Shirley was a first generation American, born in Manhattan. Her story begins with her great grandmother, Rosa Segal, a brave young woman who migrated to America via Manchester, England. Rosa left Romania (we don't know if she was pregnant or not when she left) but she gave birth to Beatrice while she was in Manchester. As a single parent, Rosa decided to stay in England for a couple of years. We assume this is because Manchester has a large supportive Jewish community and that time also gave her the opportunity to raise more funds to put towards a new life in America.
Rosa and her daughter Beatrice (2.5) sailed for America on the SS Etruria. 9 days later, on 30 January 1905, they arrived in Ellis Island with 150 USD. The two of them lived in the lower East Side. Rosa, being a skilled tailor, would've worked in the garment district.
In 2018 Beatrice married her first husband Sam Goldstein (21) when she was just 16 and 1 month later, her mother died of the Spanish flu. Only fourteen months later, at the tail end of 1919, Beatrice and Sam Goldstein gave birth to Shirley.
Shirley moved around a lot in her early years because Beatrice and Sam put her into foster care. At one point Shirley lived with a Jewish Russian family, the Safian's, along with their four children. It's nice to see that their youngest daughter, Rosalyn, was the same age as Shirley.
Beatrice's first marriage dissolved around 1929 and she later married Benjamin Faust. Ben took Shirley out of foster care at 12 to live with them. Shirley loved Ben dearly for this.
Sadly Ben died young, at 40 in 1941, so Shirley named her second son after him.