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

John Shirley
b. ca 1802 VA. Family lived in Lafayette Co Missouri and Lake Co California

DNA Participant Needed!


info received in 1983 for this family from Vonda DeMerritt

Possibly the son of John Shirley who married Elizabeth Shields in 1791 in Bedford Co VA

2016 Findings: John married Martha Elliott in Bourbon Co KY. The Shirleys in this county at that time are verly likely sons of John Shirley Sr, Branch 19 (of West Virginia). The Lynchburg origin as mentioned in the biography below may be a general statement, or misstatement, or maybe the WVA Shirleys moved to Lynchburg, then to KY?

John Shirley 1802 " a native of Lynchburg" VA; He died 1853 Lafayette Co. MO.

John Shirley born 1802 Lynchburg, VA (Bedford Co VA), died 1853 Lafayette Co. MO. He married Martha Canada Elliott ca. 1840 in KY. She was born Jan 18, 1819 KY and died Aug 18, 1885, Kelseyville, Lake Co. CA.  son: John Elliott Shirley  see Lafayette Co. MO  

married Martha Canada Elliott on 10 May 1840 in Bourbon Co KY Updated. She was born Jan 18, 1819 KY. She died Aug 18, 1885 Kelseyville, Lake Co. CA. She married 2nd George W. Tucker and they had one son, Joseph M. Tucker).


1(i). Elizabeth Ann Shirley born 1841 Lafayette Co. MO, died at age 17.

1(ii). Lucy J. Shirley born 1844 Lafayette Co. MO died 1908 Lake Co. CA. She married Erasmus Riggs

1(iii). John Elliott Shirley born Sept 29, 1845 Lafayette Co. MO, died Nov. 7, 1915 Kelseyville, Lake Co. CA. Buried Hartley Cemetery, Lakeport, Lake Co. CA

JOHN ELLIOTT SHIRLEY. The genealogy of the Shirley family is traced to Virginia, whence John Shirley, a native of Lynchburg, in early life followed the trend of emigration across the mountains into Kentucky and there in 1840 married Miss Martha C. Elliott, a native of the Blue Grass state. The wedding trip of the young couple consisted of a journey by wagon to the western part of Missouri, where they built a cabin and started a home in Lafayette county. Five children came to bless the home and the first deep sorrow came with the death of the father in 1853. Afterward the eldest daughter, Elizabeth Ann, died in Missouri at the age of seventeen. The second daughter, Lucy J., came across the plains to Colusa county, married E. C. Riggs, in an early day, and later settled in Lake county, where she died in 1908: her husband, whose first trip to the west was made in 1849, is now eighty-seven years of age and is living retired in Scott's valley. The third eldest child was John Elliott of whom we write. The second son and fourth child, James William, was one of the early graduates of the San Jose State Normal School and became a teacher in Lake county. Elected to the office of county superintendent of schools, he died during his term of service. The youngest child in the Shirley family, George T., died in Missouri at four years of age. After the death of Mr. Shirley the widow was married a second time and by that husband, George W. Tucker, she had one son, Joseph M. Tucker, now a farmer in the state of Washington. At the time of crossing the plains in 1859 John Elliott Shirley was a youth of fourteen years, able to be of the greatest assistance in the driving of three hundred head of cattle and horses. The task was one of great difficulty and obliged him to ride muleback for the entire distance, but he proved a capable herder of stock and averted trouble on more than one occasion. After a month at Honey lake the family stopped at Princeton for a year and in the fall of 1860 became pioneers of Scott's valley, where Mr. Shirley began to work for wages as a herder of cattle. Later he was employed in a sawmill for two years. Next he turned to farming and cleared and grubbed one hundred and fifty acres, on which he made all the improvements necessary to a well-kept country home. His has been a strenuous existence. The most untiring industry has been necessary for the maintenance of his family and the education of his children. To clear a timber farm is of itself a task of great magnitude. Only a man stout of arm and dauntless of heart could attempt such an undertaking, but he carried the enterprise to a safe termination and developed a farm that is one of the best in Big valley. The marriage of Mr. Shirley in 1867 united him with Miss Nancy E. Allen, the only child of J. E. and Elizabeth A. (Kelsey) Allen, and a woman of gentle but forceful character, whose efforts ably co-operated those of Mr. Shirley in building up a valuable farm and educating their children. Her death in April, 1900, was a deep bereavement for the family, to whose happiness she had been devoted with self-forgetting affection. Another family sorrow came in January, 1910, with the death of the eldest son, Ethan A., on
his farm at Upper Lake, when about forty-two years of age. Surviving him are one son, Claire, and the widow, formerly Miss Edith Helm, of Upper Lake. The remaining members of the Shirley family are as follows: Susan J., wife of S. P. Wilkinson, a fruit farmer in Lake county; Elizabeth Ann, widow of Henry Ingram and a resident of Sacramento; Bertha, widow of James L. Wilkinson and a resident of Sacramento ; John Edgar, a miner and stationary engineer, now employed in the Coalinga oil field; Mildred J., wife of Charles H. Harris, who rents and operates the Shirley farm in Big valley; Maude, wife of B. J. Pardee, a civil engineer employed by the Associated Oil Company in the Coalinga oil field ; J. Paul, a farmer in Big valley ; and Myrtle, who died in infancy. Unaided and alone, Mr. Shirley cleared the land which had a heavy growth of oak and other timber. Under his efficient labor the tract has been developed into a productive and highly improved farm, with family orchard, walnut and oak trees providing splendid shade, substantial fences, neat gates, good buildings and modern equipment. The strict orderliness about the entire farm points unmistakably to the intelligence, industry and attention of the owner. Although he had but slight educational advantages, through study and general reading Mr. Shirley has become a well-informed man. The quality of his mind and heart is such as to mark him out as a positive force if not an absolute leader among men. Of late years careful study of political economy and national conditions has made him a socialist who seeks the uplifting of mankind through economic and social justice with a zeal that would grace a Crusader of old. In religion he is liberal, a believer in the Golden Rule, a lover of humanity, a man whose heart beats with the truest impulses of kindness and helpfulness. Pioneering brought him into personal relations with nearly all of the leading men of Lake county and he has won their unqualified respect and good will.' Considerate of others, helpful to the distressed, charitable to the needy, he belongs to that type of citizenship so essential to the enduring prosperity of any community and advancement of any commonwealth. Source: History of Mendocino and Lake Counties, California With Biographical Sketches History by Aurelius O. Carpenter And Percy H. Millberry Illustrated, Complete In One Volume Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California, 1914

married Nancy Emmorine Allen Aug 13, 1867 Kelseyville, Lake Co. CA. Nancy was born Mar 21, 1853 Jackson Co. MO, died April 3, 1900 Kelseyville, Lake Co. CA.  She was the daughter of James Ethan Allen born in TN and Elizabeth Ann Kelsey born in KY.


2(i). Ethan Allen Shirley born April 13, 1869 Lake Co, CA  died Jan 11, 1890 Lake Co. VA, married Edith Helm.

2(ii). Bertha Shirley born 1870 Lake Co. CA, died Sacramento, CA. Married James L. Wilkinson July 24, 1893

2(iii). Martha Susan Shirley born April 2, 1871   Lake Co. CA, died Nov 27, 1947 Lake Co. CA. Married Sterling Price Wilkinson June 30, 1895

2(iv). James Paul Shirley born 1872 Lake Co. CA  died in Vallejo, CA. He married Olive Woods.

2(v). Elizabeth Ann Shirley born March 7, 1873 Lake Co. CA, died May 14, 1947. She married 1st Henry Ingram, m. 2nd Manuel Foster.

2(vi). Mildred Jennie Shirley born Oct 5, 1875 Lake Co. CA, died May 8, 11946 Sacramento, CA. She married Charles Henry Clay   Harris Oct 4, 1905.

2(vii). John Edgar Shirley born Feb 14, 1877 Lake Co. CA, died Jan 11, 1949 Lake Co CA. He married Desolina "Zoda" Gillari

2(viii). Maude Florence Shirley born 1878 Lake Co. CA, died 1957 Lake Co. VA. She married Bill Jennings Pardee Sept 6, 1906

2(ix). Myrtle Shirley born 1884 Lake Co. VA died 1886 Lake Co. CA. 

1(iv). James William Shirley born July 26, 1849 Lafayette Co. MO, died Aug 7, 1878 Kelseyville, CA; He was one of the early graduates of the San Jose State Normal School and became a teacher in Lake county. Elected to the office of county superintendent of schools, he died during his term of service.

1(v) George T. Shirley born about 1852 and died at age 4 years, MO.



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