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Thomas Shirley
born 1761. Lived in Spotsylvania  Co. Virginia. Family to Kentucky



        < Back to Branch 12 John Shirley of Spotsylvania Co Virginia

This Lineage Page Last Reviewed and Updated May 2019
Shirley of Adair Co Kentucky born 21 March 1761, Berkeley Parish, Spotsylvania Co., VA. He was the son of John Shirley Sr and wife Elizabeth of Spotsylvania Co VA; Thomas Shirley enlisted in the Revolutionary War on 21 January 1777 in the 8th VA Reg. 12th VA, and fought in the battle of Cowpens, SC. His name last appeared on the military muster roll March 1778, at Valley Forge. The family supposedly settled in Culpeper Co., VA for a while. They probably moved, with his brother John, in 1807 to Adair Co., KY. Family tradition says that Thomas Shirley had 60 slaves who cut a road through the forest as they traveled. He predicted Adair Co., KY had a great future and died very wealthy, The Civil War divided this family. Nine of his children sided with the North and two with the South. His will was dated 11 April 1820 and he died soon Five p.m. Monday 17 April 1820 at Adair Co., KY.ref. VA Rev. Rec. 8th VA Reg., family Bible, Henry Wright Newman, C. M. Shirley.

Will of Thomas Shirley - " I Thomas Shirley of the County of Adair and State of Kentucky being in a low state of health but perfectly in my senses do make and ordain this my last will and testament. Item: It is my will that all my just debts be paid and if the proceeds of the crop now on land should not be enough, such property as can be best spared from off the plantation as appears in the opinion of my Executors hereafter mentioned shall be sold for that purpose. Item: As I have disposed of some of my property to my eldest children and the younger ones have had none, I will go on to mention which of them have had and to what amount after my daughter Patsey was married to Samuel Hodges. I lent unto them a place to live on also one Negro woman named Nancy, until she the said Negro was delivered of a man child named Solomon. I then gave said Negro and child to my daughter Patsy Hodges which Negroes I rate or value to her at six hundred dollars with other property valued one hundred and fifty dollars which I gave, amounts to $755. Item: I gave to my son, Paul Shirley, one Negro man named Ben which I rate to him at six hundred dollars and one young mare at forty five dollars and he has since remitted unto me out what I had given him, three hundred and sixty eight dollars and fifty five cents which leaves a balance which leaves him a balance given him of two hundred and seventy six dollars and forty five cents which amount is all Paul Shirley has had of my estate. I have given unto my son, William A. Shirley, one Negro woman named Hannah which I rate or value to him at five hundred dollars and one hose and bed at one hundred and sixty dollars and seventy one cents, which leaves four hundred and thirty dollars and twenty three cents which is all William A. Shirley has had of my estate. I have lent to my son, Thomas W. Shirley, one Negro woman I likely named Delilah for his benefit for his life and at his death it is my will that said Negro together with her increase, should there be any, descent to his children, if any he has, if none, then forsaid Negro and increase to return into my estate, as herefore I rate or value her to Thomas W. Shirley at five hundred dollars as though I had given her to him. The property I have given him, one mare and the bed and furniture valued at ninety five dollars which together with the value of the Negro loaned, amounts to five hundred dollars. I have lent to my daughter, Frances G. Culp, one your Negro woman named Matilda for her use and benefit her live together with the increase of said Negro if any and at the death of my daughter, Frances, I give unto her children together with her increase of said Negro if any, as before mentioned . I have valued said Negro to my daughter, Frances, at five hundred dollars as though I had given her with other property given her at $67 whole Amount five hundred sixty seven dollars. I have given unto my son, Richard W. Shirley, property to the amount of two hundred and ninety dollars the particulars of which may be seen in a memorandum book I have kept and a fate forbids my giving him as parting with any more of my negroes now having lost some and leaving children yet to be raised and educated, I have loaned him a Negro man named Daniel for five weeks or months, then said Negro is to return home. But should it at any time in the opinion of my Executors be in their power to give said R.W. Shirley help first consulting their mother, it is my will that it be so done. It is my will that James A. Shirley, John M. Shirley, George Y. Shirley, Mary Ann Shirley, Charles Shirley, these my young children having not as yet had any property of my estate, should have each a good horse, a cow and calf and one bed and furniture as they or each of them should marry or become of age. Also that each of them last mentioned, be raised and educated out of my estate. I do further leave to my daughter, Mary Ann Shirley, a Negro named Abba when Mary may marry or becomes of age for her benefit of her life and then to descend to the heirs of her body, if any, of the now foresaid Negro together with her increase if any, and to be immediately returned into my estate but should said Negro die before Mary should marry or become of age, then for her to obtain a proportional part of my estate as though said Negro had not been lent her and said Negro and said Negro should be valued to Mary when she receives her, agreeable to the value of the others. I do lend unto my beloved wife, Molly Shirley, the plantation whereon I now live together with all my negroes not herein disposed of, stock of all kind of household and kitchen furniture, plantation utensils for and during the time she may remain my widow. But if should she marry, then it is my will that she receive one third of said property during her life, the balance at her marriage to be put into the hands of my estate and the said returned and the negroes hired out annually until the death of my wife, then for all my property to be sold on a credit of twelve months, negroes excepted which are to be valued and drawn for giving the preference of one a piece to the children that has had none at which drawing Uriney and the youngest she may have to go together the whole of the proceeds of my property to be divided at the death of my wife so as to make each and equal taking unto consideration what they had had, Patsy Hodges excepted who it is my will have one hundred dollars less than that of the others as either of them she having received her present portion of my estate or proceeds thereof it is my will that what money may be coming into Frances Culp be retained in the hands of my Executors and given to her or the heirs of her body as they may deem necessary. Lastly I do constitute and appoint my two sons, Paul Shirley and William A. Shirley, my Executors to this my last will and testament given under my hand this 11th day of April 1820. Test... Zachariah Perry George Perry William Masters Nancy W. Coleman Thomas Coleman Francis Shirley

married Molly Yates on 5 April 1788 in Caroline Co., VA. She was born 17 August 1767, Caroline Co., VA. She died 16 July 1839 Adair Co., KY, daughter of Capt. George and Frances (Lewis) Yates. George Yates, 1727 was fourth named George from the emigrant to MD, had a brother Dr. Michael Yates. Frances Lewis, b. 1730 Glocester Co., VA, daughter of Col. John and Frances (Fielding) Lewis.


1(i). Martha "Patsey" Shirley
born 26 January 1789 in Spotsylvania Co. VA Married Samuel Hodges Nov 17, 1807 Barren Co. KY. [She was earlier thought to be sister named Sally by process of elimination. But the following death record proves she is not. ]

June 16, 1853 Louisville and Nashville Christian Advocate (newspaper) MARTHA HODGES born Spotsylvania Co., Va., Jan. 26, 1789; oldest child of Thomas and Mary Shirley; moved to Ky. about 1805; md Samuel Hodges of Mercer Co., Ky., Nov. 17, 1807; member of Baptist Church but differing from its tenets in several ways she joined the MEC 1840; died May 16, 1853.

1857 Letter from 1(x). Mary Ann Shirley Turner to 1(xi). Charles Michael Shirley - "...I am sorry to hear of the ill health of Sister Sally, but hope if she gets to Texas she will regain her health by change of climate...."

1(ii). Paul Shirley born 30 August 1790 in Spotsylvania Co. VA  He died 16 April 1834. (source: tombstone); lived Nashville, Davidson Co TN

married Sarah Caperton Gibson on 6 December 1814.

1(iii). William A. Shirley born 29 May 1792, Berkeley Parish, Spotsylvania, Co., VA; He died 25 December 1836, Barren Co., KY,

1(iv). Thomas W. Shirley born 9 February 1794 Spotsylvania Co. VA  He was known for the 7 day clock that he manufactured. He is clearly alive in the mid-1850s. Untraced afterward

1857 Letter from 1(x). Mary Ann Shirley Turner to 1(xi). Charles Michael Shirley - "...I seldom hear from you or brother John, and as far as Brother Tom I never expect to hear from him except by chance through some friend. I made it my business to write him several letters some years ago, and I never received a line in return so I at last wrote him a farewell beseeching him to change his course of life and try to live more like a man for his family's sake and for the sake of his soul that could not die with the body..."

married Patsey Montgomery 28 November 1819 in Barren Co KY, age 59 in the 1860 Hart Co KY census (if the census is the same person, wife of Thomas Shirley?)

children: (known)

2(i). Matilda Anderson Shirley born about 1835 (census). Lived alone with her sister in 1880 Barren Co census. She lived in Hiseville Barren Co KY in 1910 census. She died in 1918 in Barren Co KY, married George H Walton on 10 September 1867 at Barren Co KY (her parents named in death cert). She may be "Malinda A Shirley", age 24, in the 1860 Hart Co census household of a Patsey Shirley.

2(ii). Eliza Shirley born about 1844, age 36 in 1880 census household of her sister Matilda Walton (Census ID: sister). She may be "Ann A Shirley", age 16 in the 1860 Hart Co census household of a Patsey Shirley.

The following look correct, being in the household of a Patsey Shirley in 1860 Hart Co KY (but might be an error, another Shirley family branch?)

2(iii). Mary J Shirley born about 1830 KY, She married George W Buckner and was found in the 1860 household of Patsey Shirley (with 2 Buckner children)

2(iv). James T Shirley born about 1840 KY, age 20 in the 1860 Hart Co KY census household of Patsey Shirley

2(v). Richard E. Shirley born about 1843 KY, age 17 in the 1860 Hart Co KY census household of Patsey Shirley

1(v). Frances G. Shirley born Oct 6, 1796 likley in Spotsylvania Co. VA d. 1877 buried Marysville, Cooke Co. Texas.  Married Josiah Chaplin Culp Nov 26, 1817. He was born Aug 25, 1776 Martinsburg, Berkeley Co. West Virginia. He died Sept 9, 1857 Cooper Co. Missouri (son of Euriah Culp).

1(vi). Richard Warner Shirley born April 25, 1798 likley in Spotsylvania Co. VA  Married Polly Yates Nov. 25, 1817.

1(vii). James Albert Shirley born 1 Jun 1800 likley in Spotsylvania Co. VA; He lived in Howard Co Missouri in 1850.

1(viii). John Mason Shirley born Feb 19, 1802 likley in Spotsylvania Co. VA; died in Glasgow on the 2nd day of Sept. 1866 at 2 O'clock in the afternoon.

1857 Letter from 1(x). Mary Ann Shirley Turner to 1(xi). Charles Michael Shirley - "...I saw a traveler the other day who told me that our brother John had moved from Bearwallow to Greensburg and was keeping hotel. I am sure I could not be contented in such a poor old place as that. He has but one child and so little incumberance tis a wonder that he will be contented in that old worn out place...."

1(ix). George Yates Shirley born March 12, 1804 likley in Spotsylvania Co. VA. Moved to Illinois in 1859.

married 1) Evaline Garvin on 17 September 1827 at Barren Co. KY.

married 2) Emily Brown

1(x). Mary Ann Shirley born Dec 18, 1805 in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania Co VA.  Married 1st John Snoddy, and 2nd Edward Turner. She died at Carrollton Mississippi [Sic, probably should be Missouri] on 10 July 1893. (See letter written by Mary Shirley to her brother Charles Michael Shirley found in the Miscellaneous link above)

1824 Martha A Turner, nee Shirley, born Fredericksburg, Va., Dec. 18, 1805; died Carrollton, Miss., July 10, 1893; moved with her father, Thomas Shirley and family to Barren Co., Ky. in 1807; married John Snoddy, Feb. 26, 1824 and he died May 30, 1830 leaving her with one son, John T. Snoddy who died Jan. 3, 1879 in his 56th year of age. In 1831 they moved to Howard Co., Mo. to live with her brother, Major James A. Shirley. She married Edward W. Turner, Sept. 24, 1834 and had 6 children, those surviving: James A., Georgia T. Smith, Pauline Dickson and Laura Summers. They moved to a farm in Carroll Co., Mo. in April 1842 and in 1875 moved to Carrollton with her widowed daughter, Mrs. Dickson and her five children. Ed W. Turner died March 17, 1879. - Genealogical Abstracts from Reported Deaths, The Nashville christain Advocate 1890-1893 [ Aug 10, 1993 issue]

1(xi). Charles Michael Shirley born March 15, 1808 likely in Adair Co. KY; He moved to Illinois in 1859. He He lived at Grayson Co KY in 1850 census, age 42; Lived at Paradise Twp Coles Co IL in 1860 census. Lived at Clifton Township, Wilson Co Kansas in 1870 census, age 63; Charles died 29 October 1872 at Wilson Co. Kansas. Shirleys of Wilson Co Kansas

married Sarah Ann Henderson May 5, 1809 (is this a birth date?). 


2(i). David G (should be T) Shirley born about 1830 in Kentucky, age 20 in 1850 census; Married and lived in Douglas Co IL in 1860, farmer (2 brothers lived in HH as farm hands); Lived Douglas Co IL in 1870, occupation: Dry Goods; Lived at Cooke Co Texas in 1880 census, occupation: Minister

married Mary H ______, age 42 in 1880 census


3(i). John C Shirley born about 1858 in IL, age 2 in 1860 census, age 12 in 1870 census

3(ii). Charles F Shirley born about 1861 in IL, age 9 in 1870 census, age 19 in 1880 census

3(iii). Lula Shirley born about 1863 in IL, age 7 in 1870 census, age 16 in 1880 census

3(iv). Mary E. Shirley born about 1865 in IL, age 5 in 1870 census, age 13 in 1880 census

3(v). Francis Shirley (f) born about 1870 in IL, age 0 in 1870 census (no first name in 1870), age 11 in 1880 census

3(vi). William Shirley born about 1873 in IL, age 3 in 1880 census

3(vii). Thomas Shirley born about 1875 in IL, age 5 in 1880 census

3(viii). infant Shirley (f) born about 1880 in Texas, age 0 in 1880 census

2(ii) Amanda J Shirley born about 1834 in Kentucky, age 18 in 1850 census, age 26 in 1860 census

2(iii). Samuel R. Shirley born Jun 1834 in Kentucky, age 16 in 1850 census. Living Colfax Wilson Co Kansas in 1880, farmer. Living Center, Woodson Co KS in 1900.

married Annie E. _____


3(i). Sidney L. Shirley (adopted) born 14 February 1888 in New York, listed as "adopted son" in 1900 census; living Reno KS in 1910 (single, age 21). He was married and living in Bartlesville, Washington Co OK in 1930 census (middle initial "L"). They moved to Pittsgrove, Salem New Jersey in 1940 census, age 52. Last place of residence was Newton, Sussex Co NJ. He was a poultry farmer He died June 26, 1944.

married Laura G. Huffman on 4 November 1911 at Chunate, Neosho Kansas. She was the daughter of Chauncey Huffman. She was born November 04, 1895 in Kansas.


4(i) Mildred Shirley
, born 2 June 1915 in Kansas, age 14 in 1930 census

4(ii) Elizabeth (Betty) M. Shirley, born 25 September 1916 in Kansas, age 13 in 1930 census; She died 13 July 1978.

4(iii) Sidney C. Shirley, born 13 October 1918 in Kansas, age 11 in 1930 census, age 21 in 1940 census

4(iv) Anna Marie Shirley, born 21 May 1921 in Kansas, age 8 in 1930 census, age 18 in 1940 census

2(iv). Charles R Shirley born about 1835 in Kentucky, age 14 in 1850 census, age 25 in 1860 census (also listed in HH of D T Shirley in Douglas Co IL as farm hand); He was married and lived in Clifton Township Wilson Co KS in 1870 census and then Colfax Township, Wilson Co Kansas in 1880 census

married Sallie A _______


3(i). Edwin F Shirley born about 1870 in Illinois, age 0 in 1870 census, age 10 in 1880 census

3(ii). George H Shirley born about 1872 in Kansas, age 8 in 1880 census

3(iii). Cary Shirley (m) born about 1874 in Kansas, age 6 in 1880 census

2(v). Marcus Porterfield Shirley born about 1843 in Kentucky, age 10 in 1850 census (name: Democrates P Shirley), age 17 in 1860 census (also listed in HH of D T Shirley in Douglas Co IL as farm hand); age 27 in 1870 census, He lived in Colfax Township, Wilson Co Kansas in 1880 census

married Adaline ______ after 1870


3(i). William W Shirley born about 1872 in Kansas, age 8 in 1880 census

3(ii). Robert N Shirley born about 1874 in Kansas, age 6 in 1880 census

3(iii). Mary Shirley born about 1880 in Kansas, age 0 in 1880 census

2(vi). Frances Porterfield Shirley born about 1844 in Kentucky, age 8 in 1850 census (name Mary F Shirley) age 16 in 1860 census. age 24 in 1870 census (name: M. F.) Mary F Shirley married Moses Brownon 20 November 1873 in Wilson Co Kansas

2(vii). William B Shirley born about 1846 in Kentucky, age 6 in 1850 census, age 14 in 1860 census; age 24 in 1870 census; He lived at Colfax Township Wilson Co Kansas in 1880 census and in 1900 census

married Cordelia B Hedges on 15 July 1875 at Wilson Co Kansas


3(i). Walter D Shirley born about 1877 in Kansas, age 3 in 1880 census

3(ii). Marguerite B Shirley born about 1881 in Kansas, age 19 in 1900 census

2(viii). George F (T or L) Shirley born about 1848 in Kentucky, age 3 in 1850 census, age 12 in 1860 census; age 21 in 1870 census; He lived with brother Marcus P Shirley in Wilson Co Kansas in 1880 census

Who is this S. R Shirley, Can you help the Shirley Association?
The card says S. R Shirley, Yates Center, Kansas
His lapel ribbon says "In memoriam [illegible]"
(source: thanks to Jodee. Original photo in possession of the Woolen and Galasso family)

Editor: Samuel R Shirley born 1834 (see lineage above) lived in Yates Center Kansas, but the man in the photo is clearly of a later generation (clothes, hair style. Plus, Yates Center Kansas became a town only in the late 1800s.

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