Keep in mind that there are a couple of potential sources of error on the census enumerations. The more common type that we deal with are transcription errors in published or online indices. Your communication with the other researcher seems to have resolved that issue.
The second possibility of course is that the John Shirley enumerated in TN was *actually* a Shipley--an enumerator error. I have an obituary for one of my Shipley ancestors whose name was misspelled "Shirley" and have seen this confusion in official records elsewhere.
IF John Shirley were actually a Shipley, it would take research on other censuses and other types of documents to confirm that error. Thankfully this is a relatively uncommon type of error, but don't overlook this possibility!
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