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

William Shirley
b. 1788. Lived in Mercer County, Kentucky


DNA haplogroup R1b1b2 


William Shirley b ca. 1788  in Kentucky; Lived in Mercer Co KY in 1860 age 72; died 1868 Mercer Co. KY. He served in the War of 1812 in Capt. Isaac Gray's Company, KY Militia with Isaac Shirley. May be a brother of Isaac Shirley, Branch #17 of Washington Co KY

1st m. unknown,

2nd m. Rhoda Evans (widow),  Dec 31, 1822 in Mercer Co. KY.


1(i). William Frank Shirley  b abt 1815 in KY; Living in Washington Co KY in 1850; living in Missouri in April 1889.

m. Mary Ann Campbell 1843 in Washington Co. KY.


2(i). Jane Malinda Shirley b abt 1845 (1850 Washington Co census); she married Simeon T. Young oct 27, 1870 in Washington Co.

2(ii). Amanda Shirley b abt 1846 (1850 Washington Co census)

2(iii). John M. Shirley b abt 1848 (1850 Washington Co census)

married Nancy E. Lay Sept 22, 1868 in Washington Co KY; She is living as a widow with mother Lydia Lea in Hendren Washington Co in 1880;


3(i). Talton Taylor Shirley b 5 July 1869 in Cardwell, Washington Co KY; he is living with John T. Royalty of Hendren Washington Co in the 1880 census

2011 Email: My maternal grandmother, Ina Vivian Shirley, was born in Arlington, [Bureau Co] Illinois 15 December 1910. She married Oliver Franklin Coward in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on 9 July 1927. Her parents were Talton Taylor Shirley, born 5 July 1869 in Cardwell, [Washington Co] Kentucky and Fannie Catherine(Cate)Hankins, born 8 May 1884 in Greenview, Illinois. We don't know where they were married, just the date. 22 March 1904. Talton's parents were John Matthew Shirley (15 Feb. 1849-6 Aug. 1877) and Nancy Ellen Lay (18 March 1843-14 July 1938). They were married 22 Sept. 1868.

3(ii). Ochena J. Shirley born abt 1874 KY (living with mother in 1880 census)

3(iii). Maggie L. Shirley b abt 1878 KY (living with mother in 1880 census)

2(iv). Amanda Shirley b 29 May 1853 Washington Co KY source KY birth records

2(v). Sally Shirley b abt 1853 (1870 Washington Co census)

2(vi). George Shirley b abt 1858 (1870 Washington Co census)

2(vii). Mary F. Shirley b abt 1862 (1870 Washington Co census)

2(viii). James B. Shirley b Sept 29, 1857; died Jan 26 1882

Feb 1882 WB W-P:27 Will of Shirley, James B. 26 Sept 1881 Leg: wife Susan A. Shirley all estate and after her death to her mother & "mine if living". Ex: Uncle & Friend E.G. Shirley Wit: E.G. Shirley, T.J. Royalty signed James B. Shirley Washington Co Estate S-92

married 1) Martha N.B. Gritton April 26, 1877

married 2) Susan A. Kidwell Jan 12 1878 in Washington Co KY; she was born about 1861

1(ii). Elizabeth Shirley  ca. 1815  They were living in Spencer Co. Indiana in 1868.

m. William Harrison Devine in 1834 in Mercer Co. KY.

1(iii). J. Nelson Shirley Nov 1, 1823  died in Washington Co. KY Jan. 27, 1871; buried Glens Creek Cemetery
Willisburg, Washington Co

1899 Court of Appeals of Kentucky. Nov. 24, 1899 ROYALTY v. SHIRLEY et al - J. Nelson Shirley, the father of appellees Sarah Belle, John W., James H., George W., and Thomas P. Shirley, died in Washington county, testate, devising his estate to his children, and making appellee Thomas R. Phelps executor of bis will, with power to sell and convey his real estate. The tract of land in controversy was sold at a public auction to one Campbell, whose bid of $1,200 seems to have been assumed by Phelps, who was charged with that sum In the settlement of his accounts as executor, and whose title to the land does not appear to be In question. Distribution was made, and the share of Sarah Belle—at that time an infant—paid to one Deshazer, her guardian. Sarah Belle Shirley was adjudged to be of unsound mind, and her brother James H. appointed committee, giving bond October 24, 1883, with his brothers, John W., Robert L., George W., and Thomas P., as sureties. James H. Shirley, as committee, recovered judgment against Deshazer, and collected, after payment of fees, $850, In January, 1885. On February 3, 1885, Phelps, as executor of Nelson Shirley, executed a deed to the 80-acre tract to James II. Shirley, In pursuance of an agreement made some time before. In consideration of $705 in cash and $300 for which James H. executed a note to Phelps Individually. The Southwestern reporter, Volume 53

married Deborah May Aug 10 1846 in Mercer Co. KY. b. Feb. 19, 1826 d. Jun. 14, 1879 buried Glens Creek Cemetery Willisburg, Washington Co


2(i). John W Shirly b: Aug 28, 1847; living Willisburg, Washington Co KY in 1880 census; d: Sep 03, 1922

married Mildred A. Royalty Sept 8, 1868 in Washington Co KY; she was b: May 23, 1849 d: Dec 20, 1929


3(i). Addie R. Shirley b Dec 1879

3(ii). William B. Shirley b Apr 1881

3(iii). Sarah L. Shirley b Sep 1884

3(iv). Fanny B. Shirley b July 1890

2(ii). Elijah Shirly b 14 Aug 1852 KY (another record says b 27 Feb 1855) Washington Co KY source KY birth records

2(iii). James H Shirly b Aug 28, 1847 KY

married Linnie Birch May 10, 1878 in Washington Co KY

2(iv). George W Shirly b 21 Mar 1857 Washington Co KY d: Mar 21, 1936 Mercer Co., KY; buried Harrodsburg City Cem.

married Nannie ; she was born Sept 6 1866 and died Feb 20 1913; buried Harrodsburg City Cem.

married 2) Josephine ; she died 1950 buried Harrodsburg City Cem.

2(v). Elizabeth J Shirly b Apr 04, 1859 KY

2(vi). Sarah Belle Shirley b Oct 12, 1861; died 1937

2(vii). Robert L. Shirley b Feb 19, 1864

2(vii). Thomas P Shirley b Feb 06, 1868

1(iv). James M. Shirley ca. 1824  Both died in Washington Co. KY., date unknown.

m. Caroline Hungate in 1846 in Washington co. KY. 

children: (1850 Washington Co KY census)

2(i). Mary C Shirley b abt 1837 KY

2(ii). George W. Shirley b abt 1838 KY

2(iii). Berry Shirley b abt 1841 KY

2(iv). Elizabeth J. Shirley b abt 1843 KY

2(v). Martha F. Shirley b abt 1846 KY

2(vi). Amanda F Shirley b abt 1849 KY

1(v). Malinda Shirley  ca. 1826  Living in Missouri in 1868.

m. John L. Merritt in KY.  

1(vi). Joseph W. Shirley ca. 1829  died 1906 Owen Co. KY. 

Joseph W. Shirley

m. Mariam Keightley Sept 11, 1856 Owen Co. KY   Parents of 10 children.


The first children died as infants. Names unknown.

2(i). Ida Shirley 1866 m. Silas Souder

2(ii). John C. Shirley 1869

m. Eva Rowlette

2(iii). Mahala "Dolly" Shirley 1871 m. Will Denny

2(iv). Ray Shirley 1872 (Elwood Shirley's ancestor and ancestor of DNA participant)

m. Tillie Hillard

2(v). Thomas H. Shirley 1876

m. 1st. __Woods,

m. 2nd Gertrude Devine (widow)

1(vii). Andrew J. Shirley b: Aug 08, 1827 d: Jul 26, 1909 Spencer Co. IN; living with father William in Mercer Co KY in the 1860 census, age 32; living in Mackville Pct Washington Co KY in 1870

married 1) Tempa Hughes; she died May 28 1860


2(i). William Allin Shirley b: Dec 16, 1855 d: Feb 07, 1859

2(ii). Mary Elizabeth Shirley b: Dec 08, 1857; she married Commodore F. Adkisson

married 2) Salvisa Owen  December 19 1860 in Washington Co KY


2(iii). Martha Allice Shirley b abt 1863 KY (1870 Washington Co census); married Thomas W. Moore

2(iv). Amanda Ellen Shirley b: Sep 05, 1864 d: Oct 06, 1866

2(v). Aneliza Shirley b: Oct 05, 1865

2(vi). Robert Owen Shirley b: Jan 25, 1869

married Dolly Sanders

2(vii). Cordelia Nelson Shirley b: Nov 28, 1870; she married Andrew J. Hardin

2(viii). Louella Grant Shirley b: Dec 28, 1872; she married John R. Burkhead b: Mar 25, 1872

1(viii). Elijah Gordon Shirley  b Nov 2, 1831  d. Jun 9, 1898 Mercer Co. KY; buried Bethel Baptist, Church Cemetery, Washington Co., Ky; He was a Baptist minister and circuit rider.

m. Mary Ann Lay 23 Dec 1852 in Mercer Co. KY. 


2(i) ____ Shirley b 16 Oct 1853 in Washington Co KY source: KY birth records

2(ii). George Ann Shirley b: Oct 22, 1854 KY d: Aug 02, 1918; married Thomas Johnson Royalty

2(iii). Sarah F. Shirley b 10 Feb 1857 Mercer Co KY d: Jul 11, 1858 Mercer Co., KY

2(iv). Strother Cook Shirley b: Sep 30, 1860 d: May 05, 1907

married Sarah E Pinkston Jan 29, 1880 in Washington Co KY; she was b: Apr 06, 1864 d: May 16, 1947

2(v). Betty Shirley b: Apr 04, 1859


Some information for this family was obtained from a posting to Rootsweb by Barb Terhune in 2006

Info from Elwood Shirley of Kentucky

More than 20 years ago,  Elwood told me (Betty Shirley) that he had talked to some of his older family members about where their Shirleys had come from. He was told their family of Shirleys came out of Culpeper Co. VA.

Elwood Shirley



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