1810 Apr 5 Franklin Co MA Deeds - Abiather Sherley to William
Whitaker DBk26/518 New Salem; Abiather Sherley of S[ ]les Ontario
County NY (wit: Job Sherly) Grantor Index (states: "for
Shelly, see Shirley")
"The early record of the Shirley family in Huron is
of particular interest to any historical account. The grandfather,
Abitha Shlrley, was one of the first pioneers in Huron, having
located in this part of Northern Ohio in the early years of the
last century. He did much to keep up the activities and to build
up the early town, having conducted one of the first inns or
hotels, and having secured a large tract of land, ail now in
the corporation limits, donated a block for town purposes, and
that site the present town hall stands. He was a man of prominence
and in his character and activities was a type of the early settler.
His death occurred us a result of the plague of cholera in 1834.
He was born in Massachusetts, possibly in the Village of Shirley,
and was one of the New Englanders who came, out to occupy a portion
of the "fire lands" in the Western Reserve not long
after the War Of 1812. One of his daughters, named Sarah, was
horn the peninsula off the shore of Huron in Erie County as early
as 1815. This daughter died after her marriage to Charles Atwater.
Abitha Shirley had four sons and two daughters, all of whom are
long since deceased." (page 777)
"A. Shirley came to Marblehead Peninsula in 1810,
with his wife's family, the Ramsdells. He resided on the peninsula
when the Indians killed the three pioneers whose death is commemorated
by a little granite slab near the Killey farm. It is said that
he took an active part in driving the savages away. He removed
to Huron in 1828 and kept the old red tavern for several years,
when he purchased the land known as South Huron and laid it out
in town lots. The surveying was done by S. Van Rensselaer and
B. Carman. Mr. Shirley built the Shirley House, at the corner
of Main and Berlin streets, in 1833. He died a year or two later
of Asiatic cholera. He was
an active and respected citizen, taking an important part in
all matters of general interest. His wife was noted for her benevolence,
intelligence and Christian spirit. The late W.B. Shirley, of
Huron, was a son of this pioneering couple (page 105).....The
first hotel [at Bloomingville] was started in 1812 by Abiather
Shirley (page 118)" (A Standard History of Erie County,
by Peeke, 1916)
Supreme Court of Ohio - 1834 Lessee of Reynolds and Wife
vs. Abigail Shirley - .....Shirley had made and duly executed
his last will and testament in 1834. By it he devised to the
defendant certain specific real estate, and added this general
clause, "All my other freehold estate whatsoever."
Shirley died in 1834, and the estate in controversy was obtained
after the execution of the will. The proof of reexecution was
to this effect.
Shirley was attacked with cholera, on August 23, 1834.
A witness testified that he was sent for by Shirley, on the same
23d of August; that he found Shirley sitting on his bed with
the will in his hand; Shirley said to the witness, "This
is my will; it was signed and witnessed in 1824, and 1 have called
you to witness it is my last will and testament." Arth.
Goodin was also present. Shirley said, " he supposed the
will would be good enough without any further witness, but it
would be well enough for witness and Mr. Goodin to write upon
it and put their names to it to show it was his will." Mr.
Goodin wrote a certificate in these words: "This is to certify
that the within is, as therein declared, my last will and testament,
acknowledged before those whose names are hereto subscribed,
this 23d day of August, 1834. "Subscribed as witnesses by
W. Goodin and G. S. Haskins. The witness, Haskins, states, that
this certificate was read to Shirley, who said his name was already
to the will, and requested Goodin and witness to sign the certificate,
and they did so. The witness testified that Shirley was of sound
mind at the time of this transaction. Probate of this will was
granted in November, 1834.
On the night of August 23, 1834, when the witness, Haskins,
entered the room of the testator, he found the testator sitting
upon the side of his bed, with a paper in his hand, and the testator
immediately addresses him by saying: "I have not called
you altogether for medical assistance, but to witness this paper.
It is my will."
1834 court case names the heirs of Abiather Shirley
Sally Atwater, the wife of Charles Atwater,
Elmira Munson, the wife of Carlos A. Munson,
John R. Shirley,
Charles Shirley, and
Barton Shirley, (the last four [are] minors [in 1834]).
married 1) Lydia Hewitt
1798 Aug 16 Abiather Shelly married Lydia Hewitt both of
Raynham pg 100. Marriage Intention 23 December 1797
Saturday, December 20, 2003, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Franklin
Co MA (This is where Abiathar SHIRLEY lived) 200 YEARS AGO -
1803 Notice! Whereas Lydia, my wife, has left my bed and board,
and has behaved herself in an unbecoming manner, this is therefore
to caution all persons from harboring or trusting her on my account,
as I am determined not to pay any debts of her contracting. -
Abiathar Shelly, New Salem.
married 2) Abigail Ramsdell on 17 Nov. 1816 in Huron
Co Ohio (marriage from 'Ramsdell sources'). She is enumerated
in the 1840 Erie Co OH census, a county formed in 1838 from Huron
Feb 23 1849, Sandusky Register (newspaper). Died. Port
Huron, on the 22nd of January. Mrs Abigail Shirley, relict of
the late Abiather Shirley, aged 62 years.
1(i). Sarah Shirley born Feb 12,
1812, first white child born in the area of Huron-Sandusky. She
married Charles Atwater Dec 23, 1832 in Huron Co OH; He was born
ca. 1800 Connecticut.
1(ii). Almira Shirley b. Aug 1, 1816 d. Dec 10, 1901
Detroit, MI. She married Carlos A. Munson
1(iii). Abigail Shirley She was a minor child
1(iv). John R Shirley born about 1821. He was a minor
child in 1834. He died 13 April 1873 at Huron Village Erie Co
Ohio, age 52 (born 1821), farmer, married. Parents: Abiathar
Shirley and Abigail Ramsdell - source: Ohio Deaths and Burials
1(v). Charles Shirley b. Albany NY. A minor child
in 1834. He was a sea Captain on the Great Lakes
1(vi). William Barton Shirley born Feb 23, 1825 in Huron, Ohio, a minor
child in 1834. He died Dec 31, 1887. Fisherman
[Standard History of Erie County Ohio, 1916, page 777]
Barton Shirley, one of the younger of the children, and the father
of the Shirley Brothers, was born in Huron, February 23, 1825.
The date of his birth of itself indicates an extraordinarily
early residence of the family in this community. The presence
of Lake Erie early attracted his energies, and he spent practically
all his active life as a fisherman. His death occurred on New
Year's Eve in 1887. He was married in Erie County to Rhoda Martin
who was born near Montreal, Canada, and when a small girl was
brought to Huron by her parents Francis and Angeline (Lafayette)
Martin. Her parents were of French parentage and both natives
Of Canada. Mr. and Mrs. Martin spent the rest of their lives
in Erie County and died when quite Old. Frank Martin, a brother
of Mr. Shirley's mother, lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and is now
ninety years Old the last of that Old pioneer family of Martins.
He was born near Mont- real, Canada. Rhoda Shirley Survived her
husband and died in Huron in 1908 at the age of eighty-one. She
was an attendant Of the Episcopal Church, and in politics both
the Shirley and Martin families Were early Whigs and later republicans.
married Rhoda Martin who was born near Montreal Canada
(this lineage previously stated her name was Lydia?). She died
children: (in census)
2(i). Abigail Shirley b abt 1849
2(ii). Charles Shirley 1850 Ohio
2(iii). Abiather Barton Shirley 1852 Ohio
2(iv). Francis (Frank) Shirley 1853 Ohio
2(v). Henry Shirley born August 14, 1856 at Huron County,
[Standard History of Erie County Ohio, 1916, page 777]
HENRY SHIRLEY. All the Great Lakes, Erie is foremost in the production
of fish on a commercial scale. Many firms have been engaged in
this industry and around the lake shore can be found hundreds
of the known and substantial families whose activities have been
mainly directed to this branch of business. the many men and
families whose activities connect them socially with Lake Erie
and its primary industry at Huron, none are perhaps better known
or more prominent than the Shirleys. Shirley is a name that goes
back into the earliest history of this section of County and
the firm of Shirley Brothers have some special distinctions ae
fishermen and they and their family deserve special menntion
in the pages of this. The firm comprises Henry Shirley and his
brother, Orley W., both tried and experienced veterans of the
fishing industry. Both have been identified with the pursuit
more or less actively since they were fourteen years of age.
For the past ten years they have been independently operating
and have at Huron well- equipped quarters, formerly the twine
and fish house of the Kishman Company, Both men are masters of
their trade, and are skilled not only in the practical business
of fishing in the deep waters of Lake Erie but also in the details
of their industry as net makers, and like many other fishermen
around the lake they manufacture all their own equipment. They
own and operate a fine fishing boat and deserve much commendation
for their success.
Only a few people understand the general methods of the
commercial fisherman in Lake Erie, and as a result of this lack
of knowledge many misconceptions have arisen and in some cases
have resulted in an unwise interference with the substantial
business of those who pursue this work as a means of livelihood.
The, Shirley Brothers operate eighteen double-tunnel trap nets
of the Earl pattern, better known among fishermen the hell-devil
trap net. The word 'trap' as applied to this net has proved unfortunate
since it has been the cause of institution of a number of measures
in the Legislature to prevent fishing by any means employing
devices that would in way be called traps. As a matter of fact
this type of net is in practical use the most humane method of
taking fish. The entrance of the net is in heart shape from which
the fish enter the long leads extending from twenty-two to twenty-four
rods in length, and thence pass through tunnels into a "crib"
about twelve feet long by seven or nine feet wide, and then by
other tunnels on into another crib, where unable to proceed further,
they must remain captive until the net and its contents are raised
to the boats. In passing into these tunnels which extend about
two-thirds of the length of the cribs, and while entrance is
easy, the fish never find an exit through the noses of these
tunnels, and as it is the nature of fish to seek the deepest
water, they immediately, after entering the nose toward the top
of the crib, sink down to the bottom and remain there. Like all
other firms engaged in fishing on extensive scale with nets,
the Shirley Brothers pay a large annual revenue to the Government
for the privilege. They keep their nets and boats in operation
about eight months of the year, beginning in March and continuing
until late in the fall. They handle many tons of fish ever year,
and this product is distributed to the retail trade all over
The Shirley Brothers Were both born in the same house in
the Village Huron. There were nine other brothers and one sister.
These brothers now occupy one home on Center Street. Henry was
born August 14, 1856. his brother, Orley W., on March 13, 1863.
Both were reared and educated in the village and have always
lived in Huron. Since he was fourteen years Henry Shirley has
practically lived on and close to the edge of Lake Erie, the
greatest body of fishing waters in the world. Orley likewise
began when a boy as a fisherman, but, subsequently spent a part
of each year from 1885 to 1910 as a sailor on the Great Lakes.
Since he has been actively identified with his brother in the
above firm. Orley is unmarried, and makes his home with his brother
Mr. Henry Shirley was married in Huron, Ohio in 1888 to
Miss Elizabeth C. Kritzer. She was born in Erie County, July
S8, 1868, and was educated in the localitv of her birth. Mr.
and Mrs. Shirley have six children: Milton J , now twenty-six
years of age, is a fisherman ; Munson G., aged twenty-four, is
a cement, worker, and still unmarried : Manola is the wife Of
Basil Doane of Detroit Michigan; Gladys. Who like the other daughters,
has been liberally educated is a member Of the high school class
Of 1915; Abbie is now In the first grade of the high school;
and Elnora, the youngest, is also in school.
married Elizabeth C. Kritzer born July 8 1868 in Erie
3(i). Milton J. Shirley, a fisherman
3(ii). Munson G. Shirley, a cement worker
3(iii). Manola Shirley married Basil Doane of Detroit
3(iv). Gladys Shirley
3(v). Abbie Shirley
3(vi). Elnora Shirley
2(vi). Oliver Shirley 1858 Ohio
2(vii). George Shirley 1861 Ohio
2(viii). Orley W. Shirley born March 13, 1863 at Huron
County Ohio. died March 23, 1935. buried Castelia, Erie County.
Unmarried. Fisherman (see narrative for brother Henry Shirley
for more details)
2(ix). Arthur Shirley 1866 Ohio
2(x). Warren Shirley 1870 Ohio
1(ii). John Carmi Shirley born July 14, 1811 at Ottawa
married Caroline Dwelle, born June 1816. (Betty - I also
have another source that gives him marrying Eliza Chichester.
Perhaps he was married more than once).
2(i). Alfred B. Shirley b. ca. 1836 Ohio
2(ii). Charles Stillman Shirley b. Sept 15, 1837 Ottawa
Co. Ohio d.. May 1, 1911 Port Clinton
married Mary Jane Warner Dec 19, 1868
3(i). Silvester Shirley b. ca. 1873 Ohio
3(ii). Grace Shirley b. Sept 9, 1883 m. James
2(iii). Benjamin F. Shirley b. ca. 1843 Ohio
2(iv). Jacob Shirley b. ca. 1844 Ohio
married Hannah Salina Ramsdell; born 4 Oct 1846; died 21 Jun
1921; dau of William Ramsdell and Emily Ladd
3(i). William Corine Shirley born May 10, 1868
at Port Clinton Ohio. Died 12 Dec 1924 at Sandusky Erie Co Ohio.
Buried St Mary's Cem.; Occupation: Night Watchman
3(ii). Alfred Shirley b. ca. 1872 Ohio
2(v). Job Shirley b. ca. 1844 Ohio. He died and left
a will in Ottawa Co OH in 1869, age about 25.
23 October 1869 Ottawa Co OH Will Vol A page 268 - Will
of Job Shirley - I give to Susan Shirley wife of George Harrison
Shirley one hundred dollars. I give to Franklin Shirly son of
Geo H. Shirley my double barrell shot gun. All of the remainder
of my property to my sister Lucy Shirley now under the guardianship
of Sylvester Dwells. 17 January 1869. <Job Shirley> Wit.
Wm E Kelly George Ramsdell
2(vi). George H. Shirley b. ca. 1841 Ohio
married Susan ____.
children (living in household in 1880 census)
3(i). Frank B Shirley. b. ca. 1862 Ohio
3(ii). Joe Shirley b. ca. 1869 Ohio
3(iii). Grace G. Shirley b. ca. 1872 Ohio
2(vii). Frank Shirley
2(viii). Lucy Shirley
2(ix). John Phineas Shirley b. Aug 8, 1850 Ottawa Co. Ohio
married Mary E. Main, Dec 29, 1886
3(i). Florence Shirley
3(ii). Carmi Joseph Shirley
3(iii). Clarabelle Shirley
A brother of Abiather Shirley?
Email January 2017 - Stillman
SHIRLEY (arrived to Sandusky City area of Ohio, about 1818).
He was the father of Stella (SHIRLEY) MARTIN-NICHOLS-METCALF.
Also probably the father of Carmi (a.k.a. John C.) SHIRLEY;
and probably also Deborah (SHIRLEY) KNAPP.
[Stillman SHIRLEY might be a brother of Abiather SHIRLEY, of
this same area of Ohio. The above children have sometimes been
attributed to Abiather...but they were probably all children
of Stillman, instead. ]
I forgot to add, that Sophia (SHERLEY) KNAPP (wife of Chandler
Knapp) was another probable daughter of Stillman SHERLEY. [...researcher
Sharon Mariscal seems to have been a descendant of Sophia.....do
you perhaps know if Sharon is still living....or any other descendants
of this branch?]
Anyway...it was Stella (SHIRLEY) MARTIN-NICHOLS-METCALF's obituary
which states her father's first-name as "Stillman".
And that name seems to have been continued to be used for some
of his grandchildren (...or their middle-names, at least) by
several of Stillman's children.
I currently suspect that Stillman Sherley died very shortly after
the family arrived to the Sandusky City area.
This Stillman Sherley arrived to Sandusky City, "Huron
County" Ohio with his children in 1818 (...including his
daughter Stella, who much, much later married the Metcalf).
(And presumably, this Stillman died here very shortly after their
1818 arrival here.). The only record that I have found which
mentions his first-name, is Stella's obituary. (The Carmi which
you mentioned, was probably Stella's brother....which would also
explain why these same first-names keep popping up in their subsequent
p.s. on your webpage for Abiathar, you have an error ("1816")
for the marriage year of Abiathar to Abigail (Ramsdell)......they
were married prior to coming to Ohio (prior to 1811), [...and
there is no Ohio marriage-record for Abiathar, post-1811 in "Huron
County"/Erie County, or etc..)
16 Aug 1807 Stilman Shelly married Mary Sander at New
Salem, Franklin, Massachusetts,
Is this Stillman's widow re-marrying? SHURLEY, Mary ..m: THOMPSON,
John ....2 Sep 1819, "Huron County" Ohio.