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

James Shirley
b. 1730's. Lived in Culpeper Co.  Family moved to Kentucky



DNA Haplogroup R1b
DNA Haplogroup R1b1a2
DNA matches the elder Shirleys of nearby Spotsylvania Co VA


James Shirley b. 1730's of Orange Co. Virginia. He died June 20, 1791 Culpeper Co Virginia.

married Judith Garriott. She died in Kentucky.


1(i). Mary Shirley born Apr 1, 1755 d. Jan 21, 1844 married in 1771 Tobias (Michael?) Wilhoite Oct 15, 1750 d. Feb 7, 1839. He served in the Revolution (pensioned). They moved to to Jefferson Co. KY now Bullitt Co. prior to 1795. In 1808 they moved with some of their children to "Shakertown, Mercer Co. KY where they became charter members of the Pleasant Hill Shaker Community and died. The birth and death dates are from the Shaker Society Records. They had 12 children.

1(ii). Thomas Shirley born ca. 1757 (twin) lived in Madison Co. VA. Died 1845 intestate. He was a bachelor and owned approximately 100 slaves and the largest farm in Madison Co. VA comprising of 48,933 acres. His estate was valued at $120,000 to $130,000 at his death.

"Madison County, Virginia, A Revised History," by Margaret G. Davis, p. 294: "1793: . . . Robert Oliver was tax delinquent on forty-two thousand acres of land which was bought by the Shirleys. (info received Oct 18, 2003 from Betty Johnson)

child. illegitimate

2(i). daughter Shirley

1(iii). Zachariah Shirley born ca. 1757 (twin) lived in Madison Co. VA. He never married but had 2 sons.

1(iv). Nancy Shirley born Mar 27, 1759. She died July 19, 1820. Married James Yowell May 23, 1779 Culpeper Co. VA. They moved to Oldham Co. KY about 1797. They had 10 children.

1(v). Absolom Shirley he apparently died before 1816.

married Cassandra [Felps?]. She married next Wm Austin Dec 26, 1816 in Jefferson Co. KY


2(i). Elizabeth Shirley. She married Henry L. Harrison in Oldham Co. KY

Jerry Riggs <> Her parents were Absolom Shirley and Cassandra Felps(her maiden name). Cassandra's father was Abbington Felps, there are several variations of the name Abbington. Abbington Felps signed for her to marry Henry L Harrison, since both her parents were deceased.

2(ii). Alphina Shirley. She married Jeptha Leet Oct 29, 1823 in Jefferson Co. KY

2(iii). Sara Shirley. She married Caleb Vest

1(vi). Elizabeth Shirley. She married William Wilhoite. They immigrated to Oldham Co. KY.

1(vii). Joshua Shirley born ca. 1763 lived in Bullitt Co. KY; He apparently died before 1850 census;

Their children brought suit against their uncle Thomas Shirley's estate in 1847 Madison Co. VA. as a provision had been made in Zachariah Shirley's will for Thomas Shirley, his twin brother, "to sell some of their surplus lands and use proceeds to buy 100 or 150 acres in "some of the Western Countries (meaning, KY?) ....for our brother Joshua to live and raise his family...". That suit lasted for years and it provides much of the genealogical information about this family.


married Mary Bell 28 Apr 1801 in Nelson Co KY; She was the daughter of Henry T. Bell of Nelson Co. KY.


2(i). Joshua Shirley, Jr., born about 1817 KY; age 33 in the 1850 census

2(ii). William Shirley born about 1819 KY; living Bullitt Co KY in 1850

married Elizabeth Hogland (her surname listed in dau Alice's birth)

children (1850 Bullitt Co KY census)

3(i). Henry Shirley born about 1842 KY

3(ii). William Shirley born about 1844 KY

3(iii). Mary Shirley born about 1846 KY

3(iv). Alexander H. Shirley born about 1849 KY

3(v). Alice Shirley born 20 Aug 1853 in Bullitt Co KY

2(iii). Thomas Shirley he apparantly died (or abandoned his family) before 1850 census

married 1st Eliz. Brashear 25 Mar 1841 at Bardstown, Nelson Co KY

married 2nd. Mary E. Cartmell 9 Nov 1847 in Bullitt Co KY; She is living alone with child in the 1850 Bullit Co KY census, age 25.


3(i). Demascus Shirley born about 1848 KY

2(iv). Absolom Shirley. Living in Nelson Co KY in 1850; He died 1863 Nelson Co. KY

married ___________

children: (1850 census)

3(i). Mary Shirley born about 1834 KY

3(ii). Sarah Shirley born about 1838 KY

3(iii). James Shirley born about 1840 KY

3(iv). John Shirley born about 1842 KY

3(v). Nancy Shirley born about 1845 KY

3(vi). M. Shirley (female) born about 1847 KY

3(vii). Z. Shirley (male) born about 1849 KY

2(v). Juriah Shirley

2(vi). Henry Shirley born about 1810 KY; living with widowed mother in 1850 Nelson Co census, age 40

2(vii). Judith Shirley m. John J. Baker

2(viii). Mary Shirley. She died 1845 m. Squire Murphy

1(viii). Jane Shirley born 1766 married James McGehee Aug 27, 1801 Madison Co. They lived in Person Co. North Carolina before moving to Jefferson Co. Ky.

1(ix). Delilah Shirley born ca. 1768. She was the unwed mother of one child, Lewis Shirley. She ultimately married Benjamin Fleshman and had several children

1(x). William Shirley born Aug 4, 1772 Culpeper Co. VA died March 24, 1854 Ky; His will is in Oldham Co. KY and copy in Madison Co. VA.

married Elizabeth Clore Jan 1, 1796 in Madison Co.

1(xi). Bathsheba Shirley born ca. 1774. She died 1838 married Asa (Wm?) McGehee 1808 in Louisa Co. VA. She had no children.

1837 Will of Bathsheba McGehee, Louisa Co, VA - Debts to be paid; Lend estate to friend James Turner and his heirs, but if he has no heirs then to be equally divided amongst my nephew, Lewis Shirley, sister Jane McGehee, brother William Shirley and brother Abselem Shirley's three daughters the tract of land I live on, negro Joe, beds, books, etc. livestock.; Fifty dollars to my executor to support the Gospel.; Balance of estate to be sold and money to sister Jane McGehee, brother William Shirley and three daughters of brother Absolem Shirley, dec'd and nephew Lewis Shirley.; Beloved friend James D. Roberts to be executor.; Dated 6 Feb. 1837. /s/ Bathsheba McGehee. Wit. Erasmus H. Walton, Charles T. Trevlian, and Samuel W. Walton. Recorded 10 Dec 1838.

1(xii). John Shirley. Nothing known of him

1(xiii). James Shirley. Nothing known of him


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