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Shirley Family History

Shirley Name Meaning

English: habitational name from any of various places, for example in Derbyshire, Hampshire, Surrey, and the West Midlands, all so called from Old English scir ‘bright’ + leah ‘wood’, ‘clearing’.

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


Similar surnames: Shipley, Shelley, Harley, Thorley, Hurley, Chipley, Sharpley, Smitley

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 Shirley family from?

You can see how Shirley families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Shirley family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Shirley families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 25 Shirley families living in Kentucky. This was about 11% of all the recorded Shirley's in the USA. Kentucky had the highest population of Shirley families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Shirley surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Shirley ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Shirley. 21% of Shirley men worked as a Farmer and 9% of Shirley women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Shirley were Truck Driver and Waitress.

View Census data for Shirley | 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
    21%
  • Laborer
    17%
  • Salesman
    5%
  • Truck Driver
    3%

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Housewife
    9%
  • Teacher
    7%
  • Housekeeper
    7%
  • Waitress
    6%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Shirley family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 213,000 census records available for the last name Shirley. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Shirley census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Shirley

Passenger Lists

There are 13,000 immigration records available for the last name Shirley. 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 Shirley immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 33,000 military records available for the last name Shirley. For the veterans among your Shirley ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Shirley military records

You've only scratched the surface of Shirley family history.

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What is the average Shirley lifespan?

Between 1942 and 2004, in the United States, Shirley life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2001. The average life expectancy for Shirley in 1942 was 51, and 72 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Shirley

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