Shirley Family History

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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

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Shirley Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Shirley name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Shirley. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • Norway


  • Sweden


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Shirley Family Origin

Where is the Shirley family from?

Shirley Family Occupations

What did your Shirley ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, Farmer, Farmer Son and Laborer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Shirley. A less common occupation for the Shirley family was Lumberman. The most common Shirley occupation in Canada was Farmer. 44% of Shirley's were Farmers.

View Census data for Shirley | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Farmer Son

  • Laborer

  • Lumberman


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Shirley ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Shirley Historical Records

What Shirley family records will you find?

Census Record

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 1881 Canadian census records for Shirley

Passenger List

There are 13,000 immigration records available for the last name Shirley. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Shirley immigration records

Draft Card

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.

Shirley Life Expectancy

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

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Shirley ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Shirley Family Ancestors

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