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

Story of Eliza Shirley, who brought the Salvation Army
to the United States.


William Shirley of Foleshill, Warwickshire

married Martha Cooper on 9 Jan 1803 at St Lawrence Foleshill; buried 4 Sept 1809 St Lawrence Foleshill, Warw.


1.i John Shirley chr 12 Jun 1803 St Lawrence Foleshill, weaver

married Christiana Edwards on 31 Mar 1823 St Lawrence Foleshill; buried 2 Nov 1856 St Lawrence Foleshill, age 54


2.i William Shirley chr 23 May 1825 St Lawrence Foleshill; buried 4 Sept 1890 at St Paul Foleshill

married Hannah Mason 24 Mar 1845 St Lawrence Foleshill; buried 12 Nov 1878 at St Lawrence Foleshill, age 51


3. William Shirley b abt 1847 (age 14 in 1861, age 23 in 1871) Foleshill

3.i Mary Emily Shirley chr 1 Sep 1850 St Paul Foleshill

married John Lenton 25th December 1865 at St Paul, Foleshill

John Lenton, age 25,Bachelor,weaver, son of John lenton, weaver; Mary Emily Shirley, age 20, Spinster, daughter of William Shirley, weaver; Witnesses are – Emmanuel Lenton and Hannah Shirley

3.ii Marianne Shirley chr 1 Sep 1850 St Paul Foleshill ("Mary" age 20 in 1871)

3.iii Andrew Shirley chr 3 Jan 1856 St Paul Foleshill

3.iv Hannah Shirley chr 5 Oct 1856 St Paul Foleshill

3.v Selena Shirley chr 5 Oct 1856 St Paul Foleshill Sophia Shirley b abt 1862 (age 8 in 1871) chr 16 Nov 1862 St Paul Foleshill

3.vii Henry Shirley b abt 1854 (age 17 in 1871) chr 16 Nov 1862 St Paul Foleshill; buried 16 April 1881 St Lawrence Foleshill, age 27

3.viii George Shirley b abt 1852 (age 19 in 1871) chr 16 Nov 1862 St Paul Foleshill, elastic weaver

married Mary Ann Starky Neale 25 Dec 1872 St Paul Foleshall

4.i William Henry George Shirley chr 27 Apr 1884 St Paul Foleshill

3.ix Fred Shirley b abt 1860 (age 11 in 1871), buried 17 April 1880 at St Lawrence Foleshill, age 20

3. ix Anna Shirley b abt 1864 (age 7 in 1871)

3.x Edward Shirley b abt 1868 (age 3 in 1871); died March 1901

married Eliza A_____

4.i Edward W. Shirley b abt 1889 Foleshill

3.xi Harriett Shirley b abt 1870 (age 9 mos in 1871)

2.ii James Shirley chr 26 Aug 1827 St Lawrence Foleshill. loom ribbon weaver

married Mary [Marianne] King 10 Jun 1849 St Lawrence Foleshill


3. Amos Shirley chr 5 Jan 1851 St Paul Foleshill

married Ann Grant 1 Mar 1870 Foleshill

Amos, age 20, son of James Shirley married Ann age 28

4. Priscilla Shirley b abt 1871 (age 4 mos in 1871)

3. Hannah Shirley chr 31 Oct 1852 St Paul Foleshill

3. James Shirley chr 5 Apr 1857 St Paul Foleshill

3. Cassandra Shirley chr 26 Dec 1858 St Paul Foleshill

3. Eliza Shirley chr 28 Dec 1862 St Paul Foleshill (age 8 in 1871 census)

3. Harriet Shirley chr 28 Dec 1862 St Paul Foleshill (age 1 in 1861 census); buried 26 January 1882 St Lawrence Foleshill (certified by James Shirley)

3. Arthur Shirley chr 30 Jul 1871 St Paul Foleshill

married Sarah Green 3 Aug 1895 at Coventry (source: registry s/o James Shirley)

2. Thomas Shirley b abt 1833 (age 17 in 1851)

2.iii Amos Shirley chr 25 Jul 1837 Independent Foleshill

2.iii Cassandra Shirley chr 17 Sep 1843 St Lawrence Foleshill

2.iv George Shirley chr 17 Sep 1843 St Lawrence Foleshill; living in household with widowed father in 1861 census

1.ii Ann Shirley chr 5 Jun 1808 St Lawrence Foleshill; buried 29 Dec 1811 Foleshall, "daughter of Martha Shirley, widow"

1.iii William Shirley chr 4 Aug 1811 St Lawrence Foleshill, hand loom weaver

married [Sarah] Hannah Payne 3 Jun 1832 St Lawrence Foleshill, silk winder; she was buried 31 Dec 1877 at St Lawrence Foleshill, age 66.


2.i David Shirley b abt 1834 (age 17 in 1851 census) Foleshill; lived Aston parish, Warwickshire in 1901; occupation: carter.

married Sarah Ann Oldhouse 26 Dec 1854 St Paul Foleshill


3.i David Shirley b abt Dec 1861 (age 20 in 1881)

3.ii Thomas Shirley b abt 1862 (age 19 in 1881)

3.iii William Shirley b abt 1867 (age 14 in 1881)

3.iv Eliza E. Shirley b abt 1871 (age 10 in 1881)

3.v Emma Shirley b abt 1874 (age 7 in 1881)

2.ii Thomas Shirley b abt 1836 (age 15 in 1851, 35 in 1871 census), Foleshill, silk weaver

married Selina King 12 Apr 1857 St Paul Foleshill


3.i Hannah Shirley chr 7 Jun 1863 St Lawrence Foleshall (not in 1871 census)

3.ii Eliza Shirley b abt 1861 (age 10 in 1871 census) chr 7 Jun 1863 St Lawrence Foleshill

3.iii Thomas Shirley b abt 1863 (age 8 in 1871 census) chr 7 Jun 1863 St Lawrence Foleshill; living St Peters Coventry in 1891; cycle machinist.

married Ann ______

4.i Maud M Shirley b abt 1889 Foleshill

4.ii Frances E Shirley b abt 1891 Foleshill

3.iv Selina Shirley b abt 1866 (age 5 in 1871 census) chr 3 Sep 1865 St Lawrence Foleshill

2.iii William Shirley b abt 1838 (age 13 in 1851 census) Foleshill; Not enumerated with wife and family in 1871 census household. Lived Clifton Villa, Foleshill Warwickshire in 1881 census (with wife and family), Elastic Web manufacturer. He and wife still alive in 1901 Foleshill Warwickshire census. Occupation: Trimmings Manufacturer. MI St Paul Coventry buried 1906, age 69

married Hepzybah King 29 Aug 1858 Holy Trinity, Coventry Warwick; She lived in Foleshill Warwickshire in 1871 census (married, husband not in HH). Occupation: silk winder. MI St Paul Coventry buried 1915, age 77.

William, age 21, son of William Shirley married Hephzibah, age 20 (registry)

children: (some info provided by John K. Shirley of Knoxville TN in 2010)

3.i William Henry Shirley b abt 1860, age 11 in 1871 census (scholar). age 21

Bankruptcy Notices (received orders) 7 December 1889. William Henry Shirley and Amos Shirley, Coventry Elastic Web Manufacturers, Coventry.

3.ii Amos Shirley b abt 1861 born Coventry, Warwickshire; Age 20 in 1881 census (living with parents). Immigrated to the US in 1891. Lived in Manhattan in 1900. He lived in Queens NY in 1930 census. Shirleys of New York City

married Ruth ?King. Her maiden name was listed as Themeloe in the Sept 1898 NYC birth record of a child


4.i Dr. Amos Reginald Shirley born May 12, 1887 in Coventry England; Christened 20 July 1887 at St Peters Coventry Warwickshire England. He attended school in Coventry England in 1901 census, age 13. Lived in Manhattan NYC in 1920; Simultaneously enumerated with parents in 1920 census, "married". Lived in Delaware Co PA in 1930 (immigration 1890). Lived in Milwaukee WI in 1940 census. He was listed as working at the VA hospital as an X-ray doctor, with 5 years of college listed. The family lived in Batavia NY prior to moving to Milwaukee WI. He died 16 October 1959 at Cuda Wisconsin. Shirleys of Wisconsin

married Harriet Pauline Easton on 25 October 1919 at Hamilton Co TN. She was born in Montana


5(i). Ruth A. Shirley born about 1923 in PA, age 17 in 1940 census

5(ii). Amos R Shirley Jr born about 1925 in PA, age 15 in 1940 census. He died 30 March 1974 at Milwaukee WI

4(ii). Reginald Walter Kenneth Shirley born 12 June 1893 in NY, age 27 in 1920 census

Email: (Aug 2010) I am new to researching my family although I have some oral and written information from my parents. Though and Shirley Association I think I have determined I am a descendent of the William Shirley of Folshill, Warwickshire as extracted from the Shirley website. My linkage is though William Shirley 2.iii. My Father is David E Shirley; His Father was Kenneth Walter Shirley; His Father was Amos Reginald Shirley of 3.ii; Amos (3.ii) immigrated to the US in 1891. Edward James (3.iv.) immigrated to the US in 1892 My Mother and Father travelled to England in the early 60’s and meet Hephzitah (Hephzibah) Shirley. Dad’s knew his Great Uncle Edward (Ted) James Shirley, Great Uncle Thomas and Florence Lily Shirley (unmarried); He has no knowledge of William Pickens Shirley.; Amos Reginald Shirley and Ruth King: Amos Reginald born May 12, 1887 in Coventry Walter Kenneth born June 12, 1893 in New York City Harold Reginald born October 1898 in New York City Walter Kenneth Shirley and Ada Battle(d1919): John Thornloe 1919-Nov 17, 1943 Walter Kenneth Shirley and Addie Louise Fuller: David Edward Shirley Nov 24-1924 David Edward Shirley and Nancy E Shirley: David E Jr John K Shirley (me). Do you have a record for the married name for Hephzitah (Hephzibah) Shirley? Mother and Dad remember meeting her daughter (Gwenn) and they believe they moved to Rhodesia sometime later in the 60s. - John K. Shirley Knoxville, TN Email:

4(iii). Harold Reginald Shirley born October [29 September?] 1898 in NYC, age 21 in 1920 census

3.iii John Shirley b abt 1865, age 6 in 1871 census; age 16 in 1881 census

3.iv Hannah Shirley b abt 1863, age 8 in 1871 census, age 18 in 1881 census

3.v Arthur Shirley, gent. b abt 1869, age 2 in 1871 census, age 12 in 1881 census, Emigrated to USA 20 March 1892 from Liverpool on the City of Richmond, 2nd Cabin, age 22, "gent" with his brother E.J Shirley. In 1905, he was processed through Ellis Island, age 37, occupation: importer "returning home", married. Lived in Manhattan in 1910 census, age 40. Grave monument in Ste Marguerite Anglo American (pt 3) church burial ground, Nice, Arthur Shirley, son of William Shirley of Coventry buried 1931, age 63

married Mary Pickens on 7 August 1901, daughter of James Washington Pickens and wife Ellen Green. She was age 30 in 1910 census, born Mississippi; No children; Grave monument in Ste Marguerite Anglo American (pt 3) church burial ground, Nice: Mary Shirley nee Corinth dau of James W Pickens of Corinth MS, buried 1951, age 81. Edward James Shirley, gent born about June 1872 Coventry, Warwickshire; Age 9 in 1881 census; Emigrated to USA 20 March 1892 from Liverpool on the City of Richmond, 2nd Cabin, age 18, "gent"; lived 780 Riverside Drive, New York City in 1921. Auto Supplier Merchant. Shirleys of New York City

married Eleanor Pickens on 17 Oct 1901 New York City, NY


4.i William Pickens Shirley b 2 Aug 1902 - New York City, New York; Listed as a Freshman at Dartmouth College in 1918/19. Gaduated Harvard University 1923. lived Barrow St. NYC in 1930; Brokerage firm assistant. Lived in Morristown NJ in 1940 census. Occ: "Stat." for a brokerage house.

William Pickens Shirley (1921 Passport photo)

Married Esther A Williams on 2 February 1925 at Hamilton Co Ohio. She was the daughter of Fred R Williams and Charolette Ferguson. Born 1903 in Springfield MO


5(i). Charlotte Shirley born about 1927 in Florida, age 3 in 1930 census. Her name was Eleanor in 1940 census, age 13.

3.vii Thomas Walter Shirley b abt 1875; age 6 in 1881 census, age 26 and living with parents in 1901 census. MI St Paul Coventry buried 1919, age 45.

3.viii Hephzitah Shirley b abt 1877, age 4 in 1881 census, age 19 and living with parents in 1901 census

Message Board in 2000 - Three Shirley brothers came from coventry, england in the 1890's. my grandfather was Amos R. Shirley. One brother was Uncle Ted. Do you know about him and others. I meet their only sister Hepsie in Taunton, England in the 60's.Can you help? - David Shirley

3.ix Florence Lily Shirley b abt 1882 (emailer says unmarried, but Mormon data clearly indicates she married). They had children born in Chicago, Cook Co IL, USA

married Warren Noble of Swindon, England

2.iv Josiah Shirley b abt 1841 (age 11 in 1851 census) Foleshill, owner of a green grocery store

married Jane Elizabeth Horton 24 Aug 1862 St Paul Foleshill


3.i Josiah Shirley b abt 1864 (age 7 in 1871)

3.ii Albert Shirley b abt 1867 (age 4 in 1871); living in Foleshill in 1901 working in father's store.

married Annie Walker

4.i Elsie Shirley b 14 Feb 1894 Foleshill

4.ii Annie Shirley b abt 1902

2.v Amos Shirley b abt 1840 (age 9 in 1851 census) Foleshill, Lived Philadelphia PA, died 1884 of a heart attack while swimming at a Salvation Army meeting. Primitive Methodist preacher. Shirleys of Philadelphia PA

The family members were devout Salvationists and he moved his family to Philadelphia, America in 1879 to become the first pioneers of the work of The Salvation Army in America. Amos worked as a carpenter and weaver while wife, Annie and daughter, Eliza founded and built the first Salvation Army corps in Philadelphia. Later, Amos became a full time officer of the Army to help build the growing Salvation Army corps.

married Annie Allen in 5 August 1862 in Foleshill Warwickshire, She was born 1841 at Foleshill, Warwickshire; She died 1893 in Nashville, Tennessee

Annie was born in 1841 in England, the middle daughter and one of five children of John and Eliza Allen. Her father was a Primitive Methodist preacher, and she was saved at age 17 in a Methodist revival meeting. She met a silk weaver, Amos Shirley, who was a year older than her. They married in 1862. She had become pregnant out of wedlock, not uncommon in manufacturing classes of that day, but this was an embarassment for her Primitive Methodist family. Nevertheless, the only child, daughter Eliza was born later in 1862. Amos and Annie became Salvation Army officers. See the profile of husband, Amos and daughter, Eliza for the story of the Shirley family pioneering the work of The Salvation Army in America. Husband Amos died unexpectedly in 1884. Annie subsequently married another Salvation Army officer, John T. Dale who had also immigrated from England to America. They worked together in several appointments. However, John had to resign from the Army for misconduct, and this also led to the end of their marriage. Annie became quite ill and died at age 52 in Nashville, Tennessee. She was buried in her full Salvation Army uniform, one of the great pioneers of Salvation Army work.


3.i Eliza Shirley born October 9, 1862 Foleshill, Warwickshire; died September 18, 1932 in Racine, Wisconsin; Buried Chicago IL.

The Shirley family pioneered the work of The Salvation Army in North America. Eliza, born October 9, 1862 in Coventry, England, was the only daughter of Amos and Annie Shirley. Together, under the endorsement of Founder William Booth, the three founded one of the earliest outposts of The Salvation Army in North America in Philadelphia, PA on October 5, 1879 in an old chair factory at 6th and Oxford Streets. Amos Shirley was a preacher in England’s Primitive Methodist Church prior to coming to North America.

Following a difficult start in which they were harassed and ridiculed by the public, their congregation began to grow. Eliza wrote to General Booth in England, who was persuaded to send the first formal contingent of Salvationists to the United States with George Scott Railton in 1880.

An exhausted Eliza returned to England in 1881 and soon married Capt. Phillip Symmonds. They had 7 children from 1883 - 1895, one of which died in infancy. In March 1896, Phillip became ill and Eliza and Phillip left the Salvation Army to help establish an early Baptist congregation in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin where Phillip was to serve as pastor. On the day in late 1896 that the new church building was to be dedicated, Phillip died at age 36, leaving Eliza a young widow with her six children. The church immediately called Eliza to be their new pastor, and in accepting this calling, Eliza Shirley became Wisconsin’s first woman Baptist Pastor. She later pastored a Baptist church on Washington Island, Wisconsin and served as the Urban Missionary of the South Baptist Church in Milwaukee.

In 1905, Eliza returned to the work of the Salvation Army. She served in many appointments throughout North America, notably serving briefly as Corps Officer in Calumet, Michigan’s Red Jacket Corps from 1910 - 1912, where the Joseph Wilkins family and the Richard Nelson family was active.

Eliza A. Shirley Symmonds is one of the iconic figures in the history of The Salvation Army and is revered throughout North America for her service. The two sons of Leonard and Daisy Katherine Symmonds, Len and Bob, both went on to distinguished careers as officers with The Salvation Army, and were notable in their service as grandsons of the famed, Eliza Shirley.

The Salvation Army distributes a figurine doll in her likeness that is found in the homes of thousands of Salvationists throughout the country. She died in 1932 in Raccine, Wisconsin but is buried in the Salvation Army section of Glen Oak Cemetary in Chicago.

married Capt. William Symmonds/Cymonds. They had 7 children.

1.iv William Shirley chr 10 Sep 1815 Independent Foleshill (son of William Shirley and Martha, possibly the same as above)




Home Page | Contact

© copyright Shirley Association
All Rights Reserved