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Shirley Family of Lauderdale Co


DNA Haplogroup R1b1

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Unknown Shirley (possibly John Shirley of Darlington Co SC)

Married _______ (likely Elly/Ellen/Helen Shirley of Lauderdale Co MS)

"The 4 sons listed in the 1846 Lauderdale County, MS census under Elly Shirley appear to be John Pinkney Shirley, William Washington Shirley, J. B. Shirley, and Benjamin R. Shirley. The 4 females appear to be Elly, Nancy, Catherine, and 1 more still to identify."


"According to Charles A. Shirley, a grandson, and Joy Ham Montgomery, a great granddaughter, John Pinkney Shirley had two brothers. One was William Washington Shirley who married Mary Bucklew and James B. Shirley. In the 1860 Lauderdale Co. MS census, J.B. Shirley was living in the household with John Pinkney and, William Washington Shirley was living next door. Brothers and sisters: John Pinkney Shirley, J. B. Shirley, William Washington Shirley  (branch #57), Catherine Shirley Turner, Nancy Griffis 1831 and Benjamin Richard Shirley, b 1835." 

See comprehensive family tree genealogy book "Ancestors and Descendants of Charles Andy Shirley & Redie Susie Robertson" written by Redie Susie Robertson Shirley, 1993

1(i). John Pinkney Shirley  born May 19, 1827 Alabama; He is living in Lauderdale Co MS in the 1850 and 1860 census; He died July 11, 1894, buried at Martin Cemetery, Causeyville, Lauderdale Co MS

"He befriended the Mormon missionaries, protecting them from the mobs on several occasions, but he never joined the church.

In 1862, he joined the Confederate Army. He was captured at the Battle of Vicksburg and pardoned on July 9, 1863. At the time he was a private in Company C, 5th regiment of the Mississippi State Troops. In 1868 Pinkney was listed as a member of the Buckatunna Baptist Church along with his wife Sarah and brother William Washington Shirley. He was later a member of Bethany Baptist Church and in 1872 served as a delegate to the Liberty Baptist Association. John Pinkney Shirley was a charter member of Center Grove Baptist Church which was founded in mid 1800’s. John Pinkney Shirley died on July 11, 1894 and his death is recorded in the Liberty Baptist Association minutes. He is believed to be buried in an unmarked grave in the Martin Family cemetery which is located on the Lauderdale/ Clarke county line between Causeyville and Energy. Per family history, Pinkney stopped while walking to one of his son’s house and sat down beneath a tree and simply died.

All three brothers served in the Conferdate Army. J.B. Shirley was captured when Vicksburg fell."

married 1st Sarah Ann Martin on Sept 10, 1846. She was the daughter of John Martin. She was born March 25, 1829 Meridian MS and she died July 5, 1883.  Buried at Martin Cemetery, Causeyville, Lauderdale Co MS

married 2nd Mrs. Martha J. Smith on April 13, 1887. This marriage was witnessed by one of his sons, James Norman Shirley. She was the daughter of Irby Reynolds and is listed next to Pinkney in the 1880 census.


2(i).  John Martin Shirley April 9, 1849 MS , died 1919 Shephard, San Jacinto Co. Texas.

m. Elizabeth Chatham


3(i). William F. Shirley 1871 MS

3(ii). Norman M. Shirley 1873 MS

3(iii). Margaret Shirley 1876 Texas

3(iv). Benjamin F. Shirley 1878 Texas

3(v). Nellie Shirley 1880 Texas

2(ii). Sarah Celita Shirley March 15, 1852 MS, died 1932 Walker Co. Texas, m. J. W. "Wes" Hayman

2(iii). William Washington Shirley Feb 14, 1855  died Oct 14, 1909. Buried at Martin Cemetery, Causeyville, Lauderdale Co MS

William Washington Shirley and Family

m. Martha Jane Henderson b. Apr. 2, 1855 d. Aug. 22, 1915 buried at Martin Cemetery, Causeyville, Lauderdale Co MS

children (shown in 1880 and 1900 census)

3(i). John R. Shirley 1877 MS

3(ii). May Belle Shirley 1879 MS

3(iii). Willie Belle Shirley April 1882 MS m. John Sire Booker

3(iv). Ownie Shirley  March 1885 MS

3(v). Lillian L. Shirley Sept 10, 1887 MS

3(vi). Joseph M. Shirley Oct 1888 MS

m. Nannie Reynolds


4(i). Joe Lee Shirley

4(ii). Roy Shirley

4(iii). Harold Shirley

4(iv). Hilda Shirley

3(vii). William Grady Shirley April 1892 MS m. Audrey Jay

3(viii). Fanny E. Shirley Sept 1895 MS

2(iv). James Norman Shirley born April 25, 1858 at Lauderdale Co. MS,   

James Norman Shirley, Sr Family
BACK ROW: Raymond Octavius Shirley, Ora Estelle (Shirley) Fleming, J. Howell (husband of Tolitha), Arabella Shirley, Justin Shirley, Winnie Martin Shirley (wife of  Justin), James Norman Shirley, Jr., Tolitha Shirley, William Arthur Shirley, Julian Shirley. MIDDLE ROW:  Leon Shirley, Gracie Weems, boy name unknown, Albert Weems, boy name unknown, Nancy Catherine Dunham Shirley, James Norman Shirley, boy name unknown, Lydia Adams Shirley (wife of  William Adams), Mary Camp Shirley (wife of Julian Shirley). BOTTOM ROW: Lita Howell, her sister, Bernadine Shirley, baby, Judy Bell Shirley. 

J. N. Shirley was born in Lauderdale county, Miss in Apr 1858 the fourth in a family of eight children born to J. P. and Sarah (Martin) Shirley, the former of whom was born in North Carolina and the latter in Greene county Miss. The father was taken by his parents to Alabama when a small boy and there resided until he was seventeen years of age, when he came to Mississippi and located in Lauderdale county where he still lives. Here he was married and on the plantation on which he is now living he reared his family. He has made planting his chief occupation throughout life never caring to enter politcal life or to hold public office. J. N. Shirley began the battle of life for himself when sixteen years of age and when only eighteen years of age was married to Miss Nancy Dunham of this county and to them four sons and three daughters have been born: Arabella, Tolitha, Charles (deceased), Arthur, Julian and Justin (twins) and Ora. Although Mr Shirley commenced to make his own way in the world without a dollar he has by energy and strict attention to busienss succeeded in getting a fair start in the world. In 1881 he opened a mercantile establishment and to this calling has given the most of his attention since that time, but has also farmed more or less and has been engaged in milling a part of the time. He began business in the southeastern part of Lauderdale county where he remained until 1889 at which time he sold out and moved to his present location thirteen and a half miles north of Meridian wher ehe had purchased a plantation of one hundred and twenty acres. On this plantation he opened his store, his stock of goods being worth at least $3000 from which he derives an annual income of $15000. he is a young man of excellent busienss qualifications and thus far has made a success of the enterprises in which he has engaged when many others would have failed. He is progressive public spirited and intellegent and makes a point of keeping well posted on the general topics of the day and up with the times in the business affairs of life. By his honorable methods of doing business and his many amiable and worthy traits of character he has won the respect and esteem of all who know him and he and his wife are glaly welcomed in the highest social circles. He and Mrs Shirley are members of the Baptist church and he has been liberal in his support of this as well as other churches. he is a patron of education; in fact all worthy enterprises receive his hearty support. - Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi, Part 2 By Firebird Press page 761

m. Nancy Catherine Durham 


3(i). Charles Shirley

3(ii). Arabella Shirley

3(iii). Tolitha Shirley

3(iv). Ora Estelle Shirley

3(v). William Arthur Shirley

3(vi). Raymond Octavis Shirley

3(vii). Justin Shirley

3(viii). Julian Shirley

3(ix). James Norman Shirley Jr. - He graduated from the University of Alabama pharmacy school, class of 1912

3(x). Leon Shirley

2(v). Susan Ellen Shirley Feb 1, 1861 MS m. J. W. "Wade" Hughes

2(vi). Margaret Emeline Shirley March 25, 1864 MS, m. E.W. "Eli" Dunham

2(vii). Benjamin Pinkney Shirley  April 9, 1867 Meridian, Lauderdale Co. MS, died Oct 18, 1923 Sheppard, San Jacinto Co. Texas.

Benjamin Pinkney was a very  jolly and an even tempered man. His wife, Ella, was serious minded and didn't believe in sparing the rod and spoiling the child. They were farmers and believed that hard work was good for everyone.

In 1889, they were converted to the Mormon religion. Because of so much ridicule against the Mormons in that part of the country, they sold everything they had and moved to Shepherd, San Jacinta, Texas to be near Benjamin's brother, John Martin Shirley.

In 1901, Benjamin said he was going to move where they did not have chills and fevers, so he got a map and picked out Durango, Colorado. They left Shepherd with $15, a wagon and a pair of ponies. They packed their children and belongings into the wagon like sardines and traveled as far as they could before they ran low on food and feed for their ponies.  They would then stop and work until they replenished their supply and would continue on their way for Durango. They repeated this process several times before they arrived at their destination. It took them six months to get from Shepard TX to Durango, CO. When they arrived, they rented a pasture for the ponies for $1 per pony per month.

One day Ella sent her son, Charles, to the store for a spool of thread. He noticed how white and soft the clerks hands were. He asked his mother what he could do to get his hands soft and white like that. She told him by doing the dishes. He did this and his hands did get  better, and he never minded doing dishes the rest of his life.

Charles went to school for two nine month terms in Durango, Colorado. He was eager top learn and an avid reader. When he was twelve years of age, his father, Benjamin, decided to move back to Texas. The same ponies pulled the wagon back to Texas. They again stopped and worked long enough to replenish their supplies to get them back to Texas.  On that trip, Benjamin and Ella's son,  Benneti Reno Shirley, was born  on Aug 20, 1903 in the state of New Mexico. Soon after they were on their way again for Texas.

They rented a farm off Huffman Creek six miles from Shepherd and farmed and worked by the day. Benjamin and Charles sawed logs from their excellent pine. They both hauled barrel staves and made whiskey barrels out of them. He bought two more wagons, and teams and Benjamin, Charles, Johnnie and Homer hauled staves.

By 1912, they moved to Oklahoma with three wagons, taking three cows along. When they got to McAlester, there was a big snow storm. Since all the best places were leased for two to three years, they had to live in a tent. They planted their crops. Charles had 13 acres of cotton, and his portion was 6 bales of cotton. In those days, you rented land on a share basis. For corn, you gave the landowner one third of what you harvested. For cotton, you gave him one fourth. If you chose to go on the half, the land owner furnished the horses and feed. While there, he heard of Kelsey, a Mormon community in Northeast Texas. Charles went there in 1913 to finish school.

Although they made many moves, Benjamin was always able to provide a good living for his family. He was a hard worker as well as a good manager. At the time of his death, he owned a large, fertile farm. 

Married Ella Cornelia White May 1, 1890


3(i). Charles Andy Shirley Feb 24, 1891 MS d. July 2, 1965, m. Mary Pamplin Nov 1, 1920

3(ii). Sarah Ann Shirley  May 9, 1893 MS

3(iii). John Pinkney Shirley Mar 2, 1895 San Jacinto Co. Texas d Dec 30, 1961, m. Laurena Adcock Dec 7, 1930

3(iv). Ella May Shirley May 13, 1895 Texas d. Dec 27, 1947 m. Albert Smith Nov 16, 1916

3(v). William Homer Shirley Aug 5, 1899 Texas

3(vi). Benneti Reno Shirley Aug 20, 1903 New Mexico

2(viii). Hulda McGuire Shirley March 28, 1870, d. 1872

2(ix). Infant Shirley, died young

1(ii). William Washington Shirley (See Branch #57) born Jan 1, 1830 in Dallas Co. Alabama, He died July 15, 1907 Hurricane Creek, Clarke Co. MS,

married 1st. Mary Buckaleau born Oct 12, 1831 Choctaw, Alabama died Oct 18, 1900 Lauderdale Co. MS,

married 2nd _______

1(iii). J. B. Shirley born about 1838 in Alabama, age 22 in 1860 census. He was living in the 1860 census household of brother John Pinkney Shirley in Lauderdale Co MS

1(iv). Catherine Shirley She married ____Turner

1(v). Nancy Shirley born about 1831. She married Harrison Griffis

1(vi). Benjamin Richard Shirley, born about 1835 Alabama. Possibly the B. R. Shurly enumerated in Jasper Co MS in 1860, age 25, therefore his family shown below

ancestor of DNA kit #16625

ancestor of DNA kit #B262112

married Mary _______


2(i). J. W. Shirley born about 1858, age 2 in 1860 census

2(ii). J. R. Shirley born about 1860, age 4/12 in 1860 census


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