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

Welcome to the
Shirley Association

The Shirley Association is a worldwide family organization designed to preserve the Shirley heritage for future generations, to unite Shirley descendants of each Shirley family branch, and to provide assistance to Shirley Association members as they search for their Shirley roots. Welcome Message

 Contact Information

Join the Shirley Association!

Membership is open to anyone who has a Shirley ancestry.
Your support will be greatly appreciated as we continue
to work on the Shirley heritage.
Sneak Preview: Preview inside the members' section

Browse the Research Data Archives!!

Search this website
Search Engine

 This website last updated 26 April 2016

Shirley DNA Project Testing is open to all males with the Shirley surname

Free DNA Tests -
The Shirley Association announces free DNA tests for a limited number of Shirleys who currently live in England. Contact for more details to see if you qualify.

  Query Board 
Post your Shirley family query or read the queries of other researchers at this message board.

tree  Shirley Family Branches Search for your ancestors from hundreds of Shirley pedigrees from all over the world.

Historical Photo Collection collection of historic photographs submitted by friends and members over the last 30 years.

Shirley News Archive A complete archive of Betty Shirley's Shirley News, dating from late 1970s to mid-1990s NEW!

Forms and Charts Use these free forms and charts to organize and present your Shirley research.

Donate to Research Efforts
The Shirley Association is not a profit-making enterprise (quite the opposite). Please consider donating money to our joint research effort.

Contact Information
This page provides all of the needed information to either write or email the Shirley Association. Meet the 2nd President of the Shirley Association

History of the Shirley Association
2008 represents the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Shirley Association. Learn about the history of the Shirley Association.

Conventions and Meetings
Read about the many Association conventions and meetings held around the world.

Shirley Family Reunions 2015!!
This page announces all pending Shirley family reunions complete with time, place, and contact information.

Are you having a Shirley reunion? Contact the Shirley Association and we will post the announcement. 

Search Engine

Shirley Books and Publications
Shirley Families of Jamaica, West Indies
A published family history of the descendants of Henry Shirley, esq. of Hyde Hall, Jamaica W.I. Almost 500 pages. Many descendants live today in Jamaica and USA. Order your copy today! $29.95 + s/h 

Betty Shirley
Founder, the Shirley
1937 - 2009

Sign the book of
tribute and condolences

View a tribute to Betty's work as the founder of the Shirley Association

Read about Betty's life here 


Shirley News and Notices Blog
Check this section regularly to monitor our news, alerts, and notices.

indicates information posted on a members-only webpage.

April 26, 2016

Posted the following item that points to Shirley/Shelly surname transformation to the Bristol MA page in the members' section.

Benjamin Shelly (Bristol Co MA 1780 Original Will of Benjamin Shelly)


1. Abiather Shelly d 1777

2. Libeus Shelly/Shirley? (married Bethana Wilbur in Bristol Co, moved to Franklin Co MA)

3. Job Shelly/Shirley? (married Mary Wilbur in Bristol Co, moved to Franklin Co MA, then NY, son Abiather Shirley lived in Ohio?)

Posted the 1846 will of Richard Shirley to the Blair Co PA page in the members' section

Blair Co PA

1846 Blair Co PA WB AB page 183, page 184, page 185 - Will of Richard Shirley

Posted the following 1875 will of Thomas Shirley Sr of Conemaugh Twp to the Indiana Co PA page in the members' section

Indiana Co PA

1875 June 3 (probated) Indiana Co PA WB 4 page 259, page 260 - Will of Thomas Shirley Sr of Conemaugh Township

April 6, 2016

PROJECT COMPLETE! - Betty Shirley's daughter Delaine has scanned each of her mother's Shirley News from original paste-ups. Many editions include very high quality original photographs!

Betty Shirley published the Shirley News from the late 1970s till the mid 1990s. She even published a dozen separate news editions specifically for non-US Shirleys.

The new Shirley News Archive is a treasure for generations to come. Thanks Delaine!!

April 4, 2016

I am still on the trail of the ancestors and descendants of Alexander Shirley who died in 1831 in St Charles Co MO (see April 2, 2016 below). Evidence is mounting that either 1) Alexander is a child of John Shirley who died in next door Lincoln County and who was a member of the Valentine Shirley Branch #29, or 2) that Alexander is a heretofore unknown younger child of the same Valentine Shirley. Here is the will of John Shirley of Lincoln Co MO (s/o Valentine) whose estate problems with his Shirley family appear in St Charles Co MO and involve the administrator of the estate of Alexander Shirley (so big coincidence?)

1835 Will of John Shearly, dated Oct 3, 1835. Bequeath to John Foster all my right and interest in the following named negros Slave Milly and her children Henry, Lot, Alcy, Ben, Caroline, Sarah Jane and youngest and all personal property.... and he is to pay my brothers, Henry and Charles Shearly.  Wit: William Highsmith and F.K. Duncan.  Recorded Dec 25, 1835. (A-40) Will Book "A" & "B", 1825 - 1855 Similar slave names as owned by Alexander Shirley in next door St Charles Co MO in 1831. Alexander's estate record says slaves in dispute with Charles and Henry Shirley, same guys in dispute with their brother John Shirley who left the will above. See 1834 item below in April 2 posting.

April 2, 2016

I posted the following transcribed probate court records for Alexander Shirley deceased to the St Charles County Missouri page in the members' section.

1831 Feb 19 - Know ye that whereas Alexander Shirley of the county aforesaid (St Charles) died intestate as is said and William N Fulkerson having given satisfactory security and complied with other regulations of the law I give and grant authority to administrer all goods and chattles of said deceased lying within the state aforesaid.

1831 July Term - Book 1 pg 144 - Ordered that William N Fulkerson administrator of the estate of Alexander Shirley decd lease the tract of land belonging to said estate for the term of 3 years upon the most advantageous terms and make a report thereof to this court at next term for confirmation.

1832 March term - it is ordered that William N Fulkerson administrator of the estate of Alexander S. Shirley deceased rent out the real estate of said intestate for the term of one year.

1832 Dec term - It is ordered by the court that the administrator of the estate of Alexander S. Shirley deceased hire out the slaves belonging to said estate for the term of one year at the house of Widow Shirley in Cuivre Township on his taking bond with security.

1834 Feb term - Book 1 pg 261 - Ann B Shirley now Ann B Purdome vs Alexander Shirley estate - Notice in open court by the admr for $565.00 presented and continued until next term

1834 May term - Book 1 pg 280 - Alexander Purdome vs Alexander Shirleys est. - Demand presented at the last term of the court for $565 was this day examined by the court and $282.50 of the same allowed and ordered to be paid in the sd deft

1834 May term - Book 1 pg 283 - William N Fulkerson admr of the estate of Alexander Shirley decd came into court and made settlement which is in the [ ] and figures following

1834 May term - Book 1 pg 283 - The court appoint Dr Beriah Graham guardian of Minerva Jane Sherly orphan minor of Alexander Sherly deceased under the age of fourteen years on his giving bond and security in the sum of $600 with Samuel Stratsen and Thomas N Cunningham his securities bond to be taken in vacation. [note: released from guardianship April Term 1835]

1834 Aug term - Book 1 pg 291 - William N Fulkerson admr of estate of Alexander Shirley dec'd appeared in court made satisfactory proof that he had notified all persons….publication in a newspaper called "The Farmers and Mechanics Advocate" for 6 weeks…has sufficient personal estate to satisfy [debts] except the slaves which the interest of the estate requires should not be sold in consequence of a suit instituted in Chancery by Charles Shirley against the said Admr and John Shirley Snr to set aside the bill of sale to said Alexander for said negroes as fraudulent….tract of land in St Charles Co 150 acres purchased by Shirley on 11 March 1830

1835 July term - Book 1 pg 347 - William N Fulkerson admr of Alexander Shirley deceased by Campbell atty filed his annual settlement as follows:

1837 Dec term - Book 2 pg 75 - the court appoint William N Fulerson guardian of Minerva Jane John W and Clinton Shirley orphan minor heirs under the age of fourteen years of Alexander Shirley and order that he enter into bond in the sum of $2834.

1837 Dec term - Book 2 pg 77 - William M Campbell atty for Hezekiah Purdom and Ann his wife formerly the widow of Alexander Shirley dec'd moved the court to assign to said Ann her dower in the negroes belonging to said estate and Wm N Fulkerson guardian of all the heirs being in court the court order that Aelsey, Ben and Caroline be assigned to said Ann Purdom as her dower in the slaves of said estate but not to be delivered to said Ann until their present term of hiring expires…And all the other slaves of said estate are to be transferred by the admr to the guardian of the children of said Alexander Shirley dec'd.

1838 Sept term - Book 2 pg 128 - Ordered that Wm N Fulkerson admr of Alexander Shirley sell at public sale…a negro boy named Henry belonging to the estate of said deceased. One half of the purchase money to be paid in hand and the balance in nine months from the day of sale.

1840 Nov term - Book 2 pg 276 - Hezekiah Purdom plt vs Wm N Fulkerson guardian of Minerva Jane Shirley John William Shirley and Dewit Clinton Shirley deft. Demand petition for allowance

1841 Aug term - Book 2 pg 341 - William N Fulkerson admr of estate of Alexr Shirley filed in court his annual settlement

1841 Nov term - Book 2 pg 368 - Personally appeared in open court William N Fulkerson guardian of John Sherley and Dewit Sherley minor heirs of Alexander Sherley dec'd and filed his petition praying for partition of the slaves of said deceased

1842 Mar term - Book 2 pg 383 - Safitiser Rael who has intermarried with Minerva J Shirley one of the heirs of Alexander Shirley decd came into court and acknowledged that he has secured from William N Fulkerson full payment and satisfaction of all monies and slaves coming to said Minerva to her from her fathers estate.

1842 Mar term - Book 2 pg 385 - Wm Eckert and Wm M Campbell two of the commissioners appointed to make partition of the slaves of Alexander Shirley dec'd came into court and made their report allotting to Minerva Shirley a negro boy named Ben and a negro girl named Jane. To John Shirley a negro girl called Lolla a negro boy called Bob and a negro child also called Bob. The lad named appraised at one hundred dollars. To Dewit Clinton Shirley a negro girl named Manah and a negro girl named Caroline.


March 16, 2016

Shirley News Scanning Project - Betty Shirley's daughter Delaine is still hard at work scanning her mother's spectacular Shirley News. We have newly posted volumes dating from April 1985 through January 1990. More on the way!

Note: photos in these newsletters are amazing. Delaine is scanning using original photos and publishing mark-ups. If you or your parents attended one of the (many) Shirley conventions, please find the appropriate news edition, take a look at the photos. You might be in them!

UPDATE: newsletter volumes through Fall 1994 now uploaded

March 3, 2016

Here is an example of a small item I post about every other day to the website (but don't mention it here)

I found the following item this morning, and knew exactly the Shirley family he fit into.

[1490] Surrey Archealogical Collections - Prebendaries of Eardington [list] Master William Shurley occurs in 1490 [act book]

These grants (or jobs) tended to run in families, and I already had the following item posted to the website for Shropshire in the members' section:

1495 Grant to John Shirley chief clerk of the kitchen and Richard Shirley and either of them of the next presentation to the canonry called Erdyngton in the church of Bridenorth county Salop [Shropshire] - cal of patent rolls

The reason this interests me, is that the above John Shirley is part of the well known Shurley family of Isfield Sussex (earlier Herefordshire). He later became cofferer to King Henry VIII.

The Isfield Sussex Shirley family tree has not been properly researched in my opinion. I believe that strays and branches of this family might exist today!!

The above Richard Shirley (clearly a relative) is Richard Shirley of Ware Hertfordshire who died about 1505. He was a servant to the King's mother for a time. There are other relatives of this family who I have uncovered and have yet been able to trace their descendants. And so the mention of William Shirley in the newly found document mentioned above is yet ANOTHER untraced member (surely).

The Isfield Shurley family actually later married into the Wiston (Sussex) Shirley family who were a cadet branch of the main aristocratic Shirleys of Ettington. But the Isfield Shurleys were not related to the Shirleys, at least not as far back as the eye can see at the moment.

See my lineage for Shirleys of Prestign and Stockton Herefordshire

See my lineage for Shurleys of Isfield Sussex

February 14, 2016

SHIRLEY NEWSLETTER PROJECT UPDATE - Betty Shirley's daughter Delaine has very generously agreed to digitally scan her mother's original Shirley News manuscripts (the original printer paste-ups). Thank you, Delaine! This means that Betty's very hard and valuable work will be preserved and archived for generations to come. The following digital Shirley News editions have been added to the previously posted partial collection of Shirley News editions.

Shirley News (Jan 1981 - Jan 1985)

Vol. 1 No 11
Vol. 1 No 12
Vol. 1 No 13
Vol. 1 No 14
Vol. 1 No 15
Vol. 1 No 19
Vol. 1 No 20
Vol. 2 No 1
Vol. 2 No 2
Vol. 2 No 3
Vol. 2 No 4
Vol. 2 No 5
Vol. 2 No 6
Vol. 2 No 7

January 31, 2016

I posted the following merchant ledger index records to the Prince William Co VA page in the members' section. We have long possessed the details for Shirleys named in the Daniel Payne merchant ledger, but do NOT have details for the ledger of John Glassford

Prince William Co VA

Shirley ____; 1758-1776 Daniel Payne's Ledger, Book A, folio, 114
Shirley, George "security for Richard Shirley, Junr. 1775-1776 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 177
Shirley, John; 1758-1764 Daniel Payne's Ledger, Book A, folio, 114
Shirley, John; 1758-1764 Daniel Payne's Ledger, Book A, folio, 127
Shirley, John; 1758-1764 Daniel Payne's Ledger, Book A, folio, 133
Shirley, John Junior; 1763-1764 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 162
Shirley, John Junior; 1765 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 111
Shirley, John Junior; 1765-1766 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 88
Shirley, John Junior; 1767 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 142
Shirley, John Junior; 1767-1768 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 158
Shirley, Richard; 1768-1769 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 172
Shirley, Richard; 1768-1769 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 175
Shirley, Richard Senior; 1771-1772 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 125
Shirley, Richard Junior; 1771-1772 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 264
Shirley, Richard Senior; 1773-1774 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 186
Shirley, Richard Junior; 1773-1774 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 230
Shirley, Richard Junior; 1774-1775 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 162
Shirley, Richard; 1774-1775 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 186
Shirley, Richrd Senior 1775-1776 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 160
Shirley, Richard, Junior "Security by George Shirley" 1775-1776 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 177
Shirley, Thomas; 1758-1764 Daniel Payne's Ledger, Book A, folio 87
Shirley, William 1758-1764 Daniel Payne's Ledger, Book A, folio 114
Shirley, William 1758-1764 Daniel Payne's Ledger, Book A, folio 124
Shirley, William 1758-1764 Daniel Payne's Ledger, Book A, folio 133
Shirly, Richard Senior; 1765-1766 John Glassford and Company Ledger folio 202

January 10, 2016

I have been working with descendants of the Staffordshire Shirleys over the last 3 days (they live in Australia). We are trying to clean up and update the lineages we have for that particular Shirley cluster. This work motivated by the new DNA result for USA Branch #34 matching the DNA for these families.

I constructed the following research "work in progress" for the origins of Branch 34 Ferrers Shirley of London

Research on the English Origins of this Family New!

January 7, 2016

DNA News!! The very first DNA results for a male Shirley descendant of US Branch 34 Ferrers Shirley are now published. The family's DNA matches a group of English Shirleys who clustered in Staffordshire. This is Haplotype I

Matching Staffordshire Branches

England Branch Benjamin Shirley (m. Mary Ann Gilliam Sept 2, 1827 St. Alphage Parish, Greenwich, Kent)

England Branch Shirleys of Rewlach Staffordshire

England Branch Samuel Francis Shirley b. ca1817 MDX d Prestwich Lancs.

England Branch William Shirley of Alstonfield Staffordshire to Australia 1912

England Branch John Shirley b Hanley Staff. to Baltimore MD

December 18, 2015

I transcribed the following newspaper story about the death of Walter Shirley of Jefferson County WVA in 1873. He was part of Branch 21. He was notably the foreman of the jury that convicted John Brown, of the famous Harpers Ferry fame.

Spirit of Jefferson., February 04, 1873 - SAD ACCIDENT - This community was shocked on Friday last by learning of the sudden and untimely death of Mr. Walter Shirley, a highly respected and well-known citizen of this county, and brother of our Delegate in the Legislature, Jas. W. Shirley esq. It seems, from what we can learn, that Mr. S. started for home from the residence of Mr. Philip Gordon, at about dusk on Thursday evening, and a short time afterwards was found in the woods of Mr Ephraim Watson, by a little son of Mr. Gordon's with his head out of his body otherwise injured, having been thrown from his horse against a tree. Mr. Gordon immediately reparied to the spot and removed him to his house, where every effort was made to bring him to consciousness. All was unavailing, however and he expired in a few moments, having never spoken after the accident. The friends of the deceased have the sympathy of the entire community in their sad bereavement. His remains were attended to the grave on Sabbath last by a large concourse of relatives and friends.

Here is the original:

December 13, 2015

I posted the following newspaper abstract to the Vigo Co IN and Augusta Co VA pages in the members' section. This family is Branch 31.

30 June 1886 Staunton Spectator, Volume 63, Number 42 "Intelligence of the death of Mr Daniel Shurley which occurred recently at his residence in Vigo County Ind. has been received by his relatives here. Mr Shurley was 88 years of age. He had long since passed the allotted age of man; but of him it could be said with truth, he had not outlived his usefulness. He was a native of this county, and was raised near Churchville [August Co VA]. About the year, 1834, with his family, he left for the State of his adoption, and was a prominent and deservedly popular citizen above reproach. The deceased was a member of a very large family, only four of whom survive him - Mr. Wm. Shulrey of Churchville, Miss Nancy Shurley of Jenning's Gap, Mrs Sarah Bryan of this place and Mrs Fannie Sheets of Rockingham County."

December 3, 2015

New Shirley Book!! The modern history of the Shirley family of Ettington Warwickshire England, written by Alexandra Fielding. Available from Brewer Books in the UK. Read more (how to purchase)

November 17, 2015

I posted the following original probate document to the Orange Co IN and Vermillion Co IN pages in the members' section

Orange Co IN

1847 Orange Co IN WB 1 page 140 - Will of Henry Shirley

22 Dec 1847; 4 Jan 1848; Wife Catherine; children George, Garrett, John, Westly, Susannah, Harriet, Margaret Hertsel (formerly Shirley); Henry Brassie, heir of Ann Brassie (formerly Ann Shirley); "my scholarship in Indiana Asbury University." Exec: Andrew Wilson and George Shirley. Witness: not given

Vermillion Co IN

1856 Vermillion Co IN WB 1 page 77 Will of Edmund Shirley of Boone Co IN (See Branch #10 Argeland Shirley)

LW & T of Edmund Shirley of Boone Co, state of Indiana. That my daughter Aravina Amanda Malvina have all the houseold furniture which I am possessed at my death. That said daughter have possession of all my real estate for one year from the first of the next March aftre my decease free of rent. All other personal property not mentioned to be sold by my executors and divided among my children viz: Presley, Embley, P. Daniel, William Miletus, Doctor J, Bartlett, James S and my A. A. M Grragert...17 September 1856 <s> Edmund Shirley Wit: Joseph Helton and H. Sapham. [part of probate "that the said Edmund Shirley died on the 22nd of January 1860 at said county..."] Probated 4 February 1860.

1854 Vermillion Co IN WB [ ] page 212 Will of Jonathan Shirley of Augusta Co VA (also probated in Virginia)

I Jonathan Shirley of the county fo Augusta and state of Virginia do make and publish this my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all former wills by me at any time heretofore made and first I desire that my body be decently intered and as to such [ ] as it has pleased god to interest me with. I dispose of the same as follows: First I desire that all my debt and funeral expenses be apid as soon after my decease as possbile out of the first moneys that shall come into the hands of my executor from any portion of my estate real or personal first I wish for all my children to have an equal portion fo my estate with the exception herinafter mentioned my son William Shirley is not to have any thing as I have fully given him his portion in the farm I sold him. I wish the part that goes to my daughter Sarah Byan to go into the hands of my executors and he to give it to her and her children as he may think they hand in want of it and daughter Susannah McFall I wish to go into the hands of my executors and he to give his and her children her as he may think they need it. My son Jacob Shirley's children and my son Peter Shirley's children are to have their father's part of my estate which is to be an equal part of my estate. I wish all my children to have an equal part of my estate with the above exception. My lands if I have any at my death I wish to be sold by my executor to the best advantage that he may think proper and I haereby give him power to make a good and lawful title for the same all other property I wish to be turned into money and distributed as above directed. And I do hereby make and ordain my son William Shirley as my executor fo this my last will and testament. In witness whereof I Johnathan Shirley the testator have to this my last will written on one sheet of paper set my hand and seale this 4th of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty four. <s> Jonathan Shirley. Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of us who have subscribed in the presence of each other. Samuel Cline, Peter Cline, Solomon L. Smith. [In the court of Augusta County October 24th 1865. This last will and testament of Jonathan Shirley deceased was presented oin court and formed by the oaths of Samuel Cline and Peter Cline two of the subscribing witnesses therego who deposed that Jonathan Shirley the testator who was well known to them signed and acknowledged to said paper as his last will and testament at the house of Samuel Cline in the presence of Samuel Cline Peter Cline and Solomon L. Smith who all three signed and attested it as witnesses in his presence and in the presence of each other at his request and that the said Jonathan Shirley was then and there of sound of sound and disposing mind and memory whereoupon the said will was ordered to be recored Test William A Bennett clk. ]



View the archived postings>>


Home Page | Contact

© copyright Shirley Association
All Rights Reserved