on Chickasaw Creek as well as another 200 acres on Long Cane Creek in Ninety-Six District. This land would later become part of Abbeville County. Many members of the newly arrived Shirley family were founding members of the nearby Turkey Creek Baptist Church, headed by the notable preacher Rev. Joseph Redding. On 12 February 1785 John and his wife Elizabeth Shirley and Luke Hanks and wife Nancy - the latter family also former members of Broad Run church in Fauquier County Virginia - were each received into the church by letter. John Shirley frequently appeared in church minutes throughout the 1790s being appointed for various tasks and for making reports to the congregation. On 11 January 1793 John Shirley and others were appointed to meet with a woman named Anne Delp to find out why she was not attending church. On 1 February 1797, John Shirley and Nimrod Smith were appointed to "cut the pulpit lower" as part of renovations being carried out to the Turkey Creek Church meeting house.

John Shirley Sr. and John Shirley Jr. his son were each listed in the 1787 tax rolls for the Ninety-Six District. Three years later John Shirley Sr was enumerated in the 1790 US Federal Census for Ninety-Six District South Carolina. His very large household contained 6 males over the age of 16 (including the father John), 4 males under age 16, and 6 females of all ages (including wife Elizabeth). The census did not enumerate any owned slaves in the household.

In 1795, Pendleton District, land that would later become Anderson County South Carolina, was removed from the Ninety-Six District. After that date, John Shirley appeared regularly in Pendleton District records. Thus John Shirley's land was very likely orignally located in that portion of the Ninety-Six District. Although on 25 December 1797, John Shirley 'of Abbeville County' purchased 589 acres as well as an additional 88 acres and 15 acres on the waters of the Litte River of the Savannah River from John Grissom Sr of Pendleton District (Pendleton Dist DB C page 399).

John Shirley was next enumerated in the 1800 US Federal Census for Pendleton District South Carolina in Colonel Moore's Regiment, District #626. Later on 18 March 1808, John Shirley Sr 'of Pendleton District', then about age 60, sold 221 acres of land on the North Side of Camp Creek to his son John Shirley Jr (Pendleton Dist DB M page 212). The deed noted that this land was part of the parcel of land John Shirley Sr earlier purchased from John Grisham Sr [sic] in 1797. Elizabeth Shirley renounced her right of dower 6 years later on 22 January 1814 at the time the deed was finally recorded at the Pendleton District courthouse. John Shirley signed the deed, while his wife Elizabeth made her mark 'X'. John Shirley made his last will and testament only several weeks after the sale of land to his son John Jr. John Shirley Sr's will (Pendleton Dist WB A, page 94) was dated 11 April 1808 and was probated 6 June 1808, thus he likely died in late April, early May of 1808.

In the name of God amane I John Shierley of the State of South Carolina and District of Pendleton being week in body but of Sound mind and Calling to mind the frailty of the body and that it is apointed for all men once to Die Do constitute and ordain this my last will and Testiment That is to Say first my Soul to God who gave it and my body to the Dust in Such manner as my Executors may think Decent -- I do ordain and apoint my Sons William and Joshua my Executors to manage my Estate in the following manner (that is) As soon after my Deceas as may conveniently be don they shall sell all my personal property to go to the payment of my Debts in the first place -- Also I alow my Dearly beloved wife a Decent support out of my estate whether real or personal dureing hir life or widowhood Also my three daugters who are yet unmaried Shall have a good fether bed and furniture and a Cow and Calf After the Deceas of my wife and the portion of my unmaried girls I allow an Equal devide of my Estate real and personal to all my Children or theri heirs who is as follows Niper, William, Rhody, Joshua, James, John, Betsey, Robert, Sam, Polly, Leanah -- -- In witness whereof I have herunto set my hand and affixed my Seal this 11 day of Apil in the year of our Lord Chris one thousand Eight hundred and eight and in the year of American Independence thirty <s> John Shierley<s> Wit: John X Wakefield, William Read. Recorded in WB A, page 94 on 6 June 1808 by John Harris O.P.D. Roll No. 602.

On 6 August 1808, the estate of John Shirley, Sr dec'd: Nipper Shirley, William Shirley, William Grubbs, husband of Rhoda Shirley, Joshua Shirley, James Shirley, John Shirley Jun., Hezekiah Wakefield, husband of Elizabeth Shirley, Robert Shirley and John Wakefield Jun., husband of Sarah Shirley, all of Abbeville District and all heirs of John Shirley Sr, dec'd sold to Samuel McKinney of Abbeville District property formerly owned by John Shirley Sr. dec'd viz a certain mill and appertenances situated on Little River in Pendleton District, the mill dam as far as the water mark on the west of said river together with a certain tract of land containing 150 acres lying part in Pendlton District and part in Abbeville District on the Litte River, beginning on Barkers Creek, on Gowdy's, Hacklemans, Nathaniel Aldridge Sr's land. The land being sold was originally part of a tract granted to Aldridge. McKinney paid $684 for the mill and property. All heirs signed the document. The sale was recorded in county court on Jan 24, 1810, (Pendleton Co DB K page 51-52)

The place of burial for John Shirley Sr is unknown, but no doubt in a cemetery near his home possibly at Turkey Creek Baptist Church, or somewhere on his land located on the boundary between present day Anderson County and Abbeville County South Carolina.

John Shirley's widow Elizabeth supposedly lived only five years after the death of her husband. She supposedly died Aug 1, 1813. However, as mentioned above, she appeared in court and made her mark on a land sale, relinquishing her right of dower to that land on 22 January 1814. Thus, either the claimed date of death is wrong or the county clerk lied when he claimed she appeared before him personally. The sale was indeed to a family member, the son John Shirley Jr, who was finally recording the deed on that date. Morevoer, he the purpose for finally recording the deed was that he was simultaneously selling the same land to someone else. Thus it is quite possible that John Shirley Jr's mother Elizabeth had died in the interim and the county clerk simply made an accomodation based on the reality of the situation.

married Elizabeth Barmore  born about 1743, died Aug 1, 1813, daughter of George Barmore who was the father of one son, and three daughters.  

Ed: John Shirley's widow Elizabeth apparently lived only five years after the death of her husband. Tradition states she died Aug 1, 1813. However, Elizabeth Shirley appeared in court and made her mark on her husband's land sale to their son John Shirley Jr on 22 January 1814 (years later). She made her mark relinquishing her right of dower to that land. Thus, either the claimed date of death is wrong or the county clerk lied when he claimed she appeared before him personally. The sale was indeed to a family member, the son John Shirley Jr, who was finally recording the deed on that date. Morevoer, the purpose for finally recording the deed was that he was simultaneously selling the same land to someone else. Thus it is quite possible that John Shirley Jr's mother Elizabeth had died in the interim and the county clerk simply made an accomodation based on the reality of the situation. But also maybe the death date is wrong.

children:

1(i). John Shirley, Jr.  1767  lived Anderson Co. S.C., died April 30, 1837. John and his 2nd wife are buried in the Little River Baptist church cemetery.

married 1) Elizabeth______

married 2) Elizabeth Mitchell Grubbs. She was the widow of Richard Grubbs.

1(ii). James Shirley Sr born about 1769 VAIn the 1850 census he is living with his son James and family in Anderson Co. SC.

married ?Elizabeth [possibly Smith] (updated January 2020)

1(iii). Rhoda Shirley born about 1771; She married William Grubbs

1(iv). Nipper Shirley born about 1772  d. 1848 Anderson Co. SC, He fought in the war of 1812.

married Jane Cheeves, daughter of Thomas Cheeves born 1747 VA d. 1837 Abbeville, SC. and Margaret Agnew.   

1(v). William Shirley born about 1774 likely in South Carolina. His will was probated in 1827 in Abbeville Co South Carolina. 

married Jemima Gant

1(vi). Joshua Shirley born about 1775. Family moved to Fayette Co. Alabama

married 1) Elizabeth Long, daughter of John Read and Sarah Long. His brother was Capt. Rueben Long of Sumpter Co. SC and he was born in St. Marys Co. Maryland, and served in the Revolution from Culpepper Co. VA, 

married 2) Mary ________

1(vii). Sarah Shirley born about 1779; She married John Wakefield, Jr. son of Abel Wakefield and Ann Branson

1(viii). Elizabeth Shirley born about 1781 Abbeville Co. SC; She married Hezekiah Wakefield  born 1782 Fairfax Co. VA d. Nov 3, 1843 son of Abel Wakefield and Ann Branson. Hezekiah m.2nd Cynthia Ann Gant daughter of Frederick and Eliz. Gant.

1(ix). female Shirley born about 1783, She married Thomas Loller 

1(x). Leanah Shirley born about 1785

1(xi). Robert Shirley born about 1788 Abbeville, SC; They lived in Fayette Co. AL and later in Mississippi.

married 1) Mary ______ (1849 deed record)

married 2)? Leitresta_____ (enumerated in his 1850 census household)

1(xii). Polly Shirley born Aug 14, 1789 d. Feb 6, 1872 Appanoose Co. Iowa; She married William Wakefield born Aug 29, 1790 d. Feb 2, 1870 Appanoose Co. Iowa son of Abel Wakefield and Ann Branson. They first went to Franklin Co. IN with his brother, John Wakefield and then to Appanoosa Co. Iowa.

 

 

   


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