William Shirley was a noted British colonial administrator and military leader. His talents were quickly recognized in his new home and he was named an Admiralty judge in 1733. From this time forward, he became an implacable foe of the French.Shirley was named the royal governor of Massachusetts in 1741. During King George’s War (1740-48), Shirley was responsible for planning the successful Louisbourg campaign (1745) — the only significant British victory of the conflict.Shirley was named to succeed Edward Braddock as commander-in-chief of British forces in North America during the French and Indian War. He quickly fell into disfavor, however, after a notable failure to capture Fort Niagara. He returned to Massachusetts in 1770, where he died.
British Military Campaigns and Strategy in North America, 1755: An Overview
By year’s end in 1755 the perils of war had blanketed the North American landscape as the battle for the continent raged between England and France. The opening years of conflict in what would come to be known as the French and Indian War were fought during a time of peace between the two mighty European powers in which no declaration of war would be announced until 1756. However, King George II and Louis XV had assembled the largest armies ever seen on the North American continent up to that time to defend and expand their respective colonial possessions. These measures were far from peaceful, and it was evident that after blood had been spilled in New York, Pennsylvania, and Nova Scotia, a declared war was inevitable.
The story of the campaigns of 1755 begins the previous year when tension in the Ohio River Valley boiled over, precipitating armed conflict. Colonial expansion (England moving west, France moving south) forced these two super powers on a collision course that culminated in May 1754 when a detachment of Virginians under the command of George Washington fired on a party of French colonial troops that were on a “diplomatic” mission to order all Englishmen out of the Ohio River Valley. These were the first shots fired in what eventually evolved into the French and Indian War. Although the only territory disputed over in 1754 was the land surrounding present day Pittsburgh, by the following year England’s eyes turned to French military strongholds in Nova Scotia, the Great Lakes region, and upstate New York.
The plan orchestrated by England’s Captain General, the Duke of Cumberland (George II’s son), for 1755 was to be carried out on four fronts in order to counter all of France’s military gains the previous year. Placed in command of the British regular troops being sent to the colonies, as well as the colonial provincial units then being raised for the coming campaigns, was Major General Edward Braddock. Meeting in Alexandria, Virginia in April with the royal governors of Maryland (Horatio Sharpe), Massachusetts (William Shirley), New York (James De Lancey), Pennsylvania (Robert Morris), and Virginia (Robert Dinwiddie), Braddock laid out Cumberland’s plans and what was to be expected of the colonies taking part in the various expeditions. Also present at the conference was William Johnson of New York, who was personally appointed by the general as Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
William Johnson was given command of the provincial force that was to move north from Albany, NY and capture the French stronghold at Crown Point astride Lake Champlain. Using his close ties with the Iroquois, it fell upon his shoulders to muster Native American support and recruit warriors for his expedition as well as William Shirley’s thrust against Fort Niagara at the southwestern tip of Lake Ontario. A clash of personality and interests between the two men would eventually lead to Shirley being denied of Indian support for his offensive and Johnson obtaining all that was offered.
Along with these two armies moving through New York, efforts to secure the Chignecto Isthmus in Nova Scotia by capturing Fort Beausejour, as well as a major push to take Fort Duquesne at the Forks of the Ohio River were also formulated. Robert Monckton was given overall command of the force that would advance from New England and capture Beausejour, and Edward Braddock himself would lead a large 2,400 man army of regulars and provincials that would oust the French from the Ohio River Valley. Upon capturing Duquesne, Braddock was then set to move north and link up with Shirley to assist in the capture of Fort Niagara. On paper the plan appeared clear and simple, and the men believed all the objectives could be taken with ease. By winter 1755, North America should belong to George II.
More times than none, plans that appear perfect on paper are hardly ever executed properly. This was the case for England’s grand scheme to capture the continent in 1755 before a large scale conflict with France could be forced upon them. On July 9, Braddock’s force made it to within several miles of the French at Fort Duquesne before it was attacked and defeated, suffering nearly 900 casualties, including the general who suffered a mortal wound. He later died during his army’s retreat to Fort Cumberland, Maryland four days later. By the end of the month, Colonel Thomas Dunbar, Braddock’s successor, had his men marching eastward towards Philadelphia where they would enter winter quarters in the middle of summer.
Battle of the Monongahela
With Edward Braddock’s demise, William Shirley was elevated to the position of Commander-in-Chief. Mourning the loss of his son, who served as a secretary to Braddock and was killed during the fighting along the Monongahela River, he was given the task of trying to avoid another disaster. Good news arrived from Nova Scotia later that summer as Monckton reported that his expedition had been a success. Forts Beausejour and Gaspereau had fallen and the Chignecto Isthmus was secure. This British victory the in part led to the first ever ethnic cleansing to occur in the modern world. Thousands of French Acadians were deported out of the country to prevent any possible uprisings that might hinder British colonial expansion and military efforts against New France.
The victory in Nova Scotia was the only successfully executed expedition of the four-pronged movement against the French in North America. Although Shirley and Johnson would not meet any sort of battlefield defeat in their efforts, Monckton’s campaign was the only one that captured its main objective.
Arriving at Fort Oswego at the southeastern corner of Lake Ontario, William Shirley was determined to repair and strengthen the old fortification before advancing any further. His time spent there went by wasted as he just simply could not get his army properly supplied or moving to capture Fort Niagara. He returned east to New York City and left his army at Oswego hoping to resume the offensive the following summer. As William Shirley failed to capture Fort Niagara, so too did William Johnson fail to capture Crown Point. However, Johnson’s army was able to secure the southern end of Lake George and defend New York from a French advance into the colony’s interior.
Among the dead and dying of Braddock’s command along the Monongahela River in July 1755, wagons filled with the general’s personal and official military correspondence were captured by the French-Canadians and their Native allies. Within these papers were the plans for the British offensives against New France. Freshly arrived from France and now having the knowledge of his enemy’s intentions, Jean Armand, Baron de Dieskau, the newly appointed General-in-Chief of regular troops in the colonies, sought to move against Johnson’s force south of Lake George from Crown Point, and then move west to deal with Shirley. On September 8, 1755, roughly three thousand British and French troops clashed south of and at the base of Lake George. When the day finally came to an end, Dieskau’s army had been repulsed and was sent retreating north towards Ticonderoga. With the southern shore of the lake now securely in British hands, Johnson’s army began construction of what would become Fort William Henry. Had Dieskau succeeded in dislodging Johnson’s men from the lake, it is quite possible that he could then have overrun Fort Lymann (Edward) fourteen miles to the south, and then marched his victorious army against Albany where he could have captured a major supply base and cut New England off from the rest of the colonies.
Battle of Lake George, September 8, 1755
Even though Johnson failed to capture his objective, he still claimed a victory for England in a year of military disasters. Braddock was dead and his army mauled by the French outside Duquesne Shirley was bogged down at Oswego and refused to go any further Johnson was recovering from a wound received at Lake George while his army erected defenses and Monckton’s men were deporting Acadians following their sole victory. Britain had failed to expel the French from North America before a full-scale war could be declared. As tension grew in Europe over alliances and territorial possessions, the world went to war in May 1756. Ultimate control of North America would be determined by how much attention could be placed on defending the British colonies and New France without risking defeat elsewhere throughout the world’s battlefronts.
William Shirley - History
DNA Haplogroups are listed in red for descendants who participated in DNA testing. Colored charts can be seen for each Haplogroup using these links.
1. Henry Shurley of Reading Berkshire, died 1667. 2 . Thomas Shirley of Thacham Berkshire, maulster, Will probated 1672 3. Ferrers Shirley born about 1709, In 1742, He transferred his family's residence from St Lawrence Reading to Hurst, Berkshire. They lived Sonning, Berks Co. He died prior to 1782 when his wife Elizabeth was buried as a widow.
1. Shirley Families of Ludgershall Buckinghamshire. Shirley families are found in Ludgershall as early as the 1500s. This page tries to untangle of their lineages. Updated (again) Dec 2017 2. Thomas Shirley of Salisbury Farm, Hertfordshire. His wife was Ann. This lineage includes Edward Shirley of Salisbury Farm and the William Rolfe Shirley family of Berkshire and Staines Middlesex. 3. Shirley Families of Brill and Oakley Buckinghamshire Michael Shirley d 1723 at Brill. Significantly updated and extended lineage 4. Shirley Families of Brill and Quainton Buckinghamshire. John Shirley b 1802 at Brill Bucks, married Selena Bunting, lived in Quainton Bucks and also in Wales for a time New 5. Shirley Families of Worminghall Buckinghamshire. Family moved to Kentish Town, St Pancras MDX New 6. Shirley Families of Wotton Underwood Buckinghamshire Recorded in Wotton as early as 1636, families christened there and left wills in early 1700s New 7. Shirley Families of Oving and North Marston Buckinghamshire. Michael Shirley born about 1761 lived at Oving and held land at North Marston, married Sarah King at Oakley Bucks New 8. Shirley Families of Little Missenden Buckinghamshire. John Shirley died Dec 15, 1761 m. Elizabeth Hale. Haplogroup R 9. Jonathon Shirley b. 1810 Buckinghamshire, England, died Dec 29, 1893 Owego, NY. Haplogroup R 10. William Shirley b. ca 1825 Buckinghamshire England. Lived Maury Co. Tennessee Haplogroup R 11. Shirley Families of Marsh Gibbon Buckinghamshire. James Shirley of Marsh Gibbon married Mary Mansell 1744. Undoubtedly related to Bucks lineages above. Includes other stray Shirley lineages of Marsh Gibbon. Haplogroup E 12. Shirley Families of Slough and Upton cum Chalvey Buckinghamshire. Several members of this family left PCC wills. 13. Shirley Families of Calverton Buckinghamshire. Several members of this family migrated to the London area in the mid-1800s 14. Shirley Families of Ashendon Buckinghamshire.
1. John George Shirley christened Jan 6 1822 Chippenham Cambridgeshire. Family of St. Marylebone Parish, London. He married Ellen Shiletto November 12, 1846 at Barrow, Suffolk Co. England. Lived New South Wales. Haplogroup R
1. John Walter Shirley 1850 Cornwall England Haplogroup E
1. John William Shirley born April 2, 1841 Radbourne, Derbyshire, England died 1918 in Iowa USA. This family originated in Dalbury Lees, Derbyshire (see next pedigree) 2. John Shirley m. Anne Pickfork on April 24, 1735, Mackworth, Derbyshire Lived Dalbury Lees, Derbyshire 3. Shirley families of Marston-upon-Dove parish. Villages in the parish include Hilton and Hoon. 4. Shirley families of Hartington parish. These Shirleys appear to be related to the Shirleys of Alstonfield parish Staffordshire 5. Christopher Sharley of Heanor Derbyshire. He died and was buried on 27 May 1801 at Heanor Derbyshire. Family also lived Measham Derbs and Edingthorpe Norfolk 6. Shirley families of Ashbourne Parish. These Shirleys left wills in the late 1500s, early 1600s. There is some indication the surname was alias Cook. Not well traced as yet. NEW
1. Thomas Shirley natural son of Mary Sharvile - Green of Seven Oaks Kent. Lived and buried Stalbridge Dorset 1797
2. William Shirley d 1545. held lands at Bagbere, Sturminster Newton, and Lydlinche Dorset. Family also lived in London.
1. Daniel Shirley, grazier of Barking, Essex, gentleman died 1776. This family also extended to Mile End and Whitechapel Middlesex.
1. John Shirley of Moreton-in-Marsh, Glouc. churchwarden died 1775.
2. Shirley family of Little Compton. Very large and prosperous family as early as the 1500s (now in Warwickshire)
Hampshire and IOW Lineages
1. Thomas William Shirley b. England. Married Harriet Ann Hawkins Mar 6, 1828 in St Mary's Parish, Portsea, Hampshire England. 2. Thomas Shearly of Ringwood, Hampshire, England His occupation was listed as a sojourner.married Cherry (Charity) Falkner on Nov 14, 1769 Ringwood , Hampshire, England. Some of the family moved ot Horsington Somerset, and then on to New Zealand 3. Shirley Families of Alverstoke Hampshire. These families are surely related to other Shirley families in nearby Gosport and Portsea? 4. John Shirley born about 1774 Living at Shorwell Hampshire in 1841 census. Some descendants moved to Canada. Haplogroup I
1. The ancient Shirley family of Presteigne and Stockton (Leominster) Herefordshire. Members of Parliament. This family is also likely connected to the Shurleys of Isfield, Sussex
1. Edward Shirley of Shenley, Hertfordshire (see #1 Buckinghamshire Lineages of Thomas Shirley)
2. Edward Shirley of Chipping Barnet undoubtedly connected to the Sherleys of Shenley and Brill (Bucks)
3. John Shirley of Rickmansworth Herts. Family moved to Bermondsey, Surrey.
4. John Shirley born about 1793 was baptized on 7 July 1793 at Redbourne, Hertfordshire to mother Sarah Shirley (no father given).
1. Edward Shirley b. early 1600's lived Sutton Valence, Kent 2. William Shirley born about 1728 lived in Chatham and Rochester Kent This family were members of the Independent Baptist Church at Rochester. 3. Nicholas Shearley born about 1720 lived in Bexley Kent. 4. William Shirley married in 1834 at Maidstone Kent. A few descendants migrated to Elgin Ontario Canada. 5. Shirleys of Stockbury Kent . A Robert Shirley (d 1631) had children in this parish A William Shirley died here 1686. This family may be the ancestors of the Shirleys of Chart Sutton Kent.
1. Robert Shirley married Anne Kelley 1852 St. Nicholas Parish, Liverpool Lancashire Haplogroup R 2. Samuel Shirley, gent. His son Samuel Francis Shirley born 1816 in Holborn MDX operated Shirley & Co cloth merchants in Manchester, Lancashire. Haplogroup I
1. Shirley Family of Long Whatton Leics. Descendants migrated to Manitoba Canada, USA (Oregon then, Los Angeles)
Middlesex and London Lineages
1. Captain James Shirley who died in command of the Dolphin 20 on the East India station in 1774. Family was of Islington Middlesex 2. John Shirley born Manchester, Lancashire but married at St. Leonards Shoreditch MDX and lived at St George in East, Stepney MDX. Family moved to New York and Rhode Island USA. 3. Ferrers Shirley - b. ca 1735 England, wife Ann. Was "of London". He lived in Massachusetts and New York 4. James Shirley born about 1790 grocer, lived in Highgate Middlesex. Haplogroup R 5. Capt. Thomas Sherley , of Ratcliff Stepney Middlesex. Member of the Royal Africa Company commanding the East India Merchant in 1693. He died off the coast of Africa that year.
1. William Shirley (b1764) and wife Mary of Hindolveston Norfolk. 2. John Shirley (b 1795) of Little Dunham Norfolk Family lived in Shouldham, Norfolk. Some migrated to New Zealand Haplogroup R 3. Shirleys of Great Snoring and Norwich John Sherley of Great Snoring, and brothers Francis and James NEW 4. Shirleys of Wighton Norfolk. This family dates back to the late 1600s. May have died out, moved away NEW
1. Shirley Families of Upper Boddington Valentine Sherley left a will in 1644 in Northamptonshire naming his family and brother William Sherley and his family
2. Shirley Families of Loddington William Sherley left a will in 1634 in Northamptonshire naming his family
3. Shirley Families of Woodford William Sherley left a will in 1636 in Northamptonshire naming his family
4. Shirley Families of Titchmarsh Various Sherley family members left wills at Titchmarsh Northamptonshire beginning with Nicholas Sherley in 1568
1. Richard Shirley of Kingston-on-Soar, Nottingham in 1682
1. Shirleys of Deddington Oxfordshire A John and William Shirley raised families at Hempton Deddington in the early/mid 1800s. 2. Joseph Shirley pre- 1777, died . Wife Ann Clanvill. Family lived Cuddesdon, Oxfordshire. 3. William Shirley 1745 m. Ann Buttell of Barford St. Michael Oxfordshire. Includes a 2nd pedigree of Barford St Michael for another William born abt 1798 Haplogroup I 4. Richard Shirley married 1774 in Northleigh Oxfordshire. Family lived in nearby Kidlington DNA of his descendants match the DNA of the main USA E3b branches. Haplogroup E 5. Thomas Shirley born 1764 Family lived Witney, Ascott under Wychwood and Hailey Oxfordshire and Hounslow Middlesex. Plus, another Shirley family of Witney Oxon. 6. Shirleys of Lower Heyford Joseph Shirley born about 1777 at Lower Heyford, Oxford according to the 1851 census He lived in Oxford, Oxfordshire in the 1820 and was a sawyer He died 1861/1862 Oxford St. Giles, Oxford Updated 2020 7. Shirleys of Cropredy (and Bourton). Lineages of William Shirley died 1602 and Edward Shirley who died in 1791. May be related to Shirleys of Stratford on Avon Warwickshire 8. William Shirley b 1842 Adderbury, Oxfordshire he died 9 June 1906 at Clunes, Victoria, Australia. Emigrated from Adderbury, Oxfordshire to Australia about 1863 9. Shirleys of Cogges - This family was at Cogges are early as the mid 1500s, left wills into the 1700s 10. Shirleys of Churchill, Sarsden, and Kingham - Shirleys appear in these parishes in the 1500s through 1800s 11. Shirleys of Aston Rowant - Shirleys appear here in the late 1500s, likely related to Shirleys of Ludgershall Buckinghamshire 12. Shirleys of Launton - Large Shirley family living here as early as mid 1700s This parish is adjacent Bicester Oxon as well as Marsh Gibbon, Bucks.
1. Thomas Shirley of Ringwood, Hampshire. Married Charity Falkner Nov 14, 1769 Ringwood. Family in Horsington, Somerset Co. England, and later in New Zealand. Haplogroup group not determined yet.
1. John Shirley of Marsh House & Rewlach in Staffordshire. He was born about 1665 and d. 1746. He married Ellen Salt about 1688. Family to Bristol, Somerset, Canada, and New York 2. Benjamin Shirley born about 1740 His children born at Bucknall, Staffordshire in the 1760s wife Mary 3. William Shirley b. ca. 1760 Hanley, Staffordshire He died 1808 at Bucknall married Hannah. Descendants immigrated to Baltimore Maryland and to California. A merchant family involved in china and pottery. Haplogroup I 4. Robert Shirley 1795 Staffordshire. m. Mary __. Family lived Birmingham, Warwickshire, Hansworth, W. Bromwich, and Smethwick in Staffordshire. 5. Charles Shirley 1816 Bucknall, Staffordshire m. Alice Williamson Also Charles Shirley of Abbots Bromley, Staffs. 6. William Shirley b. ca.1795 Staffordshire Family lived at Hanley and Stoke on Trent He married Prudence Plant 7. Jesse Shirley b 1791 involved in Pottery manufacturing in Hanley Staffordshire. Sons Jesse and Henry Benjamin famous for operating Jesse Shirley & Son's bone mill in Etruria, Stoke on Trent. 8. William Shirley b ca. 1846 married Louisa Hillman. Family lived in Burslem and Wolstanton, Staffordshire. Some descendants moved to Canada 9. Shirley family of Tamworth , Staffs (and Warw). Shirleys appear in Tamworth parish as early as the 1500s. There may be a link to the Shirleys of Freyburg Maine USA 10. Shirley family of Cheddleton . John Shirley born 1826 Cheddleton, Staffs Died December, 1886 Stoke on Trent married Harriett Plant 11. Shirley family of Burton Upon Trent. Edward Shirley whose descendants lived in Maine USA. Joseph Shirley, gent and Richard Shirley all lived Burton upon Trent. 12. Shirley family of Bradley, near Stafford. This is an ancient family with records potentially dating back to the 1300s 13. Shirley family of Leek Staffordshire . This family exists in Leek to modern times Clearly related to the Shirley family of Alstonfield 14. Shirley family of Brewood Staffordshire 15. William Shirley born c1738 of Wolverhampton, Staffordshire 16. John Shirley born about 1770, raised his family in the parish of St Mary, Stafford, Staffordshire.
1. William Whitney Shirley b. Jan 31, 1843 m. Charlotte Cranfield Mar 14, 1864 at All Saints, Upper Norwood Family clearly members of the ancient Shirleys of Croydon, Surrey Updated Aug 2011 2. Joseph Shirley ca 1788 m. Mary Cox in 1814 London, lived Lambeth, Surrey. 3. William Shirley of Godstone Surrey. born about 1742 part of the ancient family of Godstone, Surrey. This family is probably distant relatives of the Shirleys of London, goldsmiths 4. William Shirley of Chertsey Surrey , waterman and brother John Shirley of Walton on Thames Surrey, waterman. Family lived at Chertsey, Walton on Thames, Stratford (West Ham) Essex and London. Lineage includes the wealthy Thomas Shirley merchant of Coleman Street London 5. Shirley families of Oxted and Titsey Surrey . These families are clearly connected to the ancient Shirley family seated at Croydon Surrey and to the Shirleys of London, goldsmiths.
1. Shirley families of Worth, Bolney, Slaugham and other nearby parishes in Sussex. This family may be connected to the Shirley family of Oxted and Titsey parishes in Surrey (?)
2. Shirley family of Brighton and Steyning Sussex. The Shirley ancestry of this family is difficult to determine and at this point only dates back into the mid-1800s. New Haplogroup E
1. William Shirley b. 1788-90 Oxfordshire, m. Ann Berry May 14, 1817 Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire. 2. James Shirley of Meriden, Warwickshire. Operated a bicycle shop there in the late 1880s. Was supposedly born in the London area. Likely related to Shirleys of Foleshill Warwickshire, see #5 below 3. Thomas Shirley, button maker of Birmingham, Warwickshire. Married 1759. Some family to Canada in 1912 Haplogroup I 4. Daniel Shirley 1767 married Elizabeth Walton in Stoneleigh Warwickshire in 1792 5. William Shirley of Foleshill, Warwickshire, married Martha Cooper on 9 Jan 1803 at St Lawrence Foleshill buried 4 Sept 1809 St Lawrence Foleshill, Warw. Family includes the founders of the American Salvation Army. 6. John Shirley born Jan. 26, 1789 christened at Great Wolford parish, Warwickshire, England came to New York in 1826 and resided in Utica, Oneida Co NY died May 12, 1868 at the age of 80 7. John Shirley born about 1574, living St Nicholas parish in Warwick, Warwickshire. Also other Shirley families of Warwick Warwickshire 8. George Shurley born say 1677, died prior to 1730. He raised a family in Priors Marston Warwickshire Also Shirleys of Lower Shuckburgh and Napton on Hill 9. Shirleys of Brailes Warwickshire. This family is prominent in Brailes in the late 1500s, 1600s, and 1700s.
1. Shirley Families of Worcester. John Shirley was a tailor in Worcester. His family had connections in London and in Hampshire 2. William Shirley 1798 m. Rebecca Freeman Nov 3, 1818 Blockley, Worcestershire Haplogroup I
1. Thomas Shirley of Wickersley, Yorkshire. A prominent family which was supposedly originated from Chapel en le frith, Derbyshire in the 16th century. Bore the arms of Shirley of Ettington.
Shirleys of England, Merchants of Lisbon Portugal
Shirleys of Lisbon Portugal - Merchant family of considerable social status, originally from London and Yorkshire England. There are some hints they may be an unknown stray from the Shirley family of Ettington
Ancient Shirleys of Ettington, Warwickshire
The 7 lineages listed below are for the main branch of the Shirley family dating back to 1086. They have been presented as separate branches although these 7 are all part of one very large branch.
William Shirley - History
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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
New Ireland Lineage - I constructed a new lineage for the Shirley family of Camolin Parish Wexford
I extracted all the following Shirley/Sharleys found in the Hearth Tax rolls of Warwickshire Posted to the Warwickshire page in the members' section
1662 Warwickshire Hearth Tax
Brayles (Lower Brailes)
Francis Shurley 4
Warwick - Market Place Ward
John Sharley Jr 1
John Sharley Sr 3
1663 Warwickshire Hearth Tax
Brayles (Lower Brailes)
Francis Sherly 4
Jane Sherly 1
Barton on Heath
Thomas Sherly 1
Warwick - Market St Ward
John Sharley Sr 2
John Sharley Jr 2
Warwick - No Ward Identified
Robert Sharley 1
1670 Warwickshire Hearth Tax
Barton on Heath
Willm Shurly 1 exmpt
Mary Shirley 1
Brayles Inferior (Lower Brailes)
Francis Shurly 5 "1 new"
Ralph Shurly 1
Robt Sherly Sr 1
Warwick - Market St Ward
John Sharley 2 exmpt
John Sharley Sen 3
John Sharley Jr 2
Warwick - Smith St Ward
Edw Sharley 1 exmpt
1671 Warwickshire Hearth Tax
Barton on Heath
Wm Shurly 1 exmpt
Anne Shurly vidua 1 exmpt
Brayles Inferior (Lower Brailes)
Ralph Sherley 1 exmpt
Francis Shurly 5 exmpt
Robt Sherly 1 exmpt
Warwick Market St Ward
John Sharley Jr 3
John Sharley Sr 3
John Sherly 2 exmpt
 Warwickshire Hearth Tax (Duplicate?)
Barton on Heath
Will Shirly 1
Ann Shurly 1 exmpt
Brayles Inferior (Lower Brailes)
Ralph Shurly 1 exmpt
Francis Shurly # hearths 5 Lady 1671 5 Mich 1671 5
Warwick Market St Ward
John Sharley Sr # hearths 3 Lady 1671 3 Mich 1671 3
John Sharley Jr # hearths 2 Lady 1671 2 Mich 1671 2
John Sharley 2
1673 Warwickshire Hearth Tax
Brayles Inferior (Lower Brailes)
Ralph Sherly 1
Francis Shirly 4
Robt Shirly 1
Warwick - Market St Ward
John Shearly 3
John Sherly Jr 2
I stumbled accross a very old and large Shirley family in the city of Warwick, Warwickshire. I have extracted the parish records and will begin building a proper lineage for the family (if I can). Posted to the Warwickshire page in the members' section
Warwick St Mary - Baptisms
1651 Sep 1 Sarah Sharley born to John
1652 Sep 11 Elizabeth Shorley born to John
1655 Jul 15 Anne Shorley born to John
1655 Sep 20 Alice Shorley born to John
1656 Feb 8 Charles Shorley born to John
1657 May 26 William Shorley born to John
1658 Aug 10 Elizabeth Shorley born to John
1659 Jul 20 Elizabeth Sharley born to John
1661 Nov 30 Humfrey Sharley born to John
1661 Jan 14 Richard Sharley born to John
1661 Jan 19 Mary Sharley born to John
1663 Apr 5 Richard Sharley born to John
1664 Jun 2 Francis Sharley born to John
1665 Jun 14 Isaack Sharley born to John
1665 Jan 30 George Sharley born to John
1665 Jun 14 Rebecca Sharley born to John
1665 Nov 20 Mary Sharley born to John
1667 Aug 7 Raph Sharley born to John
1668 Jul 5 Anne Sharley born to John
1668 Dec 17 Judeth Sharley born to John
1670 Oct 31 Sarah Sharley born to John
1671 Apr 4 James Sharley born to John
1672 Mar 13 Anne Sharley born to John
1672 Mar 13 Katherine Sharley born to John
1686 Aug 4 William Sherly born to Richard
1688 May 13 Richard Sherly born to Richard
1691 Jun 2 Elizabeth Sherly born to Richard
1693 Sep 5 Fancis Sherley born to John
1693 Dec 14 Joanna Sherley born to Richd
1711 Feb 13 James Sharley born to John, Anne
1715 Feb 1 Mary Sharley born to John, Anne
1716 Nov 17 Robert Sharley born to Jone
1719 Jun 13 Thomas Sharley born to Elizabeth
1721 Jan 22 Anne Sharley born to Sarah
1722 Sep 1 Susannah Sharley born to Elizabethe
1735 May 10 Eleaner Shirley born to William, Elizabeth
1768 Jul 13 Hannah Shirley born to Willm, Ann
1768 Jul 13 Thos Shirley born to Willm, Ann
1782 Sep 15 Willm Russel Shirley born to Sarah
Warwick St Nicholas - Baptisms
1653 Oct 16 Mary Sharley born to Edward
1656 Jun 26 Joseph Sharley born to George
1714 Feb 6 John Shirley born to William, Elizabeth
1716 Nov 22 Eleanor Shirley born to William, Elizabeth
1718 Feb 5 Elisabeth Shirley born to William, Elizabeth
1720 Dec 11 Mary Shirley born to William, Elizabeth
1722 Feb 9 William Shirley born to William, Elizabeth
1724 Feb 11 Elenor Sharley born to William, Elizabeth
1728 May 11 Elisabeth Sharley born to William, Elizabeth
1731 Jun 17 John Sharley born to William, Elisabeth
1751 Nov 17 William Shirley born to Thomas, Mary
1753 Oct 21 Charles Shirley born to Thomas, Elizabeth
1759 Feb 26 Thomas Shurley born to Tho, Eliz
Warwick St Nicholas - Burials
1634 Oct 21 Jane Sharley Warwick, St Nicholas
1637 Jan 27 John Sharley Warwick, St Nicholas
1639 Dec 31 Isabell Sharley Warwick, St Nicholas
1667 Mar 15 Elizabeth Sharley Warwick, St Nicholas
1667 Sep 24 Robert Sharley Warwick, St Nicholas
1697 Oct 14 Edward Sharley Warwick, St Nicholas
1720 Jan 1 Eleanor Shorley Warwick, St Nicholas
1755 Jun 1 John Shirley Warwick, St Nicholas
1759 Feb 26 Elizth Shurly Warwick, St Nicholas
Warwick St Mary - Burials
1655 Jun 9 Elizabeth Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1661 Dec 2 Humpry Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1664 Jul 22 Elizabeth Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1664 Jun 13 Sarah Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1667 Aug 8 Ralph Shurley Warwick, St Mary
1669 May 31 Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1675 Jan 15 Judeth Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1681 Jan 9 Mr Ralph Sherly Warwick, St Mary
1684 Sep 8 John Sherly Warwick, St Mary
1686 Aug 5 William Sherly Warwick, St Mary
1690 Mar 5 Mary Sherly Warwick, St Mary
1692 Mar 18 Elizabeth Sherly Warwick, St Mary
1695 Apr 9 Richard Sherley Warwick, St Mary
1696 Aug 25 John Sherley Warwick, St Mary
1700 Aug 11 Alice Sherley Warwick, St Mary
1708 Apr 11 Alice Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1714 Oct 31 Sarah Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1714 Apr 17 Daughter of John Sharley Mary Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1719 Mar 1 Elizabeth Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1728 Feb 17 John Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1730 Feb 17 John Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1751 Apr 28 Mary Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1752 May 30 John Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1755 Nov 12 William Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1759 Jul 29 John Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1760 Feb 14 William Sharley Warwick, St Mary
1774 Dec 15 Lucy Shurley Warwick, St Mary
1775 Feb 24 Ann Shurley Warwick, St Mary
1775 Nov 11 Joseph Shurley Warwick, St Mary
1778 Apr 19 Mary Shirley Warwick, St Mary
Warwick St Mary - Marriages
1704 Dec 6 Mary Sherley married Thomas Taylor
1705 Jul Elizabeth Sherley married Thomas Lucas
1711 Mar 4 William Sherley married Elisabeth Teacok
1721 Dec 28 Joanna Sharley married Crispin Claridge
1723 Oct 8 Elizabeth Sharley married Daniell Roberts
1725 May 1 Judith Sherley married Richard Willson
1734 Jun 5 Jane Shirley married Wm Smart
1735 Oct 28 Mary Shirley married John White
1750 Jan 28 Thomas Shirley married Elizabeth Ashby
1751 Oct 10 Ann Sharley married Edward Lapworth
Warwick St Nicholas - Marriages
1560 Jan 27 Nicholas Sherly married Emle Collens
1580 Oct 26 Thomam Sherley married Elizabetha Shepy
1647 Feb 24 Joseph Sharley married Anne Cattel
1666 Jun 5 Elizabeth Shanly married Joseph Dincely
1714 Oct 26 William Shirley married Elizabeth Lapworth
1716 Oct 22 Elisabeth Shirley married William Farman
NEW USA SHIRLEY BRANCH I spent all day yesterday and this morning building a new USA Shirley Branch #106. Motivated by a query post to our Shirley Message Board. I had long gathered bits and pieces on this family, posted in the Members's section of the website, but had yet to build a proper lineage.
106. Shirleys of Caddo Co OK Dr John Shirley and brother William Shirley were brothers, born in Ireland, early pioneers of Oklahoma Territory, operating several trading posts in and around Caddo Co New
Probate records for Yorkshire England and surrounding counties (similar courts) are 'needle in haystack' research. The published probate indexes are byzantine and the courts of jurisdiction so geographically haphazard to make this truly miserable. But I did manage to find the following original probate record, posted it and my abstraction to the Nottinghamshire page in the members' section
1740 Deanery of Nottingham and Bingham - Original Will of Thomas Shirley whitower [sic] of West Leake Nottinghamshire - I Thomas Shilrey of Little Leake (or West Leake) Co Nottingham whitower. I bequeath all my goods, chattels, ready moneys, all my personalbe estae unto my living friends Joseph Bowley of Stanford in co Nottingham yeoman and George Lomas of Kingston co of Nottingham yeoman. [all of the above to be sold] and unto my dear and loving wife Mary during term of her natural life, also full half year of principal sum to disperse amonst her relations as she shall think proper. I give unto Elizabeth Lomas daughter of sd George Lomas 5L. The other remaining moiety or half part of my sd estate I give unto my nephew Thomas Shirley, my niece Mary Richards and my niece Mary Chamberlain equally divided. Joseph Bower and George Lomas executors. 18 February 1739 <signature, seal> Thomas Shirley. Wit: John Lowther, Robert Murrells, John Davys
I posted the following orginal deed documents to the Spotsylvania VA page in the members' section
Spotsylvania Co VA
1744 November 16 - Spotsylvania Co Deed Book D pg 172 - William Prewett of Caroline Co. VA, planter, to John Shurley of Caroline Co. VA, planter [very short version of next, but Shurley only paid 15 shillings, not 25 pounds. Is this an option to purchase?]
1744 November 17 - Spotsylvania Co Deed Book D pg 173 - William Prewett of Caroline Co. VA, planter, to John Shurley of Caroline Co. VA, planter, 25 pounds currency, 200 acres in Spotsylvania Co, part of a patent granted said Prewett. Wit: William Emerson, George Stubblefield and Henry Williamson. Nov 1744, William Pruitt's deeds of lease and release for land John Shirley was proved by oaths of Wm Emerson, Geo Stubblefield and Hen Williamson and admitted to record.
1785 Sept 10 - Spotsylania Co Deed Book K pg 505 - John Shearley and Elizabeth, his wife , of Spots. Co., to Samuel Luck of same county, 10 pounds currency, 9 acres of land etc. wit: Nicholas Payne, Thomas Shirley and Frances Hodges.
1788 March 27 - Spotsylvania Co Deed Book L pg 416 - John Shirley Sr. to John Shirley Jr . both of Spots. Co. 50 pounds currency, 191 acres in Spots. Co., etc. wit Thomas Shirley , Christopher Crawford, Dorothy Dodd, and Thomas Turner.
1788 October 27 - Spotsylvania Co Deed Book M pg 77 - James Crawford Sr. and John Sherley, Sr . of Spots. Co. , for the natural love and affection they have for John Crawford and Phebe, his wife, of same county, deed of gift, 70 acres in Spots. Co., and two slaves, etc. Wit: John Waller, Thomas Turner, William Arnold, Thomas Hicks, John Shirley , JR. and James Crawford Jr. ref: Deed book M page 424
1791 January 24 - Spotsylvania Co Deed Book N pg 94 - Thomas Towles and Mary, his wife, of Spots. Co.. to John Shirley, Jr. , of same county. £145. 264 a. in Spots. Co., etc., etc. Witnesses, Nicho. Payne, Jas. Crawford, Jno. Coates, Benj. Waller, Thos. Shirley , Zachariah Billingsly. Decr. 6, 1791.
1791 April 5 - Spotsylvania Co Deed Book M pg 433 - John Shearley, Sr . and John Shearley. Jr ., and Frances, his wife, of Spots. Co., to James Wilson of same county, 45 pounds currency, 60 acres adjoining Jams Crawford, Waller Lewis, Jona Clark, in Spots. Co., etc. No witnesses.
1791 May 10 - Spotsylvania Co Deed Book N pg 47 - John Shirley, jr., and Frances, his wife, of Spots. Co. to Jonathan Clark of same county. £22 10s. curr. 129 a. in Spots. Co., conveyed to sd. Jno. Shirley, jr., by his father, John Shirley, Senr ., etc.,wit: Thomas Turner, Edmund Clark, James Wilson, John Shirley , SR., William Arnold.
1793 January 29 - Spotsylvania Co Deed Book N pg 365 - James Arnold and Nancy, his wife, of spots. Co., to Thomas Shirley , of same county, 22 pounds 8 shillings currency, 108n acres, part of tract conveyed by John Arnold to the said James in Spots. Co etc. Wit: John C. Waller, Clement Boroughes, James Wiglesworth Sr., James Sams and Phillip Young.
1793 November 14 - Spotsylvania Co Deed Book N pg 493 - Elisha Dismukes of Spots. Co. to John Shirley, jr., of same co . 50. 125 acres adj. lands of Thos. Dillard, Sarah Morris, Jas. Gimbo, Ambrose Shackleford, Jno. Shirley, jr . Berryman Waller, in Spots. Co. 1 Apr 1794
1794 January 1 - Spotsylvania Co Deed Book N pg 544 - Thomas Sherley and Molly, his wife , of Spots. Co., to John Billingsley of same county, 100 pounds currency, 70 acres of land, etc. Wit: Thomas Towles, Stapleton Crutchfield, and Robert Branham.
1794 March 15 - Spotsylvania Deed Book N pg 540 - John Shirley , Jr. and Frances, his wife , of Spots. Co., to Thomas Shirley of same county. 158 pounds 8 shillings currency, 243 acres whereon said John Shirley lives in Spots. Co., etc. Wit: Benjamin Tompkins, Littleton Pharis and William Aldress.
1794 March 20 - Spotsylvania Deed Book N pg 513 - Henry Johnston and Agnes, his wife, of Spots. Co. to John Shirley of same co. 158 8s. 280 acres adj. lands of Ambrose Smith, Jas. Smith, Elizabeth Towles, Benj. Reynolds, Waller Lewis, Jas. Gimbo, Ambrose Shackleford's Estate, Thomas Shirley and Waller
1794 March 20 - Spotsylvania Deed Book N pg 516 - James Wiglesworth Sr. and his wife, Mary, James Wiglesworth Jr. and his wife, and John Shirley and Frances, his wife, to Henry Johnston. Whereas the Wiglesworth sold to the said Shirley , 193 acres in Spots. Co. and before conveyance there of the said Shirley sold the same to Johnston. This ind. wit: the said Wiglesworth in consideration of 144 pounds 15 shillings currency, to them paid by said Shirley and said Shirley in consideration of 144 pounds 15 shillings to him paid by the said Johnston, they convey the said land to him the said Johnston, etc. Wit: Thomas Towles, P.O. Nunly, and John Duerson. Deed book 1791-1794 page 467
1794 September 13 - Spotsylvania Co DB O pg 20 - Know all men by thse presents that I, John Shirley, Sr. of the County of Spotsylvania Co. VA had this day bargained and sold to William Anderson of Cumberland Co. VA one negro woman named Bess for an in consideration of the sum of thirty pounds to me in hand paid by him and said Anderson which negro woman slave I am to have the use of during my life and then to be delivered to the said Willaim Anderson, his heirs, executors or administrators or assigns and I do hereby warrant and defend the right of the said negro woman slavae against the claim or claims of any person or persons whatsoever. Given under my hand this the 13th day of September 1794. Test: John Shirley, Jr ., Henry Dodd, James Crawford. John Shirley, Senio r "At a court held for Spotsylvania County December 2nd 1794 this bill of sale from John Shirley Senior to William Anderson was proved by the oath of two witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.
1794 December 31 - Spotsylvania Co Deed Book O page 29 - Henry Johnson and Agnes, his wife, and John Shirley Jr. and his wife Frances , exchange of lands. Said Johnson conveys to said Shirley Jr . 193 acres formerly purchased from said Shirley , James Wiglesworth Sr. and Jr. etc. The said Shirley conveys to said Johnson, 258 acres in Spots. Co., etc. wit: Thomas Towles, Richard Shackleford and Mary Shackleford.
1795 January 12 - Spotsylvania Co DB O pg 143 - John Shirley Sr . of Berkeley Parish, Spots. Co., to his daughter, Dorothy Dodd, deed of gift, a Negro girl, et. Wit: Thomas Shirley , Morady Morris and James Crawford. .
1795 December 1 - Spotsylvania Co DB O pg 212 - Thomas Shirley and Polly, his wife , of Spots. Co., to Samuel Maxley of same county, 36 pounds currency, 108 acres part of a tract conveyed to said Shirley by James Arnold, etc.
1796 January 17 - Spotsylvania Co DB O pg 416 - John Shirley and Frances, his wife , of Spots. Co., to Thomas Dillard of same county, 40 pounds currency, 115 acres in Spots, Co., etc. wit: Henry Dodd, Sarah Morris and Mary Ward.
Project Complete - I transcribed over 100 Shirley entries in the Ireland Chancery Court docket records, from 1633 to 1851. Sadly none of the bills, answers or replies survived the fire of the 1920s that consumed the Ireland archives
New Norfolk England Branches . I created 2 new family lineages for the Shirleys of Great Snoring parish Norfolk and for Wighton Norfolk. Descendants of the Great Snoring familyalso lived in Norwich Norfolk. May be connected to the older Shirley family of Wighton Norfolk
3. Shirleys of Great Snoring and Norwich John Sherley of Great Snoring, and brothers Francis and James NEW
4. Shirleys of Wighton Norfolk. This family dates back to the late 1600s. May have died out, moved away NEW
I have been working with descendants of the various Shirley families of Sheffield Yorkshire to untangle their connection with the Shirley family of Alstonfield Staffordshire. Days and days of work. And there are more questions than before!
I posted the following probate records to the Norfolk England page in the members' section. I also abstracted the Wills
Note: looks like the Shirleys of Wighton died out, but the Shirley family of Great Snoring connects to other later Shirleys we've researched. So this discovery is exciting for that research.
Archdeaconry Court of Norwich
1763 Archdeaconry Court of Norwich - Registered Wills pg 279, Item 5 - Will of Elizabeth Sherley of Wighton (page 2, page 3) - I Elizabeth Sherley of Wighton co of Norfolk widow first give unto Charles Sherley my son all that piece of land containing by estimation 3 roods lying in Holkham Lane in Wighton next the lands of Mr Sherringham East the glebe land west the Long lane North and Holkham Lane afsd South . I give all my other real estate unto John Shirley my son condition he pay unto afsd son Charles Sherley L10 at age 21 Give unto Mary Woods my daughter all my wearing apparel All the rest of my goods chattles household stuff unto John Sherley and Charles Sherley my sons equally provided they pay to the said Mary Woods L5 sole use exclusive of her husband. Appoint the said John Shirley my son sole exectuor. Dated 27 December 1762 <mark> Elizabeth Sherley Wit: Simon Severington, John Coppy, William Starleings Proven by John Shirley 3 Jan 1763
1763 Administration bond of Charles Shirley of Wighton - That I J ohn Shirley of Wighton in the co of Norfolk gardiner firmly bound . 12 September 1763. The abovementioned John Shirley natural and lawful brother and administrtor of all goods etc of Charles Shirley late of Wighton co Norfolk batchelor deceased Intestate without parents . - ANW 1763, no. 63 Nofolk Record Office
1765 Administration bond of John Sherley of Wighton - Wilson Andrews of Barney in the co of Norfolk woolcomber and John Baldwin of Wells west the sea sd county woolcomber firmly bound. 13 July 1765. Sarah the wife of the above bound Wilson Andrews cousen and next of kin and administratrix of goods of John Sherley late of Wighton co of Norfolk batchelor deceased intestate without parents or brother or sister . - ANW 1765, no. 42 Norfolk Record Office
1771 Archdeaconry Court of Norwich - Registered Wills pg 127, Item 100 - Will of Thomas Shirley of Hempton (page 2) - I Thomas Shirley of Hempton co of Norfolk farmer. I give unto my beloved wife Ann Shirley all and every my goods and chattles whatsoever with all my money in my house together with all my money due to me. Dated 25 March 1771. Appoint wife Ann executrix. <s> Thomas Shirley. Wit: John Sands, Francis Johnson, Richard Overton. Proved 4 November 1771
1778 Archdeaconry Court of Norwich - Registered Wills pg 134, Item 94 -Will of John Sherley of Great Snoring (page 2) - I John Sherley of Great Snoring co of Norfolk malster Give unto my wife Mary Sherley all and every goods chattels cattle other personal estate Also to my wife all my messuages lands tenements with appurtenances situate in Great Snoring during term of her natural life and after her decease I dispose of them following: I give u nto my nephews Thomas Sherley the eldest son of James Sherley all messuage belonging which lately was the property of one [H]akenbridge situate in Great Snoring only paying out of it to his brother James and his heirs the sum of L5. Also my other messuage belonging lately the property of Ann [J]ackell situate in Great Snoring. I give unto my nephew Francis Sherley the eldest son of Francis Sherley paying out of unto John Browne the eldest son of John Browne a nephew of mine L5. Appoint my said wife Mary executrix. Dated 4 June 1772 <s> John Shirley. Wit: Richd Curle, William Wright, Elizabeth Plowright Proven by Mary Sherley 12
I found this Irish court record that relates to an Irish-Canadian branch of Shirleys
1807 February 3 - Ireland Exchequer Court of Equity Bill Books [this looks like an estate lawsuit of heirs] - James Honahan vs Cath. Honahan, Jno Honahan, Wm Honahan and Edmd Honahan, James Mulroony, Cath his wife, William Shirly, Mary his wife
I spent a few hours, posted a new page in the Ireland members' section surveying Shirleys living in England in the 1851 census, but born in Ireland
I posted the following land sale item to the Kilkenny Ireland page in the members' section
1854 October 27 County of Kilkenny - In the matter of the Estate of James Shirley esq of Garranaman in the County of Kilkenny, owner. Ex parte John Shirley esq petitioner - Rental and particulars of SALE of the valuable estate of Bellmount county of Kilkenny which will be sold by auction by the commissioners on Friday the 27th Day of October 1854 at the hour of twelve o'clock at noon at their court, 14 Henrietta Street Dublin
The lands of Bellmount are situate in the Parish of Mothill, Barony of Fassadining and County of Kilkenny and are within four miles of the Post Town of Castlecomer and about eleven miles from the City of Kilkenny and the Kilkenny Railway Terminus and about eight miles from the Town of Carlow. This estate has many peculiar advantages and is of a very improveable nature and the entire is demised under two Leases for Lives renewable forever, the one paying a renewal fine of a pepper-corn only on the fall of each life, and the other payiong a renewal fine of L37 15s. 0d. old Irish currency on the fall of each life, under each of which leases the tenants have very valuable interest above the rents payable thereout.
New Ireland Branch - I posted the following lineage to the Ireland lineage page in the non-member's section. This lineage had long been a "working pedigree" posted inside the member's section, but now has a DNA result for a descendant which matches the DNA of the Shirleys of Killkenny Ireland
3. Thomas Shirley of Tullamaine Kilkenny, gent. Catholic. He held considerable townlands at Knockreagh, Tullamaine, Thomastown Catholic Parish, Kilkenny. He was a cess payer for lands at Tullamaine, Shillelogher Barony in 1834. Catholic. haplotype E
I posted the following to the USA Branch 34 Ferrers Shirley lineage
First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia PA
1764 April 20 Baptism of Lucia and Phares, children of Phares and Elizabeth Shirley Lucia born 26 January 1762, Phares born November 1764 (sic, 1763?)
1765 February 20 Baptism of Ferrers son of Ferrers and Elizabeth Shirley Ferrers born 19 February 1765
Dont' know any more details than this, but.
There are 3 Shirleys who earned medals for service during the Battle of Waterloo campaign
Name: Wm Shirley
Regiment: 7th (or Queens Own) Hussars
Name: Edward Shirley
Regiment: 15th (or Kings) Regiment of Hussars
Name: Wm Shirley
Regiment: 1st (or King's) Dragoon Guards
Still hard at work researching (correcting) the Shirley family of Jamaica lineages in preparation of a new E-book
Posted the following records to the Buckinghamshire page in the members' section
1798 Land Tax "Redemption"
Owned by: Thos Shirley Occupied by: Thos Shirley
Owned by: Mr Newman Occupied by: Thos Shirley
Owned by: Corpus College Occupied by: Michl Shirley Gentleman
Owned by: John Snell Esquire Occupied by: Wm Shirley
Owned by: Marquis Buckingham Occupied by: Rev Mr Slopes and Michl Shirley
Owned by: Mr Harriess Occupied by: Mr Shirley
Owned by: Michd Shirley Junior Occupied by: Michd Shirley Junior
Owned by: Mr Partons Occupied by: John Shirley
Owned by: Lanard Pauling Occupied by: Richd Shirley
Owned by: Edwd Shirley Occupied by: Wm Shirley
Owned by: Mr John Shirley Occupied by: Michd Shirley Junior
Owned by: Mr Watker Occupied by: Miche Shirley Junior
Owned by: Lawrence Shirley Occupied by: Wm Shirley
Owned by: Wm Snell Esquire Occupied by: Michd Shirley Jour
Owned by: Sarah Shirley Occupied by: Sarah Shirley
Owned by: Mr Newman Occupied by: Thos Shirley
Owned by: Mr Stevens Occupied by: Thos Shirley
Owned by: Thos Shirley Occupied by: Thos Shirley
Owned by: John Kirby Occupied by: Robt Shirley
Owned by: Wm Rolls Occupied by: Robert Shirley
Chalfont St Peter
Owned by: Mrs Sherley Occupied by: Mrs Sherley
Owned by: Heny Parrott Occupied by: John Shirley
Owned by: Wm Christmas Occupied by: John Shirley
Owned by: Her Grace The Dutchess of Burdough Occupied by: Rd Sherley
Owned by: Gough Widow Occupied by: James Shirley
Owned by: John Ashite Occupied by: James Shirley
Owned by: James Shirley Occupied by: James Shirley
Owned by: Wm Snell Esquire Occupied by: Miche Shirley Senior
Owned by: Margius of Buckingham Occupied by: John Shirley
Owned by: Mrs Anderson Occupied by: Wm Shirley
Owned by: Mr Walher Occupied by: Miche Shirley Senior
Owned by: Miche Shirley Occupied by: Miche Shirley
Owned by: Mr Shirley Occupied by: Mr Shirley
Owned by: Wm Nash Occupied by: Edwd Shirley
Owned by: Edwd Shirley Occupied by: Edwd Shirley
Owned by: Chesterfield Earl of Occupied by: Stephen Shirley
I extracted the wills of George and Thomas Shirley of Lower Shuckburgh Warwickshire and posted to that county page in the members' section
1813 Lichfield Consistory Court - Will of George Shirley Lower Shuckburgh (page 2) - George Shirley of Lower Shuckburgh co of Warwick, Taylor To my nephew Thomas Shirley of Lower Shuckburgh taylor and to my good friend Richard Tew of Lower Shuckburgh executors Pay unto Samuel Shirley, Elizabeth Shirley Martha Shirley and Lucy Shirley four of the children of my said nephew Thomas Shirley L50 each at age 21 t o nephew Thomas Shirley all that my messuage situate in Lower Shuckburgh until said son Samuel Shirley shall attain 21. At 21 then to said Samuel Shirley If he dies then at the behoof of nephew Thomas Shirley. Whereas my nephew John Shirley of Priors Marston co Warwick indebted unto me L150 mortgage of his estate in Priors Marston, bequeath the interest to brother Thomas Shirley for his natural life , and after decease I give the principal L150 unto all sons and daughters of my said brother Thomas Shirley who shall be living at the time of his decease. To my brother John Shirley 5 shillings. All wearing apparel to my brother John Shirley and his son Wilks Shirley . To my sisters Fridaysweed Laurence and Mary Browning L5 each Residue of personal estate unto said nephew Thomas Shirley In witness <seal> George Shirley
1828 Lichfield Consistory Court - Will of Thomas Shirley Lower Shuckburgh (page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6) Thomas Shirley of Lower Shuckburgh in co of Warwick, Taylor 3 July 1820 Give my messuage in parish of Lower Shuckburgh to my wife Elizabeth Shirley for natural life. After her decease to William Walker of Lower Shuckburgh yeoman and to my son Samuel Shirley for trusts after death of my wife Elizabeth Sirley to sell messuage, proceeds equally to my said son Samuel Shirley and my daughters Elizabeth, Martha, Lucy and Maria Shirley Household furniture to wife Elizabeth Shirley duirng natural life. AFter death to my 4 daughters Trustees also to hold messuages in parish of Napton Warwickshire then to be sold after my death to pay L50 to daughter Lucy Shirley money to daughter Maria Shirley additional monies to daughters Elizabeth, Martha, Lucy and Maria after death of wife Elizabeth Shirley <seal> Thomas Shirley Wit: William Beasley, Knightcote, William Russell, Grandborough, Rich: Burman, Southam
I posted the following land entries to the White Co TN page in the members' section
White Co TN
1815 Land Entry 4236 - Thomas Shirley assignee of John McBride by virtue of part of warrant No 650 enters 10 1/2 acres land White County on the waters of Cherry Creek beginning on a hickory it being the SE corner of a 200 ac survey granted to John McBride running thence S 85deg West with his line to the east boundary line of a 200 acre survey granted to Benjamin Weaver thens S 5deg [?] with his line to ?harp line and East with the same for ?camplemeeeh 8 November 1815. Thos Sherly Loc.
1815 November 16 - Survey of land entered - State of TN 3rd District - Surveyed on the 16th day of November 1815 for Thomas Shirley assignee of John McBride 10 1/2 acres of land by virtue of part of Warrant No. 650 located the 8 day of November 1815 Location No 4236 situate in White Co on the waters of Charry Creek beginning on a hickory McBride's corner of his 200 acre survey running hence with his line S 85deg West 70 poles to Weaver's corner thence S ?6deg past with his line 22 poles to a white oak on Warmacks line thence East with the same 78 poles to three hickory trees North to beginning. W P White DS. Chain carriers: Thos Shirley, Enoch Sherley
I posted the following land records to Hickman Co TN page in the members' section. I suspect these records are for Revolutionary War Soldier Thomas Shirley b 1760 Fairfield Co SC
Hickman Co TN
1809 October 17 - Land Entry Warrant 330 Locr 4018 50 acres Thomas Sherley assignee of Christopher Robertson - By virtue of a certificate warrant No 330 for 300 acres enters 50 acres of land in Hickman County on Turkey Creek of Piney River beginning at a branch on the N side of said creek marked thus T. S. Running E 120 poles and ?Poueh for complement by Thomas (his mark) Sherlock loc (sic) Survey returned Oct 25 1809 by Wm B Ross
1814 Sept 10 - Survey of land for Edmund Miller assigniee of Thomas Hickman. 22 acres in Hickman Co on Turkey Creek beginning at a chestnut on the W boundary line of Thomas Shearly land . Chaincarriers Thomas Shearley , Edmund Miller
1815 TN Land Entry No 14662 Survey Pet 25 April 1815 made void 25 Oct 1815 - James R Shearley assignee originally of James Davis by virtue of a certificate warrant No 714 issued by the Commissioner of West Tennessee for 640 acres Entered 1 8 acres of Land in Hickman County on the waters of Turkey Creek beginning at a chesnut on the East side of a S branch of sd Creek part below a small Spring runs East 22 poles and S and for complement so as to include a spring at the head of sd branch 6 March 1815 Thos Shearly Loc [There is a survey for this warrant dated 16 March 1815 Chain carriers James R Shearly, Ezekiel Shearly ]
1815 TN Land Entry No 14663 Survey Pet 25 April 1815 made void 27 November 1819 by Ezekiel Shearley [looks like original signature of Ezekiel Shirley] - Ezekiel Shearley assignee originally of James Davis by virtue of a certificate warrant No 814 issued by the Commissioner of West Tennessee for 640 acres Entered 1 5 acres of Land in Hickman County on the waters of Turkey Creek beginning at a gum Thomas Shearley's SE corner runs South 38 and East etc for complement 6 March 1815 Thos Shearly Loc [There is a survey for this warrant dated 16 March 1815 Chain carriers James R Shearly, Ezekiel Shearly ]
I posted the following newspaper item to Branch 39 Thomas Shirley of Hamilton Co Tennessee. It details a major court case by Thomas Shirley describing an elaborate Civil War era fraud designed to steal 800 acres of land he owned. The case was heard locally and was ruled against Thomas Shirley, but Shirley won on appeal at the Circuit Court of East Tennessee (see news account below), and when appealed again was upheld by the US Supreme Court in October Term 1874
Branch 39 Thomas Shirley of Hamilton Co TN
Knoxville Daily Chronicle, January 29, 1871, Page 4
Important Decision by Judge Trigg
A Deep-Laid Plot Exposed
Judge Trigg delivered a very important judgment yesterday in the equity side of the Circuit Court in the case ot Thomas Shirley vs. Peter Monger, argued some terms since. A statement of the facts of the case, as it is one of considerable magnitude, may not prove uninteresting.
In March, 1868, Messrs. Baxter, Champion and Ricks filled a bill in equity in the Circuit Court for Thos. Shirley against Peter Monger and others, of Hamilton county, East Tennessee.
The material allegations of the bill were, substantially, these: Mr. Shirley charged that, in November, 1863, he was compelled to leave his home, near Harrison, Hamilton county, and flee to Georgia, because of his sympathy for the Confederate cause. At the time he left, he owned, unincumbered, a valuable tract of land ot 800 acres, worth $20,000.
In October, 1865, he alleges, the defendant, Peter Monger, obtained a judgment against him for $10,000 and interest on a note purporting to have been executed by Thomas Shirley (the complainant) to one John W. Westmoreland for $10,000, on the 1st of December, 1863, and endorsed by Westmoreland for value received to defendant, Peter Monger. This note Shirley alleges was a forgery that at the time it purports to have been executed he was lying at the point of death in Georgia that he never owed a debt of anything like that amount to any one that no such a man as John W. Westmoreland ever lived or could be found that the endorsement was a forgery and the whole claim and judgment fraudulently procured by Monger and his confederates, to obtain possession and title to his farm. Under the judgment obtained at Harrison, the land was sold and Monger became the purchaser. The note, after judgment was rendered, was taken by some one from court and has never since been seen. Afterward, to complicate the plot, Shirley charges Monger had the farm libeled for confiscation in the District United States Court here, and condemned for sale. Monger then intervened and set up his claim under the judgment at Harrison. Shirley alleged the whole proceeding fraudulent and a conspiracy to get his land that he never knew anything about the judgments or sale until he returned home after the war, and prayed that the judgments of Harrison and Knoxville might be set aside, and a writ of possession for his land awarded, and a decree rendered for back rents. Monger answered and denied all the allegations, particularly the forgery conspiracy claimed that he bought the note from Westmoreland. for Confederate money, in good faith. The proof failed to identify any such man as John W. Westmoreland, but showed, on the other hand, that Shirley was a close business man, and never owed any large sum of money or had such dealings as to make the execution of a note of that amount necessary.
Judge Trgg, in delivering his opinion, characterized it as one of the most remarkable cases he ever knew made some severe comments upon the fraud and rascalitv developed, and ordered counsel for Shirlev to prepare a decree setting aside the judgment in the court at Harrison: the order of condemnation, sale and intervention in the District Court at Knoxville an order awarding possession of the land to Shirley, and an account for back rents since I865, allowing Monger credit for the amount paid on the condemnation in the District Court.
The decision is worth about $20,000 to Mr Shirley, and for this reason, as well for the peculiar and startling facts developed, is worthy ol especial attention.
I created a page for the defunct James County Tennessee in the member's section. And transcribed the will of Thomas Shirley of Ooltewah James County (later Hamilton County). This is Branch 39
James County TN (later Hamilton Co)
1887 [James County TN Record, now defunct] Hamilton County TN Wills Vol 2 page 1 (page 2-3, page 4-5). Will and Codicil of Thomas Shirley of Ringold GA - Know all men by these presents that I Thomas Shirley of Ringgold in the county of Catoosa nd state of Georgia farmer being of sound disposing mind and memory do make and publish this my last will and testament. 1st I give and bequeath to my son James B Shirley all of my estate both real and persona of which I may be possessed at my death. With the following exceptions. To my grandson George O Cate Jr I give and bequeath the sum of one hundred dollars 2nd I give and devise to my belowed wife Julia Ann a good and comfortable support for life out of my estate. 3rd I give and devise to my son James B Shirley any and all estate in lands personality which I may acquire after date of this will afterpayment of my debts and legacies. 4th I ordain and appoint James B Shirley as executor of this my last will and testament. In testimony where of I have here unto set my hand and seal and publish and declare this to be my last will and testament. In the presence of the witnesses named below. This January 25th in the year 1873. Thomas Shirley (seal). Wit: A J Robert, W S Inman, W L Whitman, J L Varnell, J D Shropshire, Ferdinand Jett, Dated Feb 13 1873 Dr J A Esmon, Hix Padget, Rufas Padget
Codicil - Terms of this codicil or supplement are as follows: 1st My beloved wife Julia Ann having died the said demise and bequest in her favor is revoked and recalled and in no sense is to be deemed or held a charge upon the land or other property bequeathed by my said Will above copied to James B Shirley. 2nd I do in all othe respects ratify and confirm said Will in which the above is a copy. 3rd I declare in addition to the statements in said Will contained, that the lands and real estate intended to be therein devised lie mainly in James County Tennessee and on and near the waters of Savannah Creek and through which the road from Ooltewah in James Co Tn to Georgetown at the Meigs County line runs past and being known as the Shirley Lands and about which I once had a lawsuit in the courts of the US with Peter Monger and is now being occupied by tenants and embrace 800 acres more or less. But my devise and bequest aforesaid to said James B Shirley is not to be understood as limited and restricted to the said lands last above referred to but is to be understood and his hereby expressly declared to include and embrace all the lands of which I may die owned or possessed situated in the County of James in the state of Tennessee and in any other county in said state and also to embrace any and all lands and personal property which I may own at my death in any county of the State of Georgia or any other state or government where ever the same may be 4th. I also give and bequeath to my said son James B Shirley all the moneys notes accounts and debts I may die owner or possessed where ever situated without regard to limits or boundaries of state or county lines. 5th And if anything remains of my estate not embraced in the foregoing provisions of this and the Original Will of 25 January 1873 I give and bequeath the same real perosnal and mixed rents, moneys choses? in action and everything else to the said James B Shirley absolutely and forever subject alone to the payment of all my just debts and the bequest of one hundred dollars to George O Cate Jr. It is proper to state I have many years ago give to George O Cate Sr father of George O Cate Jr all I think he or his child should have of my estate. 20 August 1878. Thomas Shirley (seal) Witnessed by: Maxey Ethridge, Robert G Andrews, John W Andrews, J L Varnell, J D Shropshire, Ferdinand Jett. Feb 13 1883: Dr J A Esmon, Hix Padget, Rufus Padget Recorded at Oolteway 2 August 1887. J C Heaton clerk, James Co TN Re-recorded 19 August 1916, John A Hall clerk, James Co TN
I posted the following original Catholic parish record to the Quebec Canada page in the members' section
1835 Basilique de Notre Dame Montreal - Thomas Shirley resident of this parish [domicille en cette paroisse] widower of majority age [Venf Majeur] deceased [décédée] Catherine Anderson in the English Hospital of this parish [a l'hopital Anglais de cette paroisse] of one part (note: Catherine Anderson is in the spot for his parents but clearly was his deceased wife?) and Catherine Daly resident of this parish [domicille en cette paroisse] daughter of majority age [fille Majeur] o f deceased [des defuncts] John Daly and Joanna Shahen of County Cork in Ireland of the other part. In presence of Thomas Fant and Mary Small and Jean B Sanier
William Shirley, governor of Massachusetts, 1741-1756, a historyAddeddate 2006-07-18 13:15:29 Call number nrlf_ucb:GLAD-168178188 Camera 1Ds Collection-library nrlf_ucb Copyright-evidence Evidence reported by scanner-ian-white for item willshirleygovmass00woodrich on Jul 14, 2006 visible notice of copyright and date stated date is 1920 not published by the US government Have not checked for notice of renewal in the Copyright renewal records. Copyright-evidence-date 2006-07-14 21:37:11 Copyright-evidence-operator scanner-ian-white Copyright-region US Curatenote 20070228 External-identifier urn:oclc:record:1102354874 Foldoutcount 0 Identifier willshirleygovmass00woodrich Identifier-ark ark:/13960/t27940x7m Identifier-bib GLAD-168178188 Lcamid null Openlibrary_edition OL7222162M Openlibrary_work OL16313665W Pages 460 Possible copyright status NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT Ppi 500 Rcamid null Scandate 20060718044026 Scanner rich2 Scanningcenter rich
William Shirley - History
(yet fairly thorough & somewhat illustrated)
HISTORY OF THE MASTICs & SHIRLEY, LONG ISLAND, NY
Text excerpts from a talk originally presented by Ken Spooner at the MMS Community Library October 16, 2005
and now updated in 2011
NOTE : THIS TALK IS ALSO SERVING AS THE BASIC OUTLINE FOR MY FORTHCOMING BOOK
"THE MASTIC's FROM BLUE BLOOD TO BLUE COLLAR "
to be published by Elm & McKinley 2011
There's a saying in Nashville TN among the songwriting community "IT ALL STARTS WITH A SONG". and for most of my life thats had a big ring of truth. I wrote my first song sitting in our kitchen in Mastic Beach around 1952 . it was about Kix Cereal which I was also eating at that time and reading the box ( AN ORIGINAL MULTI TASKER . I learned to read off of cereal boxes) . My "SONG" couldn't of been more than five or six lines and I made up a little tune to it. well my Mom thought it was the greatest thing since Hoagy Carmichael wrote STARDUST. and she sent it off to Miss Frances, who hosted The Romper Room because KIX was one of her sponsers. MOM never heard back. songwriting career put on hold. Pass THE POST TOASTIES PLEASE
Fast forward to 1996. I'm living in Nashville enjoying a successful songwriting career. It was my birthday and I went to see a movie called A FAMILY THING with James Earl Jones and Robert Duvall playing BROTHERS OF ALL THINGS. good movie and I called my big brother Walt aka Butchie after it was over. But my enjoyment of the film and brotherhood was very short lived that day because it so happened that of my good friends and co writers,a fellow name Walter Hyatt got on the Valu-Jet that day.crashing in the Florida everglades. It was at Walter's funeral, that I met his brother George. who was nicknamed Buzz. We got to talking and I asked Buzz if Walter had a nickname too. "Yes He Did It Was PEE-WEE. Our Dad gave him that name for Pee Wee Reese The Brooklyn Dodger. Walter didn't care for it and we could make him mad just by calling him that" NOT AN EASY THING TO DO I THOUGHT BECAUSE WALTER HYATT WAS THE DEFINITION OF A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN. The more I learned about the Hyatt Brothers, who grew up in Spartanburg SC the same time Butchie & I did in Mastic Beach, the more I saw parallels. I wound up writing a tune called Buzz & Pee Wee, Butchie & Me. and that was the start of what brings me here today.
It led to my starting a short story series by the same title and posting it on the internet at spoonercentral.com The initial dozen stories are all about growing up in Mastic Beach in the 1950's. The second story I wrote around New Years of 2001 was simply called The Mansion. it was about my days of playing with my friends in the abandoned Knapp Mansion that was just around the corner from our house. Well, that story got a response from a fellow named Michael Joseph Knapp in California. He was convinced I was writing about his family's place, that he had only heard about but never knew the location of, other than it was in NY. Mike grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, FL . The mansion he described to me certainly fit the description and I got sucked in . especially with his tales of mystery and some shady dealings that wound up cutting his side of the family out of millions. His F. A. KNAPP family had several concerns in Pa and Brooklyn They were whiskey brewers,they carved wooden horses and built the Barrel Organs that supplied music for Merry Go Rounds . VERY COLORFUL STUFF. and with that I started to look into who were the KNAPPs who lived in THE MANSION on his behalf.
A few months later I came here with my son Erik, who was in his last year of High School then and wanted to look over the Campus of Pratt University. We spent one day out here in Mastic Beach, visiting my old haunts and in the afternoon pulled into this very building and started poking around the files in the Local History Room. It was there that Erik found the name JOSEPH F. KNAPP in the history of Mastic Beach.
And what a history it is. Mastic, Mastic PARK, MASTIC BEACH . MASTIC ACRES . SHIRLEY, and all the CHARACTERS that created it THE TANGIER SMITHS, FLOYDS, WOODHULLS, ROBERTS, LAWRENCES, DANAS, TOLLFREES, SMADBECKS , SHIRLEY & OF COURSE . THE KNAPPS There are more names your going to hear today, but don't get bogged down with them nor dates for that matter, THERE'S NO QUIZ AFTERWARDS. nothing to enter or win . I just hope you enjoy hearing and seeing a few things that I have discovered in the last five years ABOUT THIS AREA. Many have been LONG FORGOTTEN OR NEVER WRITTEN ABOUT AT ALL
at least not from my perspective.
I'm not going to spend too much time on the Colonial era here, because you have a ton of it at your disposal. MOST of it is FAIRLY ACCURATE. one thing I've discovered though is . History Is FACTS & DOCUMENTS THAT SUPPORT FACTS. all the rest is Romance. but don't we all want a little Romance.
As for the Peninsula once known as MASTIK NECK THAT'S SPELLED M A S T I K . (The Colonials were not great spellers ). but I hear they got a great Football Team. are they stilled called COLONIALS at William Floyd High? . I was there when they started VERY SHAKY. The first game was with Westhampton and the score was 45 - 0..
Well as you know it all basicaly starts with THE TANGIER SMITHS who lived just down the road a piece. they were your original Realtors because they OWNED JUST ABOOUT EVERYTHING. NOT ONLY THE LAND WE STAND ON, BUT THE LAND UNDER THE WATER . FROM CONNECTICUT RIVER OUT TO THE TOWN LINE OF SOUTHAMPTON. IT'S ALL THE MANOR OF ST. GEORGE AND IT ALL CAME FROM THE KING . SO THEY GOT ENOUGH LAND THAT A FEW THOUSAND ACRES HERE AND THERE IS NOT GOING TO MAKE A DENT IN THEIR HOLDINGS AND THEY COULD USE A BIT OF FOLDING MONEY. AND THEY START SELLING SOME OF IT TO THEIR FRIENDS & IN LAWS . FOLKS LIKE NICHOL FLOYD AND HIS SON WILL . good for 4800 acres. RICHARD FLOYD in for 3500 hundred give a take a few. WONDERFUL BIZ THIS REAL ESTATE GAME. WONDERFUL LIFE. COUNTRY GENTRIES ALL OVER THE NECK. AND AS FAR THE UNCHAGOUGUE INDIANS GO <<<WHICH MEANS "OVER THE HILL PEOPLE" .. WE WILL GIVE THEM THEIR OWN PLACE OVER THE HILL . RIGHT ON THE MASTIK RIVER. JOHN MAYHEW PUTS HIS X ON THE DEED AND HE'S OUT OF THE SMITH's HAIR.
SO HERE WE HAVE MASTIK NECK, WHICH IS BORDERED ON THE WEST BY THE CONNECTICUT RIVER SOON TO GET A SECOND NAME : CARMENS RIVER WHEN SAM CARMEN A SMITH IN LAW BUILDS HIS MILL ON IT AND CLAIMS IT TOO . AND ON THE EAST BY MASTIK RIVER. LATER TO BE CALLED FORGE RIVER BECAUSE THE FLOYDS BUILD AN IRON FORGE ON IT. ONE EARLY 1815 MAP SHOWS THE WHOLE PLACE AS FLOYDS. NO MENTION OF THE MANOR . AND NO MASTIK RIVER AT ALL.
SEVEN BUILDINGS ARE SHOWN IN MASTIC ON THIS "PUBLISHED" MAP FROM 1815. FOR SOME REASON MASTIC RIVER IS NOT ON IT. IT CERTAINLY WAS THERE
ONE OF THE FIRST COLONISTS TO COME SOUTH FROM SETAUKET (actualy before the Smiths) WHICH IS WHERE THE NEW ENGLAND PEOPLE FIRST SETTLED, WAS THE RICHARD WOODHULL FAMILY & AS YOU MAY KNOW THE WOODHULLS INTERMARRIED WITH THE FLOYD FAMILY AND THEN THE SMITH FAMILY ETC. WHEN YOU HAVE A LIMITED POPULATION YOU'LL HAVE A BIT OF THAT INTERMARRIAGE THING GOING ON. WILLIAM FLOYD OF COURSE REALLY DISTINGUISHED HIMSELF BY SIGNING THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. HIS BROTHER IN LAW NATHANIEL WOODHULL, WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE CONGRESS OF NEW YORK, WHICH AT THAT TIME WAS A MAJOR POWERFUL POSITION. HE WAS ALSO THE GENERAL IN CHARGE OF THE MILITIA OF LONG ISLAND. WOODHULL HAD FOUGHT FOR THE KING AS A MAJOR IN THE FRENCH & INDIAN WAR. AND NOW HE WAS PREPARING TO FIGHT AGAINST HIM. OR WAS HE. THOUGH "HISTORY" FOR HUNDREDS YEARS WOULD HAVE YOU THINK THAT. BUT MOST OF THAT HISTORY BASICALLY CAME FROM A SONG THE BALLAD OF NATHANIEL WOODHULL. WRITTEN LONG AFTER ALL THE PRINCIPALS WHO WERE INVOLVED IN THE BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND IN AUGUST of 1776 WERE DEAD AND BURIED. NOT THE LEAST OF WAS THE GOOD GENERAL HIMSELF WHO WAS LAYING IN AN UNMARKED GRAVE IN THE FAMILY CEMETERY ON NEIGHBORHOOD ROAD, UNTIL A GRANDSON IN LAW, JOHN LAWRENCE BOUGHT THE HEADSTONE AROUND 1825. THE ONE THAT YOU CAN NO LONGER READ.
MY INTEREST IN WOODHULL CAME FROM WHAT I FELT WAS THE NEED TO GIVE THE GUY A LITTLE MORE RESPECT THAN HE SEEMED TO BE GETTING. SURE THE AMERICAN LEGION HAD BEEN MARCHING TO HIS GRAVE SINCE 1938, GIVING HIM A 21 GUN SALUTE AND IN DOING SO, GIVING A FEW LUCKY KIDS WHO RUSHED IN Afterwards SHELL CARTRIDGE SOUVENEERS. THE BIG KIDS ALWAYS SEEMED TO GET THEM. BUT IT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST ITEMS I FOUND IN 2001 ON THE MICROFILM OF THE MORICHES TRIBUNE THAT CAUGHT MY ATTENTION, ALONG WITH THE STORY OF THE FIRST PARADE TO HONOR THE GENERAL WAS A MUCH SHORTER STORY ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS HOUSE THAT VERY SAME DAY . ACTUALLY IT WASN'T HIS HOUSE. HIS HOUSE BURNED DOWN IN APRIL 1784 FROM UNDETERMINED CAUSES. AND IT WAS LOCATED ABOUT A MILE WEST (BETWEEN WHERE HEMLOCK & DAISY DRIVE ARE NOW SITUATED) OF THE CORN CT ADDRESS OF THE SECOND HOME. HIS WIDOW RUTH (WILLIAM FLOYD'S SISTER ) BUILT THE HOUSE THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN ATTRIBUTED IN BOOKS & POST CARDS AS THE GENERALS. IT WAS REALLY A NICE PLACE. JUST A STONES THROW FROM WILLIAM FLOYD'S AND WASN'T TWO BLOCKS EAST OF THE GRAVEYARD.
THEY WERE ARISTOCRATS BUT THEY WERE ALSO FARMERS
This 1916 Map Shows The Original Locations Of 18th Century Floyd & Woodhull Farms That Make Up Most Of Mastic
and also the actual location of General Woodhulls Home That Burned Down In April Of 1785
BUT ON MEMORIAL DAY IN 1938 IT WAS GETTING TORN DOWN. SOMEBODY CALLED THE COPS AND WHEN THEY INVESTIGATED . WILLIE SCHLUDER WHO WAS TAKING THE WRECKING BAR TO IT SHOWED THEM A PIECE OF PAPER THAT SAID HE HAD PERMISSION . WILLIE THEN TOLD THEM THAT THE LUMBER WAS GOING TO BE USED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OUT IN THE HAMPTONS. OK. WHAT THE PAPER DIDN'T SAY WAS. THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO COULD GIVE PERMISSION TO TEAR DOWN THE WOODHULL MANSION THEN WOULD BE WARREN OR ARTHUR SMADBECK. THE TWO BROTHERS WHO OWNED IT SINCE 1926. THEY GOT IT WHEN THEY BOUGHT THE FIRST FEW HUNDRED ACRES AROUND IT THAT THEY TURNED INTO SECTIONS ONE & TWO OF MASTIC BEACH . AT FIRST THEY TRIED TO SELL IT .
NO TAKERS THEN THEY TRIED OFFERING IT TO DAR. THE NATHANIEL WOODHULL CHAPTER. THEY TOO PASSED. SO THERE IT SAT BOARDED UP EVER SINCE THE LAST INHABITANT ELIZABETH LAWRENCE PASSED AWAY IN IT AROUND 1915..
Postcards Like This One Help Perpetuate Mis information Through The Years
WHAT ALSO WAS INTERESTING AT THAT TIME WAS, WILLIE SCHLUDER WAS THE CARETAKER IN CHARGE OF THE KNAPP ESTATE & KNAPP HAD JUST SOLD OFF 99% OF HIS LAND TO THE SMADBECKS THAT MONTH, ALLOWING THEM TO START DEVELOPING A 200 ACRE GAP THAT HAD FOR 12 YEARS SPLIT MASTIC BEACH INTO TWO SEPARATE TOWNS. SO WHERE DID THE GENERALS HOUSE GO. MY GUESS WOULD BE OUT TO CLAIRE KNAPP'S ESTATE (JOSEPH KNAPP'S SISTER ) ON THE PECONIC BAY. WHERE IT WAS PROBABLY TURNED INTO DOG KENNELS. BUT I'M GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF.
THIS PAST YEAR I DISCOVERED A LITTLE KNOWN BOOK BY WILLIAM SABINE CALLED MURDER 1776 AND WASHINGTON'S POLICY OF SILENCE. IT WAS PUBLISHED IN THE 1970'S AND IS A RE TITLING OF A HIS ORIGINAL BOOK CALLED THE SUPPRESSED HISTORY OF GENERAL WOODHULL THAT HE SELF PUBLISHED IN THE MID 50'S. MR. SABINE'S WORK LAYS OUT A COMPELLING CASE BACKED UP WITH EVERY DOCUMENT THAT STILL EXISTS. IT TOOK HIM OVER 5 YEARS TO FIND THIS STUFF . YOU THINK YOU KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOR. NAT WOODHULL EH. HAH.
SERIOUSLY THOUGH SABINE'S BOOK WAS A REAL EYE OPENER . ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU READ ABOUT WILLIAM FLOYD VISITING WITH GENERAL WASHINGTON's UNDISCLOSED LOCATION TO TRY AND WORK OUT A POSSIBLE PRISONER EXCHANGE FOR HIS BROTHER IN LAW . THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN. BUT WHY . THE FATHER OF OUR COUNTRY HAD HIS REASONS AND THERE ARE REASONABLE CONCLUSIONS IN THE BOOK.. SOOOO .
WE HAVE A LOT MORE GROUND TO COVER HERE. AND SOME OF IT WAS AN ESTATE CALLED PATTERSQUAS . AKA THE RICHARD FLOYD ESTATE. IT WAS LOCATED ON THE WESTERN BANK OF PATTERSQUASH CREEK ABOUT MIDWAY ACROSS MASTIC BETWEEN THE MANOR HOUSE AT ST. GEORGE AND WILLIAM FLOYD'S PLANTATION. IT IS FULLY CHRONICLED ON THE WEBSITE. ,UNLIKE GENERAL WOODHULL THERE WAS NO DISCREPANCY ABOUT WHERE RICHARD FLOYD STOOD ON THE REBELLION. HE WAS AGAINST IT, AS WERE ALL OF HIS IN LAWS. THE FLOYD-JONES FAMILY OF QUEENS. BUT MOST OF QUEENS WAS A TORY STRONGHOLD. ALAS WE KNOW HOW THE WAR TURNED OUT AND RICHARD FLOYD HAD TO BAIL OUT OF PATTERQUAS IN A HURRY. LIVING OUT HIS DAYS IN NEW BRUNSWICK CANADA. THE FACT THAT HIS WIFE ARABELLA FLOYD-JONES FLOYD (HOW'S THAT FOR A NAME?) IS BURIED IN THE WOODHULL GRAVEYARD HERE IS CAUSE FOR SOME SPECULATION ABOUT WHOSE SIDE SHE WAS ON.
AND THAT BRINGS US BACK TO THE SMITHS WHO HAPPENED TO BE ON THE COMMITTEE FOR CONFISCATED ESTATES. THEY DID THEIR DUTY AND WOUND UP CONFISCATING THE RICHARD FLOYD ESTATE . THEY THEN SOLD IT TO THEIR NEW IN LAW DOCTOR DANIEL ROBERT (WHO REPORTEDLY MADE HIS FORTUNE DURING THE REVOLUTION IN JAMAICA ISLANDS. COULDN'T OF DONE THAT BY DOCTORING NATIVE JAMAICANS. HAD TO BE SOMEWAY ELSE. LOT OF PROFITEERING AND SMUGGLING GOING ON DOWN THERE THEN. THE ROBERT FAMILY WOULD HOLD ONTO PATTERSQUASH FROM THAT POINT ON, SELLING IT OF BRIEFLY ABOUT 1873 TO A MILLIONAIRE NAMED G. E. TAYLOR WHO LIVED NEXT DOOR TO THE OTHER ROBERT ESTATE . PEPPERIDGE HALL IN OAKDALE . TAYLOR KEPT IT LONG ENOUGH TO GET HIS NAME ON A MAP OR TWO. BUT THEN ROBERT FAMILY REPURCHASED IT AT A BARGAIN, A FEW YEARS LATER DURING THE DEPRESSION OF THE 1880'S. THAT'S WHEN THEY FINALLY FILED A DEED FOR IT THAT DATES BACK TO AROUND 1835 . WHEN DR. CHARLES ROBERT PASSED AWAY, HIS WIDOW ADELMA AND HER CHILDREN MOVED AWAY BRIEFLY TO GARDEN CITY IN 1906, BUT RETURNED TO MASTIC WITHIN A YEAR PATTERQUAS REMAINED IN THE ROBERT FAMILY UNTIL ADELMA. WIDOW OF DOCTOR CHARLES ROBERT , PASSED AWAY IN 1912. HER LAWYER JOHN LAWRENCE SOLD IT OFF TO AN AUTHOR IN NYC NAMED HENRY LANIER. THE LANIERS KEPT IT FOR A FEW YEARS. I BELIEVE THEY DIVORCED AS THEY WERE MAINTAINING SEPARATE RESIDENCES WHEN HENRY'S WIFE STARTED ADVERTISING IT ALONG WITH 215 ACRES OF LAND AND OUTBUILDINGS AROUND 1925
. IT TOOK HER TWO YEARS TO SELL IT OFF AND THE BUYER WAS ONCE AGAIN. THE SMADBECK BROTHERS AKA HOME GUARDIAN COMPANY WHO HAD THE SAME PLANS FOR IT. SELL OFF THE HOMESTEAD AND DEVELOP THE LAND AROUND IT, ADDING IT INTO THE TOWN OF MASTIC BEACH WHERE IT BECAME SECTIONS 4 & 5. A WHOLE LOT OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS HAPPENED HERE AND WE WILL COME BACK TO PATTERQUAS IN A BIT BUT NOW LET ME TELL YOU A FEW THINGS ABOUT OUR STEALTHY REALTORS
The way it looked from the air in the mid 50's. It had become
Dr. Calabro's Bayview Hospital Ten Years Earlier.
THE SMADBECKS WHO HAVE THEIR OWN SECTION ON MY WEBSITE, WERE CALLED "THE HENRY FORDS OF REAL ESTATE." THEY FIRST STARTED DEVELOPING LAND IN MASTIC IN 1922. THEY CALLED IT MASTIC PARK AND HAD A UNIQUE WAY OF SELLING IT. THE PURCHASER COULD ONLY BUY IT BY TAKING A SUBSCRIPTION TO A NEWSPAPER. THEY USED SEVERAL NY PAPERS THAT APPEALED TO THE WORKING CLASS FOR MASTIC THEY USED THE BROOKLYN CITIZEN MOST OF THE DEEDS TO THE LAND IN MASTIC PARK HAVE THE NAME JOHN FROST ON THEM. JOHN FROST REALLY DIDN'T OWN THE LAND, HE WAS THE PUBLISHER OF THE BROOKLYN CITIZEN. IT WAS PROBABLY SOME KIND COST SAVING / TAX BREAK DEAL FOR THE SMADBECKS. AS A SALES GIMMICK THE SUBSCRIPTION IDEA REALLY SEEMED TO WORK AS THE REPEATED IT ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES.
That is possibly Charles Ammon? the Home Guardian Sales manager near Mastic Rd.and the newly cut Mastic Blvd.
that ran east to Forge River on the north side of the Mastic Train Station.
YOU COULD BUY A 20 x 100 LOT IN MASTIC PARK FOR $55.00, BY TAKING THE BROOKLYN CITIZEN FOR 3 MONTHS. UNLESS YOU WERE GOING TO PITCH A TENT AS SOME DID, YOU NEEDED AT LEAST 3 LOTS TO BUILD A BUNGALOW ON. SO YOU PAID $165.00 FOR YOUR LAND ON VERY EASY TERMS $10 DOWN AND $3.00 A MONTH . MANY OF THE FIRST HOMES AND COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS, WERE BUILT FROM THE BARRACKS AND OTHER LUMBER THAT CAME FROM THE SALE OF CAMP UPTON AFTER WW1. ONE PLACE THAT WAS PROBABLY BUILT THAT WAY WAS VINCENT "PEPPER" MARTIN'S GYM. PEPPER MARTIN WAS A LIGHTWEIGHT PRO BOXER BACK THEN WHO HAD QUITE A FOLLOWING. ONE GUY WHO FOLLOWED HIM OUT FROM BROOKLYN WAS A FELLOW NAMED PAUL SCHULTE. PAUL LIKED THE AREA SO MUCH HE STAYED ON. THEN MOVED SOUTH TO MASTIC BEACH WHEN IT OPENED UP IN '26. PEPPER MARTIN DIED IN THE TWENTIES AND I HAVE A STRONG HUNCH HIS GYM MAY OF BECAME A RESTURANT. IF SO, THE NAME IT WAS BEST REMEMBERED BY WAS WHEN IT WAS CALLED "THE BLUE LANTERN" ON MONTAUK HWY & . I RECALL HAVING MY VERY FIRST PIZZA PIE THERE ABOUT 1951.. AND PUTTING NICKELS INTO A SEEBURG JUKE BOX THAT WAS STACKED WITH PERRY COMO, BING CROSBY, FRANK SINATRA 78'S
IN NOVEMBER OF 1925 THE PATCHOGUE ADVANCE REPORTED THAT THE C. S. R. V. CORP, A GROUP OF 4 PATCHOGUE INVESTORS HEADED BY JUDGE VUNK, HAD PURCHASED THE 355 ACRE J B LAWRENCE ESTATE IN MASTIC . THEY IN TURN QUICKLY SOLD IT BY FEB OF 1926. WHEN THE INK WAS DRY IT WAS ANNOUNCED IN MAY OF 1926 THAT THE NEW OWNERS OF THE J. B. LAWRENCE ESTATE WAS THE BROOKLYN CITIZEN AND THE PLAN WAS CALLED FOR TO DEVELOP IT AS THEY HAD IN MASTIC PARK. THE NEW TOWN WAS TO BE CALLED MASTIC BEACH, WITH LOTS SELLING SLIGHTLY HIGHER AT $89.00 BECAUSE OF ALL THE WATERFRONT ACCESS. AND A LAGOON TO BE BUILT
BY THE LAST HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY THE LAWRENCES OWNED ALL OF MASTIC NECK THAT SAT BETWEEN THE EAST BANK OF PATTERSQUASH CREEK ALL THE WAY ACROSS TO ODULL'S CREEK ON THE WESTERN BORDER OF THE FLOYD ESTATE. FOR THOSE WHO KNOW THE TOWN THAT'S FROM WEST DRIVE TO PARK DRIVE. ODULLS CREEK WAS NOTHING MORE THAN A WIDE DITCH & MISPRONUNCIATION OF THE NAME WOODHULL. WELL INTENTIONED MAPMAKERS LIKE CHARLES BEERS AND BELCHER & HYDE CHANGED IT TO ODELLS. LAWRENCES NIPPED THAT IN BUD THOUGH AND RENAMED THE CREEK AFTER THEMSELVES. THE LAWRENCES OF NY WERE STATESMEN, LAWYERS, MERCHANTS AND EXECUTORS OF MANY MASTIC ESTATES. THEIR MOST FAMOUS RELATIVE WAS COMMANDER JAMES LAWRENCE WHOSE DYING WORDS WERE "DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP" IN THE WAR OF 1812. TRUTH IS THERE WAS NOT MUCH SHIP LEFT TO GIVE UP..THE BRITISH BLASTED IT TO SMITHEREENS. TO BE FAIR ThOUGH IT WAS THE COMMANDER LAWRENCE'S FIRST NAVAL BATTLE.
MANY OF THE LAWRENCES WERE BORN AND LIVED OUT THEIR DAYS IN MASTIC LIKE EMMA & ELIZABETH. THEIR BROTHER FRANK M. LAWRENCE LIVED HERE FOR MOST OF HIS LIFE, TILL HE MARRIED HIS COUSIN LOUIS CARLILE MAURAN OF PROVIDENCE RI IN 1907.. IN THE 1896 FRANK AND ANOTHER COUSIN HANNAH NEWBOLD LAWRENCE ACQUIRED THE LAWRENCE ESTATE THAT RAN FROM PATTERSQUASH CREEK EASTERLY TILL ABOUT WHERE BEAVER DRIVE IS TODAY. THEY PAID ABOUT $7,000 FOR IT AND THERE WERE SEVERAL HOUSES & BARNS INCLUDED ALL BUILT IN THE 1850'S BY ITS FORMER INHABITANT CHARLES JEFFEREY SMITH OF THE TANGIER SMITHS. CJ SMITH WAS A FARMER OF NOTE AND SEVERAL OF THE LAWRENCES FOLLOWED HIS LEAD. THE LAWRENCE FARM WAS ACTIVE TILL ABOUT 1910- HANNAH WAS A LADY OF LEISURE AND SOCIETY AND TOOK HER FARM HOUSE AND MOVED IT A SHORT DISTANCE AND GREATLY IMPROVED IT TO SUIT HER FANCY AS A SUMMER RETREAT
I'M NOT SURE IF SHE GAVE IT THE NAME WOODHULL LODGE OR NOT BUT THAT IS WHAT IT IS TITLED AS,IN THE 1897 PHOTO I HAVE OF IT.
FRANK MAY OF LIVED IN THE OTHER C J SMITH HOUSE, THE ONE THE DERMODY FAMILY LIVED IN DURING THE 1950S AND 60S..BOTH HOMES ARE STILL STANDING IN FINE CONDITION ON LOCUST DRIVE AND WE WILL BE LOOKING AT THEM IN A FEW MINUTES. BOTH FRANK AND HANNAH MARRIED LATE IN LIFE . HER NAME BECAME SHERMAN AND THAT'S WHERE SHERMAN ROAD WHICH NO LONGER EXISTS EXCEPT ON OLD MASTIC BEACH MAPS CAME FROM,
WHEN YOU SEE ANY ROAD ON A MASTIC MAP THAT DOES NOT RUN GRIDLIKE YOU CAN BE ASSURED ITS AN OLD ONE OR PART OF AN OLD ONE.. IN THE COLONIAL ERA THERE WERE JUST THREE ROADS THAT RAN FROM SOUTHAVEN (THE MAIN GATHERING PLACE OF COMMERCE & RELIGION) SOUTH EASTERLY INTO MASTIC NECK. SMITH ROAD, ROBERT ROAD, AND FLOYD ROAD. WITH THE RESIDENCE DESTINATION SUPPLYING THE NAMES.
AS FOR THE ROAD TO FRANKS PLACE, NO NAME APPEARS ON IT UNTIL FRANK SELLS IT . AFTER THAT AND UP TILL TODAY IT IS STILL KNOWN AS KNAPP ROAD. AS FOR THE MANSION AT THE SOUTH END OF IT, HIS SISTER EMMA McALISTER LAWRENCE LIVED IN SOME FORM OF IT UNTIL SHE PASSED AWAY AROUND 1905 AND JUST LIKE THE ROAD, THE MANSION DOESN'T GET A NAME UNTIL JOSEPH FAIRCHILD KNAPP MOVES IN THERE OCTOBER OF 1916 ALONG WITH HIS OLDER SISTER CLAIRE ANTOINETTE KNAPP. THE DEED INDICATES THAT FRANK LAWRENCE GOT ABOUT $35,000.00 FOR IT. BECAUSE LAND WAS MIGHTY CHEAP BACK THEN IT TELLS ME THERE HAD TO BE A SUBSTANTIAL DWELLING ON THE PROPERTY.
MOVING A SHORT WAYS EAST AND BACK AGAIN ABOUT 50 YEARS I WANT TO TELL YOU A BIT ABOUT THE FLOYDS. FIRST I HAVE TO SAY YOU ALL ARE MIGHTY LUCKY TO HAVE THAT PLACE IN THE PROTECTED HANDS IT IS, BECAUSE IT COULD OF GONE THE WAY FAR TOO MANY OF THE ESTATES OF MASTIC DID. THAT IS BURNED TO THE GROUND.
THE WAY MOST OF US SAW THE FLOYD HOUSE IN THE MID 1950's . CROUCHING FROM A SAFE DISTANCE
Because it was private property,me and my friends would crouch low down to look at it and try to avoid the caretakers catching you on the property
THE FLOYD ESTATE WAS MY INTRODUCTION TO ALL THE REST. MY SISTER WHO WAS A GREAT ADVENTURER AS A KID, TOOK ME AND MY BROTHER THERE BACK IN 1951. ONLY THING WAS, IT WASN'T OPEN TO THE PUBLIC LIKE IT IS NOW . I WAS ONLY ABOUT 4 AND THAT BIG ADVENTURE STORY IS CHRONICLED ON THE WEBSITE . TAKING THE 6 MILE HIKE TO FLOYDS AND BACK WAS MY INTRODUCTION TO PLACES I DIDN'T REALIZE WOULD STILL BE HOLDING MY INTEREST WELL OVER 50 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD.
WILLIAM FLOYD ON HIS FRONT LAWN IN THE 1700's
THE WM FLOYD HOUSE THAT WE KNOW TODAY, GOT IT'S LOOK FROM JOHN G. FLOYD IN THE MIDDLE 1800'S HE WAS WILLIAM FLOYD'S GRANDSON. AND FROM MOST ACCOUNTS A PRETTY FLAMBOYANT CHARACTER . HE GAVE THE OLD FAMILY PLACE A MAJOR FACELIFT BACK THEN. THE J G FLOYDS HAD 5 CHILDREN. NICHOL, AUGUSTUS, JOHN , SARAH AND KATHERINE. IT WAS KATHERINE'S HUSBAND, WILLIAM BUCK DANA THAT PROBABLY SAVED THE ENTIRE FLOYD ESTATE FROM DISAPPEARING WHEN HE WORKED OUT THE AGREEMENT FOR THE 5 FLOYD CHILDREN TO DIVIDE UP THE 1800 OR SO ACRES THAT REMAINED. BUCK DANA WAS A LAWYER AND THE PUBLISHER OF THE FINANCIAL & COMMERCIAL CHRONICLE, THE FIRST AND LEADING NEWSPAPER OF ALL THINGS INVOLVING MAJOR BUSINESS. SORT OF THE PREDECESSOR FOR PAPERS LIKE THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. DANA WHO LIVED IN NEW JERSEY, WORKED OUT AN AGREEMENT SATISFACTORY TO ALL AND FOR KATHERINE AND HIMSELF HE SET ASIDE SOME ACERAGE FOR A SUMMER HOME ON THE BANKS OF POOSPATUCK CREEK & FORGE RIVER. IN THE EARLY 188O'S THREE BOXCARS OF BUILDING MATERIAL WERE UNLOADED AT MASTIC STATION AND MOSS LOTS THE GRANDEST ESTATE IN ALL OF MASTIC BEGAN TO RISE.
THE DANAS WERE VERY CREATIVE PEOPLE . THEY HAD NO CHILDREN OF THEIR OWN BUT THEY ADOPTED THREE. KATHERINE WHO'S PAINTINGS OF MASTIC IN THE MID 19TH CENTURY ARE GOING TO BE ON DISPLAY HERE THIS WEEK, WAS ALSO AN AUTHOR. SHE WROTE UNDER A PEN NAME OF OLIVE A. WADSWORTH, BECAUSE IT WASN'T PROPER FOR A LADY OF MEANS TO BE WRITING IN GILDED AGE. OLIVE A. WADSWORTH WAS HER SECRET CODE FOR "ONLY A WOMAN" SHE WROTE STORIES FOR HARPER'S MAGAZINE AND STORIES AND RHYMES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN. HER MOST FAMOUS WOULD BE "OVER IN THE MEADOW" WHICH IS STILL USED TODAY IN PRE SCHOOL TO TEACH COUNTING.
THE ADOPTED CHILDREN OF THE DANAS TURNED OUT TO BE QUITE A HANDFUL AND KATHERINE DID NOT LIVE TO SEE A LOT OF THE PROBLEMS HER HUSBAND BUCK HAD WITH THEM. OF THAT HE SAID SHE WAS LUCKY . THEIR DAUGHTER ETHEL WHOSE NICKNAME WAS DAISY, MOVED BACK TO MOSS LOTS ALONG WITH HER YOUNG SON WILLIAM DANA SHEPHERD WHEN SHE DIVORCED, BUCK DANA REALLY DOTED ON HIS GRANDSON "SHEP" AND WHEN HE DREW UP HIS LAST WILL, DECIDED TO LEAVE THE ESTATE TO HIM IF THE BOY CHANGED HIS NAME TO WILLIAM SHEPHERD DANA. BUCK DANA DIED 95 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH (Oct 2005). IN 1910 THE 18 YEAR OLD WILLIAM SHEPHERD DANA FOUND HIMSELF INLINE TO INHERIT MOSS LOTS & DANAS MILLIONS WHEN HE TURNED 21, BUT HE ALMOST INHERITED THE WIND BECAUSE OF HIS MOTHERS SPENDING HABITS. SHE SOON REDECORATED MOSS LOTS USING THE FIRMS OF TIFFANY & GORHAM. MULTI LAW SUITS FOLLOWED BECAUSE DAISY WAS BASICALLY OPERATING ON THE PHILOSOPHY . I STILL GOT MORE CHECKS LEFT. DAISY DIED IN 1913 AND HER SON FOUND HIMSELF AS HER EXECUTOR WITH A HUGE LEGAL MESS PLUS THERE WERE CHALLENGES TO THE GRANDFATHERS WILL. BUT AT AGE 21, W S DANA FOUND HIMSELF AS THE HEAD OF "MOSS LOTS" AND 3 MILLION DOLLARS IN HIS BANK ACCOUNT.
THE PLACE EMPLOYED A STAFF OF 24 WITH MOST FOLKS COMING FROM MORICHES . THOUGH SEVERAL BUILT HOMES ON THE ESTATE.
WE NEED TO GO ACROSS THE NECK AGAIN AND DROP IN ON THE SMITHS.
CJ SMITH'S BROTHER. EGBERT TANGIER SMITH AND HIS WIFE ANNIE HAD FOUR CHILDREN : WILLIAM , CLARENCE, MARTHA AND EUGINIE. ANNIE DIED YOUNG AND WHEN EGBERT DIED IN 1889, THE FOUR SMITH HEIRS FOUND THEMSELVES WITH THE MANOR HOUSE AND PROBABLY 10,000 TO 15,000 PLUS ACRES OF LAND LEFT AROUND IT, THEY MADE MONEY SEVERAL WAYS. MOSTLY BY LEASING LANDS INCLUDING THE RIGHTS TO TAKE OYSTERS & SHELLFISH FROM THEIR BAY. THEY ALSO CLAIMED OWNERSHIP OF CARMENS RIVER & LEASED IT WHICH WAS IN DISPUTE FOR YEARS. THEY TOOK ON MANY A COURT CHALLENGE AND WERE NOT ENDEARED TO MANY OF THE LOCAL FARMERS AND BAYMEN BECAUSE OF IT. IN 1894 MILLIONAIRE PUBLISHER JOSEPH PALMER KNAPP, WHO WAS A DUCK HUNTER AND FISHERMAN OF NOTE LEASED THE CARMENS RIVER FROM THE SMITHS. THE LEASE RAN UP TO THE YEAR 1899. THE KNAPPS SUMMERED IN BELLPORT BACK THEN. J P AND HIS WIFE SYLVIA DIVORCED IN 1903 BUT SHE AND THE CHILDREN CONTINUED TO SUMMER IN BELLPORT UP UNTIL 1912.
AROUND 1900, SEVERAL MILLIONAIRES LIKE THE HAVEMEYERS STARTED TO MAKE OFFERS ON THE SMITHS PROPERTY AND THERE WERE RUMOURS FLYING EVERY YEAR OR TWO THAT THE MANOR OF ST. GEORGE WAS BEING SOLD. IN 1910 A REAL SMOOTH OPERATOR NAMED FREDERICK J. QUINBY MADE AN OFFER THE SMITH HEIRS AS THEY WERE KNOWN , COULDN'T REFUSE. AT LEAST THREE OF THEM THAT IS , WILLIAM AND HIS SISTERS SOLD TO QUINBY'S TANGIER MANOR CORP AN INITIAL 7000 ACRES. CLARENCE G. T. SMITH WHO WAS A LAWYER,HELD OUT AND KEPT HIS LAND PREFERRING TO BROKER IT HIMSELF.
NOW THIS GUY QUINBY HAD A VISION FOR THE AREA THAT MUST OF STUNNED EVERYONE . HIS PLANS CALLED FOR TANGIER TO BE THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CENTURY AND TO DO THAT HE WAS GOING TO SPEND ABOUT 4 MILLION OF HIS INVESTORS MONEY MAKING IT THE SHOWPLACE OF THE EAST. FOR SMITH'S POINT, HE HAD A BRIDGE DESIGN RIGHT OUT OF OLD EUROPE. AND ON THE OCEAN BEACH A CASINO, A HOTEL AND LOTS OF HOMES. HE BASICALLY WANTED TO BUILD ANOTHER ATLANTIC CITY THERE.. HE ALSO PLANNED TO DREDGE THE ENTIRE BAY SO STEAMSHIPS FROM EUROPE COULD COME SAILING UP FROM MONTAUK ON THEIR WAY TO NEW YORK CITY STOPPING AT TANGIER. ON THE MAINLAND THERE WAS TO BE THIS GRAND RAILROAD STATION AT THE PLAZA ONE THAT WOULD TOO RIVAL ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD
THE PROPOSED TANGIER OCEAN FRONT HOTEL
THE PROPOSED TANGIER BRIDGE AT SMITH POINT
AND CONNECTING THE STATION WHICH WAS GOING TO BE LOCATED EXACTLY WHERE THE SHIRLEY STATION IS , A 210 FOOT WIDE GRAND BOULEVARD THAT LED TO THE BRIDGE. ALONG THE BOULEVARD MANOR HOMES A COUNTRY CLUB AND MORE THERE WERE ARTIFICIAL WATERWAYS CUT IN FROM .CARMENS RIVER ALLOWING EVEN MORE WATERFRONT HOMES. IT WAS ALL LAID OUT ON SOME HUGE COLORFUL MAPS . EXCURSION TRAINS FROM NYC WERE ARRANGED. BUT WHEN THE BUYERS CAME OUT AND THERE WEREN'T MANY, ALL THEY SAW WAS WOODS. STILL PRESS RELEASE AFTER PRESS RELEASE CAME FORTH. THE BOULEVARD GOT BUILT , ONE MANOR HOUSE THAT STILL STANDS TODAY GOT BUILT AND A "TEMPORARY" WOODEN BRIDGE GOT BUILT . SOMETHING WAS AMISS THOUGH. AND FOR ALL THE PROMOTION, TANGIER FIZZLED AND FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY IN A FEW YEARS. QUINBY WHO FLEW HIS OWN PLANE, TOOK OFF FOR ROANOKE VIRGINIA . CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS WERE CALLED FOR BECAUSE A US SENATOR FROM NEW JERSEY HAD BACKED THE BONDS. LIENS WERE FILED AND THE WHOLE THING FELL APART BY 1915 OR SO. LAST REPORT ON QUINBY IN MASTIC AREA WAS WHEN ONE OF HIS WIVES WAS ARRESTED FOR TRYING TO SHOOT HIM . HE RESURFACED BRIEFLY IN CONNECTICUT WHERE ANOTHER BANK FORECLOSED ON HIM AND THEN AGAIN IN CHICAGO. LAST THING I KNOW OF THAT HE DID WAS FORM THE QUINBY OIL COMPANY IN 1927 . THE TEMPORARY STOCK CERTIFICATES ARE SOLD TODAY ON E BAY. HIS LEGACY THAT REMAINS HOWEVER IS, EVERY ROAD TODAY SOUTH OF MONTAUK HIGHWAY IN SHIRLEY WAS NAMED AND LAID OUT ON HIS TANGIER MAPS. AND THE ISLAND VIEW MANOR THAT HAD A ROSE QUINBY LIVING THERE IN 1920 IS STILL STANDING NEAR THE SMITH POINT BRIDGE
IT WOULD BE OVER A DECADE BEFORE THE THREE SMITHS GOT THEIR LAND BACK. NOW CLARENCE, WHO PROBABLY GOT TO SAY I TOLD YOU SO, WOUND UP SELLING HIS SHARE OF THE MANOR LAND TO EDWARD R TOLFREE IN 1922 FOR $250,000. THAT INCLUDED THE BAYFRONT AND UNKECHOGUE CREEK PLUS THE MANOR HOUSE AND ACERAGE FROM THE EAST SIDE OF TANGIER BLVD, TO WELL PAST WHERE SUNRISE HIGHWAY NOW IS. TOLFREE WAS AN INVENTOR HAVING COME UP WITH A RADIATOR STOP LEAK THAT HE SOLD TO THE US GOVT IN WW1 AND WHEN YOU SELL TO THE GOVT, WELL YOU CAN BUY BIG. HE AND HIS WIFE ALINE, DIVIDED THEIR TIME BETWEEN NYC, PALM BEACH AND TANGIER. HE RAISED ST, BERNARDS AND WAS ALSO A JUDGE AT WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB. ALINE, HIS HIGHLY CULTURED WIFE WHO WAS EDUCATED IN EUROPE WROTE VERY DRY ARTICLES FOR SCRIBNERS AND ATLANTIC MONTHLY AND A BOOK OR TWO ,. ONE WAS TITLED "ANGLO SAXONS & OTHERS" HIS PLANS TO SELL OFF SOME OF HIS HOLDINGS ALSO FIZZLED AND HE WOUND UP MAKING DEALS WITH THE COUNTY TAX ASSESSOR INSTEAD. IN THE LATE 1920'S HE DONATED THE RIGHT OF WAY TO SMITH POINT TO THE COUNTY WITH THE HOPES THEY WOULD BUILD A NEW BRIDGE TO REPLACE WHAT WAS LEFT OF THE WOODEN ONE THAT KEPT GETTING WASHED AWAY. WHEN HIS WIFE DIED IN 1944, HE PUT ISLAND VIEW MANOR ON THE MARKET.
BACK AT THE KNAPP ESTATE, SOME INTERESTING THINGS WERE GOING ON. WHEN THEY LEFT BELLPORT IN 1912, J. P. BOUGHT A PLACE IN GREENLAWN AND SPENT $75,OOO.OO FIXING IT UP FOR HIS EX WIFE & DAUGHTER. IT WAS CALLED CLAIREDALE FARM. DODE (pr Dough Dee) HAD ONLY OWNED THE MASTIC ESTATE FOR A FEW DAYS WHEN HE TRANSFERED IT TO HIS SISTER CLAIRE, WHO MOVED OUT OF GREENLAWN AND CAME TO MASTIC, THEIR MOTHER THEN MOVED TO LOS ANGELES AT THAT TIME. MY THINKING IS THAT THE TRANSFER OF THE MASTIC ESTATE WAS AT THEIR FATHER J P'S INSISTENCE. J P KNAPP CONTROLLED THE PURSE STRINGS OF ALL THE KNAPPS. BECAUSE IT WAS HIS PURSE. DODI HAD A TITLE AS CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF HIS FATHER'S AMERICAN LITHOGRAPHIC COMPANY, WHICH AT THAT TIME WAS THE LARGEST PRINTER IN THE WORLD. THE OTHER SIDE BUSINESS J P KNAPP WAS STILL ACTIVELY INVOLVED WITH WAS J.P.'s FATHER'S METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE CO, THOUGH HE HAD RECENTLY MUTUALISED THE COMPANY IN 1915, BY SELLING HIS CONTROLLING SHARES OF STOCK FOR A VERY HEFTY SUM OF 75.00 A SHARE. DODE & CLAIRE SHARED THE MASTIC ESTATE FROM 1916-25. CLAIRE WAS RAISING BOTH SHOW HORSES AND SHOWDOGS THEN AND SHE STARTED HER CLAIREDALE KENNEL AT THE ESTATE IN MASTIC IN 1920,
6 MONTHS AFTER THE KNAPPS MOVED TO MASTIC, THE UNITED STATES ENTERED WWI. J P KNAPP WAS REMARRIED AND HIS STEPSON "Chip" McILWAINE WAS INVOLVED IN FLYING AT YALE UNIVERSITY. SEVERAL STUDENTS AT YALE GOT TOGETHER AND OFFERED THEIR SERVICES TO THE NAVY AS FLYERS DOING COAST PATROLS LOOKING FOR ENEMY SUBMARINES. SEEING THAT THERE WAS ALMOST NO REAL AVIATION YET IN THE MILITARY, THE NAVY WENT FOR IT AND AERIAL COAST PATROL # 1 WAS FORMED IN HUNTINGTON. A SECOND UNIT WAS FORMED IN BAYSHORE AND THEN THE NAVY CAME OUT AT THE INVITATION OF J P KNAPP TO LOOK OVER THE MASTIC PROPERTY FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF A THIRD AERO STATION. THEY WENT FOR IT AND WITHIN A MONTH THERE WERE THREE CURTISS FLYING BOATS AND TWELVE YOUNG STUDENT FLYERS CAMPED OUT ON THE KNAPP ESTATE , THE PLANES WERE MOST LIKELY KEPT AT THE COVE NEAR THE END OF WHAT IS JEFFERSON DRIVE TODAY. WITHIN A FEW MONTHS THE 3RD AERO SQUADRON WAS INCREASED TO 36 MEMBERS AND THE OVERFLOW STAYED AT THE HEDGES HOTEL AT SMITH POINT, THEY BUILT A LARGE HANGER THERE ALSO. THERE WERE TWO INSTRUCTORS AND AMONG THE FLYERS WAS KNAPP's CHILDHOOD PAL THOMAS DIXON. EACH ONE HAD THEIR OWN CURTISS FLYING BOAT HYDRO AEROPLANE THAT COST ABOUT 12,000.00. THEIR FIRST INSTRUCTOR WAS E K JAQUITH WHO WAS AS COLORFUL AS YOU CAN GET . HE PROVED A BIT TOO COLORFUL HOWEVER AND WAS REPLACED BY L. W. BONNEY A PIONEER WRIGHT BROTHERS AVIATOR . BONNEY BECAME A LIFELONG FRIEND OF KNAPP AND WOULD RETURN TO THE KNAPP ESTATE IN THE 1920'S FOR ANOTHER AVIATION ADVENTURE. IN THE WINTER OF 1918 THEIR TRAINING WAS MOVED TO PALM BEACH FLA AND DODE KNAPP CAME OUT OF THE NAVY AS AN LT JG . AND FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR AT PENSACOLA.
3Rd AERO SQUAD ON THE KNAPP ESTATE SPRING OF 1917
THIS PAST SPRING (2005) I INTERVIEWED MILDRED CLUNE WHO WAS BORN IN MASTIC IN 1916. HER MOTHER & FATHER BOTH WORKED FOR THE KNAPPS TILL THE EARLY 1920s. THEY LIVED ON THE ESTATE AND MILDRED RECALLS THAT DODE HAD AIRPLANES STASHED IN BARNS ALL OVER THE PLACE . THAT WOULD EXPLAIN ALL THE AIRPLANE PARTS WE FOUND AS KIDS IN A BARN ON JEFFERSON DRIVE ALONG WITH A BUNCH OF RADIO EQUIPMENT.
IN 1925 HANNAH LAWRENCE DIED AND HER PORTION OF THE ESTATE CAME ON THE MARKET. ONCE AGAIN THE SMADBECKS CAME ALONG AND BOUGHT MOST OF THE LAND, BUT DODE KNAPP GOT HER WOODHULL LODGE. IN NOV OF 1926, MASTIC BEACH NOW HAD THREE SECTIONS , TWO ON KNAPPS EASTERN BORDER AND ONE ON THE WEST SURROUNDING THE ESTATE SO TO SPEAK. THE CJ SMITH FARMHOUSE THAT SITS ON THE WEST SIDE OF LOCUST DRIVE WAS PURCHASED BY MALCOM GARRITY AND THE KNAPPS HAD A NEIGHBOR JUST A FEW HUNDRED FEET AWAY FROM THEIR BALLROOM DOOR
WEST SIDE OF KNAPP MANSION circa 1929
1927 PAUL SCHULTE BUILT A 15 ROOM HOTEL BEHIND THE PROPERTY OWNERS CLUBHOUSE . THIS WAS THE FIRST OFFICIAL BUSINESS IN MASTIC BEACH. HIS GRANDDAUGHTER GRETA SPIESS TOLD ME HE BOOTLEGGED OUT OF IT. RUM RUNNING ON LONG ISLAND IN THE 1920's WAS A MAJOR BUSINESS.
THE FIRST CENSUS TAKEN IN MASTIC BEACH WAS 1930 AND IT SHOWED ABOUT 12 to 15 PEOPLE LIVING THERE IN THE WINTER ALMOST ALL WERE INVOLVED WITH WORKING ON THE ESTATES. 1927 FOUND THE SMADBECKS PURCHASING PATTERSQUAS FROM JOSEPHINE LANIER AND MASTIC BEACH WOULD SOON GROW ANOTHER 200 ACRES . THEY NAMED THAT PURCHASE SECTION 4. PAUL SCHULTE WASTED NO TIME BUYING LAND OVER THERE AT THE FUTURE 5 CORNERS THE INTERSECTION .
MEANWHILE UP IN MASTIC WHICH HAD A 4 YEAR HEAD START ON MASTIC BEACH, BUSINESS WERE POPPING UP ALONG THE SUNRISE TRAIL . A POPULAR NAME THEN FOR MONTAUK HIGHWAY. AND MORE PEOPLE WERE STARTING TO MOVE OUT ALL YEAR ROUND. BY 1925 MASTIC HAD ITS OWN FIRE DEPARTMENT, POST OFFICE, GENERAL STORE AND SEVERAL RESTAURANTS AND FILLING STATIONS. THE PARR FAMILY WAS ONE OF THE EARLIEST, LEWIS PARR OPENED HIS TEXACO IN 1N 1922 IN THE BUILDING THAT IS NOW KNOWN MASTIC PARK LIQUORS.
HIS SONS WILLIAM & WALTER SOON FOLLOWED SUIT WITH THE PARR BROTHERS STATION AT MONTAUK & HERKIMER. BILL PARR OFFERED HOUSE CALL SERVICE AND SOON FOUND HIMSELF WORKING ON THE CAR AND BOAT ENGINES AT ALL THE ESTATES.
THE ROSS & PENNEY FAMILIES OF MORICHES PLAYED MAJOR ROLES AT SEVERAL MASTIC ESTATES. CLARENCE ROSS RAN THINGS IN THE 1920's AT THE FLOYDs AND MERRITT CASH PENNEY 1854-1941 WAS THE SUPERVISOR OF THE DANA ESTATE. MERRITT'S SON CLARENCE, DID ALL TYPES OF GENERAL CONSTRUCTION WORK AND HOUSE MOVING, HE BUILT AN ISLAND FOR SHEP DANA TO GO DUCK HUNTING ON, HE BUILT A 9 HOLE GOLF COURSE FOR KNAPP ON THE WATERFRONT. HE ALSO HELPED BUILD THE ROADS IN BOTH MASTIC & MASTIC BEACH ALONG WITH THE HULSE BROTHERS. MERRITT'S YOUNGEST SON, WILLIS WAS A CHAUFFEUR AS WAS THE HIS OTHER SON LEONARD. WHILE HELPING HIS BROTHER CLARENCE, WILLIS BECAME ROMANTICALLY INVOLVED WITH CLAIRE KNAPP, REPORTEDLY AGAINST DODE's WISHES . IN 1925 SHE ELOPED WITH WILLIS AND MOVED TO YAPHANK WITH HIM SELLING THE ESTATE IN MASTIC BACK TO HER BROTHER. DODI ALSO MARRIED IN 1927 TO A WOMAN NAMED GERTRUDE O'BRIEN. GERTRUDE OFTEN RACED & WON IN "MISS DEMURE" THEIR CUSTOM SEA SLED BOAT (KNAPPS OWNED THE SEA SLED COMPANY) CAPTURING THE GSBYC CHAMPIONSHIP FOR 1926. MISS DEMURE WAS 30 FEET LONG. HAD 400 HP AND AT 45 MPH WAS THE FASTEST BOAT ON THE BAY FROM WESTHAMPTON TO BAYSHORE.
HIS CLOSEST RIVAL IN SPEEDBOATS WAS BILL DANA. DANA WOUND UP INSTALLING A LIBERTY V 12 AIRPLANE ENGINE IN HIS 36 FOOT ELCO THE ALBERTA B TO CATCH KNAPP, BUT THE ENGINE PROVED TOO MUCH FOR THAT HULL AND DANA HAD ANOTHER BOAT SPECIALLY BUILT FOR IT THAT COULD HIT 60 MPH. HE DID MORE THAN CATCH KNAPP.
BUT I DOUBT THE COAST GUARD EVER DID. THEY PROBABLY KNEW KNAPP HAD SOME INVOLVEMENT IN RUM RUNNING , THAT WAS ALMOST A PAST TIME FOR MANY OF THE OTHER ESTATE OWNERS ACROSS BOTH SHORES OF LONG ISLAND. THEY HAD ALL THE MEANS AT THEIR DISPOSAL AND LOTS OF PRIVACY, THE RULES OF THE GAME WERE YOU HAD TO BE CAUGHT RED HANDED. KNAPP PROBABLY USED HIS AIRPLANES AS WELL AS HIS BOATS TO GET LIQUOR FROM FIRE ISLAND ACROSS THE BAY. THE RUMOURS I INITIALLY HEARD ABOUT THIS IN 2001, HAVE RECENTLY BEEN SUBSTANTIATED BY MILDRED CLUNE, A LIVING EYEWITNESS. IN MASTIC BEACH BOTH BLUE-BLOODS & BLUE COLLARS LIKE PAUL SCHULTE STAYED VERY-WET DURING THE VERY DRY YEARS OF PROHIBITION. ONE OF PAUL SCHULTE'S PARTNERS IN RUM RUNNING WAS Dr. JONES, A WELL KNOWN PHYSICIAN IN CENTER MORICHES. WHEN PROHIBITION ENDED IN 1933, SCHULTE HAD A KNAPP ESTATE BARN MOVED TO NEIGHBORHOOD ROAD ALONG SIDE OF HIS CORNER MARKET, HE ADDED ON TO IT AND OPENED PAUL SCHULTE'S TAVERN. HAPPY DAYS WERE HERE AGAIN, EVEN DURING A DEPRESSION
IN 1931 KNAPP MOVED INTO A SLIGHTLY BIGGER BOAT, WHEN HE COMMISSIONED THE FIRST OF HIS 4 STORM KING'S. THIS ONE WAS 54 FOOT CUSTOM BUILT TRUNK CRUISER THAT HE WOULD GO BACK AND FORTH TO FLORIDA IN. IT WOULD HAVE TO TAKE A WHOLE LOT OF DREDGING TO GET STORM KING INTO THE COVE HE BULKHEADED AT THE FOOT OF THE ESTATE. ORIGINALLY HOME-PORTED HERE AT THE FOOT OF WHAT IS NOW JEFFERSON DRIVE, IT LATER BECAME DOCKED AT HIS WINTER RESIDENCE AT THE ISLE OF PALMS IN FT.LAUDERDALE..
RETIRED IN 1929 AT AGE 37 FROM HIS FATHERS PRINTING BUSINESS, DODE KNAPP WOULD SPEND THE REST OF HIS LIFE AS A MAN OF LEISURE AND ANOTHER 9 YEARS DIVIDING MASTIC BEACH IN TWO. ALTHOUGH I KNOW HE WAS FRIENDS AND A GREAT PARTIER WITH SEVERAL OF THE LOCALS.FOR REASONS UNKNOWN TO ME, KNAPP NEVER ADDED THE WORD BEACH TO HIS MASTIC ADDRESS OR ON THE TRANSOM OF HIS BOATS.
THE BUSINESS DISTRICT OF MASTIC BEACH STARTED ON THE EAST SIDE IN SECTION ONE WHEN A POST OFFICE & GENERAL STORES WERE PUT UP ON THE CORNERS OF ASPEN AND WHITTIER & BIRCH & WHITTIER SEVERAL OTHER SMALL BUSINESS OPENED SOME TOURIST CABINS AN ICE AND FUEL AND BY 1930 A FIRE DEPARTMENT.
MASTIC BEACH STORE CORNER OF WHITTIER & BIRCH circa 1930 LATER KNOWN AS "DICK'S" AFTER 1940 - 1070's
BUT WITH PROPERTY BEING DEVELOPED ON THE WEST SIDE TOO AND NO EASY WAY TO GET TO THE BUSINESS IN SECTION ONE, PAUL SCHULTE PUT UP A MARKET AT THE 5 CORNERS TO SERVICE SECTIONS 3 4 & 5.
SOON THERE WERE SIGNS AT THE ENTRANCE FORK OF MASTIC AND MASTIC BEACH ROADS POINTING BOTH WAYS TO THE TOWNs OF MASTIC BEACH. THEY WENT BY THE NAME OLD TOWN & NEW TOWN, BUT THERE WASN'T THREE YEARS BETWEEN THEM. A BIG CONCERN WAS FIRE PROTECTION AND THE WEST END FIRE DEPARTMENT WAS STARTED UP. THEY KEPT THEIR TRUCK IN A GARAGE SOUTH OF NEW TOWN ON BAYVIEW DR AND MET AT SCHULTES TAVERN. TO HELP CURE THE PROBLEM OF DIVISION,THE SMADBECKS WORKED OUT A DEAL WITH KNAPP. IN EXCHANGE FOR THEM GIVING HIM SOME LAND HE ALLOWED THEM TO EXTEND ASPEN ROAD ACROSS THE NORTH EDGE OF HIS PROPERTY THEY IN TURN HAD TO ABANDON USING NEIGHBORHOOD ROAD WHERE IT CROSSED HIS ESTATE
BY 1930 HOME GUARDIAN HAD SOLD THE PATTERSQUAS MANSION TO PLAYWRIGHT JOHN HOWARD LAWSON AND IT SOON BECAME KNOWN AS THE LAWSON ESTATE. THE CLUNES STAYED ON AS CARETAKERS.
Lorretta & William Clune Mid 1930's That Is Neigborhood Road Behind Them
LAWSON WROTE SCREENPLAYS FOR MANY HOLLYWOOD MOVIES IN THE 30's & 40's THAT STARRED PEOPLE LIKE HUMPRHY BOGART, WALLACE BEERY, SUSAN HAYWARD, HEDY LAMAR,and HENRY FONDA.. AFTER WWII THE LAWSONS SOLD THE ESTATE AND STAYED IN HOLLYWOOD FULL TIME. IN 1947 LAWSON WAS CAUGHT UP IN THE "RED SCARE" AND BECAME ONE OF THE HOLLYWOOD TEN PROSECUTED BY CONGRESSMAN J. PARNELL THOMAS WHO SET THE STAGE FOR SENATOR JOE McCARTHY. IN 1950 LAWSON EVENTUALLY SPENT A YEAR IN JAIL FOR CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS AND WAS BLACKLISTED, IRONACILLY BY THE TIME LAWSON BEGAN HIS JAIL SENTENCE, HIS PROSECUTOR WAS ALREADY IN JAIL FOR TAKING KICKBACKS. THOMAS WOULD SERVE MORE TIME IN THE BIG HOUSE THAN LAWSON DID , WHEN THE MOVIES LAWSON WROTE STARTED TURNING UP ON TELEVISION IN THE EARLY 50'S, I DOUBT FEW MASTIC BEACH RESIDENTS REALIZED THE SCREENWRITER ONCED LIVED AMONGST THEM. THERE'S MORE ABOUT HIM IN THE PATTERSQUAS HISTORY PAGES ON THE WEBSITE.
BY THE MID THIRTIES HOME GUARDIAN HAD ADDED IN SECTIONS 6, 7 AND 8 THERBY EXPANDING MASTIC BEACH WESTWARD TO THE BORDERS OF THE TOLFREE ESTATE. BUT THE DEPRESSION WAS HAVING IT'S EFFECTS TOO.TO HELP COUNTER IT THEY OFFERED FREE 3 ROOM BUNGALOWS TO ANYONE BUYING 4 LOTS OR MORE. SO FOR UNDER $500,00 YOU GOT A ONE BEDROOM HOME WITH A KITCHEN AND LIVING ROOM. BATHROOMS WERE MAINLY OUTHOUSES, BUT SOME PAID A FEW MORE DOLLARS AND HAD THE LUXURY OF INDOOR PLUMBING. MANY OF THESE FREE HOMES ARE STILL STANDING THOUGH FEW IF ANY ARE ALL ORIGINAL.. WHAT COST 500 THEN IS NOW GOING FOR CLOSE TO $200,000 TODAY (2005) BUT THAT IS WITH INDOOR PLUMBING .
BY THE LATE 30's A FEW RESIDENTS WERE STARTING TO MOVE THERE ALL YEAR ROUND BUT IT WAS STILL A FAR CRY FROM CROWDED. ABOUT 60 "WINTER" RESIDENTS ARE LISTED IN THE 1938 MB DIRECTORY. ST. ANDREW AND ST. JUDE STARTED THEIR CHURCHES IN THE THIRTIES. BY THEN TWO OF THE FLOYD ESTATES HAD LOST THEIR ORIGINAL FAMILY OWNERS. AUGUST FLOYD DIED IN THE 1927 SHORTLY AFTER SELLING SOME OF HIS LAND TO HOME GUARDIAN SO THEY COULD BUILD MASTIC BEACH ROAD AND DR ROLFE FLOYD, WHO OWNED THE NICHOL FLOYD MANSION, DIED ABOUT 1934, MOST OF THEIR PROPERTY WHICH WAS LOCATED IN BETWEEN THE WILLIAM FLOYD ESTATE AND THE DANA ESTATE REMAINED IN LIMBO BUT NOT FOR MUCH LONGER.
WILLIAM S DANA REMARRIED IN THE LATE 20's. HIS NEW WIFE, ELLA MARIAN LINDLEY BAKER WAS HIS NEIGHBOR AND TECHNICALLY HIS COUSIN , HER MOTHER WAS A FLOYD. THE DANAS DIVIDED THEIR TIME BETWEEN THEIR RANCH IN NEVADA AND MOSS LOTS. IN THE MID 30's FIRST LADY ELANOR ROOSEVELT CAME TO VISIT THEM. IN JAN OF 1939 DANA DIED SUDDENLY AT AGE 45. AFTER THAT ELLA SPENT MORE TIME OUT WEST AND LESS TIME IN MASTIC. WHEN SHE DID COME BACK TO MASTIC, SHE USUALLY STAYED IN ONE OF THE SMALLER COTTAGES ON THE ESTATE. IT WAS THE LONG SLOW BEGINNING OF THE END FOR MOSS LOTS WHICH WAS DESTROYED BY FIRE IN 1969. BY THE MID 1930's DODE KNAPPS FIRST MARRIAGE ENDED AND HE WAS SPENDING MORE AND MORE TIME IN FT LAUDERDALE WITH HIS SECOND WIFE MARION. IN THE SPRING OF 1938 HE SOLD MOST OF HIS LAND BOTH NORTH AND SOUTH OF HIS MANSION TO HOME GUARDIAN AND SECTIONS 9 & 10 WERE DEVELOPED. IN DOING SO THE TOWN BECAME CONNECTED AND NEIGHBORHOOD ROAD BECAME THE MAIN EAST WEST THOROUGHFARE. THOUGH THE EASTERN PART OF IT WAS CALLED BIRCH ROAD UNTIL 1940's.
KNAPP KEPT 12 ACRES AROUND HIS HOUSE BUT BY THE SPRING OF 1939 THAT TOO WENT UP FOR SALE. THE HOUSE FULLY FURNISHED WITH THREE AND A HALF ACRES AROUND IT WAS FIRST LISTED FOR A VERY LOW PRICE OF $11,500.00 THE FACT THAT THE WOOD PANELING IN THE LIVING ROOM COST $7,000.00 ALONE WAS DULY NOTED IN THE ADS, ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHER AMENITIES NEW OIL BURNER . COPPER PIPES. THE BEST OF EVERYTHING. BUT THERE WERE NO TAKERS. THE HOUSE REMAINED ON THE MARKET UP UNTIL DECEMBER OF 1940 WHEN HOME GUARDIAN BOUGHT IT FOR UNDER $5000.00 THE DEED WAS SIGNED ON NEW YEARS EVE 1940.
8 DAYS LATER HOME GUARDIAN HAD SOLD IT TO A GEORGE SUTTER OF THE BRONX FOR ABOUT $6,600.00 A MIGHTY GOOD PROFIT.. AND STILL A STEAL FOR SUTTER. SUTTER WHO WAS RUNNING THE GRAND CONCOURSE HOTEL IN THE BRONX, HAD PLANS TO TURN IT INTO A SUMMER BOARDING HOUSE AND OF COURSE A VACATION HOUSE FOR HIS FAMILY . WITH 22 ROOMS AND 6 BATHS HE COULD DO BOTH. WHAT HE DIDN'T COUNT ON WAS WHAT WOULD HAPPEN JUST 9 MONTHS AFTER HE LOOKED OVER HIS NEW DIGS FOR THE FIRST TIME. PEARL HARBOR.. THROUGH OUT THE '40's SUTTER RAN ADS TO RENT ROOMS IN IT AND I'VE HEARD HE HAD QUITE A FEW PEOPLE STAYING THERE DURING THE LATER WAR YEARS. AFTER WWII ENDED HE RENTED THE ENTIRE PLACE. THE TENANT WAS THE NEW FIRST PERMANENT PRIEST ASSIGNED TO ST JUDES, FR JOHN SKELLY.
BACK IN TOWN THE LAWSON PLACE "PATTERSQUAS" CAME ON THE MARKET AND WAS BOUGHT BY SPECULATORS. BY 1946 IT WOULD HAVE A NEW OWNER DR. FRANK CALABRO, WHOSE WIFE'S LARGE EXTENDED FAMILY ALL MOVED IN WITH HIM. THEY REMAINED THERE WHILE THEY BUILT THEIR PERMANENT HOMES ON THE PROPERTY ALONG BAYVIEW DR. TWO OF THE BROTHER IN LAWS MIKE DIPIERRO & PAT MESSINETTI THEN BUILT A LANDMARK FILLING STATION ON THE FIVE CORNERS. PAT & MIKE'S TEXACO.
AFTER THE DIPIERRO, MESSINETTI AND SIRIANI FAMILYS MOVED INTO THEIR OWN HOMES DOC OPENED THE PLACE AS THE BAYVIEW SANITARIUM. SOON AFTER IT BECAME THE BAYVIEW HOSPITAL. THE CARRIAGE HOUSE ON THE ESTATE WAS MOVED UP TO NEIGHBORHOOD ROAD AND ANOTHER FAMILY MEMBER THE CALABRIAS OPENED IT AS RESTAURANT CALLED THE RED BARN . ANITA AND BEN SIRIANI LATER OPENED A DELI THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THE SERVICE STATION. THERE ARE A WHOLE LOT OF STORIES AND PHOTOS ON THE WEBSITE ABOUT THE LIFE AND TIMES OF WHAT YOU MIGHT CALL THE DOC CALABRO CLAN.
AS HOME GUARDIAN WOUND DOWN THEIR DEVELOPING ACTIVITIES IN THE MASTICS, MOST OF THEIR REAL ESTATE SALESMAN SET UP SHOP ON THEIR OWN. WALTER URY, DAVID SIMON, CHARLES AMMON, NAT WEISER ALL TOOK OVER SELLING THE BITS AND PIECES OF WHAT REMAINED . THE LARGEST PIECE OF THE PUZZLE THOUGH WAS YET TO COME. IT STARTED WITH ABOUT A HUNDRED ACRES OF THE FLOYD ESTATE . AND ACRES IT WOULD BE NAMED, "MASTIC ACRES" BY A SUPER SALESMAN NAMED WALTER T. SHIRLEY. SHIRLEY STARTED OUT HIS BUSINESS LIFE AS A SONGPLUGGER. A SONGPLUGGER IS A GUY WHO SELLS SONGS. AS A SONGWRITER I CAN ATTEST THAT IS NO EASY THING TO DO. WALTER's MIDDLE NAME WAS TURNBULL , BUT THE T MIGHT AS WELL OF STOOD TENACIOUS. HE STARTED AS SONG PLUGGER FOR IRVING BERLIN & THEY HAD MET AT CAMP UPTON IN WWI. BUT THERE WAS MORE THAN MUSIC GOING ON IN SHIRLEY'S HEAD.
ALL THAT LAND OUT HERE MUST OF LEFT AN IMPRESSION BECAUSE AFTER WWII HE CAME BACK AND GOT MOST OF IT. SOON AFTER HE PURCHASED MASTIC ACRES HE STARTED BUYING LAND FROM THE SMITHS AND ANYONE ELSE THAT OWNED ANYTHING ON THE WEST SIDE OF MASTIC BEACH. HE CALLED THAT AREA MASTIC ACRES TOO, WHICH LED TO MUCH CONFUSION ,SHIRLEYS FIRST LAND OFFICE WAS ON MASTIC ROAD & WAVECREST DR.. ITS A PIZZA PLACE NOW. HE SOON MOVED HIS OPERATION ONTO MONTAUK HIGHWAY . HIS NY CITY OFFICE WAS ON 5th AVE AND 42nd STREET JUST ACROSS FROM THE NY PUBLIC LIBRARY..SHIRLEY BOUGHT THE TOLFREE MANSION AS HIS SUMMER HEADQUARTERS, BUT SOON SOLD IT AS IT WAS PROBABLY FAR TOO QUIET OUT HERE FOR A GUY WHO SPENT HIS LIFE ON BROADWAY. THE CUTRO FAMILY BOUGHT IT & STILL HAVE IT MAKING THEM THE LONGEST OWNERS OF THE PLACE. ROCKY CUTRO, A MUSICIAN TURNED THE ISLAND VIEW MANOR INTO A NIGHTCLUB AND HIS FRIEND TONY BENNETT USED TO PERFORM THERE IN THE EARLY 50's TO THE DELIGHT OF EVERYONE, MY PARENTS INCLUDED. I SPOKE TO TONY ABOUT IT IN NASHVILLE A FEW YEARS AGO AND HE STILL HAS VERY WARM MEMORIES OF IT.
ISLAND VIEW MANOR JAN 2002
THE ONLY THING THAT HELD SHIRLEY BACK SLIGHTLY WAS THERE WAS NO ELECTRICITY THERE FOR SEVERAL YEARS. MY HIGH SCHOOL PAL KENNY VITELLARO , RECALLS WHAT IT WHAT IT WAS LIKE THE FIRST FEW YEARS OF NO ELECTRICITY. PEOPLE WENT TO BED EARLY. WHICH MIGHT HAVE A BEARING ON THE POPULATION EXPLOSION THAT HAPPENED OUT HERE IN THE '50'S. SHIRLEY WAS TRULY IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME. THEN HE HELPED THINGS ALONG BY DONATING THE LAND THAT THE ORIGINAL WILLIAM FLOYD SCHOOL WAS BUILT ON . HE MIGHT BE THE ONLY PERSON WHO EVER HAD A TOWN NAMED FOR HIM WHILE HE WAS ALIVE. ON JULY 2, 1952 THE FIRST POSTMARK SAYING SHIRLEY NY WAS STAMPED. SHIRLEY HAD HIS FANS AND HIS ENEMIES ..>PROBABLY NO WORSE ENEMIES, THAN THOSE IN MASTIC WHO FOUGHT WITH HIM TO KEEP THE RAIL ROAD STATION THERE. IN THE END THERE WAS A LITTLE BRICK BUILDING SITTING WHERE F. J. QUINBY ENVISIONED A GRAND RAIL STATION IN 1910. THE LITTLE VICTORIAN AGE MASTIC STATION THAT WON THE PRIZE FOR HOLIDAY DECORATIONS IN 1959 WAS BULLDOZED SOON AFTER.
From William Shirley
Governor Dinwiddie at the Instance of Colonel Washington having referred to me concerning the right of Command, between him and Capt. Dagworthy, and desiring that I would determine it, I do therefore give it as my Opinion that Capt. Dagworthy who now acts under a Commission from the Governor of the Province of Maryland, and where there are no regular Troops join’d, can only take Rank as Provincial Captain and of Course is under the Command of all Provincial Field Officers, and in case it shall happen, that Col. Washington and Capt. Dagworthy should join at Fort Cumberland. It is my Orders that Colonel Washington should take the Command.1
1 . One of GW’s main purposes in going to Boston was to persuade Governor Shirley as the senior officer of the British forces in America to put an end to what GW considered the outrageous pretensions of Capt. John Dagworthy of the Maryland forces. Now that he had in writing Shirley’s instructions in the matter, GW henceforth would be able to go to Fort Cumberland without running the risk of Dagworthy’s claiming superior rank to the provincial colonel’s by virtue of a putative royal commission as captain in the British army. That there be no further misunderstanding about this, Shirley wrote on 5 Mar. to Dagworthy’s superior, Gov. Horatio Sharpe: “I must desire that Capt. Dagworthy may be removed from Fort Cumberland or acquainted that if he remains there, he must put himself under the Command of Colonel Washington” ( Browne, Sharpe Correspondence description begins William Hand Browne, ed. Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe . 3 vols. Archives of Maryland , vols. 6, 9, and 14. Baltimore, 1888–95. description ends , 1:347–48). For information about GW’s differences with Dagworthy, see particularly Adam Stephen to GW, 4 Oct. 1755, n.6.
William Shirley (1694 - 1771)
William Shirley (b. 02 Dec 1694 Preston, Sussex – d. 24 Mar 1771),  was a British colonial administrator. He was the longest-serving governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay (1741–49 & 1753–56), and Governor of the Bahamas (1760–68). He is best known for his role in organizing the 1745 Siege of Louisbourg during King George's War, and for his role in military affairs during the French and Indian War. He spent most of his years in the colonial administration of North America working to defeat New France, but his lack of formal military training led to political difficulties and his eventual downfall. 
- William Shirley (1667–1701), London merchant,
- and Elizabeth, daughter of John Godman of Ote Hall, Wivelsfield, Sussex, (dspm. 1718). 
His father died when he was very young, leaving William with relatively little property. He attended the Merchant Taylors' School in London and matriculated Pembroke College, Cambridge as a pensioner in 1710, graduating BA in 1715. He entered the Inner Temple in 1714 and was called to the bar in London 20 July 1720.
He married Frances Barker on 6 Nov 1718 at St. Anne's, Westminster, London.  She was the daughter of Francis Barker.  In 1731, the couple with their seven children emigrated to Boston. They later had two more children.
Shirley carried a letter of introduction from the Duke of Newcastle to the Bay Colony's royal governor, Jonathan Belcher (Harvard, 1699), who recommended his admission to the Massachusetts bar. Shirley established a law practice, was appointed an intern judge, and the following year, became advocate general. In 1741, the Duke of Newcastle named Shirley royal governor, a position he held until 1756. 
Politically connected, Shirley began his career in Massachusetts as advocate general in the admiralty court, and quickly became an opponent of Governor Jonathan Belcher. He joined with Belcher's other political enemies to bring about Belcher's recall, and was appointed Governor of Massachusetts Bay in Belcher's place. He successfully quieted political divisions within the province, and was able to bring about united action against New France when King George's War began in 1744. The successful Siege of Louisbourg, which Shirley had a major role in organizing, was one of the high points of his administration. 
After King George's War, Shirley became mired in disputes over funding and accounting for the war effort, and returned to England in 1749 to deal with political and legal matters arising from those disputes. He was then assigned to a commission established by Great Britain and France to determine the colonial borders in North America. His hard-line approach to these negotiations contributed to their failure, and he returned to Massachusetts in 1753. 
Military matters again dominated Shirley's remaining years in Massachusetts, with the French and Indian War beginning in 1754. He led a military expedition to reinforce Fort Oswego in 1755, and became Commander-in-Chief, North America when General Edward Braddock died. His difficulties in organizing expeditions in 1755 and 1756 were compounded by political disputes with New York politicians, and over military matters with Indian agent Sir William Johnson. These disagreements led to his recall in 1757 as both Commander-in-Chief and as governor. In his later years he served as governor of the Bahamas, before returning to Massachusetts, where he died,  at Roxbury. 
His second wife was a French woman, who was also the dau. of his landlord. 
Timeline of Shirley
Our town was part of the territory granted to Dean Winthrop, son of Governor Winthrop, which was named Groton in honor of his former home, Groton England.
The first mills and farms were established along the Squannacook River and the Mulpus Brook.
Thirty-three petitioners from the part of Groton south and west of the Squannacook and Nashua Rivers asked to be set off from the town and allowed to build their own meetinghouse. For more information, click here
The first mills were built on the Catacunemaug in the southern part of the area.
The General Court of Massachusetts incorporated the territory as a district and named it after Colonial Governor William Shirley.
The first small wooden meetinghouse was built near Parker Road, on Green Lane.
It was voted to hold school for three months in private homes.
For further information on early Shirley schools, click here.
For further information on all Shirley school building projects, click here.
The southern border of Shirley was moved further south and Stow Leg was added to the town. The Historical Society has a file of information on Stow Leg
The First Parish Meetinghouse was erected in the middle of the Town Common.
1775, April 19
Eighty Shirley men marched to the aid of their country men in Lexington, Concord, and Cambridge. Twenty-two of them soon enlisted in the Continental Army. To find their names, click here.
1775, August 23
A general act was passed in which all districts became towns
First tax list shows men who paid poll tax and real estate tax – contact Museum for a copy.
Shaker Mother Ann Lee visited the Wilds family in Shirley.
Some Shirley men joined Shay in his protest of taxes assessed by the new government.
The Shirley Shaker Community was formally established. (It lasted till 1908.)
Some Groton farms east of the Nashua River and south of the Nonacoicus Brook were made part of Shirley. Further information is available at the SHS Museum.
The first Shirley Post Office opened in the Center.
Shirley sent its quota of troops to help defend our seaboard.
The Universalists erected a building on the corner of Harvard and Lancaster Roads
The small brick Congregational Church was built on Parker Road
Shirley Village Post Office opened.
Fredonia Mill was erected on the Catacunemaug
A workhouse for the poor and homeless was built on farmland in North Shirley.
The Fitchburg Railroad line opened, bringing new opportunities to Shirley Village.
Bounds between Shirley and Lunenburg were adjusted.
Construction was begun on a new Townhouse to be used for town meetings, offices, lectures, school classes, and entertainments. It was opened in 1848. For information the development of Shirley Center, click here.
Bounds between Shirley and Lunenburg were adjusted again, See SHS files for details .
Shirley’s last one room schoolhouse was built, in District Eight, to help educate the influx of factory worker families who were settling in the Village area. This building is periodically opened for visitors.
The Village Cemetery opened on Harvard Road.
The Shakers built the factory later to be known as Samson Cordage Works.
A large wooden Congregational Church was erected on what was to be named Church Street.
A Baptist church was erected on Chapel Street. It would remain active till 1937.
The workhouse was discontinued and paupers were sent to county institutions.
The grammar school building was erected on Lancaster Road. It was later used for Shirley High School, and later as a Police Station and Municipal Building. Old photos are at the Museum.
The town voted to support the families of those men who would enlist in the war against the rebels. One hundred thirty-eight Shirley men eventually served in the Civil War. For a list of their names, click here.
Comrades of the Grand Army of the Republic began the custom of scattering flowers on the graves of departed soldiers.
Norman Munson moved the first Universalist church building to Leominster Road and renovated it to serve as a Village Hall. A new Universalist Church was built at the original location and is the current United Church of Shirley building.
C.A. Edgarton and Sons opened a factory on Leominster Road to produce webbing for suspenders and garters. Around 1900 – it became known as the President Suspender Company. About 1930 – George Frost Belt Company merged with the Suspender Company. In the early 1960’s the President name was dropped and it was just George Frost Company. In 1988 – AMPAC bought the All Star sporting goods line from George Frost. In 1996 – AMPAC bought the George Frost building and rented out portions to other businesses.
The Queen Anne style Fire Station was built on the corner of Lancaster and Leominster Roads.
The Richardson Romanesque style Hazen Memorial Library was built on Lancaster Road.
Episcopal Trinity Chapel opened on Center Road. There is more information on Trinity Chapel at the Historical Society.
Shirley celebrated her 150th Anniversary with an Old Home Week. Compare that to the 250th Celebrations.
St. Anthony’s Catholic Church was erected on Phoenix Street.
The Shirley Shaker Village had closed and the State of Massachusetts bought the property to be used as an Industrial School for Boys.
The United States government leased land in southeast Shirley for the establishment of a military base. Seventy-six Shirley men served in World War I.
Phoenix Spring Beverage Company founded
The Universalist and Congregational church groups became the Federated Church of Shirley. In 1928 they incorporated as the United Church of Shirley, using the building at the corner of Lancaster and Harvard Roads. There is more information on the history of the United Church at the Historical Society.
The Center School was built on Parker Road. It had three rooms until it was remodeled in 1974 to adapt the building to two Kindergarten classes.
The Lura A. White School was built on Lancaster Road. To learn about Miss Lura A. White herself, click here.
The War Memorial Building was erected on Church Street, at the site of the former Congregational Church.
First Parish Meetinghouse no longer had a congregation, but became an historic site.
Over three hundred Shirley men and women served in World War II.
Shirley Cooperative Bank erected a small brick building in Shirley Village.
A one story addition, including gym and cafeteria, was put on the Lura A. White School.
A new Post Office building was erected in Shirley Village.
A New Fire Station was erected on Leominster Road.
Another addition was put on Lura A. White School.
The State of Massachusetts opened a prerelease correctional facility at the old Shaker site
Shirley Historical Commission and Shirley Center Historic District Commission were formed
The Shirley Shaker Village became a National Historic Register Site.
Fredonian Park opened. For a guide to that Park, click here.
Shirley held its first All Town Hoe Down
Shirley Historical Society Museum was erected. For more info, click here.
Shirley voters approved their first Master Plan
Shirley Center was listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
Samson Cordage discontinued production at its Shirley plant. Buildings were re-used by many other small businesses. There is more information on the business at the SHS Museum.
George Frost discontinued manufacturing in its oldest structures. Buildings were reused by other small businesses. There is more information on the business at the SHS Museum.
Opening of Mystical Maze Playground at Benjamin Hill
Opening of Shaker Meadows – Elderly Housing on Harvard Road
A medium security facility was added to the state prison on Shaker property.
St. Anthony’s Church was destroyed by fire, later to be rebuilt in a new design
There is more information on St. Anthony’s at the Historical Society.
Fort Devens was decommissioned.
A new Police Station was built on Devens property.
The new Hazen Library opened on Devens property.
A new Town Highway Garage / Fire Department Substation was built on Great Road.
A maximum security facility was added to the prison.
The new Municipal Offices opened on Devens property.
Voters approved construction of a new middle school.
Shirley was named the Most Historic Small Town in the nation by ePodunk.com
Many celebrations were held for the 250th Anniversary Year
The town received a grant to purchase the Longley Farm for Conservation purposes
Shirley Middle School opened
Shirley Historical Society received a $500,000 grant to improve buildings at the Shirley Shaker Village
Voters approved a proposal to create an Ayer-Shirley School District
William Shirley - History
William Shirley 1
Born to a London merchant, Shirley was to be trained as a lawyer. He came to Massachusetts in 1731 to seek his fortune. In Boston, he started a law practice. A barrister who desires to be successful in court, soon learns to be tactful when it comes to handling litigants and court officials this trait served him well in the political field. At some point he was to receive an appointment as "The Surveyor of the King's Wood." This appointment involved considerable travel and he was to become quite knowledgeable about New England and its resources. In 1741, he was commissioned to succeed Belcher as the Royal Governor of Massachusetts. In this capacity, Shirley was to carry out successful and popular reforms, including "the establishment of a sound currency system." "He gained the confidence and goodwill of the Colonials and had great influence among them."2
Shirley was known for his antipathy towards the French, particularly those located in Nova Scotia: the Acadians.3 His feelings on this subject, I suppose, were established as he made his rounds as the King's Surveyor. He would have had to carry out inventories of the great trees to be found on the frontiers as then existed: the back lands of current day Maine and New Hampshire. The frontiersmen would have continuously expressed their fear, dread and hate that they, understandably, had of the French. (The butchery that was carried out by the French led Indians from Quebec is legendary though, by the 1740s, the worst of it was over.) So, too, as a "merchant governor" Shirley could see what the predatory practices of certain French seamen working out of Louisbourg were doing to shipping costs. For these reasons, and for the general thirst for military adventure, Shirley was to become "the chief factor in inducing the Colonies to attack Louisbourg" in 1745, a subject which I treat in my history.
To Parkman: Shirley "discharged his duties with both tact and talent. He was able, sanguine, and a sincere well-wisher to the province, though gnarled by an insatiable hunger for distinction. He thought himself a born strategist . "4 To McLennan: Shirley was industrious and a voluminous, persuasive, and clear writer undismayed by responsibility and to these solid qualities had a taste for military strategy.5 To Brebner: "For fifteen years he was the most vigorous, ambitious, and active English governor in America . "6 Further, Brebner wrote: ". the Board of Trade fell into the habit of treating Shirley as the authority on most of their American problems, and Mascarene and his Council committed themselves to his care. Shirley, as he told Newcastle in 1747, regarded the Nova Scotian province as the most important to the Crown of any upon this Continent . "7
Shirley owed much to his wife, Lady Frances she had "high connections." The Shirleys had nine children. Lady Frances was to die in 1746, at the age 54. Shirley was, however, to carry on in the same energetic fashion as usual. On September 11th, 1749, Shirley was to take a vessel for England having had received an appointment to serve on the Boundaries Commission, struck so that France and England might determine where New England left off and New France started.8 Thus, Shirley was to be absent from his post at Massachusetts for a period of time. On August 7th, 1753 Shirley arrived back at Boston and was making the rounds with a new wife. "While on his mission in France he secretly married a young Roman Catholic, the daughter of his landlord, a connection which proved to him the source of much mortification and regret."9
During the momentous year of 1755, when the English determined to hit the French in four places at once, Shirley was to head up an attack on the French posts located in an area we now know as upstate New York he failed in achieving his objectives. (Only Monckton, put in charge of the expedition against Fort Beausejour, Acadia, was to achieve success.) Thus, with the close of 1755 there was a lot of blame to past around.10 Shirley was relieved of his gubernatorial duties in 1756 and made to return to England. After enquiries were made, Shirley was exonerated and given a high level command in the army. In 1761, Shirley was appointed as the Governor of the Bahamas. Shirley's son took over his father's position in the Bahamas in 1769 and with that Shirley went into retirement. He settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts were it is said he built a large house. On March 24th, 1771, the seventy-seven year old William Shirley, died.
 See the further Portrait of Shirley which we have scanned in.
 See Dr. Webster's The Forts of Chignecto where there is a brief write up on Shirley.
 As quoted by Webster, Shirley was of the view that "the most obnoxious inhabitants of Nova Scotia" ought to be forcible removed a plan that was to be carried out by Lawrence beginning in 1755.
 A Half Century of Conflict (vol. 2), pp. 66.
 New England's Outpost , p. 109.
 The boundary question was never to be sorted out between the two countries, and, after 1763, the question became moot, at least as between France and England.
 Winsor's Memorial History of Boston 1882, vol 2., p. 62.
 It was on April 14th, 1755 that the governors of the British colonies (Dinwiddle of Virginia Dobbs of North Carolina Morris of Pennsylvania Sharpe of Maryland Delancy of New York and Shirley of Massachusetts) met at Alexandria on the Potomac (known in history as the Council at Alexandria ). [Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe (vol. 1), pp. 198-201.] The French were to be attacked, notwithstanding that the two countries were at peace, at four points at once: General Braddock and his regulars were to attack Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh) Shirley against Fort Niagara Colonel William Johnson, Crown Point and Colonel Monckton, Acadia. Shirley and Johnson simply did not achieve their objectives. As for Braddock: on July 9, 1755, he and his troops were ambushed and sustained a terrible defeat just seven miles before arriving at their objective, Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh) Braddock lost his life.