Shirleys of Dalbury, Radbourne, Shottle
- Derbyshire Co. (see
Submitted by D. J. Shirley - research done by his 1st cousin,
John W. Shirley and Jerry, his wife, with additional research
performed by the Shirley Association
Charles Shirley born about 1821,
son of William Shirley of Dalbury Lees Derbyshire; living in
Shottle, Derbyshire in 1841 census with wife Hannah and 2 month
old child John Shirley in the household of William Goodwin (grandfather
of son Thomas Shirley); Living at Barlbro farm at Barlborough,
Derbyshire in 1851, born Dalbury, Derbyshire
married Hannah Goodwin on 17 Dec 1839 at Church Broughton,
Derbyshire England; Daughter of Thomas Goodwin (named in marriage
2(i). John William Shirley born April 2, 1841 Radbourne,
Derbyshire England (date according to a gold-headed cane given
him on his 75th birthday); He was christened 30 May 1841 at Radbourne;
He was a successful landscape gardner in the old country and
was employed by different members of the English nobility residing
in the vicinity of Derby. In 1866 he emigrated to the United
States and located in St. Louis, Missouri, where he remained
for two years. At the expiration of the time he removed to Springfield,
Illinois, settling just outside the city limits. There he purchased
thirteen acres of land and engaged in truck gardening, meeting
with success. Through his thrift and enterprise he managed to
aquire sufficient capital to enable him to purchase a farm of
three hundred aces of excellent land near Minburn, Dallas County,
Iowa USA. He died 1918 in Iowa USA. Shirleys
of Illinois and Iowa USA
married Margaret Hailstone.
3(i). William Goodwin Shirley born 1877 Springfield,
Volume II of the History of
Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913
One of the most popular and
public-spirited citizens of Swea City is William Shirley, superintendent
of the public schools. He was born in the vicinity of Springfield,
Illinois, on the 17th of January, 1877, and is a son of John
and Margaret (Hailstone) Shirley. William Shirley attended the
district schools in his native county until the family removed
to Iowa, when he entered the high school at Minburn, graduating
with the class of 1896. In the autumn following he began his
career as a teacher, but he temporarily withdrew from this at
the end of a year to attend Ames College. He pursued a civil
engineering course there for a year, then returned to Dallas
county and taught for four years. From there he went to Waukee,
to accept the position of principal of the high school, capably
discharging the duties of this office for three years. In 1906
he came to Swea City as superintendent of the new high school,
and has since been located here. That he has filled the position
in a highly creditable and capable manner is manifested by the
period of his term of service, and the regard in which he is
held by both parents and pupils and the community generally.
The Swea City high school was built during the summer and fall
of 1903, at a cost of ten thousand dollars and opened in the
fall of that year, under Superintendent C. A. Smith. The average
daily attendance in the grades and high school is one hundred
and twenty-five pupils. The enrollment has increased during the
intervening period, while the standard of scholarship has greatly
improved under the capable supervision and direction of Mr. Shirley.
He has worked tirelessly in his efforts to raise the educational
standard and has had the satisfaction of seeing it develop until
Swea City schools are now ranked with the best in Kossuth county.
Mr. Shirley is a man of high ideals and noble purposes and strives
to stimulate those who are privileged to study under him, not
only to high mental achievements but to a recognition of their
duties to the community and society at large. Although he fully
appreciates the value of intellectual attainments, he never permits
that to overshadow the higher or nobler purpose of education,
and endeavors so far as possible to preserve the individuality
of his pupils and to assist them to become strong, self-reliant
men and women. In 1900, Mr. Shirley was united in marriage to
Miss Grace Barger, a daughter of Samuel and Emma (Partello) Barger,
the father a native of Ohio, but of German extraction, while
the mother was born in Connecticut and is of Yankee descent.
When a lad of ten years Mr. Barger came west with his mother,
who located on a farm in the vicinity of Boone, Iowa. There he
was reared and married, continuing to reside upon the farm until
1884, when he went to South Dakota and took up a homestead. He
cultivated it for seven years, then returned to Boone. At the
end of a year he removed to Minburn, Dallas county, and there
the mother died in 1899. He remained on his farm there, however,
until 1912, when he came to Kossuth county and rented a farm
seven miles north of Swea City. Three children have been born
to Mr. and Mrs. Shirley, as follows: Hale, who was born on the
27th of September, 1901; Pearl, whose birth occurred on January
23, 1904; and William, whose natal day was the 27th of September,
1908 [SAssoc ed: he is John in the census]. The two elder children
are attending school. Both Mr. and Mrs. Shirley are members of
the Methodist Episcopal church, and take an active interest in
the work of its various organizations. While living at Minburn
he belonged to the Good Templars lodge and at Waukee he joined
the Knights of Pythias fraternity. His political views accord
with the principles of the republican party, but at municipal
elections he frequently casts an independent ballot, considering
that it is more a question of the man best qualified for the
office than of political issues. Although he is deeply interested
in all municipal affairs, he has never taken an active part in
local politics, feeling that the first and highest claim on his
time and energies is his school work. He is most conscientious
in the discharge of his duties, and this together with his progressive
methods, makes him a leader in the intellectual life of the community.
married Grace Barger
4(i). Hale Shirley born 27 Sept 1901
4(ii). Pearl Shirley born 23 January 1904
4(iii). John William Shirley born 27 September 1908
American educator and author
John Shirley (1908-1988), internationally recognized as one of
the few authorities on Thomas Harriot, was directly responsible
for elevating Harriot's status in history. Shirley, a native
of Swea City, Iowa, graduated with honors from the University
of Iowa with a bachelor's degree in literature and physics, and
later a doctorate in literature and philosophy. He taught English
at Michigan State University and in 1949 was appointed dean of
liberal arts at North Carolina State University before becoming
provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University
of Delaware in 1962. He served as acting president of the University
from 1967-1968, and in 1972 he was named H. Fletcher Brown Research
Professor in the History of Science. In recognition of his significant
contributions to scholarship, the University awarded him its
highest award, the Medal of Distinction, in 1982. Shirley began
his studies of Thomas Harriot during his John Simons Guggenheim
Fellowship in 1947, during which time he researched Harriot's
unpublished manuscripts. Once Shirley had located all of the
known manuscripts, many of which had been neglected for over
a century, he then spent decades examining and evaluating them.
The result of his research includes several works on Harriot
such as the first Harriot biography, Thomas Harriot: A Biography
(1983). He also published Scholarly Publishing at the University
of Delaware (1975) and Sir Walter Raleigh and the New World (1985).
Shirley died at the age of 80, while on vacation in San Antonio,
Texas, in 1988.
3(ii). Thomas Jefferson Shirley born 1879 Illinois
3(iii). Walter Scott Shirley born 1881 Illinois
3(iv). Ruth Shirley born 1883 Illinois
3(v). Anna Shirley born 1883 Illinois
3(vi). Laura Shirley born 1889 Illinois
3(vii). John Wesley Shirley born Iowa
3(viii). Jessie May Shirley born 24 May 1896 at Sugar
Grove Township, Dallas Co Iowa
3(ix). Ian McLaren Shirley born 12 Sep 1898 at Sugar
Grove Township, Dallas Co Iowa
2(ii). Phoebe Shirley born about 1842; chr 9 Apr 1843
at Radbourne Derbyshire; living in Barlborough, Derbyshire in
2(ii). Thomas Shirley born about 1845; chr 22 May 1847
at Radbourne, Derbyshire; Living Barlborough in 1851; living
with his grandparents in Shottle Derbyshire in 1861 census
2(iii). William Shirley born about 1847; chr 17 Apr
1847 at Radbourne Derbyshire; Living in Barlborough in 1851
2(iv). Elizabeth Shirley born about 1849; chr 8 Apr
1849 at Radbourne Derbyshire; Living in Barlborough in 1851
2(v). George Shirley born about 1851 Barlborough, Derbyshire;
living with his grandparents in Shottle Derbyshire in 1861 census
My wife, Jerry, and I had three uncommitted days in England
in May 1977 and ;mellowly decided to use them to see what, if
anything, we could do to push our Shirley connections back beyond
the grandfather for whom I was named. The basic facts on which
we might build were sparse.
My grandfather, John William Shirley's birthday was April
2, 1841, according to a gold-headed cane in my possession, given
him on his 75th birthday.
According to a statement written by my father for his biography
in the HISTORY OF KOSSUTH COUNTY, IOWA, published in 1913 when
my grandfather was still alive reads....
John Shirley (John W's... grandfather), was born and reared
at Shottle, a village near Derby, England, and is of Norman extraction......
John Shirley was a successful landscape gardner in the old country
and was employed by different members of the English nobility
residing in the vicinity of Derby.
In 1866 he emigrated to the United States and located in
St. Louis, Missouri, where he remained for two years. At the
expiration of the time he removed to Springfield, Illinois, settling
just outside the city limits. There he purchased thirteen acres
of land and engaged in truck gardening, meeting with success.
Through his thrift and enterprise he managed to aquire sufficient
capital to enable him to purchase a farm of three hundred aces
of excellent land near Minburn, Dallas County, Iowa USA.
Preliminary study by going through British Gazetteers had
revealed no town or village bearing the name of Shottle, so the
"near Derby" seemed the best place to start our inquires.
We boarded a train to Derby and found a guest house within
walking distance of the railway station. The desk attendant produced
a large-scale map which showed not only shottle as a rural community,
buy a village of Shirley, as well, which he insisted was the
well-spring of the Shirley family. He also informed us that the
local records were not maintained in Derby, as we supposed, but
were housed at Matlock, where the County Council offices were---eighteen
miles from Derby. We had to rent a car and by a map and off to
Matlock we went.
We met Miss Sinar who was most helpful. she produced histories,
maps and directories of Derbyshire for various periods of the
nineteenth century. She said we were fortunate in that grandfather
was born in 1841, (when the first British census was taken),
and made arrangements for us to be assigned for census micro-film
reader for the period from 1-5 PM that afternoon.
We checked out the reels containing the township of Shottle
and threaded into our reader, and began our search. We found
no Shirley. Then...noticed that the reel was split and checked
out the second reel with the other half of Shottle township.
Suddenly, I stopped cranking, there was a William Goodwin
and living in his household was a Charles Shirley who was 20
years old, a wife, Hannah Shirley who was eighteen and a son,
John, two months old. I turned to the date of the census and
it was June 8, 1841... thus 2 months would be correct as John
was born in April.
No coincidence could account for two babies of the same
name to be born in the same township in the same week. The John
Shirley born at Radbourne was John Shirley who later told his
son he had been born in Shottle; my grandfather's memory was
We hurriedly checked out the reels of 1851 census for the
Parish of Radbourne to follow the Goodwins and Shirleys and were
in for a slight shock. They were no longer there!
In 1861 census grandfather John Shirley had reappeared
as a "Farm Servant" and living with his grandparents.
Also living with their grandparents were two of John's younger
brothers, THOMAS 16 years and GEORGE 10 years, who was in school.
George Shirley was new on the scene (1851 Thomas was living
with the Goodwins). This could give us a clue as to where the
Charles Shirley family moved when they left Radbourne, and sure
enough, he was listed as having been born in Barlborough.. The
census for Barlbourgh for 1851 and 1861 were missing. so that
proved to be a dead end. The library was closing and we found
a lovely country Inn in Ashbourne and spent part of the evening
reviewing our records and planning for visits the next day to
localities from which these people came, both to view our roots
and to take pictures for a permanent record.
We first drove to Shottle, the town which we had so long
associated with my grandfather. One of the residents, surprised
by our stopping, came out in the rain to see what we were doing.
She pointed us in the direction of Holly House where my Shirleys
had lived. There it was almost exactly as it must have been in
1866 when they packed up and headed for Derby on their first
leg of their journey to the fabled land of America. We traveled
around to some of the other areas and saved a half day to visit
the Public Records Office in London. We wanted to plug the gap
in the Charles Shirley family.
In London, the census room was much busier that the Derbyshire
Public Library. There were about sixty micro-film readers at
long tables, most of them busy. Number thirteen was open and
since I am not superstitious, I took it. They informed me I could
only have one reel at a time and I requested the 1841 Radbourne.
I checked for discrepancies and found none. I got the second
reel- for 1851census of Barlborough. I turned the sheets of Barlborough
and read slowly and sure enough... item #39 told the story; there
laid out before me was the whole Charles Shirley family, with
the exception of Thomas, age 6 who was recorded as as being at
Holly House, Shottle, visiting his grandparents at the time of
the census...1851. The remainder of the Shirley family was at
Barlbro Farm; Charles Shirley, age 31, farmer of 62 acres, and
Hannah, his wife, age 27, John (my grandfather), age 9, Phoebe,
age 8, William age 4, Elizabeth, age 2, and George, one month
The arrival of the 1841 census of Dalbury and Lees wound
up my search. It met with success, or so it seems. On page 10
of this census, in a house designated as "THE LEES"
IN DALBURY, lived a family of three. The head was William Shirley
aged 60, his wife, aged 55, and one child, Roseeta, aged 10.
William was listed as AG Labaourer. Charles Shirley listed his
place of birth as Dalbury Lees and these Shirleys lived on a
farm called "THE LEES" in DALBURY, gives practical
assurance that they must have been his parents.
Our search had gone as far as our time would permit.