Shirleys of Kilkenny Ireland

Lineage Chart: Shirley of Kilkenny


Shirley heritage vacation tip: Stay in a cottage on the grounds of historic Croan House in County Kilkenny, Ireland. 

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Likely father of John Shirley of Croan, County Kilkenny

Paul Shirley of Ballykeal County Wexford, farmer. Held lands of Toumbrick and Coolegarrow as primary tenant of Shapland Carew. The tenancy was terminated by Carew due to a 'great arrear of rent'. Sons John Shirley (likely later of Croan Kilkenny) and Thomas Shirley (likely later of Belmount Kilkenny) were named in the original 1742 tenancy agreement.

1742 Dublin Deed Registry Vol 104 page 514 - 3 June 1742 Shapland Carew to Paul Shirley - Shapland Carew of Woodstowne in Co Waterford esq demised unto Paul Shirley of Ballykeal in Co Wexford farmer town and lands of Toumbrick and Coolegarrow then late in the possession of Mr Walter Devereux situated in the Barony of Scarwalsh and Co Wexford [excepting woods, minerals, etc] to hold unto the said Paul Shirley from the Twenty Fifth day of March then last past during the natural lives of the said Paul Shirley and Jno Shirley and Thomas Shirley sons of the said Paul Shirley and the survivor and survivor of them from of immediately after the decease of the survivor fo them to Hold sd premises for 21 years at yearly rent of L90. Said indenture of Lease is witnessed by Robert Wiley servant to the sd Shapland Carew and Arthur Shepheard of the City of Dublin Publ Not. Memorial witnessed by sd Shepheard and Jno Gaddiz of same city cordwainer. Paul Shirley <seal> Registered 4 June 1742.

John Shirley of Croan, Kilkenny, gent.

1. John Shirley, of Croan, Kilkenny, gent. - born about 1721. Appears in Kilkenny documents as early as 1761 "of Croan, Kilkenny, farmer". Held 398 acres of town and lands of Belmount. Died before 1794 [per a document indicating he is deceased] Will dated 1 Dec 1791. Proven 19 June 1793 [per Betham's Abstracts], naming sons John and Paul Shirley. This John Shirley leased his lands at Belmount to Thomas Shirley [per a 1794 document involving members of this family and the Shirleys "of Belmount"]

married Sarah "Shirly" in 1741 [index of marriage bonds in the Diocese of Ossery, Ferns, and Leighlin]. Appears to have "separated" by 1779 [deed of separation: "Wife accepted payment of 20 pounds sterling annually for the rest of her life. Relinquish all claims she might have]


2(i). John Shirley "the younger "of Croan, esquire. - born, say 1745. Involved in land transaction called Monagore and the Chapelle Quarter (24 acres) in the Barony of Kells, Kilkenny in 1790. Held 100 acres at Ballynacooly called Corrabeney in the barony of Knoctopher, Kilkenny [1802], held 33 acres of Closeregg in the barony of Gowran, Kilkenny [1804], 9 acres and a dwelling house at Balyduffe called Mount Argula Conly in the barony of Gowan [1806], 57 acres called Clonbugg in the barony of Knoctopher [1810]. His will was dated Dec 17 1810 and probated Feb 25, 1811. Directed to be buried in the family burial place in the churchyard of Aghaviller. Named his niece Mary Shirley, daughter of his brother Paul. Also named daughter Mary, and cousin Thomas Shirley who he granted his lands at Garrynaman. He named next an unidentified John Shirley to whom he granted lands at Newland. The residual of his estate was granted to brother Paul Shirley. He granted his son Paul an annuity out of lands at Croan "after he reaches 21"

married Naomi Reade, spinster and elder daughter of Henry Reade, esq. of the town of Wexford about Dec 7 1799 [by marriage agreement which conveyed lands of Sheepstown, Garrynaman and Croan]. She instituted a petition for divorce in 1807 in the Consistorial Court of Ossery Diocese. "had agreed to live separate lives and any disputes to be referred to barristers." Involved 107 acres at Ballynacooley, lands of Clopregg known as Bishopes Hills in the barony of Gowan, Kilkenny, 310 acres within the town lands of Kilmanogue, Kilkenny, 140 acres within the town lands of Sheepstown called Ballinvadory Garealeagh.


3(i). Paul Shirley - likely identified in 1828 as "of Sheepstown, Kilkenny". named in father's 1810 will under age of 21. Therefore born, say 1800 [1 year after marriage to Naomi Reade]. Place in the care of his uncle Paul Shirley upon his father's death.

3(ii). Mary Shirley - named in her father's 1810 will

2(ii). Paul Shirley of Ballintee [1794], of Meyne [1810], of Croan [1811] gent. - born, say 1750. Died prior to 1821 [document stating somewhat contradictory that he is deceased]. Possibly the same Paul Shirley who married Frances Eaton in 1790 [per Index of Marriage Bonds]


3(i). Mary Shirley - unmarried as of 1810. Named in 1810 will of uncle John Shirley of Croan

Likely the son of John Shirley 'the younger' and Naomi Reade:

Paul Shirley of Cloughscreg Kilkenny, Ireland. May have died about 1837 if one family story is correct.

Mar 14 1804 Registry of Deeds Vol 567 pg 14. Lands at Closecregg - John Shirley to Edmund Walsh - Received of lease between John Shirley of Croan Kilkenny esq of 1st part and Edward Walsh of Mang Kilkenny farmer and James Walsh and Patrick Walsh of same place of 2nd part. Lands of Closeregg 33 acres formerly held by Edward Hanrahan in Barony of Gowran Kilkenny for 41 years. Wit: Peter Walsh of the Roare Kilkenny farmer, Thomas Shirley of Croan Aforesaid land steward Sworn 2 Aug 1804. - Registry of Deeds Dublin

15 August 1822 Registry of Deeds Vol 808 page 454 - Lands of Corrabelly and Ballinacooly - Deed of release between Richard Reade Esq and Naomi Reade otherwise Shirley wife, of Cottage Co Tipperary, Thomas Shirley of Garrynaman, Paul Shirley of Cloghscregg gent both of the co of Kilkenny and John Shirley of the City of Killkenny of the one part and John Walsh of the City of Kilkenny aforesaid esq of the 2nd part. [Grantors named again] released unto the said John Walsh all right title interest claim to the town and lands of Corrabelly containing 187 acres also lands of Ballinacole or Ballinacooly containing 117 acres situate in the Barony of Knocktopher formerly belonging to Robert Walsh esq but have for some time past in the actual possession of the said John Walsh by deed...Rents etc that theretofore belonged to John Shirley late of Croan deceased. Wit Martin Slathery of City of Kilkenny writing clerk, Thomas Wilson of Carrick on Suir in co Tipperary. Paul Shirley <seal> John Walsh <seal> Registerd 29 November 1825.(2 Feb 1827 Vol 820 page 593, lease to Walsh)

married Jane Walpole; She was the sister of William and Robert Walpole of Cloghscregg Kilfane Parish, Kilkenny; She is likely the Jane Shirley who died in 1867 in Thomastown district, age 74 (born 1793)


1(i). John Shirley chr 13 May 1822 at Thomastown Catholic Parish, Kilkenny (likely the same person as next)

1822 May 13 - John Shurley chr to Paul Shirley and wife Jane Walpole of Cloughscreg - Ireland Catholic Parish Registers, Ossery, Thomastown

1(ii). William John Shirley born 13 May 1823 (source: findagrave, likely 1822, see above) likely at Cloughscreg Thomastown Catholic Parish, Kilkenny. Migrated to Michigan USA in 1841 at the age of 19; He married in Allegan Co MI in 1851. He lived in Allegan Co Michigan in 1860, 1870, and 1880 US Federal census. He died 4 March 1913. Buried Millgrove Cemetery, Allegan Co Michigan ( His marriage record in Michigan names his parents

Email from Christine: "My 3-great grandfather William John Shirley born May 13 1824 died Allegan Michigan wrote a fifteen year diary from 1881 to 1883 and from 1886 to 1898 of which I am currently transcribing. On his 73rd year of birth he wrote of "a time lived at Croan House, the ancient home of the Shirley's. A lovely place and full of ghosts as an average graveyard." I understand, from all my reading/typing, his father died when William was 13 years of age

Diary: May 13 [1897] - Seventy three years ago I was brought into this queer world at the home of aunt Mary and Uncles William and Robert Walpole in Colsgregg, 3 miles south of the pretty little town of Thomastown on the lovely river Nore, and some 11 miles SE of the famous city of Kilkenny. Full one half of my youth was spent there, a hundred times happier than the time lived at Croan House, the ancient home of the Shirleys. A lovely place and full of ghosts as an average graveyard. I wonder who lives on it now. I should like very much to revisit it and take a good look at it, drink out of its famous spring and bathe in the pond." - William John Shirley

married 1) Emily A. Howe on 1 July 1851 at Allegan Co Michigan. She died 2 November 1901 at Allegan Co Michigan.

1851 July 1 - William J Shirley age 30 (b 1821) married Emily A Howelett, age 25 (b 1826) at Allegan Michigan.

married 2) Eliza B Howlett on 4 October 1903 at Heath Allegan Co Michigan

1903 Oct 4 - William J Shirley age 80 born Ireland (1823) son of Pall Shirley and Jane Walpole married Eliza B Howlett at Heath, Allegan Co Michigan


2(i). Henry W. Shirley died 21 January 1857, no doubt in infancy; Parents named on tombstone, buried Millgrove Cemetery, Allegan Co Michigan

2(ii). Willis Herbert Shirley born 20 April 1856 at Allegan Co Michigan. His obituary was published on 30 August 1928. He was a fruit grower in Allegan Co Michigan

1928 August 30 - Obituary - Allegan Fruit Grower Drops Dead at Home - William H Shirley, 72, prominent fruit grower of Millgrove, Allegan county, dropped dead in his home late yesterday. He was born in Millgrove and had passed his life there. Surviving are the widow and three sons, Tracy, Allegan; Roscoe, South Bend, Ind. and Maxwell, San Diego Cal.

married Mary A. Haskins on 9 April 1878 at Allegan Co Michigan

married Edith Mott on 28 August 1883 at Concord, Jackson Co Michigan; age 57 in 1920 census household; named as mother of both Roscoe and Lyle Maxwell Shirley in their birth records.


3(i). Tracy B Shirley (male) born 20 August 1879 (, son of William Shirley and wife Mary Haskins,age 1 in 1880 census. Living at Allegan Co Michigan at time of his father's death in 1928. He died 25 March 1962 at Allegan Co MI. Buried at Oakwood Cemetery.

married Nina M Van Kenren on 8 November 1899 at Allegan, ?Iona Co Michigan. She was the daughter of James Van Kenren.

3(ii). Roscoe Roe Shirley born 26 August 1889 in Allegan Co Michigan. Son of William H. Shirley and Edith Mott. Worked as a production clerk at the Cadillac Motor Company in Detroit Michigan at the time of WWI Draft in 1917. He was married. Records state his left limb was paralyzed. Living at South Bend Indiana at time of his father's death in 1928. ?Living Troy NY in 1920. Father born Ireland. Mother born England. Oddly, a John Bateman Shirley (of a Scottish Shirley family) is a boarder in his household in the census.

married Grace Case on 26 August 1909 in Allegan Co Michigan. Daughter of John Case and Olive Schermerhorn.

?married May ______ born about 1886 Ohio. Father and mother born Germany (wife in 1920 census)


4(i). ?William H. Shirley born about 1919 NY, age 1 in 1920 census

4(ii). Ruth Amelia Shirley. She married George Edward Hicks in 1932 in Allegan Co Michigan. Parents named at time of marriage.

4(iii). Marie Shirley. She married Joseph Vanfulpen in 1936 in Kalamazoo Michigan. Parents named at time of marriage.

2(iii). Lyle Maxwell Shirley born 3 November 1903, age 16 in 1920 family census household; age 26 in 1930 census. Living at San Diego California at time of his father's death in 1928. British Airways passenger list shows Lyle and his wife flew from London to New York in 1947. He died 7 March 1978 in San Diego Co California

married Emily Maynard on 21 May 1927 in Orange County California

1(iii). Mary Ann Shirley chr 20 Feb 1825 at Thomastown Catholic Parish, Kilkenny

1825 February 20 Mary Ann Shirley chr to Paul Shirley and Jane Walpole of Closreg; Sponsored by Henry Walpole and Maria Murphy

1(iv). James Shirley chr 11 July 1828 at Thomastown Catholic Parish, Kilkenny

1828 July 11 James Shurley chr to Paul Shurley and Jane Walpole of Cloughsreg. Sponsors Wm Walpole and Mary Walpole for, Anty Hoyne. Thomastown Catholic Parish Register

1(v). Paul Shirley (Jr) chr 4 April 1832 at Thomastown Catholic Parish, Kilkenny

4 April 1832 Paul Shurley chr to Paul Shurley and Jane Walpole of Cloughscreg; Sponsors Robt Walpole and Mary Power (by proxy) - Thomastown Catholic Parish Register

1(vi). Jane Shirley born 25 July 1834 Ireland. She died 9 October 1912 at Williamsburg, Hampshire Co Massachusetts USA . Married John Welsh/?Walsh/?Welch. Likely same Jane Welch living Williamsburg Hampshire Co MA, age 74, widow, b Ireland in 1910 census. This person immigrated in 1850, Walch in 1900 census, Welsh in 1880, all same town and county. (source: death record, parents named.)

The drive leading to historic Croan House, Kilkenny Ireland

A Stray family whose connection cannot be determined as yet

1. John Shirley of Templeorum, Kilkenny. Held 182 acres of land at Templeorum, Kilkenny. Deceased by 1781 [per document involving the grant of his lands]

married Joanna otherwise Byrne, otherwise Gallawan, mother of:

2.i John Shirley of Templeorum, Kilkenny - granted 182 acres of land of Templeorum in 1781 by mother Joanna Shirley to be "held for the natural life of Sarah, wife of John Shirley of Croan". Regranted the same lands to other parties in the same year.

Taken from a letter written in 1988 by a member of the Shirley Association.

"I felt I should have no trouble fitting the pieces into place. The more I read the more confusing it became. KNOCKABRANNA I found was only 2miles from Coolcullen and John Shirley came to Burnchurch from there. I did not find the name PAUL in his family. After reading your Shirley NEWS, I took off on John Shirley of Croan who in 1761 lesed 398 acres in Bellmouth. I followed my imagination last Sunday and to my surprise, I discovered the headstone in a remote graveyard ACHAVILLAR in KNOCKTOPHER BARONY. A Shirley was known to have had land near KNOCKTOPHER and BELLMOUNT. The headstone is in very bad shape and the writing is almost worn off. No year could be found there, just the words: ERRECTED BY PAUL SHIRLEY OF CROAN IN THE MEMORY OF HIS FATHER JOHN SHIRLEY, ESQ.There are more Shirley names but the Christian names are missing from the rain, etc.

I did meet a man who told me that Thomas Shirley was in Garnamon in 1830-1850 and he took for g ranted that James Shirley the coroner was his son. The lands of Garnamon were 345 acres and April 25, 1860 James Shirley became legal owner. Some of this acreage was leased to tenants leaving 213 acres with Garnamon House.



The following letters were submitted by member, Bill Shirley on January 17, 2008.

Email: ...As for the typed letter, I got it from Donna Wagner I think it was a preacher that wrote it, but I can't remember his name. I may have it in my e-mails, or some of the papers that she has sent me. As for the hand written letter was written by Allison ( Fulton ) Thurrott In August 1941 material coming from her mother ( Matilda Fraser Fulton )and from her aunt ( Annie Fraser Shirley.) I got it from Carmen Glenn he is a descendent of Jessie Shirley and Alfred Glenn. Hope this helps;

- Bill




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