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 Valentine Shirley

Valentine Shirley

Death 11 Dec 1895 (aged 91)
Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 75856157 · View Source
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Valentine Shirley was so named because he was born in St. Valentine's Day in 1804, the son of Alexander Shirley and Rebecca Hogshaw. In 1954, the Shirley homestead was still standing in the Townland of Rhee in Aghadowey Parish, near Coleraine, in Londerry. The Shirley family was of English ancestry.

Valentine married Ann Orr in November 1829, and they had 10 children. He was a linen weaver and had his loom in the home. Daughter Jane joined him in this, but eventually steam-operated weaving machines put the home looms out of business. Valentine Shirley of Aghadowey is listed inGriffiths Valuation 1848-1864.

Some of Valentine's nieces and nephews had gone to Philadelphia(actually, Lehigh County, PA) and found work, so in 1857, daughter Isabella sailed for America. Eventually, all of the children and their parents came. Valentine and son Alexander arrived in 1870.

Valentine and Ann moved from Pennsylvania to Quincy, where sons George and Alexander were in the stone-cutting trade. When the two sons married, Ann and Valentine went back to Pennsylvania, but they liked Quincy better and returned. Valentine was very quiet. He said, "Before you speak, put your words in your hand and look at them. If they don't suit, put them back in your mouth." He told his children never to trust anyone until the person had proved themself worthy of their trust. In America, Valentine made cellars, cut wood and made baskets from willow rods.

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. In Mount Wollaston Cemetery, sons George and Roger carved their headstone, which is an obelisk about 5 feet tall. It is near an old canon.

Obituary from Quincy Daily Ledger, Thursday, December 12, 1895
He Had Nearly One Hundred Descendants Living
Mr. Valentine Shirley, the oldest citizen in Quincy, died Wednesday evening of old age in his 92nd year. Mr. Shirley was born in the northern part of Ireland in 1804, and came to this country in 1870. He settled in Pennsylvania where he remained for six years when he came to Quincy,where he has been since resided.

In the old country Mr. Shirley followed the trade of a weaver but has followed no steady occupation for some years, although being unusually smart for one of his age, and did many things about the house, as he and his wife kept house up to the time of her death last October. In 1891 he accidentally broke his leg, which however mended as readily as if he were a young man. Mr. Shirley came from a family of fourteen, and his mother lived to be 103 years of age.

Mr. Shirley married in 1829 the fruit of this union being nine children, six daughters and three sons. Of this family two sons reside in Quincy,one daughter in Kansas and the others in
Pennsylvania. He also had 69 grandchildren and 18 great grand children. Mr. Shirley's wife died last October and a queer coincident with these two deaths is that they both died upon the same day of the week and practically at the same hour.

Much is from a family history prepared in 1940 by Annie Agnes Shirley, Ann and Valentine's granddaughter (George Orr Shirley's daughter).

Family Members






  • Created by: Elaine Orr
  • Added: 2 Sep 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 75856157
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Valentine Shirley (14 Feb 1804–11 Dec 1895), Find A Grave Memorial no. 75856157, citing Mount Wollaston Cemetery, Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Elaine Orr (contributor 47052978) .