Misc. Information for John Shirley branch #2

Article Written by Ethel Shirley Clark in 1938.

Ethel Adolphia Shirley Feb 16, 1876, m. Arthur Benjamin Clark Sept 29, 1903 daughter of Jonathon Travis Shirley born 1829.

After the children were grown and some married, it seems that they started in search of new lands to acquire and build up. They must have emigrated in a body for all the family left South Carolina. They went through Alabama; one son, James, stopped there. They went through Georgia and on to Mississippi where they acquired lands and built homes. The grandparents and some of the older ones died there. My father, Jonathon Travis, was the eighth child in this family of  children. He married in Mississippi and remained there until his death. The others all left the state seeking new frontiers to build up and ever pushing westward.

Henry Tilman Shirley and his family, Nancy Matilda Shirley Kind and her family, the children of John Marshall Shirley and Robert Clements Shirley all went to Texas and became owners of large tracts of land and big herds of cattle in the early days of the plains. Susan and Tabitha and their families settled in Arkansas. One of the brothers, Benjamin Franklin Shirley, thought he saw fortune beckoning to him from the gold fields of California. He boarded a ship at some eastern port and went by way of Panama and landed on the coast of California in the days of the forty-niners. They crossed the Isthmus of Panama on a railroad at that time, about 1860. 

There were certain striking characteristics of this family of Shirley which seemed to follow the family quite closely all down through the different generations. Physically they are what you would call small of stature. The men are of medium height (5 ft. 6 or 7 inches) and some even smaller, rather lean of flesh, weighing about 140-160 pounds. All of them that I knew anything about had white (fair) skin with not much color, with deep set blue eyes and black straight hair that turned grey early in life. I never heard of one of them becoming bald. Morally they seemed to be somewhat alike. As I have said before,  they were inclined to pioneering, always wanting to find something to build up. They would always obtain possession of land as soon as they went to a new country and build permanent homes. A Shirley that did not own at least one home, be it ever so small, was something unheard of. 

Our family tradition is that our emigrant ancestors came over from England and received a grant of land on the James River. Just where my great grandfather branched off of that family and began to make a name for himself, I do not know. 

My great grandfather John Shirley was born in Virginia about 1760 and moved to South Carolina while yet a young man. Perhaps his father received a homestead in South Carolina for services in the arms.  John settled in Abbeville South Carolina and married there about 1790. I have record of seven children all born in South Carolina. The names of the children are as follows: Samuel, Jonathan (my grandfather), Richard (who settled in Kentucky), Thomas (who died in S.S.  ?), Fannie (who married James Brickenridge of Tennessee), Elizabeth (who married Joseph Sharp of  SC) and Stephen. 

Our family were incessant workers, raised the large families of the pioneer wars and governed them with the strictest discipline. O never heard of one Shirley that was an imbiber of strong drinks. I have heard it said in the family that they were to mercenary to spend their means that way. Not that their religious or moral scruples would deter then, but that had rather spend their money building up homes and educating their children that in indulging their appetites. They were strictly law-abiding and honest. Religiously some of them joined the different churches down through the ages, but their religion seemed to be more in doing that in being passively led by the Clergy. They were not given to using the Sabbath day for a work day; however, they worked had the other six days. There is a story told of an uncle of mine, Henry Tilman, in the early days of wheat raising in Texas. He bought a harvester which was about the one of that kind in the country. He took a crew of men and went from farm to farm harvesting wheat.  On Saturday evenings he stopped everything till Monday morning.  One time the owner of a farm took issue with him. He wanted the work to go  until it was finished. Mr. Shirley said in no uncertain terms that he and his men did not work on Sunday. "Well", the man said, "It might rain before Monday. Let me have the machine and I will get other men to run it."  "NO", said my uncle, "My machine does not work on Sunday either. We will wait and see if it rains."  Monday morning he was on the job bright and early to finish the threshing and it had not rained. 

My father, Jonathon Travis Shirley, was no exception to the rule. He had these characteristics very strongly pronounced in his make-up. He had the same small lean build with deep set small blue eyes, with straight black hair and fair skin, with the same reserved disposition, not the lest bit demonstrative, rather slow to speak or to make up his mind but when once a decision was made he was as firm as the rock of Gibraltar.  He was born in South Carolina and was about 12 or 13 years at the time his family moved to Montgomery County Mississippi. He grew to manhood there. He attended what could be had in the way of schools. There were no public schools and the school facilities were very very meager. 

A certain girl in her early teens who attended the school won my father's admiration. He kept his eye on her and as early as possible married her. She was eleven year younger than he was and of course, he had to wait quite a few years after he reached manhood for her to grow up. Her name was Rebecca Jane Thrailkill, daughter of Jonathon Anderson Thrailkill and Mary Ann Adams. they lived in Bib County Alabama when Rebecca Jane was born. She was their 13th child, born the 17th of August, 1840.

Jonathon and Rebecca Shirley married February 1856 at the home of Rebecca's niece, Mary Jane Pearson in Montgomery County Mississippi. Rebecca was only in her 16th year when she was married, but she was very prepared for he responsibilities of married life. They made their home near Poplar Creek, Mississippi for the first few years they were married. They lived there till after the Civil War, or the war between the States. He did not believe in slavery and would not take up arms against the government to protect the slaves of other people. I have never heard of any of the Shirleys being slave owners. 

He was drafted into the army but did not stay there as it was not a cause that he cared to fight for. The family had always been tenacious fighters for causes that they believed in but not an ounce of strength to give to defending unjust principles. Our family numbered fifteen children. Two died in childhood (but not in infancy) and the others all grew to man and womanhood. My father's word was law in the family. I ever heard of him having to speak the second time to get obedience, and he never in all his life used any form of punishment in governing his children. You might think that he had a set of weaklings for children but far from that! They were all just as strong willed as he was, and had respect enough for him to give him the honor of obedience as long as they were in his house. Every child except myself stayed home till they were ready to get married. I was 25 years old and went with his permission and assistance.   


Old letters from descendants of John and Eliz Barmore Shirley family


Johnson's Creek Abbeville District, South Carolina

26, Jany  1845

Well Marshall and Matilda. I was truly glad to hear that you had arrived safe in Mississippi. I hope that you will continue to be satisfied with your remove. If Carroll County should prove very sickly after you have tried it I  would advise you try Texas, as I think our Congress will annex it this session and you are over half way there. My family and James Young's are very well. I have a touch of Dypsepsia and propose traveling some this summer to recruit my health. If I ever remove and I think I shall  this  winter, I will go to the mountains of Tennessee and raise stock for market, and live on the fat of the land. D.M. Prince is in very bad health and will hardly survive the winter/ James Young is now sitting by me and sends his best respects to you all. Be sure and write often and fully.

Your brother Jos. F. Black

addressed to John  M. Shirley

Shongalo P. O.

Carrol County Mississippi

NOTE:  John Marshall Shirley is the son of Jonathon, son of John Jr. and son of John and Eliz. Barmore Shirley. They moved to went to Carroll Co. MS in 1844 and to Choctaw Co. MS in 1846. They are found in the 1850 census of Choctaw Co. Mississippi and after 1860 to Capiah Co. MS. John Marshall Shirley died Feb 26, 1863 Crystal Springs, Mississippi. His wife was Matilda Eleanor Black and she died in 1900. ===================================================================================================

To B.F. Shirley

Dear Benjamin, I must say a word to you. I am pretty well and hope you are doing well. I do think that in a new country you can do better than here. I heard D. Russell say that he knew a man to go to Alabama. He landed with $5, died worth $10,000. So take encouragement. There is no news but that  D.B. McWhorter is married to Eliz. Ervin. Miss Emily Brooks is still single. I am going to school. Your mother says to write here in Marshall's letter and write all about your country. She says come home next fall if you can. William and Wesley and mother and all your father's people send their best love and wishes to you all. Now Benjamin there is nothing in this old country that ought to keep a man two hours in it. Write me in the next letter Matilda sends. You have my best respects and wishes. Take care of yourself

Your friend

J. Aug. Black

NOTE: I assume this letter was to Benjamin Franklin Shirley who was born in 1825. Benjamin would be a brother of John Marshall Shirley above.


The news of the neighborhood is about as follows. The sale took place at uncle J.B. Black's residence on the 10th and 11th and 12th of December. I acted as clerk. William P. Black is reading medicine. J.C. Black people are well and he is assistant class leader at Shiloh. Our iterant preachers are Nicolas Tally and Henry M. Mood of Charleston. Mr. Mood preached yesterday at Shiloh and is said to be able and as for Tally I need not say as you can judge yourselves. Aunt E. Black's people are well. Laney is going to York to go to school. James Young's and Franklin's families are well. JB Shirley says to tell you "howdy" and that ___ is married to Mrs. Man and thinks a little of the west. Aunt Susan Black is living in York. It has not been long since I received some documents from uncle James A. Black. The relations in York and Columbia were well a few days ago. Mr. Abrams is finding gold with success. Mr. Brooks's family is well. He is as humble as ever. Aunt P. Burnett's people all well. Although Elizabeth has been very sick. Cousin Hetty has not come home yet. JRB is living at the A. Russell place. Catherine has a fine son and calls him William Pickens. Jane Clinkscales is married to LD Merriman. Andrew Tate has moved over to his place in Franklin Co. GA. He has been here since he moved. Appears pleased. Robert C. Shirley's were well when Mr. Tate left. Martha Killingsworth is gone to Richland District. Ransom Brooks is gone to Mississippi. Thus ends the news. When you write again inform us how far it is to the Mississippi River, whether lime or fee stone water and every thing which you know we would like to hear respecting your country. RCS's wife has a fine daughter and is doing well in Georgia.

Part of a letter written by J. Black in 1845. He had very nice handwriting



Posted by William McDavid Holder on November 06, 1998 at 23:46:45:


1) JOHN SHIRLEY b.1738. / d.1808 in Anderson Co., SC
m. (Ca.1766) Elizabeth Barmore b. 1743/d.___? d/o George Barmore.
2.) JAMES SHIRLEY b. 1769 Anderson Co., SC/ d. after 1850?
m. Elizabeth Smith d/o Wyatt Smith & Eliz. Sanford
4) JAMES SHIRLEY b. Sept 24, 1803 Anderson Co., SC/ d.1862 (intestate)
m. (Feb 15, 1827) Rebecca (Rebbah) Smith b. May 16, 1808/d.1872.
3) RICHARD CARTER SHIRLEY CSA. b.10 Feb 1832 / Killed in the Civil War
(Bur. Richmond Va.)
m. Lettice Elizabeth Erskine b.28 Feb 1835/ d.16 July 1924
3) JAMES NEWTON SHIRLEY b.29 Nov 1860 Belton, Anderson Co., d. 18 Sep 1937 (Bur. Belton Cem. Belton SC)
m. Victoria Elizabeth Smith b. 4 Jan 1867 / d. 5 July 1930
(Bur. Belton Cem.)
7) CECIL CLARKE SHIRLEY b. 1 Aug 1910 (Belton SC) / d. 1997
(Bur. Ebenezer Meth. Church. Anderson Co., SC)
m. Kate Teresa Reed b. 27 April 1907 / d. 1992
(d/o Garland McDavid Reed & Adeline Sarter Brown.)

George (7th son of JohnII)b.1800 in Anderson Co.,SC (where I live) d. after 18 March 1861(the date his fathers estate was settled) m.Elanore Sharpe b.1801/ d.__? Dau. of Henry and Edy Sharp of Abbeville, Co. SC
George and his family were in Abbeville in 1837; but moved to Floyd Co.,Ga in 1843.

1) Henry T b. 1828 Abbeville Co. Killed in the Civil War. George presumably in 1870 took in his 2 children Frances b.1856 & Robert H. b. 1858.. (nothing further)
2)Eliz. Caraday b. 1830 Abbeville Co.. (nothing further)
3)Nancy E. b.1834 "".. (nothing further)
4)Arreulia b.1836 "".. (nothing further)
5)Mary J. b.1838 "".. (nothing further)
6)GeorgeII b.1841 "".. (nothing further)
7)Cinthia Lucinda b.1843 Floyd Co.,Ga... (nothing further)



In my searches to trace my ancestry back to a specific place in Scotland, I came across a query from a Peggy Craft.  I tried to send her the message below, but for some reason it was sent back as unable to deliver.  If it is not too much trouble, I would really appreciate it if you could possibly read what I have sent below.  In addition, I think there is a will some where, written by the James Erskine mentioned below; if you happen to have a copy of said will, would it be possible for me to receive a copy of it as well?

"Seeking information re Aaron Shirley (James, John) born circa 1801, Anderson County, SC; died between 1870 and 1880; married Margaret Erskine, born circa 1812, SC; father: James Erskine; mother: Nancy (unknown). In 1880, Margaret Shirley and daughter, Mary, are living with son, Aaron Whitaker, in Williamston, SC."

I have no real information that you might be interested in, only that James Erskine was married to a Nancy Angus Duncan. I was wondering, however if you have any information on this couple-- specifically James... I have traced Nancy's lineage back into Scotland during the 1600s. I know that he was born in Antrim, Ireland and Nancy was born somewhere in Ireland in 1764. I am assuming their families moved there to take refuge from the persecution from the English in that era of history. I believe that he was born in July of 1757, but have found some conflicting information that claimed him to be 87 when he died in March, 1846, which of course would put his year of birth in '59.  My problem lies with the links beyond him... I have no mothers name, no fathers, brothers, so on and so forth... In short(after i've much described the long of it), I was hoping you might have some information that could jump start my search again.

Thanks so much for your time.

Megan Erskine mberskine@hotmail.com



Peggy Chastain Craft   pcraft@mindspring.com (see correction to this inquery, below)

Seeking information re Aaron Shirley (James, John) born circa 1801, Anderson County, SC; died between 1870 and 1880; married Margaret Erskine, born circa 1812, SC; father: James Erskine; mother: Nancy (unknown). In 1880, Margaret Shirley and daughter, Mary, are living with son, Aaron Whitaker, in Williamston, SC.


James E. Shirley, born circa 1831, Anderson County, SC (mentioned in will of grandfather, James Erskine).

Eliza E. Shirley, born 2/13/1836, Anderson County, SC; died 1/9/1912; married Priestley Allen Jones, born circa 1836, SC; served War Between States, tombstone, no dates (Priestley); both buried Westview Cemetery, Westminster, SC.

Sophia A. Shirley (my gg-grandmother), born 8/25/1837, Anderson County, SC; died 5/9/1928, Greenville, SC; buried Hopewell Baptist Church Cemetery, Anderson, SC; married Stephen E. Jones, born circa 1835, SC; died in the War Between the States.

Aaron Whitaker Shirley, born circa 1845, Anderson County, SC; shown in 1880 census Anderson County, SC, Wiliamston District. Census record listed as S. W. Shirley. Wife, Cassey; children: Maggie, Willie, Leolene, Thomas Edwin (twin); Stephen Edgar (twin).

Mary E. Shirley, born circa 1849, Anderson County, SC; listed 1880 with brother, Aaron Whitaker.

William Shirley, born 1852, Anderson County, SC.

Would appreciate assistance.


Posted by Peggy Chastain Craft on August 01, 1999 at 17:58:13:

Thank you Betty for responding to my request. Received another response on Aaron Shirley line that added additional information and corrected mistakes I made in previous message. This message is to correct those mistakes. Aaron Shirley married (1) Margaret Erskine, died 1831. Aaron Shirley married (2) Mary (Polly) Erskine (sister of Margaret), who was born 4/2/1811; died 11/10/1887, Anderson Co., SC. Polly Shirley is also mentioned in James Erskine's will. He died in March 1846 (source: obituary from The Anderson Gazette newspaper, Anderson, SC, Friday, March 27, 1846). Margaret and Mary (Polly)'s mother was Agnes (Nancy) Duncan. James Erskine Shirley was the son of Aaron and Margaret Shirley. The remaining seven were the children of Aaron and Mary (Polly) Shirley.

The 1880 census record listed in previous message is more likely Stephen White Shirley, son of Thomas Harrison Shirley (John Jr., John Sr.), whose mother was also Margaret and had a sister, Mary. Aaron Whitaker Shirley died 11/8/1869. The information for Eliza (Eliza Emily) and Sophia A. (Sophia Adaline) is correct (sources: census records, tombstones, and newspaper obituaries).

Have found 1880 census record for Anderson County, SC, Hopewell District, showing Polly Shirley (mother-in-law), age 70, living with (unknown) Carter/Cartee and wife, Margaret.

Thank you for your assistance.

From Peggy Craft... Aug 17th, 1999

Additionally  info... Mary Elizora Elizabeth Shirley, born February 28, 1849, Anderson County, SC; died August 31, 1926, Anderson Co., SC; buried Hopewell Baptist Church Cemetery, Anderson, SC; married William Brewster ("Bruce") Moore, born May 9, 1852, South Carolina; died July 27, 1924. Obituary for Mary Elizora states she has surviving four sons and a daughter.  The only surviving member of her immediate family in 1926, was my g-g-grandmother, Sophia Adaline Shirley, married Stephen E. Jones.  The other children of Aaron and Margaret and   Aaron and Polly were deceased by 1926


posted by Bruce Burrell <bruceburrell@hotmail.com> on Sun, 08 Aug 1999                                  


Looking for information on g-grandfather and his family. John Franklin SHIRLEY b. 10 Dec. 1842 S.C. to Robert Clemons and Elizabeth Pasey SHIRLEY. d. 1904 Authon, Parker County Texas. Married Martha Ann Biles 18  Sept. 1865 MS. Served with CSA from Ms. Where is Robert Clemons Shirley? Who were Siblings?


The answer to your question from Betty Shirley

Robert Shirley b. ca. 1818 SC, son of: Jonathon 1795 SC. Both are living in Walker Co. GA in the 1850 census.  Jonathon is the son of: John Shirley, Jr. who is the son of John Shirley and his wife, Eliz. Barmore.


Posted Aug 10th, 2000

My husbands grandmother was a SHIRLEY. She was RUTH SHIRLEY PATTON, born June 11,1901 and died August 4,1972. She lived in Honea Path and St. George, South Carolina. We know she was a member of DAR but family has not  not found her papers. We are researching that line to find the
Revolutionary War ancestor. We also know the line came over on the Mayflower. Ruth was married to Melvin Glenn Patton.
Any help greatly appreciated.
We are: Frank and Lynda Denaro


From Betty Shirley to the Denaro's Aug 10th, 2000:

Ruth Hazeltine Shirley June 11, 1901 married Melvin Glenn Patton June 18, 1926. The were the parents of: Dorothy Jean who married Louis F. Denare, Eleanor Ruth m. W.S. Mayfield and Shirley who married Edward Jasonek.

Ruth Hazeltine was the daughter of William Clayton Shirley born Sept 20, 1871 Honea Path, SC. He was a farmer and bee keeper. He died Jan 18, 1959. He married Vera Sophronia Burton Nov 10, 1874 Anderson, SC. She died Kam 20, 1949. She was the daughter of William Lawrence and Isabella Hazeltine (Adams) Burton. They are buried Mt. Bethel Cemetery.

William Clayton  was the son of John Jasper Shirley born Feb 6, 1846 Level Land, Abbeville County SC. He died July 14, 1888 Honea Path. He married Emaline Banister Oct 12, 1845 Abbeville SC. and she died July 31, 1909. She was the daughter of Mattison and Mary Ann (Pruitt) Banister and is buried. some are buried at Little River Cem. and Mt. Bethel.

John Jasper was the son John Warren Shirley born Oct 1811 near Honea Path, SC. He died Feb 14, 1899. Married 1st Lucinda Fisher April 13, 1811 SC.  She died July 3, 1882. She was the daughter of Thomas and Eliz. (Shirley) Fisher. He married 2nd Sarah Cummings Cobb. He and his first wife are buried in Little River Bapt. Cem.

John Warren was the son of William Shirley who was born ca. 1774 VA.

William is the son of John and Eliz (Barmore) Shirley.



Dear Betty,

Maybe you remember me.  I am the one that has been campaigning for several years to get my gg-grandmother, Lettice Shirley, legitimized as a Shirley.  I know she existed and went by the name Lettice.   I have included previous emails to you as a recap of earlier dialogue.  In addition, I have recently come across a independent verification of who this Lettice was.  Standing alone, this new information is not conclusive but along with all that I have acquired until now it settles it for me.  I am attaching several emails below those previously to you that were discussions between myself and a Mr. John Erskine.  Please let me know what you think.

Ned Little
Darlington, SC

I am trying to locate a Lettice Shirley born 4/24/1809.  I believe she  married James Erskine born 3/24/1802.  This is the same James
Erskine that LDS entries show as being born 8/22/1799.  My g-grandmother was his  daughter.  Her name was Adula Erskine.  LDS entries show her mother as  being  Lettis Melton.  I am almost 100% sure that this is wrong.  I have a  birthday  book that my g-grandmother kept with her father, brothers and
sisters' birthdates in it.  It would only be reasonable to think that her mother  would be listed there as well.  I believe that her mother was Lettice  Shirley, who is listed in the book.

Two other Shirleys that are  listed are J.D. Shirley b. 3/12/1853 (son of Aaron Yancy b. 3/8/1828) and  Maggie M. Shirley b.12/18/1854.  My mother had always heard that we were   related to Yancy Shirley.  All of these people were from the Anderson, SC  area.  I found the J.D. Shirley in the John b.1738 and Elizabeth Barmore  listing.  I noticed in that same lineage a Lettice born in 1829 to a Smith  Shirley.  I wonder if the Lettice I am looking for could be an aunt  that's  not shown.   My family has always said that we were related to the Shirleys through  Adula.  Can you help or perhaps point me in another direction.  
Ned Little

Ned....My grandmother had the copy of the paper - it was torn and badly wrinkled, so what I have is a "best available" copy, but it
does have some of the pertinent information. I noticed on the Ancestry
site that you have William Richard Erskine married to a M Elizabeth Williams with a marriage date of 4 April 1841. If you notice, all the kids were born BEFORE that date. That's because he was first married to Sara Shirley, on May 6, 1819. She was born on March 17, 1799, and died in 1840 (childbirth, I think). It was after that, that he married Elizabeth. His younger brother, James was married to Sara's younger sister, Lettice, who was a nutcase! Do you have a fax number? If so, I'll fax you what I have. If not, e-mail me your address and I'll mail it. How are you kin to the Erskines? It's really great to find someone else doing the same research, so I hope we can help each other. I'd really like to find the Irish family part and on back to Scotland where they came from originally, in and around Renfrewshire. You mentioned that you had checked for ship passenger lists in Charleston. Did you check specifically for ships arriving in 1789? I was planning on trying to do that sometime in the future...... Thanks again for responding!
John Erskine    JFErskine60@aol.com

Ned - My grandmother, Susie (Fontaine) Erskine did a lot of of this research and I "inherited'" much of it. William Richard Erskine was married to
Sara Shirley (his first wife) - all the kids were theirs. Sara's parents were
James Shirley and Elizabeth Smith.

They had 8 children -

Sara (married William Richard Erskine)
Aaron (married Margaret Erskine)
Lettice (married James Erskine (William's younger brother)

I would bet that they lived close together - not a lot of eligible young folks in the area and they probably were on a neighboring farm or something. Wonder if the old land records would help? In James Erskine Sr's will he leaves $100 to his daughter Margaret Shirley - she married Aaron Shirley - and $100 to her son, James Shirley. This would indicate that the Erskines and Shirleys intermarried several times! The will also provides for the setting aside "one square acre as a burying ground". I can get you a copy of James' will as well as the naturalization paper if you like.
John Erskine

Ned -
I mentioned that from something that you said re Lettice's mental probs.
My main input was that she was married to James, William's younger brother and that she was Sara's (William's wife) sister. I only have the slight mention, because Sara and Lettice were sisters. I'm descended from William and William Washington, so that's where I have most of my info. FYI, I spent 32 years in the Army Medical Department and taught military medical history at USUHS, the DoD Medical School. Back in those days, mental illness was thought to be something to be ashamed of, or embarrassed by, and many families hid the fact that a family member had a problem, often not mentioning them in family history or in some cases, even their birth.

This may have happened in our case and wouldn't be unusual at all. Did the paperwork that you got from the institution mention a diagnosis? Maybe she really didn't have a severe problem such as paranoia or schizophrenia, but just suffered a "nervous breakdown." Many women in those days were severely "overworked" in raising families on a farm, etc. This would seem to be the case if she was really released in six months. Did she go back to the farm? If not, where did she go? Is there any further mention of her? When did she die? Do you know where James is buried? If she went back, then she should be buried somewhere close to him wouldn't you think? I'm going there for sure early next year - maybe we could meet and do some joint research!

Are you still working or can you get off for a few days? I'm 64 and retired, so I better get busy while I can still travel a lot! :o) I'd like to stop at Erskine College in Due West, too and get a T-shirt or two! Our ancestor, Ebenezer Erskine founded the place. I've got some stuff on him, too, somewhere, but he's not in my direct line, so I haven't done much with it.

Did you find anything on William Richard's date of birth? You and I are off a few months and I don't have anything other than what I got from my
grandmother (Newton Cator Erskine's wife). Sure glad we found each other!
All the best,
John Erskine



Here is confirmation from John that posting his email is OK.  Same goes for me.

Ned Little

-----Original Message-----
From: JFErskine60@aol.com
To: Little, Ned
Sent: 11/9/02 2:47 PM
Subject: Re: FW: Shirleys of SC

Ned -
As you might guess, I'm always happy to share family info and would be
pleased to have the info added to the Shirley website.  What is the web
address?  I'd like to check it out myself!  All is well here in sunny FL
and I'm still planning a trip early next year.   Several e-mail relatives want to meet, so maybe we can set it up and do it!

All the best,

K Dixit <miyanomori2@yahoo.co.uk> Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 5:28 AM
To: kscislaw@scislaw.com
Reply | Reply to all | Forward | Print | Delete | Show original
Dear Ken,
How are you? I am a Shirley descendant, but did not know it until a few years ago. My grandfather's middle name was Shirley, but my dad did not know why his grandfather had this middle name. My grandfather may have know the reason for his middle name, but he died in 1959 and my dad never had a chance to hear about it from him. It turns out that Shirley was the maiden name of my grandfather's grandmother. I found this out when looking through some 1880 census records from California, where Benjamin Franklin Shirley ended up.
I was very happy to see the following information about my ancestor on your Shirley Family Association website, in an article Written by Ethel Shirley Clark in 1938:
"One of the brothers, Benjamin Franklin Shirley, thought he saw fortune beckoning to him from the gold fields of California. He boarded a ship at some eastern port and went by way of Panama and landed on the coast of California in the days of the forty-niners. They crossed the Isthmus of Panama on a railroad at that time, about 1860."
On your website, you have:
"Benjamin Franklin Nov 10, 1825 m. Sarah Mathis in 1848." (on the page http://www.shirleyassociation.com/NewShirleySite/NonMembers/UnitedStates/Lineages/Johnshirleybranch2.html )
In some other records I have found her name as Sarah Ann Mathews, but it seems to vary.
Here are some census transcriptions for Benjamin Franklin Shirley:
1850 US Federal Census -- The Southern Division, Carroll Co., Mississippi
dwelling no. 143, family no. 161 (they are in the same dwelling as the family of John King, his wife, and their children, who are ages 17, 15, 13, 11, 9, 7, 5, 3, and 1 -- wow!!). Note that they are just about 5 dwellings away from the family of Sarah Ann Mathews Shirley's mother and siblings, the Mathews family).
* Benjamin Shirley, age 23, m, labour, b. SC
* Sarah A. Shirley, age 23, f, b. Ala
* Mary J. Shirley, age 4mos., f, b. Miss.
1870 US Federal Census -- Los Angeles Township, Los Angeles Co., California, page 42:
Dwelling no. 356, family no. 361
* Shirley, Benjamin F. or T..; age 44, m, w, Farmer, real estate $100, personal estate $200, b. South Carolina
* Shirley, Sarah; age 43, f, w, Keeps house, b. Alabama
* Shirley, Milton M.; age 18, m, w, Laborer, b. Mississippi
* Shirley, Martha V.; age 14, f, w, At home, b. Mississippi
* Shirley, Jonathan C.; age 12, m, w, At home, b. Mississippi
* Shirley, Lucina F.; age 9, f, w, At home, b. California
* Shirley, Benjamin F.; age 7, m, w, At home, b. California
* Shirley, Sarah A.; age 5, f, w, At home, b. California
* Shirley, Henry F. or T., age 3, m, w, At home, b. California
(daughter Martha V., shown above age 14, is my line)
note: the following 1880 record is from after the death of Benjamin Franklin Shirley - his wife Sarah is shown as a widow.
1880 United States Census -- San Antonio, Los Angeles Co., California (www.familysearch.org transcription): Dist. 31, San Antonio/Vernon/Florence Rd
Name Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace
Sarah A. SHIRLEY Self W Female W 54 AL Keeping House SC SC
Milton SHIRLEY Son M Male W 28 MS Farmer SC SC
Jessie SHIRLEY DauL M Female W 21 AR Keeping House VA VA
Martha MARTIN Dau M Female W 24 MS At Home SC SC
Jonathan SHIRLEY Son S Male W 21 MS Farmer SC SC
Benjamin SHIRLEY Son S Male W 17 CA Farmer SC SC
Sarah SHIRLEY Dau S Female W 15 CA At Home SC SC
Henry SHIRLEY Son S Male W 12 CA At Home SC SC
John MARTIN SonL M Male W 30 TX Farmer TX TX
Milton H. MATHEWS Brother S Male W 61 SC Farmer SC SC
(daughter Martha Martin and son-in-law John Martin are my line. Milton H. Mathews is the brother of Sarah Ann Mathews, wife of Benjamin Franklin Shirley).
Thank you for your great website, and I look forward to visiting again in the future.
Best wishes,
- Kristin Martin Dixit