In 1977 when I seriously started searching for my Shirkey family ancestry, I sent out a mailing to all the Shirkeys I could find in telephone directories from all over the US. Now I think how the Internet would save me time and trips to the detroit Public Library copying all that information and how email saves on time and postage.
The responses I got in return, over 200 in number, was enlightening. I found that there are likely a large number of different origins of the family Shirkey: Scot, Irish, French and German or Swiss. Additionally I found that my heritage lies in the name SHARKEY and not Shirkey. You will find me over on the Sharkey GenForum page quite often.
I have collected a good deal of information on several of the Shirkey lines and have bits and pieces on others.
The following are the Shirkey lines which MAY be distinct and on which I have at least some information.
1. (my line) The line descending from Patrick Sharkey of Botetourt Co. VA. Patrick was of Presbyterian Scots-Irish descent. Patrick and his wife Anne had seven children: James who married Elizabeth Poage and lived in VA, Ann who married Adam Wood, Elizabeth who married Adam Peck and settled in the Knoxville area of TN, Nicholas who married Sarah Woods and lived in VA, John who married Jane George and eventually settled in MS, Mary who married Peter Wiley and settled in GA, and Patrick who married Polly (Mary) Rhoades and eventually moved to MS with his brother John.
2. The line descending from Gideon (Killean) Shirkey of Rockingham Co., VA. This family may have been from the border area around Germany, Switzerland and France and may have had the last name spelling of Sherger, Scherfer etc. The predominant religion was of the Church of the Brethren. Gideon and his wife Frances may have had 15 or more children including: Judith, Joshua, John who married Mary Beam, Joseph, Elizabeth who married Thomas Topping, Anna who married Daniel Angst (Ongst), Michael, Andrew who married Martha (Patsey) Raines, David who married Catherine Bowman Rhodes, Gideon who married Mary and a daughter and two sons for whom I have no names. Many of this family went West into and through OH and many on to MO.
3. The line(s) descending from French Canadians named Chartier (see Chartier and Sharkey GenForum boards). Many of these Shirkey families settled in MI and in NY.
4. The line of Thomas Shirkey in WV and OH. Thomas and his wife Sarah Jefferson had a son David who married Mary (Polly) Samuels and they had perhaps another son John and a daughter Sally who married Jonathan Jarret.
5.a and 5.b A WV Shirkey line descending from Robert Shirkey (his father may have been William) and another WV line descending from Fred Shirkey who married Mary Depriest. These lines may or may not connect and may or may not connect to one of the aforementioned lines.
6. A Shirkie line from Scotland and Shirkieville, IN that had the following names in the earliest generation for which I have information: John (d. in Danville, IL), Ed, Hugh, Stewart, and Margaret who married an Anderson.
7. An Irish Shirkey line, descending from Joe Shirkey, and coming to the US in the mid-1800s.
8. A Shirkey line from PA, mid-1800s, that descends from Bernard Shirkey or Shorkey.
I received several other responses with very incomplete information which did not clearly fit with these other lines.
If you connect to any of these lines I would be glad to provide to you what information I have.
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