A surname of England and Ireland, in England from the English place name Shelley (Essex, Suffolk, Yorkshire WR, Northumberland); in Ireland a variant of SHALLOW. (Cottle, MacLysaght). Traced by Guppy in Staffordshire and by Spiegelhalter in Devon.



At Ferryland Surrogate Court Records: October 17, 1816 - Shelley, Walter - a former resident of Port Law, Waterford, now boatkeeper in Ferryland, owed money to Henry Holdsworth and Co. Witness: Gorman, Richard.
  Ferryland Supreme Court Records - October 2, 1827, Shelly, Walter - Sued: Kearron, Michael.
  Ferryland Supreme Court Records - October 16, 1833, Shelly, Walter - Member of Grand Jury.
At Caplin Bay: Southern District 1825 - 1888, Volume 1 - Page 81: December 5, 1828 - Walter Shelley of Caplin Bay, but now of St. John's, sold his plantation on the southwest side of Caplin Bay to Benjamin Sweetland. This land was bounded by the property of John Power and Edward MacNamara, the Nash Plantation, and the road to Ferryland.
  Royal Gazette - February 20, 1838 - Shelley, Walter - Member of Board of Commission for Roads and Bridges from Bay Bulls to Cape Broyle.
Family History: Early references to this surname seem to indicate that Walter Shelley lived at Ferryland. However, the land deed of 1828 indicates that Walter Shelley was from Caplin Bay, "but now of Saint John's". It appears that he may have returned to the area again, since a court entry in 1833, shows a Walter Shelly as a member of the Grand Jury at Ferryland. Although the surname occurs later in some parish records, there is no evidence to link these individuals to Walter Shelley. The 1838 reference to a Walter Shelley as a member of the Board of Commission for Roads and Bridges may refer to the same individual since members were generally residents of their appointed district.

In 1840, the surname surfaced again at Ferryland, where Ellen Shelly sued Timothy Kavanagh of Caplin Bay for 10 pounds, claiming that amount was owed to her husband, Walter. However, it appears that Walter and Ellen were living at St. John's by that time. In that same year, the Journal of the House of Assembly of Newfoundland recorded that a Walter Shelly had set up an accommodation at Salmonier, St. Mary's Bay, to cater to people travelling to and from Placentia. It may be just coincidence, but Walter's wife's name was Ellen. Newspapers reported that Ellen Shelly died there in 1856. In 1860, the newspapers reported that Walter Shelley had died, but the death notice did not give the death location. It is hard to tell if this was the Walter Shelley of Ferryland District, and later on Placentia-St. Mary's District, since research indicates that the forename Walter is a traditional forename of the Shelly clan.

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