William Shirley (continued)
b. ca1730. Lived in Frederick Co. Maryland. Family to Pennsylvania and Kentucky


Haplogroup E3b

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This Lineage Page Last Updated October 2020
1(iii). Richard Shirley
born about 1755, age 25 at the time of his death in 1780. He was a Ranger in Capt. Phillips company. He was killed by an Indian raid in Woodcock Valley, Bedford Co. PA on 16 July 1780. He was named in the 1805 probate of the will of his father William Shirley. Although the 1805 probated will did not indicate Richard was deceased, the 1811 probated will clearly indicates the bequest was to Richard's heirs.

History of the Early Settlement of the Juniata Valley - [From the testemony of Capt Phillips who with his son were taken prisoner and survived the massacre]

On entering the valley, they found most of the houses abandoned, but no signs of Indians. Late on Saturday evening they arrived at the house of one Frederick Heater, which had been abandoned by its owner. The house had been pierced with loopholes, to serve as a temporary fortress in case of necessity, but the proprietor, unable to find sufficien tmen to garrison it, had fled to Hartsock's Fort. At this house Capt Phillips determined to remain over Sunday. The entire force consisted of Capt Phillips, his son Elijah, age 14 yrs, Philip Skelly, Hugh Skelly, P and T Sanders, Richard Shirley, M Davis, Thomas Gaitrell, Daniel Kelly adn 2 men whose names are no longer remembered.

After partaking of their supper they all stretched themselves out on the floor and slept soundly until morning. While preparing their morning meal, one of the Skellys happened to open the door, when he discovered that the house was surrounded by Indians. A Glance sufficed to show Capt Phillips how matters stood. They were not less than sixty Indians, and among them 2 white men, dressed, decorated, and painted, the same as the savages. The captain at first supposed they were marauders, and would probably not stop; but the hope was most delusive. A small shower of rain having fallen the day previous this savage war-party had tracked Phillips and his men to the very door of Heater's house. Phillips commanded the utmost silence, and awaited with breathless anxiety the further movements of the enemy. Through the window he discovered the savages grouped upon an eminence - some 10 of them armed with rifles, and the remainder with bows and arrows - in consultation. Directly one of the savages fired his rifle, which was evidently a ruse to draw the men from the house; but it did not succeed. At last one of the Indians venterured within rifle-range of the house, with Gaitrell, unable to resist the temptation, thrust the muzzle of his rifle through one of the loopholes, fired and shot him through the left shoulder. The war-whoop was then raised and the savages ran to and fro for a while, concealing themselves behind trees, some 70 yards from the house under the impression probably that an immediate action would take place.

No further demonstrations being made by the rangers, the Indians waited but a short time until at a preconcerted signal, they fired a volley at the door and window of the house, both of which were riddled by the bullets, but no person was injured. The scout, in his agony of suspense surrounded by a large body of savages with the greatest bravery stood at the loopholes and whenever a savage showed himself within rifle-range he was shot at. In this manner 2 were killed and 2 wounded. The Indians in the mean time continued firing at the door and window; and in this way the fight continued until about the middle of the afternoon when Philip Skelly shot the chief through the left cheek at a distance of nearly a 100 yards. This so exasperated the Indians that they raised the war-whoop a 2nd time, loud nad fierce and appeared determined to have vengeance. At this juncture an occurance too place which seems almost incredible; yet Capt Phillips whose statement we are giving, vounched for the truth of it and he was unquestionably a man of veracity. Davis had the mussle of this rifle out of a loop-hole and was intently watching for a chance to shoot when he felt a sudden jarring of the rifle. He withdrew it and found a sharp-pointed tapering hickory arrow driven into the muzzle so tight that it took the combined effort of 4 men to withdraw it. Whether this new method of spiking a gun was intentional or not, it illustrated most forcibly the wonderful power of the Indian over the bow - whether he fired at the rifle or the loop-hole.

The Indians, finding it impossible to dislodge the rangers from what appeared a stronghold in every sense of the word, by all stratagems yet used, affixed dry leaves and other combustible matter to arrows, set fire to them, and lodged them upon the roof of the house, which soon was on fire in two or three places. The men carried up all the water in the house, and subdued the flames from the inside; but the water was soon exhausted, and a fresh volley of the fire-arrows set the roof in a blaze, and there were no longer means within their reach to quench the destructive element. Still the rangers stood at the loop-holes, even when the upper part of the house was all on fire. Certain death stared them in the face ; they dared not go out of the house, for they would expose the weakness of their force and meet instant destruction as soon as they passed over the threshold; on the other hand, the fire above them was raging, and they did not know what moment they would be buried beneath the burning timbers. And yet the men never flinched. But, at last, Captain Phillips, seeing the desperate strait to which they were reduced, cried for quarter, and told the savages that he would on condition that his men should be trulted as prisoners and not injured. To this the Indians assented, and the men escaped fix)ln the house just in time to save their lives from fire, but only to meet a death equally shocking.

The spokesman for the Indians-one of the white renegades-demanded, in the first place, that all their arms should be delivered up. To this the men readily agreed; and they handed their rifles and knives to the savages. The next demand was that they should suffer themselves to be pinioned, in order that none might escape. This degrading proposition met no favor with the men; but they were compelled to submit, and their hands were secured behind their backs by strong thongs. In this condition they started-as the Indians said-for Kittaning; but, after getting half a mile from the house, some five or six of the Indians, who had Captain Phillips and his son in charge, continued on their route, while the remainder ordered a halt. The ten men were then tied to as many saplings, and two or three volleys of arrows were fired into them.

The fate of the scout was not known until Tuesday. Some persons passing Heater's house on Monday morning, seeing it in ruins, carried the news to Hartsock's Fort. An express was sent to Colonel Piper, who arrived on the ground with a small force late on Tuesday. About the house they found a number of tomahawks, knives, and other articles, which indicated that an action had taken place; but the fate of the men could not be conjectured. Finally, some one discovered the tracks, and proposed following them, which they did, and found the men at the place designated, each man with from three to five arrows sticking in him. Some of them had not been killed outright, and it was apparent that their struggles to get loose must have been most desperate. Kelly was one of these, who, in his efforts to free himself, had buried the thong in the flesh of his arm. All of the men were scalped. They were buried on the spot where they appeased the savage appetite for blood; and their mouldering bones still repose there, without even the rudest of stones to commemorate the sad event or perpetuate their memory.

1796 Aug 26 Huntingdon Co PA Wills and Admin Vol 1 pg 83 - Letters of Admin granted to Rachel Gartrel (late widow and relict of Richard Shirly dec'd) and Thomas Gartrel of the estate of Richard Shirly dec'd.

married Rachael Moore. She was taxed in Hopewell Township, Bedford County as head of household upon the death of her husband in 1782 and 1783. She was taxed on 100 acres of land at the time. She remarried to Thomas Gartrel 11 March 1785 at Bedford Co PA. Rachel Gartrel finally probated her husband's estate in 1796 when on 26 August she was granted letters of administration as Richard Shirley's widow. She was apparently the daughter of Levi Moore who named her in his 1799 will in Bracken Co KY

Rachel Gartrel, formerly widow of late Richard Shirly, states he (Richard Shirly) was a Private Soldier in a Company of Militia Rangers commanded by Capt. William Phillips and raised by order of the Lieut, of Bedford County. He was killed by Indians July 16, 1780 at a Station or Fort in Woodcock Valley, Bedford County. He was then about twenty-five years of age. William Shirly, born January 12, 1780 and Margaret, born December 23, 1777 were the two surviving children. The Court appointed Levi Moore and William Shirly guardians for said children

1799 Oct 7. Bracken Co KY WBA p 23-26. Will of Levi Moore. Wife margaret, son William, dau Rachel, dau Mary, son Levi; wit: Wm Sherely, Robert Davis


2(i). Margaret Shirley born 23 December 1777 (per court filing); She was named as an orphan child of Richard Shirley dec'd. She married  Abraham Welch in 1797 in Mason Co. KY. [Note: The Shirley family had migrated to Bracken Co KY, Mason Co formed from Bracken in 1796 ] The Welch family migrated to Ohio

3 June 1797 Abraham Welch married to Margaret Shirly; Bondsman: John Deya

2(ii). William Shirley born 12 January 1780 (per court filing); He was named as an orphan child of Richard Shirley, dec'd. In 1810 they lived in Bracken Co. KY, he was age 26-45. In 1820 Harrison Co. KY on the East side of the South fork of Licking River, age 26-45, and are in Monroe Co. Indiana by 1830 census, enumerated age 50-60. William is untraced after this date (as yet), but likely died in Monroe Co Indiana were several of his sons continued to reside. Shirleys of Monroe Co Indiana

1801 Nicholas Co KY Loose Marriage Records - [bond] Know all men that we William Shirley and Jacob Keith held firmly bound 50L void if obstruct a marriage shortly to be solemnized between above bound Mr William Shirley and Miss Jamima Taylor of the Co of Nicholas Wit: 24 August 1801 Will [mark] Shirley, Jacob [Keith?]. Test Lewis H Arnold. clk [John ?P Taylor father of Jemima granted permission for marriage on 25 August 1801. Test John Anderson, Jacob Kith, Moses Harlan]

1810 Bracken Co KY Census - Wm Shearley 40010 - 10100 (age 26-45, b 1765-1784)

1820 Harrison Co KY Census - William Sherley 112210-31100 (b 26-45, b 1775-1794)

1830 Monroe Co IN Census - William Shirley 0011000100000 - 0001020010000 (age 50-60, b 1770-80)

married Jemima Taylor about 24 August 1801 in Nicholas Co. KY (date of marriage bond). She was the daughter of John ?P Taylor of Nicholas Co KY who granted permission for her marriage in 1801


(the following lineage is confirmed by the published biography of Lieut. James A. Shirley (below)

3(i). Richard Shirley born 1802 KY; He was enumerated in Monroe Co IN in 1830 census and in 1840 census; He patented BLM land in 1830 and sold land throughout the 1830s and the last being in 1841 when he sold land to Isaac Buskirk, who no doubt was a relative of his wife Jerusha; The family next migrated to Buchanan Co MO where he patented BLM land there in 1848 and where they were enumerated in the 1850 census, age 51, next door to his brother Levi Shirley who had also migrated to Missouri from Monroe Co Indiana; This family is not traced after 1850 census, with exception

married Jerusha Buskirk on 17 February 1827 Monroe Co. IN.


4(i). William Shirley born about 1830 IA (sic IN), age 20 in parents 1850 census household, untraced as yet

4(ii). Jane Shirley born about 1832 IA (sic IN), age 18 in parent's 1850 census household

4(iii). Mary Shirley born about 1831 IA (sic IN), age 19 (sic, out of order) in parent's 1850 census household

4(iv). Ruth Shirley born about 1838 IA (sic IN), age 12 in 1850 census household

4(v). Jershua Shirley born about 1840 MO. age 10 in 1850 census household

4(vi). Stilwell M. Shirley born about 1843 MO, age 7 in 1850 census household; Married with child and enumerated in Nodaway, Holt Co MO in 1870 census, age 30, occupation retail merchant. He was enumerated in Forbes Holt Co MO in 1880 census, age 35 (as S. M) and enumerated in 1890 Missouri census of Union soldier veterans with wife Juretta in Holt County. He died prior to 1900 in Holt Co MO where a court case occurred over his estate in that year.(note: his estate is not found in the indexes for probate in Holt Co)

Oct 27 1899, Holt County Sentinal newspaper - Jan Term 1900 - Jessee Franklin Worley vs Jeretta J Shirley, Edwin W Shirley, Gertrude Dawson, Don L Shirley, Leroy Shirley, Queen Shirley and Grover Shirley, defendants [Don, Gertrude and Edwin not residents of Missouri]...contract of sale and purchase [of land] made between himself and one Stillwell M. Shirley, decease late of Holt Co

married 1) Jenia Logan on 1 April 1868 in Andrew Co MO. Wife in 1870 and 1880 census (Jenna)

married 2) Juretta ______ sometime prior to 1885 (birth of son Grover) Widowed and living in Kansas City Ward of Jackson Co MO in 1900 census, age 56, with son Grover and "stepchildren"; She was living in El Paso TX in 1910 with daughter Gertrude Dawson and stepdaughter Bernice Shirley


3(i). Edwin W Shirley born about 1869 MO, age 8/12 in 1870 census (Eddy), age 10 in 1880 census; Named in the 1900 suit over father's estate, non resident of Missouri at the time

3(ii). Gertrude Shirley born about 1872 MO, age 8 in 1880 census; She maried Dawson; Named in the 1900 suit over father's estate, non resident of Missouri at the time

3(iii). Dan L Shirley (Don?) born about 1873 MO, age 7 in 1880 census; Named in the 1900 suit over father's estate (as Don L.), non resident of Missouri at the time

3(iv). Robert/Richard L Shirley born about 1876 MO, age 4 in 1880 census, age 23 in stepmother's 1900 census household (as Richard L, b June 1877) Likely the son Leroy named in the 1900 suit over father's estate

3(v). Queen Shirley born about 1879 MO, age 8/12 in 1880 census, age 20 in stepmother's 1900 census household (as Q Bernice) Named in the 1900 suit over father's estate

3(vi). Grover C Shirley born about 1885 MO, age 15 in mother's 1900 census household; Named in the 1900 suit over father's estate

4(vii). John Shirley born about 1847 MO, age 3 in 1850 census, untraced as yet

3(ii). John L. Shirley born about 1803 KY (1850 census) He and 1st wife Sarah sold land in Monroe County in 1838 but was not enumerated as head of household in 1840 census, possibly residing in father's household; He lived at Van Buren, Monroe Co IN in 1850 census, age 47, enumerated in the same location in 1860 census, age 55; Enumerated at Perry Twp, Monroe Co IN in 1870 census, age 66

married 1) Sarah Ashbrook on 2 June 1825 in Nicholas Co. KY.

married 2) Lucretia H. Hart on 16 October 1846 in Parke Co IN, by license; She was enumerated as wife of John L Shirley in the 1850 census; Age 39 in 1860 census, age 48 in 1870 census; There are several Hart children living in the 1850 and 1860 Shirley households possibly indicating Lucretia was widowed and with children from a prior marriage, nee unknown?


4(i). Dulcinea Shirley born about 1833 IN, age 17 in 1850 census

4(ii). Paris Shirley (male) born about 1836 IN, age 14 in 1850 census; He may have married twice but could be a another guy- needs more research, not confirmed in 1860 census as yet, probably has Civil War service as well

married Sarah Tate on 30 September 1855 in Monroe Co IN

4(iii). Jerome Shirley born about 1838 IN, age 12 in 1850 census; Possibly the same Jerome Shirley who was buried at Clear Creek Cem Monroe Co IN in 1865 (tombstone hard to read, but maybe aged 22 or 27 yrs 2 m - Means he should be found in 1860 census?)

4(iv). Homer Grant Shirley born about 1846 IN, age 4 in 1850 census; age 13 in parent's 1860 census household, age 23 in parent's 1870 census household, occupation carpenter; He and wife Alice are enumerated in Ellis Texas in 1880 census, age 33 (as Homer J). They moved to Los Angeles by 1888 where the family appears in the Great Register thereafter children are sketchy due to not finding family in 1900 census as yet

married Alice Flynn Smith on 21 August 1870 at Monroe Co IN

4(v). Sarah G/Laura? Shirley born about 1850 IN, age 0 in 1850 census, age 10 in 1860 census household (as Laura)

4(vi). John L Shirley born about 1853 IN, age 7 in 1860 census household, age 17 in parent's 1870 census household untraced as yet

4(v). Catherine Shirley born about 1855 IN, age 5 in 1860 census household, age 15 in parent's 1870 census household (as Lenora H)

4(vi). Cora B Shirley born about 1861 IN, age 9 in 1870 census household

3(iii). Elizabeth Shirley born 1804. She married William Alexander. They lived in Monroe Co. IN in the 1850 census.

3(iv). William T. Shirley born 7 March 1806 KY. They were living in Hendricks Co. IN in the 1850 census, age 44; Enumerated at Liberty Hendricks Co IN in 1860 census, age 54; Enumerated at Clay Twp Hendricks Co IN in 1870 census, age 64, age 74 in 1880 census with 2nd wife, occupation dry goods merchant

married 1) Polly (Worrel) Hitch on 13 December 1829 in Harrison Co. KY. She was age 45 in 1850 census, age 55 in 1860 census, age 65 in 1870 census

married 2) Lucy ______ listed as wife in husband's 1880 census household

3(v). Leason Shirley born about February 1811 KY (tombstone math), age 38 in 1850 census; They were living in Bean Blossom, Monroe Co. IN in the 1850 census. He died 3 July 1857, buried at Shirley Cemetery, Monroe Co IN, age 46

married 1) Letisha Dowden on 4 July 1831 in Owen Co. IN.

married 2) Tabitha_______ sometime prior to the 1850 census (Not a typo, but may be error for 1st wife Letisha)


4(i). James M Shirley born about 1833 IN, age 17 in 1850 census; untraced as yet

4(ii). William P Shirley born 15 March 1836 IN (tombstone), age 14 in 1850 census; He died 1 July 1859, buried Shirley Cemetery, Monroe Co IN, age 23

4(ii). Mary Shirley born about 1844 IN, age 6 in 1850 census

4(iii). John L Shirley born about 1846 IN, age 4 in 1850 census; untraced as yet

3(vi). Rachel Shirley  She married Emanuel Yoder in 1839 Monroe Co. IN.

3(vii). Ruth Shirley born about 1815 KY. She married John J. Wright. In 1835 they were living in Monroe Co. IN and in 1850 they were in Buchanan Co. MO.

3(viii). Mary Shirley born about 1817 KY. She married 1st David Asbaugh in 1840 Monroe Co. IN, m. 2nd B. Secrest.

3(ix). Levi Shirley born about 1818 KY. Levi was a farmer for most of his married life; however, he led an extremely interesting life before he got married. He worked on riverboats and had many adventures before settling down. They lived at Center, Buchanan Co Missouri in 1850 census, age 32. In 1854, they moved to Fremont County, Iowa, near Plum Hollow (later Thurman), where they are listed in the 1860 US Census of Scott Twp, Fremont Co., IA, age 42. The family moved to IA to get away from the stirrings of the unrest which would become the Civil War and which was especially evident in Missouri in the 1850's & 1860's. The family remained in the same location in Iowa at least until the time of the 1870 census. By the time of the 1880 Census, they had moved to Fairview Twp., Russell County, KS. He died in 1903. They are buried in the Lucas Town Cemetery, Russell County, KS. Shirleys of Russell Co Kansas

married Rhoda Fletcher on 3 February 1839 at Bloomfield, Green Co. Indiana. She was born  24 January 1819 in Indiana and died 1897 in Russell County, KS.  Rhoda was the first child of Abraham Fletcher. It is not completely clear at this time who Rhoda's mother was. When Abraham moved the Fletcher clan to Missouri in 1841, Rhoda and Levi followed.



Descendants of William A. Shirley
Russ Shirley and wife Susan, Katy, Myreta and Levi 

(photo taken in 2002)




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