Located in the ceremonial county of Derbyshire, Shirley is 4½ miles SE by S from Ashbourne. The name comes from either Scyrle or Sirelea meaning a clear place or pasture.
The 14th century church dedicated to St. Michael had the north aisle and tower built in 1842 but the poorly constructed tower had to be rebuilt in 1861. A tympanum stone, embedded in a wall suggests an earlier building. In 2012 the south aisle was refurbished and can be used for community events.
Sewallis's son Fulcher fitz Sewallis was the first to hold land at Shirley and his son, Sewallis de Shirley was the first to use the name Shirley. Between 1220 and 1254 the village was the principal seat of the Shirley family but by 1468 they had decamped to Staunton Harold.
Although inextricably linked, the Shirley village archive is about the village of Shirley rather than just the family. The Shirley Asscociation specialise in that.
There's a fair amount of supporting documentation both in the archive or linked to on the web. To see all the various categories, click the List link at the top of the page. You can also do keyword searches of the archive.
The archive is in its early stages with collecting information being the main, and dull, activity. Once done, I'll start linking it all together.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'm interested in any information you may have about the village. I don't do any commissioned research unless you have ridiculously large amounts of money to give me.
ANOTHER FIRE AT SHIRLEY.— A youth named James Ault was brought up in custody on suspicion of setting fire to a stack of straw belonging to Mr. P. J. Lemon at Shirley. The evidence was not sufficient to support a charge of arson and the prisoner was liberated. This is the third fire that has occurred at Shirley within the last few months.
"District News." Derby Mercury 17 Dec. 1879. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 11 May 2016. URL http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/3NV7u2 Gale Document Number: GALE|BA3202778033
[Before J. Wright and R. H. Frank, Esqrs.]