The Shelley Name Website
Welcome to the Shelley Name Website. Our name is not that common (except possibly as a first name); but it is not that rare either. There are prominent Shelley actors, artists, rock musicians, and the odd computer game designer, ice skating champion, and professional wrestler around today, as well as thousands of Shelleys in less glamorized occupations and activities. Shelley is really a polyglot name today.
The name does have an origin and a history. It started in England and at specific locations within England and spread, as migrations started, first to America and then to Australia and elsewhere where English-speaking people went.
There is not much to see of this journey today. If I were to take you on a tour of Shelley sites, I should first mark the words of the poet Shelley:
"Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away."
My historical tour might include:
- the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Clapham (Sussex)
- the Gladstone Pottery Museum in Stoke (Staffordshire)
- the Shelley cemetery on the Susquehanna (Pennsylvania)
- and the plaque in the Sacred Heart cemetery in Boone (Iowa).
I should lend you Rex Shelley's novel, The Shrimp People, and we should go
to see the Australian movie, Rabbit
Proof Fence. Afterwards, we might hit the
beach. For some unknown reason, there are Shelley or Shelly
beaches in Australia (three of them), South Africa, Kenya, and
Bermuda. We can take our pick.
This, as you might gather, is my personalized rambling through the Shelley history. It includes my own Shelley Sussex family history as well. It is meant more as a good read for Shelley enthusiasts like myself. Some good stories are to be found (there are links from the text to the web story page). And those tracing their roots and ancestors may find some useful pointers here.
I welcome your feedback and your queries and comments.