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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Sharp family come from? What is the Scottish Sharp family crest and coat of arms? When did the Sharp family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Sharp family history?

A family of Strathclyde-Briton were the first to use the name Sharp. They lived in Peeblesshire. The name Sharp is derived from the Old English scearp meaning "sharp" or "keen."


In the era before dictionaries, there were no rules governing the spelling or translation of names or any other words. Consequently, there are an enormous number of spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names. Sharp has appeared as Sharp, Sharpe, Scharpe, Scharp, Schearpe and many more.

First found in Peeblesshire, where they were one of the leading families on the Scottish/English border.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sharp research. Another 307 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1376, 1439, 1666, 1474, 1639, 1707, 1613, 1679, 1661, 1679, 1644, 1714, 1691, 1714, 1689, 1691, 1651, 1742, 1650, 1702, 1643, 1707, 1681 and 1735 are included under the topic Early Sharp History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 117 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sharp Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Sharp family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 217 words(16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The freedom, opportunity, and land of the North American colonies beckoned. There, Scots found a place where they were generally free from persecution and where they could go on to become important players in the birth of new nations. Some fought in the American War of Independence, while others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these Scottish settlers have been able to recover their lost national heritage in the last century through highland games and Clan societies in North America. Among them:

Sharp Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Elizabeth Sharp with her husband who settled in Virginia in 1620
  • Elizabeth Sharp, who arrived in Virginia in 1620
  • Judith Sharp, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • Samuel and Judith Sharp settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Mrs. Sharp, who arrived in Virginia in 1623

Sharp Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Benj Sharp, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Robt Sharp, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Richd Sharp, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Nich Sharp, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • Adam Sharp, aged 30, arrived in New York in 1710-1711

Sharp Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Pieter Sharp, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1801
  • Richard Sharp, who arrived in America in 1801
  • Robert Sharp, who arrived in America in 1811
  • Alexander Sharp, who landed in Virginia in 1811-1816
  • Calvin Sharp, who landed in New York, NY in 1812


  • Elliott Sharp (b. 1951), American Avant-Garde musician
  • Dudley Crawford Sharp (1905-1987), Secretary of the Air Force (1959 to 1961)
  • James "Hap" Sharp (1928-1993), American Formula 1 driver
  • Lester Whyland Sharp (1887-1961), American botanist, pioneer in cytogenetics
  • Phil Sharp, American Emmy Award winning screenwriter
  • Phillip Allen Sharp (b. 1944), American geneticist and molecular biologist, co-discovered gene splicing, co-shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • Major-General William Frederick Sharp (1885-1947), American Commanding General Central Philippines Force, Philippines in 1942
  • Kevin Grant Sharp (1970-2014), American country music singer, author, and motivational speaker
  • William Sharp (1855-1905), Scottish poet, novelist and man of letters, who also wrote under the name F Iona Macleod
  • Alan Sharp (1934-2013), Scottish novelist and screenwriter



  • A Brief History of Our Cook Family and our Sharp Family by Violet Sharp Cook.
  • The Family of John Sharpe, Revolutionary Soldier by Mildred J. Miller.
  • Descendants of Andrew Caldwell and Ruth Reese Sharpe by Archibald Henderson Caldwell.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Dum spiro spero
Motto Translation: While I have breath I hope.


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  1. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  2. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  3. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  5. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  10. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  11. ...

The Sharp Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sharp Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 18 October 2014 at 09:01.

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