Belle Starr

Belle Starr

By Richard D. Arnott
6/12/2006 • Personalities, Wild West

Myra Maybelle Shirley, the legendary Belle Starr, was not involved in any gunfights, but she did seem fond of carrying a six-shooter, as seen in Bob Crofut's 1997 painting Bandit Queen. (Bob Crofut, Ridgefield, Conn.)
Myra Maybelle Shirley, the legendary Belle Starr, was not involved in any gunfights, but she did seem fond of carrying a six-shooter, as seen in Bob Crofut's 1997 painting Bandit Queen. (Bob Crofut, Ridgefield, Conn.)

The life of Myra Maybelle Shirley, better known as Belle Starr, has been romanticized by many writers and, of course, by Hollywood. The appeal of a ‘lovely lady’ leading thieves and rustlers has been powerful through the years, often too powerful to allow facts to spoil the stories. Many tales were published by the National Police Gazette in the 19th century, and other publications picked up on the intriguing copy. Fraudulent biographies, spiced by bogus letters and entries from Belle’s diaries, sold for 25 cents. The fascinating, often fantastic, stories led to the myth and legend of Belle Starr.

Belle Starr, according to the legend, was the ‘Bandit Queen’–a lovely lady who ruled outlaw gangs with her guns, her will and her personal favors. This amoral, amorous adventuress associated with the James boys and the Youngers. She was alleged to have borne Cole Younger’s illegitimate child. Her marriage to bandit Jim Reed was said to have been performed on horseback, not by a man of the cloth, but by another member of the gang. She has been credited with stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, cleaning out crooked poker games with her six-shooters, and galloping down city streets with pistols blazing.

After her first husband was shot down, Belle married Sam Starr and, legend has it, became the mistress of the notorious outlaw Bluford ‘Blue’ Duck. Her home was called the headquarters for the several bands of rustlers and brigands that she captained over the years. In the end, though, shotgun blasts left the ‘Petticoat Terror of the Plains’ dying in the road just a few days before her 41st birthday. Speculation on who shot her from ambush has produced several suspects, but the fact her killer was never brought to justice only adds to her legend.

Belle’s true life was one without glamour. The so-called Bandit Queen was actually an unfortunate woman hardened by her times and associates. She has been described as ‘bony and flat chested with a mean mouth; hatchet faced; gotch-toothed tart.’ In her later years, she really was a companion to known thieves and felons, but it is doubtful she ever did more than steal horses and provide a haven for fugitives.

Her father, John Shirley, was the black sheep of a well-to-do Virginia family. He moved west to Indiana, where he was married and divorced twice. His third wife was Eliza Pennington, on the Hatfield side of the feuding Hatfield and McCoy families. The Shirley family moved to southwest Missouri in 1839. John Shirley prospered raising wheat, corn, hogs and blooded horses.

Bell was probably born near Carthage, in Missouri’s Jasper County. Shirley family records, supported by the 1850 federal census data, indicate that three children were born while the family resided in Jasper County–John Allison ‘Bud’ in 1842; Myra Maybelle (or Maebelle) on February 5, 1848; and Edwin in 1850.

The next decade brought financial success and two more sons to the Shirleys. They sold their land in 1856 and moved to Carthage, the growing and developing county seat. The capital from the sale of their land was used to purchase city lots and to build a wayside inn, a tavern, a livery stable and a blacksmith shop. The businesses occupied almost an entire city block. The 1860 census estimated the worth of John Shirley’s holdings at $10,000, a significant sum in those days. He was a respected member of the community; his library was an attraction to the intelligentsia, as were Eliza’s piano and her gracious Southern manners.

Myra Belle attended the Carthage Female Academy, where she was instructed in ‘the three Rs,’ along with music and classical languages. She was a bright student. Although educated as a lady, she flaunted her status as a little rich girl. Growing up in a hotel, she always had an audience. She also loved the outdoors. She spent countless hours roaming the countryside with her older brother Bud, who taught her to be a competent rider and to handle guns. But good times in Carthage became troubled times with the advent of the Civil War.

Jasper County saw both armies pass through time and again. Residents were forced to take sides. Neighbors became bitter enemies. Irregular bands of jayhawkers and ‘Red Legs’ laid waste to Missouri communities in support of the Union. Guerrillas and bushwhackers, led by ‘Bloody Bill’ Anderson and William Clarke Quantrill, retaliated with death and destruction in Kansas. Frank and Jesse James and Cole Younger rode with these Rebel raiders.

John Shirley, like many of his neighbors from the South, admired Quantrill and was ecstatic when son Bud joined the bushwhackers. Bud, who knew the area and the people well, served admirably as a scout. He attained the rank of captain and the distinction of being much sought after by Federal troops. Young, vivacious Myra Belle most likely gleaned information from her many social contacts and passed it on to her brother.

Bud’s fate was sealed in June 1864 when the house in Sarcoxie, Mo., where he and a companion were being fed was surrounded by Federal militia. The two men bolted. Bud was killed climbing a fence, while his compatriot escaped and hastened to Carthage to inform the Shirleys of Bud’s demise. Some of Belle’s biographers have her strapping on six-guns and seeking vengeance at this point, but there is no record of such actions, and it is doubtful that a well-educated 16-year-old girl would go that route.

John Shirley’s business was ruined by the war. The death of his son was the final straw. He sold his property in Missouri, loaded his family and household goods into wagons and set out for Texas. Little is known of the Shirleys’ journey there. It is known that Texas, at that time, was a refuge for the dregs of society. The Shirley family settled near Scyene, a small settlement southeast of Dallas, on a land grant of 800 acres. The family lived in a dugout at first but soon constructed a four-room clapboard house that was, at that time and in that locale, like a mansion.

Belle waves her hat to an appreciative male audience in this highly romanticized depiction of the 'Bandit Queen.' (Library of Congress/Corbis)
Belle waves her hat to an appreciative male audience in this highly romanticized depiction of the 'Bandit Queen.' (Library of Congress/Corbis)
Most of the immigrants in Texas raised cotton, but John Shirley raised corn, sorghum, oxen, horses, milk cows and hogs. Cash was earned by trading horses and providing a blooded stud service for a fee. Myra attended a one-room school. She was older than most of the students and far ahead of them academically. Her sharp tongue made her less than popular.

These were difficult times for Southern sympathizers. The Southerners who had previously governed were disqualified from holding office, and Carpetbaggers were in control. Amnesty was granted to Federal guerrillas, but not to those of the Confederacy. The news of the day dealt largely with bank robberies and train holdups accredited to the James brothers, the Youngers and others who had ridden with Quantrill and Bloody Bill Anderson. One of these outlaw bands, seeking refuge, stayed at the Shirley house one night. Belle later stated that it was there that she became reacquainted with the first man she ever loved. His name was Jim Reed, and she had first met him back in Missouri, where the Reed and Shirley families had been friends. The romance blossomed in Texas, and Belle and Jim married in 1866.

The presence of Cole Younger at the Shirley residence has led to the fiction that he seduced Belle and she bore his illegitimate daughter. Younger admitted that he did visit the Shirleys in Texas, but in 1864, not 1866. He stated that the next time he saw Belle was at the Reed residence in Missouri in 1868. She was 6 months pregnant with her first child. Some authors insist this denial was the response of a ‘Southern gentleman,’ but a manuscript compiled by Richard Reed, younger brother of Belle’s husband, supports Younger’s story.

Many writers have portrayed Belle Shirley’s marriage to Jim Reed in a ludicrous fashion. They claim that Belle’s parents objected to the union and that the young couple eloped with a band of desperados in July 1867. One of the gang supposedly read the marriage ceremony while the couple took their vows on horseback. Actually, the Shirleys had no objection to Reed, who was not yet a wanted man. A copy of the marriage license issued to Myra Maybelle Shirley and James C. Reed in Collins County, Texas, shows that they were married on November 1, 1866, by the Reverend S.M. Williams. Jim moved into the Shirley household near Scyene and shared the farm chores. Later, he became a salesman for a Dallas saddle and bridle maker. By late 1867, though, he and Belle were living on the Reed homestead in Missouri. Early in September 1868, Belle gave birth to her first child, Rosie Lee. Belle adored the baby and referred to her as her ‘Pearl.’ The nickname stuck.

Soon after Pearl’s birth, Belle’s brother Ed Shirley was shot and killed for stealing horses. It is likely that the young mother returned to Texas for the funeral and to show off the new granddaughter. The next several months were spent with her mother-in-law back in Missouri. Since there is little documentation of Belle’s life during this period, some of her biographers have her prancing through the dance halls and saloons of Dallas. This has been refuted by a neighbor of the Reeds who recalled Belle and the baby living at the Reed household and attending church.

Jim Reed spent little time at home. Farming was not his chosen profession. He raced horses and fell in with Tom Starr, a murderous Cherokee so notorious that he was an embarrassment to the Cherokee Nation. Tom Starr’s father, James, had been heavily involved in tribal politics. The Cherokee were split into two hostile factions in 1845 when James Starr was assassinated. Son Tom swore vengeance and carried out his oath with 20-plus murders. He was later pardoned because of a unique quirk in a federal peace treaty.

After the Civil War, Tom Starr and his sons built a thriving business selling whiskey and rustling. Jim Reed participated in their nefarious activities and then killed a man to avenge the death of his older brother Scott Reed, who had been gunned down. A writ was issued against Reed for murder and for bringing whiskey into Indian Territory–he was now a full-fledged fugitive. This, coupled with threats from friends of the man he had slain, caused him to seek a healthier climate. He, Belle and Pearl headed for California early in 1869.

Belle gave birth to their second child, James Edwin, on February 22, 1871, while the Reeds were still on the Pacific coast (see story on Ed Reed, P. 20). In late March, Jim was accused of passing counterfeit money. The subsequent investigation disclosed that he was wanted for murder, and the authorities set out after him. He fled for Texas on horseback, sending his family back via stagecoach. Various biographers have the Reeds returning to Texas in 1872 or 1874, but it was March 1871 according to Cole Younger, who assisted in getting the young Reeds set up on a farm outside Scyene.

Soon rumors spread through the neighborhood that livestock were missing, and Jim Reed had drawn a number of unsavory characters to him. Later, in 1873, he and his band of cutthroats were involved in two cold-blooded murders. Rewards were offered for their apprehension. Jim escaped to Indian Territory, taking Belle with him but leaving the two children with her parents in Scyene.

On November 19, 1873, in the Choctaw Nation, Reed and two others robbed the Watt Grayson family of $30,000. Grayson and his wife were hanged from a tree until he agreed to disclose the hiding place of his money. Some of Belle’s biographers say she participated in the robbery, dressed as a man. No member of the Grayson family, nor any of the hired hands who had witnessed the robbery, mentioned a woman dressed as a man, or even a slightly built man.

The Reeds returned to Texas, and Belle left her husband, moving in with her parents. She objected not only to his life of crime but also to the fact he had taken up with another woman–Rosa McCommas. Belle and Jim had been together a little more than seven years.

Jim Reed and his band continued their depredations, robbing stages and stealing livestock. Several times posses nearly caught them, but they always managed to elude them, escaping to Indian Territory. Reed returned to Texas alone in August 1874. One of his former acquaintances, John T. Morris, had been deputized especially to capture Reed for the price on his head. Reed, unaware of this, wound up traveling with Morris. The two stopped at a house for a meal, and while they were eating, Morris ordered Reed to throw up his hands. Instead, Reed flipped the table over and bolted for the door. He was shot and killed. Several biographers wrote that Belle denied that the dead man was her husband in order to keep Morris from receiving the reward money. Newspaper accounts of the death, however, indicate that the corpse was identified by those who knew Reed.

Reed’s death left Belle destitute. She had not profited from his ill-gotten gains. The next few years of her life are somewhat of a mystery. It is known that her father died in 1876 and that her mother sold the farm and moved to Dallas. Belle also sold her farm and apparently spent a lot of time at the Reed home in Missouri.

Some authors have tried to fill in the gaps in Belle’s story by suggesting she was involved in such activities as burning down a store; robbing a bank; being jailed for horse stealing, and then eloping with her jailer; robbing a poker game at gunpoint; and running a livery stable, then fencing stolen livestock. Such activities are not, however, reflected in court records or newspaper accounts. Local gossip had it that Belle lived with Bruce Younger for a short time in Kansas. Bruce was an uncle of outlaw Cole Younger, according to Younger expert Marley Brant. In his book Starr Tracks: Belle and Pearl Starr, author Phillip Steele says that Belle and Bruce were married in Chetopa, Kan., on May 15, 1880.

If Belle did marry Bruce Younger in 1880, he wasn’t the only man she married that year. Records show that three weeks later, on June 5, Belle married Sam Starr, the handsome, three-quarter Cherokee son of Tom Starr. Sam’s age was listed as 23 and Belle’s age as 27, though she was probably 32 at the time. The newlyweds cleared land and settled into a comfortable cabin at Younger’s Bend, on the Canadian River about 70 miles southwest of Fort Smith, Ark. The name ‘Younger’s Bend’ was, according to one account, given to this place by Tom Starr because he had been so impressed by the daring-do of the Younger Gang. In any case, it was Indian Territory and outlaw country, and they were visited by many seeking refuge. Belle did not encourage these activities. It was her hope, as expressed in one of her letters, ‘to live out her time in peace.’ There is no evidence that Belle was the leader of any outlaw band.

After their marriage, neither Belle nor Sam appeared in any official record until July 31, 1882, when they were charged with horse stealing. The charges stemmed from the Starrs’ roundup in the spring of 1882. They were working horses on a neighbor’s land and sought his permission to pen some of the animals in his corral. He agreed, but when he saw the horses, he pointed out that one belonged to another neighbor, Andrew Crane, and another to Sam Campbell. The Starrs ignored these comments. When they later sold the herd, Crane and Campbell brought charges. Belle and Sam appeared in District Court at Fort Smith on November 7, 1882. The grand jury handed up a true bill for larceny in Indian Territory. Tom Starr made bail for them, and they returned to Younger’s Bend to await trial.

The four-day trial was held in ‘Hanging Judge’ Isaac C. Parker’s court early in March 1883. Belle was found guilty on both counts and Sam on only one (since the court lacked jurisdiction in cases where one Indian committed a crime against another). Judge Parker sentenced Sam to 12 months and Belle to two 6-month terms in the House of Correction in Detroit. The judge explained his rare display of leniency by pointing out that this was the first conviction for both defendants and that he hoped they would decide to become decent citizens.

The prison was a model institution, dedicated to education and reformation, in addition to punishment. Sam Starr, though, showed no interest in learning and was assigned to hard labor. Belle is reputed to have charmed the warden into appointing her as his ‘assistant.’ In any case, the Starrs were on their way back to Younger’s Bend after serving 9 months. Old Tom Starr had kept the place up for them. Belle and Sam soon busied themselves getting ready for spring planting. Belle had become plump and dowdy while in prison, but she still rode and danced gracefully. She often adorned herself in a black velvet riding habit and rode sidesaddle, carrying her six-shooter (she is so attired in her most publicized picture). She also liked to read and play a piano she had had freighted into the Bend.

Just before Christmas 1884, handsome young John Middleton knocked on the Starrs’ door. Middleton, who had probably met Belle earlier in Arkansas, was on the run for horse theft and murder. A pursuing posse lost his trail in the vicinity of Younger’s Bend. The fugitive hid out in the neighborhood for the next few months. By then, Sam Starr was spending considerable time away from home, returning only at irregular intervals. During these absences, Belle entertained casual guests, particularly Middleton.

Early in the spring of 1885, the treasuries of the Seminole and Creek Indians were robbed. The Starrs and Middleton were suspected, but there was no evidence. A posse raided the Starr home that spring, but found only Belle. The raid caused Middleton to reconsider remaining in the area. He and the Starrs planned his escape. Belle and Sam, along with daughter Pearl and son Eddie, were to take a trip. They were to depart with their saddle horses tied to their wagon, with Middleton hidden under canvas. At an opportune time, he was to take Pearl’s horse and flee. A problem arose, however, while they were camped for the night. Middleton somehow offended Pearl, and she refused to let him use her mount. Belle, likewise, would not part with her favorite steed. The next day, Belle and Eddie purchased a sorry mare for Middleton, who then departed with Pearl’s saddle and Belle’s Colt .45.

Several days later, others spotted the mare, muddy and with Pearl’s saddle on its back. A search turned up the body of John Middleton, who had apparently drowned while crossing a swollen river. When the Starrs got the news, they also learned that the person who had sold them the mare had not been the owner. Belle headed for home certain that she would be charged with larceny. She was correct. A writ was issued for her arrest in January 1886. She surrendered to the U.S. marshal at Fort Smith and was indicted, with trial set for September.

Meanwhile, Sam began having his own problems. He and two others were charged with the holdup of a U.S. mail hack. The case never came to court, but additional charges were filed against him for the robbery of a store and a U.S. post office. Sam went into hiding, becoming a fugitive just like the late John Middleton. Sam still made intermittent visits home, though; his friends and relatives made it easy for him to stay a step ahead of the law.

Several farm settlements were robbed in February 1886 by three bandits, one of whom was a woman dressed as a man. An eyewitness identified this person as Belle Starr. Subsequently, a posse raided the Starr home. Only Belle was present, and she was not immediately arrested. In April, however, a warrant for her arrest was issued. One evening in mid-May, two officers approached the Bend. Pearl spotted them and warned Sam, who slipped away. Belle greeted the men only to learn that she, too, was wanted.

Belle returned with the officers to Fort Smith, where she entered a not guilty plea. After making bail, she spent several days shopping and socializing. She had her photo taken on Saturday, May 23, 1886. The next day, she had another photo taken, this time with a convicted murderer named Blue Duck. She did it at the request of Blue Duck’s attorney, who apparently thought it would help his client in his pending appeal of a death sentence. This was the first and last time Belle saw Blue Duck. The picture, however, gave biographers fuel for yet another legend. Many portray her as having been Blue Duck’s mistress long before their meeting in Fort Smith. They also credit her with retaining attorney J. Warren Reed to plead Blue Duck’s case. The outlaw’s sentence was commuted to life, but without the help of attorney Reed, who was practicing in California in 1886.

Belle’s trial for the alleged February robberies was held in June 1886. None of the witnesses could identify her. Most witnesses, in fact, said that the three bandits had been ‘good sized men.’ She was discharged on June 29. Three months later, Belle returned to Fort Smith to stand trial for horse theft. On September 30, a jury handed down a ‘not guilty’ verdict. She hastened home, only to learn that Sam had been badly wounded.

A posse of Indian police had spotted Sam in a cornfield and opened fire, killing his horse and wounding him. After regaining consciousness, he had snatched the gun of one of his guards and fled to his brother’s home. Belle found him there and nursed his wounds. She begged him to turn himself in to the U.S. marshal, pointing out that a federal court would be easier on him than would the tribal council.

Sam turned himself in on October 4, 1886. He was indicted and released on bail. His case was not scheduled to be heard until February 1887. Instead of returning to Younger’s Bend right away, he and Belle stayed at Fort Smith, hoping to help his father. Old Tom Starr was on trial for introducing whiskey into the territory. He was found guilty and sentenced to a year in prison. Sam and Belle went home.

The Starrs were attending a friend’s Christmas party on December 17, 1886, when Sam encountered an old enemy, Frank West. He threw down on West and shot him dead, but not before being fatally wounded himself. The widow Starr returned to Younger’s Bend and took Jack Spaniard, a notorious outlaw, to her bed almost before Sam’s body was cold. Belle’s new arrangement was cut short when Spaniard was arrested, tried for murder, found guilty and hanged.

The Cherokee authorities maintained that Belle’s claim to her land at Younger’s Bend ended with Sam Starr’s death. This problem was easily solved. Belle took up with an adopted son of old Tom Starr, 24-year-old Bill July (alias Jim Starr), a Creek Indian. July moved in with Belle, thereby resolving the claim to the land; he was her last husband.

Belle’s son Eddie was almost 17, and he made no pretense of accepting Belle’s new husband. Meanwhile, Belle rejected the young man that her daughter Pearl, now 19, wanted to marry. Pearl was sent away to live with friends. During her absence, Belle tricked the erstwhile swain into believing that Pearl had forgotten him and married another. Sad and dejected, the young man sought consolation from another and was soon married. Pearl and this young man would later learn of Belle’s deception and meet secretly several times.

Belle became irate when she learned that Pearl was pregnant. She gave her daughter two alternatives. Pearl could visit a ‘noted Fort Smith physician,’ or leave and never bring her child into Belle’s presence. Pearl left to be with her grandmother and have her baby, Flossie, who was born in April 1887. Belle was not greatly concerned with Pearl’s absence; another problem required her attention in June–her new husband was arrested, indicted and released on bail for horse stealing. Then in July 1888, Eddie was charged with horse theft, giving him something in common with his stepfather. By that December, Eddie had left home.

The area near Younger’s Bend was being settled by farmers. One individual, Edgar A. Watson, and his wife had arrived seeking land to rent. Belle agreed to rental arrangements and accepted payment in advance. Later, as she became better acquainted with Mrs. Watson, she learned that Edgar Watson was wanted for murder in Florida. Remembering the tribal council’s threat to expel her from her land if she were caught harboring fugitives again, she attempted to back out of the deal with Watson. Her efforts were to no avail; Watson insisted that he would farm the land for which he had paid. Finally, in a face-to-face confrontation, she chided him with a comment that Florida authorities might be interested in his whereabouts. That did it. Watson was furious, but he accepted refund of his rent money and rode away. The Watsons settled on another farm in the vicinity.

On Saturday morning, February 2, 1889, Belle and her husband set out together from Younger’s Bend. July was headed to Fort Smith for his horse-stealing hearing, and Belle was going to a nearby community to shop. After Belle did her shopping, she and her husband spent the night with friends in San Bois (about 15 miles east of Younger’s Bend) before parting on Sunday morning. July continued on to Judge Parker’s court, while Belle started for home. She never made it.

Belle stopped at the house of some neighbors, the Rowes, on Sunday afternoon. Jackson Rowe’s home was a popular Sunday gathering place for members of the community. She hoped to see her son Eddie, who had been staying there, but he had left before she arrived. There were a number of other visitors, one of whom was Edgar Watson. Soon after Belle’s arrival, Watson left.

Belle ate and chatted with her friends. She was nibbling on a piece of cornbread as she went out the door and headed for Younger’s Bend. The road passed within several hundred yards of the Watson place. As Belle turned onto the river lane, a shotgun blast blew her from the saddle. She attempted to raise herself from the roadway, but a second shot boomed out, striking her in the face and shoulder. Her horse bolted and galloped home. Pearl, alarmed when Belle’s horse showed up riderless, set out at once. Meanwhile, Belle had been discovered by a youth returning home. Pearl and neighbors arrived at Belle’s side before she died, but she was unable to utter any last words.

Investigations of the scene revealed tracks leading toward the Watson cabin, but the trail petered out within a hundred yards or so of the building. The footprints were Watson’s size, and Watson owned a double-barreled shotgun. Several neighbors had heard the shots, but no one had seen anything. Neighbors and friends, including the Watsons, gathered at Belle’s home to pay their last respects. Belle was laid to rest on February 6 in front of the cabin at Younger’s Bend.

July accused Watson of the slaying, as did Eddie. Watson was arrested but subsequently acquitted, since all the evidence against him was circumstantial. Aware of July’s wrath, Watson and his wife decamped upon his release. No other attempt was ever made to identify Belle’s slayer. There were several other potential suspects besides Watson, including July himself. Apparently July had been caught playing around with a young Cherokee girl, and Belle had been making his life hell. He could have killed his wife before resuming his trip to Fort Smith. Just a few weeks after Belle’s death, July was mortally wounded by a deputy who was on his trail.

Belle’s children have also been mentioned as suspects. Eddie had threatened his mother at least once after she had disciplined him with a bullwhip, and Pearl had her own grudge–Belle had interfered with Pearl’s planned marriage and had worked to get Pearl’s daughter placed in an orphanage. But the most likely slayer was Watson, who had the motive and opportunity and was already a known murderer. He eventually returned to Florida, where he was killed in a shootout with a posse.

In summarizing her life for a Fort Smith Elevator reporter about a year before her death, Belle said, ‘I regard myself as a woman who has seen much of life.’ She certainly had seen her share of Civil War guerrillas, postwar outlaw friends and acquaintances on the run. Her grave site is near Eufair Lake, southeast of Porum, Okla. A horse was engraved on her tombstone, along with these words:

Shed not for her the bitter tear,
Nor give the heart to vain regret
Tis but the casket that lies here,
The gem that filled it sparkles yet.

Richard D. Arnott, who has attempted to separate fact from fiction in the Old West for many years, writes from Ohio. For further reading: Belle Starr and Her Times, by Glenn Shirley; Hell on the Border, by S.W. Harman; and Starr Tracks: Belle and Pearl Starr, by Phillip W. Steele.

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284 Responses to Belle Starr

  1. Connie ay says:

    Belle Starr had a son when she was sixteen. His name was Charles Acton. His daughter Mabel Acton lived in Panama, OK. Charles died in Williams, OK, a few miles from Ft. Smith, AR. His death certificate lists Belle as his mother. According to the book by Glen Shirley, Charles was living in the home with Belle at Younger’s Bend at the time of her murder. He and Pearl picked her up out of the road the day she was murdered. How come none of the books talk about her son?

    • Stanley Starr says:

      Being a direct decendant of Belle & Sam Starr (Her husband) Belle only had 2 children whose name’s was Eddie Reed and Pearl Younger (But she always went by Pearl Starr)

      • Shelba Davis says:

        I am doubly related to Belle’s first husband Jim Reed. Brock sisters married Reed first cousins. Have been researching for 35 years.
        My cousin Beverly Adams and I were the ones who located Jim and Belle’s marriage in Collin Co. TX. The first we shared it with was Glenn Shirley..He brought the draft of his book to San Antonio and I proofed it against the data I then had. I. later shared data with other authors, one of who presented my research at the Shirley reunion as his original work.
        Jim and Belle had 2 childrren – Pearl ,the eldest, was born in Vernon Co. MO and Edwin who was born while they were in California.So, no Starr blood relationship to either of her children.
        Jim’s mother was Susan Brock, daughter of Perry Green Brock and Margaret Scott. The Brocks moved from Cass Co. MO to Wise Co. TX c 1858. Most of their children moved to Wise Co. before 1860 with
        Jim’s parents coming soon after the start of the Civil War, having been forced to leave MO.
        Jim’s father Solomon died in Wise Co. MO in May 1863 and probably buried, also with a son and father-in-law P.G. Brock, in the Teague Cemetery. Wartime, so only wooden makers were available..
        There is a joint marker for Susan and Solomon in Bates Co. MO, but that was placed at least 25 years after Susan’s death. Tax and land records prove they were in Wise Co. TX when Solomon died.
        By the end of the Civil War ,Wise Co. was so decimated by loss of men in the war and Indian raids, only about 200 people were left in the county., so the Brock family members moved eastward…
        Susan and her children moved with sister Fatima “Tima” and David Reed to Collin Co., TX. Susan’s nephew Rev. Walker Willoughby, who had returned to MO, acted as her agent to find someone to file for probate proceedings to regain her Vernon Co. MO land. It was during this time Jim and Belle married in Wise Co. They evidently retured with Susan to MO and were living with her when daughter Pearl was born.
        When Jim was in trouble later, they went to CA where he again got into trouble. They show up in Bosque Co. TX, living on Coon Creek, south of present day Laguna Park. Laguna Park is on the west bank of the Brazos River along Hwy 22, west of Whitney, Hill Co.
        While living there, they went to Coryell Co. to visit his cousin Louisa Ellen “Louella” Reed (daughter of Fatima and David Reed) and her husband Robert E. Gaston – my great-grandparents. Bob Gaston was a farmer and Methodist minister.. Louella told her grandson about Jim and Belle’s visits.. She referred to Jim as her “bad guy” cousin. According to her story, Jim went out of his way to chop wood or do anything she might need done, but she was a nervous wreck until he left. She did not name the wife, just said she seemed nice..
        Jim was killed by John T. Morris. Like a number of “bad guys” he often worked both sides of the law, No idea if the story of Belle refusing to tell where Jim was buried is true or not. H may be buried in Fitzhugh Cem, Collin Co., as that is where David and Fatima Reed and some of his grandmother Brock’s Scott family are buried.
        John T. Morris went on to become sheriff of Reeves Co. TX. A drunken bully, he was killed in a shootout with the Texas Rangers.


      • Shelba Davis says:

        Error. I meant Jim and Belle married in Collin Co. TX

      • Melinda says:

        You are a direct decendant of Belle & Sam Starr. That is really cool!

      • wendy larson says:

        im interested in finding out about belle starr,we heard we are related to her through my grandfathers daughter minnie gray who married frank walter starr. and also heard we are related to the dalton gang. stanley would like to hear from you, we had a newspaper clipping when belle died. a relative must of sent it to us. wendy

      • Brandon Starr says:

        Stanley i am also a decendent of Sam Starr i live in Michigan and we have relatives in Pennsylvania

      • Belle Starr says:

        My grandmother said we were related to Belle Starr. I don’t know, do you have a family tree. My great grandmother was Rosa Starr 1863-1929 her dad was James Starr & his dad Joseph. My grandmother has long ago passed I wished I would have paid more attention. My grandmother was Della Gay Shrum Wise, her dad was Walter Shrum. I am on and I also received my DNA results that my brother did for me. Well Thanks Marcia

      • Jeff H says:

        Ive been told Belle is one of my cousins

    • Standly says:

      Myra Maybelle Shirley (AKA Belle Starr) never had a son or any child at the age of sixteen. Her only two children was Pearl Starr (Real name Pearl Younger) and Eddie Reed.

      • Patricia Ann Shelton Bodine says:

        Belle starr only had aboy an girl by Jim Reed, Never had any more children.

    • Jennifer Ann Starr says:

      Hay i am looking for any relitves. I am the great great great granddaughter of Belle Starr. I am 21. My Fathers name is Gordan Starr! Please contact me! I also have royal family from my moms side her last name is Beauchamp. Please if anyone can help me with info of my family blood line contact me @ or

      Jennifer Ann Starr/Beauchamp/Dozier
      P.S. i also just got married to a blood line of Maskatiers there last name is Dozier. Please help me find more

      • Whitney Shirley says:

        Um wow i was just wondering the same thing… i am a great great great something to Belle Starr… maybe a neice… but im on the Shirley side of this toll so :) my email is

        thanks :)
        Whitney Shirley

      • catalina estrella"star" ortiz says:

        hello there my name is catalina estrella ortiz “star” does that mean anything too u

      • catalina estella ortiz says:

        i can help

      • Tracy Stone says:

        I am also a direct descendant of Belle Starr. My family tree puts me in line with her and Tachumse of the Shawee Indian tribe. I was wondering how this could be an would like anyone with some answers to contact me. I was born in Springfield Missouri.

      • Betty Webster says:

        this may seem funny. my grandmother is goldie starr her father John D. Starr. I was always told i was related to Belle Starr. my mothers maiden name is beauchamp.
        Betty Webster

      • very interrested says:

        hi whitney,

        i am as well related on the shirley side, my mother’s maiden name is shirley and her mother was a shirley, and my grandmother talked about being related.

      • Russell Burget says:


        My name is Russell Burget and i am releated to Belle Starr also. She is my
        6th Great aunt from my moms side of the family. my grandpa is Sidney
        Wilson Shirley. please contact me when u get the chance i would love to
        learn more!!

    • dylan hattaway says:

      well belle star is my great great great great great aunt so if anybody knows any thing about her please tell me

      • Russell Burget says:

        Belle Starr is also my aunt only she is my 6th aunt my moms maddien name is shirley and my Grampa is Sidney Wilson Shirley. Email me at when you get the chance i would love to learn more

    • catalina estrella"star" ortiz says:

      because it was a little girl that was born to pearl not belle in fact it would be belles granddaughter estrella “majestic star” she was stolen by her grandmother at the age of five to inherit what would in time be a fortune belle had pearl killed after time spent in the nut house it was told she shortly after being realeased from the assylum hung herself witch in fact was a lie she did everything in her power to take bak what was hers to her last breath

    • jannette morris says:

      my family is a direct descendant of james (ed) reed. my mother is a reed by birth. we have traced the family tree.

      • Linda Evers says:

        I am trying to figure out my grandmothers connection to John Reed, My Grandmother Della Reed had often mentioned that Eddie was cared for at Fatima Reed and John Reeds farm. If you have any information I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks, Linda

      • Deborah says:

        Jannette, I am the Belle Starr is my second great aunt. I have spent the past 15 years researching the Shirley’s and the Reed’s, for my book that is almost finished in the writing stage. I am looking for any pictures of Jim, his parents or siblings to use in the book. If you have any that you are willing to share, I will give you full credit in the book. Thanks Deborah

  2. Connie Ray says:

    Charles Acton was born in 1865. He can be found in the 1900 and 1910 Census in Sebastian Co., AR. Can someone tell me is this the child of Cole Younger’s? This definately fits if she and Cole had an affair in 1864.

  3. kathleen hudson says:

    I sometimes perform a one-woman show on the life of Belle Starr……in costume or not! After a lot of research, I realize not many facts to draw on. Why have we created such a legend around this story….hm…outlaw women always get attention? My book on the women of Texas music alludes to this idea.

  4. Lisa says:

    If you are related to her then you are related to me! Where do you live? We’re in Okla.

    • Robyn Starr-Shackelford says:

      We are in Hot Springs, AR but we are from Fayetteville. The Starr family actually created Adair Co. in OK. My dad Standly Starr has traced the Starrs all the way back to the 1400s. His email is He has done a LOT of research over the past 14yrs.

      • Betty Webster says:

        My grandmother is a starr. her father is John D. Starr married susan Langston. would like to know if that is related to your starrs.

      • Rachel (Starr Family) says:

        Hello: I have been doing research on my Starr family and found this link and is very interesting. My mother’s maiden name is Starr(Freedia Mae (Starr) Heath and her father was Bert D. Starr and his father was John D. Starr and I’m just figuring out that Tom Starr was his dad if I’m getting all my information correct and according to what I am hearing my Great, Grandpa John D. Starr was a 100% Cherokee and then I’ve been reading on Tom Starr the Indian outlaw so just trying to get more information if you have any. This is to Robyn Starr-Shackelford and I will copy this and forward in an email to you. Hope to hear and I also wanted to reply to Betty Webster below 4.1.1. but didn’t see a reply button but your grandmothers father John D. Starr is my Great Grandfather and I thought I had notes his wife name was Susan Langston or my mom mentioned. And your Grandmothers name is either if we are in same family Rebecca, Zelma, Goldie or Betty. Hope to hear from you guys. Rachel P.S. I just looked up above and saw you wrote Goldie is your Grandmother which is my Grandfathers sister

    • Russell Burget says:

      my name is Russell Burget 20, also living in Oklahoma Belle Starr is my 6th Great aunt from my moms side. my moms maddien name is Shirley and my Grandpa is Sidney Wilson Shirley. please contact me at

    • Brandy_Barton says:

      Hello, I am a relative somewhere in my line, My Grandmother is Norma Shirley, she is from the Shirley Family that always farmed near Princeton MO, I will research further for anyone who might care about the Shirley & Hatfield Family lines, and if you have any info feel free to email me, I would love more family tree info! My email is :

  5. Cindy says:

    The man that shot Sam starr was his cousin Franklin Peirce West. Belle was killed in Hoyt, Oklahoma and her home is near “Eufaula” Oklahoma get you spelling correct!

    • Stanley Starr says:

      Get your story straight
      Belle was not killed in Hoyt, Oklahoma. She was killed at Youngers bend about a 1/2-a mile from her home and was found by a neighbor (Who could have been the killer) and her daughter Pearl

  6. josh isgriggs says:

    I was born and raised in a small town called Shirley, Mo. I was told that this is were Belle was from. Is there any truth to this statement because the area I am from was not mentioned.

    • Standly Starr says:

      Sorry but no this is not true, Belle was born Myra Maybelle SHIRLEY and she was born in Carthage, MO. February, 1848 and that is why your town is not mentioned.

  7. Stacey Tyler-Newton says:

    I am a descendent of Myra Maybelle Shirley AKA Belle Starr.. If you are also related , please email me. As I am trying to update a family tree etc. and would love to add any and all information you can provide… Thanks ! Stacey Kokomo , Indiana

    • Stanley Starr says:

      I to am a truck driver of 41 years (Retired now) and live in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
      I am also related to Belle and Sam Starr, I was born in Fayetteville, AR. about 50-75 miles from where Belle & Sam owned their farm called Youngers bend. My last name is Starr
      Sam was killed by Frank P. West in a drunken shoot out where he also killed Frank P. West, They shot each other
      Belle was shot in the back from ambush and killed just 2 days before her 41st birthday. She was born Myra Maybelle Shirley Feb 5, 1848 and was murdered Feb 3,1888.
      If you get this I have done a family tree on the Starr’s and was able to go back 1450. The name Starr use to be spelled (Before 1450) Steere & the Starr’s originated from England.
      I can be contacted at

    • Whitney Lynne says:

      I am a Missourian but I know many direct decsendents that live in arizona and texas. I am her 10th great granddaughter and my mother is a Shirley.

      • Jo says:

        Hi, Could you please tell me what Belle’s Mother’s maiden name is.
        Thank you very much, Jo

  8. doug noe says:

    oren and mami rorgers are my great grand parents gradndma mami madin name is callison i dont know how close of relaion the starr are but let me know if you know anymore than i do i can get more info if need

    • catalina estrella"star" ortiz says:

      belles mothers maiden name is tapia or maybe due to alterations thruout time it could be ortiz but i could be loosin my mind

  9. Joy says:

    I am not sure how old this is or anything like that. But I know for a fact that I am related My grandmother, great grandmother and my own mother told me stories of Belle Starr’s time with Jesse James, the infamous Western bandit and of how she met her demise. I know that I am related through my Grandmother, Joy and her mother, Velma who all are descendants of Crescent, Oklahoma. I have not been successful in tracking down my family tree that would link me to her because most of the websites cost money (that I don’t have) but I would love to fill in the gaps. Thank you and good luck to you as well!

    • Violet says:

      I just started looking into my families history so I don’t know too much. But I do know that my Great Great Grandmother Anna Mae had 12 children and one of those 12 was Velma. My Mother was not sure, but she thought they traveled from Maysville, Oklahoma in 04/04/1910.

      Did your Great Great Grandmother Velma have 11 siblings?

    • Russell Burget says:

      Hi Joy,

      My name is Russell Burget, I too am releated to Belle Starr thruogh my moms side. my moms maddien name is Shirley and my Grandpa is Sidney Wison Shirley. im pretty sure you are my aunt. last name Smith by any chance?? message me at thank u

  10. Kori says:

    I too am related to Belle, she is in my family tree, but as I have just begun, I have no knowledge of exactly where. My grandmothers cousins have completely done the family tree on that side a number of years ago, since then my grandmother has passed away and my mother has had a stroke leaving her unable (so far) to communicate with me. I am researching Belle for a women’s history class and I will be impersonating her for a report. Any help ful hints or other information would be appreciated.I will check this site often for any info. Thanks

  11. Randy says:

    I am a decendent of Sam Starr. My grandfather is Jack Starr, but I dont know much about our family history. If any know anything about the Starrs please contact me.

    • laura says:

      Was your grandfather Jack Starr a native American?

    • Bobby Goodwin says:

      Do you know Kevin Starr? He is the great great grandson of Sam Starr and Belle (I do not know from which side). Kevin has been living in Springfield, MO for some time.

  12. Jackson says:

    I am a direct blood line decendant of Belle Starr. If you would like, you can send me your email address’ and I can send you what geneology I have. My information was collected through countless hours of research by Phillip Steele.

  13. Jen says:

    I’m doing a report on Belle Starr and i don’t know how to start my report. If anyone is willing to help me I would appreciate it alot.

  14. says:

    my wife and in laws are relatives her father beverly shirley was as mean as the rest,i remember her great aunt calling on the phone and saying kiss my as- she was 70 years old when my wife visited the family they were not allowed to go in the house and would not talk about belle starr, like they were hiding a secret, believe me theres some meanness in that family and my wifes dad was bull whip by henry shirley, i heard belle bull whip her bim, so i think henry was belles son in alias true story,

  15. Julie says:

    My grandmother who passed away a few years ago was Hazel Pauline Shirley and Belle Starr was a cousin of hers, I think like 2nd cousins.

  16. terry mcdonald says:

    Hi There . Not sure when yur report is due. But, I found a 44 page report on Belle the other day Dallas western outlaws. I am a cousin through my great x2 grandmother. Good luck Tm……

    If I can help drop me a line.

  17. JoJo says:

    i hope that you can help!

  18. mikaela smith says:

    i am a descendent of belle starr from my dad’s mothers side. i dont
    know much more than that. i live in a little town called willard
    in missouri and my grandmother always is trying to get me to do
    reports on her so i can learn some family history. if you could
    help me find out some things on how i am related to her it would
    be greatly appreciated. my email is
    thanks. see ya

    mikaela :)
    p.s. if you dont know anything please dont send me messages

  19. Sam Ferguson says:

    My great-aunt told me I was related to Belle Starr, that she used to come
    and stay at the Cunningham household, Missouri. The Cunninghams are
    related to the Shirley’s through the Quick’s. I am told just trying to verify
    if anyone has any more info please let me know.

    Does anyone also know if Sam Starr was her pimp?

  20. Misty says:

    I would like to know when Jack Starr died?

  21. Misty says:

    The reason I am asking of this is because I have a letter signed by
    a Notary in Kansas. That says Jack Starr sold a 10 gauge double
    barrel shotgun that Charlie and Bell Starr owned. I also have the

    • Lisa H. says:

      I am related to Sam Starr thru my paternal grandfather. My grandfather’s maternal grandmother was Lydia Starr who was Sam Starr’s sister. My grandfather passed away and now rests in the Indian cemetery in Nowata Ok. My father is his only child, so we inherited tin types of Sam and Belle Starr as well as both of her children. We are not sure what to do with these tin types. We live in Chetopa, Ks. If anyone knows how we can get the tin types authenticated please send me an e-mail.

    • delinda starr says:

      jack starr is my dad and he is still alive

  22. Brittany Rogers says:

    I am A 7th grade student and need more info on Belle Starr Plz
    help me out.

  23. kATiE says:

    /i am in 8th gradeband im doing a report on Belle starr and if anyone could help me out i would really appreciate it! its part of my homework!


    kATiE L!

  24. Erin Evans says:

    This is so interesting to me because I have always loved Loius lamore & now I find out that I’m a desendant of belle starr. The family name is Lyons and we live in Nebraska, which is odd because everyone else is from Oklahoma or Missouri? Help me find out where the connection between the Lyons & Belle are?

  25. hope kilbourne says:

    so if you people say that you are related to Belle Starr the you can answer a lot of my qustions for me because in this little article it doesnt talk about her son until the very end and how did she become the bandit queen
    and about her brother how come it says that he was under as Belles son

  26. Myra Turner says:

    Hello my name is Myra and my grandmother told me that Belle Starr was in our family. I know alot of interesting facts about Belle and sadly her old hideout was torn down and the house she used to stay at in Fort Smith Arkansas was blown away by a tornado. My uncle still has her spit can though. I would really like for someone to help me trace. My grandmother married a Casey and I don’t know what her maiden name was.

    On the Frank and Jesse James heritage I would like to inform the people who believe they were related that I did a research on the brothers and found direct blood line relatives of theirs in Oklahoma. The property even has Frank and Jesses old hideout on it.

    I don’t know how this site works but I will include my e-mail address

  27. MICHELLE STARR says:


    • Standly says:

      My name is S. E. Starr and a direct decedent of the Oklahoma & Arkansas Starr’s. I would love to exchange info with you. I did a family tree on my relatives over a period of 10-15 years and was able to trace back to 1450 and all the way back to England, Scotland and Ireland to where the Starr’s originated from.
      I am at if you or any one wants to inquire about the Starr’s drop me a line………

      • carolyn Reed says:

        starrman my grandfather was james edward Reed my father was j.e.Reed if you did so mush reseach could u from out on jim reed kids plz we are from the ozarks in arkansas

      • Lisa H. says:

        I am related to Sam Starr thru my paternal grandfather. My grandfather’s maternal grandmother was Lydia Starr who was Sam Starr’s sister. My grandfather passed away and now rests in the Indian cemetery in Nowata Ok. My father is his only child, so we inherited tin types of Sam and Belle Starr as well as both of her children. We are not sure what to do with these tin types. We live in Chetopa, Ks. If anyone knows how we can get the tin types authenticated please send me an e-mail.

      • Lisa H. says:

        My grandfather’s last name was Chockley

    • Whitney says:

      I am her lots of greats grandaughter, and Jesse James is my Great Great Uncle! Belle is on my mother’s side. Jesse James’s little brother is on my fathers side. I find it fate that there genes crossed.

    • Brandon Starr says:

      email me i am a starr and my grandpa was richard starr.

  28. Tonya Driskill says:

    My name is Tonya and I am the great great granddaughter of Belle Starr. My grandmother who is still living today has told my sister about her. We do not have all the information but would love to find out more.

    • Stanley Starr says:

      SORRY But there is no Driskill in the Starr clan
      I am a direct decedent of Sam & Belle Starr and was born about 50 miles from Younger’s Bend where Sam & Belle had their farm.
      My last name is Starr and I was born in Fayetteville, AR.

      • Lisa H. says:

        I’m sorry but I don’t understand. Belle and Sam Starr didn’t have any children together, so there are not ANY direct descendants of Belle and Sam. Are you a descendant of Sam? Have you heard of the name Lydia Starr (not sure about the spelling) in the family tree?

  29. trina says:

    we are also related to belle starr. i found out when my daughter had to do a report on mother would tell me about my grandmother telling her stories when she was grandmother did are family tree on her last days.when she past at an young age are family history went with her.all we have is what my mother remebers from those stories as a kid

  30. sue johnson says:

    Hello, I was wondering if anyone that is either kin or has done research on Belle Starr ever came across the name of Martha Thunderberk ? She was half Cherokee and the grandmother of a close friend of mine, She has handed down a colt derringer that she said was given to her by Belle Starr. Said they were close friends. Since it has been said that Belle knew Blue Duck , I’m thinking this is very possible. I now own the gun and just out of total curiosty would like to know if anyone has come across that name anywhere or her married name was Meade. any info would be appreciated. Thank You
    Sue Johnson email

  31. Sandy Armstrong says:

    Hi! Theres info on different sites: Eric, is one people can look for Jesse James kin. Also ~daisy/ I’m looking too! I’m kin to Belle Starr thru my Grandmother Vinnie Sage and Palestine Best..From the Muskogee, Ok. side. My husband is kin to Jesse James on his Moms side Catherine Weis and the Wallaces and Armstrongs. Thanks, Sandy

  32. Rosemary says:

    I too am related to Belle Starr. I know it comes from my father’s side of the family. The last name is Phillips. From what I know my father’s grandmother was most likely the niece of Belle

    • Tricia maloney kent says:

      Hello Rosemary,
      I have recently been told that I am a descendent (cousin) of Belle Starr through my grandmother on my Dad’s side. I was told the last name was Phillips. Just starting my research.

  33. jessica says:

    my name a jessica and I am related to belle Starr. I don’t know how or what she is too me. I would really love to learn. I don’t know much. My mother said to me once that she is related to us. We live with the shirley last name. If anyone soul help me out learning how she is related to me please contact me at. Thank you

  34. bobby jack says:

    i was told i am related by my granddad. i am wondering if any of the srarr clan can be traced to wynona .ok

  35. TONY DEE says:


  36. Shelba Davis says:

    Finally, someone who did not repeat oll tall tales. Thank you.
    I am doubly related to Belle Starr’s first, and legal, husband, James C. “Jim” Reed. Sisters Susan Brock and Fatima Jane “Tima” Brock married first cousins. Susan to Solomon Reed, Fatima to David Reed.
    Soon after the beginning of th Civil War, Jim’s parents joined his mother’s paeents and some of her siblins who had earlier moved to near present day Rhome, Wise Co., TX. After the end of the war, the now widowed Susan moved with sister Fatima and David Reed to Collin Co., TX. Jim and Belle married in Collin Co. Nov 1, 1866.
    As Jim’s mother’s first cousin was the doctor in Carthage, MO and the widow of Fatima’s son married a Pennington (Belle’s mother was a Pennington), iut seems likely that Jim and Belle had know each other in Missouri.
    When the Reeds returned from California, they did not move to Dallas, but lived on Coon Creek in Bosque Co., TX. This short creek empties into the Brazos River just south of Laguna Park..
    While there, they would visit his cousin Louisa Ellen “louella” eed Gaston, daughter of Fatima Brock and David Reed who lived an adjoining Coryell Co. My great-grandmother, “Louella” told her children and grandchileen about vists by her “bad guy” cousin Jim and his wife , but she, a minister’s wife, was nervous to have her bad guy cousin around. She said the wife was very nice. None knew her name until my research revealed she was best known as Belle Starr.

    I do not have the names of Jim and Belle’s daugher Rosa Lee “Pearl”‘s descendants, but she was married several times. At one point, Rosa was sent to Benton Co. AR where some of Susan Brock Reed’s siblings moved from Texas. Supposedly the child born to her there was sent to Solomon Reed’s sister in Kansas who put it out for adoption without Pearl’s knowledge.
    Do not have the names of Pearls children, but she married 4 times – she married an Erbach, and Epple, Charles Kaigler and lastly, an Andews. Rosa died July 6, 1925 in Douglas, Cochise Co., AZ and buried in the Douglas Cemetery.
    Would appreciate any inormation on her descendants.

    • LaDonna Timmerman says:

      In 1965 Pearl’s youngest daughter was living in Elko, Nev and had been for several years. Her father was a river boat gambler. Jeannette Scott and her husband owed the The Pioneer Bar and Hotel. She has 3 sisters, one taught music at the University of Mississippi for awhile. I can’t remember her name. All the girls had different fathers. Pearl was a sharp shooter in a wild west show at one time.
      Jeanette had at least one daughter who lived in Elko then and had children.
      Jeannette wrote a book on Belle Starr and had several of her things. The man that was with Belle when she was killed was Charles Mc Laughlin and he did not shoot her. He died in the late 1950’s in Wendell. Idaho. He was way in his 90’s.

  37. Shelba Davis says:

    Would like to correspond with descendants of James C. “Jim” Reed and Myra Maybelle Shirley aka Belle Starr.
    Jim Reed’s grandfather Samuel Reed was one of three brothers who came to Missouri from Knox Co, KY (the part now Whjitney Co.). Solomon Reed led the way in 1818, settling in what is now Pettis Co., MO Jim’s grandfather Samuel Reed came to MO about 1820, settling first in Lafayette Co., but later moving to newly formed Bates Co. MO (the part now in Vernon Co.). Last to come, about 1830, was Mathias Reed, who settled near Independence, Jackson Co. MO.
    Descendants of these three Reed brothers are working together to compile data on the family.

    Shelba Davis (note the dd in e-mail address)

  38. Sue says:

    This message is for KORI. She wrote on Aug 30, 2008 that she was descendant of Sam Starr. Her grandfather was Jack Starr. I am also a descendant of Sam Starr. I would like for her to email me. She wanted more info on her family. I have traced out family back a long ways.


  39. mariah ihrig says:

    i fogot to mention i live in modest, i go to downey high, does brains (smartness, whatever its called) run in the family? i think i got my smarts from her!

  40. mariah ihrig says:

    if any one can send me any info on belle starr could you e mail me?

  41. Windy April Dill says:

    I’m related to Belle Starr ,Daniel Boone and the man who shot Clyde’s mother’s eye out.

  42. Lisa Cochran says:

    My Grandmother on my father’s side was a Smith. She told us for years that Belle Starr was a relative. I believe that my granmother’s grandmother was a Starr. I don’t have all of the details either. My family has visited the burial site of Belle in Arkansas. We have pictures of the burial spot. Anyway…looks like she has a long line of decendants. My grandmother was raised in Harleton Texas. If you have any info of relation, please email me.

  43. Courtney. says:

    Hello im Courtney and im very intersted in Belle Starr! im working at Arbroath High school in Scotland and im doing some writen work on her becaue our class got to choose who we would want to do some work on and Belle Starr just caught my eye straight away! i think who she was and what she used to do was so amazing for a woman in those days to handle.
    i would also like to no who her killer was and some info about him plzzz? soo i can add it to my work on her !
    thanks oo much plz get back to me soon. xx

  44. Kayla says:

    hi, im doing a character day project on belle starr, and i just want to say thanks this really hepled! so much info :)

  45. sheila word says:

    my grandpa was lawerace johnson his mom re marieeeed after her husband diecher name was bell star to the man she married trying to find out who is who

  46. Martin Devine says:

    So was it the notorious Edgar J. Watson from Florida who shot and Killed Belle…or was it another Watson? I’ve heard a story passed down through my family of who the real killer was. I have family ancestry from Eufaula, Indian Territory and have always been intrigued by the family story of Belle Starr.

  47. Sandy Armstrong says:

    Hi! I’m back after months and still have no updates on my side of family of Belle Starr. Have looked on family certificates death and births. Only have info from my mother who was a married to Timothy Smith at that time. Palestine Best was Belle Starrs cousin, I presume, came to her house in Muskogee,Ok. The women folks did not like her, because of the trouble she was in. My grandmothers daughter was Vinnie Sage Smith. Smiths in Muskogee, Ok . They are part Cherokee Indian, like Belle was. Belle was from Carthage,Mo. Cherokees came from Tn.,Mo.,and all over the south, forced to locate in Ok. Others came afterward to be near relatives. Belle had family in Muskogee and Ft. Smith,Ar. along with Missouri. I found Aunts on Indian Territory births. Whites mixing with Indians weren’t always on the Cherokee rolls list. I’m still check for Indian ancestry and Belle Starrs family line. Only have family story. Women are hard to find in the past. onlt through census and birth certificates.

    • Kristina says:

      Hi I saw your post and I am looking for information also. My family said that we are related to belle starr but I don’t know for sure just rumors. I have family in Muskogee and we have native americans also. My family are also in the muesem there. The last name is” MIKE” I have not found any evidence yet that we are related but I am looking. Thanks

  48. jay says:

    I confirm what randy has said below he is infact a direct decendant of belle and sam starr being that it is one of his great great grandmothers and grandfathers the research is solid.

  49. Carol says:

    Belle was not part Cherokee. However, her children, who were fathered by Jim Reed, were part Cherokee. I am a descendant of Belle Starr and Jim Reed on my father’s father’s side. I am a Reed.

  50. Bob says:

    Supposedly, Belle Atarr (Myra Maybelle Shirley) had brothers John and Edwin and two other brothers born in the 1860. Can anyone identify the names of the two younger brothers?
    Thanks, Bob

  51. Bob says:

    Sorry of the typo above.

    It should start: Supposedly, Belle Starr….. (not Atarr).

  52. Courtney Cox says:

    Helloo again. :) I would just like to say that i found info about Belle Starr’s killer and that my work at My school went very well. i got an A. reading about Belle is soo interesting and i just think that wha she done and used to to was very amazing! For a women to get away with stuff that she did like that. Im very up for the whole wonmen deserve the same rights as men. and even though people now days say that we do. . .we dont! and it needs to be worked apon. I do realize that obvi that women do have better rights than they used to ‘back in the day’ but they still need alot of work! there are boys at my school that say “girls belong in the kitchen!” and for boys at there age to be saying things like that is Horrid, because they are obvi getting showed this sort of descrimintion at home by whoever looks after them. Well i no proberly Know one is gonna get back to me because you are proberly thinking, “she only a 15 year old girl, what does she no about anything?” but people who think that are wrong im a 15 year old girl with BIG dreams and i plan on making tham come true! :) if anyone on this blog would like to talk to me my MSN is . . . soo please add me if anyone would like to! thanks again for info i got about Belle Starr and well. . thanks lol byeeeexx

  53. Charles Reed says:

    I am too a Reed. I am a direct decendent from Jim Reed and Belle Starr. I would like to know more information if anyone has any. My email is I look forward to talking to ya.

  54. Ann says:

    Im posting this in hopes someone can help me and possibly the joy who posted in august of lat year might see this.
    I am related to Belle Star through my maternal grandfather. His last name was Brown and was born in spaulding OK. His sisters (half i believe) were still Shirleys.
    I think I actually know (or know of is maybe a better way of saying it) the Joy who posted.
    My great Aunt was Maxine and another aunt was Cecile Shirley.

    If I remember right through that same side of the family (and my grandparents were right) I am also related to the guy (family) who donated and is named of trosper park and the family who originally stake the land then later sold to First national building downtown.

  55. April says:

    I was married to Henry Kevin Shirley he is a decendent of Belle Starr. He was born in Louisville, KY. His father was Henry Shirley and was born in Arizona to the best of my knowledge and his father was also named Henry Shirley who was shot when my ex husband’s father was small over water rights in Arizona. I was reading all of the comments and one cought my eye on how mean the Shirley family was and I can attest that they still are. After reading all of the comments and the history of Belle Starr I have a little more understanding of my ex husband and his father’s temper. Just in case anyone wanted to know!

  56. Sarah Shirley says:

    I would like to know more sbout this sid of my family. I was told i am related to belle Starr,but i really dont know anything about how. If anyone could help, that would be great.

  57. Sarah Shirley says:

    You san e-mail me at

  58. Amelialarryforever says:

    I am a Shirley. So i guess i am a direct decendent. My grandfather told me about Belle Starr and told me she was up in our family tree. i find it facinating!

  59. alexis says:

    my mom told me i was related to belle star but i don’t know anything about her if anyone knows a great research website please email me at! Thanks

  60. Roy Pugh says:

    I live in Tulsa and about 10 years ago, I started searching for Belle’s grave. I was told an old lady on a farm near Porum could tell me. I stopped and asked her…she said for a dollar she’d tell me. I paid her and she gave me directions. It was down a narrow dirt road, and where she said turn, there was an old gate made from an iron headboard, with no sort of sign. The grave is back in some woods about 200 yards from the road…you can still see the cabin foundation stones. The grave is about 30 feet southwest of the cabin site. It is enclosed with a dilapidated chain link fence. The headstone is as has been depicted, with the etching of a horse, a bell, a star, and the poem that has been quoted. The grave was vandalized shortly after Belle died, and her daughter Pearl had two concrete slabs placed atop it in an inverted “V”. I took some pictures, and can email one or two if anyone is interested.

    • Roy Pugh says:


      My email has changed:

      I have emailed a few pictures of Belle Starr’s grave to people who have asked, and am still happy to email to anyone who would like to see them. The grave has been vandalized since I took the pictures, and is in really bad shape now. I wish the property owners would protect what’s left of it, because it’s truly a part of our history.

      • Rachel (Starr Family) says:


        I would be very interested in seeing a photo even if the property is in really bad shape. You would think they would be able to keep it up more especially since it’s part of history. I would appreciate you taking the time out to e-mail me a photo as I’ve been doing research on my moms side of the Starr family.



      • Roy Pugh says:

        Rachel (Starr Family)

        Hello. I don’t have an email address to email the pictures to. If you can provide an address, I’ll be happy to email them to you.

  61. Becca says:

    I can confirm that Belle Starr must have faked her death. My grandmother, Belle’s great grandaughter clearly remembers her and can produce a phone of Belle well into her eighties. I know that a cousin of mine attempted to prove the fact other than a photo, but doesn’t have the money or means for DNA confirmation.

  62. Jessica Starr says:

    Hi im Jessica and im a direct decendent and iI dont know very much about my great gradmother so it would be a great help if you could tell me about her please! because i live far away from my gradmother so i cant ask her

  63. mrs. nelson says:

    I have an old tintype of whom I believe to be “Belle Starr” and looking for a family to id the tintype for me – I purchased it many years ago out of an album from Texas – In that same album are other tintypes of a young boy and others – you can e-mail me at – thank you

  64. Sandy says:

    Hi all searchers of Belle Starrs Family. we need to compile a list of relatives who say they are kin. Copy it for others, to find all connects of the family lines also seems in Missouri where the start of trouble happens, Belle and Jesse James seems to have the same cousins. In different sides of the family. My husband is kin to Jesse. Starrs, Smiths, Armstrongs, Best, and Starrs seems to be a small town group in those days who intermarried to each others cousins. Fought Yankees from their small town group.Most left because of war and trouble. Went to Muskogee, Ok. and Ft. Smith,Ar.and around St. Louis, Missouri. I’m trying to locate a book on Jessies family history by relative from Collinsville, Il. Will check back with you all later. Family tree seems everyone related to these onry people. Is history repeteing lately.

  65. Debra Fischer says:

    I am trying to contact Ann who posted on July 20, 2009. My grandmother was Bernice Shirley, daughter of Earl Shirley and Lillie Hess. She married Fred Spearman, grandson of Ludora TROSPER and Frederick HOLMES. All were in Oklahoma.
    Who was your TROSPER ancestor? You can contact me at

    Debra Spearman Fischer

  66. brittney raymer says:

    So I was talking to my dad about my family tree and belle starr or (belle shirley) is accually my like great great aunt my great grandma was a shirley. I thought this was interesting to learn about her n I’m glad I’m nothing like her haha.

  67. Bill L. Behrendt says:

    Well, like seemingly thousands of others, I was told by my Mom that I am related to Belle Starr. Sigh. Bit more complex than others, though, because my natural father (genetic father, birth father, whatever) is someone I’ve never met. Last name of Ferguson. Theoretically, then, I am related through this man of mystery: supposedly, his great grandmother was Belle. Or great aunt or something else maternal on the Ferguson side…

    any info anyone wants to pass on is appreciated – bill at voiceovermusic dot com


  68. k. ledbetter says:

    all you researchers combing through the starr side of your family did you ever come across a wenona starr born in 1846? this is where i got stuck. found a wenona starr that appears under sam starr in a cherokee registry and thats where it ends. was she a blood relation or by marriage? and who? im pretty curious i will not claim im a relative until i know for sure! any help or leads will be welcome. thanks

  69. Courtney says:

    hello…im COURTNEY… i am doing a 4 page paper on belle starr and would love 2 have more info thats true ”Not tall tells”…in this project i allso have 2 dress just like her and come up with a back ground 2 fit the wild west so if anyone would PLS be so kind and HELP… i would be so happy =)
    ohhh….i would allso like to no more on who her killer might be?
    Thank you so much for your time..
    if you have any info in belle starr?

  70. Teresa Blaylock Owens says:

    Hello i’m Teresa….this is to Ann ….posted in July 2009….I believe you are on the right track with the Brown last name….from passed down info…my grandmother who died when she was 32 back in 1934 was maiden named Brown and was a cousin (first to my understanding) to Belle Starr (Shirley) and they would have been babies together…one of the mothers had to take the other in and were nursed together because of the lost of the other mother….I thought this might not be true because I could not find the connection with the Brown until I read your comment….my Aunt who is now deceased lived around Tishamingo, Ok by from the OK and AR area new more about her….I never wanted to say I was related just in case someone was wrong but I was told I was even tho it would be distant cousin ….

  71. Ann says:

    Thank you to everyone who has replied to me. Its so frustrating to get so far back and then hit a dead end. I have all these small maybe connections but I just cant seem to find that one strong and certain lead. I found my grandfather’s obit online and it says he was born in Spaulding Oklahoma in 1930 to Ethel and Grover Brown. If I remember correctly Grover Brown was her second husband as my Aunt Maxine and Aunt Cecil where only his half sisters. I believe their maiden name was Shirley.
    There are all this lil whisps of stories I can remember like the Trosper connection and the claimed landrun land being sold to the FIrst National Bank downtown. It also seem to remember a story that someone had ran for governor and lost and it was supposley really embarrassing to the family at the time.
    I want so badly to be able to document these things for my daughter so she can she how much she is a part of her state and the history and it just frustrates me to pieces!

  72. Carly says:

    Jim Reed was my Great Great Great Grandfather!

  73. Elvin Bland says:

    My grandfather Scott Firestone was Belle Starrs First Cousin

  74. Desirea Starr says:

    my name is desirea starr ive been told about belle starr by my family my whole life and the only thing i can say for shure is that shes my great aunt but im still trying to learn more so thanks for puting up this page you helpt me some on my search

  75. Paula says:

    I am related to Belle, she was my grandmother’s aunt so I hear and the funny thing is that Cole Younger was my husband’s grandmother’s Uncle. Kind of ironic huh?

  76. Janice says:

    My grandmother always said that Belle Star was part of the family. So I am trying to find if Jim Reed fits into this list of names, please let me know.
    My great grandmother was born in 1887
    Her father was;
    George W. Reed (married to a Cherokee-name unknown) they lived in Winslow Arkansas.
    Son of —– William Jasper Reed (was a union soldier)
    Son of —- John Reed
    Son of —–Oral Reed
    Thanks for your help

  77. Amy Shirley says:

    Hey,im related to Belle Starr and its awesome because she is a romodel for bravery nad courage and will power:)

  78. Carol says:

    I am also related to bell star she is my great great great aunt or grandmother i cant remember wich

  79. every good outlaw there is almost always a woman and Belle Star was no exception. The Wild West woman was the brains behind many ahorse theft and bootlegging in

  80. sarah vanaelstyn says:

    I too am related to belle shirley, my grandmother is Joyce Shirley and her father is John LLyod Shirley. If n e one has n e more information on the family tree i would love to see it please e mail me at

  81. Paula says:

    Hi I am related to Belle Starr. I remember my great granny telling stories about her when I was little. I think it was my great granny’s sister. My granny’s name was Minnie Lee Elizabeth Champion Lingo. Does anyone have her on their family tree? I would love some more info. Please e-mail me a


  82. Paula says:

    I put that wrong. It was my great great granny’s brother’s sister. So my great great granny’s niece.

  83. Paula says:

    I just talked to my dad and Belle was actually my great great granny’s aunt. Her mom and my granny were sisters.

  84. chip says:

    I just found out myreal last name is giffin. I heard belle was an aunt of mine and that im part cherokee. does anyone know about giffin family

  85. Rachel says:

    I’m related to her too! My family lives in Michigan, but I’m almost positive my grandpa was from Oklahoma.

    • Donna Elder says:

      Jun 12, 2006 … Myra Maybelle Shirley was neither a belle nor the star of any. My family lives in Michigan, but I’m almost positive my grandpa was from Oklahoma. Latter married my grandfather Joesph Aaron Thomas. She was born apx 1895 died 1932. Her named Nettie Mae and I been told she had sister Mattie. – Cached
      I found this posting my grandfather was Joesph Aaron Thomas and he married my grandmother in OK. Her name is Nettie Mae Shirley. Had a sister name Martha or Mattie, Pearl I would like information too.

  86. Rose Hailey says:

    To All Decendants of Belle Starr

    We just sold Belle Starr grave site property. So many plans are scheduled for the property, including building a 1850s cabin. If you are interested in becoming involved, we would greatly appreciate it. Please give us a call! 918.689.3700 or John A. Hailey at (cell) 918.617.7464.
    Hope to hear from you.

    Rose Hailey
    United Country Pro Lake Real Estate

  87. Ann says:

    Hi everyone!
    Ive made some major progress thanks to an awesome poster at an OKC forum.

    I hope this can help someone and maybe someone can help me learn more about more recent descendants and maybe the link
    to trospers and if there is any indian heritage.

    My grandfather was Bobby Brown, b 1930).
    His mother was Ethel Shirley, (b 1889 b. 1889 or 1890 in Indian Territory, maybe Payne county OK).
    Ethel was the daughter of Oliver Shirley, (b. 1856 in Missouri)
    Oliver was the son of Preston Raymond Shirley (b. 1826 in Floyd County Indiana)
    Preston was the son of John Shirley, (b. 1794, Virginia)

    And here is where it get a lil complicated. Preston Shirley was the son of John Shirley and Nancy Fowler, (b. 1800).
    Nancy Fowler Shirley died and John remarried a much younger woman, Eliza, and one of their children was Myra Belle Shirley, a/k/a Belle Starr.

    So with that info Belle star was related to my great grandmother and a half aunt.

    Another interesting thing my friend found was that Preston Shirley was a Confederate soldier from the “Texas Conscripts”

    My grandfather was the only child of Ethel and his father Grover Brown. He had i believe 4 other sibling but it might have only been 3 because all i can remember is Cecil, Marvin and Maxine.

    • Edwina Shirley-Nalchawee says:




      • Matt Shirley says:

        I come from the James Shirley side that moved to Mason County , Ill

  88. Wanda Laymon Kiefer says:

    We were told we are related to Belle Starr but we can not find the connection. My great-grandfater was Jim Reed. He had a daughter Lou Vernie (or Verna) Reed that married Henry Laymon. Vernie Reed was raised by Billye (or Billy) Reed. She was living at Winslow AR when Henry met and married her. Vernie was 1/4 Indian. I would love to know more of her history. Vernie/Verna had 3 children: Edna, James Ray & Henry Russell Laymon.

  89. dana says:

    Help Please if anyone can!

    I am trying to resurch my family tree my and we have been at a copleate stand still for YEARS the family story is that my great grand father was sent on a orphan train from oklahoma to kentucky beacuse he was convicted of killing belle starr and since native americains wear blamed for everything in thoes days it fits but all my resurch has came up with nada i was also told that somehow jesse james is in the tree someware but once again i am at a stand still all we know is my great grandfathers adopted name wich was Judge golden terry and that is as far as it gets and to make the mistory even greater he has 2 birth dates witch are 4 years apart so if any one has even the littlest bit of info that would be great contact me at


  90. richard cramer says:

    i am to related to bella starr and what is funny is that she looks just like my grandmother and to who all is also related to her we should talk

  91. ameila says:

    Belle starr is an awsome lady!

  92. Jill Hartley says:

    Dear Shelba Davis,

    I am putting together the photographs and stories of my family album and am just now writing about my great grandmother Pearl. I had to mention the rumor that she was somehow related to Belle Starr and may have had Cherokee blood. It has never been more that a family story and she herself wouldn’t say anything about it even on her death bed. I didn’t take it too seriously and indeed it is amazing to see how many people claim to be related to the famous outlaw. Until I came across your mention of the child put up for adoption in Kansas.

    My maternal grandfather’s mother was born Geneva Pearl on May 4th 1884 of unknown parents and adopted from the orphanage in Leavenworth, Kansas. She was adopted by a Mr. Sheperd who had a sewing machine store in Leavenworth. She was always called Pearl and she married Fred David Samuel on May 21st 1902 in Los Angeles, California. They had 6 children, 5 of which lived: Fred Albert (my grandfather), Grantly Arvis, Frank Bowman, Loretta Marie, and James Edward. Pearl divorced Fred David Samuel on March 26, 1926 in Reno and then married Melvin Joseph Bacon from Fredonia, Kansas at Thermal, Riverside County, California, and had 3 more children: Mildred, Melvin and Donald. I have of course more information on Pearl’s life and on the current generation if you would be interested.
    But first of all, can you tell me if there is any more information about the child given up for adoption in Kansas and if it could be the same person as my great-grandmother?

    • catalina estella ortiz says:

      the child givin up foe adoption was indeed belle herself later in life her youngest daughter was taken from her by belles mother it was all due to a huge money scheme that is still going on today belles youngest dauhghter majestic star told people of memories of being tied up locked in a closet for time periods like as if she was being hidden majestic talks about being abused as a child to cancel out alot of memory she had of the kidnapping in her older years she talks about these memories coming bak flooding her mind majestic is the daughter of belle aka catherine later majestics daughter justus was taken from her mother by catherines grandmother and history repeats itself

  93. Jo Elliott-Blakesee says:


    Belle Starr was my great, great, great aunt. She was my grandfather’s
    great aunt. My grandfather’s name was John Wesley Shirley. His father was killed when he was only about 8 or so. He had seven siblings. His mother took in washing to try and make a living, but could not support 8 children on her own. So she adopted 3 or 4 of the older ones out. My grandfather was one of them. He had a sister who became a madam of a house of ill repute, and a brother named Harry Shirley who lived in Hollywood, California, and was a barber to many stars over a long period of time.

  94. marilyn says:

    This is for Joy.Hi Joy this is your great aunt Marilyn, Honey your grandmother Joy was my half-sister, my mother Velma was married to Bud Newman.thus the Belle Starr story begins.Newmans grandmother’s last name was George. My mother was only related by marriage. Your mother Beth should have some knowledge for you. Love You Auntie Moe

  95. Anna says:

    This is for Jill Hartley…….per Wikipedia; Daughter born to Belle Starr and Cole Younger was named Rosie Lee Reed, nicknamed Pearl. I’ve been told that Belle Starr is also an ancestor by a cousin who does geneology but haven’t been privy to the tree as of this date. I have Shirley’s and Reeds in my family history….in and around Ar. My great-great grandfather was a Shirley, a civil war veteran and settled near Fort Smith AR after the war. I don’t know where he lived prior to the war. I also have a great-great grandfather Reed. but know even less about him. It appears there is a vast amount of people claiming to be decendents of Belle Starr and I would suspect that given the population of that time period that it’s intirely possible that anyone bearing surnames connected with Belle Starr in and around the areas she lived would more than likely have a connection.

  96. Daniel says:

    I was told that I am in relation to Belle. I am not sure how but am trying to find out as much as I can for our family reunion. If any one can help with a family tree or other names of kin. I am a Wilmot and my grandfather came from MO. My grandmas maiden name was Carpenter. If any of these names match please let me know.

  97. Nicole says:

    This summer, my paternal grandmother died. From it a slew of family members came to the service. We reconnected about two weeks early prior to our family reunion for the Thompsons.

    Alexander MacGregor Thompson (my great great grandfather-and a descendant of Rob Roy) married a Bessie Starr who happened to be related to Belle. I dont know how, this is where my research stops short…

    A lot of family members I know of are in the DuBois (PA) area in that descent. They have a Starr Family Reunion that is just after the Thompsons in July. I missed the Starr reunion so I couldn’t get much information on it-toher than there are some Reeds on that side of the family as well.

    I know I’m related to Belle, just dont know how. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My cousin says we have direct descendancy but I’m not seeing a connection, esp. if my great grandfather, Sgt. James Thompson USMC was born just after the turn of the century…and Belle was during civil war times…Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

  98. Donna Elder says:

    My grandmother was a Shirley I looking for information on her family it been rumor that she could be related to Belle Starr. She from Arkansas and Oklahoma. She married a John Marlow in 1907 in Indain terrotory OK. Latter married my grandfather Joesph Aaron Thomas . She was born apx 1895 died 1932. Her named Nettie Mae and I been told she had sister Mattie. I would appreciate any infomation.

  99. Jim says:

    I have been trying to find any information about an old Oklahoma outlaw named Gus Shipley. Would you know if he was any relation to Myra Belle Shipley

  100. Dan says:

    I’m researching on Belle Starr, trying to find out more of her actions and where ’bouts. if any one could give me any information i”d appreciate it. Thanks.

  101. Dan says:

    Also Has any one read the book “Bella Starr, the Bandit Queen, or The Female Jesse James” It is said that the publisher of this book nick named Myra Mabel Shirley “Belle Starr”

  102. shannon solomon says:

    i’ve been told that i was related to belle star. i’m not sure if thats true or not but i would love to find out! i can remember only so far back to what little history my grandparents told me about my family history. from what i understand she was my grandfather (fred hampton) cousin? first or second cousin i believe.

  103. Stephanie Tasler says:

    I am related to Belle Starr some where down the line on my mothers side. My great grandmother would always tell her grandchildren that we are all related to Belle Starr. I am now writing a History paper on her if any of yall could help me I would be very greatful.

  104. Listing of certified pilots in Pennsylvania says:

    This is for Jill Hartley…….per Wikipedia; Daughter born to Belle Starr and Cole Younger was named Rosie Lee Reed, nicknamed Pearl. I’ve been told that Belle Starr is also an ancestor by a cousin who does geneology but haven’t been privy to the tree as of this date. I have Shirley’s and Reeds in my family history….in and around Ar. My great-great grandfather was a Shirley, a civil war veteran and settled near Fort Smith AR after the war. I don’t know where he lived prior to the war. I also have a great-great grandfather Reed. but know even less about him. It appears there is a vast amount of people claiming to be decendents of Belle Starr and I would suspect that given the population of that time period that it’s intirely possible that anyone bearing surnames connected with Belle Starr in and around the areas she lived would more than likely have a connection.

    • Shelba Davis says:

      “Belle Starr” had one daughter who was not a Younger but a Reed. She was the daughter of Belle’s first husband James C. “Jim” Reed. Jim and Belle married in Collin Co. TX and went with Jim’s widowed mother Susan (Brock) Reed when she returned from TX to Vernon Co., MO to reclaim Susan’s and late husband Solomon Reed’s land. There Pearl was born.

  105. valerie starr says:

    like to know where the name starr comes from

    valerie starr

    • MacStarr says:

      Valerie, there is a coat of arms site I found the name starr under. I believe it’s Brittish in origin. Check
      Good luck on your searches!

      • S. E. STARR says:

        Valerie I did a family tree on the STARR’S……..Hello I am S.E. Starr and I was able to trace back to 1450 and you would not believe just where the STARR name came from and how it used to be spelled… I am write me

    • catalina estrella ortiz says:

      star is not a last name in fact it is the middle name of billy the kids grandaughter majestic star family and close friends of the family call her estrella catalina was the name of majestics grandmother i belive catalina was a apache indian as was the original billy the kid wonder how i know…. quiz me u never know who u could be talking too

  106. Makenzie says:

    I am related to Belle Starr also. My grandma, greatgrandma and most of my Mom’s side of the family have the last name Starr. And my Grandma was originally from OK also. I

  107. Kathy says:

    If anyone is related to Belle or Sam, please write!

  108. MacStarr says:

    I’m researching two family trees. If anyone is truly related to Belle Starr, I’d appreciate some information. Supposedly I’m related to a Charlie (Charley, Charles…still working out the names) Starr who stumbled on some gold. This Charles is related to Belle in some way either by blood or married into the family. A book I got at the local store only shows Belle’s Direct Decendency through Pearl’s children on down. Not even close to my family so I’m pretty sure I’m not a direct decendant. Charlie Starr I’m speaking of would have been in the late 1800’s, married or fathered a Bessie Starr who mothered a James Thompson and on down to my family. Much appreciated if you can help. We’re from Pennsylvania. Thanks!

  109. Whitney says:

    I’m related to her and the James Brothers, i am only 14 now but i know a lot about her!

  110. Robyn Starr-Shackelford says:

    My dad can he has done family genealogy all the way back to the 1400s. Contact him His name is Standly Starr.

  111. Standly Starr says:

    If anybody still reads these pages I am trying to find out info on a Sarah Starr and David Rogers marriage sometime in the 1800’s.
    Please contact me at

  112. Scott says:

    My family has always told me I am related to Belle Star also. My great Grand father was Ira Starr and I am told he was a cousin to Belle but I would like help filling in my family tree.

    I really want to know my family. Can someone please help? email me at


  113. Diann says:

    I’m trying to do a family research on belle starr she is suppose to my great great great aunt if anybody has a family tree me email me at i really wanna learn more about her, my grandmothers last name was shirley

  114. S. E. STARR says:

    There could be 195000 replies on here and each one be of a different name and every one of them will claim to be a relative to Belle Starr but never will one claim to be related to Sam Starr. Everybody wants to try to get in on the train that quit running long before they were ever thought of or before their grandparents were thought of. I am a direct decedent of Sam Starr. Belle only became Belle by way of Sam. Had it not been for Sam there would have been no Belle. Myra Maybelle Shirley was playing around and entertaining outlaws before Sam ever got into the picture. Belle never had all these relatives. So for most of you that is trying to get a ride on the outlaw train. Listen & listen close the engine isn’t running the train isn’t moving, The tracks are rusty.. Sorry for the big let down but the train don’t run no more. Pearl was fathered by Cole Younger, Eddie was fathered by Jim Reed. and that was before Sam. Somebody said that Belle’s murder was taken to KY or someplace east of Arkansas when in realty her killer was never found to be sentenced.
    Belle entertained any and all guys that met her fancy and would do what she wanted and she would brag to that fact.

    • Winnifred Leah Starr says:


    • catalina estrella ortiz says:

      .38 special no hammer?

    • Brandon Starr says:

      I am a descendent of sam Starr. His nephew Henry starr. Do you know Jim Starr or Richard Starr. email me sir

    • Andrew Joseph Starr says:

      Hi Stanley. My father told me that we are not descendants of Belle Starr but in fact descendants of Sam Starr. My grandfather’s name was Joe and he had alot of brothers and sisters. I never knew Joe or any of my great aunts or uncles. I have been trying for a very long time to figure out who my family is on my father’s side. If you can provide me with any information I would greatly appreciate it.


  115. vicky jane reed says:


    • John Cook says:

      Hello Vicky,

      We have a Reed family that goes back a long time in Louisburg, Kansas. I used to live next to their farm and Ralph Reed gave me a tour of the Reed Family Cemetery ( located on their farm property. There two Jasper Reeds buried there along with many other people.

      Here is a link to Mathias Reed which references the Reed Banking Company:

      Here is a link to Farlow Reed Sr.:

      Here is a link to Jasper A. Reed:

      Ed & Myrtle Lee Reed still own the farm. They have built a new home on the property. George Reed (Ed’s younger brother) lives on another farm.

      John Cook

      • Shelba Davis says:

        From years of researching with some of your Mathias Reed descendants, we have determined that Matthias of Jackson Co., MO, was the youngest brother of my Solomon Reed of Pettis Co. MO and Samuel Reed of Lafayette Co. MO and later Bates Co. MO, were all the sons of Jasper/Casper Reed who died in KY. Mathias, Solomon, Samuel, and brother David were in Greene Co. TN in the late 1700/early 1800s. While David remained there, Solomon led the way to the part of Knox Co. KY that is now Whitley Co, KY, with Samuel, Mathias and father Jasper/Casper following. There Jasper/Casper deeded his personal assets to Mathias.
        C 1818, Solomon led the way to MO, going to Howard Co. MO, the part that is now Pettis Co., settling north of present day Sedalia. A couple of years later Samuel came and settled in Lafayette Co., later going to Bates Co. MO. C 1833, Mathias came and settled near Independence, Jackson Co.
        Solomon’s early MO neighbor was Perry Green Brock . Abt 1824 P. G. Brock moved to what later became Jackson Co. MO. Solomon’s son David went to Jackson Co. MO and married Brock’s daughter Fatima Jane “Timy” Brock. I descend from Solomon and Fatima.
        Later Samuel’s son Solomon married P.G. Brock’s daughter Susan Demanda Brock in Clay Co. MO. This younger Solomon and Susan’s son James C. “Jim” Reed married Myra Maybelle Shirley.
        Recently made contact with a Rieth family researcher whose data seems to confirm that our mutual ancestor Jasper/Casper Reed’s name was originally spelled Rieth and went from VA and then TN and KY.
        Shelba Davis

    • Linda Evers says:

      My greatgrand mother Fatima Reed help raise Eddy, and I am not sure if John was her son or I am trying to peace together information, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
      Thank you

      • Shelba Davis says:

        My computer with my genealogy records is frozen up, but will work from memory. Susan Brock and Solomon Reed’s daughter Fatima was named for Susan’s sister Fatima (my great-grandmother) who married, 1827, your Solomon Reed’s first cousin David Reed. I do remember that your Fatima was married twice., but don’t think there were any first marriage children. She lived at Rich Hill, Bates Co. MO, not far north of the Reed family land near Metz, Vernon Co. MO. I traced your Fatima and her second husband from Rich Hill to Trinidad, CO. Would love to share/exchange data.
        Your cousin, Shelba Davis.

  116. S. E. STARR says:

    I am and I have done a family tree back to 1450 on the Starr name, Should anyone be interested

  117. ih8sociolstudies says:

    how do i cite this?

  118. jaquan says:

    wowww me to

  119. Winnifred Leah Starr says:

    I am the great-great-great-great neice of Belle Starr.

  120. gmccoy3447 says:

    hi, how all u i am mccoy, my mom name carolyn reed,

  121. gmccoy3447 says:

    graet gramather

  122. gmccoy3447 says:

    the way it lookis iam belle grad grad granddraghter from jim reed side he was my graD GRANFATHER

    • Shelba Davis says:

      A group of us have lots on data on the Reeds and the Brocks (Jim Reed’s mother was Susan Demanda Brock). I descend from Jim’s aunt Fatima Brock and her husband David Reed (first cousin of Jim Reed’s father Solomon Reed).
      If you will provide me with your descent from Jim and Belle, evidently from Rosa “Pearl”, I will try to confirm you relationship.
      Shelba Davis

  123. gmccoy3447 says:



    james ewand Reed
    my father is JE Reed from arkansas
    my name is carolyn Reed


  124. cody evans says:

    okay everybody who is a starr does anybody know anything about the kellys or the mitchells because my grandmother had once told me that we were related to the kellys through the mitchells and bell starr was a relative of mine. my grandmothers name is linda louise kelly and maybe somebody could tell me if possibly my family is related to yall some way or another

  125. Debbie says:

    I have a great great grandfather named Crop-Eared John Smith. I have been told that he ran and hid out with Belle Starr in the Cookson Hills. I have not been able to find any info about him. If anyone has ever heard of him I sure would appreciate the info.

  126. Angela says:

    Hello, I wanted to add my comment by thanking all of YOU’S, your info, memories,facts…etc…that have been shared,had also been shared with a smile. Flora Perry, Massey Family..might also find memories to share. Illinois&Arkansas area.

  127. Kristina says:

    Please do not think that I am trying to claim anything just going by a rumor I heard my family say and I am looking to see if it is true or not. I was told that we are kin to Belle Starr and I just wanted to see how I could find out. NOW DON’T freak out on me but I am african american so I am very interested. I do have native american in my family from my great grandfather Alexander Hamilton. So if anyone could verify that you know an Alexander Hamilton please let me know. He also went by AH Mike or Alexander Hamilton Mike. Also I have other names of my native american relatives. Thanks for your help.

  128. Edwina Shirley-Nalchawee says:

    Hello I believe I am a descendent of Belle Shirley. However, my family was from Jamaica. My grandfather was James Shirley born abt 1842. My father Edwin, born 1885. I was told all Shirleys are related.
    My uncle John Walbridge Shirley and my father came to America abt 1914. Our family from Jamaica are decendents of the Shirley’s from England.
    Edwina Shirley-Nalchawee

  129. Angelique Starr says:

    Okay, My name’s Angel or Angelique if you want to call me that. I’m a direct descendent from Belle Starr. I’m sixteen, And I was looking at the Starr family tree. I think its interesting, that My Mother, (Who married into the Starr family to my Dad, Jerry Starr) knew so much about the Starr family. I was kind of wondering if any of the stuff that you read-up on, online is true? Or false. If you could let me know, This would be a life saver! — Angelique

  130. James kelly says:

    Hello my name is James Kelly my great grandfather (James Monroe Kelly married belle’s younger sister Armindy Shirley. I would like more info on belle Starr


  131. Rhonda says:

    Has anyone heard of the hideout that Belle once used, Northeast of Newkirk, OK? It is a cave in the side of a huge line of rock cliffs. I just recently heard of it and I went out and found it today! Very awesome, to say the least! A shame is has been vandalized by graffiti. I was told it was a place where she & the James’ would hold up between bank robberies. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

  132. Marian says:

    I just found this site and read very interesting stories here.

    I am a Shirley descendant but one of the few that is NOT related to Belle, as far as I can tell.

    I did however; live within 10 miles of where her parents lived in Scyene, Texas. Scyene doesn’t exist anymore, Balch Spring and Mesquite have gobbled it up. There is still a Scyene Road that runs from there into Dallas, Texas.

    Just thought I would throw that out there in case anyone went looking for Scyene, Texas.

  133. Mark Roe says:

    Being a Shirley descendant on my mothers side, I know that the bitterness of the Civil War ran deep. As late as 1965, I heard my grandmother Birdie Shirley-Hendrickson (Belle’s cousin) lament what she saw as the dishonest and unfair treatment of her family after the war and the portrayals of Belle in the press and other media.

  134. Holly Bartlett-Hensley says:

    My grandfather and i were talking about our ancestors the other day and he was told by another member of our family that we are related to Belle Starr. Does anyone know if the Bartlett’s are kin to Belle Starr?

    Holly Bartlett-Hensley

    If anyone knows anything please e-mail me at

  135. Betty Buchanan says:

    I was told many years ago by my grandmother Ruby Starr Buchanan that I am a direct descendant of belle starr please confirm .

  136. Leah Michka says:

    hi i can see that thousands of you are saying that you are descendants…but actually there are no descendants according to the USA citizen lines .There are no records ever in years of Bella Star descendants.But if you are(which you are not ) i think you should have a legal record of yourself

    Leah (Manager of citizenship department)

    • Shelba Davis says:

      Myra Maybelle Shirley “Belle Star”: had two children by James C. “Jim” Reed.whom she married 1 Nov 1866, Collin Co. TX, The Youngers long ago refuted the tall tale that she and Cole had a daughter or even an affair.

      Edwin Edmund Reed b 22 Feb 1871 California died 1896 Claremore, OK. He was unmarried.
      Rosa Lee “Pearl,” Reed, the eldest child, was a Reed, not a Younger. She was born 1868, Vernon Co. MO died 6 July 1925 Douglas, Cochise, AZ
      Remember, her parents married 1866 in TX and went to MO in 1867 after Jim’s mother had reclaimed her Vernon Co.MO land.and Pearl born there 1868.

      Belle Starr’s only descendants come from Pearl Reed.
      Re Pearl: loves and marriages –
      By (1 affair) Robert McClure, Pearl had daughter Mamie Reed b Apr 1887 This is the child Belle took and sent to Jim Reed’s sister in Kansas where she was put up for adoption. She became Flossie Pearl Epple
      Pearl married (2)Charles Kaigler and had Ruth D b June 1894.
      1897 Washington Co. AR Pearl married (3)Arthur E. Erbach. No children.
      Pearl married (4) Dell Andrews and had daughter Jennette b 1902.
      Unless one descends from one of the above children, then they do NOT descend from Belle Starr.

      • Patricia Ann Shelton Bodine says:

        James C Reed was related to me, so i would be relatives through his children, I have done alot of research an i know you are right. I desend from Dr. John Woodson,through his son Robert, Jessie James middle name was woodson an youngers Reeds Dolly Madison . If you get a Chance read read the history of Dr. John woodson.
        There is alot of good stories.

        I have to get my ancesters all lined out, before i can list anything.
        My GGGG Great Grandmother was Nancy Anne Woodson.

        Ived enjoyed readin all Answers an replies on here even alot of them are wrong.

        Any one wants to ,they can email me at

    • kyler says:

      Belle Starr was an outlaw , she would have destroyed any documents that were about her like her birth certificate

  137. Kiara Perumal says:

    hi everyone,im in 7th grade and we were told to do an oral on a female outlaw.I have chosen Bella Star because i share birthdays with her.Please can someone help me with my oral/presentation.
    I would really appreciate it and im begging you to help
    I only put star because it sounds cool on my email
    Kiara Perumal
    Please email me if you would like to help (and if you’re real real descendant you will email me back)

  138. Brandon Starr says:

    Add me on faceboook “Brandon Starr” Croswell MI, 48422 or if ur related to Sam Starr. Half of these people arent related and are telling myths besides Stanley and stadley

  139. Dawn says:

    Did Belle Starr use a 45 colt frontiersman and if so does any know the serial number of it? Or how I can find it?

  140. Carrie Cherb says:

    I am doing some family research and I found out that my great grandma was married to some of Belle’s brothers and all I know is his last name was Pitts. Her name was Minnie Pitts (Cowen) not really sure of the date but I do know that they didn’t have any children. But if you could please help me that would be great! Thank you!

  141. Patricia Ann Shelton Bodine says:

    I have put in many hours researching my fathers side of family.

    1st G Grand parents Elizabeth Neighbors an William Shelton.
    2nd Barbara Francis an William Hawkins Shelton.
    Going down through Barbara’s Family line, Mother Susannah Easley, then on too Nancy Anne Woodson.

    Go back to Dr. John Woodson born1586in Dorchester, Davonshire England. Died in1644 Fleur De Hundred Prince George Co. Va.

    Start tracking back to the Presant An you will find, DollyPayne Todd Madison. An Jessie Woodson James As the Woodson’s Gave alot of their son’s the middle name of Woodson., Dolly was a cousin to Jessie James, Her sister married a nephew of George Washington,
    first President.
    there is so much research on thi Woodson Line, Also James Jim Reed Married to Belle Starr is related to me


  142. Sarah says:

    My great great grandmother was margarey Starr. Does anyone know how she is related to belle?

  143. RT says:

    Stanley Starr, sir…have u thought about having Belle’s grave restored? It has deteriorated severely.

  144. Linda Shirley says:

    I have been told all my life that I am related to Belle Starr. When I pulled up info on the internet, I was amazed at how much I look like her. My father who passed away in 2005 told me that his greatgrandfather’s brother was Belle’s father. We come from the Virginia-Georgia Shirleys. I would love to find proof that I am related to her. Can anyone help? My dad’s father’s name was John Henry Shirley born in Georgia. It’s been difficult to trace him because sometimes he went by the name John Shirley and other times he went by Henry Shirley. I believe he was hiding something but I can’t figure out what it was. I do know that someone in the family was a gunslinger because my father found two pistols in a trunk when he was a little boy and got a whippin for going in the trunk. They had ivory or pearl decorations on the handles.

    • Tricia maloney kent says:

      Hi Linda,
      What a neat story! I hope you have those guns…probably worth a lot these days. I was told by my aunt that we are related to Belle Starr through the Shirley name. I was told my grandmother’s name is in a book about Belle Starr, but I haven’t been able to find it. Hoping to get more info from my aunt. We are all from OK.

      • Linda Shirley says:

        Tricia – What is your grandmother’s name – I will look for it in some of my books about Belle Starr.

    • Russell Burget says:

      hi my name is russell burget and belle starr happens to b my 6th great aunt my moms maddien name is shirley and my grandpa who is Sidney Wilson Shirley who passed away in November 18, 2005. please contact me at i would like to learn more!

    • Matt Shirley says:

      My side of the Shirley family came from Londonberry, Ireland to the USA in 1855 to Grafton Massachusetts. Moved to Philadelphia in late 1860 , Moved to Mason County, Havana, Il in 1870, My Great Grandfather was John Shirley Jr and Grandfather was James Shirley

      • Matt Shirley says:

        Sorry Great Great Grandfather was James Shirley and Great Great Great Grandfather was John Shirley. Joseph Shirley came from Ireland and had son by the name of George Shirleyborn in 1804 Ireland.

  145. Tricia maloney kent says:

    Hi Linda,
    Her name was Margaret (Elenore) Jett (her maiden name)

  146. Patricia Ann Shelton Bodine says:

    Hello Bob it was so nice of you to send m e pictures of Belle Starr’s Grave, Some whe on here i saw where the properity was sold,

    I guess they will make a Museium an site seeing place out of it.

    I have a picture of James C Reed Belles Husband,
    Soon i will go to Judge Parker’s court room an get pictures.
    If there is anything i have will send you if i have it.
    Again thank you so much. Pat

  147. Patricia Ann Shelton Bodine says:

    Sorry Roy, I about calling you Bob.

  148. diddle starr says:

    hey just asking how do i find out which part of belle’s family im related to, i know im related but i dont know how

  149. Patricia Ann Shelton Bodine says:

    I read where Belle Starrs mother was Elizabeth Pennington Hatfield,
    Husband John Shirley, one place said he was a Judge an one place
    that said he was a farmer.
    Does anyone know for sure?

    I do know his wife was out of the Mc Coy an hatfield Bunch.

  150. Patricia Ann Shelton Bodine says:

    Linda my GGGG was Nancy Anne Woodson. she is desended through
    Robert Woodson, son of Dr. John Woodson an Sarah Winston.
    As this line also produces Jessie Woodson James.

    James C Reed who married Belle Starr is related to me.
    Myra Belle Shirley’s mother,Elizabeth Pennington Hatfield is also related to me.

    Would be most grateful for any other information you can send me.
    I have proof of what i say.

  151. dallas unger says:

    has anybody heard of a son called blue duck belonging to mrs starr

  152. dallas unger says:

    did belle have a son named blue duck mabe nick name

  153. Patricia Ann Shelton Bodine says:

    Belle Star did not have a son called Blue Duck, The only children
    she had was fathered bu James C Reed.

    Blue Duck Like many others, were men she shacked up with,
    Sorry, but that was the way it was, She married first ,
    James C Reed
    Jim Starr
    Bruce Younger

  154. Magin says:

    I have been told that I am a distant cousin of Belle Starr on my great-grandmother’s side. I have relatives in Elm Springs, AR, and in Rogers, AR They are from my great grandmother’s side, her maiden name was Lena Cross, she also lived in Dustin, OK for many years. just wondering if anyone had any info on the link between Belle starr and the Cross family

  155. Russell Burget says:

    my moms maddien name is shirley and my grandpa is Sidney Wilson Shirley his father Barney Franklen Shirley that is as far as i have gotten in my research if anyone can help with information please do very intrested!! email is

  156. Matt Shirley says:

    Ill see if I can help you out!

  157. T Spigner says:

    My mother was a Starr (her mother was a Watson) and there are people in my family that believe Belle’s death was faked and she ended up in Central Arkansas. Her own headstone states that “only a coffin lies here”. We have pictures of my great-great grandmother in her 80’s and she bears a strong resemblance to Belle. Any thoughts?

  158. karen holder says:

    hi i was just told before my ungle died that i am related to bell starr. if anyone wants to help me . it goes the whole way back to va, where itt all begain. the family that i am related to is boyd.but from what i undrstand my great great grandma changed her name to bell , i do know this , much but i want to know more . like we know about the younger gang but what about clamity jane . did she hang with her . wyatt wyrup and so. i am into the west i cant get enough espeacilly now since i am related to ms. belle. that is so cool.

  159. kyler says:

    I am a descendant to Belle Starr.
    I am 11 years old, and my name is ***** Sorrells.
    I would like to figure out how i am related to her
    It would be nice if you emailed me at
    Thank you i have a very dark past. please help me find the answer to the missing piece, thank you

  160. tricia says:

    Hi, I don’t know know as much as I would like but my Dad in MO, can tell many stories of the Coles, Younger’s and James’s and how they were all some form of cousin’s to us. In fact he’s got many photo’s of Jesse and them at his Dad’s ranch, the one the most famous Jesse James photo of all was taken at. He said through marriages and children the Native blood runs as well. I guess my Grandfather was the one one hiding Jesse out in fact right there in MO when they were hunting him into the territories but not finding him. Unfortunately my Dad is a drunk with only my brother who’s a douche leaving me on the outside as my brother’s mom won’t accept me or my having me, but the few times we spent together he took me to the fake grave site and to where his real one is, I wish I new more and had the talent to build a family tree but anyone who fits in where I am feel free to divulge me with more info.

  161. […] Starr, US female gangster, murdered at […]

  162. Lisa Haney says:

    I live in Chetopa, Ks. I am a decendant of Sam Starr. My father has 5 or 6 tin types of Jim Reed, Bell Starr, and their children that we inherited through my grandfather, he was cherokee and kept many family artifacts. I imagine that Bell brought these with her when she remarried to Sam and left them behind after her death.

  163. Monic Hazard says:

    I am a decendant because my mother’s side of the family are Shirleys. My grandma was Ottie Shirley and her twin sister Ollie. My mom’s maiden name was Shirley.

  164. Ashley Starr says:

    My grandfather is named Tom Starr the name has been passed down for generations I also have been told stories my whole life about belle Starr I’m actually related to Sam my family lives near where her hide out was Poteau mtn in arkansas

  165. Cristina Shirley says:

    My grandfather, Dennis “Trapper” Shirley told me Belle Starr was his great great (great?) grandmother. I live in Arkansas, I believe he may have been born in Texas? Just trying to see if I’m really related to her. I don’t believe my grandfather lied to me about this, just trying to find more details. My e-mail is (lame, i know. I made it when i was 11! lol) if anyone can help!

  166. Tag says:

    I am no relation to Belle Starr, but the story in my family that I have been told: My great grandfather was on a river boat and it caught fire. several people jumped overboard, including my great grandfather. He got a woman to the bank who had on a dress that had large skirts. Afterwards she invited him to a hotel room where she pulled out a roll of money and paid him for saving her.
    I would like to ask if there is any truth to the story. I’m researching my family history and would like to include the story if it is true.

  167. Trina Shirley says:

    Hey everyone! As many of you I see that a lot of us seem to be related to belle lol the historical people not sure exactly what you call em they called my family wanting to know more of her blood line and family. We knew we where related but not sure of any facts if you guys know more let me know too thanks

  168. Renee Shirley says:

    I have been doing a family tree from my side of the Shirley’s. I would love to hear what you have gotten on the Shirley side. John Shirley married a women Elizabeth Pennington of the Hatfields.

  169. Magin says:

    I had a great great aunt Pearl in Central Arkansas, but don’t remember what she looked like, Cross was her maiden name

  170. Sheena. says:

    Hi i am told that Myra Maybelle Shirley was my great so many times grandmother. Pearls kids name were Flossie Pearl McClure 1887 to 1943. Charles Hutton 1884 to 1930. Ruth Kaigler 1894 to 1979 Arther E Erback Jr 1895 to 1899. Jennette Andrews 1902 to 1971. My great grandmothers name was Ita Hudleston her maiden. I would greatly appreciate if i could find more. Contact me at

  171. Diana says:

    Does anyone have a list of the addresses where Belle and/or Pearl lived in Fort Smith, AR? I have heard of two houses Pearl owned which are still standing, but would like to verify the addresses through research. My next step will be the public library and assessors office. Thanks

  172. Jason C Ballew-Gammel says:

    I was born Jason Gammel when I was 7 I was adopted by my step father and my named was changed to Ballew.Belle Starr is my great great great grandma. May she rest in peace!

  173. Cheryl Griffin says:

    Hi Chip, I am a Griffin.. I am here on this site because I have been told that I am related to Belle Starr on my mother’s side also.. I am trying to figure out how.. I can tell you about the Griffin’s.. How are you related to the Griffin’s? I have dbl cousins.. meaning my mother and my mother’s sister married brothers-Griffins.. I have not heard of any Chips in the family. Were you adopted?

  174. […] Starr, US female gangster, murdered at […]

  175. Roy Pugh says:

    Rachel (Starr Family)

    Hello. You didn’t provide a way for anyone to reply to you. If you’ll provide an email address I’ll be happy to email the pictures.

    • Rachel (Starr Family) says:

      To: Roy Pugh

      Sorry about that I was thinking when I put my address above here it was going to be displayed but states right in there will not be published. My brain is just so full of all this history I have been doing research on past few days so I think I’m getting an overload. LOL! Anyway it’s
      and thanks again.

  176. Herschel Parker says:

    Want to hear a song about Belle Starr? It’s on my CD, “A Time in History” with other songs about notable people in Western Arkansas and The Indian Territory in the 1800’s. The CD is available in Fort -Smith Arkansas at The Fort Smith Museum of History–Belle Starr Antiques–The Clayton House and the National Historic Site.

  177. randy webb says:

    \Her grave site is near Eufair Lake, southeast of Porum, Okla.\….. It’s actually Eufaula Lake (where I grew up), which wasn’t a lake during the time of Belle Starr. There are business with reference to her name as well as an area westward on Texanna Rd, just east of Hwy 69.

  178. Margaurette Louise (Starr) Mcbay says:

    It caught my attention of your great great grandmother ‘s name being Margery Starr.
    My granny’s name was Margaurette Louise Starr. I was named after her and was told I was related to Belle. Not sure where or how closely related.
    My grandfather was Thomas Francis Starr, uncle Thomas Alan Starr, my dad Michael Bruce Starr, and his sister Barbara Starr.
    Looking for family information. For my boys and siblings.
    Has anyone heard of the name Sam Bass?

  179. Denise Shipman says:

    My family has record that belle Starr is the of my great great grandfather Charles Acton his father’s name was not recorded Charles had a daughter named Salome who married my great grandfather John hammers Mr grand father is one of their son Loyd Leon \Buck\ Hammers his daughter is Jerry Hammer Herbert my mother we have the death records with each recorded my email is if you would like to visit with my family.

  180. […] Starr, US female gangster, murdered at […]

  181. Rebecca says:

    My grandmother said she is related to us my grandmother’s maiden name is crain around Eufaula oklahoma and muskogee. OK my grandmother name is lillie culp daughter of dewey culp and Bessie m crain

  182. christopher says:

    Alright so apparently I’m also related to belle starr somehow on my mother’s side. So yeah, wait does that mean we’re all somehow like related lol.

  183. David J. Dill says:

    I have an in-law that owns a pistol reputed to be Belle Star’s pistol. I have seen and held the pistol. It’s a ’45 bright with a bone handle that shows signs of having been ‘worked on’ as I understand that Bell’s gun had a nude lady on it.

    Can anyone verify that Belle had such a pistol?

  184. Stanley Smith says:

    Sandy, are you TR and Jessie’s daughter. If yes, I am your cousin, Stanley, Louis and Thelma’s son.

  185. […] July 24, 2014. “Belle Starr“, Legends of America website, pulled July 24, 2014. “Belle Starr“, website, pulled July 24, […]

  186. Heather Young says:

    She still has family they cutt off the younger to make it young to make the family be cut off but they are still here alive today Tanya younger known as Tanya young in fortsmith Arkansas.still lives she has one son and two me the media took the stuff that was in the cave from a family member who knew where it was it teaches us all if you are related to someone and find there stuff the people will steal it and say that they have found it when the truth is that the family member has found if I have anny more of her stuff I will never tell anyone.they will steal it and say its not mine and that they have found it.she is my husbands aunt on his dads side. That is all I have to say goodbye.

  187. Isac Williams (PWNERX) says:

    Seems you and I may be related in some way. According to my great-grandmother and my own father, I’m supposed to be related to Belle Starr via Sam Starr (if I recall correctly, anyways. It may also have been someone else with the Starr surname that was involved with Belle).

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