When James Henry Shelley was born on 16 September 1854, in Tippah, Mississippi, United States, his father, John Ellis Shelley, was 22 and his mother, Nancy Catherine Bieber, was 22. He married Martha Caroline Ray on 10 January 1878, in Hardeman, Tennessee, United States. They were the parents of at least 6 sons and 7 daughters. He lived in Mississippi, United States in 1870 and Hardeman, Tennessee, United States for about 20 years. He died on 5 May 1938, in Rogers Springs, Hardeman, Tennessee, United States, at the age of 83, and was buried in Rogers Springs, Hardeman, Tennessee, United States.
English: habitational name from any of the three places called Shelley (Essex, Suffolk, Yorkshire) or from Shelley Plain in Crawley (Sussex). The placenames all derive from Old English scelf ‘rock, ledge, shelf’ + lēah ‘woodland clearing’.
Irish (Laois): shortened Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Sealbhaigh ‘descendant of Sealbhach’, a byname from the adjective sealbhach ‘having possessions, wealthy’.