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Valentine Shirley
b. ca1740-50's. Lived in Augusta Co. Virginia. 


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Valentine Shirley was born in Pennsylvania in 1740-1750's and died in Augusta Co. Virginia in 1811.

Valentine Shirley appears to be of German descent and Catherine was a member of a Swiss-German family who also lived in Virginia. He was a successful farmer. Aug 10, 1777 Felty Shirly recommended for Ensign. Felty was a nickname for Valentine. Feb. 17, 1778 Valentine was commissioned Ensign in the militia. This reference and the Oath of Qualification have been the basis for membership of his descendants in the DAR. Aug 18, 1778 Vaentine Shirly and Jacob Barrier (Baer) appointed road surveyors. Nov 16, 1779 Grand Jury presentments against Valentine Shirley and forty three others for retailing liquors without a license. On June 8, 1811 Valentine sold his land in Augusta Co. VA and on July 8th, 1811 he entered 480 acres in Orange Co. Indiana. It is not known if he made the trip to Orange co. Indiana or not as he made his will Sept 3, 1811 in Augusta Co. VA and was in low health.   His will was  probated Sept 23, 1811.

married Catherine Baer and they were the parents of eight children.


1(i). Mary Barbara Shirley born April 12, 1772 VA, died 1831 IN, married Samuel Baker Sept 24, 1791. He was born May 1770 PA and died April 1842 IN. He was the son of: Phillip Peter Baker Dec 23,1723 Germany, died Mar 1, 1801-1801 and Barbara Schubic. Phillip was the son of Johann Nicholas Backer (Baker) who married Anna Marie Schawnee Jan 1723. Johann is said to have farmed in Frederick Co. VA before 1755. His will is written in German and probated in 1762. (see MISC INFO link at the top of this page for a pedigree of this family)

1(ii). Jacob Shirley born Feb 9, 1774 VA, died Dec 2, 1859 IN. Shirleys of Orange Co Indiana

About 1814, Jacob and Sally made the long journey to Indiana, bringing with them their infant daughter born in 1814.  Jacob first purchased land in Orange County Indiana on Feb 11, 1815.  He and his wife made their home on this land, which was adjacent to lands entered by his brother Henry and by Thomas Sewell, husband of his sister, Anna Shirley. After the death of  Anna and Thomas Sewell, Jacob Shirley was named guardian of their children. In 1816, the first school in Orangeville Township was established at the Shirley place. In 1837 Jacob and Sally deeded 3 acres of their land to the school district of Congressional Township for $1.00. Sometime between 1815 and 1820, a log mill was built by Jacob Shirley at the rise of Lost River, which was also known as the Big Spring. This mill was run by an undershot wheel which had one set of burrs on which corn was ground.    The top of the burr of this mill was one solid stone taken from the vicinity of Cave Spring. It is of flinty limestone. This was the first mill on lower Lost Rive, and it was greatly needed to grind the corn to make meal for the first settlers in this vicinity. Jacob died in 1859...nearly 7 years later and Sarah in 1861. They are buried in a cemetery on the property in Section 7 that they once owned and which Valentine Shirley had entered in 1811. Jacob's brother Henry had been buried there in 1847.  Jacob's Bible was printed in 1833 and is now located in the Museum of the Spring Mill State Park, Mitchell Indiana. It records the dates of births, marriages, and deaths of members of Jacob's family and also dates for the family of his sister, Anna Shirley Sewell. It is said that Jacob did not care to live in a log house. He built a house which was pronounced by travelers as the best house in the Ohio River Valley at that time.  A large part of the house was still standing and in use in 1920. It is also said that Jacob's personality was sometime arrogant and overbearing. One winder when the wheat crop had failed and the people were really suffering for want of flour, Jacob Shirley has a large quantity stored in his mill, but he refused either to grind or sell it except at an exorbitant price.  He hoarded the grain for two or three years, until it deteriorated and the crops were again plentiful and the prices consequently lowered. Jacob Shirley was a horse fancier. In his later days he went to Virginia and came back with a span of trotters, equipped with fine brass studded harnesses and hitched to a splendid carriage. The horses were a bit too much for the old gentleman to manage, however, and he sent back to Virginia for a Negro coachman. Since he could not hold the man as a slave in Indiana, he freed him and built a cabin for him and his wife, and allowed them a tract of land to cultivate as long as they lived. 

1(iii). John Shirley born Aug 2, 1776 VA, His will dated Oct 3, 1835 and recorded Dec 25, 1835 Lincoln Co. MO. He bequeaths to John Foster all my right and interest in the following named negroes (8)....and all personal property.... and he is to pay my brothers, Henry and Charles Shearly.  Wit: William Highsmith and F.K. Duncan. Shirleys of Grainger Co TN and Lincoln Co MO

Soon after their marriage, John and Ann Shirley moved to Grainger Co. TN. There a number of deeds in his name from 1809 to 1828.    They show he owned considerable land including some lots in Rutledge. One property of 30 acres was called the "John Shirley sawmill tract".  He is listed in the 1810 census with his wife, age 26-45 and with one boy and one girl, both under 10 years of age. Unfortunately, there is no 1820 census as they were destroyed in a fire.  They do not appear in the 1830 census of TN. In Nov 1811 John was in Augusta Co. VA  participating at the auction of his deceased father, Valentine.  He purchased a bed and furniture for $12.50, a money scale $1.75, a coffee mill $1.12, some vials and bottles $5.25. In August 1814 John and Ann signed an affidavit in Grainger Co. TN relating  to Valentine's estate. Before the death of his mother in 1834, he had borrowed substantially from her. In the final settlement of her estate in 1844-6 the Orange County IN court papers mention "the unknown heirs of John Shirley". The court also determined that John Shirley "was and is entirely insolvent, "and that his unknown heirs would not receive any share of the estate. The last record for him was a sale on Feb 8, 1828 of two adjoining parcels of 100 acres each, one being land he bought in 1810.

1831, Summary Depositions, in the case Catherine Shirley vs. John Shirley heard in the Circuit Court of Lincoln County, Missouri. There is a deposition for Jacob Shirley (1774-1859) and Charles Shirley (b. 1782) which were taken in Orange County, Indiana. Also included is a dedimus authorizing any judge or justice of the peace to take testimony of anyone having knowledge of the case. The suit was brought by Catherine Shirley (d. 1834) of Augusta County, Virginia and later Orange County, Indiana against her son John Shirley (1776-1835) of Lincoln County, Missouri for his alleged failure to pay money owed her. Cite As Shirley Family. Depositions, 1831. Accession 40500, Personal papers collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. 23219. Biog./Hist. Note Catherine Baer was the daughter of Jacob and Barbara Baer of Rockingham County, Virginia. She married Valentine Shirley. They resided in Augusta County, where he died in 1811. Afterwards, she moved to Orange County, Indiana where she died in 1834. Library of Virginia Archives

1835 Will of John Shearly, dated Oct 3, 1835. Bequeath to John Foster all my right and interest in the following named negros Slave Milly and her children Henry, Lot, Alcy, Ben, Caroline, Sarah Jane and youngest and all personal property.... and he is to pay my brothers, Henry and Charles Shearly.  Wit: William Highsmith and F.K. Duncan.  Recorded Dec 25, 1835. (A-40) Will Book "A" & "B", 1825 - 1855

married Ann Scott Oct 1, 1801 Rockingham Co. VA.

Names of Children not Known....

1(iv). Henry Shirley born March 26, 1779 VA, died  Dec 22, 1847, Shirleys of Orange Co Indiana

Henry came to Indiana about 1809 according to his grandson, William C. Shirley. He located in Jackson Twp. in Washington Co. northwest of New Albany where his sister, Barbara and her husband Samuel Baker had settled. It was probably here that he met his wife, Catherine Wyman. She was the daughter of Henry and Catherine (Kern) Wyman who had come to Jackson Twp in 1807 from KY.  Henry volunteered in the War of 1812. He served as a private in Capt. Hiram C. Boone's Company, Fifth Regiment Indiana Militia from Aug 21, 1812 to Sept 28, 1812.  He was paid $8.59. Any other details of his service are unknown.  Henry and Jacob lived together for a time on land bought by their father, Valentine, who had died in 1811. These two brothers with families arrived too late to clear ground and put in crops. Henry built a double log house with chimney between and fireplaces to face each room. There were two large rooms. This was one and a half stories high with porch running the full length of the house. Henry was active in the Methodist Church. In the history of Orange Co. it is stated that the society now known as Wesley Chapel was called at its organization, Bruner's Chapel, organized before 1830 probably at the home of Henry Shirley. The first meeting was held at the Henry Shirley schoolhouse, and afterward at the home of A. Bruner...... Among the early members of this church were Henry Shirley, his wife, mother and family, Nathaniel B. Wilson... and others. In 1837 Henry Shirley was a trustee of the Methodist church of Paoli. In the late 1830's, Henry Shirley, his wife and all of his children, except George, moved to Richland Co. IL.  Her he owned 480 acres upon which he farmed until 1846, when his health failed. He then returned with his wife and daughters, Harriet and Susan, to his farm in Orange Co. IN near his son George. Henry did not execute a will until the day he died. The will was probated Jan 4, 1848 with bond of $4000 provided by his son George Shirley and son-in-law, Andrew Wilson, executors. Henry's will (Book 3 page140) specified that his wife Catherine should have such articles of his personal property as may be most convenient for her lifetime. The remaining articles should be sold and the proceeds distributed... 1/3 to Catherine and rest divided equally between his 7 living children and his grandson Henry Brassie, son of deceased daughter, Ann. The will specified that wife Catherine should receive all of Henry's lands in Orange Co. IN for her lifetime after which they should be sold and proceeds divided among the 8 heirs. This provision was corrected later, and court records show that at least 210 acres were sold soon; 170 acres to Susan and her husband, Enos Halbert. Henry's land in Martin Co. should be sold and proceeds divided among the 8 heirs. This amounted to 520 acres. Additional bequests were mad to: John Shirley $100 to make him equal with the others. Susana Shirley, 1 horse, 2 cows, 4 sheep, 1 bed and furniture, or their value in money. (Susan received $200 in lieu of the livestock. Harriet Shirley, 1 horse, saddle and bridle, 2 cows, 4 sheep, 1 bed and furniture or their value in money. (Harriet received $200 in lieu of the livestock. Henry schoolarship in the Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw).

married Catherine Wyman Dec 19, 1812 as recorded in Corydon in Harrison Co. IN .  She was born May 29, 1790 NC and died Oct 8, 1872. (She lived with her son George  after Henry died).  

1(v). Charles Shirley born April 2, 1782 By 1809 they had left Augusta Co. VA and were living in Kentucky. He died 20 November 1853 and was buried at the Old Union Cemetery, Louisville, Clay Co Illinois. Shirleys of Clay County Illinois

Charles had borrowed substantially from his mother, so did not participate in the distribution of her property in 1845. In 1850 Charles is listed in the 1850 census of Clay Co. IL. It is said by an old family historian of long ago that Charles was killed by pirates on the Mississippi River while taking staves to New Orleans. No will or administration has been found for Charles. William C. Shirley (b.1839) said: Charles gave up his holdings in Indiana and moved to Illinois at the same time or before Henry Shirley went there. I recollect going for a a visit to Charles and to my Grandfather Henry Shirley's house in about 1842. Charles lived in a brick house out there on the edge of the plains. In those days most of the houses were log cabins, and a brick house indicated real prosperity. It took us about a day to drive from Grandfather Henry's to Uncle Charles' place. Uncle Charles was a great hunter. He was not at home when we drove up that evening, but he soon came in wagging a deer on his back. I was only a little chap of four or five, so I do not remember much about the visit. I do recall that there were two wheelbarrows in the yard, the first I had ever seen. He also had several stands of bees, and I recollect that Jackson, Adam Shirley's son, and another boy wheeled the barrows among those bees and got badly stung.  There were two or three women around the house. There was no timber close to the house. He just lived on the edge of a prairie.  Uncle Charles had formerly lived on the old Hamm place in Orange Co., and had built a log house and barn there before he moved to IL.

married Sarah Ingledove ca. 1807.  She died 22 January 1856 and was buried at the Old Union Cemetery, Louisville Clay Co IL.

Known children

2(i). Indiana Shirley born ca. 1809 KY,  m. John A. McCauley Dec 11, 1838 Orange Co. IN.  (4 children)

2(ii). Jennings Shirley (male) born about 1820 IN, age 30, single living in parent's 1850 census household, age 56 (sic) in 1860 Clay Co IL census, living with siblings Alexander, Samuel and Amanda

2(iii). Huron Shirley born about 1825 IN, He lived in Effingham Co IL in 1860 census, age 30; Lived at Blair, Clay Co IL in 1870 censusage 50, occupation farmer; He lived at Louisville, Clay Co Illinois in the 1880 census, age 55, occupation: farmer

married 1) Susan Summerman; Her surname is identified in the 1878 marriage of her son William F Shirley 

married 2) Cynthia Martin sometime just before the 1860 census (her surname ID in son Andrew's death cert); She was age 23 in 1860 census, age 35 in the 1870 census


3(i). William Floyd Shirley (by 1st marriage) born about 1850 IL, age 10 in 1860 census, age 20 in parent's 1870 census household; He lived near his father in Louisville Clay Co Illinois in the 1880 census, married, age 29, occupation farmer

married Rebecca J Jones on 20 August 1878 in Clay County Illinois, she was age 15 at the time of marriage, daughter of John Jones and Catherine Hord


4(). David Francis Shirley born 12 June 1881 at Louisiville Clay Co IL to W T (sic) Shirley and wife Rebecca Jane Jones (birth rec)

3(ii). Andrew J Shirley born 18 June 1856 at Effingham Co IL (death cert), age 3 in 1860 census; age 11 in parent's 1870 census; Lived at Neoga, Cumberland Co IL in 1900 census, age 43, married; He died 12 February 1928 at Neoga Cumberland Co IL. age 71, buried at Old Union Cemetery, Clay Co IL (death cert, parents named)

married Susan Etta Cameron; She died in 26 September 1926, buried Old Union Cemetery, Louisville Clay Co IL


4(i). Harvey S Shirley born about 1887 in IL, age 13 in 1900 census

4(ii). Clarence E Shirley born about 1890 in IL, age 10 in 1900 census

4(iii). Cora C Shirley born about 1893 in IL, age 7 in 1900 census

4(iv). Edith M Shirley born about 1896 in IL, age 4 in 1900 census

3(ii). George W. Shirley born 7 January 1859 IL, age 1 in 1860 census; age 9 in 1870 census, age 22 in parent's 1880 census household; He died 13 January 1935, buried Old Union Cemetery, Louisville Clay Co IL;

3(iii). Mary E. Shirley born about 1865 IL, age 4 in 1870 census, age 15 in parent's 1880 census household

3(iv). Clementine (Susan) Shirley born about 1869 IL, age 1 in parent's 1870 census household (as Susan Shirley), age 11 in parent's 1880 census household

3(v). Roseann Shirley born about 1876 IL, age 4 in parent's 1880 census household

2(iv). Catherine Shirley born 1825 IN, gone from parent's census household in 1850

2(v). Alexander Shirley born 1826 IN, age 24 in parent's 1850 census household, age 48 (sic) in 1860 Clay Co IL census, living with siblings Jennings, Samuel and Amanda

2(vi). Samuel Shirley born 1828 IN, age 22 in parent's 1850 census household, age 27 (sic) in 1860 Clay Co IL census, living with siblings Jennings, Alexander and Amanda

2(vii). Amanda Shirley born 1830 IN, age 20 in parent's 1850 census household, age 24 (sic) in 1860 Clay Co IL census, living with siblings Jennings, Alexander and Samuel

2(viii). Mary Shirley born 1832 IN, age 18 in parent's 1850 census household

2(ix). Missouri Shirley born 1839 Mississippi, age 11 in parent's 1850 census household

1860 Census Jennings, Alexander, Samuel and Amanda are listed in the one household in Clay Co. IL

1(vi). Adam Shirley born July 17, 1786, died 1842-43, Shirleys of Washington County Mississippi

Adam appears to have gone to Orange Co. IN in 1815 along with the others of the family. Land had been entered for him there in 1813. The history of Orange Co. states that he was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1817 and that he voted in Northwest Twp in 1819. In 1819 he officiated at a marriage. Adam appears to have gone to Orange Co. IN in 1815 along with the others of the family. Land had been entered for him there in 1813. The history of Orange Co. states that he was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1817 and that he voted in Northwest Twp in 1819. In 1819 he officiated at a marriage. Adam owned 80 acres and about 1820 the county authorized him to build a toll bridge over Lost River on his land. The bridge was never built. In 1830 he transferred the land to his brother Charles. It appears that Adam lived for a short time in Martin Co. which adjoins Orange Co. On Aug 12, 1819 he entered 320 acres but later relinquished the claim. In 1820 he ran for sheriff of Martin Co. IN and won, receiving 68 votes versus 60 for his opponent. His election was disallowed because he had not qualified as a resident of Martin Co for 12 months. He is not listed in the 1820 Indiana census index. An Orange Co. IN Court record shows he was unmarried in Feb 1818. In 1830 Adam appears on the census for  Washington Co. Mississippi. His wife was 20-29, 3 females 10-14, 1 female 5-9 and 1 female under 5 with no slaves.  In 1840 he was 50-59, with a male 30-39, a female 30-39, a male 5-9, 2 girls under 5, and 2 slaves. On May 14, 1839, Adam executed a deed of trust naming his wife Elleander and children Andrew, Martha and Missouri, also eight slaves. By this deed Adam mortgaged a plantation of 671.5 acres in Washington Co. Mississippi, Book 1` page 279. William C. Shirley wrote about 1925 that... Adam Shirley went south, locating in Mississippi and had a plantation and Negro slaves. He married and had two children. His wife died and he was killed by his overseer. His children, quite small, were brought north and raised by Jacob and Henry Shirley (brothers of Adam). Their names were Jackson and Missouri.  Jackson Shirley learned the tinner's trade at Paoli in Orange Co. IN under the system then in vogue, after which he settled near Kokomo in Howard Co. IN. and married.

married Elleander ___.

1(vii). Anna Elizabeth (Betsey) Shirley born Feb 19, 1790, died Jan 5, 1881, m. Andrew Wilson Dec 25, 1815. He was born Aug 5, 1789 VA and died Oct 7, 1853. They were the parents of 7 children. (See MISC INFO at the top of this page to see a pedigree of this family)

Anna Elizabeth was called Betsey and in her father's (Valentine) will she was bequeathed a brown mare named Jin and her colt and 2 cows, or $124, also 1 good feather bed and furniture, as well as her equal share of the estate. At the sale in 1811 she bought a black filly for six pounds six shillings. The final settlement of Valentine's estate shows that she chose the money instead of the animals and that she also received $267. Betsey with her mother and others of her family came to Indiana in 1815. On July 7, 1815 she entered 160 acres in Paoli Twp, Orange Co. IN. She was the first woman to enter land in the township and the only woman among 121 persons who entered land there through 1819 according to the history of Orange Co IN.

1(viii). Anna Catherine Shirley Feb 29, 1792 VA, d. Nov 18, 1833, m. Thomas Sewell Oct 6, 1814. He was born Nov 6, 1791 and d. Aug 10, 1834. They were the parents of 5 children. (See MISC INFO at the top of this page to see a pedigree of this family)

Anna was 19 when her father died. He bequeathed her a horse and two cows, or $124, and one good feather bed and furniture in addition to her share of the estate. Her only purchase at the sale on Nov 7, 1811 was a desk for four pounds, one shilling. In the final settlement of the estate her share was $310.13 plus the $124 in place of the animals. Anna signed a deed in Augusta Co. VA on June 16, 1814, and after her marriage to Thomas Sewell on Oct 6, 1814, she and Thomas both signed the deed.

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