The SHIRLEY Family name was rare in Somerset before 1800. From this time the largest concentration of Shirley families found so far are my own who were orginally centred in the Horsington area. As in other South West Counties the name was spelt with an "A" in place of the more common "I". In Somerset this particular spelling of the surname has survived to the present day. The association with Horsington village started with my 4th Gt Grandfather and there are still descendants living in this general area today. Some details on the Somerset Shirley's is as follows: (This will be updated as more information comes to hand)

1.) The earliest Shirley presence in Somerset I know of is in 1510 with the mention of Thomas SHIRLEY Esq. of West Grinstead, Sussex who married Elizabeth GORGES and co-incidently, given my families presence there, inherited the Manors of Horsington and Cheriton. These were later inherited by his son Francis and sold by him to the LUDLOW family about 1559 (Which has been owned by the BAILWARD family since the middle 1700's)

2) The next Shirley family presence in Somerset that I know of is in the Somerset Subsidy Rolls of 1641 and is of Robert SHURLE of Henstridge paying 50s. I believe this Robert is connected to the Shirley family of Lydlinch in Dorset who had extensive land holdings at Bagbere near Sturminster Newton. Robert Shirley only owned property at Henstridge and to date I have not come across any records to suggest that he may have lived in Henstridge.

3.) In 1799 William SHARLEY, born in Ringwood Hampshire. married Anna CROUCH and thus began a long association with Somerset for the family. William and Anna had 13 children of whom 11 survived, 6 boys and 5 girls. The eldest son Thomas emigrated to New Zealand with his family in 1841 to be followed by the fifth son, James and family in the early 1850's. There are now over 1000 descendants that carry the Shirley name from these two families in New Zealand today. Of the other sons, Henry the second eldest had been the greatest mystery till recently when I discovered him in military records at the National Archives in Kew Gardens and then found him in the census records. He married a Elizabeth JONES and lived in London. There were no children that I know of. The third son John married in Horsington and his two children were born there, by 1851 this family are living in Bristol where both children eventually marry. By 1861 John & his wife are living in Surrey. The fourth son William married in Bristol to Mary Anne AVERY and also settled there. (William's surname has been mis-transcribed from records as "CHARLEY"). The fifth son James also married in Bristol but it appears he moved around alot as his children are born in different places including Wiltshire (where his wife was from) and Keynsham in Somerset as well as Bristol. Between his sixth and seventh child he moved to New Zealand in the early 1850's and eventually settled down in the same area as his eldest brother. The youngest son Charles was the only son to remain in Horsington. He married twice. He had 6 children by his first marriage to Maria BUTT and another 5 children by his second marriage to Sarah Anne TUFTON. Descendants of this family still live in the general area today, although I believe there are no Shirley's in Horsington itself. It is one of Charles son's, William that is mentioned in the small historical book that was published about Horsington some years ago.

4.) Before my William above is another William SHARLEY who lived in Horsington. He died 6 months before my William and Anna were married in 1799. I have no idea who he was or where he came from or if there is a connection to my family.

5.) There are a few other Shirley's mentioned in Somerset. Those at Bath are more than likely of one of the pedigree families from other parts of England. At a guess I would say the very well known Shirley's of Derbyshire who had family connections to Wiltshire and Dorset at various times.

6.) My latest discovery is Benjamin SHORLY son of Andrew. I have a very distant recollection that this family may have originated from somewhere near Downton in Wiltshire as I have in the past done some research on someones behalf and I think this included a Andrew Shirley. (The name Andrew is also found among the Shirley's of Lydlinch in Dorset).


Date Place child's name, father's name, mother's name Notes
09Feb1666 North Cheriton Benjamin son of Andrew SHORLY (See No. 6 above)
19Jan1800 Horsington Thomas son of William and Anna SHARLEY married Ann HALLETT in 1825, emigrated to NZ in 1841
19Jul1801 Horsington Elizabeth dau of William and Anna SHARLEY  
13Jul1803 Horsington Henry son of William and Anna SHARLEY just discovered joined military, no further information
08Apr1805 Horsington Melinda dau of William and Anna SHARLEY died in 1821
28Mar1807 Horsington John Crouch son of William and Anna SHARLEY married Martha WEARE in 1848 settled in Bristol
04Feb1810 Horsington William son of William and Anna SHARLEY married Mary Ann AVERY in Bristol 1848??
10Apr1812 Horsington Anne dau of William and Ann SHARLEY c. 25Aug1812
22May1814 Horsington James son of William and Anna SHARLEY married Ellen COOK in Bristol 1841, emigrated to NZ 1850's
09Jun1816 Horsington Charles son of William and Anna SHARLEY married twice, descendants in Horsington till 1940's
08May 1817 Bath - R.C. William Henry son of Samuel and Eliz. Mary SHIRLEY  
27Dec1818 Horsington Mary Fannia dau of William and Anna SHARLEY baptised at Abbas Combe
26May 1822 Horsington Emily dau of William and Anna SHURLEY married George HYDE in 1845, settled Templecombe
25Dec1824 Horsington Amelia dau of William and Anna SHURLEY married Stephen HARDING in 1845, two children, no further information
07Aug1825 Horsington Matthew son of Thomas and Ann SHARLEY to New Zealand with parents in 1841
25Dec1827 Horsington Jane dau of William and Anna SHERLEY died in 1842
25Dec1827 Horsington Selina dau of Thomas and Ann SHARLEY to New Zealand with parents in 1841
28Jul1829 Horsington John son of John and Martha SHARLEY married and live in Bristol (unverifed)
05Aug1829 Horsington Henry son of Thomas and Ann SHARLEY to New Zealand with parents in 1841
01Dec1831 Horsington Ann dau of Thomas and Ann SHARLEY to New Zealand with parents in 1841
25Dec1832 Horsington Marianne dau of John and Martha SHARLEY maried in Bristol (unverified)
18Jan1835 Horsington Sophia dau of Thomas and Ann SHARLEY to New Zealand with parents in 1841
08Jun1837 Horsington James son of Charles and Maria SHARLEY  
23Jul1837 Horsington Thomas Andrew son of Thomas and Ann SHARLEY to New Zealand with parents in 1841
07Aug1840 Horsington Elizabeth dau of Thomas and Ann SHARLEY to New Zealand with parents in 1841
01Mar1841 Horsington Henry son of Charles and Maria SHARLEY died Wincanton and buried in Horsington 1872
23Oct1843 Keynsham Joseph son of James and Ellen SHERLEY  
23Jun1844 Horsington William son of Charles and Maria SHARLEY  
22Feb1847 Horsington Anna Jane dau of Charles and Maria SHARLEY  
01Feb1849 Horsington Elizabeth dau of Charles and Maria SHERLEY  
20Feb1853 Horsington Charles son of Charles and Maria SHERLEY  
14Aug1864 North Cheriton Matthew son of Charles and Sarah Anne SHARLEY  
02Oct1864 North Cheriton Sarah Jane dau of William and Mary SHARLEY  
abt 1865 Horsington Henry James son of William and Mary SHARLEY No baptism found, confirmed from 1871 census
09Jun1867 Horsington Amelia dau of Charles and Sarah Anne SHARLEY  
09Jun1867 Horsington Tom son of Charles and Sarah Anne SHARLEY  
30Aug1868 Horsington Emily Anna dau of William and Mary SHARLEY  
23May1869 Horsington Beatrice dau of Charles and Sarah Anne SHARLEY  
25Dec1870 Horsington Rosa dau of William and Mary SHARLEY  
23Jul1871 Horsington Herbert Theodore son of Charles and Sarah Anne SHARLEY  
13Nov1872 Horsington William son of William and Mary SHARLEY  
29Nov1875 Horsington Walter John son of William and Mary SHARLEY lived in Horsington all his life
14Apr1878 Horsington William Charles son of William and Mary SHARLEY died in 1879
28Dec1879 Horsington Tom Edward son of William and Mary SHARLEY [First name possibly John]
12Jul1882 Horsington William George son of William and Mary SHARLEY  
26Feb1893 North Cheriton Herbert James son of James and Anne SHARLEY  
21Oct1894 Horsington Henry James son of James and Ann SHARLEY  

Date
Place Groom Bride  
27Aug1623 Ditcheat SCHERLYE, John TOMPKINS, Rebecca  
02Apr1782 Combe Hay SMITH, John SHIRLEY, Mary  
19Oct1794 Bath Abbey FRAPPELL, George (widower) SHIRLEY, Elizabeth (of Widcombe)  
22Jan1799 Horsington SHARLEY, William CROUCH, Anna  
14Oct1823 Bath - R.C. NEWPORT, Ed. SHIRLEY, Elizabeth  
24Feb1825 Horsington SHARLEY, Thomas HALLETT, Ann  
22Dec1827 Taunton SHORLY, William HILL, Elizabeth  
25Nov1828 Horsington SHARLEY, John C WEARE, Martha  
19Feb1838 Horsington SHARLEY, Charles BUTT, Maria  
09Sep1845 Horsington HARDING, Stephen SHURLEY, Amelia  
29Sep1845 Horsington HYDE, George SHURLEY, Emily  
Sep1860 Wincanton? SHARLEY, Charles TUFTON, Sarah Anne (not verified)
Sep1863 Wincanton? SHARLEY, William MAIDMENT, Mary (not verified)
Jun1878 Wincanton? DAVY, John SHARLEY, Sarah Anne (widow) (not verified)
01Oct1888 Horsington SHARLEY, Henry James HINE, Eliza Ann  
07Nov1889 Horsington HISCOCKS, George SHARLEY, Rosa  
31Dec1895 Horsington BENNETT, Arthur George SHARLEY, Emily Anna  
13Dec1913 Horsington SHIRLEY, William CARDEY, Mary Ann  
25Nov1914 Horsington SHARLEY, Walter John PARSONS, Agnes Kate  

Date Place Name Age Notes
06Jan1768 Bath Abbey SHIRLEY, Lady Stuarta
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12Dec1797 Bath Abbey SHIRLEY, Mrs Hannah
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28Jun 1798 Horsington SHARLEY, William
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26Feb1800 Bath Abbey SHIRLEY, Genl. Sir Thomas
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09Apr1821 Horsington SHIRLEY, Melinda 15yrs  
26May1842 Horsington SHURLEY, Jane 15yrs  
06Nov1842 Horsington SHURLEY, Ann 62yrs  
18Jun1851 Horsington SHARLEY, William 81yrs  
31Dec 1855 Horsington SHARLEY, Maria 43yrs  
06Jun1866 Horsington SHARLEY, Jane 2yr 9m drowned
19Jul1872 Horsington SHARLEY, Henry 31yrs Wincanton Union House
21Nov1879 Horsington SHARLEY, William Charles 1yr 11m  
10Apr1912 South Cheriton SHARLEY, Mary 69yrs  



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