Meaning and Origin of: Shirley

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First name origins & meanings:

  • English : Country meadow

First name variations

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English : habitational name from any of various places, for example in Derbyshire, Hampshire, Surrey, and the West Midlands, all so called from Old English scīr ‘bright’ + lēah ‘wood’, ‘clearing’.
  • William Shirley (1694–1771) was born in Sussex, England, and came to MA in 1731. He rose in the colonial service, was appointed governor in 1741, and was responsible for the British capture of the French fortress of Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island, in 1745.