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Ann "Nancy" Orr Shirley
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Birth: Sep. 18, 1809, Ireland
Death: Oct. 23, 1895
Norfolk County
Massachusetts, USA

Ann Orr (nicknamed Nancy) was born on 18 Sept 1809 in the family home in the Townland of Rhee, in Aghadowey Parish, in Londonderry (near Coleraine). She married Valentine Shirley in November 1829, in Aghadowey Parish. Shortly after they married, she contracted smallpox and he nursed her through it. They had ten children: Jane, Sarah, Isabella, Elizabeth,Margaret, Alexander, George Orr Shirley, John Rogers Shirley, Alexander(named after the previous son Alexander, who died), and Mary Ann.

Their first child, Jane, was nicknamed Jennie, after Jennie Adams, wife of Ann's brother William. Jane (Jennie) was born 8 May 1831. Their son John Rogers Shirley was named after a local man who helped the family survive the potato famine. Two boys were named Alexander, after Valentine's father (the first died). Ann Orr Shirley had her children over a 24-year period, between 1831 and 1855.

Valentine was a linen weaver and had his loom in the home. Ann taught her daughters to sew and they made fine men's linen shirts. The shirts were sold in Coleraine and were so beautifully made that they won premiums (extra money) for their fine quality.

Some of Valentine's nieces and nephews had gone to Philadelphia and found work, so in 1857, Isabella sailed for America. She found work as a cook for an old Philadelphia family, saved money, and sent for her sister Jane. Each child helped others come. Next came Elizabeth, then Margaret,then George (arriving 21 Dec 1869), then John. Son Alexander arrived with his father (Valentine) in 1870. Next came Mary Ann with her mother. Sarah had married and came much later.

Ann and Valentine moved from Pennsylvania to Quincy, Massachusetts, where they lived on Filbert St. Sons George and Alexander were in the stone-cutting trade. When they two sons married, Ann and Valentine went back to Pennsylvania, but they liked Quincy better and returned there. Ann made quilts and braided mats, which she sold or gave away. Her motto was "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." Ann loved to talk, and George was very quiet.

Ann and Valentine enjoyed good health until 1895. Ann died of cancer on 23 Oct 1895, at age 86. Valentine is said to have taken to his bed the day she died; he died on 11 Dec, at age 92.

Obituary, Quincy Daily Ledger, October 24, 1895
Mrs. Ann Shirley, one of the oldest ladies in Quincy, died at her residence at West Quincy Wednesday evening, aged 86 years. Mrs. Shirely (sic) was the wife of Mr. Valentine Shirley the second oldest citizen of Quincy and Mr. and Mrs. Shirley were the oldest couple in the city. She leaves beside her husband, nine children: six daughters and three sons,two of the latter residing in Quincy. She also has 69 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.

Much is from a family history prepared in 1940 by Annie Agnes Shirley, Ann and Valentine's granddaughter (George Orr Shirley's daughter). 
Family links: 
  Paul Orr (1764 - ____)
  Isabelle Boyd Orr (1765 - 1855)
  George Valentine Shirley (1804 - 1895)*
  George Orr Shirley (1847 - 1935)*
  Alexander Shirley (1853 - 1923)*
  Mary Ann Shirley Quigg (1855 - 1941)*
  Margaret Shirley Paul (1856 - 1930)*
  James Orr (1798 - 1870)*
  William Orr (1803 - 1878)*
  George Orr (1805 - 1889)*
  Ann Orr Shirley (1809 - 1895)
  Isabella Orr Campbell (1819 - 1864)*
*Calculated relationship
Mount Wollaston Cemetery
Norfolk County
Massachusetts, USA
Created by: Elaine Orr
Record added: Sep 02, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 75856004
Ann Nancy <i>Orr</i> Shirley
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