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

Shirley Family of
Independence Co Arkansas


DNA Haplotype R1b Very closely matches DNA of Rev'l War Soldier Thomas Shirley, Branch 50 and Branch 72. Both families migrating through the Hardin Co TN area.


This Lineage Last Reviewed and Updated in March 2019

William D. Shirley b. 1855, Tenn. d. 1890 in Independence County, Arkansas, he married, 1876 Nancy J. Davidson,b. 1855 in Ala.  Their children were (1) Cora a. Shirley, b. 1878, Ala., d. 1924; (2) John W. "Red" Shirley b. 1881, Ala. m. Cora Burns, b. 1886, Independence Co. Arkansas; (3) Lewis Shirley b. February 2, 1883. 

William F Shirley born about 1827 in Tennessee (source 1860 census). He is very likely part of the Shirley family of Hardin Co Tennessee. He was enumerated in Henderson Co Tennessee in 1850 census before moving his family to Pilot Hill Township, Fulton Co Arkansas about 1860 when he was enumerated in that county. He was living in nearby Independence Co Arkansas in 1870 census. Nothing more known after this date. untraced

married Nancy R _____ She was born about 1828 in South Carolina (source 1850, 60 census)


1(i). Hannah/Matilda Shirley born about 1849, age 1 in 1850 census, age 12 (as Matilda) in 1860 census. May be Anna M Shirley age 27 (sic) in 1870 household of her father William F Shirley untraced

1(ii). Susan E Shirley born about 1850 in Tennessee, age 10 in 1860 census, age 26 (sic) in 1870 untraced

1(iii). Henry J Shirley born about 1851 in Tennessee, age 9 in 1860 census, age 18 in 1870 untraced

1(iv). William D Shirley born about 1854 in Tennessee, age 6 in 1860 census, age 16 in 1870 (see expanded lineage below)

1(v). John W. Shirley born about 1857 in Tennessee, age 3 in 1860 census, age 11 in 1870 untraced

1(vi). Jordan Shirley born about 1860 in Arkansas, age 10 in 1870 census. He was enumerated with wife Sarah at Big Bottom Township, Independence Co AR in 1880 census. untraced

married Sarah Ann Peppers on 27 June 1879 at Jackson Co AR

possible family?

1910 Poinsett Co AR census (they are in St Francis Co AR in 1900, sons William 14 TN, Arthur A, 12 b TN)

Jordan A Sharley age 48 (b 1862 TN), married 2nd 11 years
Rosey L Sharley age 38 (b Texas), married ?3rd 11 yrs, 1 of 2 children alive
Shelton R Sharley age 15 b Texas (b 1895).

1(vii). Mary Shirley born about 1863 in Arkansas, age 7 in 1870 census untraced

1(viii). George A Shirley born about 1866 in Arkansas, age 4 in 1870 census. He was a farm hand living with Kelley M Hulsey family of Christian Township, Independence Co AR in 1880 census, age 14. untraced

1(ix). Lewis E. Shirley born about 1869 in Arkansas, age 6 months in 1870 census. (not the same person who married Ethyl Osborn in Independence Co. s/o William D Shirley) untraced

William D Shirley born 1855 in Tennesee; He appears in Independence Co Ark in 1880 census; He died 1890 in Independence Co Arkansas, age about 35.

married Nancy J. Davidson in 18 November 1876 in Jackson Co Co Arkansas; She was born in 1855 in Alabama


1(i). Cora A. Shirley born 1878 in Alabama; She is unmarried and living in Christian Township, Independence Co Arkansas in 1900 (father born Arkansas); She married J. W. McCartney at Jackson Co Arkansas on 3 November 1901; She died 1924

1(ii). John W. "Red" Shirley born 1881 in Alabama

married Cora Burns on 10 August 1902 at Jackson Co Arkansas; She was born 1886, Independence Co. Arkansas;

ancestor of DNA participant

1(iii). Lewis E. Shirley born 2 February 1883. He is living with his unmarried older sister Cora in 1900

married Ethel Osborn on 11 February 1906 at Jackson Co Arkansas

1(iv). Thomas H. Shirley born 1884 in Arkansas. He is living with his unmarried older sister Cora in 1900

married Vina Ward on 9 June 1906 in Jackson Co Arkansas

1(v). Dicy Shirley born 1886 in Arkansas. She is living with his unmarried older sister Cora in 1900


The 1870 census for Independence Co AR shows a William F Shirley household containing a William Shirley who is the right age. With brothers of the same name as William D Shirley's children. Why is this William F Shirley not his father?

1870 Independence Co AR Census

Union Twp

Wm F Shirley M 43y Mississippi (See Fulton Co AR in 1860)
Anna M Shirley F 27y Tennessee
Susan E Shirley F 26y Tennessee
Henry J Shirley M 18y Tennessee
William D Shirley M 16y Tennessee (middle initial confirmed)
John W Shirley M 11y Tennessee
Jordan Shirley F 10y Arkansas
Mary Shirley F 7y Arkansas
George A Shirley M 4y Arkansas
Lewis E Shirley M 6m Arkansas

1860 Fulton Co AR Census

Pilot Hill

William F Shirly 33 b TN farmer (see Independence Co AR in 1870)
Nancy 32 SC
Matilda 12 TN
Susan 10 TN
Henry 9 TN
William 6 TN
John 3 TN

1850 Henderson Co TN Census

William F Shirly M 23 Mi (birth state confirmed on original), pg 74
Nancy R Shirly F 22 South Carolina
Hannah Shirly F 1 Tennessee
Susan Shirly F 0 Tennessee

An Edward Shirly (m Malvina) of the same age 20 is also in Henderson Co in 1850 census, pg 67 (both Distr. 5)

*Henderson Co TN is a burned county. Few records prior to 1895 exist


The following looks promising

James Shirley b 1795 TN
Posted by: CaroleS (
Date: May 06, 2008 09:32AM

My great great great grandfather was James Shirley b. 1795 in TN. Can anyone tell me what Shirley branch he was a part of? And/or who his parents where?

He had 10 children:
Thomas b 1816 TN (my great great grandfather)
Henry b 1819 TN
Charlotte b 1823 MS
Francis b. 1825
William F. b. 1827 MS
Edward F. b. 1828 MS Died 1864 in IL
Martha b. 1832 TN
James R. b. 1833 TN
Sarah b. 1833 TN
John b. 1842


Carole Shirley



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