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

Thomas Shirley
born ca 1760. Lived South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois and Missouri. 


DNA Haplogroup R1b 

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Thomas Shirley born 1760 South Carolina; raised by his mother seven miles from Winnsboro

He was a resident of Fairfield Co. South Carolina in 1780 when entered the service as a volunteer. His father died before he was born. Thomas said that since the Revolutionary War he spent some time in South Carolina and then moved to Davidson Co., then Mc Nairy Co. Tennessee (McNairy formed 1823 from Hardin Co). From there he moved to Clinton, Fayette and finally to Jackson Co. Illinois.

He is not found in any of the 1790, 1800, 1810 or 1820 census. (many of the early TN census were lost). However, he may be the Thomas Shirley enumerated in Wayne County Tennessee in 1820, which is adjacent to Hardin and McNairy Counties.

1830 Fayette Co IL Census

Thomas Sherley and wife both age 60-70, with one male 0-5, one female 5-10,
Jordon Sherly age 20-30 (next door)
Elizabeth Sherley is HH age 40-50 with 1 son 15-20, 1 son 20-30.

1830 Clinton Co IL Census - Possible sons or grandsons?

Edmund Sheerley 10001...-1001...
William Sheerley 0001...-00001

1840 Washington Co MO Census

Thomas Sherley enumerated as a Rev War veteran in the HH of son Jordon Sherley.
Jordon Sherley

1840 Fayette Co IL Census

John Shirley 0000100000000 - 0000000100000 (he age 30-40, woman age 50-60)

Thomas Shirley states in his pension papers his reason for moving from Illinois to Missouri. He has some children in Missouri and he and his son, Jordan, with whom he lives, desire to remove to Missouri.

Revolutionary War Pension Application

married _________ She is not named in any document thusfar discovered

children: (only one known named child as yet)

February 2017 - In the 1830 Fayette Co IL census, Thomas Sherley and his son Jordan Sherley are living adjacent to Isham Petty and son Robert Petty. According to Petty tradition, this Robert D Petty married Sarah Catherine Shirley who was born in Davidson Co TN (which matches the migration of Thomas Sherley as stated in his pension record). According to Petty sources, Sarah Catherine Petty had two siblings John Shirley and Kitty Shirley who was also born in Davidson Co TN about 1805, married Henry House.

Internet posting: "Kitty married Henry HOUSE and left TN for Stoddard Co MO. Robert PETTY, John SHIRLEY and Kitty HOUSE are all in Van Zandt Co. TX in 1850. After that Kitty goes to CA. Robert moves his family to Fannin Co. TX."

1850 Van Zandt Co TX (birthplaces given in the census)

Robert Petty 41 b TN
Sarah Petty 42 b Davidson Co TN (b 1808) ch: born McNairy Co 1829, Fayette Co IL 1831, Carroll Co AR 1837-9, Marion Co AR 1841-1847
John Sherly 55 (also in Petty household) b Davidson Co TN

(note: an Edmund Shirley is enumerated only a few doors away from Isham Petty in 1840 Carroll Co AR, see info at top of page for possible Edmund connection)

(next door)

Kitty Hause 46 b Davidson Co TN (ch: born [Morac?] MS, McNairy Co TN 1830, Henderson Co TN 1832, Wayne Co TN 1834, Stoddard Co MO 1836-1840

1(i). Jordan Sherley born about 1804 in Hardin County TN (source: son's death cert, although likely untrue. Hardin Co was formed from Indian lands in 1819); He was married with no children and living next door to his father Thomas Sherley in the 1830 Fayette Co IL census so it is possible that he married Etna Thrailkill in either Fayette Co IL or in Clinton Co IL where his father Thomas Sherley stated the family lived prior to migrating to Fayette. Jordan was a farmer; Lived Liberty TWP, Washington Co MO in 1860; lived at Ramsey, Fayette County IL in 1870 census.

1850 Washington Co MO census

Jordon Sherly 46
Aetna Sherly 38
Mary Sherly 18
James Sherly 16
Thomas Sherly 14
Andrew Sherly 12
William Sherly 10
Catharine Sherly 6
Francis Sherly 4
John Sherly 2 

1860 Washington Co MO census

Jordan Shirley 58
Etna Shirley 48
Wm C Shirley 20
Nancy Shirley 17
Francis M Shirley 15
Jno A Shirley 12
Nancy J Shirley 11
Ezekiel Shirley 8 

1870 Fayette Co IL census

Jordane Shirley 70
Etna Shirley 58
Thomas Shirley 34
Francis Shirley 24
John Shirley 22
Jane Shirley 20
Frances Shirley 6 

Email from Jenny Feb 2014: 1.Jordan Shirleys wife was Samantha Etna Thrailkill (ref. Francis Marion's death cert.) 2. Jordan's place of birth was Hardin County, Tenn (ref. Francis Marion's death cert.)

Editor's note: Hardin County was formed from Indian lands in 1819, so Jordan's birth about 1804 would likely not have been there. McNairy Co was formed from Hardin shortly thereafter in 1823, so that explains the mention in Thomas' pension record. No doubt the mention of Hardin in the death certificate is what the informant remembers about where the Shirley family originated. This is good news, but no doubt Jordan was born before they arrived in Hardin Co

Married Samantha Etna Thailkill sometime about 1832 possibly in Clinton or Fayette Co IL (no Thrailkill families are found in 1830 census for either county). She was born about 1812 (source of her name: son Francis death cert.)


2(i). Mary Sherley 1832  MO

2(ii). James Madison Sherley 1834 MO; Living Liberty TWP, Washington Co MO in 1860 (age 26, born IL); village of Old Mines in 1880; d. Sep. 3, 1899 buried Old Shirley Cemetery, Shirley, Washington County, MO

The town of Shirley, Missouri in Washington County MO was named after James Shirley

Shirley Missouri: The name was originally Walton's Mill, or Walton Mills, under which name a post office was established in 1876. George or Joseph Walton had a gristmill and sawmill there. In 1895 the post office was re-established by James Shirley, a store-keeper, & since that time has borne his name.

James M. Sherley, Old Shirley Cem.

married Caroline Jane Pershall on 18 Aug. 1853 at Washington Co MO; she was b. Mar. 5, 1835 d. Feb. 5, 1889 buried Old Shirley Cemetery, Shirley, Washington County MO


3(i). Mary E. Shirley age 6 in 1860; born Mo.

3(ii). Sarah E. Shirley age 4 in 1860; born Mo.

3(iii). Elizabeth C. Shirley age 2 in 1860; born Mo.

3(iv). Samuel Shirley age 10 in 1870; born Mo.

3(v). Ella M. Shirley age 1 in 1870; born Mo.

2(iii). Thomas Sherley born April 23, 1836 MO; living with father in Ramsey, Fayette Co Ill in 1870; This family lived in the 1880 census of Baxter Co. AR and 1900 Census of Logan Co. AR  

married Mary Elizabeth Haugh on August 25, 1871 in Ripley Co. MO. She was born February 27, 1850 in Ripley Co, MO, died September 09, 1933 in Seminole Co, OK  

Children: (info from Michael Israel)

3(i). Emma Elizabeth Shirley, b. April 07, 1873

Emma Shirley and sister Polly Shirley
(submitted by Elaine Scott)

3(ii). James Marion Shirley, b. July 09, 1875

James Marion Shirley and wife Annie
(submitted by Elaine Scott)

3(iii). Clara Shirley, b. about 1877

3(iv). William Carroll Shirley, b. about 1879

3(v). Mary Shirley, b. about 1881

3(vi). Bertie Loranzo Dow Shirley, b. April 23, 1884 Mountain Home, Baxter County, Arkansas, d. May 31, 1958, buried Lenna, OK, 

Bertie Lorenzo Dow Shirley  and wife Emley Hyde
(submitted by Elaine Scott)

married Emley Missouri Hyde on Dec 29, 1915 Boonville, Logan Co. AR.  She was b. Sept 22, 1897 Boonville, Logan Co. AR. d. Oct 20, 1987 Tulsa OK buried Lenna, OK.         

Children:  info from Naomi Wood                                     

4(i). Jewell Shirley b. Dec 31, 1916 d. Oct 29, 1996

4(ii). Reuben Lorenzo Shirley b. Oct 23, 1918 d. Oct 29, 2000

4(iii). Ruby Estelle Shirley 

4(iv). Ruth Marie Shirley

4(v). Herman Dowe Shirley b. Aug 4, 1924 d. 1924 

4(vi). Earl Kenneth Shirley

4(vii). Pearl Audrey Shirley

4(viii). Lois Ilene Shirley

4(ix). Austin Thomas Shirley

4(x). Harold Orville Shirley b. Jan 28, 1931 d. Feb 2, 1932

4(xi). Joanna Shirley b. April 3, 1937 d. April 9, 1937 

4(xii). Joe Roy Shirley

3(vii). Myrtle Melissa Shirley b. June 27, 1886

Myrtle Shirley and sister Ollie Shirley
(submitted by Elaine Scott)

3(viii). Ollie Bertha Shirley, b. April 04, 1888

See photo of Ollie Shirley with sister Myrtle above

3(ix). Polly Tibiatha Shirley, b. April 12, 1890

See photo of Polly Shirley with sister Emma above

2(iv). Andrew Sherley 1838  MO; died before 1870

married Sarah ______(1860 census); likely aka Elizabeth Welker.

Andrew Sherley married Elizabeth Welker 25 Nov. 1858


3(i). William C. Sherley born about 1860; living with Jane Welker in 1870, Harmony Washington Co MO

Washington County - On 20 Feb. 1871 the guardian of William C. Shirley, Johannes Welker, sold land for the education of William who was the heir of Andrew Shirley.

2(v). William C. Sherley 1840  MO; Living with father Jordan in Liberty TWP Washington Co MO in 1860, age 20

2(vi). Catherine Sherley 1844  MO

2(vii). Francis "Frank" Marion Sherley born 12 July 1846 in Potosia Washington County MO; living with father in Ramsey, Fayette Co Ill in 1870; living Ripley Missouri in 1900 census

"Just north of Arkansas line in Ripley County Missouri in 1883 a Brother James from Tennessee (probably T.W. James from Tipton Co.), held a meeting at Shirley about seven miles northwest of Doniphan. The meeting resulted in 25-30 baptisms and the establishing of a local church. This was brought about by some brethren who had moved to the community from Bethel congregation on Buffalo Creek, which I believe was in Tennessee. The new church met in the schoolhouse, and when a new schoolhouse was built, the name was changed to Shirley in honor of Brother F.M. Shirley, one of the charter members and an officer of the church. The church never owned a building of its own. It had many Arkansas preachers to aid it. It produced and sent out the following preachers who labored much in Arkansas: Herman, Albert and Silas Shirley, sons of F.M. and Eliza Shirley, charter members...and others The Shirley brothers preached much in Northeast Arkansas. All three were born in Ripley Co. MO. Albert, the oldest was born in 1878, was educated in the public schools of Missouri, and the Bible School at Kinberlin Heights, Tennessee. He began preaching in 1904. His wife was Esther Harris. In addition to preaching, he taught in the public schools. Herman was born in 1884 and was educated at Ouachita Academy, Maynard, Arkansas; and Southeastern State Normal, Durant, Oklahoma. Her began preaching soon after Albert did and he also taught school. I have no record of Silas." - from ARKANSAS ANGELS by Boyd E. Morgan

married Elizabeth Crawshaw on Oct 1, 1876 in Ripley MO


3(i). John Albert Sherley born about 1878; preacher; educated at the Bible School at Kinberlin Heights TN. public school teacher. Father's obit says he was an attorney at Durant

3(ii). Herman M. Sherley born about 1884; preacher; educated at Ouachita Academy at Maynard Arkansas and Southeastern State Normal College at Durant OK; public school teacher; Father's obit says he was an attorney at Coalgate.

3(iii). Silas M. Sherley born about 1886; preacher; Father's obit says he was an attorney at Durant

3(iv). Hattie A. Sherley boarn about 1889

2(viii). John Albert Sherley born about 1848  MO; living with father in Ramsey, Fayette Co Ill in 1870; died 4 June 1893 at Ripley MO; buried Shirley Cemetery, Ripley County, Mo. 1880 census says father born IL and Mother born MO

married Louisa Burlison June 23, 1881 at Ripley Co MO

Family of John Albert Shirley
Supposedly, the reunion was held in the
city park at Doniphan, Ripley County MO.
Thanks to John Simino for sending this image

children: (see 1900 census for Ripley MO)

3(i). Franklin M Shirley born about 1882

3(ii). Elijah Lige Shirley born 4 Jun 1883; died 1965; buried Pope Chapel Cem.

3(iii). Sophronia Evelyn Shirley born 30 Nov 1884; buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery, St Louis County, Missouri

married Hugh L Welch (died), Albert Smith (died), and Charles Claybaugh (div)

Frona Shirley
(thanks to John Simino for the photo)

3(iv). Gracy Etna Shirley born 6 Apr 1886

3(v). Grover Cleveland Shirley born 5 Aug 1888

3(vi). Lewis Rudy Shirley born 17 Aug 1891; buried Cyclone Cem.

3(vii). Eliza Shirley born about Feb 1894

2(ix). Nancy Jane Sherley born 17 Dec 1850; living with father in Ramsey, Fayette Co Ill in 1870

2(x). Ezekiel Sherley born about 1852


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