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The Shirley Association is a worldwide family organization designed to preserve the Shirley heritage for future generations, to unite Shirley descendants of each Shirley family branch, and to provide assistance to Shirley Association members as they search for their Shirley roots. Welcome Message

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 This website last updated 7 September 2021

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Betty Shirley
Founder, the Shirley
1937 - 2009

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7 September 2021

New Deed Project - 3rd batch of deeds posted to the Tuscaloosa AL page in the members' section

Tuscaloosa AL

1837 November 9 (Recorded 29 December 1837) Tuscaloosa Co DB N pg 267 John Beard of Tuscaloosa Co. bound unto Moses and Beverly Shirly $6000 9 Nov 1836. Sold to Moses and Beverly Shirley NW fraction W of river of Sec 14 Twp 21 R10W 170 acres and part of E 1/2 of SW 1/4 Sec 11 Twp 21 R 10W which Moses and Beverley paid Beard $1000

1836 October 22 (Recorded 8 March 1838) Tuscaloosa Co DB N pg 375. Indenture 22 Oct 1836 B. Shirley to George Stewart $150. E 1/2 of __1/2 of NW 1/4 of Sec 32 Twp20 R10W <signed> Beverly Shirley and Elizabeth Shirley

1837 June 8 (Recorded 8 June 1837) Tuscaloosa Co DB N pg 74. (page 76) Indenture 8 June 1837 Thomas Glaze of N. Tuscaloosa, Moses McGuire to Joel Shirley of N. Tuscaloosa. Firm of Glaze and Haynes $997. Land in Kentuck on main street. [note: appears that Joel Shirley was only a co-signer on a bill of sale]

1837 June 5 (Recorded 9 June 1837) Tuscaloosa DB N pg 76 (page 77) Sherriff's Sale. SE 1/4 NE 1/4 Sec 33 Twp20 R10W, SW 1/4 NW 1/4 Sec 34 Twp20 R10W. Lands of AD Carraway and WC Lyons to James Shirley $190 highest bidder.

3 August 2021

New Deed Project - 2nd batch of deeds posted to the Tuscaloosa AL page in the members' section

Tuscaloosa AL

1833 November 25 (Reg 25 Nov 1833) Tuscaloosa Co DB J p 248. Indenture Joel Shirley to Robert Shirley. SE qtr of SE qtr Sec 3 Twp 20 R12. 40 acres

1834 February 8 (Reg 8 July 1834) Tuscaloosa Co DB J p 308. Indenture Joel Shirley to James Shirley $165 N. half of parcel in Kentuck or N. Tuscaloosa known as lot 23

1834 March 18 (Reg 18 March 1834) Tuscaloosa Co DB K p 1 (page 3) Indenture Wm Tierce of Tuscaloosa to Joel Shirley of same in consideration of natural love and affection for his daughters Elizabeth and Rebecca. E 1/2 of SW 1/4 Sec 26 T24 R5E 80acres. W 1/2 of SE 1/4 Sec 26, T24 R5E. 80acres. A negro girl Harriet about age 12, 2 bay horses, household and kitchen furniture when they turn 21. [note: this conveyance revoked 6 Apr 1835]

1834 June 28 (Reg 28 June 1834) Tuscaloosa Co DB K p 80. Indenture Larkin White to Thomas Shirley $115. SE 1/4 of NW 1/4 Sec 22 Twp20 R11W, NW 1/4 of NW 1/4 of Sec 22 Twp20 R11W all total 40 acres.

1834 August 15 (Reg 12 Feb 1835) Tuscaloosa Co DB K p 242 Indenture William Davis to Eli Shirley $150 E 1/2 of NE 1/4 Sec 4 Twp21 R10W

1835 January 28 (Reg 1 August 1835) Tuscaloosa Co DB L p60. Payment H.G.K. Shannon secure payment of 1st $100 delivered to James Shirley one ox wagon, yoke upon failure to pay $100.

1835 October 7 (Reg 9 November 1835) Tuscaloosa Co DB L p117. Survey. George T Washington certify survey for Aaron Shirley SE corner of the W 1/2 fo the SE 1/4 Sec 10 Twp 20 R12. 80 acres. Chaincarriers: H.T Reece, Lewis Shirley

1835 October 14 (Reg 9 November 1835) Tuscaloosa Co DB L p118. Survey. George T. Washington certify for Aaron Shirley and W.L. Reece. NE corner of Sec 15 T20 R12W 66 acres part of which belongs to Aaron Shirley and the other part Wm T Reece. Chaincarriers: H.P Reece, Lewis Shirley

1836 December 7 (Sworn 8 March 1837) Tuscaloosa Co DB M p 361. Indenture James Shirley to Green H Strong $1200. Land in North Tuscaloosa N 1/2 of Lot 23 wit: G.W. Mitchell, Wm E. Self

July 30, 2021

New Deed Project - I started a new project to scan Tuscaloosa AL deeds involving Shirleys, say up to 1900. The following is the first batch, posted to the Tuscaloosa AL page in the members' section

Tuscaloosa AL


1838 Tuscaloosa Co DB O pg 340 Joel Sutton to James Shirley

1838 Tuscaloosa Co DB O pg 517 John Beard to Moses Shirley

1839 Tuscaloosa Co DB P pg 170 Beverly Shirley to Jacob Sartain

1839 Tuscaloosa Co DB P pg 215 J South to James Shirley

1839 Tuscaloosa Co DB P pg 223 Alex McCown to James Shirley

1839 Tuscaloosa Co DB P pg 328 W Savage to Beverly Shirley

1839 Tuscaloosa Co DB P pg 329 A Glover to Beverly Shirley

1839 Tuscaloosa Co DB P pg 409 Peter Lolley to James Shirley

July 19, 2021

The following are examples of the miscellaneous items I tend to find and post on a periodic basis, but do not mention here. The following items posted to the London England page and to Kerry Ireland page in the members' section

1648 Jan. 24 - Committee For Compounding [G 116, p. 829.] - Petition of Mary, widow of Sir George Shirley, Chief Justice of the King's Court of Chief Pleas (sic) in Ireland, to the Committee for Compounding. She and her husband lost a great estate by the barbarous rebellion in Ireland, and were forced to sell all they had, and run into debt for the maintenance of herself and family, having a younger son Thos. Shirley, who is weak and sickly, and has a wife and 4 children, and no other relations to help him. Parliament, sensible of her sad condition, have ordered her 100l.; entreats payment forthwith, to keep her family from perishing. Noted as referred [G 116, p. 827]. Annexing,I. Parliament order alluded to, for payment of 100l. from Goldsmiths' Hall to the wife of Sir George Shirley, lately deceased, and earnestly desiring its speedy advance. 6 January 1648;

1651 Jan 31 - Committee For Compounding [Vol. G 221 p.58] James Shirley, St. Bride's, London - .Begs to compound, not being sequestered, for adhering to the King. Noted as referred to Reading. 4 Feb. [Vol G 12 p 111] Fine at 1/6 1l.

1762 July 7 - Calendar of Home Office Papers - Dom. Geo. III., pcl. 74, No. 65. #614. Forfeited Estates of Lawrence Earl Ferrers.
Report of the Attorney and Solicitor General on the petition of Washington Earl Ferrers, brother of the late Lawrence Earl Ferrers, who was convicted of felony and murder; praying the grant of the estates, real and personal, of the late Earl forfeited on account of his attainder and conviction, subject to the payment of his debts, the petitioner's income being very scanty, and not sufficient to support the dignity devolved upon him. An inquisition was taken at Towcester, Northamptonshire, to inquire into His Majesty's title to the escheat on the 19th of October 1761. The results of the inquisition here recited. The principal real properties are the manors of Astwell and Falcot. They (the Attorney and Solicitor General) are of opinion that His Majesty is entitled, in consequence of the attainder, to the late Earl Ferrers' personal estate and the lands of which he was seized in fee simple subject to such charges as affect the same in point of law. The charges which deserve consideration are the following:—
1. The deed poll of Feb. 16. 1760, by which he granted East India bonds, notes, and effects, to the value of 4,496l. 13s. 8½d., for the benefit of his four natural children by Mrs. Margaret Clifford.
2. The indenture of March 12, 1760, by which he assigned his interest (amounting to 6,000l.) in a charge of 10,000l. secured by a trust term of 500 years upon several estates in Leicestershire and other counties, upon trust to secure 1,200l. to the four children of John Johnson, being the unhappy man for whose murder the said Earl was attainted, and likewise for other purposes of paying his debts by bond and simple contract, and making some provision for his brother, Mr. Walter Shirley.
3. A deed poll of March 12th, 1760, made in execution of a supposed power to charge 2,000l. as an additional provision for Mrs. Clifford's children, upon some entailed estates reserved to the said Earl by an indenture therein referred to, dated April 16th, 1762.
With respect to the first and second charges, being made before his conviction, for just and reasonable considerations, though their validity may possibly be questioned in law, as being made in immediate contemplation of his attainder, yet it will be agreeable to His Majesty's equity and clemency to suffer them to prevail. The agents and counsel who attended in support of the third charge are candid enough to admit that they are satisfied that the late Earl had no such power as therein recited, and consequently that deed is void. In conclusion, there is no objuction in law to the grant prayed by the petitioner, if His Majesty shall condescend to his request, subject to all charges legally affecting the estate. 11½ pp

1278 Petitions in Parliament - Edward I [12 (8)]. To your highness, lord king, James of Shirley shows you that, whereas he handed over his manor of Eatingdon to his son Ralph to acquit the aforesaid James of debt against all men, so that the aforesaid Ralph was to hold the manor for fifteen days to gain full seisin and, after the fifteen days, was to surrender this manor to him to hold for the term of his life, he keeps the aforesaid manor and has kept it for two years and more to his great damage of sixty pounds and has cut down and sold his grove and still keeps the chattels, both movable and immovable, which the aforesaid Ralph found in the aforesaid manor, against the wishes of the aforesaid James, and has had the animals driven into another county and and has had them sold as he wishes, so that his father James is deprived of these chattels. And where the writings made between them on their agreement were delivered into escrow he has had them removed by fraud and deceit, although the aforesaid James knows in whose hands they are, and asks you, sir king, for God's sake, that they be ... by your order. Moreover, whereas James has presented to a vicarage that is appurtenant to this same manor, this same Ralph has come and obstructed this, so that because of this obstruction the bishop has collated to the church. And thus he wrongfully retains the manor and is unwilling to surrender the manor to him or acquit him of the debt or keep any of the other terms, and so the same James prays your highness that this wrong be amended for him by your power. ANSWER: Let him seek a remedy by writ of covenant or debt or trespass.

1694 Oct 25 Dublin Castle - Calendar of State Papers, William and Mary [Regarding the Scottish Pretender's ally Walter Crosby] Copy of the information of Major John Steer, co. Kerry, dated Oct. 24, 1694. John Shirley, clerk, of Carignafeels, co. Kerry, told me at Bat. Crosby's house at Taberrit, the 16th and 17th instant, that he saw and read several letters from Walter Crosby dated at Lourain in Flanders and directed to Sir Thomas Crosby, and the said Shirley told me he perfectly well knew his hand; that the said letters did import several matters of treason against this present government, and if the government forced him he would declare the truth of the matter on oath.

July 16, 2021

This is interesting. I found a source that extends what we had earlier posted about the Rent Rolls of St Mary's Co Maryland. All the following are now posted to the St Mary's Maryland page in the members' section (the items after 1758 are new)

St Mary's Co Maryland

1753 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Richard Shirly "Shirly's Adventure" 150 Acres

Neighbors in 1753:Burch Swann (part of Hopewell)....[several later] James Thompson (part of St John's Herberts' Swamp), Ignatius Greenwell (St Ignatius Addition), Phillip Fenwick (part of Fenwick Manor), Daniel Watts (Watts Lodge) John Plummer (part of Elizabeth Manor) Richard Shirly (Shirley's Adventure) Thomas Keen (Keen's Rest) Thomas Mathyes (part of Friend's Conjunction)

1754 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Richard Shirly "Shirly's Adventure" 150 Acres

1755 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Richard Shirly "Shirly's Adventure" 150 Acres

1756 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Richard Shirly "Shirly's Adventure" 150 Acres

1757 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Richard Shirly "Shirly's Adventure" 150 Acres

1758 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Richard Shirly "Shirly's Adventure" 150 Acres

1760 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 40/1760/31 Richard Shurley "Shurley's Adventure" 150 Acres

1761 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 40/1761/34 Richard Shurley "Shurley's Adventure" 150 Acres

Death of Richard Shirley?

1762 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 40/1762/26 Heirs of Richard Shirly; pt "Shirly's Adventure" 50 Acres

1763 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 40/1763/28 Heirs of Richard Shurley; pt "Shurley's Adventure" 50 Acres

1764 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 40/1764/27 Heirs of Richard Shercliff (sic); pt "Shurley's Adventure" 50 Acres

1765 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 40/1765/27 Heirs of Richard Shirley; pt "Shirley's Adventure" 50 Acres

1765 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 40/1765/18 James Gough Jr; pt "Shirley's Adventure" 100 Acres (same as in 1764)

1766 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 40/1766/27 Heirs of Richard Shurley; pt "Shurley's Adventure" 50 Acres

1767 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 41/1767/27 Heirs of Richard Shirley; pt "Shirley's Adventure" 50 Acres

1768 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 41/1768/20 Heirs of Richard Shirley; pt "Shirley's Adventure" 50 Acres

1769 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 41/1769/20 Heirs of Richard Shirley; pt "Sirley's Adventure" (sic) 50 Acres

1770 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 41/1770/29 Heirs of Richard Shirley; pt "Surley's Adventure" (sic) 50 Acres

1771 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 41/1771/25 Heirs of Richard Shirley; pt "Sirley's Adventure" (sic) 50 Acres

1773 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 41/1773/30 Heirs of Richard Shirley; pt "Shirley's Adventure" 50 Acres

1774 St Mary's Co MD Debt Books (Rent Rolls) Liber 41/1774/32 Heirs of Richard Sherley; pt "Sherley's Adventure" 50 Acres

July 8, 2021

RESEARCH STATEMENT - Here is a summary of where the Shirley Association stands with respect to finding trans-atlantic links between Shirley families in North America and those in England etc.

1. The vast majority of American Shirley branches have no proven link across the Atlantic to England or to ireland. Only a scarce few American families can be traced to Londonderry Northern Ireland, a few Canadian Shirley families can be traced to co Kilkenny and one American family to co Wexford Ireland. A few Englishmen who migrated to America in the 1800s can be traced back to their English Shirley families. But that's really it.

2. There is no known, provable connection to the aristocratic and ancient Shirley family of Ettington Warwickshire by any Shirley branch in the world - that we know of to date (nor is there likely to ever be). Documented research on the Ettington Shirley family proves it, and more importantly DNA proves it - at least so far.

3. We are beginning to run out of opportunities for good luck - to uncover that long lost Last Will and Testament buried in an English archive that says something like "And I give 5 pounds sterling to my son Thomas currently living in Northumberland Virginia" The Shirley Association has ransacked almost all English probate sources, both at the national level and at the county record office level. We currently only lack gathering wills in a couple of counties - and none that we have (thusfar) provide any clue of any trans-atlantic connection. Again, only a few counties remain (with a smattering of needle-in-haystack ecclesiastical "peculiars" not checked as yet). It's getting desperation time.

4. 90% of the low-hanging research fruit has been picked. The rest is needle-in-haystack level of difficulty. But thanks to the Mormons and companies like Ancestry and FindMyPast, who are slowly indexing a few of these odd research sources every month. But it's slow. There are sources that I have targeted, e.g. Records of London trade guilds (who were large landowners, thus tenant lists), also English Manoral court records, only a smattering survive, almost none indexed, thus search page by page of blurry handwriting, looking for a Eureka event. Also the archives of landed aristocrats, not held by county record offices (the latter I've already searched for the most part)

5. Some places are easier to research than others. Example, research in Scotland is difficult (I've done it). The Scottish government disgracefully acts like a for-profit corporation, selling access to the history of their citizens only to paying customers, in direct competition with the private sector firms, Ancestry.com, FindMyPast and also with the Mormon's efforts. Worse, the Scots guard their treasure zealously. But thankfully, Shirley is not traditionally a Scottish surname.

6. You may not know, but the Irish burned down their entire state archive in the 1920s, during one of their many violent "troubles". Virtually nothing survived of a 1000 years of Irish history. Worse, prior to the arson, the Irish government demanded all documents scattered about the country in county record offices be sent to Dublin for "safe keeping". Pooof! All gone. (Irish family history research is a disaster. I've researched in Dublin - there's simply not much there)

June 12 2021

I just finished a major project. Transcribing all mentions of Shirleys in the Irish Exchequer Court Docket books. The actual bills were destroyed in the 1920s fire at the Irish Archives. The docket books are rare windows into Shirleys who lived between the late 1600s and mid 1800s. There are clues in these docket mentions. Will need to study at some length. Posted to the main Ireland index page in the members' section.

Ireland Exchequer Docket Books: 1674 - 1850

June 6 2021

New Ireland Lineage - I constructed a new lineage for the Shirley family of Camolin Parish Wexford

2. Thomas Shirley bricklayer of Camolin Parish Wexford. Moved to Dublin, Family raised in Dublin



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