2004 Shirley Convention
June 30th, 2004
The convention was a success! Everyone expressed
how much they enjoyed being there and we did have a great time.
One young man, Roy Shirley, drove over 5 hours in pouring
down rain to get there from Pennsylvania. He brought his three
children so they might learn more about the Shirley family. It
was great to meet him and the kids although we do not know who
he is descended from. We hope to make further inquires as to
his background. This was a surprise group who we had never had
contact with before. Thank you Roy for making the trip to Virginia.
Please email me when you have a chance.
We also met another couple from Pennsylvania, Tim and Georgi
Shirley. It was so nice to see the younger ones becoming interested
in their roots. Thank you for coming Tim and Georgi. Please let
me know how we can help you learn more about your Shirley
heritage. Email me too!
We had the opportunity to meet yet another family from Pennsylvania.
Jim, Jennie and Dorothea. Thank you for coming. We'll work on
the Armstrong and Westmoreland connection.
We enjoyed meeting several others, whom we had not met before...
Penny, who brought her laptop computer, Bernard and Nancy.
Bernard was our guide some of the time. He read the map and helped
plot out the direction to go. It was great to see Ellen again.
She works for Williamsburg. Great to see Paul and Pat from
New York! They attended a Shirley meeting several years
back when my daughter and I was in NY and on our way to Canada
to learn more about Anne Shirley of Green Gables and see where
the movies were made, etc. Thank you for coming.
One of the highlights was 3 SHIRLEY cousins meeting for
the first time. Gary from Washington, George from Mississippi
and Kenn from Virginia. They each participated in the DNA testing
and as a result learned they were cousins. The lineage connects
to the Darlington Co. SC Shirleys. They had a fun time spending
time together and getting to know one another. Now they are committed
to learning even more. They have already ordered extended DNA
testing since their return from Virginia. DNA is helping where
the paper trail ends. Here was a prime example of how DNA can
of the 3 Shirley cousins
Another highlight was when Bennett Greenspan spoke to
us and gave a presentation on DNA. We enjoyed meeting both he
and his wife, Robin. Thank you for being there.
It was so good to see Margery who went with us on our last
trip to England. I believe the year was 2000. Thank you Margery
Also good to see Dale from Washington state. He has
attended several other gatherings thru the years. I first met
him in 1980. That was the year we had a meeting here in California.
Thank you for coming.
How great to see the cousins Margo, June and Bertie from the
Thomas and Mollie Grubb group again. They were at the Convention
in Kentucky several years ago. We had a great time together.
They came from Illinois and Florida. Thank you for coming.
If I left anyone out, please forgive me. I THINK I mentioned
I do want to thank Barbara for going with me. She has traveled
with me to most of our meetings. She is the driver, the secretary
and my helper. I really appreciated her help and I know all of
you enjoyed meeting and talking to her.
On Friday, June 25th, Barbara and I drove to Northumberland
Co. VA area from Richmond which was about 1 1/2 hour drive. We
met with Bobbie at the Rice Hotel and Houghlett Tavern in regards
to lunch on Sunday. We also met Mr. Haynie who is involved with
the Northumberland Co. Historical Society. We then drove to Wicomico
Parish to check that out. Decided it was to far to include on
Sunday. We drove then to Farnham Parish and decided that was
a go. We had just enough time to get back to Richmond for our
Friday evening informal gathering. Made it with just 5 minutes
Saturday I spoke on the early Shirley families of VA, MD and
New England states. The time period was from their arrival until
about 1730's. The purpose was to expose everyone to where the
Shirley's could be found that early in history and the names
of some of those associated with them. Just before lunch I let
everyone vote for who they thought Thomas Shirley of Northumberland
Co. was connected. The choice was to vote for James Shirley the
goldsmith or the Wiston family of Shirleys. It was a tie between
the two families. Then again.... this Thomas might not connect
to either family. The exercise was to show how difficult it is
for us to make a determination as to who Thomas Shirley of Northumberland
Co. VA was descended from.
After lunch we drove to the Shirley Plantation. Everyone took
the tour of the house and had the rest of the afternoon to walk
around the grounds. The guide was very good. The weather was
great too. Sun was shinning even though earlier it had been raining.
After dinner at the hotel we heard from Bennett Greenspan
and he gave a visual presentation. He gave everyone time to ask
questions and afterward, he mixed and mingled with people and
continued to answer questions one on one.
Sunday, we took the group to Northumberland Co. and took a
drive to the area where the original St. Stephens Parish church
stood. This is where his children born in 1670's were christened.
We also saw the area where Thomas Shirley lived. What a beautiful
valley. He lived in a very nice area. We continued on to Coan
River and to the Potomac River. Both are not very far from where
his land was. The Coan River connects to the Potomac River. We
could look across and see St. Mary Co. MD. I think everyone
had a better perspective of the distance.
After lunch in Heathsville, we walked over to the Northumberland
Historical Society and looked thru books etc. Had I known
they had so many books, we would have allowed a couple of hours
or more for this. From here we went to Richmond Co. to Farnham
Parish. The lady there let us in as arranged on Friday, and she
contacted a minister who came and talked to us about the history
of the early church, etc. He was very good. He knew his early
history and we enjoyed listening to him talk. Afterwards it was
back to Richmond and many departed even before going back to
Richmond. All of the PA groups left from Northumberland Co. to
head for home. The rest of us drove to the hotel and some of
us went out to dinner before we called it a day.
The next morning the cousins from FL and IL and Barbara and
I went to the airport for our flights home.
I have had several emails already expressing what a great
time everyone had in VA. I am delighted you all enjoyed the trip.
I did too. I was a bit sad as this WAS the last convention. I
said that 9 years ago. I decided to have one more and this was
for sure the last one. I know some of you are trying to convince
me to have yet another, but it is just too much work and I am
not getting any younger.