Shirley Meeting July 1984
By Betty Shirley
What a surprise this event was to me!
I made mention in the April 1984 issue of the Shirley NEWS that I would be in the Winchester area to do some research and if anyone would like to meet me at Aiken's Steak House, I would show them the photos of the Shirley places I had just visited over in England, etc. You know... kind of a show and tell. I gave the phone number of the restaurant and the name of the gal to speak to about adding their name for dinner. I thought we might have 10 people show up and we'd sit around a table and I would show my pictures and we'd just have a casual evening chit chatting. That was the plan!
I arrived in Winchester July 21st, and thought I had better call and see how many was going to join us at Aiken's Steak House that night. Boy... am I glad I called. The gal told me about 100 people were coming. I about passed out. I could not believe my ears. I began to panic. Thank goodness I had slides as well as my photo album. I called and found a project and screen to rent. I began to jot down notes of how I should proceed with the evening after dinner. It all worked out fine, but was I surprised!!!
Many of those attending descended from branch #26, 27 and 28. That is the area those branches came from, and there are those who still live in the area. We did meet some from the Walter #19 branch, and I met Captain John and Evelyn Shirley. He descended from branch #15 John Ambrose Shirley. This meeting was just the beginning of a long friendship with John and Evelyn. They went to England with me more than once, to Australia and New Zealand and attended many Shirley Conventions in the states. They have been guests in our home when they traveled into our area a few of times. I have made so many friends and stayed in their homes on other trips back to the various areas. I have been blessed to know so many nice SHIRLEYS. I also get letters how the friendships made with others at the meetings and conventions carry over to not only corresponding with one another but also visiting one another. That is so great!
Evelyn Shirley, wife of Edward, drove me around to several cemeteries so I could copy info and take photos of head stones and the churches, etc. I enjoyed visiting the places I have heard of from descendants. Now I know where the places are and what they look like. Very interesting. Thank you Evelyn for taking your time to show me around.
Here are a photos of this meeting.