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

Richard Shirley, Jr.
b. ca1790-95. Lived Barren Co Kentucky 


Haplogroup E3b



Richard Shirley, Jr. born ___, He died in April 1831 Barren Co. KY

For years, this website has sourced family lore for the nature of Richard's death - that he committed suicide by jumping in a well. However, the following contemporaneous death inquest says he committed suicide by hanging himself inside his own barn.

GLASGOW, BARREN Co, KY INVENTORY BOOK-1830 to 1838 Page 155-156 State of Kentucky, Barren Co, Lot [?] An inquisition taken at the house of Richard Shirley Dec, in the Co aforesaid, the 27 day of April, the year 1831 before [.....] of the (commonwealth?) for the Co aforesaid duly commissioned and qualifyed according to Law upon the view of the body of Richard Shirley late of said Co then and there lying and upon the oaths of James Cornnius, TC, good and lawful men of the Co aforesaid who being Sworn and Charged to Enquiser on the part of said commonweath, When, Where, and How and after what manner the said Richard Shirley came to his death, do say upon their Oath that not having the fear of God before his eyes but being Seduced and moved by the Instigation of the Devil at said Shirley's own Farm in the Co aforesaid in a certain Barn standing and being, the said Richard Shirley being then and there alone with a certain hempen Cord of the value of 3 pence, which he then and there had and held in his hand and one end then and there put about his neck and the other end therof tied about a tie pole in said Barn, himself then and there with the Cord aforesaid voluntarily and feloniouly and of his malice afore thought, hanged and suffocated and died. The jurors aforesaid upon their Oaths of (?) say that the said Richard Shirley then and there in manner and form aforesaid as a felon of himself, feloniously, voluntarily, and of his malice afore thought, himself killed, strangled, and murdered himself against the peace and dignity of the commonwealth. In witness whereof as the aforesaid Coroner, as the jurors aforesaid have to the inquisition put there hands and seal on the day in year aforesaid and at the place aforesaid. John H. Boles, C. G. Hitch, John Matthus, John H. Anderson, S. P. Malone, Jos Commins, Thomas Jarnes, Lewis Burten, David Dewese, Caleb Smith, Joseph Nevills, I. C. Hall

married Elizabeth Dale Aug 17, 1816 Barren Co. KY.  She was born July 30, 1799 KY,  daughter of Reuben Dale and Sally Gill. She lived in Hart Co KY in 1850 census.


1834 Daniel Shirley etc-vs-Shirley etc. Barren Co Kentucky Circuit Court Case No 781-Filed 17 June 1834 To the Honorable Judge of the Barren Circuit Court in chancery sitting: Daniel Shirley and Sarah Shirley infants who sue by their next of friend, Reuben Dale, state that on the.. day of... their father, Richard Shirley, Jr, departed this life intestate owning and possessing a tract of land containing 207 acres, deed from J. D. Dizram? and wife, to Richard Shirley, copy filed herewith as part of this bill. They charge that the said Richard Shirley, Jr, owned no other land. They state that Richard Shirley, Jr, died leaving a wife Elizabeth Shirley, Daniel Shirley, Sarah Shirley, Maria Shirley, Jemima Shirley, Martha Shirley, America Shirley, Elizabeth Shirley, Reuben Shirley, and Samuel (Lemual? Luvesa?), his children and heirs. They state that since the death of their Father that Jemima Shirley, America Shirley, Reuben Shirley, and Samuel (?) Shirley have also departed this life. They departed this life without issue or without ever having been married, leaving the rest; Daniel, Sarah, Maria, Martha, and Elizabeth Shirley, all of whom are infants. They state that the tract of land is not worth more than 150 pounds, they further state that their mother, Elizabeth Shirley has refused to have dower allotted to her in said land, and says she does not intend to have dower allotted to her in land. They therefore pray Your Honor to command that Elizabeth Shirley, Maria, Martha, Elizabeth Shirley, (child) be made defendants to this bill.. and that said land be sold upon such terms that Your Honor will think most advisable for the interest of all concerned, and the proceeds be divided amoung the heirs of Richard Shirley, Jr, deceased.

1(i). Daniel R. Shirley born July 8, 1817 Barren Co. KY, died April 11, 1876 Eagelville, Harrison Co. MO, and both are buried in Shirley Cemetery. Shirleys of Harrison Co MO

married America E. Dale, b. Aug 22, 1826, daughter of William Dale and Jane "Jeannie" Shirley, daughter of James and Mary Shirley. William Dale was the brother of Elizabeth Dale who married Richard Dale. America died Feb 2, 1877 Eagleville, Harrison Co. MO


2(ii). Buena Vista Shirley born July 13, 1850, d. Sept 1, 1928 Eagleville, Harrison Co. MO, m. Ezekiel B. Hobbs

2(iii). Lemuel Hutchinson Shirley born Sept 1, 1851 Eagleville, Harrison Co. MO, d. Aug 31, 1929 Barry Co. MO,

married Elizabeth Blevins Oct 3, 1875 Harrison Co. MO. She was born June 11, 1850 IN d. Nov 22, 1936 Barry Co. MO. (She was married 1st  to David Roberts. Don't have dates.)    Elizabeth was the daughter of Thomas Blevins and Catherine Younce.


3(i). Daniel Shirley born 1877 MO

3(ii). Margaret Shirley born 1878 MO

3(iii). Leonard Lemuel Shirley born Oct  5, 1881 Harrison Co. MO d. Oct 26, 1956 (Leonard was killed in Purdy, Barry Co. MO on Oct 26th 1956 while crossing the street after visiting with his brother Daniel),

married 1) Sarah E. (Sally) Lane on March 1st 1905 in Washington Co. AR. She was born Oct 6, 1888 Washington Co. AR, d. July 5, 1923 Kansas City KS and both are buried in Maple Hill Cemetery in Kansas City KS. Sarah was the daughter of William H. Lane and Nancy J. Murray. 

married 2) Pearl Gray, 3) Minnie Steele and 4) Lillie Garrison.

Children: (info from Kenneth Shirley, Tamara Scherer, Stephanie Kelly)

4(i). Orvan Monroe (Orv) Shirley b. 11-14-1907 d. Jun 1980 m. Clementine ___

4(ii). Gladys Marie Shirley b. 1-26-1914 d. July 2000 Married a Boman

4(iii). Harold Vernon (Mooch) Shirley b. 5-27-1922 d. 6-22-1987 Married Emma Schierbaum had 3 children

4(iv). Alice Gertrude Shirley b. 9-27-1911 Gutherie OK d. March 1993 Married Elmer Rose

4(v). Cecil Richard (Gus) Shirley b. 11-14-1909 d. May 2000 Married Grace ___

4(vi). Kenneth Ed (Slick)  Shirley b. Sept 23, 1913 Kansas City KS. m. 1st. Cleva Charlene Murphy, m. 2nd Laura Vergene Thompson Burgess

4(vii). Paul Thurman (Nep) Shirley m. 1st. Gladys Eye. m. 2nd Marie ___

4(viii). Dorothy Evelyn (Shirley) m. 1st. Hugh W. Gillespie, m. 2nd David Gorman

4(ix). Bessie Grace Shirley b Springdale, AR

3(iv). Gertrude Shirley born Nov 1885 KS

3(v). George Shirley born Dec 1891 MO

2(iii). Mariah Shirley born Oct 2, 1853 d. Oct 16, 1914 Eagleville MO.  Never married

2(iv). Reuben M. Shirley born Sept 29, 1855 died young (?1865)

2(v). Sarah R. Shirley born Aug 25, 1857 d. Oct 27, 1917 Eagleville MO. Never married

2(vi). Elizabeth E. Shirley born Mar 29, 1859 d. Jan 4, 1941  Eagleville MO. Never married

2(vii). Mary A. Shirley born Dec 25, 1860, d 1861 died young

2(viii). George W. Shirley born Dec 12, 1862 d. Jan 23, 1922 Eagleville MO. Never married 

2(ix). Rutha J. Shirley born Aug 29, 1864 d. March 10, 1871, died young age 6

2(x) William J. Shirley born Dec 31, 1866 d. March 12, 1871, died young age 4

2(xi) infant son Shirley b & d July 17, 1868 d. July 17, 1868, died young, infant

1(ii). Sarah Shirley born 1820 Glasgow, Barren Co. KY., died Aug 10, 1948 Frankfort IN., married Samuel Lattimore Rennick  (is the 1948 date a typo?)

1(iii). Mariah Shirley born Oct 14, 1821 Barren Co. KY, d. July 31, 1890, m. George A. Reeves

1(iv). Jemima Shirley died between April 1831 and June 1834. never married

1(v). America Shirley died between April 1831 and June 1834. never married

1(vi). Amy Elizabeth Shirley born Oct 17, 1829, d. May 30, 1897, m. James J. Dale Mar 7, 1861

1(vii). Martha Shirley born about 1824, age 26 in 1850 census of her mother's household. She was a minor child alive in June 1834. She apprarently never married but had 4 children. She died in 1899 in Decatur Co Iowa.

Dale Family Newsletter: "Several researchers inform me Martha Shirley is the unmarried dau of Elizabeth Dale and Richard Shirley Jr. They add, Martha never married but had four children, viz 1) Mary Shirley Elam b 1840 or Feb 1842, 2) Laura E Shirley Vest b 12 Apr 1844, 3) James Harrison Shirley b 1846 and 4) Elizabeth Jane Shirley Still b 12 Dec 1855 in Mercer Co MO. These children or their heirs are mentioned in Martha's probate in Decatur Co Iowa in August of 1899. James Harrison Shirley's burial certificate says his parents as Martha Ann Dale and James Shirley. This information may be untrue but who are Thomas J., Mahala J., and Farleigh Shirley (Richard Shirley Jr died in 1831)

Email from Jacquline Feb 2016 - Martha Ann born 1823 in Kentucky to Richard Shirley Jr. And Elizabeth. Had 4 children Mary, Laura, James Harrison, and Elizabeth Jane.It was said she came down river to MO about 1855. Her 4th child was born there.It is said that her Indian mate left the boat in St. Louis and never returned. She was already expecting Elizabeth Jane. I believe that Thomas joined her on that journey. I think the 1850 census recorder made mistakes when transcribing records. Mary (Mahala?) b in 1842,Laura in 1844, James H in 1846. And Elizabeth Jane in 1855. I don't know if this is true, but was a story handed down in our family.

1(viii). Reuben Shirley died between April 1831 and June 1834. died young

1(ix). Lemuel Shirley died between April 1831 and June 1834. died young 


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