1991 Trip to the East Coast
REPORT ON OUR 1991 TRIP TO WVA, VA, MD, NC, SC & GA
Our trip began on Tuesday, June 11 at 11:15 PM (night flight) from San Jose California to Rawleigh North Carolina where we arrived at 9:35 AM on Wed.
My niece, Barbara Shirley, accompanied me on this trip as
she has on many of my trips. She likes to drive, so she does
the driving and I read the maps. She also helps by taking care
of the registration table, and many other duties such as helping
me set up for the meeting and carry in heavy boxes of books etc.
She has great handwriting and I hand her the things I need hand
copied when we are at the Court Houses or Libraries while I am
As soon as we arrived in Rawleigh, we went directly to the State Archives and spent most of the day researching Shirleys in North Carolina. By mid afternoon, we left for New Bern NC. so we could get to bed early as we had been up all night on the airplane.
The next morning, Thursday, we visited TRYON PALACE. The original
was built by Royal Governor William Tryon (1767-1770), who was
the grandson of the FIRST EARL FERRERS. It was interesting to
learn about this family and to get additional info. [New Bern
was the first permanent Capitol of North Carolina]. Tryon Palace
was restored in the 1950s. The tour of the house was most enjoyable
and we met Governor William Tryon
We hurried on to visit Green Co. NC where we hoped to find
an old cemetery "way back in a field" according to
Shirley info in our files. Buried in this cemetery was Byrd Shirley
born Oct 8, 1795 died Sept 12, 1870, and other later Shirleys.
Well, with a lot of luck, we found the lady who owned it and
she invited us to her house. She said she lived right across
the road from it. We went to her house and sure enough, she did.
We enjoyed out
Our next stop was in Lenoir Co. NC. We researched the usual places and visited the sites of the former Shirley farm, but found very little we can report as the sites are built over by factories and country clubs etc. We found no one living there who descends from this family. I am sure there must be, but we were unable to make the contact.
The next day, Friday, we researched in Richmond Virginia at the State Library and then on to Annapolis Maryland where we stayed with Captain John & Evelyn Shirley. (They have accompanied me to England twice and to Australia and New Zealand and said to count them in if we go back to England in 1992).
On Sunday, Fathers Day, we had brunch with John & Evelyn
and then we were off for Virginia where we planned to spend the
next several days researching. We spent Sunday afternoon with
Jane Norman who has been active in Shirley research as well as
Monday, June 17th, we spent this day at the Court Houses and Libraries in Fauquier and Prince William Counties. About 5 PM we took off for Charlottesville Virginia where we planned to spend the night and to drive on to Staunton Virginia the next morning to research Augusta County VA. We stopped to find a motel as soon as we approached Charlottesville, and the price was high. I suggested we go to the other side of town and the prices may be more reasonable. When we got to the other side, we were out of town just like that! We didn't turn around but decided to keep going, we'd find something on down the road. Shortly, we found we were climbing a mountain and suddenly there we were in thick fog! We gasped! It was now after 11PM. We crept for a couple of miles, and then we started down hill and fog was gone. We did find a room for much less but it was midnight when we checked in.
Tuesday, June 18th we researched in Augusta County. By evening we had driven to Winchester Virginia and stayed with another Evelyn Shirley. She let us stay with her for a few nights.
Wednesday and Thursday we spent researching Frederick Co. Maryland, Frederick Co. Virginia, and Jefferson Co. West Virginia. We had planned on Berkeley and Morgan Co. WVA but the day we were there was a Holiday and these Court Houses and Libraries were closed. But, we found quite abit of material for these places from other Libraries and from Evelyn who had done research there etc.
Friday, June 21st was our Walter Shirley reunion at Harpers Ferry, a guided tour by Julia Creamer to the cemetery and former land the early Shirleys owned in that area. We enjoyed meeting everyone.
Sat & Sunday was the National Shirley Convention. We had
a nice group and everyone seemed to have a great time visiting
and learning about the Shirleys. We had a guest speaker, a tour
of the former jail in Warrenton (Fauquier Co.) Virginia where
Mon. Tues. & Wed. we spent researching in Caswell, Guilford, Wilkes, Burke, Rutherford, Mecklenburg, Anson Counties in North Carolina, and Darlington Co. South Carolina.
Thursday, we researched in Camden Co. SC and at the State
Library & Archives in Columbia SC. We arrived in Honea Path
South Carolina late afternoon in time to go to dinner with Lydie
Thomas & Jim Austin. We stayed with our good friends, Dot
Friday was the Shirley gathering in Laurens County South Carolina. We had a real nice group. Several families came from Texas. People came from Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, and South Carolina.
Saturday was the Lavonia Georgia gathering and a good lunch, good company, and a visit to another very old Shirley home. Our thanks to Steve Shirley and his wife for organizing this gathering. It was great to meet those who were at this meeting.
By evening, we had arrived at the home of Conny and Beverly Shirley. They fixed us some dinner, (Beverly is a great cook), and we sat on the porch talking and relaxing. We stayed overnight with them for two nights.
Sunday was the Shirley meeting at North Georgia Tech where Conny is Vice Principle. People came from all over Georgia and from Florida, Texas, Alabama, Virginia, & Tennessee. And... again, great food!
On Monday, we relaxed. This day was OUR DAY! We visited the
area sight seeing, visiting antique shops, etc. We also visited
BABYLAND, home of the Cabbage Patch doll! Quite a place to visit!
Great for kids too! By evening we arrived at my mothers
We flew home Wednesday or at least we intended to be home
on Wednesday. We ended up staying in Dallas TX overnight and
going home the next day... July 4th. They had had bad weather
on Wed and the flights were behind etc. and our Georgia flight
missed the connecting flight in Dallas to California. Well, the
end results was, Barbara and I got a $100 voucher each towards
a future flight. So...we are going to use them by going back
Hope you enjoyed hearing alittle about our trip. I have always
received so many letters saying how much they enjoyed hearing
about our trips that I hope everyone enjoys them and won't mind
our taking the space to share this adventure with you. Of course
there are many stories we could tell, but space doesn't allow
us to go into some of the individual stories learned from the
various people we meet along the way. Especially when we have
We thank each of you who came to the meetings and hope you found them to be worth the trip and the time to be there!
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