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William Dearing Shirley
b. ca 1800 Tennessee. Married in Marion Co TN, Lived Montgomery County Illinois. 


DNA Haplogroup R1b


William Dearing Shirley born about 1800 TN (source: 1850 census, middle name found on BLM land warrant); He was sworn into service as a private (Capt Boone's Company) in Montgomery County IL on April 20, 1832 to fight in the Black Hawk war (also a Zeb Shirley in the list); Later listed as a 2nd Lt. in the regiment; The family left for Montgomery Co IL from Marion TN in 1828. He left for the gold fields of California in 1854 on the Gray Wagon Train. Lived Mud Flat, El Dorado CA; In 1862 the State of California passed legislation for the "relief of William D. Shirley" to relieve him from all liability entered into as surety for the appearance of John Brown who was held to answer a charge of assault with intent to commit murder, dated 1860. He is listed in El Dorado CA 1860 census with 2nd wife Jane and son Jack Breeze Shirley, and found later on the 1867 Great Register voter list for El Dorado Co as William Dearing Shirley, age 66, born South Carolina; Occupation: General Trader; Residence: Mud Springs. His son Jack Breeze Shirley, age 26, is enumerated next

married 1) Jane P. Moore sometime between 1823 and 1827 in Marion Co Tennessee; she died about 1853

married 2) Jane T. Gray 20 Nov 1853 Montgomery Co IL

children (1840 census shows 3 sons, 3 daus; 1850 census)

1(i). Eliza L. Shirley (possible daughter); She married James Monroe Gray on 11 Aug 1842 in Montgomery Co IL He was the brother of Jane Gray, 2nd wife of Eliza Shirley's father William D Shirley, therefore is this daughter correct?

1(ii). Amada Jane Shirley (possible daughter) She married Robert W. Davies on 07 Sep 1849 in Montgomery Co IL

1(iii). Thomas Shirley age 22 (b 1828) IL in the 1850 census of his parents. He may be the person who married Isabel Porter and who moved to Lassen County California and who had the following child?

2(i). Thomas S. Shirley married Mary Frances Whitledge Sep 11, 1860 in Montgomery Co IL

1(iv). William D. Shirley born December 1 1831 IL; He is living in Hillsboro Montgomery Co IL in 1855 and 1865 Illinois census; Served as County Clerk at Hillsboro, Montgomery County IL 1874 to 1882 and County Judge from 1882 to 1886. Died September 4 1876; buried Oak Grove Cemetery, Montgomery County IL

married Louiza Boutwell Jan 01, 1857 in Montgomery County; She died in San Diego CA


2(i). Susan L. Shirley age 2 in 1860; married ____Morris; she died at age 31

2(ii). Frank B. Shirley died young

1(v). Mary E. Shirley age 18 (b 1832) IL; married Benjamin F. McLain Nov 11, 1851 in Montgomery Co IL

1(vi). Jack Breeze Shirley age 10 (b 1840) IL; went to California with his father; Jack Breese, traveled around California alone for awhile; He was a voter living in Truckee Nevada Co in 1868, a saloon keeper in Millerton, Fresno Co in 1870 census, again on voter lists in Truckee in 1871, in Mendocino Co in 1872, Santa Rosa, Sonoma Co in 1873, then back in Fresno Co on voter lists in 1875; He finally settled in Benton Co. Oregon

married a Mary Catherine(Cassie) Graves,


2(i). Allie C Shirley b. 1880, died in infancy in 1882

2(ii). Claude (Grover Cleveland) Shirley born 1886 in Chehalis, WA.

ancestor of DNA participant

Zebedee Shirley (supposedly a ?brother of William D. Shirley Sr) born about 1813 TN; He served as a private in the Black Hawk war in 1832 with William D. Shirley; Family lore says "returned to Parker Co. Texas, where he later died." Found in the 1860 (G.P Shirley) and 1870 (Z P Shirlie) census for Fort Worth, Parker Co TX.

[1814 birth date] Zebedee Shirley enlisted in US Army Nov 5 1832 at Vandalia [Fayette Co IL] by Capt Duncan; age 18 born White Co Tennessee farmer; Discharged 14 August 1833 at St Louis a Corpl.(next to John Shirley in enlistment list, b. 1809 Lawrence Co TN)

Warning: something doesn't seem right about the family story about Zeb Shirley "returning to Parker Co TX. A 'Z' Shirley clearly exists in Parker Co, but further investigation connects this family to Walker Co GA, which is where another very different Shirley family of SC are living (and who also moved to Parker Co TX) Note: a Capt Z P Shirley fought in the Indian Wars in the Georgia Mounted Volunteers

Family of Z P Shirley of Parker Co TX:

married P. Malinda Davis; She was born about 1815 SC, widowed in the 1880 Parker Co TX census; She lived with her daughter Marieta Dickerson in 1900 census. (her name was sourced from dau Perthenia death cert)


1(i). W Shirley (m) age 23 in 1860 b GA

1(ii). A Shirley (f) age 20 in 1860, domestic b GA

1(iii). M C Shirley born about 1844, age 16 in 1860, age 28 in 1870, domestic GA;

1(iv). Perthenia Marieta Shirley born 7 October 1843 in Walker Co GA (source: death cert, dau of Z P Shirley); She married William T Dickerson and lived in DeWitt Co TX in 1900; She died 26 August 1913 in Palo Pinto Co TX

1(i). J. R. P. Shirley (m) born about 1849 GA, age 12 in 1860, age 21 in 1870 census, occupation Heliographic artist, b GA

1(iii). M S Shirley (m) born about 1854 TX age 16 in 1870, not in 1860 household,

1(iv). J. M. Shirley (m) born about 1856 TX age 14 in 1870, female in 1860 household, b TX

also in the family out of order, 1870 census M Shirley (f) age 8 b TX; W Shirley (m) age 24 b GA

Email received from Dale in Septermber 2010

I am connected to the Branch 51, William D. Shirley, b. 1800 either South Carolina or Tennessee. William & his son, Jack Breese, both on several occasions listed South Carolina as the birth state for William D. Shirley. I have never found any source evidence regarding either. Several other Shirley researchers have stated that William D. Shirley Sr. b. 1800 was born in Marion Co. Tennessee. They based this on less than convincing sources. Also, there seems much evidence that William Sr. father was definitely a Thomas. There are two to three Thomas’s that could be William’s father. The one most convincing to me, is Thomas, b. 1755 or 1865, married to Margaret. But I have swung back and forth between several other Thomas’s.

William Sr, married a Jane P. Moore in Marion Co. Tennessee sometime between 1823 & 1827. He left Marion Co. Tenn via covered wagon with Jane P. Moore, it states with family, (source a Pioneer article in the Montgomery Co. archives) for Hillsboro, Montgomery Co. Illinois in 1828. A Thomas S. Shirley b. 1828 had to accompanied them as a baby. I feel this is William & Jane’s first child and son. Numerous other sources list William and Jane P. as having only 4 children, Thomas S. and a William & Mary b. 1831-32, and a Jack Breese Shirley b. 1840, ( my great gr. Father) but, I feel I have found the following 3 other children. A Amanda Jane Shirley b. ? who married a Robert W. Davis in 1849, a Aliza L. Shirley b. ? who married a James M. Gray in 1842, a Julia Ann Shirley b. ? who married a William C. Richmond in 1857. Mary E. Shirley b. 1831 married a Benjamin F. McClain in 1851 & her twin brother William D. Shirley Jr. b. 1831 married a Louisa Boutwell in 1857, and Thomas S. Shirley b. 1828, married a Mary Frances Whitlege in 1860.

I have also found a brother of William D. Shirley Sr, whose name is Zebadee or Zebadiah. Zebadee accompanied them to Montgomery Co. Ill. Zebadee also served in the Blackhawk Wars of ____ with William D Sr. He returned to Parker Co. Texas, where he later died. I have another source stating that William D. Shirley Jr, visited his Uncle Zebadee down in Texas.

Jane P. Moore, died abt. 1853, and is buried on the family farm. There is a memorial grave stone for her in the Hillsboro, Ill cemetery. William D. Shirley left Hillsboro via Wagon Train(called the Gray Wagon Train) in 1854 for the Gold Fields of California. After Jane P. Shirley died, he married a Jane T. Gray in 1853. Together with Jane T. b 1808, his youngest son, Jack Breese Shirley, now 14 yrs old and two of his now married sisters settled in Mud Flat, CA. Later to become El Dorado, Ca. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find out what happened to William D. Sr, Jane T. Shirley, or the sisters of Jack Breese. They do not appear in the 1870 Federal Census, so, I am assuming they died between 1865-70 somewhere in California. Jack Breese, traveled around California alone for awhile, then finally settled in Benton Co. Oregon. He married a Mary Catherine(Cassie) Graves, they had two known children, Allie C, b. 1880, died in infancy in 1882 and my gr. Grandfather Claude (Grover Cleveland) born 1886 in Chehalis, WA. Guess, that is why this line of Shirley’s ended up in the PNW.

My greatest genealogy wish, to find the Shirley English Ancestor forebear of mine who immigrated to the probably fledging colonies, and to discover a Shirley decendent from the Shirley’s who remained or returned to Montgomery Co. or who remained in California and probably died there. William D.Shirley Jr., b 1831, who also moved to Oakland, CA, but returned to Hillsboro, died there in 1876 (he was just on a visit to settle land issues). He left two children, a Susan L Shirley Morris, died at 31, no known children, and a son, Frank B. Shirley, died young also. His wife, a Louisa F. Boutwell Shirley died in San Diego,CA, is buried there.



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