The Shirley Association has been a member of the Guild of One-Name Studies since 1988
 
  John W. Shirley
African American ancestry of Metcalfe Co Kentucky
   
 

1. John W. Shirley born about 1825 born Metcalf Co KY; farmer (enumerated as 'black'); living Glovers Creek, Sartain Precinct, Metcalfe Co KY in 1870 census. Also living in the household is Matilda Price age 70; living next door is the Merrimon Shirley family (age 26)

Married Martha A. PRICE born about 1833 Metcalf Co KY (mulatto)

children:

2.i Mary E. Shirley born about 1858 (mulatto)

2.ii George E. Shirley born 8 Jan 1860 at Barren Co KY; living in Sartain Precinct Metcalfe KY in 1910 census. (mulatto)

Kentucky Death Certificate
Death Date: 20 Nov 1937
Death Location: Metcalfe
Residence Location: Metcalfe
Age: 77
Gender: Male
Ethnicity: Black
Birth Date: 8 Jan 1860
Birth Location: Barren, Kentucky
Spouse's Name: Setta Shirley
Father's Name: John W Shirley
Father's Birth Location: Metcalfe, Kentucky
Mother's Name: Martha Price
Mother's Birth Location: Metcalfe, Kentucky

Married Setta ______born about 1868

children:

3.i Ida Shirley born about 1889

3.ii Arthur Shirley born about 1893

3.iii James C Shirley born about 1895

3.iv Orvie Shirley born about 1896

3.v Thomas B Shirley born about 1897

3.vi Dewey Shirley born about 1899

3.vii Irving Ewing Shirley - Birth: 22 Jul 1900 Kentucky; occupation: chauffeur; living in Indiannapolis in 1930 census age 29 with wife and no children having been married 4 years; Death: 29 Jan 2000 Detroit, Wayne Co, Michigan

married Daisy Bell on 11 Jan 1925 Marion Co Indiana

4.i George Irving Shirley (born April 18, 1934 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is a renowned tenor opera singer.[photograph from Wikipedia]

[biography on Wikipedia] At the age of 6, his family relocated to Detroit, Michigan, where he began music lessons. He became active as a vocalist at churches in the area and as a baritone-horn player in a local band.

Shirley entered Wayne State University in Detroit as a music education major, receiving his bachelors degree in 1955. He was drafted into the military the following year and became the first African-American member of the United States Army Chorus. After his discharge in 1959, he continued studying voice with Therny Georgi, then he moved to New York where his professional career began.

He made his debut with a small opera troupe at Woodstock, New York, as Eisenstein in their production of Die Fledermaus. He went to Italy to make his European debut as Rodolfo in the Puccini opera, La bohème.

In 1961, he won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions by performing Nessun dorma, beginning an eleven-year association with the house. While at the Met, he sang a twenty-eight different roles from twenty-six operas, especially those of Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Strauss and Wagner. From 1961 (in La bohème) to 1977, he also sang at the New York City Opera. In 1977 he sang the title role in the complete recording of Orlando Paladino, by Haydn, and conducted by Dorati, for the Decca label.

Shirley received a Grammy Award in 1968 for singing the role of "Ferrando" in the RCA recording of Mozart's Così fan tutte. He has made numerous other recordings, including one of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, with Pierre Boulez. He is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America.

From the 1960s to the present, Shirley has performed on the concert stage, singing recitals and oratorios. He has premiered several works during his career, on both the concert and operatic stages. In recent years, he again became involved with education.

He taught at the University of Maryland College Park from 1980 until he accepted a position at the University of Michigan in 1987. He currently serves there as Director of the Vocal Arts Division, Joseph Edgar Maddy Distinguished University Professor of Music.

married Gladys Lee Ishop in 1956;

children:

5.i Olwyn Shirley

5.ii Lyle Shirley

 

3.viii Eva Shirley born about 1904

3.ix Vela Shirley born about 1906

3.x Jack Shirley born about 1908

3.xi Cloyd Shirley born about 1910

 

 

   


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