(f) This name was used sporadically in Britain
after the publication of Charlotte Bronte’s novel, Shirley,
in 1849. It was not until 1934, however, when Shirley
Temple became internationally famous as a child film-
star, that the name became a favourite in all English-
speaking countries. It had begun to be popular in the
U.S.A. in the 1920’s for reasons that are not clear, but
it was possibly transferred from a surname. Apart from being a
surname, Shirley is also a placename in England.
Scottish parents remained faithful to the name once they
had decided to adopt it in the 1930’s. In 1935 they made
it the 43rd most frequently used name in Scotland. It
became far more popular before falling away slightly to
52nd place in 1958. A count made in 1975 shows that it is still
being quietly used.
To Scottish Christian Names