||Shirleys of Jamaica
Rootsweb July 2012
My grandfather, Edwin S.Shirley, my great uncle Dr. John W. Shirley and possibly one other brother, from atotal of ten children of James Shirley, came to America circa 1914. Edwin finished the Divinity School at Howard University, married Stella Gertrude Young of Jamaica, and was an Episcopal priest in Florida, Maryland and Washington ,D.C. He had 4 sons, Calvin Hylton, a physician who practiced in Broward County Florida, Edwin Samuel, also a physician practicing in Dade County, Florida, Donald Walbridge, a concert pianist of some renown particularly in the '50s and '60s of New York, New York, and Maurice Everett, a sociologist who practiced in Milwaukee County Wisconsin, and a younger daughter,Edwina, also of Broward County. Edwin Samuel Sr. died at age 96 in 1982. There are a host of descendants in my and the succeeding generation.
To my knowledge, neither John Shirley of Philadelphia nor Jacob Shirley had offspring. Would appreciate any additional information. (Editor: I'm wondering if the author of the query is confusing Dr Jacob Liecester Shirley who emigrated to Terrell Georgia. He was son of David Harrison Shirley of Jamaica.)
1. James Shirley of Jamaica
Donald Shirley, Edwin Shirley II.
Dr. Calvin Hylton Shirley
Don Shirley in 1954
Pioneering Florida doctor Dr. Calvin Shirley dies at age 91
July 5, 2012 Florida Courier
Dr. Calvin Hylton Shirley, one of South Floridas first Black doctors, died of natural causes on June 23 at Broward Health Medical Center. He was 91.
Dr. Calvin Shirley
Dr. Shirley was one of the first four Black physicians admitted to the staff of then-Broward General Hospital (now Broward Health Broward General Medical Center). The move paved the way for the acceptance of Black physicians.
Funeral services were held June 30 in Fort Lauderdale for Dr. Shirley, who was born Jan. 28, 1921 in Tallahassee to the late Rev. Edwin S. Shirley and Mrs. Stella Gertrude (Young) Shirley of Jamaica, West Indies. He was the oldest of four brothers and three sisters.
After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School at age 16 in Pensacola, Dr. Shirley matriculated at Florida A&M University, where he obtained his pre-medical education majoring in biology and a double minor in chemistry and education.
From Boston to Broward
After finishing his internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Boston City Hospital, he returned to Florida in 1949 to commence his medical practice.
He joined three Black medical doctors James F. Sistrunk, Von D. Mizell, and R. L. Brown who were already established in Fort Lauderdale at Provident Hospital, the only major health care facility in Broward County at the time that would treat Blacks.
According to historical records, Provident was a general hospital, owned and operated by Broward Countys Black community through a non-profit corporation. It cared for Black patients anywhere in South Florida, was operated by an all-Black administrative staff and offered medical and surgical care under the standards set by the American Hospital Association.
Dr. Shirley became a staff physician there, eventually delivering more than 6,000 babies during his professional career. He later opened medical practices in Fort Lauderdale and Delray Beach.
Dr. Shirley was also instrumental in getting a Broward Health Department building erected in a predominately Black community, thereby affording more accessibility to available county health facilities and public health services. He also was the first Black doctor to serve on the executive board of the Florida State Health Planning Council.
Nationally, Dr. Shirley served 15 years as the grand clinical
director and assistant grand medical director of the Improved
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World. This service
is rendered during annual Grand Lodge Conventions held in various
large cities throughout the United States.
Ive come to understand his character and commitment through his daughter Jasmin Shirley, our vice president of community health services. A dedication to healing and public service are his legacy and those qualities continue in his children.
Dr. Shirley was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He was preceded in death by his wife Jeanette, a brother and two sisters.
He is survived by his daughters Jasmin Shirley and Dr. Carmen Shirley Mack; sons Calvin Hylton Shirley Jr., John Walbridge Shirley and Cedric Hylton Shirley; five grandchildren; and a host of other relatives.
Don Shirley began playing piano at age of 2-1/2 and made his first public performance at the age of 3. At the age of nine he was invited to study theory with Mittolovski at the Leningrad Conservatory of Music, and he later studied with famous organist Conrad Bernier and studied advanced composition with both Bernier and Dr. Thaddeus Jones at Catholic University of America in Washington D. C.
Visit his website at: www.donshirley.com
I wrote to Don and received this response:
Dear Ms Shirley,
This is Michael Kappeyne, Dr. Shirley's (classical) piano student. see him every two weeks or so at my lesson, and also produced his latest CD "Home With Donald Shirley."Your note somehow fell through and didn't appear again until I was comparing received and sent messages yesterday.
He is indeed from Jamaican descent, but spent his early youth in Florida with his mother and father, a reverend, before he was shipped of to St Petersburg, Russia, for his musical training.
I'll give him your note, and he may want to call you about the Shirleys.Do you have a phone numbers at which he can reach you?
With best regards,
I DIDN'T HEAR FROM HIM. I also didn't find any info in our new Jamaican Shirley book. We need his grandfather's name to get back far enough to find him in the book. Any help appreciated.
Betty Shirley (posted Sept 3, 2006)
Email of May 31, 1999 to Betty Shirley:
I found your e mail address while I was visiting my uncle in Ft. Myers. My name is Edwina Shirley-Nalchawee and my father Edwin Shirley was born in Jamaica in 1882. I would like information on the Shirley's in the Jamaica area, and of course in the U.S.
I had information on the Shirley's dating back as far as 1839. However, the information I no longer have. My father gave me a lot of the information, and unfortunately the information is lost. He has since passed away.
My father was 70 years old when I was born. My daughter is 10 years old and is interested in learning about her grandfather.
Any information would be helpful. It would also be nice to communicate with you from time to time.
Thank you for any information you can give me.
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