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

Richard Shirley
b. ca1750-60. Lived in Edgecombe Co. North Carolina. 


Haplogroup E3b


Richard Shirley b. ca. _____living Edgecombe Co NC 1777. His will dated March 20, 1816, Nov. Court 1823. Richard Shirley was in the 1790 census of Edgecombe Co. North Carolina. He had 1 free white male over 16 years, 5 free white males  under 16 years years, and 1 free white female and 3 slaves.

March 20, 1816, November Court 1823. WB F pg 13 Will of Richard Shearley Wife Delilah, life estate; children: Nancy Edwards, Byrd, Nathan; dau: Murphy Shearley, $100 each; Elsey Marley, $12; at death of wife, land to be sold, money divided among my children: John, Henry, James, Starling, Richard, Davis, and Uriah Shearley and Nancy Edwards, Murphy Shearley, Byrd Shearley and Nathan Shearley. Exc: Edmund Edwards. Wit: Jacob Nettles, Elisha Peele The exc. refused to qualify, administration with the will annexed was granted to Henry Shurley who entered into bond in the sum of two thousand dollars with Richard Hines, Sr. and Starling Waller, sureties.

m. 1st _________Waller, daughter of James and Rebecca Waller,

m. 2nd Delilah Edwards; She died 1826; Estate probated Aug 1827; She was the daughter of  Nathan Edwards who died 1816 and mother Elizabeth. who remarried__ Alsbrook.

March 1, 1827, August Court 1827.WB F pg 70. Will of Delilah Shearly Sons: Nathan, land, he is to pay my son Byrd Shearly $12; Dau: Murphey Weaver, $12; Dau: Nancy Edwards' children, $12. Byrd Shearly, feather bed and furniture; Nathan Shearly, feather bed and furniture. Balance to be sold on credit of 6 months and divided between sons Byrd Shearly and Nathan Shearly and dau: Murphy Weaver, Nancy Edwards' children, etc. Exc. Benjamin Weaver. Wit: Elisha Peel, Allen Nettles, Thomas Taylor

children: (1st wife ____Waller) order of births may not be correct

1. John Shirley born about 1777 NC

2. Henry Shirley born May 1779 NC; He died Oct 13, 1854; He owned 375 acres of land near Tarboro, Edgecombe Co. The colonial home of Henry Shurley stands across the road from the golf course at Tarboro County Club. The cemetery, once beautifully kept is now overgrown and the handsome carved Italian marble gravestones disrupted by fallen trees, several of them lying face down. Some of the stones have been removed to other cemeteries. The Shurley farm became the site of Hart Cotton Mills and the mill village.

Nov 10, 1824 Henry Shurley to Isaac Norfleet, 200 acres, $600 on Hendrick's Creek next to James Southerland, a tract of land purchased by said Henry Shurley of his brother Uriah Shirley and divided to said Uriah by his grandfather, James Waller, in his last will and testament. Wit: Starling Waller. Deed Abstracts:

November 1, 1849. Probated 1849. Henry Shearley Wife: Elizabeth, my Southerland plantation lifetime, 10 negroes in fee simple, (her choice), half household and kitchen furniture, 5 cows and calves; 4 horses, 4 mules, $1000 cash from sale of negroes; William S. Baker, Negro, Frank; Joseph H. Baker, $7000 cash; Laura Baker, $7000, Margaret Baker, $7000; Redmund R. Dupree, $2000, negroes (2) in trust for benefit of Martha Belcher, wife of Henry Belcher and pay her interest arising, at mother's death to be divided among her children: Redmund Dupree, $2000 to hold for benefit of Eliza Dupree, wife of Lewis E. Dupree, paying annual interest, then to her children David Barlow $1800 in trust for benefit of Henry Shearly, Jr., interest annually; gr. child, child of Jesse Hyatt: _____ Hyatt, $200; my dau: Penina $10,000 her life; then to her heirs; farm known as the Hines Place to be sold etc. David Barlow, 5 negroes; exc. John L. Bridgers, (names of wit: blotted out).

married Elizabeth Davis b. Dec 9, 1791; She died Oct 5, 1867.

Jun 20 1867. November Court 1867 WB G pg 297. Will of Elizabeth Shirley, widow of Henry Shirley, dec'd. Granddaughters Delha Barlow, Lucy Barlow, Anna Foxhall, Alice Barlow, Louisa Mabry, Laura Dowd, Margaret Ann Macnari. To Louisa wife of grandson Henry A. Shirly. Balance to be sold and equally divided among all grandchildren living. Grandson Joseph A Baker and Henry A. Shirly executors. Wit: Henry T. Clark, Edwin D Foxhall.

children: (may be other children)

2(i). Geraldus Shirley born Nov 11, 1806 at Edgecombe Co NC; He is listed as "dead" in an 1843 Edgecombe Co deed.

married 1st Temperance Amason Feb 14, 1827 Edgecombe NC,

married 2nd Susan Bridgers Jan 29, 1841 Edgecombe NC; She remarried to Thomas Price Jr in 1848


3(i). Margaret Ann Shirley She married Jesse B. Hyatt, son of Elisha Hyatt

3(ii). Martha E. Shirley born Aug 1, 1827 Edgecombe NC, She died 15 Jul 1893 Pitt Co. NC,  m. Henry B. Belcher  Apr 18, 1844 Edgecombe NC. He was born 1822 Edgecombe NC d. July 5,  1861 in Yorktown Virginia.

3(iii). Henry A. Shirley born about 1834; named in the 1867 will of his grandmother and 1849 will of his grandfather; Lived in Tarboro Edgecombe Co in 1870 and 1880 with wife, no children; farmer

married Louisa Horn on June 3, 1858 at Edgecombe Co NC

2(ii). Orren Shurley born May 26th 1809, named in Hyatt family bible as son of Henry and Elizabeth Shirley

2(iii). Julia Shirley born Nov 11, 1811; She died May 16, 1845 m. William  Sparkman Baker Jan 11, 1831. He was born Nov 1810 Edgecombe NC, d. Dec 25, 1861 buried Calvary Chapel, Tarboro, NC

2(iv). Peninah Shirley born Mar 25, 1817; She died May 8, 1862 m. David Barlow III Jan 31, 1834. He was born May 6, 1812 d. May 25, 1868

2(v). Eliza Shirley She married Lewis B. Depree

3. James Shirley born ca 1781 NC; He appears in the 1810 Edgecombe Co census, single, no other occupants in the household; He also appears in several land transactions in Edgecombe Co NC 1810-1820. He and wife Margaret sold 150 acres on the north side of Tar River, on Chuk's Mill Creek in 1817.

married Margaret _____.

4. Starling Shirley born ca. 1783; He died before 1820

married Charity Bracewell, daughter of Richard Bracewell

children: (possibly more)

2(i). Elizabeth Shirley She is named as a minor orphan of Starling Shirley, dec'd in 1820 Edgecombe Co court records

5. Richard Shirley born ca. 1785

6. Davis Shirley born ca. 1790; He enlisted in the 39th US infantry on 27 September 1813 at Gallatin Tennessee by Capt Jno Jones. He was described as 5'9" age 23, born Edgecombe NC; He was listed on RR on 3 October 1813, but no other record of service or discharge.

7. Uriah Shirley born ca. 1790; he owned 200 acres of land on Hendricks Creek in Edgecombe Co

Nov 10, 1824 Henry Shurley to Isaac Norfleet, 200 acres, $600 on Hendrick's Creek next to James Southerland, a tract of land purchased by said Henry Shurley of his brother Uriah Shirley and divided to said Uriah by his grandfather, James Waller, in his last will and testament. Wit: Starling Waller. Deed Abstracts:

The following Uriah Shirley family appears to be the correct son of Richard Shirley

children of 2nd marriage (wife Delilah Edwards)

8. Bird Shirley born Oct 8, 1797; He was a buyer at his mother's estate sale in 1827; d. Sept 12, 1870 bur. Greene Co NC

married  Louisana Edwards Mar 11, 1826 Edgecombe Co. NC. She was born Sept 6, 1804 died June 39, 1834

9 Murphy Shirley born about 1799 m. Benjamin Weaver

10 Nancy Shirley born about 1802 m. Edmond Edwards

11. Elsey Shirley; She married _____Marley  (named in Richard's will 1816-1823)

12. Nathan Shirley born about 1806 (1850 census) Named as a minor in 1824 record for father's estate. He was a buyer at his mother's estate sale in 1827. Living at Edgecombe Co NC in 1850.

married 1st. Mary Ann Brake Jan 31, 1825  Edgecombe Co. NC,

married 2nd Lucy Johnson June 20, 1828 Edgecombe Co. NC

married 3rd Martha Fort Aug 21, 1839 Edgecombe Co NC

married 4th Polly Johnson May 6, 1846 Edgecombe Co NC

married 5th Penny Bilberry Jan 8, 1859 Edgecombe Co NC


2(i). male Shirley born 1830-1835; in the 1840 census household

2(ii). male Shirley born 1835-1840; in the 1840 census household

3(iii). William Shirley born about 1858; likely born out of wedlock, surname Bilbry in 1860 family household. But later Shirley at death in 1919 Wayne Co NC (parents listed)



North Carolina Shirley deaths

I put them here as many would appear to be of this branch. Also many black families in North Carolina.  Not all records identify by race. 


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