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

Michael Shirley
b. ca1740. Family lived in Virginia and Kentucky, Original Settler at Fort Boonesboro


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Announcement! "It’s the time of year to again start thinking about the “Gathering of Descendants” at Fort Boonesborough State Park in Madison County, KY. This year will be the fifth year for the “Gathering.” One of the aims of the Park and other sponsors is to broaden the information available for the attendees, many of whom are descendants of the pioneers who came to Boonesborough between 1775 and the early 19th century. This is a one day event on Saturday, June 15, 2019."

This Lineage last Reviewed and Updated in March 2019
Michael Shirley
born about 1730s (see Shalle family link above); He was killed by Indians in July 24, 1784 near Fort Boon, Lincoln Co. Kentucky. As a young colonial soldier, he was stationed at Fort Washington. According to family lore, here he met and married Katy Franz. After their time at Fort Washington, family lore says the couple moved back to Pennsylvania, then migrated to Augusta Co Virginia. Michael Shirley is mentioned in Augusta Co. VA records as early as 1761. In 1769, Michael was appointed a road surveyor in Augusta County. He was granted 90 acres of land in the county in 1770, but soon disappears from records after that date. He enlisted in Capt. William Bentley's company, 3rd Virginia regiment on 1 December 1777. The Regiment was commanded by Colonel John Neville, formerly known at times as Captain Reubin Bisco's company, and Charles West's company, commanded by Colonel William Heth, in the Revolutionary War. Two of Michael and Kay's daughters were married in Rockingham Co Virginia in January and then June 1778. Michael's name appears on the 3rd VA Regiment's muster rolls until Nov 1779. They moved to the Kentucky wilderness about 1780, some 5 years after Daniel Boone had blazed the Wilderness Trail through the Cumberland Gap, thus allowing settlement of the interior of Kentucky. Upon arrival in Kentucky, Michael entered 150 acres of land on Silver Creek in Lincoln Co KY (became Madison Co) in December 1781, then 400 acres on the Kentucky River in Lincoln Co in January 1783. In the same year, Michael entered 100 acres on the Kentucky River, 300 acres on an unnamed water course. In 1784 Micheal Shirley entered 103 acres on the waters of Muddy Creek in Lincoln Co and also had 569 acres surveyed near there in 1784. In 1784, Michael was killed by Indians while surveying in old Lincoln Co now known as Madison County KY.

Jul. 23, 1784 [death date] Family story - "Michael Shirley was shot by Indians at Station Camp, Kentucky. The Indians shot him, breaking both of his legs, and he fell from his horse behind a log. The Indians thinking him dead, left him and capture his horse. He crawled to a tree and from there he dragged himself back and forth to a stream of water. On a vine he cut with a pen knife how he was killed and marked each day he lived and on the sixth day, he said he felt death and as to whether he died that day or lived longer is not known. The family buried him where he was found and his buried place was marked by a stone with M. S. curved on it and the same was cut on the bark of the tree by which he was buried."

The Estate inventory and appraisement of the goods and chattles of Michael Shirley was filed in court in Lincoln Co KY on 15 February 1785. His land was not disposed of until his son Charles was of age.

married Catherine "Katy Franz. She was enumerated on the 1792 tax list of Madison Co KY after the death of her husband. In 1795, the famous Daniel Boone then living in Bourbon Co KY sold a tract of land in Madison Co to Catherine Shirley. She appears in the 1800 tax list for Madison Co KY. She continues to sell portions of her husband's land over the next decade, through at least 1823. Her will is dated Jan 23, 1825 in Madison Co. KY. In 1847, her heirs sold land on Silver Creek Madison Co to Moses Willis, thus indicating the settlement of her estate.

According to family lore, she was born of emigrants who came to America from France [this is likely untrue, more likely Germany]. According to lore, her mother died and her father returned to the old country.


1(i). Mary Shirley born 17 February 1762; She died 1845 Bedford Co. TN; She married William McGuire on 23 February 1778 in Rockingham Co. VA; He was born Mar 12, 1748 VA d. 1834 Bedford Co. TN; buried Horse Mountain Cemetery.

1(ii). Katherine "Katie" Shirley born about 1764; She married John Baughman on 1 June 1778 in Rockingham Co Virginia

1(iii). Susan Shirley born about 1769; She died May 1859 Benton Co. MO; She married Mr. Benjamin Proctor Mar 8, 1787

The Proctor's were early adventurers in KY and associates of Daniel Boone according to Elwood Shirley who has studied the history of KY.

1(iv). Charles Shirley born about 1771 in Augusta Co. VA; They lived Clark Co. IN and MO. He died 1817 in MO,

married Rebecca Collier on 15 November 1795 Madison Co. KY; She was born 21 April 1778. She was was the daughter of John Collier and Millie Vaughn.

1(v). George Shirley born say 1774; George Shirley was taxed for 320 acres of land on Silver Creek in 1796 in what had become Madison County, formed from Lincoln Co KY. He was age 16-21 according to the tax enumeration. He owned 8 horses and 5 head of cattle; His mother sold 60 acres on Taylor Creek to him in 1802 and purchased 1400 acres on Tates Creek in 1816, and 60 more acres on Taylors Fork Creek in 1817; He moved to Cooper County Missouri after the 1820 census, when he entered 80 acres of land with the BLM in 1828; He was enumerated in Cooper Co MO in 1830, age 50-60; He died at Cooper Co MO sometime after the 1850 census Shirleys of Cooper Co Missouri

married Betsey Lee on 20 December 1797 in Lincoln Co. KY

1(vi). Elizabeth "Lizzie" Shirley born about 1776; She married Thomas McGuire

1(vii). Nancy Shirley born August 1777; She married Frank Travis on 7 November 1797 

1(viii). Sallie Shirley She married Phillip Phelps on 22 March 1804; Her will was dated 8 September 1828

Who is this Michael Shirley? Maybe a son of Michael Sr? Or maybe a cousin, possibly son of Lucas Shirley of Greene Co TN, He pops up to KY, then back to TN?

1(vii). Michael Shirley enumerated in tax lists in Lincoln Co KY in 1797 and 1798 at the same time and adjacent to George Shirley, son of Michael Shirley

1797 or 1798 Lincoln Co Tax List (dates seem to be uncertain)

Commissioner's Book 3

Michael Shurley 1 free male 21+; 0 free male 16-21; 0 blacks; 1 horses; no land

Dec 2, 1797 George Sherley married Betsey Lee

1799 Lincoln Co Tax List (3 lists)

Commissioner's Book 2

Michael Shurley 1 free male 21+; 0 free male 16-21; 0 blacks; 0 horses; no land

George Shurley 1 free male 21+; 0 free male 16-21; 0 blacks; 1 horses; no land

From Sandi Gorin

Taken from old clippings dealing with Kentucky family history, newspaper unknown. These clippings are about 100 years old (1997). Reprinted in Kentucky Explorer, Volume 11, Number 9 - March, 1997. pp. 80-81. Madison County. 

Shirley Family. My grandmother daily gives me our family history, but being ninety-seven years of age, her once fine memory is somewhat impaired. I write the following hoping some member of the family may confirm its accuracy.

The name Shirley was spelled by our ancestors "Shawnee." My great-great-grandfather as a native of Spain and his wife, Katie Franz or Frants or France, was a native of Paris, France. They saw each other whilst he was marching; fell in love and were married at Washington City, when it was a fort. He was a lieutenant in the Continental army. He had been sent for supplies at the time of Gen. Wayne's defeat or possibly would have been captured with the rest of that army. He was killed by the Indians at Station Camp, Kentucky. They lived at Boonesboro [sic].

Michael Shirley's children were: Mary McGuire, Katie Bullock, Lizzie McGuire, Susie Proctor, Nancy Travis, Sallie Phelps, and George Shirley. My great-grandfather, Charles Shirley (1771), and his wife, Rebecca Collier (1778), were married November 17, 1796. Their children were: Nancy Shirley, 1797; Polly Shirley, 1798; Lucy Shirley, 1800; Rebecca Shirley, 1801; George, 1804; Lydia, 1805; Silas, 1806; Jenny, 1808; Felix,1811, and Charles, 1813. My great-grandfather, Charles Shirley, spent his best days in fighting the Indians.



Email from the Director of the Madison Co KY Historical Society

All of the sponsoring organizations are pleased to have positive feedback from the Chenault, Callaway, French and Boone families for participation at this year’s Gathering. Additional genealogical support will be provided by the Society of Boonesborough. Several other local and state organizations will be present to provide various historical and property information. Of note, the Boone Society is holding its bi-annual reunion this year and will have over a 100 members attending.

For those who will come to provide family information, support will be provided for table and chairs, power, and a wi-fi connection for computers. However, you should plan to furnish your own umbrella or canopy for fending off the sun or rain, if we are beset with inclement weather. The fort opens to the public at 10:00 am so plan to arrive for setup appropriately before then. If you have a canopy to erect, several of us will be there on Friday afternoon about 3 or shortly thereafter to put ours up. For those who will be “manning” a table, you will be allowed in without paying the entry fee and will be provided a “vendors” badge. Please provide the number of “key” people you will use to Bill Farmer, see the email address above, and me so adequate badges are available.

For everyone, we would appreciate you publicizing this unique event using your contact lists of your members. Even if you do not have a family representative there to field queries, chances are that others may be able to help. We look forward to seeing a lot of new faces there this year looking for their roots.

If this year did not fit your schedule, mark your calendar for 2019, probably the second Saturday of June for the next Gathering. The Callaway Family Association has advised that it will have its annual reunion then so you may run into relatives even if you aren’t a direct member of their group. More details will be furnished to all as dates and other information are settled.

With regards,

Tom Black
President, MCHS


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