William resided in Plymouth, in the part which was incorporated as Plympton in 1707. He was captain of the training band, selectman, town treasurer, delegate to the provincial assembly and prominent citizen.
His tombstone on Burying Hill in Plymouth is inscribed: "Here Lyes ye Body of Capt. William Shurtleff, who Dec. Feb. the 4th, 1729, In the 72d year Of His Age." [Evelyn Beran Ancestry.com]