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Shelley Family History

Shelley Name Meaning

English: habitational name from any of the three places called Shelley (Essex Suffolk Yorkshire) or from Shelley Plain in Crawley (Sussex). The placenames all derive from Old English scelf ‘rock ledge shelf’ + lēah ‘woodland clearing’. Irish (Laois): shortened Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Sealbhaigh ‘descendant of Sealbhach’ a byname from the adjective sealbhach ‘having possessions wealthy’.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press


Similar surnames: Shepley, Selley, Smedley, Halley, Sherley, Shatley, Helle, Selle

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Shelley family from?

You can see how Shelley families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Shelley family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Shelley families were found in United Kingdom in 1891. In 1840 there were 17 Shelley families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 25% of all the recorded Shelley's in USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Shelley families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Shelley surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Shelley ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Stenographer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Shelley. 20% of Shelley men worked as a Farmer and 8% of Shelley women worked as a Stenographer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Shelley were Truck Driver and Housewife. .

View Census Data for Shelley | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1940

  • Farmer
    20%
  • Laborer
    17%
  • Salesman
    7%
  • Truck Driver
    4%

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Stenographer
    8%
  • Housekeeper
    8%
  • Maid
    7%
  • Housewife
    6%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Shelley family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 110,000 census records available for the last name Shelley. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Shelley census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Shelley

Passenger Lists

There are 8,000 immigration records available for the last name Shelley. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Shelley immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 16,000 military records available for the last name Shelley. For the veterans among your Shelley ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Shelley military records

You've only scratched the surface of Shelley family history

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What is the average Shelley lifespan?

Between 1944 and 2004, in the United States, Shelley life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1955, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Shelley in 1944 was 39, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Shelley

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